Thursday, January 29, 2009

Carpool/Ride Share Advocacy

Hey Green-ers!

Thanks to Patrick's superior googling skills, I just set this up:

Dedicated URL for your group:
group password: whereareyou

It's a RideShare webpage dedicated to getting folks to CUNY law. It can't be a widget on our webpage, but it does have a great map feature. When you register, the destination will automatically be CUNY Law (though you can change it) and the page is only open to people who have the password. We can use this to encourage people to ride-share with other people in the CUNY Law community. Individuals can choose to make their posting available to people outside the community if they choose, but they don't need to. It will work better the more people from our community join it (I am having visions of ridesharing with Robson).

Click on the link, register and add yourself.

Let's try it out, for real.

Proposed next steps:
1. Feedback from us about whether we want to endorse this. If we do --

2. Posting directing people to this page from forum, with directions on how to use it.
3. Student Events and ALL FACULTY email directing people to this page, with directions on how to use it.
4. Fliers around the building/Flier to include in First Year Orientation packet.
5. Getting a link on CUNY's homepage to this page
6. A survey of driving/carpooling habits in the community a month after we roll this out (advocacy tool for preferred parking)
7. Advocate for preferred parking for ride-sharers (with results of the survey)

Feedback? I am also posting this to the blog. Let's use the comments section and get sign-off from everyone (assuming that the 7 of us are the stake-holders for this initiative) by Feb. 6 (the date we set before).

Paula Z. Segal

Green Additions to the 1L Orientation Packet

This goes in the category of "changing the culture"...

Do we as the Green Coaliton advocate for including some green initiatives in the folder that 1Ls get during orientation?


A bike map (they're free from the Dept of Transportation)
Directions for RideSharing
A list of LOCALLY owned food establishments (the list we got included McDonalds???)
Composting/Recycling instructions

Clearly its a bit early in the year to be thinking about this, but let's build a list anyways.

Monday, January 19, 2009

USDA - business as usual?

Follow this link to analysis and actions you can take to try to force the new admin into at least some change in USDA policy by not appointing lobbyists and Giant-Food Industry supporters to key USDA positions. Rumor has it, that's exactly what's coming next.

At ethicurean's suggestion, I modified her email and sent it to the Obama's transition team:

Subject: USDA appointments
Date: January 19, 2009 11:55:49 AM EST

Dear Mr. Chilton and Ms. Jett:

I am writing to you as the heads of President Obama’s transition team for the Department of Agriculture. I can’t find contact info for Secretary Vilsack, or I’d copy him too.

Rumors on the sustainable food blogosphere have it that people with very clear ties to the industrial meat industry are on the short list for under-secretary and Deputy Secretary positions in the new administration. I have read that Joy Philippi, the formerly of the National Pork Council, and Dennis Wolfe, who opposed consumers’ right to milk labeling by farms that don’t use artificial bovine hormones, are on the short list.

I hope that the rumors are just that. In a country plagued by CAFO pollution, childhood diabetes, and other crises whose root is a broken food system, these candidates represent the interests of corporate food giants and are NOT THE CHANGE THAT I VOTED FOR in November.

We need reformers in the USDA, not agribusiness-as-usual men or women. I am proud to be among the 73,000 and counting Americans who have signed Food Democracy Now’s letter urging the consideration of 12 people who are not only qualified to serve, but who might just begin to make the USDA once again the “people’s Department,” as Lincoln once called it.

I urge you to stand against the appointment of industry representatives and lobbyists to key posts inside the USDA, but instead to consider people like Chuck Hassebrook, Fred Kirschenmann, and Kathleen Merrigan listed here:

Thank you for your time.

Paula Z. Segal
J.D. Candidate 2011
CUNY School of Law

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Get Your Conference on Redux


I got in touch with the aforementioned James Subudhi (January 5 entry below) at WEACT to see if he could give me some insight into my registration for the Advancing Climate Justice Conference at Fordham late this month. It turns out that he is the volunteer coordinator. It also turns out that he loves CUNY students and would like for as many of us to volunteer for the conference as possible. I'm hoping to go both days, but you can sign up for whatever time frame you wish or for whichever speaker you would like to hear, most likely. If you email me, I'll send you off more information about vounteering.

Can't wait to see everyone next week for the first week of classes!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

From Environmental Advocates of New York

Governor Paterson is proposing to gut New York’s Environmental Protection Fund and undercut the efforts of the agency responsible for making sure our water is safe to drink and our air is safe to breathe.

New York lawmakers are considering the Governor’s proposal and we need to fix it before it’s too late. Click here to ask state lawmakers to defend New York’s environment.

New York State has one dedicated funding source for all things green. The Environmental Protection Fund supports projects across the state that run the gamut from protecting our drinking water to fixing up neighborhood parks.

If the Governor’s budget is passed by the State Legislature, these green efforts are in danger. The budget proposal would slash the Environmental Protection Fund by more than $50 million and cut the number of engineers, inspectors, and scientists who safeguard the health of our air, land and water.

We need to defend the Environmental Protection Fund and New York’s environmental agencies and keep our natural resources safe.

For more information about the Environmental Protection Fund, visit

Monday, January 5, 2009

Get Your Conference On

There are two Conferences that Appleseeds might like to attend in the near future. The first one is close to home and right after classes start on January 23rd. Queens College is co-sponsoring the Queens Green Business Summit. The registration is free and the speaker line up seems to be interesting and not short of environmental lawyers and activists along with government and business community folk.

Possibly not free is the We Act conference Advancing Climate Justice that runs from January 29-30 and is being held at Fordham Law School. It looks like an amazing two days of inspiration and wonkiness that should not be missed. I've "applied" for the event scholarship, meaning I wrote three lines of text during the registration process in hopes of not paying the $60 price tag. We'll see. In case its helpful to anyone else who's interested in going and doesn't have $60 lying around, I wrote:

"I am a CUNY School of Law student who has worked with other students to form our campus Green Coalition, which works on environmental issues at CUNY and in our community while functioning as the CUNY Environmental Law Society. My master's work dealt with sustainable development policy and I have experience working within the emerging corporate climate change legal profession as well as sustainability policy in the nonprofit sector. I will also be coordinating a 12-month project beginning this year to investigate and ameliorate the impact my campus has on climate change and connect best practices to the larger CUNY system." (I know, I know, that last line is full of hopeful optimism [is that an oxymoron?], but I really do believe that the ball is rolling on the Campus Ecology Fellowship after speaking with Dean Koster and Dean Anderson this past semester + Michele and I are ON IT)

Not super eloquent, but action-packed for three sentences, methinks. We'll see if it works - I'll let you know. I also listed this blog as our group's website on the registration so if there are inquisitive minds out there at WeAct (other than James Subudhi, who we know has an inquisitive mind since a lot of us Appleseeds met him after the CLORE event "How Law Affects Community Health Outcomes and Impacts Dietary Choices") who are actually checking out this web real estate: I'd REALLY like to attend and I'm a public school kid so I need the price break!

And, while I'm at it let's not forget about the 15th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference at Yale from February 20-22. I know a couple Appleseeds are already signed up (word up, Jills and Paulas). Van Jones (big love) is keynoting, which should be excellent and CUNY students who have gone in the past have said its a great time and place for some public service lawyering community good times. The registration is $30, but if you do it soon you can get a t-shirt. I know there was some talk of the NLG subsidizing registration and we could discuss if the Green Coalition might be able to offer the same. We should also talk about carpooling or synchronized train riding at the first Green Coalition meeting in January.

Post your events, peeps! I know that engaging in the community at large on ecolegal-sociojustice issues energizes me for school (why do I need to back-of-my-hand-know promissory restitution again??). And, its so good to have a buddy to attend with.