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Boston LISC Staff blog

Mattapan United Walking Tour: Highlights - Rebecca Schofield

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On July 23rd, Mattapan United led a walking tour of Mattapan for the Social Justice Funder’s Network and Associated Grant Maker’s summer outing. Mattapan, where poverty rates are higher and incomes are lower than the Boston average, has been overlooked by funders for far too long. The Mattapan United walking tour was an opportunity to bridge that divide between over 20 funders and the Mattapan community.

Mattapan Unitedis a four year old coalition, funded by Boston LISC, with a mission to organize the community and identify priorities for the future of development and quality of life improvements in the neighborhood. A core group of over a dozen community leaders has led the local coalition, engaging hundreds of others in community meetings, surveys, and data analysis to identify Mattapan’s 6 priorities. The coalition’s convening agency, ABCD’s Mattapan Family Service Center, provides leadership, space, and a full time staff person to coordinate the initiative.

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LISC Hosts LEED Green Associate Training

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Steve Griffith - April 3, 2014

On March 18th, LISC partnered with the Massachusetts Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC-MA) to host an intensive, one-day LEED Green Associate training. The LEED Green Associate accreditation, achieved by passing the requisite exam, is the first tier of professional credentialing offered by the Green Building Certification Institute. In preparation of the exam, this training delved into the fundamental principles of the LEED green building rating system, including water efficiency, clean energy, indoor air quality, and waste management strategies.

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Intern Update: Writing a Master's Thesis

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Steve Griffith - March 26, 2014
 
As a final stepping-stone to the achievement of my master's degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, I am currently working to finalize my thesis, tentatively entitled “The Natural Gas Dilemma in New England’s Electricity Sector”.
 
Currently, more than 50 percent of  New England’s electricity is generated by natural gas. Although 'cleaner' than coal or oil generation, natural gas is a fossil fuel that contributes to climate change-inducing greenhouse gas emissions. My thesis explores experts' perspectives on state and regional policy opportunities available to reconcile this natural gas reliance with the region's ambitious long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. To inform the thesis, I conducted fifteen interviews with regional energy and climate experts from non-profit advocacy and association groups, private sector energy consultancies, environmental protection agencies, state utility commissions, and regional energy authorities.  
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Reflections on the NESEA Building Energy ’14 Conference

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Steve Griffith - March 12, 2014

Last week, I attended my first Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Building Energy conference. The annual event brings together a range of professionals focused on green communities, including: architects, city planners, developers, energy experts, financiers, policymakers, and property managers. Hosted at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center, the conference was a buzzing three-day affair rife with discussion forums, learning sessions, trade shows, and workshops. Although present for just one day, I left the conference with heightened understanding of renewable energy technologies and the political and financial tools available for their incitement, as well as a regenerated optimism inspired by the passion and progress of conference attendees.

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LISC Visits the White House - Bob Van Meter

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Affordable healthcare coverage available through the Affordable Care Act can improve the lives of low and moderate income residents in affordable housing.  Affordable housing providers and advocates can help make the Affordable Care Act a success by helping to reaching hundreds of thousands of residents of affordable housing and the homeless with information about health care coverage.  Those were the twin messages of a national convening of HUD stakeholders called by the White House Office of Public Engagement on February 11th.

The meeting was called to rally the involvement of housing and homeless organizations and get our ideas on how to work together with health advocates especially over the weeks between now and the March 31st sign up deadline to avoid any penalty for remaining without coverage.

My colleague  Rhode Island LISC Executive Director, Jeanne Cola and I were invited to participate in the meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for Housing and Homelessness Stakeholders on New Opportunities for Enrollment in Health Care Coverage.  We went through the security gauntlet to enter the Executive Office Building and found ourselves in a beautiful 19th century building where many of the doors had plates on the door with “Office of Science and Technology no entry without security clearance”.  Jeanne played the tourist part and took pictures of the hall ways and the important sounding agency names on many of the doors.

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