By Norris McDonald
Today is our 25th anniversary. We was incorporated on November 20, 1985. The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) is the outreach arm of the Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy (Center).
You can see a listing of many of our activities during that time at our original website, which we converted to Multiply when the original Msn Groups platform ended). There is more activity information at our History page. My career has been very satisfying. From my beginning in the Fall of 1979 at the Environmental Policy Center (now Friends of the Earth) until today, the adventure has been incredible. I started out in the Washington, D.C.-based environmental movement. Jimmy Carter was president and was just finishing a rough 4-year run. I shook his hand at the Democratic National Convention in New York in 1980 not knowing that Washington was about to get a completely new makeover. The Reagan era was interesting and quite the challenge for the environmental movement. I still remember his 'no standard standard' for appliance efficiency standards. I also remember the Air Florida crash and the Metro subway accident on the day that I was walking back from the U.S. Department of Energy after testifying on appliance standards.
Well, without sounding like the old guy in the room sharing old war time stories that nobody really wants to hear, the situation today is as exciting as ever. We are embarking on trying to build biomass power plants in Mississippi, California and in Kenya. The adventure continues and I am having more fun than ever. Our team is lean and mean and green.
I have kept the AAEA small on purpose and will continue to do so. I almost died from respiratory failure in 1991 and 1996 (intubated for 4 days in ICU each time). After getting divorced and full custody of my son when he was 2 years old, I decided that I wanted to stick around to see my son grow up. But I also wanted to continue with my entrepreneurial environmentalism. So keeping it small worked. Although I still struggle with a chronic acute asthma that could kill me any day, my son is now 18 and I am still 'doing my green thing.' Life is good. Hey, and we just opened a new Center Hollywood blog this week (Also see AAEA Hollywood). Oh, and if you're feeling generous, feel free to click on our Donation button on our sites.
Dana Alston was 47 years old when she died 11 years ago on August 7, 1999.
Dana Alston, left, was a leader of the original environmental justice movement that started in the 1980's. She was one of the organizers of the first National Environmental Justice Leadership Summit in 1992. She participated in the meetings to convince the U.S. EPA to open an Office of Environmental Justice. She was a committed environmental justice activist and the movement clearly benefited from her leadership. We remember you Dana. And we will never forget you.
Dana Alston received a Bannerman Fellowship in 1992 in recognition of her leadership in the development of the environmental justice movement. The Bannerman Fellowship Program was founded in 1987 on the belief that the most effective approach to achieving progressive social change is by organizing low-income people at the grassroots level. In 2002, the Fellowship Program was renamed the Alston/Bannerman Fellowship Program in honor of Dana Alston.
Dana died on August 7, 1999 at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Dana was a native of New York and lived in Washington, D.C. She was in San Francisco for treatment of kidney disease and consequences of a stroke when she died.
Her son, Khalil Alston-Cobb, now 17, resides in Clinton, Maryland. He is (or was at 16) a skateboard enthusiast (see videos). Here is how Khalil describes himself on his MySpace page:
"I like Skateboarding, Playing videogames, listening to music, talking to Gurls, surfing the Web, and Chillin wit the Homies."Khalil is also on Twitter. He has a great skateboarding video on MonsterArmy.com. He is listed on Children of the Struggle. Dana would be very proud of her teenage son. All who knew her are not surprised that Khalil is an energetic and productive young man.
To Move Forward on Agency Priorities
Draft plan will help advance Administrator Jackson’s seven priorities
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment on its draft FY 2011-2015 strategic plan, which helps advance Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priorities and the mission to protect human health and the environment. Administrator Jackson’s seven priorities are; taking action on climate change, improving air quality, protecting America’s waters, cleaning up our communities, assuring the safety of chemicals, expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice, and building strong state and tribal partnerships.
The draft plan identifies the measurable environmental and human health benefits the public can expect over the next five years and describes how EPA intends to achieve those results. The draft plan proposes five strategic goals and five cross-cutting fundamental strategies that aim to foster a renewed commitment to accountability, transparency and inclusion. The plan is prepared in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993.
The public comment period begins June 18 and closes July 30. EPA will use stakeholder feedback to prepare the final strategic plan, which will be released by September 30. Comments on the draft strategic plan may be submitted through http://www.regulations.gov/. The Docket ID number is EPA-HQ-OA-0486.
For the first time, EPA is using a discussion forum to solicit ideas and feedback on the cross-cutting fundamental strategies, a new element of EPA’s strategic plan. The agency will use the feedback provided through https://blog.epa.gov/strategicplan as it implements the cross-cutting fundamental strategies and takes actions to change the way EPA does its work.
Information about the draft plan