Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.47
Liaison Sally DeLeon
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Maryland, College Park
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Sally DeLeon
Acting Manager
Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk
"---" 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, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

The University of Maryland (UMD) has advocated strongly for the Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail line that will extend from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County. UMD partnered with government and community stakeholders, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and local College Park residents, joined together to launch a landmark agreement to create pathways to opportunity for all who live, work and invest along the Purple Line corridor. Pathways to Opportunity: A Community Development Agreement for the Purple Line Corridor, developed and led by the Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC), articulates a collective vision for equitable economic and community development along the 16.2-mile Purple Line light-rail corridor, and advances strategies to achieve that vision through the pursuit of four shared goals: support and grow local businesses; build a thriving labor market; ensure housing choices for all; and support vibrant, sustainable communities.

The University of Maryland partnered with the surrounding City of College Park to become an EPA Green Power Community. Green Power Communities are towns, villages, cities, counties, or tribal governments in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively buy green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA's Green Power Community purchase requirements. This partnership between the City, UMD, and dedicated homeowners and businesses in College Park is leading College Park to achieve greater sustainability in the future as a Green Power Community.

The University is also partnering with the surrounding municipalities to support economic and community development in the greater College Park area. With city, county, and state partners, UMD is helping to create a thriving and urban ecosystem. These developments support—and are supported by—the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty, staff, and students, front-rank academic and research programs, and expanded partnerships with the public and private sectors. This is one of the ways that UMD carries out its land-grant and flagship missions of contributing to the State’s prosperity, livability, and future.


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, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

The Administration of the University of Maryland has supported legislation at the state level during the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session, as well as in previous sessions. Such support has included legislation related to state investment in local companies that will support innovation and help spur economic development around campuses across the state.

The University's School of Public Health has held the Environmental Justice and Health Disparities Symposium annually over the past four years to convene numerous regional legislators, nonprofit organizations, and researchers to examine environmental justice and health disparities issues affecting Maryland and the surrounding region and explore solutions.

The University of Maryland's Center for Smart Growth conducts and disseminates research with the intent to inform and further public policy on topics related to Smart Growth. Areas of exceptional strength include transportation, land use and economic modeling, especially in the mid-Atlantic region; smart growth policy evaluation, especially in Maryland; and affordable housing policy across the nation.


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, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

The University of Maryland's administration publicly opposed H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017), before it was voted into law by Congress because it discourages participation in college, makes it more expensive for low- and middle-income students to attend, undermines the financial stability of universities, and impairs the Federal government's ability to invest in higher education, research, and economic growth.

UMD supported the federal Omnibus Appropriations bill for FY 2018 that provides some significant increases in funding for programs the university supports relating to sustainability such as the Purple Line and various Student Financial Aid programs.

The university's administration publicly endorsed the 2017 March for Science in Washington D.C. and across the country. The president of the university, Dr. Wallace Loh, not only stated that he would attend the march, but the university encouraged students to attend by providing bus services to the National Mall on the day of the march.

The University has publicly supported the passage of the DREAM Act in Congress. The University, along with the Governor of Maryland, believe that "legislation would give certainty to thousands of young DREAMers, allowing them to remain here and providing a pathway to citizenship. Together, we urge members of Congress to support this critically important legislation and give DREAMers assurance they can remain here and continue contributing to our nation."


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, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

The University of Maryland co-hosted the United Nations-sponsored “Climate Action 2016” summit in Washington, D.C. with the goal of advancing the climate implementation agenda: (1) mobilize multi-stakeholders’ coalitions and (2) align policy and politics with science in order to realize the fearless vision of the historic Paris Agreement signed in April 2016: a green economy and society by 2050.

In 2017, UMD signed the We Are Still In declaration, a commitment to continuing climate action despite U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. The declaration, representing the combined forces of many mayors, county executives, governors, tribal leaders, college and university leaders, businesses, faith groups, and investors in the U.S., is a promise to world leaders that Americans would not retreat from the global pact to reduce emissions.

The University of Maryland, organized by the Center for Global Sustainability and the UMD Global Sustainability Initiative, had a strong presence at the 23rd meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2017.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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