Ohio Public Interest Environmental Law Conference

2022 Sessions & Speakers

Everyone deserves an equitable energy system. They also deserve renewable energy. No one should fear losing their electricity, whether due to a disaster or because it costs too much.

When we consider the scale of the climate crisis and the need for comprehensive solutions, we must always consider energy justice at the center of all efforts to decarbonize and democratize our electric grid.

Thus, at the 2022 Ohio Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, we’re In Pursuit of Energy Justice for All. From federal to state to local policy, and executive decision-makers to community organizers, we’re including many different voices in the conversation. Join us on September 29, 2022 and lend your own voice to the discussion!

 

[ AGENDA ]

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 28

12:00 – 1:30 PM – Fulfilling the Lawyer’s Creed by Helping Nonprofits Fulfill their Mission

NonProfit organizations are the backbone of our communities (educating our children, feeding the hungry, sheltering the unhoused, speaking for those who have no voice), and each are front line actors to assure access to justice. Under the Lawyer’s Creed and Lawyer’s Aspirational Ideals, each lawyer owes a duty to the public and their community – not just their clients. Thus, it is on all lawyers to do what we can to ensure that the organizations working to better our communities are able to achieve their missions. In this program we will discuss the role of attorneys as members of their community, and how understanding the way legal issues show up for community groups and nonprofits can be a way an attorney can give directly to their community, especially the role of attorneys as an advisor under Professional Conduct Rule 2.1. We will cover the importance of non profit organizations to our communities, the pitfalls that nonprofits face that jeopardize their abilities to fulfill their mission, and how lawyers can fulfill their duty to our communities by lending help to these organizations.

We will then pivot to how, with help of nonprofits and lawyers, access to justice can be expanded in real world scenarios. Access to justice does not just stop with a key to the courtroom, but full use of the benefits our justice system and government agencies provide. Nonprofits and lawyers assisting those organizations can help clear existing roadblocks, and we will utilize examples like justice in housing/Section 8 process and how nonprofits and attorneys can help.

  • Scott Hubay, Managing Partner, Hubay Dougherty
  • Trent Dougherty, Partner, Hubay Dougherty

THURSDAY, SEPT. 29 

9:00 – 10:00 AM  |  Registration and Networking

10:00 – 10:30 AM  |  Understanding the Energy Jobs & Justice Act and its Bold Vision for Ohio’s Future

Two speakers will present on the Energy Jobs & Justice Act (HB 429), discussing what is included within it and how it would impact energy policy as well as advance equity in Ohio.

  • Miranda Leppla, Director, Environmental Law Clinic, Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • SeMia Bray, Co-Facilitator, Black Environmental Leaders Association

10:30 – 10:40 AM  |  Short Break

10:40 – 11:40 AM  |  What does Energy Justice look like in action?

A series of speakers from across Ohio will discuss their work, how it promotes energy justice in their communities, and any policy barriers impeding progress toward achieving energy justice.

  • Zach Germaniuk, Director of Neighborhood Stabilization, Slavic Village; Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • Beth Urban, Chief Operating Officer, IMPACT Community Action
  • Ja’net Graham, Senior Manager, Energy Advocacy, IMPACT Community Action
  • Jasmine Henderson, Blue Lotus Social Justice and Wellness Consulting

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM | Lunch

12:00 – 1:00 PM  |  The Power of Local Climate Action through Power a Clean Future Ohio

This panel will feature discussions from city council members and advocates from Ohio communities discussing the legal and policy mechanisms utilized to reduce carbon emissions at the local level.

  • Shanette Strickland, Reynoldsburg City Council
  • David Robinson, President, Worthington City Council
  • Erin Beck, Assistant Director, Sustainable Columbus
  • Kwame Botchway, Impact Strategist, Citadel Impact Consulting

1:00 – 2:00 PM |  Exploring Equity in Clean Energy Transit

This panel will explore electric vehicle and clean public transit policy through the lens of equity. They will focus on legislation, policies, and other mechanisms that both enhance or inhibit equitable adoption of electric vehicles and clean public transit infrastructure.

  • Alexis Blomqvist, EV Hybrid Noire
  • Celeste Treece, Founder, CommEN Strategies

2:00 – 2:15 PM  |  Afternoon Coffee/Snack Break

2:15 – 3:15 PM  |  Upholding Energy Justice through Corporate Climate Accountability

The Center for Climate Integrity will outline the legal approaches behind their nationwide portfolio of cases centered on holding polluters accountable for their contributions to climate change.

  • Corey Riday-White, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Climate Integrity

 

[ SPEAKERS ]

Erin Beck (She/Her)
City of Columbus

Erin Beck is Assistant Director for Sustainable Columbus, a citywide initiative within the Department of Public Utilities, where she is a key member of the City’s Sustainability team. She leads critical policy efforts such as the City’s Clean Energy Columbus aggregation effort and tells the story of Sustainable Columbus through communications and digital media. She led the release of the Columbus Climate Action Plan, laying the roadmap for Columbus to reach carbon neutrality community-wide by 2050. Erin is a proud resident of the Hilltop where she lives with her partner and 3 extra-large dogs.

Facebook: @sustainablecolumbus | Twitter: @SustainableCol1 | Instagram: @sustainablecolumbus

 

SeMia Bray (She/Her)
Environmental Leaders Association

SeMia Bray is a strategic business consultant and thought leader, with a passion for cross sector knowledge exchange and facilitating real conversations that engage leaders in innovative thinking. For nearly 30 years, she has provided consulting services in the private, manufacturing and non-profit sectors. A veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard, SeMia honorably served our country for six years.

Her work, focused on the intersection of Equity, Democracy and the Environment allows her to serve on numerous committees, task forces and coalitions ranging from Black Environmental Leaders Association to Sierra Club Ohio to the Ohio Climate Justice Fund.

Facebook: @BlkEnviroLeader | Twitter: @blkenviroleader

 

Alexis Blomqvist (She/Her)
EVHybridNoire

Alexis Blomqvist serves as the manager for Research and Data at EVHybridNoire, where she oversees the management and coordination of external and internal research projects. In her capacity, Alexis is responsible for the design, collection, analysis and review of data from projects across the United States. She is the author of ten reports on behalf of EVHybridNoire that span topics such as charging infrastructure accessibility, next generation e-mobility in frontline communities, and community beliefs around electrification. Her work has been produced on behalf of partners such as Ford, Cruise, the Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) and Electrify America.

Facebook: @EvhybridNoire  | Twitter: @EVHybridNoire | Instagram: @EVHybridNoire

 

Kwame Botchway (He/Him)
Power a Clean Future Ohio (PCFO)

Kwame Botchway is an impact strategist based in Northeast Ohio and works within the community, economic development, and sustainability ecosystems. He has worked on projects and research focused on inclusive and equitable community development and sustainability practices in cities, in North America (USA) and Africa (Ghana). Kwame is the founder and principal consultant at Citadel Impact Consulting, currently working with  Power a Clean Future Ohio (PCFO) and other coalition partners to connect municipalities and elected officials in Northeast Ohio to sustainability and clean energy resources. He holds a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University.

Facebook: @kwamebotchway | Twitter: @kwamebotch | Instagram: @kingkwame_botchway

 

Trent Dougherty (He/Him)
Hubay Dougherty

Trent is a partner with Hubay Dougherty and chairs the firm’s nonprofit practice area. Trent uses his deep experience in the nonprofit field to provide progressive organizations the full array of legal advice and representation needed to succeed. Trent assists our clients with the full life cycle of an organization. Before joining Hubay Dougherty in 2021, Trent spent 16 years as in-house counsel for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) family of organizations. At the OEC, Trent was General Counsel and the chief legal analyst and advocate for the 501(c)(3) OEC, 501(c)(4) OEC Action Fund, OEC Action Fund PAC, and Conservation Ohio. Trent holds a B.A. in English from The Ohio State University and a JD from Capital University Law School.

 

Zach Germaniuk (He/Him)
Slavic Village Development

Zachariah Germaniuk is a graduate of Ohio State University (B.A. cum laude – 2009) and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (Juris Doctor – 2012). Zach’s practice centers on improving housing conditions through a variety of community-based legal strategies in the Broadway-Slavic Village area of Cleveland, Ohio. These strategies have reduced area vacancy from a 2008 high (20%) to under 7%. His work also supports LEED-certified affordable housing and combats lead poisoning in rental properties. In 2018 Zach became an Adjunct Professor at Cleveland-Marshall’s Community Advocacy Clinic, and in 2021 was a co-author of a study on Investor Activity. In 2022, Zach was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland-Marshall Alumni Association.

  

Ja’net Graham (She/Her)
IMPACT Community Action

Dayton native Ja’net Graham, MSW, LSW serves as the Senior Manager- Energy Advocacy at IMPACT Community Action. She holds an A.A.S. in Environmental Engineering Technology from Sinclair Community College, a B.S. in Organizational Management from Wilberforce University, and a Master of Social Work from The Ohio State University. She has a passion for building equity and equality in disenfranchised and impoverished communities.

Facebook: @impactcommunityactionohio | Twitter: @IMPACTCA | Instagram: @impactcommunityaction

 

Jasmine  Henderson (She/Her)
Blue Lotus Social Justice and Wellness Consulting

Jasmine Henderson is an environmentalist, social justice organize and wellness coach who has spend over a decade bridging the gap between grassroots momentum building, policy, voting and advocacy for underserved communities around the country.

 

Scott Hubay (He/Him)
Hubay Dougherty

Scott Hubay, Managing Partner of the firm Hubay Dougherty, chairs the firm’s campaigns practice area. Scott’s experience in politics began as a finance director for a top-tier Congressional campaign, a statewide legislative caucus, and a successful statewide ballot issue. In these fundraising roles, Scott learned that unanswered legal questions can stall an organization’s growth trajectory. Armed with knowledge of how campaigns operate, and the importance of in-house legal resources, Scott partners with campaigns to provide legal and compliance support that sets them up for success. Since founding the firm in 2016, Scott has represented state parties (the Ohio Democratic Party), local and state legislative campaigns, statewide senate and gubernatorial campaigns, congressional campaigns, and political action committees. 

Scott holds a B.A. in Political Science from the Ohio State University and a Juris Doctorate from Capital University (cum laude). He is admitted to practice law by the State of Ohio and the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio.

 

Miranda Leppla (She/Her)
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Miranda is the Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, which handles various environmental & energy justice matters. She joined the faculty in 2022 to start the new clinic after over five years serving as Vice President of Energy Policy and Lead Energy Counsel at Ohio Environmental Council, representing OEC & other non-profits at the PUCO, OPSB, and courts throughout Ohio. Prior to that, Miranda was in private practice for several years where she focused on litigation, natural gas utility issues, toxic torts, and utility-scale wind farm permitting. She holds a BA in Law, Letters, & Society from University of Chicago, and a JD from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law.

Twitter: @lepleppla

 

Corey Riday-White (He/Him)
Center for Climate Integrity

Corey earned a BA in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a JD from CUNY Law. After several years of private practice, he transitioned to work supporting some of the most cutting-edge climate litigation in the country, including the Juliana v US case, involving youth suing the executive branch of the US government alleging violations of their constitutionally protected rights. Corey currently serves as Senior Staff Attorney for the Center for Climate Integrity, a DC-based non-profit engaging the public and decision-makers on the issue of holding accountable the fossil fuel industry for its decades-long campaign of deception and disinformation around the causes and severity of climate change.

Twitter: @climatecosts | Instagram: @centerforclimateintegrity

 

David Robinson
City of Worthington

David Robinson has served on Worthington City Council since January 2018 and currently serves as City Council President. David Robinson lives in Worthington with his wife, Lorraine, and their three children who attend Otterbein University and the Worthington public schools. David is President of the Worthington City Council (serving since 2018). Related public service: leader of the Keep Worthington Beautiful charter amendment campaign, strengthening residents’ control of zoning (2015); public speaker for The Climate Project (2007-8). He is President and co-owner of Marcy Adhesives, Inc., a local manufacturing company exporting Ohio-made products to the world. Education: B.S.B.A. (Honors Accounting), The Ohio State University (1984), M.A. (Theological Studies), Chicago Theological Seminary (1991); Ph.D. (Psychology and Theology), Emory University (2002).

Facebook: @WorthingtonOH | Twitter: @WorthingtonOhio| Instagram: @worthingtonohio

 

Shanette Strickland  (She/Her)
City Of Reynoldsburg

Shanette Mobley Strickland serves as Reynoldsburg’s Ward 1 City Council representative and she sees its future bright with change and inclusion.

Working hand-in-hand with her Council peers and City government, Shanette is on a mission to attract the kind of relationships, companies, infrastructure and technology that makes Reynoldsburg the best place in Ohio to live, work, play, retire and do business. Driven by the belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, Shanette is committed to making sure what matters to Reynoldsburg residents finds its way to all corners of City Hall. With her strong work ethic honed since the age of 13—when she landed her first job—she looks forward to fulfilling her promise for a better Reynoldsburg for all residents.

Shanette earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Management from Devry University and a Master of Business Administration from Franklin University. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. This achievement is at the heart of her passion for paying it both forward and backward.

Community service has been a constant in Shanette’s life. It along with both her 20-year career in information technology and 10-year career in project management enables her to bring thoughtful and inclusive leadership to Reynoldsburg City Council.

Facebook: @ShanetteStricklandForReynoldsburgCityCouncilWard1 | Twitter: @stricklandForUs

 

Celeste Treece
CommEN Strategies

Celeste Treece is from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, with a B.A. in Political Science. In 2017 she founded CommEN Strategies, a minority women owned consulting firm specializing in community engagement and fortifying relationships between community partners. As a political strategist, she has worked on various state, county and local campaigns.She was founding board member of Better Bus Coalition, a grassroots organization fighting for better transit in our region. The coalition successfully advocated for policy change pushing local governments to sufficiently fund transit. This advocacy led to the passage of Issue 7 in which she led the field operations of the campaign, which in turn led to a partnership with Clean Energy Columbus, engaging minority voters to successfully pass Issue 1. Environmental Justice has become the new focus of her work, partnering with nonprofit organizations, local governments, corporate entities, and black urban farmers, providing education, advocacy strategy planning, and research.

Facebook: @CommENstrat | Twitter: @CommENstrat | Instagram: @CommENstrat

 

Beth Urban (She/Her)
IMPACT Community Action

Beth Urban has over 25 years of experience in non-profit organizations. She joined IMPACT as the Chief Operating Officer in 2017. Prior to this, she was Director of Education at the Homeless Families Foundation. She previously served as the interim CEO at Communities in School of Central Ohio and the Executive Director of the American Community Gardening Association.

Beth holds a B.S. in Psychology and Social Work from Defiance College and an M.S. degree in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University, where she has also served as an adjunct faculty member teaching master’s level students.