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Fresh off the Women’s March in Washington, New York City and all over the world, people in insurmountable numbers joined the resistance against the hate, prejudice, and greed that are at the core of the incoming Trump administration.

These incredible shifts in Washington occupy my mind today. However, I believe that one of the best ways to fight back is to push our cities towards bolder commitments to value women in our society; not just in words, but with action. NYC’s public solar program is one way our city will have the opportunity to deliver. This is why on Monday I will stand with workers and community groups from across the city to smash a piñata in front of City Hall representing the anti-labor, anti-environment agenda of the new federal administration. Proactively, right after this action, we will be part of a city council hearing that will be highlighting the need for investment in NYC’s public solar program. We are calling on the city to #Let Justice Shine in the face of climate denial and inequality.

I am a proud member of the I.B.E.W. Local 3, which represents over 29,000 men and women in the electrical industry. I have been a member for the last ten years, and have spent the majority of my career working with solar PV (photovoltaic) systems. The projects I’ve worked on have played a critical role in leading the way towards a transition to renewable energy, including the first “Net-Zero” energy school in our city. At a time when many see a bleak future for our communities and our economy, I have witnessed how our neighborhoods and our children can benefit from knowing about how they can conserve and create energy and can take pride in an institution that was built by trained union workers and women. I am proud of the work I do to make our city greener and healthier, and I am happy to say that more and more women are looking to join this incredibly rewarding field.

In New York state, women make up almost 27 percent of the solar workforce in New York State, but they only make up 8.6% of the total construction workforce. It is great to see that women have made significant inroads into this new construction industry, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. The unionization rate in the solar industry is at 18 percent well below the 33 percent unionization rate of the construction industry as a whole.

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