Anti-Poverty Work Can Be "Green"

Environmental sustainability can be consistent, and even synonymous, with an anti-poverty agenda.  For example, green construction is greenest when housing is rehabilitated, not built new on pristine farmland.  Weatherization of homes not only saves low-income people money, it reduces demand for non-renewable energy, much of which is imported from hostile countries.  Preserving open space in the suburbs and rural areas pushes development toward cities and boroughs, where most poor people live. 

CACLV’S Environmental Record May Be Unparalleled Locally

CACLV, therefore, may be the most effective environmental organization in the region.  Following is a list of CACLV “green” initiatives:

  • Weatherizing more than 750 homes per year for more than 20 years;

  • Installing a dozen solar water heaters per year in low-income homes for the past five years;

  • Conceiving, organizing and passing voter referenda in Lehigh and Northampton counties to generate $67 million for open space preservation and the creation of municipal parks;

  • Leading the creation and administration of RenewLV, the leading regional smart growth coalition in Pennsylvania;

  • Establishing the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership’s Urban Ecology program, including plans for planting 500 trees, creating more than 30 urban gardens, teaching kids to appreciate and respect their natural environment, creating a major, new riverfront park, and a ground-breaking green housing rehab initiative.

  • Our executive director was a founding director of the Sustainable Energy Fund, established as a result of the negotiated settlement between the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and PPL following passage of the bill restructuring Pennsylvania's retail electric distribution in the late 1990s. The Fund, which was capitalized with more than $70 million in ratepayer funds, is designed to promote and invest in renewable energy.