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NOTE: Press Releases are listed in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top).


135th Street Transfer Station Stays Shut, As Mayor Reopens Gansevoort Station
Date: Friday, November 12, 2004
With Harlem communities suffering under a cloud of air pollution from diesel combustion and grappling with an asthma crisis so acute it earned mention in the Democratic nominee’s July acceptance speech, Mayor Bloomberg's plan to reopen the 135th Street Marine Transfer Station (MTS) sparked strident protestations here in Harlem. In a community already beleaguered by a disproportionate share of environmental hazards, the mayor's announced decision to pursue a different course is welcome news.
(Full Press Release)

MTA Agrees to Meet Directly With Community Residents
Date: Friday, November 12, 2004
Since June, WE ACT staff and community leaders living near three bus depots in Northern Manhattan have been meeting with representatives from the New York City Transit Agency (NYCT) of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). In the spring, NYCT had essentially approached WE ACT to ask whether we would be willing to meet with them and discuss our differences. Initially skeptical of NYCT's intentions, WE ACT and community leaders Millicent Redick, Yvonne Mathews, and Charles Perry met cautiously with key personnel from NYCT, including Butch Seay, the head of bus operations, and John Walsh, the head of research and development for the agency.
(Full Press Release)

Order Copies of Harlem on the River: Making a Community Vision Real!!!
Date: Friday, November 12, 2004
Harlem on the River is WE ACT’s self-published handbook chronicling the organizing that galvanized West Harlem and helped reclaim the fate of Harlem’s waterfront. With construction of a community-inspired waterfront park just months away, this book gives readers a peek into the WE ACT-Community Board 9 process that helped place the waterfront’s future firmly in the hands of the community.
(Full Press Release)

Court Throws Out Lead Paint Lawsuits, City Kids Cheer
Date: Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Two lawsuits seeking to nullify The New York City Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Local Law 1) were dismissed by a New York court in August. Brought by a coalition of landlords and housing groups, the suit sought to repeal the law, which requires landlords to conduct annual inspections for lead paint hazards in apartments where children under 7 reside.
(Full Press Release)

Peggy M. Shepard Receives 2004 Dean’s Award from Columbia Mailman School
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2004
In recognition of her leadership and commitment to promoting environmental justice for the children, youth, and families of Northern Manhattan, Ms. Shepard, executive director and co-founder of West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT), will receive the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. Since its inception in 1988, Shepard has guided WE ACT to become a nationally recognized organization in the field of community-based participatory research. Partnering with the Mailman School and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Shepard has led the way in fostering cooperation between researchers, clinicians, and the community on environmental health education and outreach. Ms. Shepard’s pioneering work in environmental justice—a movement which seeks redress for the heavy share of environmental burdens borne by communities of color—garnered the 10th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment last December.
(Full Press Release)

MTA to Manage Private Buses in the City: But Where Are the Buses Going?
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Mayor Bloomberg, Gov. Pataki, and MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow announced yesterday that the operation of seven private bus lines in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx will be transferred to the MTA this summer. At City Hall yesterday, Mr. Kalikow noted that the MTA will integrate the city buses into its existing fleet - an indication that already overtaxed depots throughout Northern Manhattan may be slated for the overflow. Given that the 1998 closure of the Walnut Bus Depot in the Bronx dislocated two hundred diesel buses to Northern Manhattan and led to an upshot in bus idling, a likely decline in overall public health, and a host of service-related problems, the potential for an unwelcome flashback is rightly piquing concern. Over 1200 aging buses will change hands, the question is: Where will they be placed?
(Full Press Release)

"City Kids: Better, Smarter Unleaded"
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2004
With the eerie glow of some newfangled abacus -a Bloomberg terminal designed specially for policy wonks- lighting his countenance, Gotham's chief exec calculated a veto that left a thousand little stockings heavy with lead last holiday. But City lawmakers countermanded Wednesday with a tidy fraction all their own: 44-to-5.
(ENGLISH: Full Op-Ed)
(ESPAÑOL: Full Op-Ed)

"Sheparding" Environmental Justice
Date: Monday, January 5, 2004
An environmental crusader who fought urban ecological hazards through grassroots advocacy and determined leadership was selected to receive the Heinz Award for the Environment, one of the largest individual achievement prizes in the world last month. Peggy Shepard, founder and executive director of West Harlem Environmental Action and a tireless champion for the quality of life within urban America, was one of five notable recipients of the $250,000 awards, presented in five categories by the Heinz Family Foundation in December.
(Full Press Release)

Date: Monday, January 5, 2004
West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT), an environmental justice group advocating for the health and well-being of Northern Manhattan residents, celebrated its fifteenth year in existence on Tuesday, October 21st, by honoring nine heroes and "sheroes" who have made significant contributions to the struggle for environmental justice in Northern Manhattan's Black and Latino enclaves.
(Full Press Release)

Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2003
With the mingled odor of diesel exhaust and day-old rubbish growing increasingly distinct at 342 East 100th Street, embittered tenants of the Harlem high-rise are set to tell their elected officials why Department of Sanitation practices stink.
(Full Press Release)

ROAD RAGE AT 100th STREET? Residents Take on MTA at September 7th Rally
Date: Monday, September 8, 2003
With kids already gasping for air in the country's Asthma Capital, why is New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority coming to the rescue with a fleet of tailpipe inhalers? WE ACT, elected officials, and East Harlem residents posed this query to the MTA with bullhorns and placards this past September.
(Full Press Release)

On 40th Anniversary of Civil Rights March on Washington, Northern Manhattan Activists, Residents and Officials Accuse MTA of Environmental Racism in Depot Siting
Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2003
With the MTA buses servicing New York's urban grid spewing an unduly heavy share of their noxious exhaust in predominately black and Latino enclaves, many residents are saying that when it comes to their civil rights: the air still isn't clear.
(Full Press Release)

Harlem Asthma Study Confirms WE ACT’S Claim: If You Live Uptown, Breathe at Your Own Risk
Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2003
An alarming new study, citing that one in four children in central Harlem has asthma, makes another strong case for how a disproportionate number of Upper Manhattan residents suffer from environmental threats and hazards. The study, conducted by Harlem Hospital Center and Harlem Children’s Zone, focused on about 2,000 children under the age of 13 who live or attend school within a 24-square block area of central Harlem. Results from the study indicate that Harlem has one of the highest asthma rates in the country.
(Full Press Release)

Harlem Group Applauds Selection of Community Vision as Benchmark for Harlem Piers Redevelopment
Date: Thursday, February 01, 2001
"We applaud the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for rejecting the inappropriate development proposals for the Harlem Piers waterfront and choosing instead to use the Harlem on the River community plan as a basis for development on the site. Their announcement comes after years of community planning and grassroots organizing to ensure that the Harlem Piers redevelopment is viable and vibrant," said West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT) Executive Director Peggy Shepard. "The Harlem on the River plan represents the missing link in the greenway bordering the Hudson River and incorporates green space and economic vitality for the West Harlem community," said Ms. Shepard.
(Full Press Release)

Harlem Environmental Group Files a Title VI Discrimination Complaint Against the MTA
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2000
On Wednesday, November 15, West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT) filed a Title VI complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation stating that New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) advances a racist, discriminatory policy of disproportionately siting diesel bus depots and diesel bus parking lots in minority neighborhoods in Manhattan.
(Full Press Release)


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