Climate Justice Center
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy the community urged UPROSE to help organize them adapt to the changing climate, prepare for the next storm and put the neighborhood on a block-by-block, building-by-building path to sustainability, adaptation and resilience. In response, UPROSE has launched the Sunset Park Climate Justice Center, NYC’s first grassroots-led, bottom-up, climate adaptation and community resiliency planning project.
Following the storm and immediate recovery efforts, UPROSE convened and hosted a community meeting in Sunset Park on December 19, 2012 to listen and engage with community members about Superstorm Sandy and their experiences during and after the storm. Sharing stories of neighbors helping neighbors, and describing some of the unexpected problems and challenges families encountered, meeting participants declared “We are the First Responders!” Community members began to come up with community resiliency strategies and plans for organizing themselves to address the problems identified They also began to identify opportunities for climate adaptation projects in their own homes and neighborhood blocks to make the community more sustainable and resilient. Recognizing the need for experienced leadership in the area of environmental justice, the community members charged UPROSE with the responsibility for taking all of their ideas and energy and putting them together into a plan for action.
Thus was born the Sunset Park Climate Justice Center.
- To build the capacity of Sunset Park’s indigenous leaders and local businesses to effectively respond to future severe weather events, coordinate the allocation of community resources, and mitigate the impacts of future severe weather, including the possible release of harmful chemicals; such capacity will enable the community to care for itself and to enterthe future not as passive victim, but as active designer and agent. (Resiliency)
- To engage community members and local businesses in leadership development and in a block-by-block, building-by-building assessment, mapping and relationship–building process to create, implement and manage a truly grassroots-led climate adaptation and community resiliency plan. (Adaptation and Resiliency)
- To develop the tools and partnerships needed to transition the Sunset Park Industrial area from a traditional 20th Century industrial operations model into a 21st Century climate resilient and sustainable industrial area adapted to climate change; such a transition will ensure the long term availability of business development and employment opportunities for NYC’s largest walk-to-work community, Sunset Park. (Adaptation)
- To engage community residents and local businesses in the public processes (land use planning, infrastructure design, permitting, etc.) required to adapt the community’s infrastructure to climate change. (Adaptation and Resiliency)
In June 2017, UPROSE presented in Washington D.C. at the Trans-Federal Workshop on Extreme Events, Environmental Health, and the Elderly, coordinated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Sciences. We spoke to the public health impacts of extreme weather and acculturation on the elderly Latino population in the United States.
Transform Don’t Trash Campaign
The “Transform Don’t Trash Campaign” looks to increase good jobs, recycling, and justice in the commercial waste industry. All New Yorkers want to live and work in safe, healthy communities. New York City has taken steps in recent years to build the cleaner, more sustainable city we all want. Unfortunately, commercial waste continues to cause problems for local communities and workers, as well as the local environment, economy, and the city’s long-term sustainability.
UPROSE has monitored air quality and tracked truck activity around specific facilities and intersections in Sunset Park. The goal is to survey current conditions and capture information that can be leveraged to advance efforts to reduce health and environmental impacts from waste handling and other trucking intensive activities in EJ communities. Specifically, we believe the collected data can help advance the Transform Don't Trash Campaign and the capacity reduction legislation that has already been introduced at the City Council.
All of this is very important, especially with 1/3 of the Sunset Park community being under the age of 19, growing, breathing and living in the midst of the emissions created by waste hauler trucks. UPROSE is part of the TDT because its time we all start taking aggressive steps towards zero waste and that work begins in EJ communities like ours.
Be a Block Captain!
As a response to a request that emerged from the Sunset Park community, UPROSE is working with residents of the community to be better prepared for future extreme weather events. Over the past few years we have seen tornados, super storms and hurricanes, all right here in Sunset Park. These weather events are becoming more and more commonplace and they are sure to get worse with time.We are asking Sunset Park residents to partner with us to continue creating a community plan to be better prepared and to respond to these inevitable climate related emergencies.
Would you like to join UPROSE in this initiative and become a Block Captain?
Block Captain responsibilities:
- Captains will be trained to implement climate resiliency strategies.
- Captains will learn the fundamentals of climate change, climate justice and environmental justice.
- Captains will take inventory of who lives on their block and be a point person for neighbors in case of emergency.
- Captain will help coordinate climate adaptability workshops between UPROSE and their block residents.
Block Captain requirements:
- Commitment to Climate Justice.
- Must be a resident of Sunset Park and live between 17th Street and 65th street from 4th ave to 1st ave
- Knowledge of who lives in your building and on your block – your neighbors know and trust you.
- Outgoing and personable.
- Attend trainings and workshops at the Climate Justice Center within UPROSE.
- Bilingual preferable
If you are interested in becoming a Block Captain or would like more information on the Climate Justice Center, please send an email with the form below or contact Ting Ting Fu at UPROSE: 718-492-9307 THANK YOU!!