New York State has made
$4.3 million in grants for 111 projects across the state that will help prevent
hunger and reduce the disposal of food waste though food donation and
recycling. The grants will support efforts by municipalities and organizations,
such as pantries and soup kitchens, to help divert scraps for recycling and
reduce the amount of organic waste by redirecting excess, edible food to New
Yorkers struggling with food insecurity.
“Wasted food hurts
needy families facing the terrible challenges of food insecurity and harms the
environment by growing landfills and contributing to climate
change,” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
said. “These awards are the latest step New York is
taking to help local governments and community organizations support smart
investments that prevent food waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by
food disposal, and provide nutritious and healthy food to combat hunger across
New York State.”
Wasted food has
significant environmental, social, and economic impacts and these grants help
support municipalities and emergency food relief organizations by improving
food rescue efforts and diverting food scraps from disposal in landfills.
Reducing the landfilling of food scraps is also recognized as a valuable
mitigation measure in the state’s ongoing fight against climate change. The New
York State Department of Environmental Conservation will administer the grants.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “It is a sad fact that Americans waste about 25 percent of
the food purchased, leading to negative impacts on our environment and a waste
of food resources that could otherwise be used to help people in need. The projects
supported by the grants announced today are a combination of public outreach
initiatives and innovative, common-sense approaches to promoting food
recycling, helping the hungry, and reducing waste to build stronger, healthier,
and environmentally sustainable communities.”
Municipal Food Scraps
Reduction, Food Donation, and Food Scraps Recycling Grants
DEC is awarding a total
of $3.28 million in grants to 27 municipal projects that will use innovative
and comprehensive approaches to support wasted food prevention and reduction
initiatives, streamline food donation and rescue efforts, and/or develop
organics recycling programs and facilities. Many projects involve strategic
partnerships with community-based organizations to reduce the volume of
wasted food and food scraps entering the municipal waste stream. This is
accomplished through the development and implementation of wasted food
reduction education and outreach programs and by establishing municipal
composting and other organics recycling infrastructure. Among the highlights of
the municipal grant projects:
of Cortland $195,936: The
funding will support the Cortland Food Project Rescue and Waste
Prevention, a comprehensive community education campaign focused on wasted
food prevention and reduction. The city will develop and implement
Cortland’s first local food rescue system and volunteer network to seek
out large quantities of “past prime” produce that program staff
and volunteers will be trained to process into value-added food products.
The city will then coordinate with existing local hunger projects, such as
food pantries, soup kitchens, and the planned commercial community kitchen
and entrepreneurship program to be located at the Homer Avenue
Revitalization Project site;
of Ossining $99,145: The
town will create a comprehensive food scraps recycling pilot program to
serve approximately 38,300 residents and neighboring areas. The town will:
purchase collection bins for several public sites, including nearby
Environmental Justice communities and for residential home use; develop
informational materials to include in the kits residents will use in their
homes; and Teatown Lake Reservation will begin community
education events and programming regarding food waste prevention and
reduction, composting, and the town-run food scrap recycling program;
County $70,426: The county will address
wasted food prevention and food donation by targeting apartment complexes
and multifamily units in the county. The project will educate tenants and
property managers, focusing on smart shopping, smart storage, and smart
food prep; site a food hub cooler for sharing excess edible food, with
leftover donations going to Friendship Donations Network (FDN) for further
distribution throughout the Tompkins County community; provide tenants
with free toolkits to collect food scraps from their kitchens for
composting; and develop “kitchen to compost” educational
of Sleepy Hollow $11,286: The
village will develop and launch a comprehensive food scraps recycling
program that includes: education efforts and materials that are accessible
for all residents, despite income or language barriers; create a food
scraps recycling program that offers 500 free starter kits (countertop
food scraps collection pail and storage bin) to residents for composting;
and create outreach materials designed to reach all demographics in the
village, including Spanish-language translations, and engaging low-income
residents and seniors in the participation of the project.
Emergency Food Relief
Food pantries and other
local emergency food relief organizations are on the front lines when it comes
to helping those in need. These organizations often rely on donations of food
through partnerships with local businesses, farms, and other food donors to
supplement their inventories of wholesome food. However, as many of these food
pantries and organizations are volunteer-run and have limited funds, they often
do not have the resources to establish these partnerships or purchase the
necessary storage equipment and vehicles to transport donated perishable foods.
Due to these challenges, highly nutritious, perishable food that is ready to be
distributed to food pantries and soup kitchens — such as fresh produce — often
goes to waste, despite the efforts of donors and food rescue organizations.
DEC is funding 84
projects with $1.1 million to support projects including: hiring food recovery
staff focused on developing donation partnerships; purchasing efficient cold
storage equipment; kitchen equipment to prepared rescued, perishable produce;
vehicles to transport rescued food; and the implementation of hyper-local
perishable and prepared food recovery and distribution networks. In addition,
several projects include the establishment of nutrition and cooking classes to
help them use the food they receive from the pantries most efficiently. These
classes and workshops help clients reduce wasted food and stretch limited food
budgets. Highlighted grant projects include:
House $13,720: Iris House in Central
Harlem will use the funds to support efforts to distribute food closer to
the residents of East Harlem in New York City. Iris House will use part of
the grant funds to cover the operation costs of a van to transport food
pantry bag distribution to pop-up locations in East Harlem to save
residents the costs of transportation to Central Harlem. Iris House will
also develop and distribute brochures about nutrition and to advertise
their services and provide information about free food availability;
Chance Foods $15,000: Second
Chance Foods is not-for-profit food rescue organization in Carmel, New
York, that will use the grant to support the salary of a kitchen manager
to process rescued food into cooked meals or prepare parts of meals to
donate to local food programs. By processing rescued food such as
blemished produce and unfamiliar foods, Second Chance Foods makes more
rescued food “usable” by soup kitchen managers and pantry
clients, preventing wasted food and increasing the amount of wholesome
food available to people;
Food of Washington County, Inc. $12,420: Comfort Food Community serves a rural county with
limited access to grocery stores and a significant percent of the
population in poverty. CFC will hire a seasonal Food Recovery Assistant to
improve gleaning efforts at the 35 farms in their service area through
volunteer recruitment and management, as well as coordinating and
supervising rescue efforts. The Food Recovery Assistant will also work on
outreach and education elements of the Fresh Food Collective. CFC will
also use these grant funds to dedicate staff time to developing recipe
cards and coordinated meal kits for the gleaned produce to help ensure
that recipients of the produce are able to use all of it properly and
incorporate more nutritious food into their diets; and
Meadows Community Farm, Inc. $15,000: Pitney
Meadows Community Farm, Inc., is not-for-profit organization in Saratoga
Springs dedicated to urban agriculture, farmland conservation, community
empowerment, and increasing access to fresh, healthy produce. The farm
will install a “Giving Garden” dedicated to growing food
for food pantries and will use the grant to hire a farm manager to oversee
the Giving Garden and associated donation partnerships; construct a wash/pack
station to properly prepare freshly harvested vegetables in a safe,
reliable, and convenient way; and install a walk-in cooler to store food
before it is donated to local pantries.
New York State has long
been committed to the fight against hunger and Governor Cuomo has launched groundbreaking
initiatives and programs in recent years, including the Council on
Hunger and Food Policy, Vital Brooklyn, and the No Student Goes Hungry
initiative to combat hunger, improve access to healthy, locally grown foods,
and bring New York-grown foods and beverages to underserved communities. The
grants announced today also build upon the success of the 2019 Food Donations
and Food Scraps Recycling law signed by the Governor, that requires all designated
food scraps generators to first donate edible food to those in need, and
secondly, to recycle food scraps if a viable recycling facility is located
within 25 miles. In response to this crucial legislation, DEC has provided
$800,000 to Feeding New York State for additional resources to handle the
anticipated influx of donated food.
The grant announcement
was made at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern
New York in Latham, to help prepare New Yorkers for the
statewide ban on plastic carryout bags, which begins March 1. DEC, in
coordination with Feeding New York State, will distribute reusable bags to food
banks across the state as part of DEC’s efforts to encourage
consumers to bring their own bags whenever and wherever they shop. Feeding New York State helps
feed millions of people each year through more than 5,000 food pantries, soup
kitchens, shelters, and other programs.
The BYOBagNY initiative
is part of New York’s comprehensive outreach campaign with state and local
partners to educate retailers and consumers about the plastic bag ban, which
will help reduce the scourge of plastic bag waste in the state’s environment
and communities. New Yorkers use an estimated 23 billion plastic bags
annually—each for about 12 minutes—and approximately 85 percent of this
staggering total ends up in landfills, recycling machines, waterways, and
streets. For more information about the outreach efforts and details of the
law’s implementation, visit DEC’s website.
The vigorous contest of Democrats
seeking the 2020 presidential nomination has produced excellent policy
proposals to address major issues. One of the major issues is how to
restructure the economy for sustainability and protect jobs. Senator Amy
Klobuchar just released a comprehensive plan to address the future of work
in a changing economy This is from the Klobuchar campaign:
DES MOINES – Today, ahead of a panel discussion
at Machinists Lodge 254 in Des Moines, Senator Amy Klobuchar released her plan
for the future of work and a changing economy. Senator Klobuchar’s proposal is
a comprehensive plan to address digital disruption and renew the social
contract in the gig economy, respect the dignity of work, invest in America’s
future and focus on economic justice and shared prosperity.
Senator Klobuchar’s plan includes updating consumer and worker
protections, strengthening collective bargaining and labor rights, establishing
national paid family leave, creating portable personal retirement accounts,
boosting entrepreneurship and investing in cybersecurity.
Senator Klobuchar’s Plan for the Future of Work and a
In America, no matter where you come from, who you know, or where you
live, if you work hard, you should be able to make it in this country. But
that’s not the case for too many people in today’s economy. Senator Klobuchar
is committed to championing economic policies that give all Ameicans an
opportunity to succeed. That means connecting our students and affordable
education to the jobs of today and tomorrow, increasing wages and respecting
the dignity of work, making health care more affordable, ensuring a secure
retirement, investing in our infrastructure and creating jobs, focusing on
economic justice and shared prosperity, and budgeting responsibly for our
future. And it means a Competitive Agenda for America to ensure that America
continues to be a country that thinks, that invents, that makes stuff, and that
exports to the world.
Address Digital Disruption
Senator Klobuchar believes we need to start tackling the challenges
presented by digital disruption and a changing economy. The future of work is
changing, which is putting stress on the social contract we’ve had in this
country when it comes to job training, employment, and retirement. Senator
Klobuchar’s plan is a plan for the future: offering stronger worker
protections, reasserting protections for consumers in a digital world,
investing in cybersecurity across the economy to prevent crippling attacks on
infrastructure and commerce, and taking on consolidation which is threatening
to take us into a new Gilded Age.
Renew the Social Contract for the Gig Economy. Senator
Klobuchar believes we must update our laws to reflect the evolving nature of
Invest in education and job training, including for
workers at risk of losing their jobs to automation. Senator Klobuchar
is committed to creating new opportunities and ensuring a just transition for
workers who have been displaced by the changing economy. She believes the
federal government has an important role to play during economic transitions.
As President she will take action to ensure that workers can pursue additional
education and can do so without a financial burden at any age. She will also
create a new tax credit for employers that invest in training for workers at
risk of being laid off through on-site training programs or provide paid time
off for off-site retraining.
Make it easier to save for retirement. The
retirement system we have today wasn’t designed for today’s economy where
workers stay in a job for an average of four years and more than 57 million
Americans are working in the gig economy. As President, Senator Klobuchar will
work to create innovative, portable personal retirement accounts called
UP-Savings Accounts. Under her plan, employers will set aside at least 50 cents
per hour worked, helping a worker build more than $600,000 in wealth over the
course of a career.
Invest in quality, affordable child care and create a
national paid family and medical leave program. As President, Senator
Klobuchar will create a national paid family leave program to provide workers
with 12 weeks of paid leave per year to care for a new child, a family member
with a serious health condition, or their own serious health condition. She
will also create a new federal-state partnership to make child care more
affordable by capping spending on child care at seven percent of income for
families making up to 150 percent of their state’s median income, invest in
expanding the availability of child care, and work to raise wages for
caregivers and early childhood teachers. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
child care and paid family leave policies here.
Give workers access to a non-profit public option for
health insurance. As President, Senator Klobuchar will work to pass
legislation to create a non-profit public option that expands Medicare or
Medicaid. She will also build on the Affordable Care Act to help bring down
costs to consumers, including expanding premium subsidies, providing
cost-sharing reductions, making it easier for states to put reinsurance in
place, and continuing to implement delivery system reform. And she will take on
the other health care challenges we face including the price of prescription
drugs, mental health care, addiction and long-term care. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
health care policies here.
Allow gig workers to organize and prevent employees from
being misclassified as independent contractors. As President, Senator
Klobuchar will work to pass Senator Patty Murray’s Protecting the Right to
Organize Act — a bill Senator Klobuchar co-sponsors in the Senate — that
protects gig workers by preventing employers from misclassifying their
employees as independent contractors.
Update the tax code to work for gig workers. Gig
workers face additional challenges in properly tracking earnings and expenses
and calculating and paying taxes. As President, Senator Klobuchar will simplify
withholding for self-employed workers. Giving workers the option of having
their self-employment taxes withheld directly from their 1099s would reduce the
burden of quarterly tax filing and help smooth irregular incomes. She will also
lower the 1099-K threshold for gig economy platforms, so workers have more
information about their earnings, and consider creating a gig worker standard
business deduction to simplify the calculation of business expenses for gig
Update Consumer Protections for the 21st Century
Economy. Advances in technology have opened new opportunities for
consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses, but they have also created new threats
to privacy. Consumer protection laws have not kept pace with these
technological advances. As President, Senator Klobuchar will update consumer
protections so they work in the 21st century economy.
Strengthen consumer privacy protections. As
President, Senator Klobuchar will work to pass legislation similar to the
Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act, which she leads with Senator Maria
Cantwell. The bill would establish strong privacy rights for consumers
including the right to access their data and greater transparency, the right to
prevent data from being distributed to unknown third parties, the right to
delete or correct their data and the right to take their data to a competitor.
It would also establish a “duty of loyalty,” which would prohibit
companies from engaging in deceptive and harmful data practices. In addition,
the legislation would require companies to implement strong data security
policies, receive affirmative consent from consumers for collecting sensitive
information, and give consumers, states, and the Federal Trade Commission new
enforcement authorities. Senator Klobuchar will also work to pass legislation
based on her bipartisan Protecting Personal Health Data Act to create
protections for new health technologies not covered by existing privacy laws.
Increase rights for consumers after data breaches. As
more personal information is collected and stored online, consumers are
increasingly vulnerable to having their data exposed in a data breach. As
President, Senator Klobuchar will push for legislation similar to her
bipartisan Social Media Privacy and Consumer Rights Act to require companies to
notify users within 72 hours when their data has been breached and offer
meaningful remedies for people whose data has been compromised.
Empower consumer protection agencies. Without
effective enforcement, fraud and scams — like robocalls, senior fraud,
identity theft, and predatory student loans — have become problems for too
many Americans. As President, Senator Klobuchar will make sure that the federal
agencies charged with protecting consumers have the tools they need to be
effective cops on the beat, including personnel, technological expertise, and
strong enforcement authorities.
Tackle new forms of discrimination. As
President, Senator Klobuchar will update our laws to counter new forms of
discrimination, like digital redlining and racial bias built into algorithms
that are playing a larger role in everything from hiring decisions to medical
Provide access to a free and open internet. Consumers
and businesses deserve a level playing field on the internet. As President,
Senator Klobuchar will work to codify strong net neutrality principles and make
immediate progress in her first 100 days by using federal contracting
requirements to encourage broadband providers to honor net neutrality
principles and promote a free and open internet.
Invest in Cybersecurity That Protects Our Economy and Our
Democracy. Our economy increasingly relies on internet-connected
devices and infrastructure and this trend will only accelerate in the coming
years. This creates opportunities for terrorists, foreign governments, and
competing firms that could severely damage our economy. And we already know
that our election infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber attack and foreign
governments are working to interfere in our elections. Read more about Senator
Klobuchar’s plans to protect our democracy here.
Build the cybersecurity workforce our economy
needs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the United States will
add over 550,000 new information technology jobs to our economy over the next
10 years, including in big data and information security. As President, Senator
Klobuchar will expand STEM programs, including for women and traditionally
underrepresented minorities, and invest in apprenticeships so students and
workers can get on-the-job training in the technology jobs of the future, and
she will expand access to credentials through tution-free one- and two-year
degrees, technical certifications, and tuition-free community college.
Protect critical infrastructure against cyberattacks. Cyberattacks
on our electric grid, transportation infrastructure, or water management
systems could be devastating to our economy. As President, Senator Klobuchar
will work to build federal partnerships with the private sector to implement
NIST’s cybersecurity framework. She will make sure the federal government is
assisting companies in addressing global supply chain risks and increasing the
security of emerging technologies. Senator Klobuchar will also improve federal
preparedness for responding to cyber incidents.
Increase cybersecurity expertise in the federal
government. As President, Senator Klobuchar will make cybersecurity an
immediate priority. She will issue an Executive Order launching government-wide
cybersecurity initiatives, fast-tracking and streamlining procurement of modern
information technology across agencies. She will also work to pass legislation
similar to her bipartisan Cyber Security Exchange Act to provide a path for
cyber experts at private firms or academia to work for federal agencies for up
to two years. Federal workers will also be given the opportunity to work in the
private sector to develop their skills in the latest cybersecurity
Strengthen Antitrust Enforcement. U.S. firms
have engaged in $10 trillion worth of acquisitions during the past
decade. Senator Klobuchar believes we need to do more when it comes to
taking on monopoly power and promoting competition not just for our consumers
but for our businesses. Competition does more than just lower prices. It
improves quality, spurs innovation, makes it easier for entrepreneurs to start
new businesses, and creates better jobs. As the top Democrat on the Senate
Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, Senator Klobuchar has been a leader in taking
on this new Gilded Age. She leads the Consolidation Prevention and Competition
Promotion Act to make sure our antitrust laws adequately promote competition
and protect consumers, the Merger Enforcement Improvement Act to give antitrust
enforcement agencies the tools they need to be effective, and the Merger Filing
Fee Modernization Act to update merger filing fees.
Investigate monopolization claims and review mergers that
have already taken place. As President, Senator Klobuchar will harness
the power of investigations to look at acquisitions that have already occured
and investigate monopolization claims, including whether the integration of
services insulate tech companies from competition.
Strengthen merger enforcement. As President,
Senator Klobuchar will make sure that our antitrust agencies have the resources
they need to be aggressive and effective, updating the outdated merger filing
fees so that the merging parties of the largest deals start paying their fair
share. She will also give the agencies tools to analyze the effectiveness of
merger conditions so they can make better and stronger enforcement decisions.
Give antitrust agencies and courts the legal tools
necessary to promote competition. As President, Senator Klobuchar will
work to pass legislation creating a more stringent legal standard to protect
competition, shifting the burden of proof for mega-mergers from the government
to the parties to demonstrate that their mergers do not reduce competition, and
clarifying that existing antitrust laws should take into account more than
price and that they should also consider vertical integration, harm to
innovation, as well as monopsony — a market condition where there is only one
Create a new competition advocate. As President,
Senator Klobuchar will create a new position to oversee the effectiveness of
merger enforcement. The Office of the Competition Advocate would help consumers
raise complaints about anti-competitive activity, encourage antitrust
investigations, and analyze and publish reports on merger activity.
Respect the Dignity of Work
Senator Klobuchar believes that everyone who works hard should be able
earn enough to care for and support their family. Respecting the dignity of
work means raising the minimum wage, providing paid family leave and child care
and making sure people have a secure retirement.
Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour and Enforce
It. As President, Senator Klobuchar will push for legislation to raise
the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and eliminate the tipped minimum wage.
To make immediate progress toward this goal, she will increase the minimum wage
for federal contractors to that threshold. She will also immediately strengthen
enforcement and expand investigations to make sure that our wage laws are
properly enforced and that workers are able to recover back pay when the
government rules in their favor.
Create a National Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. The
United States is the only industrialized nation without a national paid leave
program, and only 19 percent of American workers have access to paid family
leave through their employer. As President, Senator Klobuchar will create a
national paid family leave program to provide workers with 12 weeks of paid
leave per year to care for a new child, a family member with a serious health
condition, or their own serious health condition. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
plan for paid family and medical leave here.
Invest in Quality, Affordable Child Care. Senator
Klobuchar believes that early, quality child care and education is one of the
most important public investments we can make as a country. As President,
Senator Klobuchar will work to create a new federal-state partnership to make
child care more affordable by capping spending on child care at seven percent
of income for families making up to 150 percent of their state’s median income
and invest in expanding the availability of child care and raising wages for caregivers
and early childhood teachers. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
plan for child care here.
Make It Easier to Retire. As President, Senator
Klobuchar will work to create innovative, portable personal retirement accounts
called UP-Savings Accounts. Under her plan, employers will set aside at least
50 cents per hour worked, helping a worker build more than $600,000 in wealth
over the course of a career. She will continue to push for legislation to
protect retiree pensions. Senator Klobuchar will also work to strengthen Social
Security, and she believes that this program must remain solvent for
generations to come and she will fight against risky schemes to privatize it.
As President, Senator Klobuchar will work to lift the Social Security payroll
cap. Currently the payroll tax only applies to wages up to $133,000. Senator
Klobuchar supports subjecting income above $250,000 to the payroll tax and
extending the long-term solvency of Social Security. And Senator Klobuchar will
make sure people are treated fairly by the current Social Security system. As
President, she will work to strengthen and improve Social Security benefits for
widows and people who took significant time out of the paid workforce to care
for their children, aging parents, or sick family members. Senator Klobuchar
also opposes cuts and risky schemes to privatize Medicare and will take action
to strengthen Medicare and find solutions so it remains solvent. She will
improve Medicare for current beneficiaries by reforming payment policies
through measures like site neutral payments and providing incentives for
getting the best quality health care at the best price, including bundled
payments and telehealth. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
policies for seniors here.
Stand up for Our Unions. As the granddaughter of
an iron ore miner and the daughter of a union teacher and a union newspaperman,
Senator Klobuchar knows firsthand how unions give Americans and their families
the opportunities they need to succeed. As President, she will support real
labor law reform, ensure free and fair union elections, protect collective
bargaining rights, roll back Right to Work laws, and make it easier — and not
harder — for workers to join unions. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
labor policies here.
Invest in America’s Future
Right now, our economy is stable thanks to the efforts of our workers
and our businesses. Senator Klobuchar believes that real leaders use times of
stability to take on the challenges before them and invest for the future. As
President, Senator Klobuchar will strengthen our economy by empowering small
businesses and entrepreneurs and expanding exports, get our fiscal house in
order and tackle the big challenges we face as a country.
Empower Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs and Expand
Exports. Senator Klobuchar knows that small businesses and
entrepreneurs help power our economy and create jobs. Supporting small
businesses is one of the best ways to maintain a dynamic economy. And in an
increasingly global economy, she is committed to giving more businesses the
opportunity to export and reach customers across the world.
Expand access to capital for small businesses. Lack
of access to capital is one of the biggest obstacles to starting a small
business. As President, Senator Klobuchar will expand Small Business
Administration (SBA) lending programs and make it easier for small businesses
to get the loans and technical assistance they need to grow. She will also work
to increase small dollar lending by the SBA, which can be particularly
important for women and people of color seeking to start a small
Promote entrepreneurship and reverse the “startup slump.” New
businesses drive economic growth, but fewer startups are launched every year.
Startup rates have fallen to near 30-year lows. Senator Klobuchar recently
launched the bipartisan Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus with Senator Tim Scott
to address the most pressing issues facing entrepreneurs. As President, she
will build on her work through the America COMPETES Act to close the gap
between innovation and commercialization, help colleges and universities
partner with entrepreneurs, accelerate the commercialization of federally
funded research and update regional innovation programs at the Economic
Development Administration. To reverse the startup slump she will also tackle
unprecedented corporate consolidation, make it easier to export, simplify small
business rules, expand access to capital, as well as promote incubators,
mentoring and training.
Make it easier to export, especially for small businesses. Ninety-five
percent of the world’s potential customers live outside of the U.S., but less
than one percent of American businesses export. As President, Senator Klobuchar
will restart the President’s Export Council, which brings together business,
labor, and agricultural leaders with Members of Congress and key Administration
officials to help promote a comprehensive export and trade strategy. She will
also work to pass legislation based on her bipartisan Promoting Rural Exports
Act to establish a Rural Export Center to help rural businesses export their
products to new international markets. And since international tourism is one
of our top exports, she will work to reauthorize Brand USA so the United States
can compete to attract foreign visitors.
Support small manufacturers. As President,
Senator Klobuchar will support and expand the Manufacturing Extension
Partnership program, which the Trump Administration has tried to eliminate. The
program helps small manufacturers innovate, upgrade their technology and
improve production. She will work to create a manufacturing tax incentive to
encourage investment in rural communities or communities that have faced or are
about to face manufacturing job losses. She will also support our small
manufacturers by expanding guaranteed loan programs that make it easier for
rural manufacturers to access capital, pushing for a new tax credit for
manufacturers to hire registered apprentices, providing financing and grants
for equipment and technology upgrades, and working with states, localities,
research universities and community colleges to promote workforce development,
apprenticeships, and innovation in manufacturing.
Govern with Fiscal Responsibility. In less than
three years, President Trump has added $4 trillion to the national debt. The
nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2029, the national
debt will be higher than it has been at any time since 1946, right after World
War II. And each year over the next decade the federal government will spend an
average of about $1.2 trillion more than it collects in revenue. As President,
Senator Klobuchar will reverse this trend with the goal of lowering the debt to
GDP ratio by the end of her first term and putting our country on a sustainable
Move to a biennial budget process. Senator
Klobuchar will push to overhaul the way Congress budgets federal dollars to
strengthen oversight of government spending and move the country forward when
it comes to tackling the nation’s debt. She is a co-sponsor of Senators Johnny
Isakson and Jeanne Shaheen’s Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act, which
would create a two-year budget and appropriations cycle with the first year
dedicated to appropriating federal dollars and the next year dedicated to
conducting oversight of how those federal dollars are being used. Senator
Klobuchar also supports moving from a 10-year forecasting window to a 25-year
forecasting window for Congressional Budget Office and Joint Tax Committee
scores, as the expanded window will better capture the long-term fiscal impact
of federal policies.
Establish a dedicated fund to tackle the U.S. debt and
support our economy. Senator Klobuchar will establish a dedicated fund
to make a down payment to tackle the U.S. debt and protect our economy. She
will initially seed the fund with $300 billion by raising the corporate tax
rate and dedicating savings from the government-wide budget review. When the
economy is doing well, the fund will finance deficit reduction. When specific
economic indicators show our economy is in a recession, the funding will
automatically be diverted to increase spending on programs that are effective
at stimulating the economy like infrastructure spending, increased unemployment
and nutrition assistance, and an increased federal share of Medicaid and CHIP
spending. As tax changes are implemented and as departments complete Senator
Klobuchar’s government-wide review, she will invest additional government-wide
savings towards expanding the fund to decrease the deficit and support our
Eliminate duplicative government spending. Senator
Klobuchar will immediately order all cabinet secretaries to undertake a
comprehensive review of their department’s budget and identify a list of
duplicative and unnecessary programs as well as potential gaps in spending.
When it comes to our nation’s defense, Senator Klobuchar is committed to
maintaining and extending our military superiority over any adversary that
would challenge us. She will ensure that our troops are the best-trained and
best-equipped in the world, while also providing for their families at home.
Yet virtually every analysis of the Pentagon’s budget has found duplicative and
unnecessary programs – so she will ask her Secretary of Defense and other
cabinet secretaries to take a close look at how money is being spent with an
eye towards eliminating duplicative and unnecessary spending.
Tackle Today’s Challenges for a Stronger Future. Senator
Klobuchar believes we need to govern from opportunity, not chaos. And governing
from opportunity means meeting the challenges we face head on.
Build a 21st century workforce. Senator
Klobuchar believes we should align our education system with the needs of our
economy. As President, she will champion tuition-free one- and two-year
community college degrees and technical certifications, expand apprenticeships,
and make it easier for Americans who need help to afford four-year degrees. She
will work to reduce the burden of student loans, support our Historically Black
Colleges and Universities, and expand Pell Grants. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
post-secondary education policies here.
Pass comprehensive immigration reform. Senator
Klobuchar believes that comprehensive immigration reform is crucial to moving
our economy and our country forward. As President, she will push for a
comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes the DREAM Act, targeted
border security and an accountable pathway to earned citizenship.
Invest in our infrastructure. Senator Klobuchar
has proposed a bold plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure, invest in our
future, and create millions of good-paying American jobs. Her plan includes
repairing and replacing our roads, highways and bridges as well as building
smart climate infrastructure, ensuring clean water, modernizing our airports,
seaports and inland waterways, expanding reliable public transit options,
rebuilding our schools, overhauling our country’s housing policy, and
connecting every household to the internet by 2022. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
policies to build America’s infrastructure here.
Make housing more affordable. Senator Klobuchar believes everyone deserves a safe and affordable home. As President, Senator Klobuchar will expand the Housing Choice Voucher program to make vouchers available to all qualifying households with children, increase access to homeownership while investing in neglected neighborhoods, tackle homelessness, and increase affordable rental housing in rural communities. She will also fight housing discrimination and invest in providing access to counsel in civil cases involving basic human needs. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s housing policies here.
Focus on Economic Justice and Shared Prosperity
Senator Klobuchar believes that right now the Trump economy works for President Trump and his wealthy friends, not for everyone else. As President, she will take on structural racism and remove barriers to success and support communities at risk from being left behind in the new economy.
Address Structural Racism and Barriers to Success. Senator
Klobuchar is committed to addressing the structural racism in our society and
making sure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed. She believes that no
matter where you live, who you know, where you come from, or what you look
like, you should be able to make it in this country.
Work to end child poverty. As President, within
her first 100 days, Senator Klobuchar will put forward a plan to cut childhood
poverty in half in ten years and end child poverty in a generation. The plan
will be based on a National Academies of Science report and include expanding
the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Care Tax Credit, SNAP benefits and
overhauling our country’s housing policy.
Eliminate the wage gap. Today, women working
full-time earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man, and the gaps are even
larger for women of color. As President, Senator Klobuchar will work to pass
Senator Patty Murray’s Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that employers pay
employees equally for equal work — including by prohibiting employers from
asking about the salary history of prospective employees.
Eliminate the wealth gap. Today, Black and
Latino households have only about a tenth of the median net worth of white
households. Senator Klobuchar’s proposal to establish portable, employer-funded
UP-Savings Accounts for retirement savings will help address this disparity.
She is also co-chair of the Diversifying Technology Caucus and the
Entrepreneurship Caucus with Senator Tim Scott. As President she will work to
get more women and people of color in STEM jobs and she will fully empower
agencies to aggressively fight modern-day redlining that prevents businesses
owned by people of color from getting loans and take on predatory lending that
results in higher interest rates in low-income communities of color.
Make education the great equalizer. Senator
Klobuchar believes a good education is one of the very best investments we can
make in our country’s future. As President, Senator Klobuchar will help make
education the great equalizer by increasing teacher salaries, investing in math
and science to prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow, and rebuilding
our school infrastructure. She has proposed “Progress Partnerships” to help
states take bold action to fund our public schools — including making sure
infrastructure funding goes to high need areas and reviewing state funding
formulas to improve equity. She will also put back in place guidance from
President Obama directing schools to reduce racial disparities in how they
Support Communities at Risk From Being Left Behind in the
Changing Economy. As President, Senator Klobuchar is committed to
providing additional support to at-risk communities so that no one is left
Expand loans for and investments in local communities in
need. For the past 40 years, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has
encouraged financial institutions to make loans and investment in local
communities, especially low-income and minority communities. Senator Klobuchar
will protect the CRA and instruct financial regulators to conduct greater outreach
to assess the true credit needs of their communities.
Support and strengthen the Economic Development
Administration. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) works
directly with communities and regions to promote competitiveness and innovation.
It has a proven track record of success and on average every $1 of EDA
infrastructure funding generates $15 in private investment. Still, the Trump
Administration has repeatedly proposed eliminating the agency. Senator
Klobuchar will ensure the agency has the resources to carry out its mission.
Bridge the rural-urban divide. Senator Klobuchar
has proposed a plan for America’s Heartland that will strengthen our
agricultural and rural communities, bridge the rural-urban divide, and make
sure that kids who grow up in rural America can stay in rural America. This
includes connecting every household to high speed internet by 2022. She knows
that America’s prosperity depends on the success of our farmers and rural
businesses and as a senior member of the Agriculture Committee, she’s been a
champion for farmers and rural communities in the Senate. Read more about Senator Klobuchar’s
agriculture and rural policies here.
Fulfill our responsibility to our communities and workers who have helped power this country. As the granddaughter of a miner who worked 1,500 feet underground, Senator Klobuchar understands the hard work and sacrifice of those who built and powered our country. She is committed to supporting and creating new opportunities for workers and communities that have depended on the fossil fuel industry as our country transitions away from fossil fuels. Senator Klobuchar will work with the public and private sectors to attract new employers and maintain public services, while investing in infrastructure and educational opportunities in areas that experience job loss. As part of any carbon pricing system, she will create a significant manufacturing tax incentive to encourage investment in communities that have faced or are about to face job losses. To make it easier for workers to find new jobs, Senator Klobuchar will also create a new tax credit for companies that hire workers who have previously depended on the fossil fuel industry for employment.
Senator Klobuchar describes how she will pay for these plans and more here, here, here, here, here and here. To pay for her deficit reduction fund, Senator Klobuchar will increase the corporate rate by two additional points to 27 percent and initiate a government-wide budget review. To pay for her child poverty plan, Senator Klobuchar will repeal the regressive portions of the 2017 Republican tax bill.
Some of the biggest names
in the video games industry, with a combined audience of 970 million players, have
formally committed to harness the power of their platforms to take action in
response to the climate crisis. Combined, these commitments from 21 companies
will result in a 30 million ton reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030, will see
millions of trees planted, new “green nudges” in game design and improvements
to energy management, packaging, and device recycling.
These voluntary commitments were
announced at UN Headquarters on the side-lines of the UN Secretary-General’s
Climate Action Summit. Under the banner of the Playing for the Planet Alliance,
CEOs from 14 platforms and games makers, including Sony Interactive
Entertainment, Microsoft, Google Stadia, Rovio, Supercell, Sybo, Ubisoft and
WildWorks, were present to showcase their commitments. The Alliance intends to
support companies in sharing learning and monitoring progress on the
“The video games industry has the
ability to engage, inspire and captivate the imaginations of billions of people
across the world. This makes them a hugely important partner in addressing the
climate emergency,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment
Programme (UNEP). “We are encouraged by the commitment of these gaming
companies, which shows recognition that we all must play our role in the global
effort to lower carbon emissions and effect real change towards
These commitments were facilitated by
UNEP with the support of Playmob and following the GRID-Arendal study Playing
For The Planet, which outlines how the video games
industry, which reaches 2.6 billion people globally, can support action on the
“Today at the UN Climate Summit, I am
honored and feel privileged to join leaders in the gaming industry to make
commitments to contribute to the efforts of the UN,” said Jim Ryan, President
and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “At PlayStation, we believe games
have the power to ignite social change through educating people, evoking
emotions, and inspiring hope. We could not be prouder to be part of the Playing
for the Planet Alliance and we look forward to seeing what the industry can
“Climate change is impacting each
industry and every sector, and we believe technology can play a critical role
in enabling and empowering the response to this challenge,” said Phil Spencer,
executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft. “Initiatives like our
Minecraft Build a Better World Campaign and CarbonNeutral Xbox pilot provide a
great opportunity to tap into Microsoft’s technology sustainability and gaming
community to make a difference in this key area of our business.”
The commitments include:
Sony Interactive Entertainment will
unveil new progress and plans to utilize energy efficient technology (on-track
to avoid 29 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2030), to introduce low power
suspend mode for next generation PlayStation, to assess and report their carbon
footprint and to educate and inspire the gaming community to take action on
Microsoft will announce the
expansion of its existing operational commitment to carbon neutrality,
established in 2012, into its devices and gaming work. It will set a new target
to reduce its supply chain emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 – including
end-of-life for devices – and to certify 825,000 Xbox consoles as carbon
neutral in a pilot program. In addition, Microsoft will engage gamers in
sustainability efforts in real life through the Minecraft its ‘Build a Better
World’ initiative, which has seen players take more than 20 million in-game
Google Stadia, which is set to
launch later in the year, will produce a new Sustainable Game Development Guide
as well as funding research into how “green nudges” can be effectively
incorporated into game play.
Supercell (Clash of Clans) will
offset the entire footprint of their community, Rovio (Angry Birds)
has offset the carbon impact from their players charging their devices,
and Sybo (Subway Surfer) and Space Ape (Fastlane) will
offset 200 per cent of their studio and their gamers mobile energy use.
Guidance documents will assist other companies to take similar actions.
Wild Works (Animal Jam) will
integrate restoration elements in games and, like Green Man Gaming, they
will focus on restoring some of the world’s forests with major tree-planting
Ubisoft will develop in-game
green themes and will source materials from eco-friendly
factories and Sports Interactive will eliminate 20 tonnes of
packaging by switching from plastic to a recycled alternative for all future
Football Manager releases.
Creative Mobile’s ZooCraft will
evolve into a conservation-focused game with Reliance Games (Little
Singham) generating awareness in the fastest growing mobile gaming market
by creating awareness with kids to make them ambassadors for climate change
with in-game events and initiatives across India. The biggest independent gaming
platform in China, iDreamSky has committed to putting green nudges
into its games.
E-Line Media (Never Alone, Beyond
Blue), Strange Loop (Eco) and Internet of Elephants (Safari
Central) will share their expertise of making high impact environmentally oriented
games into the Alliance
Finally, Twitch have
committed to utilizing their platform to spread this message to the global
gaming community with Niantic Inc (Pokemon Go) committing to engage
their community to act around sustainability issues.
campaigns connected to our Angry Birds games and movies over the years, we know
our fans are just as angry as us about climate change,” said Kati
Levoranta, Rovio Entertainment CEO. “Considering the enormity of the
environmental challenges that face us in years to come, we as an industry must
stand with our players and be evangelists for action.”
Too often, there can be a trade-off
between games that are designed to be educational but without reaching the
masses. To address this, many of the companies will host design-jams with their
creatives to consider how they can mindfully incentivize better environmental
outcomes within the games, without limiting the fun and enjoyment for players.
Speaking in support of this
initiative, Mathias Gredal Norvig, CEO of Sybo, the organization behind Subway
Surfer, said: “Video gaming might seem like an unlikely ally in this
battle, but this Alliance is a critical platform where all of us can play our
part to decarbonize our impact and bring the issues into gameplay. I am a
strong believer in sparking curiosity and conversations wherever people are,
and with 2 billion people playing games, this platform has a reach that’s
second to none.”
Amit Khanduja, CEO of Reliance Games,
said: “The Mobile Games industry has to take the lead in the emerging
markets to raise awareness among the next billion gamers coming online to lead
the way for climate change. We are honoured to be part of this strong UN
initiative for a better tomorrow.”
Members of the Alliance that have made
commitments include: Creative Mobile, E-Line Media, Google Stadia, Green Man
Gaming, iDreamSky, Internet of Elephants, Microsoft, Niantic Inc, Pixelberry,
Reliance Games, Rovio, Space Ape, Sports Interactive, Supercell, Sony
Interactive Entertainment, Strange Loop, Sybo, Twitch, Ubisoft, WildWorks and
will be supported by Playmob.
The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund hosted the 2017 Nassau County Executive Candidate Forum on Environment & Sustainability at Adelphi University in Garden City on October 15. The format was a panel of three posing questions to the candidates individually and separately, first to Laura Curran, the Democratic candidate, then, in a second session, posing the same questions to the Republican candidate, Jack Martins. With the Trump Administration and Republican Congress pulling back on environmental protection and climate action, the stand that localities take becomes more significant. What follows is a loosely edited transcription, putting the candidates’ replies together after each question—Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features
Laura Curran: I never planned to get involved in politics. I wanted to help my schools, my community, succeed. That sparked my interest to step up and serve the community in a bigger way – I have been in the Nassau County Legislature for four years, I am proud to have worked across the aisle when it was the right thing to do for the people I represent –For example, I was able to restore 10 bus routes that were cut.
As a legislator, I have had a front row seat to the corruption, the mismanagement [of county government]. I know how hard people work, the high taxes we pay. I believe we deserve a government that lives up to us. When I hear about indictments, it’s clear that the machine is breaking down, is not accountable to the people.
Jack Martins: I believe strongly in the Kenyan proverb, we don’t inherit the land from our parents we borrow it from our children. That is motivating. It hasn’t always been the case – water quality, the way we have treated sole-source aquifer historically, the lack of comprehensive sewering, nitrogen outflow to bays and and Sound, have significant environmental issues that is our responsibility to take care of and not simply kick the can down the road. Options for us – priorities, investments in infrastructure – I have had a history of working across the aisle – with Schimel in Assembly – But if there is a critical issue for us here in Long Island it’s water. Environmental sensitivity, wind energy, opportunities for our economy, need to expand bus service.
Addressing Nitrogen Loading
Adrienne Esposito, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment: You know the first question: nitrogen. The Bay Park sewage treatment plant is responsible for 85% of the nitrogen loading into the western bays and the western bays are dying – depleted fish, closed shellfish beds, wetlands degrading. The solution is to combine Long Beach with Bay Park, take treated effluent, use the water viaduct currently in place, and discharge out the Cedar Creek ocean outfall pipe. Will you expedite the process of hooking up Long Beach to Bay Park to the existing pipe to the ocean outflow pipe – so bays can be restored and thrive?
Curran: This is a very exciting project. The county was trying to get outflow pipe for bay…. It’s expensive. The county wasn’t able to get (funding?) from the state, federal government. [But] this is an example of how government works well: smart guys had a eureka moment: they realized there is a viaduct under Sunrise Highway,100 years old from an old waterworks, so big, a grown man could stand up in it .What if we bring water up to the viaduct, out to Cedar Creek, 6-7 miles, then there is 2 mile outflow pipe already in Cedar Creek? Altogether it would be half the cost. A viability study showed the plan is viable – they would put a polymer sleeve inside.
The key is expediting [the plan]. We have to work closely with towns and villages because we’ve got to get the treated effluent from Bay Park up the viaduct and back down. We’ve got to work with communities on either side, so we have to make sure they understand and have buy in –we don’t want to shove it down people’s throats. It will reduce the amount of nitrogen into the bays immediately, restore the shellfish. It doesn’t take long before nature will rebound. It would be good for economy, too. A win- win.
Jack Martins: There is a critical need on Long Island, how we discharge effluent into South Bay. Right now, both Long Beach and Bay Park go to Reynolds Channel and we know the effect. Someone came up with the ingenious proposal to connect via existing viaduct – the most complicated part is how to connect from Bay Park to the water viaduct…The viaduct is viable, we can move forward immediately…There are a couple of different options. The sooner we close Long Beach sewer treatment plant …Connect Cedar Creek – lateral to plant to outflow – and discharged 3 miles out. It’s important because of nitrogen loading [which] killed the shellfish industry, killed coastal wetlands. We realized after Sandy that those coastal wetlands protect against tidal surge during these 100-year storms. That’s my commitment, that’s what we will do.
Eric Alexander, Vision Long Island: This issue is on human level: Nassau County has some of most dangerous roads in NYS for pedestrian, bikers, – restaurants, downtowns, growing 55-plus population, growing number of young people who don’t want to drive – what will you do to encourage walkability, ‘Complete Streets’.
Curran – I often talk about how transit oriented development [TOD] will be what saves us as a region – it keeps young people, empty nesters, creates a tax base, jobs. But [existing] infrastructure doesn’t quite support TOD. There are places where we have to reengineer what already have.
I live in Baldwin in the town of Hempstead. We won $5 million in funding for a Complete Streets project to redo our main road, Grand Ave, to make it more navigable for bikers, walkers, cars and buses. This is called a “road diet“: taking two lanes in each direction and turning them into one lane in each for the part of the road that’s in the plan. There is [often] a lot of resistance because people are concerned about change, that it will take longer. But [delays are mitigated by] engineering traffic lights, making turn lanes that fan out so drivers can get to lights in time – that will make it more navigable. But when people can walk around, ride bikes, have alternatives to using a car, people tend to spend more money – they want to stop, shop – which is good for economic development. We’re built up in Nassau County, so we need to reengineer what we already have. That’s what we are doing in Baldwin. I am looking forward to working with zoning municipalities.
Martins: As we consider the next generation of downtown residents, transit oriented development, how we get around safely. I supported Safe Streets legislation in Albany – it made a requirement that when we reengineer streets, we do so in a way that is safe for cars but also pedestrians and cyclists. For us, it’s a question of who we are as a county. We have to have every option for transit – bicycles, pedestrians. We need to make sure we keep roads safe. I represented one of the most dangerous areas in New York State – Hempstead Turnpike – more fatalities – Complete Streets have to be integral to what we do. The county has hundreds of miles of county roads, some of the most heavily traveled in the country. As roads are redesigned, maintained, [we need to be] using Complete Streets [strategies]. That is my commitment. As we stress the need for transit-oriented development, Complete Streets are more important [including] connectivity to train stations.
Improving Public Transportation
Nick Sifuentes, Tri-State Transportation Campaign: Transit oriented development requires good transit – something that is slipping. Governor Cuomo announced an advisory council to address dual crises: congestion in/out of New York City, and lack of funding for MTA (including Long Island Railroad). As the future leader of Nassau County what are the policies and proposals you would like to see?
Curran: I would make sure we have strong advocate on the council – Suffolk has a strong guy, Nassau, we don’t even know who it is. I am happy that the third track is on track, because we need to ease getting on/off the island – how trains operate. I would also look to buses and encourage more people to ride the bus even if they don’t have to [instead of driving]. The more choice bus riders, the better we will be. There are interesting examples all over the country: ideas include creating smaller, more flexible routes, more app-based routes to make an appointment to catch a bus. I am excited to pursue these: for every $1 spent on bus transit generates many more dollars in economic activity. It’s not just poor people who need to use buses. It is obviously important for people to take buses to doctors appointments, university, jobs. That’s economic development… Also ride-sharing –I’m glad it’s [now] legal in Nassau County – young people aren’t driving as much.
Martins: Make mass transit more affordable. Use it to make LIRR more affordable, encourage people to leave their cars. As a parent, when I take my children into the city, I have to take out a loan to pay the roundtrip fare. We shouldn’t have that consideration instead of taking car. [Transit] has to be affordable . if they do something with congestion pricing, make it affordable for Nassau County.
Climate Change & Sustainable Development
Adrienne Esposito: Climate change is real. There is no debate. And Long Island is at the forefront of impacts. New York State set a goal of 50% renewals by 2030 but we can’t get there unless offshore wind is part of the [energy] portfolio. Will you support offshore wind (with site-specific environmental assessment)?
Curran: Absolutely. We have to look for renewable energy. Wind is a gift and we should be harnessing it and anything we can do to harness wind. Also renewables are a growing industry, and I don’t want to be on the losing end. I fought against the LNG [Liquified Natural Gas] port off Long Beach.
Solar panels have a really hard time with permitting – people have to deal with towns, villages, all with different permits that expire differently. We have to work hard with partners –because that is right to do for the environment and the economy.
Climate change. I am concerned with the rhetoric of the president that [the US] will be getting out of the Paris Climate Accord– especially being a coastal community, we see the ravages [of superstorms, sealevel rise]. I am heartened that governors and mayors around the country say they will stick to the Paris Agreement, and I have vowed as county executive to do the same.
Trump has said it is no longer necessary to [require that tax money used for infrastructure must take climate change resiliency into account]. I would insure that every penny would be used [would take] climate change [into account, that is, sustainable development].
Martins: Absolutely. Curious at [the goal of] 50% [renewable] by 2030. I visited Portugal a couple of years ago – toured their renewable portfolio. Portugal gets 60% of their energy from renewable – hydro, wind, solar, voltaics. We should too. I’m a big believer in offshore wind, a great resource for us – the corridor for offshore wind runs from Block Island to south Jersey. We’re in a great position to benefit from cheap energy from wind. I also understand great strides are being made in developing battery technology to store energy at Brookhaven National Labs. That would be an economic boost for us. Right now, the largest project in New York, the east end off Long Island is being staged from Rhode Island. That means jobs are in Rhode Island, economic development is in Rhode Island. It needs to be here on Long Island. If we make a commitment to offshore wind as energy, we should make a commitment to have those jobs here. We live on an island, we have a maritime history. Embrace it, make offshore wind industry here -manufacturing blades, turbines, opportunities for engineering next generation of offshore wind.
IDA Tax Incentives
Eric Alexander: Sustainability and smart growth, but also economic development. To focus growth in downtowns, the Nassau County IDA over the last 7 years provided tax incentives to thousands of units of affordable housing, mixed-use development by train stations… In an election year, attacking IDA incentives is politically popular but they have been anchors of revitalization efforts such as in Farmingdale’s affordable housing component. Will you continue that policy?
Curran: Farmingdale is a perfect example of transit oriented development.. The biggest problem now is you can’t get parking on a Saturday night. IDAs play a serious role, but are subject to attack because if you have nine self-storage facilities getting tax breaks, they aren’t economic drivers that create jobs. But when done right, [IDA tax incentives] can be real motivator, bring the right kind of development into Nassau County. That involves land use planning, that when we do a deal with a developer or business, that real jobs are being created or real taxes being generated from an enterprise, so the investment of taxpayers is returned. We need more transparency in the IDA – open up meetings to the public, let the public give input. When I talk about getting community buy-in for projects, that’s the way. You can’t force things on communities.
IDA is a real asset but must be used properly and if a developer or business doesn’t do what was promised, that there be a muscular way of addressing that.
Martins: My experience as mayor of Mineola, master plan, transit oriented development, overlay district –I see the effects when a community comes together – the commitment it has to expand housing stock, providing affordability for senior, next generation housing. The role for county government: it needs to work with local communities to identify areas where TOD makes sense – Hicksville, Farmingdale, Westbury, Glen Cove …. We as a county could expedite and incentivize. What I would do differently would be to make sure developers who are seeking tax (rebates) make sure they tell communities. Communities feel let down. Developers come before zoning boards and say they need greater density, etc, and then will have the ability to build this, and the community makes a decision to support that request, gives a variance they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. [The community] expects a revenue stream and a tax base that comes back to community. But the first thing is [the developer] goes to the IDA and gets tax credits which undermines what the community expects. So there needs to be transparency, part of the discussion before the decision, not after, that causes so much friction we see.
Generating Revenue for NICE Bus
Nick Sifuentes: How would you create additional revenue for the NICE bus?
Curran: I have suggested pots where money could come from: there is money that was borrowed 8 and 10 years ago that hasn’t been spent (that is a one-shot); the fund balance has way more than needs to be (also a one-shot). You are talking about recurring revenue. I propose that a small piece of ride-sharing money, Uber or Lyft – say 25 cents or 50 cents a ride – to go to buses. It makes sense because all are part of transportation. We could use a small portion of MTA tax and put that toward buses. And red light cameras are $12 million over budget – use some of that for buses. That’s also within the theme of transportation.
Martins: One of the first things I did in in the senate in 2010 and 2011 – I was identified as one of 50 most influential people on Long Island – my efforts to secure funding for Long Island bus was underpinning – NICE bus has a $130 million budget, $66 million from New York State, $45-50 from the fare box, the county puts in $6 million and the rest from ancillary fees, etc. – unbelievable the County only provides $6 million for a system that is so critical to the economy, when years ago, the county paid $20 million. Our responsibility is to put money in place because most who take bus have no other option – we want them to leave the car home – going to work, school, doctors appointments, that they have access to vibrant bus service. I suggested that for ride hailing, we have a surcharge – Uber, Lyft – that surcharge go toward bus. 10-11 million rides a year, 50c surcharge, would put $5-6 million directly into buses. A 50c surcharge is not only appropriate, but would provide a dedicated, steady revenue for buses.
Protecting Drinking Water
Audience Question: What is the most Important environmental issue facing the county and how would you address it?
Curran: The aquifer. We get our drinking water from one place: underground. I am concerned New York City is looking to open 70 wells in Queens. We don’t get another source of water but the city does [upstate reservoirs]. They are concerned about flooding basements so they want to bring down the watertable, but the consequences for us could be disastrous: saltwater intrusion, and could cause Grumman and Lake Success plumes [of contamination] to shift [direction. The Grumman plume is 4 miles by 2 miles and 800 feet deep, almost reaching Massapequa. I am glad to see Cngressmen King and Suozzi working together to [get the federal government] to clean it up. The fact this has gone on this long and the Navy and Grumman are not held accountable for decades….
Martins: The most critical issue facing us as a region, Nassau County, is water supply, making sure we protect our sole-source aquifer against all comers. We live on an island, and the aquifer is tied to Suffolk, Queens & Brooklyn. Our responsibility is to protect it. New York City has other options to get water from upstate reservoirs. Our only plan, A to Z is the sole-source aquifer. We haven’t treated it well over the years, with industrial and manufacturing years post World War II, a lot of damage done – Lake Success, Bethpage. We’ve seen the water supply under constant attack. We have great water providers – we do a good job in maintaining water supply –it is as clean as you get from bottled water- but we have a responsibility to do more – responsibility to surface water – protect our coastal waterways, make sure we enhance sewer systems, sewer treatment plants, make sure that years and decades of nitrogen charging, loading into bays are a thing of the past.
Preserving Open Space
Audience Question: How would you preserve open space in Nassau County from development?
Curran: A Great question because pretty much [all of Nassau] is developed. We have to keep what we have green – that is good to recharge the aquifer. We have to use space we have more wisely – in-fill. You sometimes see suburban sprawl – there is already concrete – you can in-fill with transit oriented development, with the buy-in of the community. There is a lot of new technology now. For example, the boat basin parking lot was redone with permeable pavement – that’s expensive, so you can only do it in small places but I hope it will become less expensive down the road. But in this way, it also keeps water coming into the aquifer.
Something I am excited about – with all the potential – is to look to a resiliency officer [for the county] to coordinate all these things, work with Public Works, the IDA, and other departments to coordinate efforts for environment.
Martins: The good news in Nassau County: we don’t have farms any more. We don’t have the kinds of open space issues that perhaps they have out east. We do have open space, it has to be preserved. Most of our development going forward – transit oriented – is reusing space already used, and taking and reassembling parcels. We have seen it in communities with TOD has been predicated on assembling parcels downtown – see it in Westbury, Farmingdale – we are mature communities. That development will take place not on existing open space but existing used space that is being recalibrated and brought into 21st century – to meet energy, parking, density requirements – so we have a more robust selection of housing than we have currently. Nassau County doesn’t have the housing stock, the variety, it needs – a lot will take place in downtowns around train stations to be most effective. Protect open space that exists, protect parks, invest in them, make sure are as good as ever have been.
Future of Renewables in Nassau County
Audience Question: What do see as the future of Nassau County when it comes to solar, wind, charging stations for electric vehicles?
Curran: We should have charging stations for electric cars. We have a county employee who plugs in and was written a letter to ‘cease and desist’ from the county attorney for ‘stealing county property’. We should start by the county using electric vehicles.
Martins: Charging stations, infrastructure wise, is easy. If we made a commitment to have more readily available – we can see best practices in other states, countries, where they have taken the initiative so we have more robust use because people trust infrastructure to be there to recharge. We haven’t done it. There is need need for a full array of renewable energy resources. We should look at the entire portfolio and see where it makes sense – voltaic cells as car canopies in parking lots – why aren’t we? Acres and acres of asphalt we can use to create energy and electricity now through EV. We have a corridor of offshore wind east of Long Island. I spoke to Deepwater Wind, no one better positioned than Long Island to build, maintain, develop that offshore wind corridor. Shame on us, New York State, if they aren’t going to prioritize those turbines, and those blades aren’t built here on Long Island. If we are going to spend billions of dollars for commitment to offshore wind, I want to make sure it is here in Nassau County economy.
Communities Impacted by Climate Change
Do you support legislation to provide for equitable distribution of resources to communities impacted by climate change specifically communities of color often left out?
Curran: We have to make sure all communities treated fairly. See the effects of climate change. The south shore still has zombie houses because of Sandy. They didn’t have an adequate advocate to help them rebuild. As legislator, I helped them connect to NY Rising, get small business funds, to get resources to rebuild.
Martins: Tax money, investment. We have to look at how dealing with county that is predominantly viewed as affluent while understanding we have areas of significant poverty – in places you wouldn’t necessarily think of – people have a home but are struggling to pay mortgage, taxes, raise families because the high cost of living isn’t an accident. We have among highest costs, so we have people relatively wealthy given their home, but still living with challenges. How we take resources, distribute, whether having to do with infrastructure improvements, access to cheap renewable energy, water safety quality, we have that synergy. I have never seen in my experience certain areas cut out of resources that way, but we have to be sensitive to it.
Recycle Treated Effluent
Why not recycle sewage and turn into drinkable rather than dispose into the ocean?
Curran: That’s not so crazy – people who run sewage treatment plants are working on a project – try to explain in not-boring way –to treat sewage so it looks like water – Sewage treatment plants use hundreds thousands gallons of water a day to do the work of cooling, etc. – Now, they draw that out of the aquifer. Wouldn’t it be better to take treated effluent, treat a little more and use that to do the work of sewage treatment plant, instead of drawing water out of aquifer? We are close to make this happen.
Martins: It’s an interesting point. I was happy to participate in Great Neck Water Pollution Control District – state of art facility – where they treat to a level where potable. I said, ‘You first.’
I had an opportunity to deal with different groups, where sewage can be treated and used for irrigation, plant maintenance and different things where not wasting potable water, can be reused for different purposes – not quite ‘there’ for drinking water… But if we send [effluent out to ocean] 3 miles – dilution rate for effluent – it will have negligible effect on ocean – it is coastal wetlands that are impacted if released right there – like Reynolds Channel. I would like to see part reused – whether for irrigation. We have to focus on continuing the current process of getting it as far from shore as possible so not to impact coastal wetlands, coastal environment, coastal economy.
Curran: I want to make Long Island environmentally sound, safe, healthy. I moved to Nassau County 20 years ago before we had kids. I came for the Long Island dream: single family house, great school down the block, parks, beaches. We knew we would pay high taxes, but that was part of the deal. As a taxpayer, resident, it is frustrating to see money spent on nepotism, bloated contracts when it could be used to develop technology. Your money is being wasted. I’m in this race because want to restore trust in government, make sure I hire people based on what they know, not who they know, that your money is not part of my reelection campaign. I am eager to get to work. Elect me to give Nassau County the fresh start it so richly deserves.
Martins: There are a lot of issues at play in this year’s election . I encourage you to do your homework, read up on candidates. Whether challenges are environment,t economy – up to county to pay for own budget. For 17 years, we have been under NIFA, not elected – make decisions, affects ability for us to make decisions for ourselves. We need to take control of own finances, pay bills, balance budget – get rid of NIFA so we can commit resources ourselves – whether environment, infrastructure, TOD, creating jobs we all want – so our children have the ability to come home, find jobs, rent apartment and stay here. The best years for the county are ahead, but contingent upon us making decisions about taking control of own county – an idea we haven’t been able to do, so should be shameful to all of us, myself included. Write that check and make that commitment going forward.
FACT SHEET: Announcing Over $80 million in New Federal Investment and a Doubling of Participating Communities in the White House Smart Cities Initiative
“If we can reconceive of our government so that the interactions and the interplay between private sector, nonprofits, and government are opened up, and we use technology, data, social media in order to join forces around problems, then there’s no problem that we face in this country that is not soluble.”–President Barack Obama
The White House issued a Fact Sheet on $80 million in new federal investment, and doubling in the number of participating communities in the White House Smart Cities Initiative:
With nearly two-thirds of Americans living in urban settings, many of our fundamental challenges—from climate change to equitable growth to improved health—will require our cities to be laboratories for innovation. The rapid pace of technological change, from the rise of data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and ubiquitous sensor networks to autonomous vehicles, holds significant promise for addressing core local challenges.
That’s why last September the White House launched the Smart Cities Initiative to make it easier for cities, Federal agencies, universities, and the private sector to work together to research, develop, deploy, and testbed new technologies that can help make our cities more inhabitable, cleaner, and more equitable.
The Administration kicked off Smart Cities Week by expanding this initiative, with over $80 million in new Federal investments and a doubling of the number of participating cities and communities, exceeding 70 in total. These new investments and collaborations will help cities of all sizes, including in the following key areas:
Climate: The Administration is announcing nearly $15 million in new funding and two new coalitions to help cities and communities tackle energy and climate challenges. For example, one Department of Energy (DOE) campaign has already signed up 1,800 buildings representing 49 million square feet with data analytics tools that could reduce their energy footprint by 8 percent or more, on average.
Transportation: The Administration is announcing more than $15 million in new grants and planned funding to evolve the future of urban transportation, including National Science Foundation (NSF) funding for researchers in Chattanooga to test, for the first time, how an entire urban network of connected and autonomous vehicles can automatically cooperate to improve travel efficiency and operate safely during severe weather events.
Public safety: The Administration is announcing more than $10 million in new grants and planned funding for public safety, resilience, and disaster response. For example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is funding the development of low-cost flood sensor-based tools in flood-prone areas of Texas, where predictive analytics will give first responders and local officials new capability to issue alerts and warnings, and the ability to respond more rapidly to save lives when a flood strikes.
Transforming city services: MetroLab Network is launching a new effort to help cities adopt promising innovations in social programs, like a collaboration between three counties surrounding Seattle and the University of Washington to use predictive analytics to identify precisely when city services succeed in helping homeless individuals transition into permanent housing, offering the promise of a future of personalized intervention.
The White House Smart Cities Initiative represents an example of how the Administration has worked over the past seven and a half years to develop a smarter, more collaborative approach to working with local communities—putting citizens, community groups, and local leaders at the center of its efforts. The Administration’s approach involves working together with communities to identify local needs and priorities, develop and build upon evidence-based and data-driven solutions, and strategically invest Federal funding and technical assistance.
The Smart Cities Initiative is informed by and builds on the work of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), including its Technology and the Future of Cities report. In the report, PCAST identified several actions that the Federal Government can take to help cities leverage technology, and which the initiative is already beginning to implement.
The initiative has supported a number of breakthrough activities in the last year. Two such examples are:
Smart City Challenge: In June, the Department of Transportation (DOT) selected Columbus, Ohio to receive $40 million to prototype the future of urban transportation, out of 78 cities that accepted its Smart City Challenge. The city’s plan, which will also leverage over $100 million in private resources, involves piloting new technologies, from connected vehicle technology that improves traffic flow and safety to data-driven efforts to improve public transportation access and health care outcomes to electric self-driving shuttles that will create new transportation options for underserved neighborhoods.
Fitness Tracker for Cities: With funding from NSF and Argonne National Laboratory, the City of Chicago and the University of Chicago last month began installing a “fitness tracker for the city”—500 outdoor sensor boxes called the “Array of Things” that will allow the city and public to instantly obtain block-by-block data on air quality, noise levels, and traffic. This real-time open data will help researchers and city officials reduce air pollution, improve traffic safety, and more. For example, a team is already working to build a mobile application that will alert asthma sufferers about poor air quality based on real-time measurements taken on their city block.
In addition to the initiative, the Administration has also taken several complementary steps that support local innovation, including the newly-announced Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, through which NSF is working with the private sector to invest nearly $100 million to develop four city-scale testing platforms for wireless technologies, including 5G and beyond. Additionally, the Administration’sOpportunity Project is spurring the creation of private sector digital tools based on Federal open data that help communities find information about resources needed to thrive, such as affordable housing, quality schools, and jobs. The Police Data Initiative and Data-Driven Justice Initiative are helping local authorities use data to improve community policing and divert low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system, respectively.
The upcoming White House Frontiers Conference, held in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, October 13, will further advance the initiative by bringing together some of the world’s leading innovators to discuss how investing in science and technology frontiers—including smart and inclusive local communities—can help improve lives and keep America on the cutting edge of innovation.
Key Steps by the Administration
NSF is announcing over $60 million in new smart cities-related grants in FY16 and planned new investments in FY17. NSF is bringing together academic researchers from an array of disciplines with community stakeholders to unlock transformational progress on important community challenges. Examples of this work include an effort by researchers in Chattanooga to test an entire urban network of automatically cooperating connected and autonomous vehicles; and a flood-warning pilot project in several Maryland cities that integrates sensor data and social media posts in a novel way to potentially save lives by providing advance notice of flash floods, which kill more people in the United States each year than tornadoes, hurricanes, or lightning. The investments include:
$24.5 million in planned investment in FY17 and $8.5 million in new awards under the Smart & Connected Communities program. The planned investment significantly expands NSF’s research focus in this area and builds on a number of high-risk, high-reward Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research awards supporting integrative research that enhances understanding and design of our future cities and communities.
$10 million in new awards to develop and scale next-generation Internet applications and technologies through the US Ignite program, supporting access to the gigabit-enabled networks and services that bring data and analytics to decision-makers in real time.
$7 million in new Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity projects that involve academic-industry collaborations to translate breakthrough discoveries into emerging technologies related to smart communities, ranging from smart buildings to sensor networks that improve transportation efficiency.
$4 million in new Cyber-Physical Systemsawards focused on Smart & Connected Communities. Collectively, these awards help establish the technological foundation for smart cities and the Internet of Things, which enables connection of physical devices at enormous scale to the digital world through sensors and other IT infrastructure.
$1.5 million in new Smart and Connected Health researchawards with a focus on Smart & Connected Communities. The awards being announced today will support the development of next-generation health care solutions that leverage sensor technology, information and machine learning technology, decision support systems, and more.
$1 million for researchers to participate in the 2016 NIST Global City Teams Challenge, supporting high-risk, high-reward research on the effective integration of digital and physical systems to meet real-world community challenges.
$1 million in new research and capacity-building awards supporting lifelong learning that will be critical to cities and communities of the future.
DOE is announcing new coalitions to build cleaner, smarter communities, and more than $15 million in new and planned funding to support smart, energy-efficient urban transportation systems and to unlock distributed clean energy sources.
DOE is announcing the launch of the Better Communities Alliance(BCA), a new DOE-led network of cities and counties with the goal of creating cleaner, smarter, and more prosperous communities for all Americans. Through the BCA, which is part of the Better Buildings Initiative, DOE is creating a one-stop shop for cities and counties to plug into DOE resources and AmeriCorps resources from the Corporation for National and Community Service to support them in tackling energy and climate challenges. DOE will gather key stakeholders to promote knowledge exchange and collaboration, while streamlining access to community-focused DOE resources and funding through coordinated assistance across programs and a common digital portal. Initial member communities and affiliate organizations include:
Broward County, Florida
Chula Vista, California
Des Moines, Iowa
Fort Worth, Texas
Huntington Beach, California
Kansas City, Missouri
King County, Washington
Los Angeles County, California
Miami-Dade County, Florida
New York, New York
Newark, New Jersey
Rochester, New York
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Francisco, California
Sonoma County, California
West Palm Beach, Florida
Will County, Illinois
Alliance to Save Energy
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Emerald Cities Collaborative
Global Cool Cities Alliance
ICLEI USA – Local Governments for Sustainability
Institute for Market Transformation
Institute for Sustainable Communities
International City/County Management Association
National Association of Counties
National Association of State Energy Officials
National League of Cities
Natural Resources Defense Council
Smart Cities Council
U.S. Green Building Council
Urban Sustainability Directors Network
DOE is launching a new Better Buildings Acceleratorto assist local governments in developing “Zero Energy Districts” within their communities. Through the Accelerator—which will help participants overcome deployment barriers by providing a framework for collaboration among participants as well as technical assistance—DOE will work with city leaders, district developers, planners, owners, and additional key stakeholders to develop the business case and energy master planning documents needed to replicate Zero Energy Districts, which aggregate buildings’ renewable energy sources so that the combined on-site renewable energy offsets the combined building energy usage from the buildings in the district.
DOE’s Better Buildings Initiativeis launching a Smart Energy Analytics Campaign with an inaugural group of members committing to using smart building energy management technologies to unlock energy savings. Eighteen inaugural members representing 1,800 buildings and 49 million square feet have signed up to adopt data analytics tools—known as Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS)—that could reduce their energy footprint by 8 percent or more, on average. Some of the campaign participants and their plans include:
o The Wendy’s Company is piloting software to move all 300 of their company-owned restaurants onto EMIS analytics.
o Macy’s will leverage its experience using fault detection and diagnostics across their portfolio of over 700 stores to share best practices.
o University of California, San Francisco will expand its innovative program of “Connected Commissioning” to use fault detection and diagnostics based on a consistent flow of building data analytics to help commission major building renovations and ensure they operate efficiently from the start.
o Rhode Island Office of Energy is starting a multi-year EMIS project with 18-buildings that will leverage lessons learned through the Campaign to help streamline the rollout of EMIS to a large portion of their portfolio.
The following organizations will also provide technical assistance to the campaign partners: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Building Owners Management Association, International Facility Managers Association, Commonwealth Edison, California Commissioning Collaborative, and the Building Commissioning Association.
DOE is announcing $10 million in current and planned investment to expand the DOE SMART Mobility consortium to support the emergence of smart, energy-efficient urban transportation systems and establish a “Technologist in Cities” pilot. In collaboration with the DOT Smart City Challenge, and with an initial focus on Columbus, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, DOE’s “Technologist in Cities” pilot will pair national laboratory technologists with city leaders to help cities address critical mobility needs with new capacity, tools, and technologies that significantly improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The DOE Systems and Modeling for Accelerated Research in Transportation Mobility consortium leverages the unique capabilities of DOE National Laboratories to examine the nexus of energy and mobility for future transportation systems, including through connected and automated vehicles, urban and decision sciences, multi-modal transport, and integrated vehicle-fueling infrastructure systems.
DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability is announcing approximately $7 million in funding to support the development of sensors and modeling that allow communities to more effectively integrate distributed clean energy sources into their power grids. Currently, integration of distributed clean energy sources—and the emissions, reliability and resilience benefits they provide—is a challenge for electric grids originally designed solely for distribution of electricity, not local generation. Funding will support research and development at utilities and technology providers to harness new sensor data and improved modeling to allow for integration of these resources with greater efficiency and reliability, while aiming to deliver new benefits, such as improved grid resilience against outages in emergency situations.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is continuing to expand the smart cities movement and support technical progress in the Internet of Things.
NIST and its collaborators are announcing a new international coalition dedicated to developing an Internet of Things-Enabled Smart City Framework, with an initial release planned for next summer. Through an open, technical working group studying real-world smart city applications and architectures, the coalition will identify pivotal points of interoperability, where emerging alignment on standards can enable landscape of diverse but interoperable smart city solutions. Coalition members include the American National Standards Institute, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, the Italian Energy and Innovation Agency, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, and the FIWARE Foundation.
NIST’s Global City Teams Challengeis establishing multi-team super-clusters to take on grand challenges too big for any single city team to tackle. Examples include multi-city resilience to large-scale natural disasters, intelligent transportation systems that work in any city, and regional air quality improvements through coordinated local action. This initiative brings together groups of communities formed around lead cities—Portland, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; Newport News, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Bellevue, Washington; Kansas City, Kansas; and Kansas City, Missouri—to work with NIST and its collaborators, including DOT, DHS Science and Technology Directorate, NSF, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the International Trade Administration, the Economic Development Administration, IBM, AT&T, CH2M, Verizon, Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions, Intel, US Ignite, and Urban-X, to develop ‘blueprints’ for shared solutions that will be collaboratively implemented in multiple cities and communities.
NIST is announcing $350,000 in four new grants enabling 11 cities and communities to work together on innovative smart city solutions. The Replicable Smart City Technologies grants to teams of communities led by Newport News, Virginia; Bellevue, Washington; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Portland, Oregon focus on the development and deployment of interoperable technologies to address important public concerns regarding air pollution, flood prediction, rapid emergency response, and improved citizen services through interoperable smart city solutions that can be implemented by communities of all types and sizes.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) within the Department of Commerceis releasing a new toolkitto help communities leverage private-sector resources and expertise to advance smart cities. A core challenge that communities face when implementing smart city solutions is limited expertise and resources needed to develop and deploy new large-scale technology projects.Successful public-private partnerships can be a cost-effective way to ensure the fastest delivery of improved services to local residents. To assist local communities, NTIA is releasing a toolkit for local officials and citizen groups to use as a guide for building productive public-private partnerships that will enable smart cities to flourish. Using Partnerships to Power a Smart City: A Toolkit for Local Communitiesidentifies factors to consider when developing a partnership—including what to look for in a partner, assessing partner contributions, and how to structure the most fruitful partnership agreements.
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate is announcing an investment of $3.5 million for development of low-cost sensor technologies through its Flood Apex Program. The program is applying Internet of Things-based approaches to facilitate evacuations, flood monitoring, and resilience of critical infrastructure. For example, through a collaboration with the Lower Colorado River Authority, FEMA, and the National Weather Service in flood-prone areas of Texas, the program will share real-time data to give first responders and local officials the ability to respond more rapidly when a flood strikes and make the right preventive investments in flood protection to help save lives and protect infrastructure.
The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program is announcing a Federal Smart Cities and Communities Task Force. Recognizing the need for collaboration across agencies given the cross-cutting nature of community challenges like resilience, the task force is charged with developing a draft strategy for interagency cooperation on smart cities. It will also create a resource guide to Federal smart city programs, helping stakeholders discover the broad array of Federal funding opportunities and other resources. The draft strategy will be available for comment this fall, and the resource guide will be online in November.
New Steps Being Taken by Communities, Universities, Industry, and Others in Response to the Administration’s Call to Action
Four additional companies are joining the Administration’s NSF-led Advanced Wireless Research Initiative, collectively committing over $8 million in in-kind contributions to help support the design, deployment, and operation of four city-scale advanced wireless testing platforms. The companies joining the effort are announcing the following new steps:
Anritsu will contribute microwave components, spectrum analysis tools, and equipment to support testing, measurement, and service assurance.
Crown Castle will support the testing platforms by providing network deployment and tower siting advice and space on wireless towers.
Ericsson will provide resources in the form of researchers, systems and technology expertise, software-defined networking and radio network engineering support, with a focus on spectrum flexibility, spectrum sharing, security, IoT, and advanced radio technologies.
FiberTower will contribute mmWave spectrum services in support of selected geographic regions.
MetroLab Network, with new support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, will launch a Lab focused on the intersection of big data and human services. The Big Data and Human Services Lab will bring together stakeholders from the Network’s membership—local government policymakers and university researchers—as well as industry, policy experts, and non-profits to connect disparate policy and research efforts that harness data-driven approaches to transform human services. This effort will support coordination across communities, develop new tools and infrastructure, and help replicate what works, such as the collaboration between University of Washington and Seattle to use predictive analytics to identify precisely when city services succeed in helping homeless individuals transition into permanent housing, offering the promise of a future of personalized intervention. In addition, in the year since its launch, MetroLab has added the following new members, including four that are first joining :
Los Angeles, with California State University, Los Angeles (joining)
Greater Miami (Miami-Dade County, City of Miami, City of Miami Beach), with University of Miami, Florida International University, and Miami Dade College (joining)
San Francisco, with University of California, Berkeley (joining)
University of Pittsburgh, joining an existing collaboration between Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (joining)
Arlington County, with Virginia Tech-National Capital Region
Austin, with University of Texas at Austin
Baltimore, with John Hopkins University and University of Baltimore
Boulder and Denver, with University of Colorado-Boulder
Burlington, with University of Vermont
Charlotte, with University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Columbus, with Ohio State University
Jacksonville, with University of Florida and University of North Florida
Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, with University of Missouri-Kansas City and University of Kansas
Newark, with New Jersey Institute of Technology
Orlando, with University of Central Florida
Santa Fe, with Santa Fe Institute
Schenectady, with University at Albany, State University of New York
Columbia University, joining an existing collaboration between New York City and New York University
The Smart Cities Council will award challenge grants to help five American cities apply smart technologies to improve urban livability, workability, and sustainability. For each of the five winning cities, the Council will deliver a tailored one-day readiness bootcamp, where experts from the Council, its members, and its advisors will assist each city in building or enhancing its smart city roadmap based on what works. In addition to the readiness bootcamp, the following Council members will contribute the following to each winning city:
Ameresco will provide consulting to help optimize smart street lighting.
AT&T will provide up to 25 AT&T Internet of Things Starter Kits.
CH2M and Qualcomm will collaborate to host a one-day follow-on workshop to develop and deploy a smart cities ecosystem.
Computing Technology Industry Association will provide free training, software, and access to its technology educational materials.
Dow Building and Construction will provide consultation on optimizing building design as part of a smart cities ecosystem.
IDC will assess each city’s progress through a comprehensive Smart City Maturity Benchmark.
Sensus will provide a citywide hosted communications network free of charge for one year.
Telit will provide each city free access to its Telit IoT platform.
TM Forum will help cities assess progress through its Smart City Maturity and Benchmark Model.
Transdev will provide up to three days of technical assistance to investigate new and more efficient urban mobility options.
More than twenty cities, along with the newly formed Council of Global City Chief Information Officers, are launching a new initiative focused on ensuring responsible and equitable deployment of smart city technologies.The effort, led by the City of New York, has three primary goals: (1) provide a common framework to help governments develop and expand policies and procedures related to the Internet of Things; (2) ensure openness and transparency regarding the use of public space or assets for smart city technologies; and (3) advance the public dialogue about how government, the private sector and academia can collaborate to ensure these technologies are used in a way that maximizes public benefit. The following twenty-one cities have committed to a common set of guiding principles that emphasize privacy, security, sustainability, resilience, equity and efficiency in their use of these technologies:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
Kansas City, Missouri
Los Angeles, California
New York, New York
Palo Alto, California
San Antonio, Texas
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Washington, District of Columbia
US Ignite is announcing the addition of four cities joining the network of Smart Gigabit Communities. The Smart Gigabit Communities Program was announced by NSF with the launch of the Smart Cities Initiative last September. The four cities each committing to developing six gigabit applications that serve community needs are:
Adelaide, Australia (also the first city outside the United States to join)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Salisbury, North Carolina
Washington, District of Columbia
1776 is launching the Urban Innovation Council, a coalition of cities, startups, and corporate stakeholders dedicated to overcoming challenges to building smarter cities through entrepreneurship. The council will tackle a range of enablers for startup innovation, including development of model urban regulations that enable rather than stymie innovation, and practical research that informs decisions made by entrepreneurs and city leaders. Initial members include:
Arlington County, Virginia
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Montgomery County, Maryland
Additional efforts being announced include:
The Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany, State University of New Yorkis creating smart city guidebooks for small and medium-sized cities. Mayors of such cities face a wide range of financial, organizational, policy, and political challenges that can slow the pace of innovation. The guidebooks will focus on key considerations for technology adoption in the small and medium-sized city context, with a focus on critical implementation steps.
The City of New York is launching a new digital platform to help local governments navigate the smart city marketplace. Developed through a public-private partnership, marketplace.nyc includes information about a growing list of more than 100 companies—including new and emerging firms—and their relevant products and services. The platform helps local government employees identify innovative technologies within their respective focus areas while also encouraging interagency coordination by offering a repository of information on past or existing city pilots and contracts. The resource is designed to enable both replication and data sharing across cities.
City Digital, a Chicago-based consortium, is announcing results from its first pilotlaunched in September 2015 as part of the Smart Cities Initiative, including new technology components to create a novel digital underground infrastructure mapping platform. The pilot team has now successfully engineered the platform’s components, which will allow cities and utilities to move through construction and development processes in less than half the current time.
Dallas Innovation Alliance and Envision Charlotte are announcing “For Cities, By Cities,” a new collaboration that will bring cities together from around the globe over the next two years to workshop steps to become smarter, more sustainable, and efficient. Convening in Dallas, Texas in 2017 and Charlotte, North Carolina in 2018, the conferences will feature city officials sharing their perspective with peers about lessons learned regarding what works, what to avoid, how to get started, and how to define success.
Dallas will be launching the Dallas Innovation District in the West End neighborhood in downtown Dallas, focused on bringing together civic, corporate, and startup innovation efforts through a single district-level testbed. This collaboration will bring together the Dallas Innovation Alliance’s Smart Cities Living Lab, the Dallas Entrepreneur Center’s efforts to seed new startups, and new innovation initiatives from corporations in the technology, banking and healthcare sectors.
Mapbox is announcing the launch of the Mapbox Cities Lab, offering municipalities free access to Mapbox tools and support, and providing three cities with in-depth mentorship to help tackle their most pressing issues, from traffic safety to neighborhood health. Mapbox will work with each participating city to gather data on its particular challenges, and then collaborate to create insightful and actionable data-driven maps incorporating open data and real-time traffic data from Mapbox.
Microsoft is announcing new smart cities-related resources to help communities across the country leverage technology for public safety and transportation. Microsoft and Genetec are providing 10 U.S. cities with Project Green Light starter kits to enable local businesses to connect surveillance cameras to the cloud and local law enforcement. Working with Cubic, Microsoft also is offering a cloud-based surface transport management solution pilot to five U.S. cities to help them increase efficiency and safety.
Orange Silicon Valley will launch a workshop this fall on business-to-business data sharing for public and private benefit, with a particular focus on smart cities and the Internet of Things. The workshop will bring together private sector actors with other stakeholders to examine models for private sector data sharing across businesses and sectors, related challenges and opportunities, and new models for generating social value from private sector data.