Our Impact

WE ACT expands political participation among communities of color and low income residents in order to impact environmental planning and decision making.

We are:

  • a pioneering community health watchdog. Our proven results and experienced leadership have extended our sphere of influence beyond our Northern Manhattan roots to state and federal levels.
  • a well-known organization in the research and academic community. We have working research partnerships with Columbia University in programs that have been funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and the Federal EPA.
  • a driving force of change that improves the well-being of all New Yorkers. Our campaigns have culminated in the creation of the West Harlem Piers Park and the implementation of stringent new bus pollution standards that led New York’s MTA to switch from diesel fuel to hybrid electrics that reduce tailpipe emissions by 95%.
  • an effective force for environmental policy.  We work on the city, state and federal levels to improve policy on environmental health and justice. In 2016, alongside partners we helped to pass the country’s first Safe School Water Act, which mandates testing and remediation for lead in all New York State schools. In 2017, WE ACT was instrumental in passing NYC’s Environmental Justice Study Bill (359) and Environmental Justice Policy Bill (886A), which provides the city and all New Yorkers more information to identify and address environmental injustices.

Where our impact happens.

WE ACT defines its focus area as Northern Manhattan. We use “Northern Manhattan” to describe the area of Manhattan that is north of 96th Street on the East side, the traditional border between “Spanish Harlem” and the Upper East side, and 110th on the West side, the traditional border between “West” and “Central Harlem” and the Upper West side. However, we understand that legislation at the city, state, and federal level impacts our community, which is why we work to advance policies and programs on all of those fronts.

Our Success Stories:

Scroll through the map below to learn more about our major grassroots wins for environmental justice or view the latest impacts at the city, state, and federal levels.


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