The Newark Environmental Commission (NEC) was formed in 2009 by Municipal Ordinance. It is comprised of Newark residents who serve in a volunteer capacity. Its mission is to support Newark’s efforts to protect and promote its natural resources and become the greenest city in the Garden State.
The Commission is charged with protecting and promoting Newark’s environment. It makes recommendations, initiates and oversees environmental policies and practices, and advises the Mayor and Council on environmental issues. The Commission works to address environmental education, air pollution, brownfields, solid waste, environmental and public health, and the conservation and protection of natural resources. The Commission is currently coordinating an Environmental Resource Inventory for the City of Newark.
NEC members are appointed by the Mayor and the Municipal Council. East Ward resident Cynthia Mellon and South Ward resident Wynnie-Fred Hinds currently serve as Co-Chairs of the Newark Environmental Commission.
The Newark Environmental Commission holds its monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of every month, with the exception of August. Meetings take place in Room 304 at City Hall – 920 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.
The Newark Environmental Commission meeting dates for 2016 are listed below:
- January 6
- February 3
- March 2
- April 6
- May 4
- June 1
- July 6
- September 7
- October 5
- November 2
- December 7
Cynthia Mellon served as Environmental Justice Organizer from 2007 to 2015 for the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) in Newark’s East Ward, one of the most environmentally polluted urban areas in the United States. As an educator, Cynthia has worked with people of all ages to understand and confront threats to health and the environment. She is particularly concerned with climate change and its effects on our food system. She recently graduated with a certificate in Urban Agriculture from Farm School NYC and is a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program.
Wynnie-Fred Victor Hinds has over 20 years of experience working with private, public, grassroots organizations and businesses in the U.S. and abroad. Some include Bread for the World in Washington D.C., Maryknoll Lay Missioners in South America, Circulos Femeninos Populares in Venezuela, the United Population Fund in New York and Egypt, and Changing Images in NJ. She has collaborated and done consultancy work on environmental, sustainability, health, economic, recreation with various organizations, local officials and stakeholders. She is the Executive Director and Founder of Stepping Stones Resources, Inc., a 501 that does community outreach and organizing to get people involved in the decision-making process to find tangible solutions to issues that affect our environment, health and quality of life. She is also a member of the Newark Water Group, an organization that advocates for public control of Newark’s Water and Sewer System. She is fluent in Haitian Kreyol, Spanish, and French, and has a B.A. in Economics and Management & Administration, and a M.S. in International Relations.
Bill Barnes is a dedicated and passionate member of his community. He served as an environmental health specialist and housing consultant for years, working on many federal, state, and local government levels throughout his career. He is a proud native Newarker and Central Ward resident. He enjoys giving back to his community, inspiring innovation and raising awareness on relevant issues, and promoting equal opportunities for all residents.
Michael Lockett has been an Essex County resident for the past 53 years and devotes a great deal of his time and energy to his community. He acts as a Democratic County Committee Member and has been a Union Laborer for 28 years. He is the Essex County Business Representative for Laborers Local 3 and also serves as the Local 3 Vice President. He is a dedicated and passionate community activist and displays this as both a Planning Board Commissioner and a Newark Environmental Commissioner.
Nicole Miller, Principal of MnM Consulting, is a communications professional with more than a decade of experience creating targeted publicity and marketing campaigns for clients in private industry and the non-profit sector. MnM Consulting specializes in media development, digital and print publishing, brand strategy, content creation, and clean energy and environmental sustainability education for business and general audiences. MnM Consulting works with small business, government, and non-profit clients across a range of industries on brand development, project management, event coordination, and product deployment. Nicole has a B.A. in Arts, Media & Culture from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University in New York.
Christopher A. Watson was born in Guyana, South America and received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Guyana. During college he worked with the renowned Canadian volunteer organization Youth Challenge International as Assistant Project Director. After college, he worked with Matthew’s Associates, an environmental consultancy group, conducting environmental impact assessments for the Government of Guyana. In 2001, Chris immigrated to the US after briefly living in Canada. He gained his Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs and Planning, with honors, from Hunter College, CUNY. While there, he worked on a research project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation titled “Expanding Activity Space: Engaging Low-Income Populations in the Visualization of Travel Behavior and Mobility Barriers,” which resulted in the web transportation mapping tool www.expandingactivityspace.org. Chris is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the joint Urban Systems program at the College of Architecture and Design, NJIT and Rutgers’ Graduate Center. Some of his research interests include the intersections of poverty, race, and class and the physical and socio-political impacts and consequences of gentrification in American cities. He is the Director of Operations at New York City’s largest public health care union. He is a proud home owner in Newark and has dedicated his talents to the transformation of his community and adopted city.
Isella Ramirez grew up in Commerce, CA, a city overburdened with industrial pollution just southeast of downtown Los Angeles. In 2014, she moved to Newark, NJ and plans to raise a family here. She believes in the power of collective community action and is interested in combining her passion for environmental justice with planning tools to effectively protect the environment. She also wants to work with community members to transform planning processes so that it puts people and public health first. She holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA and a B.A. in Latin American & Latina(o) Studies from Vassar College.