Environmental Justice in NYC: Successful Advocacy for Sustainable Policy Change

Monday, October 17, 2011 -
2:45pm to 5:00pm EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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By the year 2000, more than 80% of the City’s trash was sent to four of the city’s 59 community districts to be stored and bundled for shipment out of state. The South Bronx was home to only 6.5% of the city’s residents, but more than 30% of the city’s solid waste was trucked into and then out of it, subjecting the neighborhood to constant truck traffic – and the noise and pollutants generated by that traffic – as well as to the noxious odors spewed by the trucks and the waste. Was it any wonder that the South Bronx had one of the highest rates of asthma in the world?

The story of how, over the last decade, the Bloomberg Administration developed and is implementing a solid waste management plan that reduces not just the number of waste transfer stations and amount of truck traffic in poor neighborhoods of color but also the amount of solid waste generated by the City is a story of successful advocacy for both environmentally sound and environmentally just policies. 

It is a story of long-term grassroots activism by the people breathing that noxious air and of strategic lawyering and persuasion by national environmental organizations and of alliances among very local groups, bigger citywide groups, and national groups. It is a story of government responding to citizen concern and to scientific fact. And it is a story that shows the powerful role that foundations can play in changing the quality of life – and the very air they breathe – for many thousands of children.



  • What prompted the alliances among neighborhood, citywide, and national organizations around these issues?
  • What strategies and tactics were used to press their case with policymakers?
  • What was the impact of this advocacy on the policymakers?
  • What was the role of foundations in supporting the advocacy?
  • What are the challenges that lie ahead for these organizations – and foundation supporters?

A Philanthropy Connects program, Philanthropy New York and the Environmental Grantmakers Association invite you to the third session of Foundation Advocacy 2011.



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All interested funders.

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