Message from new Executive Director Bobbi Wilding

Dear members of our community,

I hope you were able to connect, even if virtually, with your loved ones and recharge a bit over the holidays. I know you’ve heard from me before – today, I have the pleasure of writing to you as the new Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York.

As I step into this new role, I am truly hopeful.

Despite the struggles we continue to face with the COVID-19 pandemic, the white supremacist violent threats to our democracy, and the harm done to the federal infrastructure over the past four years, I am hopeful that that we will do more than just repair the damage - together, we will create stronger, long-lasting, and more racially just solutions.

Communities and businesses have continued to innovate. New York State is an increasingly powerful leader on environmental health and justice. If you want hope, just look at the new state policies that drive real change in 2020 alone because of our work together: the Child Safe Products Act, and bans on TCE, and PFAS in food packaging.

I am inspired every day by what we are able to accomplish together to make the world a healthier and more just place.

I grew up in Ann Arbor, MI, where I was a swimmer, an avid recycler, and definitely a nerd (I first traveled to Florida for a national Academic Games tournament). I moved to New York to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, where I earned a BS Environmental Sciences, was a Student Senator, and co-coordinated our on-campus environmental group. I returned to earn a MS in Ecological Economics, Values, and Policy. I fell in love with upstate New York, and for the past 23 years, I have lived in Cobleskill with my husband and our growing family – now two daughters, one dog, three cats, two frogs, three fish, and a gerbil.

Dog, cats, frogs, fish and gerbil not pictured

I launched my environmental career by canvassing for three groups. The last one, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, is where first worked with Kathy Curtis over 20 years ago. Together, we came to lead CEC, and in 2006 we formed Clean and Healthy New York together. Our vision was to “turn off the tap” on toxic chemicals, so not another community would have to fight for the cleanup of toxic waste.

Working with Kathy over the past two decades has been the honor of my lifetime, and I’ve learned so much – her political acumen, persistence, and ability to connect with people are unrivaled. I am truly grateful for her leadership at CHNY over the past fourteen years and am glad that she continues to advise us on policy for the 2021 session.

CHNY is fortunate to have a strong Board of Directors and staff who bring a wide range of skills, talents, and perspectives to our work. Together, we have been developing our 2021-2026 Strategic Plan to drive us toward our updated mission and vision: to build a just society in which toxic chemicals are unthinkable. We envision a clean, safe, and healthy world in which all people are free to grow and thrive. We will get there by acting on our values of collaboration, authenticity, justice, foresight, and fearlessness.

I look forward to sharing the Strategic Plan and more with you soon. Legislative session is just heating up, market changes are coming, our team is growing, and we have a full slate of events for you to join right from your own homes. Stay tuned!

Wishing you and your loved ones health and happiness,

Bobbi Wilding

Executive Director

P.S. You can help us make big strides toward safer materials and healthier communities by making a gift to CHNY. I especially urge you to consider a monthly donation to help sustain us – it’s an easy way to make a big impact over time. Thank you for all you do!

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