Eddie Bautista is an award-winning community organizer and urban planner who currently serves as the Executive Director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA). NYC-EJA is an umbrella network of community-based organizations in low-income communities of color throughout the City. Founded in 1991, NYC-EJA organizes its member groups to advocate for the empowerment and just treatment of environmentally overburdened neighborhoods. Through NYC-EJA’s efforts, member organizations coalesce around City and State-wide issues that threaten the ability of low income communities of color to thrive. (For more information on NYC-EJA, visit their website at www.NYC-EJA.org). Eddie led NYC-EJA’s recent successful campaign for a 2010 voter referendum amending the City Charter to include private infrastructure facilities on the City’s “Fair Share” map. 83% of New Yorkers who voted on November’s ballot questions approved the expansion of the City’s map.
From 2006 to 2010, Eddie served as Director of the Mayor’s Office of City Legislative Affairs. The Mayor’s Office of City Legislative Affairs is the Mayor’s local lobbying office representing the Mayor and City agencies at the City Council, and serves as liaison between the Bloomberg Administration and the Comptroller, Public Advocate and Borough Presidents. As Director, Eddie spearheaded efforts to pass several major pieces of legislation, including: the City’s 20-year landmark Solid Waste Management Plan (which relied for the first time on principles of environmental justice and borough equity); the creation of the first municipal brownfields remediation office in the nation; the required retrofit of all diesel-powered school buses to reduce air pollution in bus cabins; and the Greater Greener Buildings Plan, the nation’s first comprehensive package of legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency for large scale buildings. Eddie redefined the City Legislative Affairs Office’s mission beyond traditional legislation and facilitated meetings for policy advocates with Administration officials on a range of legislative and regulatory initiatives such as PlaNYC 2030 (NYC’s environmental sustainability plan, which has become a model for large cities) and Mayoral Executive Order 120 of 2008, which for the first time called for all City agencies to make services and documents available to immigrant New Yorkers in the top six languages spoken in the City.
Previously, Eddie was the Director of Community Planning for NY Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), where he served as the lobbying/communications/community organizing director for this non-profit civil rights law firm. At NYLPI, Eddie organized numerous grassroots coalitions and campaigns, including the Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods (OWN) and Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE), two citywide coalitions of community-based organizations which blocked the siting of mega-waste transfer stations, large power plants, incinerators and sludge plants in environmentally-burdened, low income communities of color, while changing City and State solid waste and energy policies. Eddie has written articles and been interviewed for local and national news broadcasts. Eddie has a B.A. from N.Y.U., an M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. In 2003, Eddie was among 17 national winners of the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World awards (http://www.leadershipforchange.org/). Seven books feature or mention Eddie’s work, including: Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice, by Julie Sze (2006); We Won’t Move: Community Planning in “The Real Estate Capital of the World” by Tom Angotti (2008); The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs by Roberta Brandes Gratz (2010) and Urban Health and Society: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research and Practice, edited by Nicholas Freudenberg, Susan Klitzman and Susan Saegert (2009). Eddie is also a Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment.