The Environment - Denise Simmons

The Environment

Denise’s record on the environment has won notice across Cambridge. Recent accomplishments include:

  • Helped organize and participated in the Cambridge Emergency Climate Congress, which has sought to bring more Cambridge residents into the process of deciding and promoting the City’s official response to global climate change. This task force advises the City Council on how to take action to prepare our community for the effects of climate change. In 2016, she helped launch and participated in the second iteration of this Climate Congress.
  • Readying local business owners for transition to the recently passed "Bring Your Own Bag" ordinance implementation.
  • Supported the "Net Zero" ordinance which the Council passed in June 2015.
  • Established the Green Collar Commission, charged with developing a Green Jobs Workforce that will train workers for the green economy—performing energy audits, retrofits, as well as developing a green collar policy that will support and reinforce Cambridge’s environmental initiatives.
  • Developed and chaired the Green Jobs Task Force. The Task Force – a consortium of environmental experts, City personnel, economic advisors, and concerned citizens – has been charged with developing a green jobs policy that will link training and employment to emerging jobs in the green economy. As this new sector of quality, career-path jobs gets off the ground, Denise has sought to make sure that everybody has a chance to be a part of it.
  • Served as a co-chair of the Urban Mass Green Alliance (UMGA). The mission of UMGA is to educate minority communities to the benefits of the green economy, and to provide these communities with tools to take advantage of the opportunities inherent in the green economy.
  • Commitment to hosting zero-waste events starting with the 2009 Senior Picnic.
  • Formed the Blue Ribbon Committee on Green Schools, which explores projects that make Cambridge public schools sustainable. Denise also launched a seven-week Summer Ecology Camp in partnership with Friends of Alewife Reservation. Underserved youth learned basic conservation skills like global positioning techniques, water quality testing, and tree and meadow maintenance.