Above, Environmental Commission members and Commission Chair Kathryn Bazan, right, recruited community members at Oak Cliff Earth Day in April. Courtesy of Dallas Environmental Commission.
May 4, 2023
If you live in Dallas and want to make your voice heard when it comes to environmental issues, here’s your chance.
The city’s Environmental Commission is seeking members of the public to join them in tackling some of Dallas’ most challenging issues.
“We’re looking for anybody who has expertise or interest in helping the commission and the city accomplish its goals,” said Kathryn Bazan, chair of the Environmental Commission.
The deadline to apply has been extended to Friday, May 12, at 5:30 p.m.
The Environmental Commission was formed at the end of 2021 to advise the Dallas City Council on implementation of the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan, aka CECAP, and other environmental matters as they come up.
The all-volunteer advisory group has 26 members. There are 15 voting members appointed by each city council member. There are also eight non-voting technical panel members appointed by the city manager, each with expertise in one of the eight areas of the CECAP.
In addition, there are five subcommittees: Environmental Justice, Outreach and Engagement, Strategic Partnerships, Implementation and Environmental Health, on which members serve.
Now, the Commission is seeking a total of 12 public participants — three each for four of the five subcommittees — to add their input.
Environmental Commission Chair Kathryn Bazan won the 2022 Green Source DFW Award for Environmental Justice last year. Courtesy of Dallas Environmental Commission.
"The goal is to bring more voices of the public — the residents of Dallas — to our processes and to essentially make the table bigger,” said Bazan, who is a former project manager at TCEQ as well as a Dallas Sierra Club activist and leader of East Dallas Greater Good.
Bazan said qualifications include a minimum of two years of environmental experience or a minimum of two years of neighborhood environmental advocacy.
Neighborhood environmental advocacy may be demonstrated through documented residency in neighborhoods negatively impacted by environmental issues.
Related experience with local neighborhood issues include, but are not limited to transportation, water and waste management, zoning and land use, or experience relevant to one or more sections of the CECAP.
“We’re looking for anybody who has expertise or interest in helping the commission and the city accomplish its goals,” said Bazan. “These roles are for adding input and bringing additional perspectives, live lived experiences to the committees.”
The commitment is for two years. The public members should be available to meet the second Wednesday each month at 5:30 p.m., in person or virtually, for the monthly Environmental Commission meeting. In addition, subcommittees may meet every other month or more often as needed.
As for the Environmental Health Committee, the community members have already been selected by the Commission chair for their expertise with public health experience.
“That committee is a standing committee. And so it has different rules that were established in the ordinance that created the commission,” said Bazan.
Bazan said they hope to have all of the subcommittees fully staffed by the start of summer.
“Once we close the form, the various subcommittee chairs will receive their slate of applicants and began reaching out to them and reviewing those, so I would hope that we could make a decision by the first week in June,” said Bazan, who said she’s received about a dozen applications so far. “Hopefully, we'll get some really fantastic candidates who are ready to dive in on some of these big issues.”
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