Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.37
Liaison Benjamin Newton
Submission Date March 3, 2020

STARS v2.2

Central Community College
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

Complete Streets Policy Adopted 7/19/19 (FULL POLICY DOCUMENT ATTACHED BELOW)- was reviewed and accepted by former Executive Vice President Dr. Deborah Brennan and College President Dr. Greg Smith. They both provided a letter of support for the Grand Island Complete Streets policy to the City Council.

The City of Grand Island will plan for, design, and construct a multimodal transportation network that is safe, efficient, and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. This transportation system will enhance Grand Island’s quality of life by promoting interconnectivity, economic development, mobility, equity, safety, and public health.

This transportation network will be planned and developed, with context in mind, to enable safe, efficient, and equitable access for pedestrians, cyclists, assistive mobility device users, transit users, motorists, commercial vehicles, and users of other common modes of transportation.

•Allan Zafft, MPO Program Manager
City of Grand Island, Public Works Department
•Amy Roberts, Health Educator
Central District Health Department
•Benjamin Newton, Environmental Sustainability Director
Central Community College, Grand Island
•Chad Nabity, Director
Hall County Regional Planning Department
•Fred Graves, Service Coordinator
Division of Developmental Disabilities, NE DHHS
•Mitchell Nickerson,
City of Grand Island, City Council
•Ryan King, Assistant Health Director
Central District Health Department
•Terry Brown, Assistant Public Works Director
City of Grand Island, Public Works Department
•Buzz Douthit, Community Advocate

Grand Island Metropolitan Planning Organization (GIAMPO) Transportation Planning
https://www.grand-island.com/home/showdocument?id=23403


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:

Benjamin Newton is currently on the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Recycling Council engaging statewide leaders on recycling and composting policy. Central Coommunity College had official Board approval to be a member of the Nebraska Recycling Council and Nebraska Community Energy Alliance with representation by Benjamin Newton on both Boards as a representative of Central Community College. He is supported by his direct supervisor College President Matthew Gotschall in being an active Board member with Nebraska Recycling Council and Nebraska Community Energy Alliance.
https://nrcne.org/board-of-directors
Nebraska Recycling Council has been supporting a few bills this session but does not anticipate them
getting out of committee at this time.
LB 367 – Litter Fund Extension
Eliminates ability to transfer funds from the Nebraska Litter Reduction and Recycling Fund to the General Fund. This is a carry-over bill and extends the sunset of the Litter Fund by 5 years originally but changed to 2 years in order to attempt to get the bill passed.
Status – Nothing currently scheduled.
NRC Action - Support. We wish the bill were going to continue with the 5 year extension instead of the 2 year.
LB 861 – Ban on Plastic Bans
Establishes a statewide policy that municipalities could not ban the use of single-use plastic bags by retailers.
Status - Referred to Natural Resources Committee. Hearing held February 12, 2020.
NRC Action – We do not see a need for the ability of local governments to control sale, marketing, and use of consumer packaging.
LB 905 – Plastic Bag Fee
Sets a 5 cent fee be applied for each plastic bag used by retail customers. The fee would be distributed as follows: .01 to the retailer, .03 to the general fund, and .01 to a new Plastic Bag Reduction Fund.
Status – Referred to the Revenue Committee. Committee hearing was on January 30, 2020. No action taken by the committee.
NRC Action – Potentially give testimony on new fund created and its best use.
To check the status of all of these bills by going to https://nebraskalegislature.gov/

Benjamin Newton is also a Member of the Executive Committee for the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance.
http://www.necommunity.energy/members
The mission of the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance is to build and promote advanced technologies for housing and transportation that save energy, reduce CO2 pollution and cut costs.

The high and rising cost of conventional power and transportation fuel acts to leach a community of its wealth. Advanced housing and transportation technologies help communities keep those energy dollars at home.

Students are engaged with Citizen's Climate Lobby group in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Creighton University, and University of Nebraska at Kearney. UNK students hosted and invited Sustainability Director Benjamin Newton and Manager Olivia Whittaker to discuss climate projects on campus during a roundtable discussion with CCL group and students.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

Climate Leadership Statement
We, the undersigned presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities, believe firmly in the power, potential, and imperative of higher education’s key role in shaping a sustainable society. Not only are we deeply concerned about the increasing pace and intensity of global climate change and the potential for unprecedented detrimental impacts, but we also understand that technology, infrastructure, global interconnectedness, and our greatest asset – engaged, committed, smart students – allow us to explore bold and innovative solutions and to lead in climate action and sustainable solutions.
We have begun to experience the effects of climate change in our communities and we understand that these effects are projected to become more severe and damaging. We recognize that mitigation and adaptation are complementary strategies for reducing the likelihood of unmanageable change, managing the risks, and taking advantage of new opportunities created by our changing climate.
We believe colleges and universities must exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society by providing the knowledge, research, practice, and informed graduates to create a positive and sustainable future. Along with other aspects of sustainability, campuses that address the climate challenge by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by integrating resilience into their curriculum, research, and campus operations will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a vital, ethical, and prosperous civil society.
We further believe that exerting leadership in addressing climate change will reduce our long-term energy costs and the costs of climate disturbance, increase our quality of life, attract excellent students and faculty, and build the support of alumni and local communities.
We have resolved to take action in one of the following Climate Leadership Commitments. We believe carbon neutrality and resilience are extremely high priority areas of action for all institutions and we aim to lead the nation in these efforts. We urge others to join us in transforming society towards a sustainable, healthy, and more prosperous future.

http://reporting.secondnature.org/institution/detail!2458##2458


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

Former College President Dr. Greg Smith signed the "We Are Still in" statement with Second Nature pledging to continue efforts to meet the environmental goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, the pact pledging to continue college efforts to meet the environmental goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

In the absence of Federal support, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses will pursue ambitious climate goals, to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.

2. In the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities and businesses.

3. We will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to under 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.


https://www.wearestillin.com/organization/central-community-college


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

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