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Congress says the EPA will get more money than Trump wants.

This week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced a new initiative to combat climate change–augmented extreme heat in the city. It comes down to: Plant a tree! Make a pal! Those are actually not bad ideas.

The $106 million package — dubbed Cool Neighborhoods NYC, which, yikes — will largely go to tree-planting across more heatwave-endangered communities in the South Bronx, Northern Manhattan, and Central Brooklyn. Funding will also further develop the unpronounceable NYC °CoolRoofs program, which aims to cover 2.7 million square feet of city roofs with foliage.

But, to me, the more noteworthy component of the plan is Be A Buddy NYC — again, yikes — which “promotes community cohesion” as a means of climate resilience.

“A heat emergency is not the time to identify vulnerable residents,” explains the Mayor’s Office’s report. “Rather, it is important to build social networks that can help share life-saving information prior to such an emergency, and can reach out to at-risk neighbors during an extreme heat event.”

The new policy supports the argument that this whole community engagement thing is a crucial tactic in the fight against climate change.


New York City’s Investment Critical to Protect Regional Foodshed

New York City has invested considerably to protect lands surrounding its upstate reservoirs to secure its drinking water supply–with great results. Now Mayor Bill de Blasio has a unique opportunity to provide city residents with significant health, economic and quality-of-life benefits by leveraging ongoing efforts to secure the supply of fresh, local food by conserving farmland within its regional “foodshed.” In 2013 Scenic Hudson, the environmental organization and land trust based in New York’s Hudson River Valley, released a Foodshed Conservation Plan. It provides an innovative blueprint for securing farmland critical for supplying fresh, local food to consumers throughout this 11-county region as well as to New York City’s 8.4 million residents, in total nearly half of the state’s population. You can read details about the plan–a first of its kind, data-driven strategy to conserve a metropolitan area’s foodshed–in my previous blog […]

Support For New York Marijuana Decriminalization Far Higher Than For Mayor

During the 2014 Election, we found out that support for marijuana reform was higher than support was for most popular candidates. New York City did not have an initiative on the ballot (New York does not have an initiative process), but New York City did decriminalize marijuana. A new Quinnipiac Poll has found that marijuana […]

This 4-Year-Old Girl Went Around the City Clerk’s Office Asking Brides If She Could Be a Flower Girl

A four-year-old Brooklyn girl wanted to be a flower girl so badly that she walked around the Manhattan City Clerk’s Office asking couples if she could participate in their weddings, NBC News reports. 4-year-old Annabelle Earl wanted to be a flower girl, but she needed a wedding nbcnews.to/1rdWMbA http://t.co/yU70LbLnpY— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 15, 2014 Decked out in a floral dress and white gloves, Annabelle Earl carried a dozen pink and purple roses purchased at a bodega and held up a green poster that said “Can I Be Your Flower Girl.” Finally, one bride said “yes.” When the moment finally came, the youngster was briefly overcome with stage fright, but got through the rest of the ceremony without a hitch. Afterwards, her mother Kim bought her “wedding cake” at a nearby bakery. No word on whether the Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio will invite her to be a flower girl at the weddings he officiates. […]

NYC mayoral candidates vie for bike vote

“I am not going to go on an anti-bike lane jihad if I’m lucky enough to get elected,” says Anthony Weiner. […]