NETWORK UPDATES

SSDN 2020 Annual Meeting Registration is Open to All Members!

It’s that time of year SSDN!  Please be sure to register for our 2020 Annual Meeting no later than March 31st, and begin the process of planning your travel to Savannah. Below you can find specific details about the meeting, but you can also learn more about our upcoming meeting and past meetings by visiting the SSDN Annual Meeting website page! 

Event Dates: May 4th-6th
Location: The Brice Hotel, Savannah,GA
Accommodations: The Brice Hotel (SSDN Staff handles the group booking. Please do not book your own room)
**We will be sending out a survey in March with more details about breakout sessions, tours and professional development opportunities. 

NETWORK IN ACTION

SSDN joins the Peoples Institute for their Undoing Racism Workshop in New Orleans, LA:

“Racism is the single most critical barrier to building effective coalitions for social change. Racism has been consciously and systematically erected, and it can be undone only if people understand what it is, where it comes from, how it functions, and why it is perpetuated.” -The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond

Through dialogue and reflection, the intensive process facilitated at the Undoing Racism workshop by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, challenged SSDN’s leadership team to analyze the structures of power and privilege that prevent social equity, a process that ultimately helps us become more effective organizers for justice. Over the course of our three day workshop, Meg and Vanessa, along with the other 15+ participants, worked to develop a common definition of racism and an understanding of its different forms: individual, institutional, linguistic, and cultural.  We examined racism in the United States, grew an understanding of our own connection to institutional racism and its impact on our work, discussed why people are poor and the role institutions have in exacerbating institutional racism, looked at the historical context for how U.S. institutions came to be and who they have been designed to serve and learned how all of us are adversely impacted by racism every day. 

We left New Orleans and the People’s Institute with invaluable knowledge about how to be more effective in the work we do with SSDN, in our Asheville community, and at home with our families. We both agree that participating in this training again in the near future would only benefit us by continuing to engage in this important conversation. 

SSDN articles “Duck Hill, Mississippi Is on the Rise” and “Building Resilience and Preserving History in Charleston” have been included in a new Island Press E-Book:

We are excited to announce that Resilience Matters: Action in an Age of Uncertainty is the new e-book recently released by Island Press Urban Resilience Project, features SSDN stories about our Southeast Sustainable Community Fund (SSCF) communities, Duck Hill, MS and Charleston, SC. We love sharing these stories, so take a moment to read them and pass them along to others! 

SUSTAINABILITY IN OUR COMMUNITIES

Charlotte is the Largest US City to Purchase Renewable Energy Through a Green Tariff:
This week, the city council in SSDN member city Charlotte, North Carolina approved a collaboration that highlights the innovative approaches taken in their partnerships to become a 100% Clean Energy city. Charlotte partnered with solar developers Carolina Solar Energy and Ecoplexus to be the first municipality to submit an off-site, utility-scale solar energy project to Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage (GSA) green tariff program. Check out the full article to learn more about what Charlotte is accomplishing!

Megan Houston, Director, Palm Beach County Office of Resilience Get Appointed to Florida Advisory Council on Climate & Energy
On Monday, the Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried announced the launch of the new Florida Advisory Council on Climate & Energy (FACCE). This committee of energy and climate professionals will advise the Commissioner and the Office of Energy in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on modernizing energy and climate policies, diversifying energy sources, increasing energy efficiency, and creating solutions for Florida’s energy and climate future. Congratulations to SSDN member Megan Houston for being appointed to this important role! 

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Katelyn Cucinotta, Palm Beach County, FL:

Hi! I’m Katelyn Cucinotta, an environmental analyst for Palm Beach County’s Office of Resilience focused on coastal adaptation, developing a countywide Resilience Action Plan, and geospatial studies.

Growing up in Palm Beach County, most of my childhood memories are either in, on, or under the water. This, along with an early exposure to the tragic effects of marine debris, led me to pursue a life in protecting the environment. Starting out with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy, I hoped to end up working in fisheries or general marine conservation and knew I would need to attend graduate school. Once I completed my masters degree at USF St. Petersburg, I started a research assistantship at Nova Southeastern University where I worked offshore growing and transplanting endangered staghorn corals and monitoring reefs from Fort Pierce to Key Biscayne.

Due to my work as a research assistant, I continued to be exposed to the large amount of marine debris that I saw everywhere – on Florida’s reefs, surfing in Puerto Rico, and in South Florida’s many canals and marinas. This led to me starting a social media campaign to encourage others to help keep our oceans waste free #take4Florida. The social media campaign was widely successful and eventually led to a new job opportunity – developing and managing a marine debris program for a nonprofit organization. I later went on to work as a Wildlife Specialist for NextEra Energy Resources traveling across the country, but soon returned to Florida where my heart is. The Palm Beach County Office of Resilience position came as a complete surprise, and when I saw the opportunity to tie all of my passions together I simply couldn’t resist.

Now you know how I landed in this fancy cubicle in Palm Beach County, but if you want to learn more about my home life, feel free to catch up with me at the upcoming SSDN meeting. You’re also all welcome to come visit any time, and I can take you surfing or diving, and introduce you to my rescue dogs, Squid and Jelly!

Oh, and I have a photography website here!  https://www.mammasquid.com/

NEWS AND RESOURCES
SEEA Announces two new reports important to our build environment:
Adapting to the 2018 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code: Lessons from the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index– This report is based on HERS data gathered in Carolina from 2014-2016. This data and analysis can help us better understand the state of the building industry in North Carolina and how builders will be able to adapt to the 2018 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code. 
State of the Panhandle- A Snapshot of Energy Codes in the Florida Panhandle: This report provides an assessment of building code compliance in the Florida Panhandle and the continued work of the Florida Circuit Rider program, which began in 2014. It further examines the future of energy codes in the panhandle region of the state, particularly in the wake of rebuilding after Hurricane Michael.

Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award 2020 Application Cycle Now Open:
The Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award recognizes up to five mid-career women of color making an environmental impact in communities across the country with prizes of $10,000 per winner, as well as networking and recognition throughout the year. 
Applynominate, or forward this email to a potential candidate.

Verge: Circularity 20 Conference
Accelerating the Circular Economy
May 18-20, 2020 in Atlanta, GA
Register here

New Tool for State and Local Leaders – SLOPE
The SLOPE Platform, a collaboration between eight DOE technology offices and NREL, is a tool to enable more data-driven state and local energy planning by integrating dozens of distinct sources of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and (coming soon) sustainable transportation data and analyses into an easy-to-access, online platform that supports state and local decision making. Review the SLOPE fact sheet to learn more. 

Electrify the South 2020 Conference
A regional convening of electric transportation thought and implementation leaders from the Southeast and around the country.
June 4-5, 2020 in Asheville, NC
Register here

National Adaptation Forum: Action Today for a Better Tomorrow
Coordinated by EcoAdapt, the National Adaptation Forum will be held April 26-28, 2021 in Atlanta, GA. The Forum is created by and for members of the adaptation community and will focus on established and emerging issues. Visit the website to learn more.   

Nature-Based and Green Infrastructure Solutions Grants
New APA Green Infrastructure TA grants are available through the American Planning Association, with support from the Pisces Foundation. Visit the APA website for details. 

Climate Change Projects In Need of Support?
The Howard University School of Law Environmental Justice Center is looking for projects to support across the country. Dr. Carlton Waterhouse launched the Environmental Justice Center with three main goals: 1.) provide direct support to communities and state agencies to help with policy analysis, 2.) educate state agencies and other institutions on environmental justice, and 3.) raise the capacity of traditional, non-traditional and environmental justice organizations on various environmental issues. The center has a particular interest in supporting climate change projects.

Florida- Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) Phase 1 – Now Open
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces a competitive grant funding opportunity for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Funds are available for Level 3 (DC fast) charging near the following Interstate highways: I-95, I-295, I-75, I-275, and I-4. The Department intends to fund approximately 27 charging station sites along these evacuation corridors. Each site will be eligible for up to $500,000 in grant funding, and cost-share requirements may apply. Applications are due to the Department’s Division of Air Resource Management by April 7, 2020, at 5:00 PM E.T. The Request for Applications (RFA), which includes information on project eligibility and instructions for how to apply, is available on the Department’s Volkswagen Settlement webpage at the following link: http://www.floridadep.gov/volkswagen. The RFA is also available through the Vendor Bid System at the following link: http://www.myflorida.com/apps/vbs/vbs_www.main_menu.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Tesla Hiring for Positions Across the Southeast
Project Developer – Atlanta, GA
Project Developer – Charlotte, NC
Project Developer – Nashville, TN
Installation Manager – Atlanta, GA
Installation Manager – Charlotte, NC
Installation Manager – New Orleans, LA

CALL TO ACTION
Start to look into your travel plans to get to the Annual Meeting. We are only two months away and flights can get expensive! We also are encouraging members to carpool if that is an option. Either way, we can’t wait to see you!