April 19th Call for Community Solutions: Designing Safe Workplaces

by | April 19, 2021 | Past Events | 0 comments

Megan Zeigler, the Vice President of Planning and Policy at the Green Building Alliance (GBA) joined the Community Call to discuss her organization’s work in developing sustainable solutions to promote healthy environments. A recording of this call can also be accessed at this link

Workplace and Covid-19

Megan began the talk by observing the substantial impact Covid-19 has had on the workplace. In response, GBA began to think of ways they could assist local organizations. Specifically, they focused on how organizations could maintain functionality by promoting healthy and safe spaces.

To achieve this ambitious goal, GBA applied and received a Management Assistance Grant (MAG) from The Forbes Funds. With the grant in hand, GBA in collaboration with Erica Cochran, architect professor at the Carnegie Melon University (CMU) School of Architecture, and two architects from the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) was able to set a pilot study in partnership with local organizations to come up with sustainable redesign solutions.

Currently, GBA and CMU are in the final stages of the pilot study. Megan said that they plan to release packets filled with useful information on how local organizations can maintain a healthy and safe workspace. Megan also noted that GBA and CMU plan on recording a webinar series based on their findings and would be available to the GPNP Community and The Forbes Funds.

Sign up reminder for Nonprofit Essentials Course

Dr. Hannah Karolak reminded interested viewers to sign up for The Forbes Funds’ nonprofit essentials cohort. The course is part of the ACCEL curriculum. But she noted this course, in particular, was designed for organizations who are not ready for the curriculum’s more advanced classes.

Paris Climate Agreement slide

Committee Updates: GPNP Policy and Committee Briefings

Colleen, GPNP director gave a brief policy update. She said from now on policy updates will be aligned with the speaker of the week. She briefly covered the Biden and the Paris Climate agreement and proceeded to discuss Governor Tom Wolf’s budget investments in clean energy:

  • 21-22 budget proposal to utilize revenue from the Greenhouse Gas Initiative to create an Energy Communities Trust Fund to support dislocated workers and communities from closing power plants
  • Investing in environmental justice for communities who have been disproportionately affected by climate change
  • Investment in energy efficiency, greenhouse abatement, clean & renewable energy
  • Supporting industrial and commercial sectors to reduce emissions

Megan briefly touched on consent decrees. AG Merrick Garland has recently rescinded the Trump-era admin policy that limited the use of consent decrees to address policy misconduct. These are court-approved agreements between the Justice Department and local government agencies. It is a potential took to address a variety of community concerns.

She then discussed the work of the Public Policy Committee. It is currently investigating alignment with the Social Determinants of Health and may form subcommittees as investigations continue. The committee is also exploring opportunities with the American rescue plan funds and the impact of intentionally engaging voter engagement.

Lastly, she covered the current state of the pandemic in Pennsylvania and observed that despite vaccination efforts the covid numbers are climbing and decried the racial disparity when it comes to vaccine distribution.

Closing and Future Events

Olivia Benson reminded viewers about the next Community Calls with Jerry Dickinson, School of Law University of Pittsburgh, and wished everyone a Happy Earth Day. You can register for future Community Calls at this link. See you at the next Community Solutions Call, or a number of our upcoming events here!

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