The Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Board, met for the first time today and the Blue Room for once had more newsmakers in it than news reporters–that is, if these people could be called newsmakers. People like Peggy Sheppard, the Executive and Co-Founder of the West Harlem Environmental Action Coalition, and Elizabeth Yeampierre, the Executive Director of a Sunset Park group called UPROSE, people who are not generally invited to take part in the inner workings of government.
All which makes one wonder, what is this thing anyway? What will it have to do with the Mayor’s long-touted Strategic Plan that we are obsessing about these days? Why is the city’s future being cast as a “sustainability” issue as opposed to a “livability” or an “economic viability” or a “logistical” issue? Who are the real powers in that room? And why was Steven Spinola, the president of the Real Estate Board of New York–one of the most powerful constituencies in the city as regards to the future–left off of the list when the panel was announced last week? Or was he added later? (A City Hall source said his name was left off inadvertently.)