Victoria Wu’19

In the summer of 2016, I interned at Clean Water Action, an environmental nonprofit, where I advocated for fixing Boston’s gas leaks. That summer, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the multitude of organizations in Clean Water’s coalition, including Environmental League of Massachusetts, Community Labor United, Mothers Out Front, and Conservation Law Foundation. While attending a special hearing on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on Kain v Department of Environmental Protection, I had the opportunity to listen to David Ismay of CLF articulate how Massachusetts could still meet the requirements for the Global Warming Solutions Act. I was impressed not only by the eloquence of his testimony, but also by CLF’s capacity to sue the DEP and hold the state accountable to its promises on climate change.

Since then, working at CLF has been a personal goal, and I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to intern there this summer. I hope to bring my many experiences with environmental work and Boston’s community, including: food desert reduction in Dorchester with The Food Project; affordable green housing in the greater Boston area with Urban Habitat Initiatives; constituency work for the Second Suffolk District with Senator William N. Brownsberger; and recycled “Green Steam” in Boston’s downtown with Veolia North America. CLF’s Director of Environmental Planning, Deanna Moran, has confirmed that I will have a position at the organization this summer, which will bring me to Boston’s waterfront where I will help ensure public and equitable access to the harbor and examine climate change’s impact on waterfront communities.

Working on this project will continue a personal interest I have in Boston’s waterfront. When I took Environment and Culture in North American History, I focused my final paper on twentieth century landmaking, where Boston’s waterfront was shaped through the labor of disadvantaged communities. It is a privilege to work with CLF on waterfront project compliance and continue the long legacy of Boston’s harbor and working communities. I will work hard for this opportunity to serve my community, strengthen my advocacy skills, and continue preparing for a career serving the planet.