Yonkers — Mayor Mike Spano today announced that Jason Baker, Special Assistant to the Mayor, will assume the responsibilities of the Yonkers Director of Sustainability.
In the role, Baker will facilitate efforts to achieve Yonkers’ sustainability policy goals of improving public health and quality of life, reducing costs, and expanding access to green jobs and businesses, within municipal government, homes, neighborhoods, and businesses throughout the City.
“Jason is a natural fit for this position as he expands his role in my administration,” said Mayor Spano. “He has deep knowledge and experience in environmental initiatives and, as a City we look forward to continuing our efforts to make Yonkers a greener, more sustainable place for today and future generations.”
In his role as Special Assistant to Mayor Spano, Baker has directly overseen the Office of Sustainability since 2015. He has been managing a broad-based portfolio of facilities and asset management projects, including the City-wide facility security initiative; the three-phase Vehicle Fleet & Fuel Efficiency Program; and the downtown art-light installations.
Since Baker began overseeing the Office of Sustainability, its successes have included:
The Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations Program
Implementation of the Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy (EPP)
Expansion of the LED Lighting Replacement Project
Expansion of the City/YPS Facilities Energy Conservation Projects
“This is an exciting time for Yonkers, which under Mayor Spano’s leadership is accomplishing transformative conservation measures, resulting in significant energy reduction and cost savings,” said Jason Baker. “I look forward to the opportunity to continue building on the City’s progress and advance innovative, sustainable practices that promote environmental and economic prosperity.”
Jason Baker joined Mayor Spano’s administration in 2012, where he has held the positions of Deputy Communications Director and Director of the Yonkers Film Office. Baker began his career has a Regional Coordinator in the New York State Assembly Department of Communication & Information Services.
Since Mayor Spano created the Director of Sustainability position in 2012 when he entered the office, the City of Yonkers has launched one of the most ambitious and comprehensive energy plans of any city in New York State.
Notable initiatives include the award-winning LED Street Light Replacement Program, which is expected to save taxpayers $18 million in energy costs over ten years and reduce Yonkers’ carbon footprint by 3,000 tons annually; the passage of the Yonkers Green City Buildings Ordinance, ensuring the City designs and constructs its facilities to be sustainable; the establishment of the first Styrofoam recycling program in New York State, which has resulted in residents recycling the equivalent of 2.5 million Styrofoam coffee cups in just one year; and streamlined solar permitting, which has allowed for more solar rooftop installations in Yonkers than the previous 10 years combined.
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.