The New York Foundation looks to connect its grantees and other nonprofit organizations in New York City with resources useful in achieving our common goals. With our Knowledge Center we collect reports, case studies, policy briefs, and other knowledge assets produced by New York Foundation grantees and affiliated organizations. While some of these works were funded by the Foundation, our goal in providing this collection is to put a spotlight on the contributions that Foundation grantees have made to social issue analysis and problem solving.
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The Climate and Community Investment Act: An Engine for Good Job Creation

May 14, 2021

For NY Renews, our hundreds of allied organizations, and tens of thousands of supporters statewide, the answer is clear: we rebuild our economy by jumpstarting the just transition to renewable energy and investing in our communities--especially disadvantaged communities hit first and worst by both Covid-19 and the climate crisis; we enact the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) in New York and pass the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) Act in Congress.Just as the CCIA will cut climate and air pollution, it will send ripples of investment throughout the economy. By supporting worker training, fueling small and large-scale infrastructure projects, electrifying our state's energy production, providing direct rebates to up to 60% of New Yorkers, and jump-starting community-driven climate solutions, the policy will invigorate many sectors of New York's economy.To be conservative in its estimates, this report analyzed two areas of the CCIA's spending that will create significant calculable new jobs in New York either because they replace expenditures out of state for fossil fuel or because they replace or expand employment in more labor and value intensive sectors of the economy: the CCIA's Climate Jobs and Infrastructure Fund and the Community Just Transition Fund.

Justicia Climatica: How the Climate & Community Protection Act will Increase Resiliency for New York’s Latinx Communities

April 15, 2019

Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico and other coastal communities in 2017 was a sobering reminder that climate change is happening now, and that the impacts hit hardest in low-income communities, communities of color, and communities historically overburdened by an extractive economy built on fossil fuels. For Latinx communities across the United States, the threats of climate change compound existing inequalities, including poverty, discrimination, proximity to environmental hazards, and challenges in immigration status during this malicious current federal administration.

Midway to 2030: Building Resiliency and Equity for a Just Transition

April 18, 2018

On Wednesday, April 18th, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance released a new report, NYC Climate Justice Agenda 2018 – Midway to 2030: Building Resiliency and Equity for a Just Transition, detailing key strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation that should be adopted by the City and State to ensure a Just Transition in New York City. The report focuses on four key areas of government action and policy: 1) Extreme Heat and Community Preparedness; 2) Air Quality; 3) Green Infrastructure Equity; and 4) Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Restart Solar: Energizing Environmental Justice Communities

May 5, 2017

New York City has taken the first steps towards a clean energy future by setting a goal of installing 100 megawatts (MW) of solar power on public buildings by 2025. Alongside expected private sector solar installations, this will help reduce our City's carbon emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels.Yet, if the first rounds of solar installations on over 100 public buildings are any indication of the goals of this program, the City is failing to prioritize those communities that are most in need of clean energy infrastructure. The communities that need solar the most are communities that have suffered from disproportionate amounts of environmental pollution. These are New York City's environmental justice communities, which have been hurt first and worst by environmental injustices. It is time to change that paradigm with the City's public solar program.This report was featured in a City Limits op-ed by Virginia Ribot, a climate justice organizer at El Puente and a member of Mothers Out Front: "City Views – City's Public Solar Investments Must Favor Low-Income Communities."

Climate Justice in a State of Emergency: What New York City Can Do

April 20, 2017

NYC Climate Justice Agenda – Climate Justice in a State of Emergency: What New York City Can Do is a roadmap with policy recommendations for how a progressive city can lead the way on environmental and climate issues while challenging the reactionary policies of the Trump administration.

Restart Solar: How NYC Can Renew Its Solar Program To Benefit Workers & Community

September 22, 2016

New York City intends to install 100 MW of solar on the rooftops of public buildings by 2025. Over the next nine years, this upgrading of public infrastructure could provide significant benefits for New Yorkers, and not just in terms of reducing emissions. These solar installations, impacting over 300 public buildings, can create thousands of good, union jobs for New York residents, and significantly reduce the City's electricity bill, freeing up funds for new and innovative programs that generate wealth in our communities. Despite the clear opportunities for leveraging this solar program to the benefit of communities and workers, this report finds that New York City's public rooftop solar energy initiative can do more to address the needs of our City's low-income communities and workers.

Dirty, Wasteful, and Unsustainable: The Urgent Need to Reform New York City's Commercial Waste System

April 1, 2015

New York City's sprawling commercial waste system performs significantly worse on recycling and efficiency than previously believed. Under an inefficient and ad-hoc arrangement that developed over the past several decades, hundreds of private hauling companies collect waste from restaurants, stores, offices, and other businesses nightly and truck it to dozens of transfer stations and recycling facilities concentrated in a handful of low-income communities of color. This waste is then transferred to long-haul trucks and hauled to landfills as far away as South Carolina. Previously unpublished studies and new data reveal just how chaotic this system is and make clear that fundamental reform is needed if we are to follow through on the City's recently adopted commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050.As recognized by city officials, meeting this ambitious but attainable GHG goal will require rapid and substantial increases in the efficiency of our buildings, power production, transportation, and solid waste systems. In the solid waste sector, there is tremendous need for improvement and the City will fall far short of the progress it needs to make in reducing the environmental and public health impacts of our garbage if it focuses only on residential recycling while ignoring the failures of a larger, highly polluting and inefficient commercial waste system.

Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers

December 16, 2013

Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers is an eye-opening report about the potential for creating good jobs making New York City more sustainable and resilient. The report brings together the best analysis, evidence, data, and policy thinking to show how New York City can tackle income inequality and climate change at the same time. It includes ten pragmatic proposals that, if enacted together, would create nearly 40,000 good jobs a year. Those proposals include:Requiring Large-Building Energy-Efficiency RetrofitsReplacing Damaged NYCHA Boilers with Combined Heat and Power Units andRenewable Energy SystemsExpanding the Green Jobs - Green New York Program for NYCInstalling Solar Energy on the Rooftops of NYC's 100 Largest SchoolsReplacing Leaking Natural Gas Lines throughout NYCUpgrading NYC's Energy Distribution Systems by Investing in MicrogridsImproving Flood Protection and Stormwater Management InfrastructureReducing Transportation Emissions by Investing in Increased Bus Rapid Transit andRestoring Cut Train LinesImproving NYC's Public Health System by Investing in Resilient Public HospitalsIncreasing the Efficiency of Commercial Waste Hauling and Recycling Rates

Transform Don't Trash NYC: How to Increase Good Jobs, Recycling, and Justice in the Commercial Waste Industry

October 2, 2013

All New Yorkers want to live and work in safe, healthy communities. New York City has taken some steps in recent years to build the cleaner, more sustainable city we all want, increasing green space and the energy-efficiency of its building stock. The City has also begun to build a more equitable and sustainable solid waste management system, expanding residential recycling programs, and developing a plan to more fairly distribute waste facilities throughout the five boroughs. Unfortunately, the City has largely overlooked the commercial waste sector, to the detriment of local communities and workers, and to the detriment of the local environment, economy, and the City's long-term sustainability. New York City deserves better. By transforming the commercial waste industry, it is possible to reduce pollution, foster cleaner and healthier communities for all new Yorkers, save the city money, lift thousands of waste industry workers and their families out of poverty, and create new, quality jobs in recycling and recycling-reliant industries. The City can achieve these goals via an exclusive franchise system, an approach being utilized by cities like Seattle and Los Angeles.

Waterfront Resiliency and Revitalization: Living With the Water Instead of Fighting It

April 1, 2013

What do we do now? That's the question many are asking now that Superstorm Sandy has come and gone, leaving our coastline in shambles and an abundance of lessons about the new future of the New York City and northern New Jersey waterfront. This is also one of the biggest issues that the next leaders of New York City must confront.One thing is clear: The future of the New York City waterfront is informed by a simple ethos: Live with the water instead of fighting it. Waterfront revitalization and resiliency go hand in hand with the restoration of the harbor, protection of the natural environment, and access to the water. A resilient city embraces all waterfront uses and continues to revitalize its waterfront.Government agencies from Federal, State, and local levels are now putting together comprehensive plans to protect our region and the financial capital of the world from the effects of climate change and sea level rise. As these plans are finalized, MWA urges that the general principles listed below be a primary part of the City's implementation plans.

Reconnect to Our Harbor: Public Access for People and Boats and Everything In Between

April 1, 2013

New York City's landmark Comprehensive Waterfront Plan published in March 2011 calls for the creation of a sustainable blue network and more activity and economic opportunities at and on the waterfront. Magnificent new parks and rejuvenated waterfront neighborhoods have opened access to the City's edge, while waterborne transportation and recreation have helped redefine New Yorkers' relationship to their waterways. As water quality has vastly improved, more and more people are interested in getting not only to the water's edge, but onto and into the water.Nevertheless, we still have a ways to go. Some of our waterfront parks are situated in wealthier neighborhoods, or are located in areas hard to reach from the outer boroughs. Too often, existing waterfront parks and even some entire waterfront neighborhoods lack any infrastructure that would allow boats to dock or pick up passengers. The many historic, educational, and cultural vessels that call the harbor home have, in fact, very few places to tie up, particularly in the outer boroughs. The relatively few piers that exist are too often design for non-maritime uses such as pedestrian access or sports; fundamental elements at the sides of the piers that could allow for docking are missing or shortsightedly designed to only accommodate one type of boat.This paper calls upon the City's next wave of leadership to commit to and accelerate the revitalization of New York's waterfront. Restoring piers, constructing new docks, opening beaches, expanding ferry service, and developing more opportunities for human-powered boating will connect New Yorkers to the water while simultaneously achieving critical economic, recreational, educational and environmental goals.

Preserving and Protecting New York City's Working Waterfront: Our Critical Yet Less Visible Economic Engine

April 1, 2013

The New York-New Jersey Harbor is an economic engine and the center of a logistics cluster that includes rail, highway, and air connections to the rest of the nation and the world. The welcoming waters and shoreline that greeted Henry Hudson have fostered the commerce that built our city over the centuries. Today's working waterfront continues to be a vital part of the regional economy and must be protected and New York City's waterfront has long been a mainstay of its economy.Jobs associated with the working waterfront also continue to increase. Much of the shipping activities is clustered around Newark Bay in New Jersey. But New York City also remains a vibrant home to the maritime support industry: more than 90 percent of support vessels, including tug boats and barges as well as ship repair facilities are located either on the Kill Van Kull shoreline of Staten Island or the Brooklyn waterfront. Overall, the port contributes to NYC's economy more than 31,000 jobs, nearly $2.1 billion in personal income, nearly $6.8 billion in business activity and nearly $1.3 billion in tax revenues.The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance calls on New York City to promote key programs, facilities and industries to preserve, protect, and grow the working waterfront of New York City. By doing so the city will ensure the viability of its working waterfront and in doing so will preserve deep-water maritime areas on the city's waterfront that have infrastructure that cannot be recreated.

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