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December 5, 2016

Mayor Baraka Hires Chief Sustainability Officer and Convenes Interdepartmental Team Focused on Making Newark healthy, Green, and Vibrant

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Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that the City of Newark is staffing up to tackle environmental health and quality of life issue. The measures start with the appointment of a new Chief Sustainability Officer, Nathaly Agosto Filión. She will work with representatives from various municipal departments, the Environmental Commission, and members of the Newark community to advance a multi-pronged agenda aimed at making Newark a healthier and greener city.       

“Bringing on a Chief Sustainability Officer as part of my administration is an important milestone in a long history of Newark residents fighting for a cleaner, healthier environment,” said Mayor Baraka. “All of Newark’s children should grow up in an environment that nurtures them. This means getting dangerous toxins out of our neighborhoods, and making sure families have access to the same environmental assets that their suburban counterparts enjoy – parks, playgrounds, trees, healthy food, affordable energy bills, working water infrastructure, and green job opportunities. Nathaly brings tremendous experience and passion to this work, and I welcome her to our team.”

As Chief Sustainability Officer, Mrs. Agosto Filión will strengthen partnerships with State, Federal and local agencies as well as community stakeholders and continue to advance the goals laid out in the Newark Sustainability Action Plan. Accomplishments under this plan to date include:

  • City Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) task force working to integrate GSI  into City capital plans, develop policies and standards for GSI projects, and support community-driven GSI efforts already underway in all five     wards.
  • Largest municipal energy savings performance contract in New Jersey is expected to reduce energy use in municipal buildings by at least 20 percent.
  • Active partnerships with the US Department of Energy, New Jersey Office of Clean Energy and the Solar Foundation to advance clean energy and energy efficiency programs.
  • Urban farms and community gardens on City land help residents to produce thousands of pounds of healthy produce annually.
  • Youth-led urban forestry initiative to engage teens and expand Newark’s tree canopy. A mini-documentary on the Newark Greenstreets Initiative is available here:

Mrs. Agosto Filión comes to the City of Newark after working nearly a decade in the urban sustainability field. Most recently she was the Resiliency Manager with Sustainable Jersey, where she connected post-Sandy communities with recovery and resiliency resources. Prior to relocating to New Jersey, she worked at the Institute for Sustainable Communities, where she developed and delivered national and regional capacity-building programs for local governments on climate change and sustainability.