Anasha Est. — a harkening to our city's motto means "Anasha Is." But who is Anasha?
I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a tight-knit community of families set on instilling a love of learning, a love of nature, and a drive to change the world into us, the next generation. My mom is now a master gardener, and continues to use her wonderful parenting skills to lead a program in the local library singing and reading with babies, toddlers, and their parents. My dad runs the Acoustic Ecology Institute, a leading source of clear, unbiased information on a full array of sound-related environmental issues, and an editor for Natural Investments LLC, where he recently helped write a book called The Resilient Investor. My sister is a student at Hampshire College, where she is studying food systems, and social justice, and inspiring me with her work every time we talk.
After graduating from the Santa Fe Waldorf High School, in 2007, I spent 6 months traveling with two friends through central america, learning Spanish and getting to know the culture. I saw many places I could lead a happy life for a fraction of the cost of attending RPI, but came out of this experience more sure than ever that I wanted to come to Troy to study, and learn to have a broader impact on the world around me.
I came to Troy in 2008 to attend RPI, where I studied Design, Innovation, and Society. While at RPI, I worked with, and eventually chaired the Student Sustainability Task Force, which helped coordinate many sustainability policies and programs at RPI in direct partnership with the administration. We conducted a sustainability charrette, lobbied for car sharing programs, built a green roof, created an on campus farmers market, bringing local business owners to campus once a week, and worked on several energy efficiency and energy monitoring programs. In my senior year, I joined the Student Senate, where I lead a committee devoted to helping to bridge the gap between RPI and Troy. We engaged with local elected officials, volunteered on community projects, helped launch RPI Relief in response to Hurricane Irene, helped establish the role of the Off Campus Dean, conducted student voter registration drives, and worked with the downtown BID on attracting students downtown.
Through this work at RPI, I became increasingly involved in the community. I began working with the Troy Neighborhoods Action Council to help organize a conference on neighborhood revitalization, which ran for two years and sparked many positive conversations, and subsequent initiatives such as the Troy Peer Court. I also started working with Transition Troy, an organization seeking to help Troy transition from oil dependency to local resiliency.
I have since worked on dozens of initiatives with these organizations and others, including Solarize Troy, Troy Zero Waste, Citizens Climate Lobby, Mt. Ida Preservation Association, Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Troy Alley Action, Troy Shares, Troy Little Italy, and the Rensselaer County CERT (where I am just starting to get involved). Through these organizations, I have worked with, and been constantly inspired by the hundreds of dedicated citizens working hard for their community.
I have continued to work with local government, both as the City Council's representative on the Troy Sustainability Task Force, and on the Advisory Committee For Troy's Comprehensive Plan.
I hope this introduction serves to familiarize you with my background, however, it is just the start of a conversation. Please sign up on this website to continue the conversation.