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Greetings South Ward Family:

Happy New Year! As we begin the year 2022, it is important that we focus on how we can work together in a collaborative way to improve the quality of life for South Ward residents.

South Ward Environmental Alliance (SWEA) is looking forward to lifting up our collective voices at our Environmental Summit, "One Ward, United for Environmental Justice" on Saturday, February 19th from 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM, Weequahic Park, Feldman Middleton Jr Community Center, to address the environmental degradation in our community with real solutions.

In addition, SWEA priorities include training the next generation of environmental activists and leaders. Join us as we celebrate National Mentoring Month and launch the Sonny William Gaddy Jr, Book scholarship and Entrepreneur Award. We can work together to increase the number of mentors to make sure young people in our communities have dependable people to look up to and follow in their footsteps.

In Solidarity,
Kim Gaddy
Executive Director
Panelists for the South Ward Environmental Alliance
"One Ward, United for Environmental Justice"
The South Ward Environmental Alliance (SWEA) is an environmental justice grassroots, community based alliance of residents and community based organizations. Our mission is to create healthy and vibrant neighborhoods by ensuring residents' voices are heard and are active participants in decision making regarding policies that impact their neighborhood.

The conference theme ”One Ward, Fighting for Environmental Justice” is a critical topic for the South Ward community due to the proliferation of warehouses, increased truck traffic, flooding and unsafe drinking water in our homes and schools. The workshops will address the environmental injustices that impact our quality of life and uplift the importance that everyone regardless of race, neighborhood or financial status deserves access to a healthy community to live in. The conference will feature breakfast, local, state, national environmental speakers, networking lunch and the launch of the Sonny Gaddy, Jr. Scholarship fund.
Water Justice Session
Moderator Wynnie-Fred Victor Hinds, Executive Director Pro Tempore of Stepping Stones Resource, Co-Chair of the Newark Environmental Commission, Executive Director of the Weequahic Park Association, and a Board Member of Clean Water Action
  • Yvette Jordan, Chairperson of Newark Education Workers, Co-Chair of the Lead-Free NJ Advocacy Committee, History teacher at Central HS in Newark Public Schools, Newark Education Workers, Lead-Free NJ Advocacy Committee
  • Nicole Miller, Co-chair NewarkDIG (Doing Infrastructure Green)

Air Quality Session
Moderator Asada Rashidi, Environmental Justice Organizer
  • Luis Lim, Chief, Bureau of Air Monitoring New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)
  • Rachel Casteel, Namati/CEEJH Environmental Justice and Health Fellow Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health
  • Fatima Haynes, Rutgers University

Clean Air, Good Jobs (update)
  • Yambeli Gomez, Make The Road New Jersey
  • Amy Goldsmith, Clean Water Action
  • Representation from Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) 

Plenary Session
Moderator Kim Gaddy, Executive Director, SWEA
  • Olivia Glenn, Deputy Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) - (Invited)
  • Nathaly Agosto-Filion, Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Sustainability, Department of Administration, City of Newark
  • Protection Agency (EPA) Region
NJ hopes to curb diesel emissions at its ports
The DEP’s proposed rules would cut pollution from cargo-handling equipment, cleaning up the air in nearby communities.

SWEA Kicked-Off the New Year with Mobilization for Democracy
In response to the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, on January 6, 2022, SWEA partnered with the New Jersey Working Families Party, to co-host 'mobilization for democracy' in South Orange, New Jersey.

On January 6, 2022, SWEA members joined together to honor those that died, remember the insurrection, and learn how each one of us can take action to protect our democracy. Many gathered at Spiotta Park in South Orange to Rally to Protect our Democracy.
Mobilization for Democracy event held in New Jersey.
"The January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection was a deadly attack on our country and our democracy. One year later, the American foundation of our government, for the people and by the people, remains under attack."

According to NJWFP, "the movement to subvert our ability to choose our own leaders with free and fair elections is gaining ground."
The aforementioned is coupled assaults on our voting rights and our freedom to vote. SWEA's Executive Director, Kim Gaddy and their members agree with the aforementioned statement. "We agree that this is a critical moment in our state's and country's history," stated Asada Rashidi. "I agree that we need our elected leaders to pass urgent legislation to protect our country against anti-democratic forces," she continued.
Unions, Worker Advocates Call Out Backroom Deal to Sneak Amazon into NJ Airport
New York, NY – Teamsters Local 863 member George Boada, 45, grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey and still lives “about seven traffic lights” away from Newark Liberty International Airport with his wife and their 14-year-old son. Boada’s worked at the same Jersey-based supermarket cooperative for more than 25 years. Now, however, he fears that Amazon and it’s ever growing monopoly is about to bring it all crashing down.
“As companies fold under Amazon’s weight, it’s either you join them, or you go by the wayside. That’s what we’re facing. We’re facing a juggernaut — they’re not stopping,” Boada told Labor Press outside the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s 4 World Trade Center offices on Thursday, Dec. 16. 

The Teamsters, along with RDWSU and other worker advocacy groups belonging to the coalition calling on New York State Governor Kathy Hochul to back new anti-trust legislation pending in the Legislature, rallied outside the Amazon Go outlet at the corner of Church and Cortland streets in Manhattan this week, before marching over to the Port Authority offices where the agency was busy behind closed doors planning a new regional hub for Amazon at Newark Airport.

“What Amazon is doing in New Jersey right now is exactly what [Amazon] tried to do in New York, in Long Island City,” ALIGN Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell told a group of roughly 50 protesters. “They cut secret deals — that’s their MO [modus operandi]. That’s what they do. They work with government behind the scenes. They try to cut deals without including the community.”

The 21st Century AntiTrust Act seeks upgrade New York State’s decrepit antitrust laws and at least curb Amazon’s ever-increasing monopoly power around the Empire State. 

“We have a corporation, a monopoly that has grown too big to fail — grown with the intent of enriching Jeff Bezos and his corporate shareholders at the expense of workers’ rights, at the expense of our small businesses, at the expense of the climate and at the expense of human dignity,” State Senator Jabri Brisport [D,WF-25th District], chair of the Committee on Families and Children said. 
The billionaire club — including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla’s Elon Musk and others — added some $4 trillion to their coffers between March 2020 and March 2021. Bezos alone, added $65 billion to his personal pile.

In 2019, Amazon scrapped plans to build a second headquarters in Long Island City — dubbed “Amazon HQ2” — after refusing to back off on its virulent anti-unionism. Since then, however, the e-commerce giant has opened more than 15 new facilities around the New York region. Read More...

Sonny Gaddy, Jr.
Entrepreneur Scholarship
Sonny William Gaddy, Jr. was a highly motivated and determined young man. He was laser focused on empowering our youth with the understanding that their success in life will be determined by their calculated and strategic movements. 
Sonny Gaddy, Jr.
Book Scholarship

As an alumni of Science Park High School, this book scholarship recognizes students who understand the importance of hard work and dedication. Two select winners will be chosen to receive an award of $500 towards college book expenses. Please complete the application below and be sure to provide any additional supporting documentation.

Sonny Gaddy, Jr.
Entrepreneur Scholarship

This entrepreneurship scholarship recognizes business owners who understand the importance of innovation and vision. One select winner will be chosen to receive an award of $2500 towards “seed money” to help grow their business. Please complete the application below and be sure to provide any additional supporting documentation.

Current Issues
Dayton Street Spotlight
*Livestream of press conference can be found here.
Weequahic Section Highlight
Heat Watch and Air Quality Campaign.
Upper Clinton Hill Spotlight
Upper Clinton Hill Residents Scored a Victory for Rose Terrace & South 10th Street Residents.  [SWEA Blog].
Lower Clinton Hill Spotlight
[Coming Soon]
SWEA Ward-Wide
Air Quality Monitoring Project. [SWEA Blog].
Recap: How Well Do You Know The South Ward?
More from SWEA
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