• City Budget, Food Rescue, Clean ups and more!

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    May 16, 2019

    Proposed City Budget for 
    Fiscal Year 2020
    The City Manager has released his recommended FY 2020-2021 budget to the Mayor. 
    That proposal would make three significant changes to the Office of Environment and Sustainability: 
    First, it eliminates the position of the Director of OES (Larry Falkin's position). 
    Second, it eliminates funding for the Urban Agriculture Program. The Urban Ag program makes City-owned land available for community gardens and other food production, and provides mini-grants to help local growers be more successful.
    Third, it eliminates funding for the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance. OES uses an annual contract with GCEA to promote energy efficiency improvements; administer the Solarize Cincinnati program; and administer the PACE Financing program.
    The Mayor has until May 24, 2019 to provide City Council with his amended recommendations and then Council must approve a final budget no later than June 31,2019. 
    The Mayor and City Council appreciate hearing from constituents and taking identified priorities into consideration. If you would like to voice your opinion about the budget there are several mechanisms and opportunities.
    You can reach the Mayor and all 9 Council members by emailing CityCouncil@cincinnati-oh.gov
    You can also speak at any or all of the following Budget Hearings (all begin at 6:00 p.m.):
    May 29  LeBlond Recreation Center
    2335 Riverside Drive
    June 3   UC Innovation Hub
    2900 Reading Road
    June 4   Madcap Theatre
    3064 Harrison Avenue
    For more information on the process and to see the proposed timetable click here .
    To see the page from the proposed budget that deals with OES, please click here.
    For those that want to review OES' recent accomplishments, click here to see the OES 2018 Year in Review Newsletter, which came out in January, 2019.   

    OES invites you to engage your community and join our 
    May 2019 Food Rescue Challenge! 
    This month the 'Year of Living Sustainably' 
    is partnering with Cincinnati non-profit 
    La Soupe to prevent food waste and 
    feed hungry families!
    The Food Rescue US app connects excess food with people who need it. If you have a valid driver's license please sign up as a 'Food Rescuer' and volunteer to pick up excess food to be distributed to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Follow this link or go to www.tinyurl.com/yolspledge
    You can also encourage potential food donors and recipient organizations to get involved! At the end of May, the neighborhood with the most new drivers registered will have the chance to host a free sustainability workshop and be featured in the Office of Environment and Sustainability's
    Help Make a Difference!

    OES Welcomes Carla Walker 
    as Climate Advisor

    In October of 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that Cincinnati would be one of 25 cities to participate in the American Cities Climate Challenge. This 2-year program will support and accelerate efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future. Climate Challenge cities received funding from the Natural Resources Defense Council for a Climate Advisor to facilitate the development and passage of high impact policies. The City of Cincinnati's Office of Environment and Sustainability is proud to announce that Carla Walker will be taking on that role.
    Ms. Walker will be working to reduce carbon emissions by working with city officials and community stakeholders. Her projects include installing large-scale renewable generation to power the Greater Cincinnati Water Works; providing 100% renewable energy power to City government; advancing energy efficiency programs for the commercial and residential building sectors; and supporting the development of a robust 2030 District to engage corporate partners around sustainability.
    Ms. Walker's face is well-known in City Hall, where she worked as the Chief of Staff to Mayor Mark Mallory. She left that position to found her own consulting firm, think BIG strategies, llc, where she creates and executes public relations and strategic campaigns for not for profit, start up and public sector clients, with a specialty in environmental projects and those that have a global impact. 
    Carla helped facilitate the creation of the City's 2018 Green Cincinnati Plan and was appointed by Mayor Cranley to serve on the Cincinnati Environmental Advisory Council last year.
    Carla holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, a Master's degree in Environmental Science & Engineering from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Cincinnati. She has made a tremendous impact through her work connecting and engaging people locally, regionally, and internationally. The OES is thrilled to have her expertise guiding our efforts to build a Green Cincinnati.

    The Year of Living Sustainably's Topic for May is FOOD!

    Did you know that food production accounts for about 16% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US? Which means just a few small changes to your diet can go a long way towards making a healthier planet!

    Join Liz Congleton for one of our monthly events or follow us on Facebook (@GreenCincinnatiPlan) for daily tips on how to green your lifestyle. When you're ready, visit www.tinyurl.com/yolspledge to commit to one action that will make your diet more sustainable and be entered to win a one-month CSA share courtesy of Our Harvest Cooperative!

    To date the Year of Living Sustainably has had:

    521 commitments to live more sustainably
    54 community engagements
    7 local leaders recognized as 'Leaders in           Sustainability'
    3 monthly challenges
    270 followers on social media
    Over $400 worth of monthly prizes
    May is Bike Month!

    Warm weather and lots of daylight mean there's no more excuse to stay indoors! There are literally too many cycling events this month for us to list them all here, from a group ride of the 26.2 mile Flying Pig course to a 'tap and ride' with a keg of Taft's Red Bicicletta, brewed in partnership with Cincy RedBike! 
    Head to https://queencitybike.org/cincybikemonth and check out what the month has in store or to add your own bike month event!
    Spotlight: East Walnut Hills, Evanston, and Walnut Hills 
    Clean Up

    On April 6th, Alexandra Rock and Tony Fischer, President, of the East Walnut Hills Assembly, in partnership with the Year of Living Sustainably and Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, gathered over 20 volunteers for the first of its monthly neighborhood cleanups. Most of those present were residents of East Walnut Hills, but volunteers came from as far away as Northside and Milford. "We weren't sure how many folks would show up, but the response was very strong. The people of the neighborhood really appreciate Liz and the City's Office of Environment & Sustainability leading this campaign. Without their guidance we wouldn't have been able to start this new community event," said Fischer.

    Team leaders determined which parts of the neighborhood they wanted to focus on and participants spent the morning chatting, enjoying the spring weather, and learning what type of litter can be recycled in curbside collection bins. The cleanup was particularly apt in light of April's theme of Flood Resilience, as one of the things residents can do to prevent flooding is to keep storm drains clear of litter and other debris. All in all, 25 bags of trash and 8 bags of recycling were collected.

    The East Walnut Hills Community Council would like to make this event a monthly occurrence, rotating to neighboring Evanston, O'Bryonville, and Walnut Hills. Learn more by following @eastwalnuthills on Facebook and Instagram or by visiting their website at eastwalnuthills.org.

    Solarize Cincy is back to help the Greater Cincinnati area save on solar installations. By leveraging the buying power of our region, the City of Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance are able to bring solar to homeowners at a discount.  
    Thursday, May 16 
    Pleasant Ridge Branch Library 
    6233 Montgomery Road from 6:30-7:30 pm
    The time to act is now. The federal tax credit that allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system decreases in 2019. Find out if solar works for you!
    Please join us!
    May 28
    6 - 7 p.m.
    Colerain Township
    4200 Springdale Road
    June 1 2 -3 p.m. Silverton
    High Grain Brewing
    6860 Plainfield Road
    June 3 7 - 8 p.m. Symmes Township
    Public Library
    11850 Enyart Road, Loveland
    June 5 7 - 8 p.m. Union Township
    Civic Center
    4350 Aicholtz Road
    • Talk to local solar experts 
    • Meet residents who have installed solar and hear how it works for them
    • Get a free solar assessment for your home
    Click here for an on-line solar assessment of your roof.
    www.solarizecincy.org for more information

    The Mission of OES is to lead 
    Cincinnati City Government 
    and the broader community 
    toward sustainability and the practice of 
    good environmental stewardship.