María Belén Power is an environmental justice powerhouse, from the grassroots to the State House. She currently serves as the Undersecretary of Environmental Justice and Equity for the Healey-Driscoll Administration. Prior to that, she supported grassroots environmental justice organizing as Assistant Executive Director of GreenRoots. Now, in her new role, she is bringing the voices of underrepresented and marginalized neighborhoods directly to the people in power.
María Belén has been a longtime organizing partner of Clean Water Action through her work with GreenRoots, a community-based organization dedicated to improving urban environment and public health in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Much of her work focused on addressing the city’s stubbornly high levels of air pollution through innovative community-based solutions.
Clean Water Action’s New England Director, Cindy Luppi, recalled her campaign to bring the idea of community climate democracy and microgrids to Chelsea. María Belén, who grew up in Nicaragua, brought in the lived experiences of Latine immigrants in Chelsea whose families experienced extreme weather in Puerto Rico and suffered from the lack of resilient power systems following the devastation from Hurricane Maria. “She pioneered ways to weave the expert neighborhood wisdom of community residents with the technical support of the clean tech community to advance this powerful model of climate justice slowly, persistently forward,” described Luppi.
María Belén’s community organizing skills were recognized by President Biden who appointed her to serve on the newly established White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She was then tapped by the Healey-Driscoll Administration for the new position of Undersecretary of Environmental Justice and Equity. In this role, she will work to ensure that environmental justice principles are woven into all aspects of the administration’s energy and environmental agenda. We have no doubt that now that she has an even bigger seat at the table, she will continue to ensure that historically marginalized communities are represented.
Please join us in welcoming her to our 2023 Annual Celebration! Tickets and sponsorships are available now.