FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(PHILADELPHIA, PA) May 8, 2014 – Today, Philadelphia City Council passed Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown’s bill to make permanent the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. The office, headed by Executive Director Katherine Gajewski, was established in 2008 and has worked closely with the Councilwoman’s office to implement Mayor Nutter’s Greenworks Philadelphia. As a result, the City of Philadelphia has emerged as one of the Greenest Cities in America.
The legislation amends the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, requiring the following question to appear on the November 4, 2014 ballot:
“Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of
Sustainability, headed by a Director of Sustainability?”
The ordinance defines the official functions of the Office of Sustainability as:
(a) Develop and coordinate the implementation of policies and programs to meet the City’s sustainability goals.
(b) Create periodic sustainability plans for the City, including metrics and indicators for municipal and citywide goals related to sustainability matters, which may include energy use, air and water quality, greenhouse gas accounting, solid waste management, access to open space and local and healthy food, tree canopy coverage and climate change preparedness planning.
(c) Disseminate reports setting forth a description of the goals of the City and the City’s progress in connection with such metrics and indicators.
(d) Coordinate among City departments and agencies to foster integration of sustainability goals
into operations, policies and strategic goals.
(e) Promote public awareness and education regarding environmental and sustainability issues.
“I can testify through a first-hand working relationship that the Office of Sustainability is bringing significant value to our city government and to Philadelphia. They have put Philadelphia on the map as a national leader on issues surrounding the environment and sustainability,” said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, Chair of the City Council Committee on the Environment. “Cities across the nation now call Philadelphia for advice and counsel on how to become more sustainable. The work of this office and their impressive track record of achieving measurable results will grow into the next administration and beyond. Making this office permanent will signal Philadelphia’s long term commitment to urban sustainability, thus assuring our city’s competitiveness.”
Over 120 cities and counties across the country have established sustainability offices and positions. Philadelphia would join other cities like New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and more who have moved to make these offices a permanent function of local government.
For additional information please contact the Legislative Aide, Katherine Gilmore at (215) 686-3438.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has passed meaningful legislation and supported valuable community programming that positively impacts her core issues: children and youth, women, education, small business development, arts and culture and the environment and sustainability. Councilwoman Reynolds Brown is the only woman to win an At-Large Council seat since 1999.