Non-profit

Emerald Cities Collaborative

Website:

www.emeraldcities.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

27-0920269

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $3,219,962
Expenses: $2,292,270
Assets: $1,363,885

Formation:

2010

President:

Denise Fairchild

Type:

left-of-center environmentalism advocacy

Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC) is an environmentalist advocacy group that coordinates projects to retrofit houses with energy-saving equipment across the United States and advocates for the expansion of federal environmental programs. [1] ECC projects target immigrants and communities of ethnic minorities, targeting low-income housing stock. ECC also provides job training to facilitate the removal and replacement of building components with energy-saving components recommended by ECC and its partner organizations.

ECC advocates for the use of environmentalist energy, but the organization also researches the use and expansion of crude oil, natural gas, and coal. ECC’s maintains 10 local chapters across the United States. [2]

Founding

In 2010, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) executive vice president Gerry Hudson, J. Philip Thompson, and Joel Rogers founded ECC with funding from a $787 billion stimulus bill signed by then-President Barack Obama in 2009. [3]

Activities

Energy Projects

ECC’s plan to retrofit public housing condemns the application of the same technology to housing stock in the open market, claiming that it would fail to benefit low-income areas if opened to the market, although ECC also states that its own services are “market-driven.” [4] ECC’s model for equipment installation and retrofitting also mandates that all jobs created through retrofitting must pay “living wages” and argues that hiring practices in renewable energy should advantage women and ethnic minorities. [5]

ECC conducts projects to retrofit low-income and multi-family housing with energy-saving equipment. ECC projects also include training for contractors from ethnic minority backgrounds to perform the retrofitting projects. When ECC forms a deal with a city to complete an energy project, ECC requires the city’s mayor to publicly agree to contract labor for the project with organizations associated with ECC. [6] [7]

ECC calls metro areas that it considers models for its project “emerald cities” These include six cities across the country, as well as the entire state of Rhode Island. The parameters for becoming an emerald city require the adoption of left-of-center policies, including implementing a high minimum wage, creating projects in alignment with environmentalist ideals, and providing access to renewable energy in low-income communities. [8]

ECC’s Anchors in Resilient Communities program assists low-income communities of ethnic minorities to build what it calls “climate resilience” to prevent damages caused by natural disasters. [9] The program also develops what it terms “economic inclusion strategies” to connect small and minority-owned businesses to large development projects. [10]

Environmentalism

ECC condemns the use of fossil fuels in favor of environmentalist-aligned energy, although the research ECC publishes promotes the use of fossil fuels like natural gas, goal, and oil. ECC research either condones the expansion of fossil fuels, or suggests that companies and governments adopt measures to mitigate pollution. [11] ECC also advocates for implementing a carbon tax, removing tax incentives for fossil fuels, and creating federally regulated investment banks that only allow for investments in building environmentalist infrastructure projects. ECC also supports unionizing workers in the environmentalist energy industry and creating workforce agreements to create hiring practices that place women at an advantage. ECC advocates for the development of publicly-owned and federally-funded energy projects, rather than private investment. [12]

On January 12, 2012, ECC signed a letter to then-President Barack Obama asking the federal government to increase the issuance of qualified energy conservation bonds which subsidize state and local projects that prioritize certain types of energy sources, although the energy sources funded by the program are unclear. [13] Contrary to ECC’s commitment to renewable energy, ECC promoted a 2011 White House report that encourages developing and expanding the use of crude oil, natural gas, and coal. [14]

A 2012 environmental report promoted by ECC and published by the NAACP recommends “corporate social responsibility in energy production” as part of a larger effort outlined in the report to rank energy companies according to their “corporate environmental justice performance ranking.” [15] [16]

ECC has also used a left-of-center environmentalist program to advocate for its own interests, claiming in 2011 that low-income families would suffer without weatherization projects performed by the ECC. [17]

MIT CoLab

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Community Innovators Lab (MIT CoLab) is a left-of-center environmentalist group within the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. The group provides technical assistance for ECC’s clients and affiliates to secure federal funding for its projects. The CoLab provides a team of “green development consultants” to ECC to consult on environmentalist projects. These consultants include research affiliates who have claimed that President Donald Trump is responsible for catastrophic climate change and the spread of COVID-19. [18] [19] [20]

Energy Democracy Scorecard

ECC created a left-of-center environmentalist scorecard supported by Race Forward and the Sierra Club. The scorecard is used to gauge organizations’ adherence to left-wing environmentalism and other left-wing stances on political issues such as so-called “environmental racism.” [21]

Key Staff

ECC’s staff has strong ties to the left-of-center labor movement, environmentalism, and left-wing philanthropy. [22]

Joel Rogers

Joel Rogers works as ECC co-chair alongside Gerry Hudson. Rogers is also the director of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy and founded several other left-of-center nonprofit organizations, including the Center for a New Democracy (a Tides Foundation project), the New Party, the Economic Analysis Research Network, the State Innovation Exchange and the Apollo Alliance. [23][24]

Gerry Hudson

Gerry Hudson is the other co-chair of ECC. Hudson has a history of organizing with other left-wing organizations, sitting as a member of the advisory board for the Apollo Alliance and Redefining Progress and working as executive vice president of SEIU until 2016. Working as political director of the New York Democratic Party, Hudson campaigned for left-wing activist Jesse Jackson and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. [25]

Denise Fairchild

Denise Fairchild is the president and CEO of ECC. Fairchild is also the founder of the left-of-center Regional Economic Development Institute and the former executive director of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Los Angeles division. [26]

Felipe Floresca

Felipe Floresca was the former vice president of policy development at ECC. Floresca held government positions under the Carter administration, Clinton administration, and Obama administration. Floresca also worked for former U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo (D). [27] [28]

Grant Recipient Controversy

In 2015, ECC donated $75,000 to the Providence Plan, a Rhode Island nonprofit that provides job training to young adults. Charles F. Denmo, former Providence Plan finance director, was fired after embezzling over $740,000 from the project over the course of several years. Denmo pled guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to 3 years of supervised release. [29] [30]

References

  1. Fairchild, Denise & Kobes, Deborah. “Voices from the Field: Greening America’s Distressed Housing.” Emerlad Cities Collaborative. Mach 2011. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9bb11a106d6f43d5ae8118a05a071e96/files/resources/research-&-reports/VoicesFromTheField.pdf ^
  2. “Pathways from a Low-Road, Extractive Economy to a High-Road – Sustainable and Just – Economy.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. September 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9bb11a106d6f43d5ae8118a05a071e96/files/resources/pathways-from-a-low-road-extractive-economy/Infogfraphic_2-16-16.pdf ^
  3. “Programs.” Community Innovators Lab. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.colab.mit.edu/programs ^
  4. “Economic Inclusion Program.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9bb11a106d6f43d5ae8118a05a071e96/files/resources/ecc-economic-inclusion-brochure/Emerald_Cities_Brochure_7-16.pdf ^

  5. “The Emerald City.” Emerald City Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/the-organization/the-emerald-city ^
  6. “National Programs.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/national-initiatives ^
  7. “Strategies.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/strategies ^
  8. “The Emerald City.” Emerald City Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/the-organization/the-emerald-city ^
  9. “Energy Democracy Scorecard.” December 11, 2019. Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020.  https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9bb11a106d6f43d5ae8118a05a071e96/files/FINAL_Scorecard.pdf ^
  10. “National Programs.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/national-initiatives ^
  11. “Pathways from a Low-Road, Extractive Economy to a High-Road – Sustainable and Just – Economy.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. September 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9bb11a106d6f43d5ae8118a05a071e96/files/resources/pathways-from-a-low-road-extractive-economy/Infogfraphic_2-16-16.pdf ^
  12. “Pathways from a Low-Road, Extractive Economy to a High-Road – Sustainable and Just – Economy.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. September 2015. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9bb11a106d6f43d5ae8118a05a071e96/files/resources/pathways-from-a-low-road-extractive-economy/Infogfraphic_2-16-16.pdf ^
  13. Bellis, E. & Fairchild, D. (2012, January 12). A Letter to President Obama [Letter written January 12, 2012 to President Barack Obama]. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9bb11a106d6f43d5ae8118a05a071e96/files/resources/research-&-reports/A_Letter_to_President_Obama_-_Qualified_Energy_Conservation_Bonds_1_12_12.pdf ^
  14. “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.” The White House. March 30, 2011. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20111128004941/http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/blueprint_secure_energy_future.pdf ^
  15. “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People.” NAACP. November 15, 2012. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20150106022802/http://action.naacp.org/page/-/Coal%20Blooded%20Report%2011.15.2012.pdf ^
  16. “Research & Reports.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. 2020. Accessed September 21, 2020.  https://emeraldcities.org/resources/research-reports ^
  17. Fairchild, Denise & Kobes, Deborah. “Voices from the Field: Greening America’s Distressed Housing.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. March 2011. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://nmcdn.io/e186d21f8c7946a19faed23c3da2f0da/9bb11a106d6f43d5ae8118a05a071e96/files/resources/research-&-reports/VoicesFromTheField.pdf ^
  18. “Energy.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Community Innovators Lab. 2020. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://colab-archive.mit.edu/our-work/energy/emerald-cities-collaborative ^
  19. Scharmer, Otto. “Eight Emerging Lessons: From Coronavirus to Climate Action.” Medium. March 16, 2020. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://medium.com/presencing-institute-blog/eight-emerging-lessons-from-coronavirus-to-climate-action-683c39c10e8b ^
  20. “People.” Community Innovators Lab. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.colab.mit.edu/people#fellows   ^
  21. “Energy Democracy Scorecard.” Accessed October 12, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/energy-democracy-scorecard. ^
  22. “Board of Directors.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/the-organization/board-of-directors ^
  23. “Board of Directors.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/the-organization/board-of-directors ^
  24. “Center for a New Democracy.” Georgetown University. 1991. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/1041932 ^
  25. “Board of Directors.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/the-organization/board-of-directors ^
  26. “National Staff.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/about/the-organization/national-staff ^
  27. “Class of 1973.” Brown Alumni Magazine. May/June 2013. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/classes/class-of-1973 ^
  28. “Felipe Floresca.” Emerald Cities Collaborative. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://emeraldcities.org/high-road-institute/felipe-floresca ^
  29. Salit, Richard. “Providence Plan fires finance director, alleges embezzlement.” Providence Journal. July 29, 2016. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160729/providence-plan-fires-finance-director-alleges-embezzlement ^
  30. “Providence Plan Finance Director Sentenced for Embezzling $742,190.” United States Department of Justice. August 11, 2017. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.justice.gov/usao-ri/pr/providence-plan-finance-director-sentenced-embezzling-742190 ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Joel Rogers
    Board Co-Chair
  2. Gerry Hudson
    Board Chair
  3. Marc H. Morial
    Former Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2010

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Jun Form 990 $3,219,962 $2,292,270 $1,363,885 $159,306 N $3,039,290 $180,368 $304 $384,907 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $1,140,655 $2,356,328 $625,075 $272,972 N $951,667 $188,708 $280 $612,949
    2015 Jun Form 990 $2,480,754 $3,167,024 $1,967,146 $399,370 N $1,922,947 $557,269 $538 $626,206 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $952,140 $2,684,453 $2,549,230 $295,184 N $895,245 $55,817 $1,078 $416,610 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $4,092,270 $1,722,292 $4,123,510 $137,151 N $4,090,935 $0 $1,335 $202,519 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $1,770,885 $1,518,189 $1,653,700 $37,319 N $1,769,825 $0 $1,060 $200,000 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $1,326,566 $1,510,940 $1,463,356 $99,671 N $1,325,152 $0 $1,414 $203,205 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Emerald Cities Collaborative

    1140 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 1
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-4001