NY - New York City’s First Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice Wants to Empower Communities
In February, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Adriana Espinoza — formerly the NYC program director for the League of Conservation Voters — as the city’s first senior advisor for environmental justice.
In the newly created position, mandated by a 2017 package of environmental justice laws passed by the New York City Council, Espinoza will oversee the city’s first-ever study on environmental justice issues. She’ll also work closely with Peggy Shepard, cofounder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, who de Blasio has appointed as chair of the city’s new Environmental Justice Advisory Board, and the rest of the advisory board on “making sure environmental justice becomes embedded into the city decision making and the culture of city agencies and offices,” as Espinoza puts it.
She spoke with Next City on what led her to environmental activism, her priorities for this new role, and why environmental justice needs to become an integral part of climate policy.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.