Student Profile: Sabrina Tenteromano

Growing up in the suburbs of NYC, Sabrina enjoyed a mud-covered childhood of forest fairies and cicada exoskeleton curiosity, while equally enjoying reading, writing, and watching movies. She was always sensitive to art and wanted to pursue a career that evokes the same feelings that art gave her. Then, after exposure to environmental ethics in college and the political turmoil of the mid 2010s, she realized she wanted not only to evoke those emotions, but also empower people to do something with them. Once Sabrina understood the magnitude of the climate crisis, she knew she wanted to use her skills …

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Policymaking through the New York State Budget

by Jay Wu Passing bills isn’t the only way to influence state priorities. Every year, New York State passes a budget that establishes what government activities will be funded, and where that money will come from. Substantive policy proposals are often included in the annual budget as a way to circumvent the more deliberative legislative process. The formal cycle begins with the governor-appointed Budget Director issues a “call letter” to agency heads to communicate priorities and constraints. Throughout the fall, each agency assemble and discuss their program package. By early December, they complete their preliminary recommendations and present them to …

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Getting to Know the New York State Legislature

by Jay Wu For the uninitiated, New York State’s processes can be hard to follow. However, state policies can have substantial consequences for climate action. With candidates already beginning to announce plans to run for 2022 State Assembly and Senate seats, let’s take a quick dive at how the New York State legislature works. New York has a bicameral legislature, meaning that it is split into two houses—the Assembly and Senate. Today the Assembly has 150 members and the Senate has 63, but these numbers will likely change after this year’s redistricting process. Each house has a leader, titled the …

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Debt Relief for a Just and Green Recovery

By Jay Wu Developing countries suffering the brunt of COVID-19’s economic impact have scant resources to confront climate change. We must call on the IMF and World Bank to provide Debt Relief for a Just and Green Recovery. The pandemic ravaged low-income nations’ economies, erasing the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs in 2020 and setting back economic growth by 4.9% compared to pre-pandemic projections. For populations that won’t achieve meaningful vaccine access until 2023, waves of COVID strains will continue to stymie economic activity, exacerbating the already high levels of debt service. In 2021, average debt is expected to …

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Climate Justice Demands Heading into COP26

by Jay Wu This November, the COP26 summit will bring together 30,000 delegates from 197 nations and territories to collaborate on carbon emissions reductions plans. Since 1995, the Conference of Parties has met annually to monitor and review the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The conference not only includes ‘blue zone’ events for the climate experts, campaigners, policy makers and world leaders appointed to represent their nations, but also ‘green zone’ side events where civil society actors discuss social equality and reflect the ‘blue zone’ proceedings.  The upcoming COP26 summit will be critical for collaborating …

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Mapping Hurricane Ida’s Impact

by Jay Wu On August 21st, 2021, barely a week after New York City experienced record-setting rainfall from Hurricane Henri, that record was shattered by remnants from Hurricane Ida. The damage was devastating, killing at least 27 people in New Jersey and 16 in New York City. Immediately after the hurricane, New Yorkers responded to the hurricane by both calling on their electeds for infrastructure investment and hitting the streets to provide care, clothing, foods, and help cleaning debris.  Protestors using life vests to depict Hurricane Ida’s casualties, from Sunrise NYC’s Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/sunrisemvmtnyc I’ve begun meeting with local community …

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My Leave-Taking From Professor Hillary Brown

When a CCNY faculty member initially approached me about joining the faculty at the Spitzer School of Architecture back in 2008, I did indeed hesitate. Instead, I started as a visiting professor. Unsurprisingly, I immediately fell in love with CCNY, its mission, and its extraordinary student body! Luckily for me then, given my sustainability background, I became Professor in 2010 to help ramp up the Sustainability in the Urban Environment program. Since then, I’ve served continuously on its Executive Committee before becoming Program Director in 2016. I always felt it a true serendipity and privilege to be part of this …

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What the COVID-19 Pandemic Can Tell Us About Housing Justice and Climate Resilience

by Jay Wu Believe it or not, home purchasers are on a buying spree. According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, home sales during the pandemic were higher than they’ve been since 2006, the housing boom that preceded the Great Recession. For millennials earning stable incomes, low mortgage rates and reduced spending opportunities during the lockdown have been a boon for building wealth and settling into homes. But for those with precarious income, particularly people of color, we see a completely different reality—millions of Americans are behind on rent and mortgages, threatened with evictions and foreclosures.  Low-income communities …

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Student Profile: Lia Heintjes

Lia Heintjes is from Brooklyn, New York. Despite growing up in the city, she’s always loved being outdoors and doing hands-on fieldwork. That’s why she decided to take a leap and intern at a green roofing company between her junior and senior years of college. Coming from a major in biotechnology, where processes occur at a scale too small to see with the naked eye, contributing to the transformation of large construction zones into vibrant gardens was thrilling. Lia’s mentors managed projects from design, to construction, to maintenance, and she got to learn from every step. She bid on materials, helped …

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Student Profile: Mariana Moreira

Mariana Moreira is from São Paulo, Brazil. A talented illustrator with a knack for organizing spaces, she always had a passion for architecture. She inherited this from her father, who had always wanted to become an architect but could never afford the education. Together, they would visit mock-up apartments for sale, go home, and draw the floor plan of what they saw. As Mariana grew older, she became determined to fulfill her dream of pursuing an international degree related to architecture—both for herself, and for her father. She spent ten years after high school working in a variety of occupations, …

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