July 1 Weekly News Brief

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Thanks to our generous donors, on June 19, we continued our sustainability training and work with West Charlotte neighborhoods! We held an implementation workshop for 18 young men who created messaging and art that will be featured on neighborhood traffic calming yard signs. Over the past year that Sustain Charlotte has worked with residents in the Reid Park neighborhood, we learned that their top sustainability concern is a lack of safe and connective transportation infrastructure for pedestrians and people on bikes. Youth from Reid Park and the surrounding neighborhoods gathered at the Arbor Glen Outreach Center last Friday evening to do something about this problem. To learn more about this workshop and its outcomes, read our blog


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Traffic calming yard signs made by West Charlotte youth at a recent sustainability workshop.

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We are happy to give a warm welcome to our newest members: Mary Ann Lawler, Jonathan Winn, Nina Rossi, Daniel Stanford, and Rebecca Elliot! We sincerely appreciate their support of our mission and your community through their membership.  

We also thank our generous Gold Partner, Treecycle America for donating a fifth gorgeously handcrafted office table for our growing staff! Check out two of our summer interns hard at work at this lovely desk made from locally sourced wood that was kept out of the landfill:

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Local residents like you play a critical role in ensuring we have the resources to carry out our work in the community to inspire choices that lead to a to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come! Help us do more by becoming a Sustain Charlotte member today for as little as $3/month -- that's one cup of coffee! Click to learn how easily you can support our mission and your community via membership:

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Proposed State Law Threatens Bike Lanes in Charlotte

"[House Bill 44] in the N.C. legislature would restrict the state from eliminating a lane of traffic to add bike lanes, sparking criticism from cycling advocates." Meg Fencil, coordinator of the Transportation Choices Alliance at Sustain Charlotte, said if the bill passes with its current wording, it could severely limit the city and state’s ability to determine where bike lanes are put. “The decisions about where bike lanes should go should be made at the local level,” she said. “Not politicians in Raleigh who don’t know about the on-the-ground situation in Charlotte.”

An estimated 60% of Americans don't feel comfortable biking in a lane used by motorists. In May, the Federal Highway Administration released a 148-page design guide that explains how different types of bicycling infrastructure serve the needs of different types of bicyclists. The guide ranks types of infrastructure by the amount of separation they provide and by how well each type of infrastructure meets the needs of bicyclists.  HB44 would severely limit the ability of local governments to meet the needs of residents who only feel safe enough to cycle when bike lanes are present! Read the full article at The Charlotte Observer. Check out our Make A Difference section (below) to learn how you can make an impact.


Myers Park Graduate Seeks to Change the World

"There are about 60 food deserts in Mecklenburg County, according to Meg Fencil, education and outreach program director of Sustain Charlotte, a nonprofit that seeks to advance a region-wide sustainability movement". In this article, local resident Audrey Huynh has been recognized for her dedication to sustainability through her founding of two non-profits, one of which works to alleviate the problem of food deserts in our area! On April 20, we attended the grand opening of this project and spoke to Myers Park students and faculty about the importance of a sustainable and equitable local food supply. Read the full article at the South Charlotte Weekly.

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Share your transit story to be part of our new project!

Our summer intern, Miriam Mohammad, needs to interview local transit riders for her research and outreach project. If you ride the bus and/or light rail, she’d like to talk to you about how it impacts your financial situation and quality of life. To become part of this important project that will inform our community about the benefits (and current limitations) of transit, contact Miriam.Mohammad@sustaincharlotte.org by this Friday, July 3rd.

Tell your legislators to say 'no' to harmful bike laws in North Carolina!

Section 7 of NC House Bill 44 would place unnecessary restrictions on the addition of bike lanes in our communities, and would limit the ability of local communities to design transportation systems that fit their needs. Click here to enter your address and see who represents you in the North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate, then email them and ask them to share your concerns with members of the conference committee for this bill. A personalized e-mail is far more impactful than a form letter! Tell them about how bike lanes have made (or could make) bicycling safer and more convenient for you and the people you know.

Are you interested in giving a presentation at the 2015 NC Bike Summit in Charlotte this October? 

The call for papers is open now through July 17! Click here for instructions and to learn more. Sustain Charlotte is the local host for this 4th annual North Carolina Bicycle Summit, which will be hosted in Charlotte October 15-17, 2015!

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July 7 - * Green Drinks Charlotte + Sustain Charlotte Monthly Mixer *

6:00pm - 7:30pm @ The Liberty, 1812 South Blvd, Charlotte. Join us for an informal and fun evening of conversation and networking. Our Monthly Mixers provide an opportunity where you can learn more about usour partners, and meet others interested in local sustainability! You'll hear from our Silver Partner, Greffen Systems, and also have a chance to register for our 2015 Race to the Beach commute challenge! Click here to read more and to RSVP.

July 8 - * Coffee & Conversation with Sustain Charlotte *

8:00am @ the Sustain Charlotte Office, 135B Brevard Court, Charlotte. We would love to meet you! This is an opportunity for you to see our office, meet our staff, ask us questions, and give us feedback. There are only a few spots available so please e-mail branyn.calegar@sustaincharlotte.org if you are interested in meeting with us. 

July 9 - * Coffee & Conversation with Sustain Charlotte *

5:30pm @ the Sustain Charlotte Office, 135B Brevard Court, Charlotte. If you aren't available on July 8 @ 8:00am, we welcome you to join us at the end of the day on this date! Space is limited, so contact branyn.calegar@sustaincharlotte.org to reserve your spot.

July 8 - Film Screening: Jamaica for Sale

6:30pm @ UNC Charlotte Center City, 320 E. 9th Street Charlotte. As Jamaica is irreversibly transformed by massive hotel and luxury condominium development, this film both documents this transformation and tries to turn the tide. This event is presented by the International House and the UNC Charlotte Office of International Programs with support from the Jamaican American Cultural Association and Mama’s Caribbean Grill. Yummy Jamaican jerk chicken provided by Mama’s Caribbean Grill as appetizers! Admission is free for this event. Click here for more information.

July 13 - * Race to the Beach Clean Commute Challenge * 

Sustain Charlotte is a sponsor of this year's Race to the Beach, July 13 - August 23. But you don't need to lace up your running shoes, because this is an online "race" that you'll enter by logging your sustainable commutes for chances to win a weekend beach getaway plus weekly prizes! If your company or organization is interested in hosting a team, please contact meg.fencil@sustaincharlotte.org. For more information and to register, click here.

July 14 - Civic by Design Forum: Landscape Urbanism

5:30pm - 6:30pm @ The Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E 7th St, Charlotte. Please join Professor Ming-Chun Lee and the students from UNC Charlotte Urban Design Program as they present their explorations of landscape urbanism using Charlotte’s University City as their testing ground. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact info@civicbydesign.com or visit www.civicbydesign.com.  

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GOLD PARTNERS

Belk - Boingo - Carolinas HealthCare System - Charlotte Green Team - Charlotte Magazine - DPS Construction - Environmental Window Solutions - National Gypsum - New Belgium Brewing - Packard Place - Pinckney Marketing - S&D Coffee & Tea - TreeCycle America - Triple C Brewing - Wells Fargo


SILVER PARTNERS

Duke Energy - Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont - Greffen Systems - Hannah Solar - The Home Collection - NC GreenPower - NC Sustainable Energy Association - Pasta & Provisions - Radiator Specialty Company - RED Group - Stantec - SunTrust Mortgage - UNC Charlotte IDEAS Center


BRONZE PARTNERS

Ad Spark Promo Products - Carolina Urban Lumber - Domtar - Greater Charlotte Apartment Association - Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte - Okra - PiES - Red Diamond Card - Renewable Energy Transition Initiative - SuperGreen Solutions  - Universal Institute for Successful Aging of Carolinas  - Weeklyrides.com


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