ONE TECHNOLOGY ON THE HORIZON THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
Driverless cars. Just thinking about how they could change the way we design and use public spaces gets me excited about the possibilities.
YOUR TOPIC IF YOU WERE ASKED TO GIVE A TED TALK
I once gave a presentation similar to a TED talk on how to be good at karaoke!
THE NEXT BIG IDEA WILL COME FROM
Making something old new again. Older generations often practiced sustainability out of necessity—from reusable milk jugs to using all parts of an animal. What else can we learn from our past to help solve today’s problems?
ONE BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ
For Philadelphians, I always recommend A Prayer for the City by Buzz Bissinger for a great primer on city and neighborhood politics.
FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
Bicycles are the best way to take in your city and are usually the fastest way to get around.
WASTEFUL HABIT YOU’RE TRYING TO KICK
I hate creating food waste. Even though I compost, I always think of all the work that went into producing the food and of those who suffer from hunger, which makes it all the more heartbreaking.
MOST FULFILLING HOBBY
Volunteering with my neighborhood civic association where I’ve been on the board for 10 years. We fight litter, plant trees, support our local schools, review zoning variances, and generally bring neighbors together.
GREATEST PROFESSIONAL PET PEEVE
Not knowing who the decision makers are on the issues you care about.
A CURRENT EVENT WE SHOULD FOLLOW MORE CLOSELY
The fight over the Clean Power Plan and whether the EPA will be able to move it ahead.
CAUSE YOU’D SUPPORT IF YOU HAD A BILLION DOLLARS
Campaign finance reform.
FIRST STEP TOWARD BECOMING A STEWARD OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Voting. Individual action is wonderful, but the politics and laws that govern us all make such a bigger impact, so we need elected officials that will act on these issues.
MOST MEANINGFUL PROJECT YOU’VE COMPLETED
While with the Philadelphia Water Department, I helped start PowercorpsPHL, an Americorps program for at risk youth that provides on-the-job training in the service of the environment. The Powercorps members serve with dedication and passion, and often go on to pursue sustainability related degrees or careers.
PERSON WHO HAS MOST INFLUENCED YOUR PHILOSOPHY
Van Jones’s work to connect the environment solutions with economic progress permanently shifted the way I approach my work and how I engage people in it.
BUILDING TREND YOU HOPE WILL NEVER GO OUT OF FASHION
Maximizing daylight. Who enjoys spending their day in the dark?
WHAT YOU WOULD TELL THE GREEN MOVEMENT IF IT WAS YOUR CHILD
Go make friends! Hang out with other issues—health, community quality of life, economic development, public safety, art, and more!
WAY TO MAKE THE ENVIRONMENT A NON-PARTISAN ISSUE
Science education. If more people, particularly politicians, understood the science of climate change, they would understand the imperative to act.
MOST COMPELLING ARGUMENT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
From an urban perspective, we’re now seeing more studies confirming the connection between environmental stewardship and positive community benefits, such as reducing crime and improving property values. A green space, even if it’s just a few trees or a rain garden, can make marked differences in both physical and mental health. Stewardship is the difference between a vacant lot strewn with trash and a vibrant community garden.
ENVIRONMENTAL COME-TO-JESUS MOMENT
Working with neighbors who lived in the shadow of the Sunoco refinery in Southwest Philadelphia and seeing environmental health and justice issues firsthand.
FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE TRAVELED
Vietnam. It exceeded any expectations I had and delivered some of the most beautiful landscapes and delicious food I’ve ever had.
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