Skip to content

Archive for January, 2017


Join DC’s Don’t Govern With Hands Tied Campaign!

Wed Jan 25, 2017 at 01:16:20 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

Join the DC Environmental Network for this special opportunity to start working with the broader sustainability community to achieve our shared vision for the District of Columbia!

[Picture from Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. Let’s start turning our words into action and support improving and maintaining the District’s health and wellbeing.]

“DC residents voted in large numbers in the 2016 election, a testament to their desire to make their priorities heard loud and clear. They are proud that the District can be a beacon of hope in dark times. And, they will look at the District’s proposed FY2018 budget to see if it reflects these values. We urge Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to ensure they have the full financial flexibility to answer this call.”

– Taken from Untie DC Hands Statement, January 2017

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

DC Environmental Network:

I want to share an opportunity to participate in an important campaign, spearheaded by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, and with partners including the Children’s Law Center, DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, Fair Budget Coalition, Jews United for Justice, Legal Aid Society of DC, Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO, Miriam’s Kitchen, Washington Interfaith Network, DC Environmental Network, and others.

The fundamental purpose of this campaign is to convince decision makers to “pause restrictive fiscal policies limiting DC’s response to important needs.”

This is necessary because it is becoming apparent that the District faces many fiscal challenges including a “spiraling affordable housing and homelessness crisis,” a “growing population” that makes a “strong public transit system even more important.”

We will need fiscal flexibility to meet these challenges and others that come our way.

It is also necessary, as the new Congress and President Trump have threatened to cut federal funding for our nation’s critical safety net, including Medicaid, SNAP, and other programs that are important to the health and wellbeing of District residents.

We will need fiscal flexibility to maintain and protect these basic human needs.

Reading the newspaper, the last 48 hours, it’s easy to imagine this list could grow larger and very much impact funding for protection of children from lead poisoning, helping communities adapt to climate change, and other federal programs important to the environmental health and human service community.

We will need fiscal flexibility to protect the health of our children and to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

This sensible proposal, which the DC Environmental Network fully supports, includes spending DC’s budget surplus from FY2016; putting automatic tax cuts on hold for 2018; and creating a budget cushion to deal with looming federal cuts.

Supporting this initiative is an important way we can all join together and prepare ourselves for the coming year and beyond. Already it is clear that many in Congress are getting in line to meddle in District affairs to make political points.

One way we can fight back and get through the next four years, is to open our minds and hearts to a new way of achieving our sustainability goals. That means getting out of our silos and striving to find ways of helping any program or initiative that creates better wellbeing for everyone in our favorite city, the District of Columbia. The idea is more working together.

I ask that you consider joining the DC Environmental Network in supporting this campaign statement, and if possible, put some of your time and resources into helping us convince our home town decision makers that now is the time to take off some of our restrictive fiscal restraints as we prepare for a very uncertain future.

I am hoping you will consider signing our statement and joining this critical and timely campaign.

Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Background materials:

DC Leaders: Don’t Govern with Your Hands Tied StatementPlease send scanned form, and direct any questions to: Simone Holzer, DC Fiscal Policy Institute,

DC Leaders: Don’t Govern with Your Hands Tied FAQ

DCEN will be holding an informal conference call to discuss this campaign on Thursday, January 26th @ 4:00 PM. If you are interested in participating, send an email to:



DCEN ANNOUNCEMENTS: January 17, 2017

Tue Jan 17, 2017 at 02:14:22 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

Save As You Throw Sign-On Letter!

The Anacostia Riverkeeper, Anacostia Watershed Socieity, Building Materials Reuse Association, Clean Water Action, Earthjustice, Energy Justice Network, Global Green USA, Green Cross International, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, Potomac Riverkeeper Network, Rock Creek Conservancy, Sierra, DC Chapter, and Wentworth Green Strategies signed on to a DCEN coalition letter asking the Department of Public Works to go forward with a Save As You Throw pilot.

[Because of a request from one organization we will send an update with additional signatures sometime next week.]

Click here to read the letter.  You can learn more about Save As You Throw here!

Join the DC Consumer Utility Board Grid 2.0 Working Group Meeting!

The DC Consumer Utility Board’s GRID2.0 Working Group meets to discuss and prepare the civil society response to the PSC’s Formal Case No. 1130, Modernizing the Energy Delivery System for Increased Sustainability (MEDSIS).  The PSC established MEDSIS to identify technologies and policies that can be implemented to modernize DC’s distribution energy delivery system . The stated goal of MEDSIS is to increase sustainability for District consumers, and in the near-term, make the distribution energy delivery system more reliable, efficient, cost effective, and interactive.

The next meeting will be February 6th @ 5:30 PM. It will be held at the offices of the DC Environmental Network, 322 4th Street NE.

All are welcome!



Support DC Climate Leadership in 2017!

Mon Jan 16, 2017 at 02:26:02 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

[The John A. Wilson Building, the NEW center of climate action in the District of Columbia!]

The District’s response to Donald Trump. Maximizing District of Columbia climate leadership in 2017 and beyond.

January 16, 2017

DC Environmental Network:

It’s happening this week. No, I am not talking about the peaceful transition of power in the United States, but the continuation and acceleration of our efforts to make sure OUR city and planet do what is necessary to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for the most certain, and dangerous, impacts of climate change.

This week, and for the rest of the year and beyond, the DC Environmental Network (DCEN), and thousands of District residents and activists, will be engaged in education and advocacy, to push local efforts to new heights of accomplishment, introducing new tools to reduce carbon emissions, and expanding the number of District residents engaged in the global effort to protect our planet from climate change.

The goal is more meaningful actions by District residents, government, and organizations, to fight climate change, and maximize District climate leadership in 2017 and beyond. We have a city that already has the people to do the work, and can set a wonderful example to the rest of the region, country, and world. Let’s start getting together more often to make this happen.

Some upcoming DC Environmental Network activities to start some new momentum:

  • January 18th @ NOON @ Offices of Green Cross International/Friends of the Earth:
     Briefing on Mayor Bowser’s Trip to the C40 Summit in Mexico City – Join the DC Environmental Network for a special climate briefing on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s recent trip to Mexico City to participate in the C40 Mayors Climate Summit. This briefing will include comments from Tommy Wells, Director of the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), Mayor Bowser (Invited), and other individuals who were part of the District of Columbia’s summit delegation. We need your participation so we can show Mayor Bowser that her efforts, to become a climate action leader, are important to us. Find additional information and RSVP here if you want to participate in this conversation.
  • February 16th @ NOON @ Offices of Green Cross International/Friends of the Earth: Briefing on NEW Carbon Rebate Campaign – DCEN has been thinking about pricing carbon pollution in the District since 2002. Now, several organizations and activists have put a proposal together that will not only put less carbon into the atmosphere, but with a rebate, put more money into the pockets of DC families who need it the most. Come learn about this new proposal and be ready to take real and meaningful action. Keep a look out for our announcement and link to RSVP.
  • February Briefing w/Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie – We will also be scheduling a discussion in February, with DC Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, to talk about his oversight of the DC Public Service Commission (PSC) and other offices and agencies important to the growth of renewables and the reduction of carbon emissions.

Now, more than ever, the District of Columbia has the responsibility, as the seat of federal power, to help lead the charge and use our local actions and policies to set an example that our President and Congress cannot ignore.

We need your help to get their attention. Join us as we use local action as a response to climate denial. Passing laws and policies that do the right thing might just get their attention and create the leverage we need to win.

Hope to see you and hear your voice sometime soon.

Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network



DC Solid Waste Diversion Report – FY15-16

Fri Jan 13, 2017 at 02:27:11 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

District Releases Solid Waste Diversion Progress Report – FY15 & 16

DPW Press Release, January 10, 2017:

“The first of its kind, the District’s solid waste diversion report reflects increased transparency and reflects movement by the District towards creating a more defensible citywide residential diversion rate and corresponding per capita waste generation baseline,” Chris Weiss, executive director of the DC Environmental Network, said in a statement.

Collecting and understanding this data is critical to the development of new policies and programs that will help make the District a true zero-waste city,” said Weiss. “Mayor Bowser and DPW Director Shorter should be commended for their stakeholder engagement and willingness to do what is necessary to move the District’s waste management system into the 21st century.”

Click Here to See Report!


Mayor Bowser’s Trip to Mexico City C40 Summit!

Tue Jan 10, 2017 at 03:01:05 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

All sustainability organizations and advocates are invited to DCEN’s monthly networking opportunity. This will be the first of two climate focused briefings in January/February.

On January 18th at NOON, join the DC Environmental Network for a special climate briefing on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s recent trip to Mexico City to participate in the C40 Mayors Climate Summit. This briefing will include comments from Tommy Wells, Director of the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), and other individuals who were part of the District of Columbia’s summit delegation.

At the summit, Mayor Bowser joined more than 60 mayors and deputy mayors from all over the world, as well as hundreds of urban and sustainability leaders, who are committed to taking meaningful action on climate change. From the District’s press release:
“Speakers at the C40 Mayors Summit include nearly 40 mayors from the world’s largest and most influential cities; business leaders of Fortune 500 companies; elected officials at all levels of government; prominent non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders; internationally-renowned climate experts; and celebrity activists.                                                        ‘

[Mayor Bowser, 3rd from right, taking the stage with other global climate focused Mayors!]

“This summit signifies DC’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and to securing a future for our city in the face of climate change,” said Mayor Bowser. “Under our Sustainable DC plan, the District is investing in green infrastructure and spurring economic growth. We are also implementing more sustainable improvements in living standards for our citizens by planning a dense, connected city that is prepared to withstand climate impacts. Our participation in the Summit is an opportunity to both strengthen ties abroad as well as ensure the continued resilience and vitality of the District in light of climate threats.”
DCEN greatly appreciates Mayor Bowser’s commitment to being a global climate leader and believe District agencies are working hard to protect District residents from climate change impacts. The fact that the Mayor took the time to participate in the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City is something we can and should be proud of. We are excited to offer the opportunity to get briefed on what occurred in Mexico City to DCEN participants. Our panelists, who also attended the C40 Mayors Summit, include:
Tommy Wells, Director, Department of Energy and Environment
Bill Updike, Chief, Green Building and Climate Branch, Department of Energy and Environment
Brendan Shane, Regional Director for North America, C40 Climate Leadership Group
Mayor Muriel Bowser (Invited)
Some background information: