Newark Leads the Way in Planning for Climate Change

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Newark, NJ-Today, New Jersey-based recipients of the Kresge Foundation's Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative gathered in Newark to announce a new grant and partnership that will focus on climate-resiliency planning, policy development, and implementation efforts to advance the priorities and needs of low-income people. View photos here.

 

The Kresge Foundation selected seventeen community-based nonprofits from across the nation, out of over 230 nonprofit applications, with the grant. As the only application selected in New Jersey, Ironbound Community Corporation, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, and Clean Water Action, have been awarded this opportunity in Newark to work as a collaborative team to deepen their leadership in local and regional climate resilience efforts and create a Newark Resiliency Action Plan (Newark RAP). This partnership will work in conjunction with the City of Newark, community leaders, and residents to address efforts to reduce the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, adapt to the changes already underway, and foster social inclusion and cohesion.

As a frontline community, Newark has seen first-hand the impact of climate change, with Hurricane Sandy being the most recent, and most severe, impact. With resident's public health and safety in mind, it is now the time more than ever for Newark to lead the way in climate resiliency efforts.

"I commend the Newark RAP team and agree that we must take every opportunity to reduce the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, and beautify our neighborhoods", stated Council President Mildred Crump. "I will be an Environmental Champion for Newark and I encourage residents to participate in the resiliency planning in the East, South and West Wards", concluded Crump.

The risk to our residents' public health and safety make this a critical opportunity for Newark to seize and for our communities to lead the way towards greater climate-resiliency.

"Newark is an environmental justice community and, particularly after the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, we have far too many burdens that our city must face. Residents, community and environmental organizations, and the city must come together to plan for a more resilient future", said Joseph Della Fave, Executive Director for Ironbound Community Corporation.

This project will allow this to happen, where residents put forth their vision for resilience and develop a roadmap for action to achieve that vision, in close partnership with the City of Newark, Ironbound Community Corporation, Clean Water Action, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, and others.

"We are all connected in this process, through our common values in building strong relationships, within our local schools, local businesses, and our respective neighborhoods. Social Cohesion is the best way to train and employ our own residents to implement the solutions they seek and require", stated Terrance L. Bankston, Clean Water Action, South Ward Organizer, and a 5th generation Newark Native.

About Clean Water Fund

Clean Water Fund is a national organization with 3 offices in NJ including Newark. It has centered its programs and advocacy on addressing economic, social and environmental injustices that communities face due to the disproportionate impacts of pollution for over 40 years. Clean Water Fund has worked with diverse constituencies in Newark for over 14 years developing environmental justice leadership amongst its youth and in City Hall, as well as concrete, sustainable solutions that result in more vibrant and healthier neighborhoods. The strength of their programs lies in their ability to not only enact stronger local, state, and federal policies, but to work on a grassroots level and to engage and empower people to make a difference.

Clean Water Fund offers a multi-dimensional approach to improving urban climate change resiliency and mitigation while advancing green jobs, local food production, and a more vibrant, sustainable economy. Clean Water Fund works in close collaboration with Clean Water Action where its membership is 175,000 strong in the State of NJ.

For more information, contact Clean Water Fund at 973-420-7925 or visit www.cleanwateraction.org/nj

About Ironbound Community Corporation

The Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) is a multi-service, community-based organization rooted in and representative of the diverse Newark neighborhood called Ironbound. Founded in 1969 by residents, ICC's mission is to engage and empower individuals, families, and groups to realize their aspirations and, together, work to create a just, vibrant, and sustainable community.

Today, ICC touches the lives of nearly 1,000 people on average daily and thousands annually with a broad array of programs and services including early child care and education, parenting education and family support services, health services, adult education, senior citizen services, and environmental and community development initiatives. For more information, contact ICC at 973.465.0555 or visit www.ironboundcc.org.

About New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance

The New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (NJEJA) is an alliance of New Jersey-based organizations and individuals committed to working together to create healthy, sustainable and just communities by eliminating environmental injustices in low income and communities of color. Together we support and work with communities through local, state, and national policy development, targeted campaigns and organizing, education, advocacy, training and technical assistance focused on critical environmental justice issues.

NJEJA has become a thought and policy leader developing air pollution, climate change and public health policy from an environmental justice perspective. This is in part due to its success in helping to move several issues in these areas from the margin to the mainstream of environmental policy discussions. As a statewide alliance, the organization is socially and geographically diverse, an important asset that permits acknowledgement of unique perspectives. For more information, contact NJEJA at 267-207-1558 or visit www.njeja.org.

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Kim Gaddy
1 973-420-7925
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