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S1 BLOG

Con Edison Highlights Solar One Partnership in New Campaign

Con Ed Campaign

Con Ed CampaignCon Edison is Solar One’s neighbor to the south, and they have been one of our most generous and consistent supporters over the years. But this month and in January, they are highlighting us as a Strategic Partner, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

The utility has a long tradition of contributing to and maintaining the social, cultural, and economic vitality of their service areas. Here’s what they have to say about it on their website:

“To do this, we’ve committed ourselves to providing financial or in-kind support to organizations whose activities advance strong, vibrant, and stable communities. We choose these groups carefully who focus on Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education, environment, civics, community, and arts and culture, looking to their ability to use education, training, and special programs and events to enrich the quality of life of all New Yorkers.”

In addition to robustly supporting out Green Design Lab K-12 Education program, and being a lead sponsor for our much-missed Oktoberfest fundraising dinner, Con Ed is also a major supporter of our Green Workforce Training Program, as highlighted in the ads you may have seen recently in publications such as amNY, the NY Daily News, the NY Times and El Diario, and on Con Ed’s social media platforms. The campaign is being run in both English and Spanish.

There’s also a fundraising component to the campaign, which we’ll be announcing after the New Year. You can learn more about Con Edison’s work in the community as a Clean Energy Leader by visiting conEd.com/partnerships/. And once again, a big heartfelt Thank You to Con Edison for their continuous and robust support of Solar One!

 

Meet Our New Board Members

New Board Members

New Board MembersSolar One couldn’t be more pleased to introduce the three newest additions to our Board of Directors: Majora Carter, Stephan Roundtree and Adriana Espinoza. All of them bring impressive credentials, expertise and experience in sustainable community development, policy making and environmental justice.

Majora Carter is a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous economic developments, technology & green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training & placement systems, and is the founder of Sustainable South Bronx. Majora has served on the boards of the US Green Building Council, Ceres, The Wilderness Society, and the Andrew Goodman Foundation.  She is quoted in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture in DC: “Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one”.

Stephan Roundtree is a lawyer who currently serves as Northeast Director for Vote Solar, the highly effective solar advocacy organization that Solar One worked closely with to help pass New York State’s first net metering law, allowing solar installation owners to sell excess power back to Con Edison. With degrees from Boston College, the Vermont Law School and the Northeastern University School of Law, Stephan brings a passion for social and environmental justice along with extensive technical knowledge gained through his previous work with Green Mountain Energy, the American International Group (AIG) and Solar One’s long-term partners WEACT for Environmental Justice.

Adriana Espinoza is a social worker by training and an environmental advocate by vocation. During her graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, she worked in the Texas House of Representatives, conducting policy analysis focusing on public education, healthcare and criminal justice reform. In that role, Adriana was also part of the team that supported Sen. Wendy Davis’s historic filibuster for women’s health care legislation. After graduating and moving to New York, she worked on election reform and voting rights before becoming the NYC Program Director for the New York League of Conservation Voters. While at NYLCV, she advocated for bold climate policies such as the Climate Mobilization Act and fought alongside other advocates to elevate environmental issues affecting low-income and minority communities across the city. She currently serves as New York’s first Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy, overseeing the development and implementation of the City’s environmental justice laws and initiatives.

We are grateful for the generosity, dedication and vision these new Board members bring to the Solar One organization, and welcome them with thanks!

 

Where Do Congress’s New Indigenous Members Stand on Climate Issues?

Indigenous Congress Members

Indigenous Congress MembersNative Americans make up about 1 percent of the U.S. population, but they’ve long been underrepresented in Congress. Since the founding of the country, just 23 Native Americans have served in the legislative body. That slow pace is starting to pick up, however. The 2020 election resulted in victories for a record six Native Americans who will serve as voting members of Congress. Four were reelected, and two were elected for the first time, bringing the historical total to 25.

Indigenous representation in Congress first surged two years ago, after the 2018 midterm elections. Deb Haaland, who is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna and has Jemez Pueblo heritage, was elected to represent New Mexico’s first congressional district. Sharice Davids, an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, was elected to represent Kansas’ third congressional district. Both Democrats were reelected this month.

The victors represent Hawaii, New Mexico, Kansas, and Oklahoma. An additional three representatives from the territories of Guam, American Samoa, and the Mariana Islands are non-voting members. Split between the two parties, the voting members’ views span the ideological spectrum — from Representative-elect Kai Kahele, a Democrat from Hawaii and an ardent supporter of the Green New Deal, to Representative-elect Yvette Herrell, a hard-line conservative who has called the Green New Deal a “radical government takeover.

To find out exactly where each of them stands on climate issues, you can read more at Grist.org here.

 

Solar One Statement on the 2020 Election

NYC Sunset Image

NYC Sunset ImageIt seemed like it would go on forever, but the 2020 U.S. election is finally over. However the work of restoring and repairing our democracy for the future is just beginning.

Many of us had hoped for a more decisive end to the division that has roiled our body politic for the last few years. We hoped that the face that we would show to the world would be one of reconciliation, healing and a recommitment to our oft-stated values of peace, justice and equality. But after four years of bitter disagreement, we are perhaps even more bitter and divided towards those who see the world differently than ever before. The damage caused by deceit, authoritarianism, racism and cruelty, especially toward immigrants, women, and BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people, along with the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus on our communities, over the past four years will not be fixed or disappear in an instant.

At the same time, these election results show that the future is not bleak. On Inauguration Day, women will be closer to the highest office in the land than ever before. Kamala Harris will take her place as the first Black woman, as well as the first person of South Asian descent, to serve as Vice President in our government’s 244-year history. And BIPOC and LGBTQ+ candidates made record gains in Congress and in state legislatures, winning elections where no one thought they could compete. Even more interestingly, these gains were made on both sides of the aisle, proving that groups of U.S. citizens are not as monolithic as we used to believe. That brings us one step closer to the Enlightenment ideal of truly seeing every single person as an independent individual regardless of race, creed, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other personal characteristic.

The heart of the work we do at Solar One, across every single program and activity that we are involved in, is education. Oftentimes we may imagine that education just means memorization and getting the right answer. But education encompasses far more than that. It means expanding our worldview in directions we never conceived before. It means opening up to the possibility that we may be mistaken in the ways that we have approached the problems inherent in just existing as humans in a complex world. It means using our imaginations to the fullest to find the best answers, not just the ones we’d prefer to be the best, and it means finding ways to communicate those answers that make people feel respected and seen, instead of insulted and ignored. That is what Solar One has been doing for the past 15+ years, and that is what we will continue to do for as long as it takes to get it done.

No matter who you may have supported in this election, our hope at Solar One is that we can all move forward by listening, learning and pushing each other toward more understanding, more shared values and more opportunity than ever before to prosper and thrive in a world that we all have to share. There is no other way.

Got questions about the incoming administration’s plans for climate action? The NY Times has the answers!

 

First-Time Voters Could Make Climate Change A Pivotal Issue

Youth Vote Photo

Youth Vote PhotoScientists have been ringing alarm bells about our changing climate for decades, and the last few years have seen teenage activists turn up the volume. From protesting pipelines to organizing school climate strikes, these young leaders are among the loudest, angriest voices demanding solutions. Now, many of them are speaking up for the first time through a fundamental part of democracy: by voting.

More than 22 million Americans have turned 18 so far this year. Studies show those newly eligible voters are overwhelmingly concerned about the existential threat of a warming planet, and that people born since 1981 will make up the largest segment of the electorate within eight years. That promises to radically change public policy, which is one reason leaders of the youth climate movement are urging their peers to show up at the polls — and cast a ballot with the Earth in mind.

Check out what three youth climate activists have to say about how they feel about casting their first votes this year.

Delaney Reynolds, 21, is the founder of the Sink or Swim Project, a Miami-based nonprofit that educates and engages youth on solutions to sea level rise. Jamie Margolin, 18, co-founded Zero Hour, an organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of climate activists. And Jerome Foster II, 18, started OneMillionOfUs, which aims to register and empower young voters in the 2020 election.

You can read their remarks at Grist.org here.

 
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