Vote for Us and Ours

by Downwinders on September 26, 2018


Downwinder board member Evelyn Mayo for Coke Buchanan Volunteer of the Year

DFW Air Research Consortium for Environmental Science and Innovation

GoodWork Co-Working Space for Environmental Science and Innovation

The GreenSource DFW Leadership Awards are one of the only ways, and certainly the most popular way, the DFW environmental community recognizes accomplishments among its own ranks. They’re now in their seventh year and the end-of-the-year awards dinner where the winners are announced is the rare Big Tent event on the local green calendar.

There’s a nomination process, followed by a selection committee within Green Source staff, and then they open up the list of final nominees to a popular vote of sorts. We’re in the voting period now. And in this election, you can vote every 24 hours during the two-week voting period, ending September 30th. So you really can vote early and often…legally.

There are awards for green-writing journalists, green groups and green people, er activists. This year we’re lucky to have direct ties to three nominees and we hope you do vote for them often over the next three days.

Downwinders board member Eveyln Mayo is nominated for the Coke Buchanan Volunteer of the Year Award. This award goes to a person showing outstanding volunteer service to a green cause or organization.

We’ll let the text accompanying her GreenSource nomination speak for itself:

At 23, Evelyn Mayo may be one of the youngest environmental organizers in DFW, but she has the bearing of a veteran eco-warrior. Arriving in DFW fresh out of college only 14 months ago, she joined the board of Downwinders at Risk and has helped revitalize that group by leading it into new areas of program work and attracting a team of inspiring 20 and 30-something women to join her.

Evelyn has been the Chair of Downwinders’ Particulate Matter Campaign Committee since its creation last Fall. In that role, she’s helped raise the profile of a long-ignored pollutant.

She initiated and helped host community meetings on the dangers of PM. She’s a liaison between Downwinders and the North Texas Transit Riders to help better protect a population that’s routinely exposed to high levels of PM pollution.

She coordinated the deployment of Downwinders’ portable PM monitors in the Joppa neighborhood that revealed high levels of PM there when City staff was trying to reassure residents with the readings of an EPA monitor nine miles away.

Now she’s helping to assemble a “Justice for Joppa” support committee that can assist the neighborhood in addressing a long list of grievance and needed reforms. And if that weren’t enough, she’s also helping direct Downwinders’ “Green Streets” bus electrification campaign.

It was the portable air monitoring Evelyn coordinated on behalf of the Joppa community that sealed the fate of the two batch plants seeking permits to set-up shop there. Anyone attending the City Council meting in March when the plant permits were debated heard constant references to the dangers of PM – even by batch plant lobbyists themselves. That was Evelyn’s work. That citizen monitoring project has also given new impetus to the city of Dallas joining a regional air quality monitoring network, which would be about the most important local air quality development in a long while.

Evelyn has become a reliable bridge between communities of color and the local environmental scene. Not just in Joppa, but throughout DFW. She’s looked upon by both residents and activists as a hardworking honest broker for their concerns. In this capacity she’s been responsible for re-focusing Downwinders as an Environmental Justice advocacy group, and re-setting the environmental agenda in Dallas as a whole.”

And that’s why we want you to vote for Evy.


Downwinders and its partners in the DFW Air Research Consortium are nominated for the Environmental Science and Innovation Award for building the North Texas Clean Air Network – the first local, independent regional air monitoring network in the state.

In nominating DFW ARC, GreenSource listed the advantages of having such a network in place:  “There are the impacts one can think of now and the ones we can’t imagine on this end of things. In the short term, monitors along a facility’s fence line might act like 24/7 environmental beat cops and discourage polluters from even thinking about shady discharges “at night, weekends and holidays” that would have been routine before. Plano proposed to use the network to help time traffic lights and find the pattern that most reduced vehicle pollution along major streets. The public and officials could track pollution levels in real time during accidents and fires, providing better evacuation routes and warnings. You can track work productivity, school absenteeism, ER asthma visits, heart attacks and strokes with pollution levels and then estimate how much economic cost there really is to “bad air days.” Neighborhoods can map their own air pollution burdens, showing that they’re already breathing higher levels of pollution than other parts of town.”

The organization of ARC itself is a model for collaboration among scientists, citizen groups, and local officials to harness technology for the public health. It’s been a very effective organization in a relatively short amount of time.


Finally, Downwinders new home, the GoodWork Coworking Space south of Downtown Dallas has also been nominated for the Environmental Science and Innovation Award. GoodWork is the first coworking space in the nation focused on inclusive sustainability and wellness for entrepreneurs, non-profits and innovators, powered by the largest concentration of solar panels in Central Dallas (provided by Downwinders’ Sue Pope Fund). D Magazine called it the “superfood of coworking.”

What’s been really interesting to watch since we moved here in February is how many South Dallas entrepreneurs, non-profits and freelancers have found a home where they feel comfortable, forming networks and communities that weren’t available to them before because nothing like GoodWork was around to provide it. Many of them are grassroots disruptors of the status quo in their own areas of expertise just as Downwindes tries to be in air quality and social justice. You won’t meet your typical co-worker type and that suits us fine because we’re not your typical environmental group.


We wish all the nominees luck, but these three maybe more so. See you at the awards dinner.

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