Hurricane Sandy, The State of New York State 2013, and EE

Hurricane Sandy, The State of New York State 2013, and EE

She was so seductive, so beautiful, but yet so deadly at the same time. She came in, got what she wanted, but ended up destroying the apartment in the process. She crept in for a one night stand that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. Her name was Sandy, and may we never forget it.

So Hurricane Sandy has come and gone. Or, at least the hurricane is gone, but she ransacked our homes, and our communities. It’s almost like she went through our pockets, and stole all our TVs and appliances while we were asleep. When we awoke our stuff was gone, our pockets were rabbit ears, and we had no cash to live off of.

New York State governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address (SOS) has roared through, and dissipated – like Hurricane Sandy. But, understandably being drowned out by all of that loud noise there is one thing to consider – sustainable democracy.

A big storm hits, and housing is destroyed on a mass scale. A huge grid is knocked out, thousands (if not millions) of people lose their utility service at the same time. The never ending story of two communities begins again. One community (the one with the more expensive housing) gets services restored in a timely manner, while the other is still waiting. Service isn’t restored for many for months afterward, and worse still these same people go without proper shelter for this same amount of time. These are the types of things that can happen when regular folks are completely left out of the decision making process.

We have an opportunity here albeit out of a natural tragedy to build energy efficient, and a smart green sustainable development infrastructure that works well for all members of our community. Good things are happening. Take for example PUSH Buffalo and PUSH Green’s (PUSH Buffalo’s energy efficiency arm) recent announcement that funding has been secured to weatherize more than 80 homes in lower income parts of Buffalo. PUSH Green also has money, and energy saving programs available for people with incomes both above, and below HEAP eligibility.

The State has been working with community based groups statewide in a few different capacities to lay the foundation for this work. People know what they need where they live, and they know they need access to power to better direct what happens in their local communities. This won’t happen unless we get the powers that be to see the big picture. The big picture includes eliminating the political absurdity and gamesmanship being played out over disaster relief, and sustainability efforts.

#staygreen and #LIVEBetter friends! 

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