Marc Baraka Strauch

Public Policy

This professional work was accomplished during my undergraduate and graduate studies and within the first five years of completing my graduate education in urban planning and public policy.

  • Environmental Land Use Planner, Adirondack Park Agency (NYS) – As undergraduate student intern helped write sections of the land use plan for the Adirondack Park Agency in upstate New York that was used to protect 2.7 million discontiguous acres of NYS wilderness lands amidst a multivariate private land-use pattern covering more than 6.1 million public and private acres.
  • Environmental Land-Use Planner (NYC) – As undergraduate student intern co-wrote rural environmental land-use plan for the town of Chazy, New York.
  • Author, Lake Champlain Lake George Planning Agency (NYS) – As researcher and teacher, authored and presented white paper, The Economic Impact of the Urban Encroachment on Agricultural Lands, at the 4th Annual Lake Champlain Lake George Planning Conference.
  • Environmental Land Use Planner, NYC Planning Department, Rezoning Project (NYC) – As graduate student intern co-wrote rezoning plan for New York City; first time the NYC zoning code had been completely redeveloped since first written at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Environmental Land Use Planner, NYC Environmental Planning Department – Coastal Zone Management Plan (NYC) – As graduate student intern, wrote land-use and economic development sustainability plan for the Geographic Area of Particular Concern comprised of John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge and adjacent residential and business communities to balance environmental protection and economic sustainability in this complex urban economic and natural ecosystem. NYC was the second city in the US (San Francisco was first) to create a Coastal Zone Management plan to protect more than 800 miles of contiguous shoreline throughout NYC’s five boroughs.
  • Environmental Land Use Planner, NYC Environmental Planning Department – Natural Resources Inventory (NYC) – As graduate student intern, researched and co-developed comprehensive inventory and database of natural resources in the five boroughs of NYC for integrated land-use environmental planning. This was a pioneering effort to develop a visual, qualitative and quantitative database based on the innovative works of landscape architects and environmental planners Ian McHarg and Lawrence Halprin.
  • Housing and Environmental Public Policy Planner, Federal Regional Council – Region X (NYC) – As graduate student intern co-developed housing redevelopment plan for the South Bronx (NYC) and co-wrote Virgin Island Water Supply white paper to balance economic and environmental priorities.
  • Author and Mediation Strategist, Scientists Institute for Public Information (NYC) – As environmental public policy researcher and advocate authored solutions white paper to mediate law suit brought by the Natural Resource Defense Council against the Port of New York and the US Army Corp of Engineers to prevent the dredging of the Port of NY and the ocean disposal of the dredged materials due to cancer-causing PCBs. Mediation was successful and the law suit was dropped. Position paper and mediation strategy was used as supporting documentation for the then proposed Federal SuperFund Legislation pending in US Congress. SIPI was co-founded by anthropologist Margaret Mead and ecologist Barry Commoner.
  • Community Housing and Economic Development Advocate, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NYC) – As Housing and Economic Development Director for a community advocacy group, wrote community land-use and economic development plan that was the basis for the artist gentrification of Williamsburg nearly 10 years later.
  • Community Housing Advocate, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NYC) – As Housing and Economic Development Director for community advocacy group used community development plan to raise $4.5 million in private-public partnership to build 65 units of low-income housing.
  • Environmental Advocate, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NYC) – As environmental advocate for a community advocacy group, photographed, wrote, produced and presented multimedia presentation to New York City Council on the environmental and public health affects of siting a garbage incineration facility at the Brooklyn Naval Yard and adjoining residential communities. The plan for the ill-sited garbage incineration plant was defeated and the facility was not built. The defeat of this type of large urban incinerators to “get rid of ” urban waste was one of the first environmentally-based public health wins in the US and over the next 10 years these types of ill-conceived waste disposal-by-open incineration methodologies were banned in US metropolitan areas.
  • Solar Energy Advocate (NYC) – Advocated for the then very very early adoption of solar energy as an alternative energy source for hot water and photovoltaic electricity with a variety of real estate development groups who I thought were progressives and innovators. Though I was literally laughed out of each developer’s office, I went on the following year to win the first solar housing grant awarded by the Ford Foundation’s Local Initiative Support Coalition for $1.0 million for low-income solar housing in Seattle, Washington.
  • Solar Housing Financing (Seattle) – As fundraising and development director with local community organization, raised $1.0 million from the Ford Foundation as seed capital to fund the creation of a solar energy manufacturing and installation business as the basis for building low income solar housing, the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Social Services Program Evaluation (NYC) – As graduate student was NYC program manager for national 25-city study to evaluate the effectiveness of social services programs dealing with at-risk youth and recidivism rate. I worked with two social services agency in Manhattan and did interviews with program managers at the agencies and with approximately 30 juveniles under the age of 12 as they moved from living on the street to living in a community shelter to their ultimate placement in foster homes. Coordinated program evaluation results with my colleagues in the other 25 urban locations.
  • Candidate, Public Office (Washington State) – Ran for Commissioner of Pubic Lands as independent candidate winning 4.5% of the vote (68,000+ votes) without an advertising budget, campaign contributions or campaign team; participated in 12 public live statewide debates with the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger often winning the debate.
  • College Instructor, State University of New York (New York) – As one of fifteen instructors in a unique in-residence multidisciplinary environmental sciences program with a faculty-student ratio of approximately 1:4, taught core courses in environmental land-use planning, cartography and remote sensing  (precursors to current generation of IT-based geographic information systems).
  • Community Representative (NYC) – Represented Brooklyn neighborhood on local Community Planning Board and petitioned for comprehensive environmental land-use planning for sustainable housing and economic development.
  • Community Representative (NYC) – Represented lower Manhattan neighborhood on local Community Planning Board, advocating especially for rent stabilization in support of local businesses as an essential part of the cultural and economic fabric of this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.
  • Community Representative (Washington State) – Citizen representative on Architectural Design and Review Board and after one year migrated to be community representative on City Planning Council for rapidly growing bedroom community just north of Seattle.