In Episode 96, Quinn & Brian ask: How do we orchestrate a just energy transition for frontline low- and middle-income communities — from the inside out?
Our guest is: Daphany Rose Sanchez, Executive Director of Kinetic Communities Consulting and fourth generation Brooklynite. Daphany advocates for energy equity and efficiency access in housing for New York City's low-income and immigrant communities. By working with energy and affordable housing industry partners, she helps New Yorkers save money, feel safe, and live in a cleaner environment.
Time and time again, Black and Brown communities in the U.S. have been forced to bear the brunt of inequity. Now that politicians are putting some lip service to solving some of the environmental problems that disproportionately affect these communities, Daphany and other advocates are making sure that their voices are heard and included as part of the solution. If the goal is reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but the solution is going to once again let these communities down — then Daphany is on team Let The Planet Go To Shit. The environment is great and all, but “it’s not worth living on a planet where people aren't cared for.” And we 100% agree.
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Quinn: Welcome to Important, Not Important. My name is Quinn Emmett.
Brian: I'm Brian Colbert Kennedy.
Quinn: This is the podcast where we give you the tools you need to fight for a better future for everyone, and we are doing that today for sure. We're giving you the context, straight from the smartest people on earth out there working on the frontlines, and the action steps you can take to support them.
Brian: That's right. Our guests are scientists, they're doctors and nurses, journalists, engineers, farmers, politicians, activists, educators, business leaders, astronauts, even a reverend.
Quinn: Despite your Wi-Fi going in and out, hopefully people heard that list. This is your friendly reminder that you can send questions, thoughts and feedback to us on Twitter at @importantnotimp, or you can email us at email@example.com.
Brian: Despite your Wi-Fi going out, I hope people could hear that. You can also join tens of thousands of other smart people and subscribe to our free weekly newsletter at importantnotimportant.com.
Quinn: That's right. Brian, this week's episode is getting into how do we orchestrate a just energy transition for frontline, low and middle income communities and cities, and most importantly, doing that from the inside out?
Brian: Who's here to tell us and teach us? Well, our guest, Daphany Rose Sanchez-
Brian: ... and boy, does she have a story to tell. We feel very lucky that she shared it with us, and all of the ways that we can help out. Stay tuned, because this is a good one, and find out why a just transition is the only way forward, and what you can do to make it happen in your city.
Quinn: Absolutely. All right, let's go talk to Daphany.
Brian: Let's go.
Quinn: Our guest today is Daphany Rose Sanchez, I think. Together we are putting the people first and finding out how to transition frontline, low and middle income residents to a clean energy future. Daphany, welcome.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Quinn: Well, we think it's you. 10 seconds ago, I asked you if you could pronounce your name because I am terrible with names. And you said, "I think my name is Daphany Rose Sanchez." I said, "Stop. What is happening?"
Daphany Rose Sanchez : My parents are Brooklyn natives. There's a lot of Spanglish in our vocabulary. My father's name is Daniel and my mother's name is Darlene. They were like, "We like the name Stephanie, so let's merge it into two and just keep the D-A." My dad introduces me is Daphany Rose Sanchez, and my mom introduces me as Daphne Rose Sanchez.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : All my life, people are like "Am I pronouncing your name right?" I'm the, "Yeah, sure." I honestly have no idea.
Quinn: Fuck it. Who cares?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah.
Quinn: Wait. Do you gravitate towards one of them? Was there a teenage period where you embraced one? I'm fascinated by this.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Honestly, as long as it sounds similar to any of those two, I'm okay with it, because I've had people just give up and call me Stephanie and I'm like, "No, that's not my name."
Brian: Well, yeah, hold on.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Daphne, I'm fine with. Daphany is fine, but don't call me Stephanie because it's not my name.
Quinn: Yeah, right. You can't just call me Jeff. That's not what my name is.
Brian: No. Not nice.
Quinn: That's amazing. Well, thank you for that backstory. That's really helpful. Now I just want to hang out with your parents.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, they are-
Brian: They sound pretty great.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : ... cool cats.
Brian: Cool. All right. Well, we've figured out your name. That's so wonderful. Then now, Daph ... can I call you Daph?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : You can call me Daph. That's fine.
Brian: Can you-
Quinn: Jesus Brian.
Brian: I just want to add more of options into the mix.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Daph, Daphne, Daphany is fine.
Brian: I like that. I actually do like Daphany.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : If you stray away from the D, then that's when you're off.
Quinn: Sure. Right.
Brian: Daphany, can you tell our listeners, please, briefly, just who you are and what you do?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Sure. My name is Daphany or Daphne Sanchez, Rose Sanchez. I'm a born and raised Brooklynite. I am actually a fourth generation Brooklynite, so I bleed Brooklyn. Brooklyn till I die. The work that I do is really focused on energy equity and affordability. I have been working in this space for about 12 years now, really understanding how can we help our communities get to a climate just to transition. A lot of times, you've heard people talking about, "We need to do X, Y and Z to get to go," and what my company, Kinetic Communities does is say, "Hold on. We don't want to do that. Let's make sure we're encouraging breeding black and brown communities into a solution, and right the wrongs that has been done time and time again."
Daphany Rose Sanchez : One of the things that we always say is, we love this planet, but people in this planet have done detrimental things to black and brown communities. If getting to net zero by 2050 means that we have to, once again, let black and brown communities down, then honestly, let's let the planet go to shit, because it's not worth living in a planet where people aren't cared for. We really work with government and utility in helping them, thinking about, okay, you want to install solar in the community? How does that look like? Okay, you want to install air source heat pumps? Instead of bringing outside contractors, who are the contractors, the mom and pop shops, that have already been helping that community?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : How do we make sure that they have the appropriate resources to transform and keep up with the new technology evolution? I'm very proud of what I do. It's pretty unique because we're looking at it really from that just transition lens, and I care about energy. I know the engineering. I know the policies behind it, but more importantly, I don't want to see my community holding the problem for everyone else, just to get us to net zero. That's a little bit of what I do. I focus on New York only. I think I said that in the beginning, and I want to emphasize my [crosstalk 00:06:33] is in New York.
Quinn: Something about Brooklyn for life, I believe?
Brian: Brooklyn is in your blood. Yes.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah.
Quinn: Brooklyn for life. Right.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Brooklyn for life. Brooklyn till I die. I actually work throughout the five boroughs.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Because that's where all New Yorkers are.
Quinn: Rock and roll.
Brian: That's so great. Lift up the community. How can you be doing anything better than that? Incredible.
Quinn: See, Brian?
Brian: I'm working on it. Awesome. Daphany, thank you. We're going to keep going here. Quinn is going to provide some quick context for our little topic today. Then we'll get into some action oriented questions and actions that everybody out there can do to support you, and be just more aware of what's going on and what needs to be done. Sound good?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Sounds good. Sounds like a game plan.
Quinn: Daphany, we'd like to start with one important question, though, to set the tone for these shenanigans. Instead of saying, tell us your entire life story, we like to ask, and we've adjusted this a little bit recently, Daphany, why are you vital to the survival of the planet, as we know it? I encourage you to be bold and honest.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : The two other podcasts that I've heard, I heard this question. I sat there and-
Quinn: And then she stopped listening.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : ... then I stopped listening because I was like, what is this? This is ridiculous. No. It's just like, what? What does this even mean? I think, and I have been joking around with every single person I've met, by the way, with this question. I'm like, "What do you guys think?" No, what I think, that on the on the macro scale, there are leaders that I admire, that are really pushing the envelope, and globally thinking about how do we address climate change? On the micro level, I feel like my experience being third generation public housing resident, being from a low income community, and really ensuring that this climate action and program design is being inclusive is the way that I am supporting our world moving forward.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : A lot of people find me to be very aggressive, and a little bit too forward. I'm like, yeah, well, at least if I'm being aggressive with you today and saying you need to incorporate minority contractors in your programming, or you need to ensure low income communities have access to solar without putting a financial burden to them, then you might be resistant to me saying that, but the next person that comes down the line and they say the same thing, you'll be more amenable to doing that, because you've already faced that.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I feel like I've been in a position where my firm, and the work that I do is really challenging the norms in energy efficiency, of how people operate and saying, "All right, this is trash. You need to do this better. You need to be mindful of the structural racist practices that's happened in the past and you need to make it right." I think that's what I'm contributing. I'm giving people that chance to feel uncomfortable, and they might not act on it right away, but the next generation or other individuals that might elevate and emphasize on that same topic, will do the work, because they'll be like, "Right. That's what Daphany said." I'm like, "Yes, that's exactly what I said to you, like five months ago."
Quinn: I love that. I love it. I think that's great. Given the radical candor, let's do this thing. Clock is ticking. That's awesome. Thank you for your bold ... thank you for researching this topic since you listened to 20 minutes of our podcast I appreciate all the thought and energy you've put into this.
Brian: 40 minutes total. 20 episodes of two minutes.
Quinn: [crosstalk 00:10:29]. 40 minutes total. So sorry. Right.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, I did say technically 40 minutes.
Quinn: 40 minutes.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I was like, I listened to one and then I listened to the other, and I was like, okay, once it gets to this question, I'm like, this is the 20 minute mark already.
Quinn: Right. Sure.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I'm like, okay.
Quinn: It's good that ... twice, just to be sure. Check the list. Twice, you were just like, "I've made an enormous mistake. How can I get out of this?" Please hurricane, come and turn off my power.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : No. Absolutely not that. I don't know if you guys know, but actually, as I was mentioning before, I have a tremendous respect for hurricane. Not only have I like lived through three generations of public housing, but my parents are the first ones to move out of public housing, buy a house in Staten Island, and then within less than a year, we lost the house.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : We were in the house when Hurricane Sandy happened. I was doing my final presentation for undergrad and I was in the zone, doing my work, and my mother comes in and she's like, "Daphany, I think you left the toilet running." I'm like, "Mom, I don't leave the toilet running. I know I'm not supposed to do that." Out of nowhere, she's like, "Oh no, Daphany, that's not the toilet. That's floodwater." I start cracking up because I was like, "My god, you're being paranoid." Again, being the typical New Yorker, I'm like, "This is New York. Nothing like that ever happens here. That's only in those post-apocalyptic movies where floods happen." I kid you not. It was 6:30 PM. The moment I started laughing and I closed my door, I get back on my bed, I opened the shades of my window and it's just brown water, all the way to the top of the window.
Quinn: My god.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I remember, at that moment, thinking, what is going on? My dad is like, "My god, Daphany, get the dog." My mom comes, and I just stood there looking at the window. It was a foot away from me. She yanked me out of the room, and the moment she yanks me out of the room, my floorboards burst and my window burst with water, just rushing in. What I was telling her, I was like, "My god, my final thesis is under water." She's like, "Daphany, stop. Go upstairs right now. This is not a game." I'm like, "No, I need to get my ... No, I worked so hard for this." I start catching a million... it's like a worst case scenario.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I start catching a bunch of panic attacks. My dad is diabetic. My mom is epileptic, and she's trying to keep my father and I down, because my father is Puerto Rican. Again, born and raised in Brooklyn. He was raised in Marcy, and then in Cooper, and I was raised in Marcy and Cooper, so we've never really experienced something like this. Where, she was born and raised in Brooklyn, but she spent some time in Costa Rica and she's seen flash floods because she immediately knew what was going on. She took [foreign language 00:13:38], she took ropes and then she put it around us, and she's like, "Okay, this is how we're going to stay together. We're going to stay on the roof. We're going to call 911 and we're just going to have to ride this out," when literally there was ... around the entire house was surrounded in water.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : It wasn't till one o'clock in the morning, we got rescued by boat. I remember when we got rescued by boat, I'm having a panic attack and the firefighter was like, to my mother, "How old is your daughter?" She's like, "She's old enough to not be acting like this." I was like, "No, we're on this boat. This is a part in the movies where people get rescued, and the second tide comes and then you got to swim back to the house because the boat [inaudible 00:14:20]."
Quinn: My god.
Brian: I cannot imagine.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah. Then they left us a mile away from the house. It was a mile away and where you're supposed to evacuate was also flooded. It just looked like complete end of world. I was just so jarred about it because I was studying sustainability, and in this work, and really looking at it exclusively, it's like I care about housing, right, and I want to make housing better for black and brown communities, but at that specific moment, with all this knowledge on climate change and sustainability, I couldn't do anything.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I was just there saying, "We're going to die." My mother was the one that was like, "No, let's do this. Let's get here. Let's do that." I'm forever grateful for that. That's why I say, I also have a lot of respect for hurricanes, and that perspective of ... This is some real shit that's happening today. We talk about climate solutions as it's some future, but every single day people are going through climate disasters. Of course, it's black and brown communities that are experiencing it first.
Quinn: Of course.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : We're talking about energy efficiency and solutions. We have to think about what are we doing today to make sure that these communities don't have to go through what I had to go through. That's what makes me super aggressive with people being like, "I literally give zero fudges about what you think."
Quinn: To be clear, you can [crosstalk 00:15:53]-
Brian: You can swear, Daphany.
Quinn: ... definitively, unless it's going to make the chanting happen faster, you can definitely start dropping F bombs here.
Brian: Yeah, no problem.
Quinn: It is appropriate. Well, we appreciate, first of all, that's a horror show. I'm sorry you had to live through one of those movies. That's just truly wild, but I'm glad that everybody is okay. Yes, it is ... if you are swimming in the ocean, in a wildfire, going through a hurricane, watching a tornado, any of these things, you just realize, nature is just so much bigger and more powerful than we are. There's no version of fighting it, but there are things we can do and focus on things we can control, and that's what I want to do today. Because as you alluded to, and we allude to basically every show, we can all agree that the status quo, I mean, pick your subject, your topic, is unjust to so many.
Quinn: We have to design a near future and a long term future, and a transition into those features that are vastly more just, and to most practically and fairly do so to those that have been left behind, often on purpose, or they've been redlined, whatever it might be. Those people, not only ... we can't just design for them, but they have to be part of that conversation. To use the ridiculous quote these days, they have to be in the room where it happens, right? So much of our future is cloudy, figuratively and literally. We have to operate from the facts on the ground.
Quinn: We have to extrapolate what we can for the near term, and provide both a safety net for now and in the near future, because that doesn't exist, but also reach for something that's so much better and higher, and more equitable. Again, you mentioned, and the idea today is, just as frontline communities have to be first in line when designing disaster preparedness efforts, or adaptation and mitigation efforts, it's imperative that they're not only protected from the negative, but benefit, first, from the enormous of opportunities before us, for so many reasons.
Quinn: Clean energy, cleaner air, cleaner, more affordable water, better jobs. Participating in these new circular personal and community economies where the work you do improves the world around you in practical, measurable ways, reducing waste, not only in food, and water, and power, and land, but in human potential. So much of that has been wasted, and again, a lot of it on purpose because of things like white supremacy.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Right. Yeah.
Quinn: Let's talk today about transitioning frontline and low income communities to this more just energy future. Daphany, I know you've made it a point to teach people that as part of this, that community is everything, and as much as we're all very much a part in these weird ways right now, community has also meant more than ever during COVID. You've made it very clear, you're fourth generation Brooklyn. You're working in the same community you grew up in. You guys moved out for a minute before the floods came.
Quinn: You're working for the same families, and so many others who need and deserve quality, affordable housing, and then everything we can bring to that. Just to focus on you for a second, why do you feel uniquely suited to do this job? Is there a specific relationship you can point to that got you here? Was there a specific moment, besides the floods towering over your windows? Why you, for this?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I mean, for me, I feel like there are not a lot of individuals in the sector that really understands the intersectionality. Right? Growing up in public housing, there is this stereotype that you should be embarrassed of growing up in this neighborhood, that you should feel ashamed of government subsidies. This concept of being quarantined, right, we're going through a quarantine through Coronavirus, but this concept of quarantine is not new for folks that live in public housing. We're always seen as a subpar human species just because of where we live.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I think that that experience that I've had growing up in public housing, and then experiencing Sandy, that kind of combination really allows me to think about unique policy recommendations, unique program developments, and unique implementation design that can be influential in my community, and really showing our communities enough is enough. These stereotypes exist and they're not true. How do we start working for ourselves to build our intergenerational wealth? Because we really can't wait for a knight in shining armor to come down and be like, "Oh well, now we want to do solar for. Aren't you happy?"
Daphany Rose Sanchez : It's like, "No, I'm not. You've already taking our land and you want to continue perpetuating these issues." That's why for me, my voice and the work that I do is, I believe, is very unique. I look for the day to meet someone else that's had the same experience in me, that is doing the same work that I'm doing, because it's hard. I work in this intersection of housing and energy, and really making it focus, honed in on the community. Whereas, I think that the sector as a whole ... I see buildings as ... This is so wonky to people. I see buildings as a living ecosystem, right?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : They have community members that are breathing in these buildings, that have created a culture around these buildings. I love that culture. I feel like, in order for us to get to this climate transition, I need to show everyone there's that beauty inside of these cultures that you consider low income, that you consider so subpar. We need to elevate our communities so that they can start receiving the benefits that have been taken away from them for decades. I just don't know anyone else that does it, but if you guys know, folks, please connect me, because I am yearning to meet other women of color doing this work throughout the country. I don't know if I'm answering your question, but ...
Quinn: No, I think you did. I think it's important, but I also think it's a little ... I mean, I shouldn't even go off of this, but it's a little the question of, are there other planets with intelligent aliens on them? Right? Which is, we're finding more and more planets, and more and more suns, and all this thing, and so if you do the math, theoretically, there should be, but at the same time, we're not hearing from anybody. You would think with 330 whatever million people in America, that somewhere out there, there would be other people, and even further, other local people, even further, other women or women of color that are doing this job, but there haven't been many, and I think there's reasons behind that, which is it's designed against them.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Of course. Absolutely.
Quinn: I mean, I can't imagine that your job is on Fortune magazine's list of most lucrative jobs, right? It's public schoolteachers. Right? That sucks, because you need people specifically like you for a number of reasons, doing jobs these more than ever. Not just because this is a job that needs to exist because of the transitions we're going to be going through, but you are qualified to do it in a number of reasons. The problem is, is this next generation of people who want to make a difference either find the higher education that is probably required in some way, probably not like today because today is broken, completely affordable, or they graduate with this backbreaking debt that's impossible to pay off in a job like yours, but a job that's improving and saving lives.
Quinn: Why do you feel like we make this so fucking difficult? Are there ways to you can think of ...
Brian: Unistructural racism. I mean, it's ...
Quinn: Well, yes. I mean, no. I mean, of course-
Daphany Rose Sanchez : People are just ...
Quinn: ... besides that.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I feel like people are just so ... and I've had this conversation with some corporations now. Ever since everything has come out the past couple of months, people are like, "Well, how can we support black and brown businesses?" I'm like, "Well, look at your internal practices," right? Who are you going to hire? How are you supporting folks that have different cultural backgrounds and socio economical class? How are you designing? How are you reaching out to buildings and engineering buildings? One of the things that we do is ... I went to undergrad and grad school. I went to grad school right after Sandy and because of that, I didn't get any financial aid. It was like ¸"Well, sorry, you missed the deadline." I was like¸ "Yeah, sorry. I almost died, so I couldn't submit an application."
Quinn: Details. Right.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I think you're absolutely right. There are just structural racism, and then it's also greed, right?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : There's this idealism of, well, we had to struggle to make it this far, so the next generation has to struggle as well. It's like, why? Why are you creating these fake barriers, so that you can feel validated? You can't create fake barriers and then at the same time, say we need a climate solution today. A lot of companies are asking for a master's degrees. They want five to eight years of experience, and paying $40,000 a year. When I see that, I'm like, that right there shows that greed and how much you can get out of someone is way more important than any climate action that you're really interested in moving forward.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : We encourage folks to think about, okay, you have a job position that you want to put out there. What are the physical day to day steps that that individual is doing? Are they coordinating meetings? Are they looking for solutions? Are they integrating financing? Are they creating an engineering audit and putting numbers on a spreadsheet, and doing whatever? Take out all of the jargon that you might have related to energy or financing, and housing, just have the simple skill list and then put that out there. If you want somebody that's done that for one, two years, zero years because you think this is something that somebody will learn on the job, that should be the requirement. That's it.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : The education doesn't matter. You could have gone to a community college or the most elite college in the world. What you learn on the job is going to be so valuable. When you do something like that, and you strongly encourage, and you go out of your comfort zone, and you engage with workforce development providers or nonprofits, or other folks that are not in your immediate circles, and saying, "Hey we're looking for someone with these characteristics, these skill sets. They can be in the sector. They can be in other sectors," and interviewing them for those raw skill sets, then you're really trying to kind of transform that market and you're really eliminating those barriers that you're creating. Well, no, you need to have 4.0 GPA, Harvard graduate with 10 years of work experience for $40,000 a year.
Quinn: Right? It's just like, no. That doesn't ...
Daphany Rose Sanchez : We do that. I'm very proud of our first employee. She came from the healthcare sector, and her job was supporting seniors. They were coming into the hospital, they were trying to pay for services that they received at the hospital, and she would walk them through the different insurance plans. Our job was working with affordable housing, low income cooperatives that are buildings that were owned by residents collectively, and they're affordable.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : We work with those co-ops and explain to them ... look at their capital stock, look at how much money they have in their reserves, help them understand what mechanical systems need to be upgraded to more high efficiency ones, and what are the resources out there to get the job done, and do the construction management of that. When I met her and heard about her job, I was like, "My god, you're perfect for this." It's the same exact job. The only difference is the product. She is phenomenal. She learned it super quickly. She was able to get that ... and she was super nervous in the beginning, right? She was like, "My god, the energy sector. I'm not an engineer."
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I was like, "Engineering was not a degree until fairly recently." The way people became an engineer back in the day was that their father was an engineer, and so they learned the trade on the job. We really need to go back to learning the trade, and really, they call it de-industrializing the educational system. Because once we start doing that, then we can really see more people of color, more women entering these fields, when you take out these fake barriers that people putting. That's kind of one example of how we can start fixing this mess in order to get closer to this climate action that we're looking for.
Brian: I love that.
Brian: That's awesome. I love Daph that you've framed the transition as an opportunity, right, for affordable quality public housing and clean power, and clean energy jobs. It's holistic, and it may be a fundamental lesson for us as we seek to find transferable lessons from community to community, or state to state, shoreline to shoreline. So many different places across the world are already facing their own Sandy's, right, their own sea level rise and unaffordable housing, way more dangerous floodplains, and inescapable urban heat. What have you learned in, I guess, the past few years that could sort of be built into a blueprint for other communities? Also, what's unique about your home, about Brooklyn?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I would say, a lot of times government are rushing into these ideas of getting to net zero by 2050 because we have to do it. I think one thing that's essential, and I know a lot of folks have mentioned it and I just have to continue emphasizing it, is how do you ensure that you are engaging the right partners to get you to that transition? Even if you feel like a partner is extremely knowledgeable and you feel comfortable, how do you get out of that comfort zone and start engaging partners that have been in those neighborhoods for 20, 30, 40 years? Because those individuals may definitely have unique solutions on how to support communities transition, because they have been supporting them with every other single thing, right?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : They've been supporting them seeking housing. They've supported them with food access. They've supported them with health. Energy is another thing. Energy efficiency and climate solutions, and climate resiliency is not a foreign, unique, mystique thing. No. It's just another service that that can be integrated into the everyday work. I think that's something that's incredibly critical for cities across the country, and states to think about, is who are you actually engaging for these conversations? Please don't engage a consultant. Engage the community, because that, again, defeats the purpose, and really putting your money where your mouth is, right?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : You say you care about environmental justice communities. Well, let's see how you actually do it. Are you're designing these programs? Are you putting the RFP out only for large companies to apply for? Are you actually making the effort to know what you don't know? I've had conversations with folks, and they're like, "Well. we don't feel comfortable. We don't think they'd have the capacity. We don't really understand how can this alludes to getting us to net zero?" It's like, "Well, you should talk to them directly." Of course, I can't tell you at what time my neighbor is going to start talking. I should just ask her.
Brian: What a wild idea.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, I know. It's so funny because I tell folks all the time, the work that we do, I love the work that we do and the team that we put together, and the partners that we have, but it all, for me, feels like very common sense, because I grew up ... my parents are like, "You have question, you ask for it. You ask." It's not that hard. It's not that complicated, but then as you enter the workforce, this concept of, well, community engagement, people are so scared of doing it. They're so scared of reaching out to the community, because the community, they have these myths, again, these stereotypes and these misconceptions of, "Community is going to be aggressive, and me," and it's like, well, take a step back.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Do you understand why that's the kind of response and engagement you're getting? Are you just imposing an idea? Are you just doing it in an extractive manner where you're like, "We want all this information so we can create an RFP, and then just shoot it off to large consultants." Because if that's the relationship you're creating, then of course, people are going to be mad at you. You, yourself as a human being wouldn't it. I always say I work in the field, just showing people what's common sense and maybe they'll come to that realization.
Quinn: I mean, someone like you is required, the vice president of common sense, of, "No shit, idiot," is so valuable, and is one of the biggest things that's missing from virtually every American company, from startup to massive corporation. I mean, how many times do you see an advertisement or see a product, or see something that someone said, or put out a show, where you go like, "Are you telling me that 12 fucking people approved this and this still happened?" You're like, "Well, yeah, because it's 12 white guys, between 38 and 62, and they're the same person." They're just printed out of a fucking machine.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah. Exactly.
Quinn: Of course they did, because there was no other ... along that list of 12 guys, there wasn't a different perspective at anywhere along the line.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah.
Quinn: Right? You're like, "Yeah, my job is implying common sense to people," but so many of these people, it doesn't click for them. It's funny. I had written something down when I was doing some reading on you, and I have this wonderful friend who's so smart, and works hard and is a wonderful voice for the struggle for writers in Los Angeles, but also for the black community, and he has this great tweet that is three years old now, maybe even older. It's fantastic. His name is Franklin Leonard, and it says, "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression, but it's not." It's so simple and it's so specific.
Quinn: It's made me think of, there's this story in Washington Post and New York Times in the past couple weeks, basically talking about in places where cities and towns have started actually, finally, focus on their low income and/or black and brown community, with regard to urban heat or disaster planning, or public transportation, or food deserts, or future COVID vaccine access. There's been a bit of pushback from everyone else, which is the people who are used to being taken care of first, or the people who, like you said, get the RFP and swoop in and say, "Let me build this shit." Right? It's not unexpected because America is a fucking racist place. We've always known that.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : And greedy. Racist and greedy.
Quinn: Right, and they go together so well for these 12 white guys. Right? But on the other hand, we had this just tremendous conversation last year, which I can't believe it's been a year, but I mean, everyday feels like a year now, with Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and she's one of the architects of the Green New Deal.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, I know her.
Quinn: She is the shit. I love her so much, but she talked with us, and talks publicly all the time about how important it was objectively, but also personally, that she include things like clean energy access and clean energy jobs, specifically for black people and low income communities in the Green New Deal. It was, A, because, one, it's the right thing to do. Two, because those people are out of work and need jobs. Three, we need those specific jobs.
Quinn: Four, because she said, she was like, "I'm writing this for people that I know from my family and friends back in Detroit." On that note a little bit, as we go broader, it's obviously so helpful and important, when possible, for people who do your particular job to work in the zip code they're familiar with, if not where they're raised, right? But in Rhiana's example, how can broader statewide policy or federal policy take into account, most effectively, localities across the country for doing things like you're doing?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Well ...
Quinn: Let me know if any of that makes any sense.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah. I mean, I think I would continue to say, they just need to talk to the people locally. Make the effort. People make effort to figure out what companies they want to work in, right? You do some research on it and you figure it out, and you make your introduction, and you work so adamantly to go to a specific company or go to a specific educational ... in the educational university. The same thing should be done to communities. There's a value. In engaging community organization. There's a value of engaging and uplifting community based urban planners and community based consultants.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Even at the federal level, there are lessons learned and best practices from different regions, whether it's rural or urban, that can be incredibly valuable when you're designing these programs, because I think one of the things that happens, there's a federal energy program that exists. In certain neighborhoods, it's great because they have the printed out versions, but in other neighborhoods where you have a younger building property manager, you could only get the printed out, and it's like, really? Why can't we do things online? I literally had to spend three months waiting to get a paper copy of an application, to get grant funding for a building that had a temporary boiler. It's just, it gets ridiculous. I think that there is ...
Brian: That's ridiculous.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, it's horrible. It's absolutely horrible.
Quinn: There is nothing, even with paper, that should take three months in 2020.
Brian: No. That's just insane.
Quinn: The math just literally doesn't add up. It's insane.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : That's what I'm saying, and a lot of energy solutions and climate solutions are really ... They're either antiquated when it comes to LMI, low income and black and brown people engagement, or they're done in the space where It's exclusively designed in the idea of privatization and making investors more money. There's no in between. This is kind of one of my frustrations, is on the federal level, you need to start ... they need to get out of their comfort zone. They need to start understanding what are the inefficiencies that exist in their current systems, that are intentional, and how do you start moving that forward?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Just giving you all another example with that same program, the idea and the concept of we need to conserve more energy, we need to eliminate fossil fuels, but in that program, it only takes into consideration American citizens. It's like, what does a citizenship, what does a status ... If you're a DACA, if you're an immigrant, why does that matter to your energy consumption? It makes no freaking sense. It's incredibly infuriating when people are designing these programs, and we need to get to net zero. We need to support affordable housing, and they say it, right, in the broadest scope, to force privatization. Then it's like, "Okay, well give us the money and let us work it. Then they're like, "No, but we need a social ... we need your firstborn and give us the rest of your paychecks."
Brian: My [goodness 00:42:30].
Daphany Rose Sanchez : My suggestion for local is the same for federal, is the same for state. Really, on there ... Start getting uncomfortable. Start connecting with folks. We have a deadline. Yes, but the deadline doesn't mean shit if we're going to be in the same space we are today.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I'm 100% confident we're going to get to net zero by 2050. I have no doubt in my mind that we will be fossil free, but I know, and this is my frustration, is that we've seen our economy transition time and time again. Every single time, our communities are the ones to so receive the short end of the stick.
Quinn: Yeah, at best, they're left out. That's not usually the way it goes it. The normal state of affairs is, "Hey, guess what? Now we've got refineries," and you have to live next to those. Yeah. No, it's a nightmare. Is there something that ... I thought about ... and this might be me being entirely uneducated on this specific structure, which would be the seventh time today and it's noon, I thought about, in the lack of climate action the past four or five years federally, there's been a number of ad hoc and informal, and more formal organizations that have popped up to take action on more local and statewide levels, and there's associations and all this other shit. I know there's one that's the ... Oh god. It's like the Association of Mayors for Climate Action or something like that. It's like [crosstalk 00:44:11]-
Quinn: ... mayors or whatever it is. I just wonder, Is there some version of folks like yourself, who do jobs yourself, who could help more specifically influence things like that federal policy, to take a proactive stance of, "Hey, these are the things that are transferable from the communities we live and work in, that should be a part of these policies," as opposed to just people in DC failing to do what you have just said they need to do, which is to come into these communities and ask questions.
Quinn: Because I just want to find some way for this not ... Like you said, not to happen again, which is, at best, communities like yours being left out. Is there some way to structuralize that, to say, hey ... it's almost there's more purchasing power when there's 50 of you. I don't know. I'm talking out of my ass a little bit about it, but it's more just, is there some way to shove it in their face, I guess, is what I'm going for?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah. I mean, it goes back to what I was saying before, like how are you supposed to know ... I was using this example with a colleague earlier, right? I'm not from Jersey, and I don't know what time the school bus is stopping. If I drive out at a certain time of the day, I can get caught behind the school bus. Right? What's the next best thing? The next best thing is that I hire someone that's in Jersey that knows that school bus route. That way that person will never get stuck behind the bus.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : It's the same kind of concept with the policies and ideas that are coming out in the federal level, is take a chance, right? Because I'm calling it a chance because that's what they'll feel like it is, but take the time to hire organizations from those local areas, even if you feel like, okay, their solution ... A New York based solution sounds very New York focused, but if you hire someone from Chicago as well, if you hire someone over in California, and you wind up seeing that the solutions are pretty similar, then maybe that should be your federal urban policy recommendations for energy efficiency.
Quinn: Right. Start there.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah. That would be my recommendation for folks on the federal level. You have to acknowledge your role in this. You also have to acknowledge when it's time to give up power, which again, goes back to that greed and supremacy issue, that people will feel very uncomfortable, right, because you giving up the power that you've worked so hard for, and you went to school for. If you actually care about climate change, that shouldn't matter. You should be able to step aside and provide a platform to other people, but you don't. You care about yourself.
Quinn: Of course. I mean, who gives up power? To be clear, this is the story.
Brian: Not white people.
Quinn: No, this is the story since they set foot on Jamestown. They were just like, "No, we got this."
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah.
Brian: In so many podcasts and topics we've covered and subjects we've talked about, that same thing comes up, is like how does nobody think, "I want to help this community. Maybe I should talk to the people in this community." It just makes absolutely no sense, yet it seems to just constantly happen again and again, and again.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yes, absolutely. I call this a common sense. I learned a lot from my predecessors. Right?
Brian: Right. It's just common sense, right?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Again, these are things that my mother taught me. These are other women leaders from the community has taught me. They've always been like, "Listen. You listen to your elders. You listen to those around you, and then you provide solutions based off of what they're asking for." You're definitely not going to ... If I tell my mother and my grandmother, "This is what we're going to do," she's going to smack me in the back of my head. Communities hear these people coming out. They're not even from the community, and they're like, "We're going to install battery storage for you. Aren't you happy?" It's like, they're not physically slapping you in the back of the head, but they're just eye-rolling you-
Brian: Take for ride.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : ... being like, "Goodbye. Get out of here with this nonsense." Doing it in a way that's non extractive and doing it in a way that's more inclusive, I didn't come up with that at all. People way before me have been saying this. It's just that, for some reason, people play completely dumb and being like, "Well, we don't understand what the issue is, but we don't really want to give up our power or money either, so there has to be another way." We're going to continue this Tom and Jerry because you're not understanding.
Quinn: Right. It's also crazy because ... and people, all the time, roll their eyes when I say this, which is, "Look, I understand you don't want to give up power. It's a human nature thing, but also, if we're basing this all on data, it hasn't gone great. Shit's not great. Shit's a lot worse for communities like yours, for sure, of course, for indigenous and first nations, for black people, for brown. I mean, you name it, and people that look Brian and I have been at the helm of this ship for a few hundred years. It's not great. If you're going to be this big corporation that's basing everything on data, time's up, champ. Didn't go great. Let's give something else a shot. It's crazy.
Brian: Daphany, New York's taken some pretty significant steps in the past couple years toward going carbon neutral. If there is, what role, if any, have public housing advocates had in those decisions? How can we empower other advocates and communities, and citizens to take part in the future of their cities?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : There are two completely different things that are happening on public housing front. Again, this is the lack of conversation that happens within sectors. In the energy efficiency front, as you mentioned, there are very aggressive ... Climate Mobilization Act and the Climate Leadership Community Protection Act has been passed in the city and state to support us to get to net zero by 2050. Excuse me. I had pancakes beforehand and now they're all coming up.
Quinn: No. Hold on. What kind of pancakes?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I had chocolate chip pancakes.
Quinn: That's [crosstalk 00:50:56] the only correct answer. That's the only correct answer. People put the fruit in, and I am a very healthy human, but if we're going to have pancakes, just do it.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I need chocolate chips in there.
Quinn: What are we talking about? It's Tuesday. Put your chocolate chips in. Please continue. Two totally separate things happening in public housing.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Two separate things are happening.
Brian: After this, we're going to have another podcast about pancakes only.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I am totally down. I love pancakes. I actually love all things sweet, but that's a separate conversation.
Quinn: You are in the right space.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : The Public Housing Authority, we're actually working with them on working like a community solar model where we're with other minority owned contractors. We're the only team that's 100% minority and women owned contractors. We're hiring folks from the community to support educational outreach efforts. There's a lot of projects that happening. There is also a multi-billion dollar deficit with public housing, and so this is the other side of it. What we're seeing is that the federal government is really pushing for privatization of goods. We're seeing privatization of health care. We're seeing privatization of education.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Now, we're seeing privatization of public housing. Recently this week, it was announced that the New York City Public Housing Authority has been very happy with RAD, which is a Rental Assistance Demonstration program, where today, the way public housing is structured as section nine deals, which means the apartment is subsidized, and will always be subsidized in perpetuity. That means that your income would go up and down, and it would go up only to 30% of your income, but it would always stay affordable within market rates. Let's say, you're making a couple thousand a year.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Your rent can be 100, $200,000 ... I'm sorry, a $100, $200 a month. Then if the higher income, the rent goes up. The other thing that exists is called Section 8 housing. Section 8 housing completely eliminates the affordability of the unit into the affordability of your income, and it's attached to you. The concerns of Section 8 is that there are rules. Things happen, right? Your income can be really high one year, and then it can go really low the following year, and so on Section 8, if your income was really high one year, and really high is like $50,000 a year [crosstalk 00:53:43] which is a lot less than living wage in New York City, then that's it.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : It cancels out the affordability of your apartment and you're paying market rate rents. What is very kind of depressing and infuriating at the same time is that throughout the history, in the past 10 years, of New York City, people that had Section 8 vouchers were kicked out of the program. Landlords would try to kind of push them to not recertify. There's not any more vouchers coming out at the federal level. The federal government is like, "Public housing has a big deficit. It needs money. Let's make it private, so that we can get private investors to invest in fixing the buildings," but what will happen is that the buildings will go from section nine, which is affordable housing units, to Section 8, which is income based affordability.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Now we're seeing this intersectionality of, we have these climate ... and this is my frustration, right? We have climate projects that are happening and it's great because it's supporting the community, and it's really creating a healthier living environment. At the same time, is that community even going to be there in the next 10 to 20 years with Section 8 vouchers, and a private ownership structure that will own these housing, that was built on black and brown land, which is a whole nother thing. It's like, great. We took this land away from black and brown people, right? They own the houses.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Robert Moses was like, "I want highways, so fuck your housing. We're going to put you temporarily into this public housing that we will maintain," and it was never maintained, and now, 2020, federal government is coming back again and being like, "Well, we're kind of over you all. We didn't give you any ... we had you living in really bad conditions. It doesn't matter because we're going to get private investments to come save the day, and we'll give you a little voucher," but then the moment that you try to support yourself and make a little bit more money, you're just going to have to pay market rate, and you really can't afford to live in New York, but that's not our problem."
Daphany Rose Sanchez : One of the things that I ... and there's nobody doing this right now, but I've been just ... this is just me purely on Twitter being like, "Okay, federal government. I hear what you're saying, but why can't we do community land trust? Why can't we engage the tenants that live in public housing, give them the appropriate tools, acquire financing, so that we own the buildings, and we own the land collectively? Because this land was ours, and you took it away from us, and now you're giving it to someone else to reap the benefits. That's really not okay. When we can do it in a sustainable manner where we're incorporating solar, we can incorporate storage, we can insulate the buildings really tight so we can get as close to passive [inaudible 00:56:55] as possible, but again, what's the value here, right?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : The value is more to the private investment, and the developers, and they really want to give them that carrot, than the community members because they don't value them and they don't see them. They don't see them as anything else. My thing for public housing, as New York is going through this, other states are going through this privatization, is really, community members and organizations out there, really try to think about ways that we can continue to have public housing affordable in perpetuity for black and brown communities that are sustainable. Again, I don't want to live in an environment, in a world where we've created utopia, fossil free future, and then black and brown communities are living somewhere else because the housing they had, they don't have it anymore.
Quinn: Right, because we took that, too. Sorry.
Brian: Sorry. Yeah.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : You're right. Jesus. It's the last place we're in, in New York. Now you want to take that, too?
Quinn: Yep. That's what we do.
Brian: This sounds like the perfect time to get into how to help preventing that, which is our main goal of this whole podcast is to talk about something very important that needs help, and then get to the steps, get to the things that we can do-
Quinn: Action steps.
Brian: ... to support. Action steps, we like to call them. Let's get into that. I'll start with, what we can do, our listeners can do with their voice. What, Daphany, are the big specific and actionable questions that all of us should be asking about of our representatives, our local representatives, maybe state, et cetera?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : It would be, every time you're talking about sustainability, or climate resiliency, or any type of project related to housing, where are the community members involved? How are you paying them? Where's that money coming from? How do you ensure that the transition is actually just, and supporting what the community has been advocating for decades? That's the action items that people really need to dig down to. I was talking about this public housing case. I'm trying to tell folks, hey, throughout the United States, this privatization of public housing, how do we collectively take a stand against developers in saying enough is enough?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : How do you empower communities? How do you organize those communities to become a collective, to have the opportunity to own the land that has been taken away from them? How do you give them resources to understand the technologies? How do you really leverage and give up your power to support a just transition for climate action? I think it really just comes down to that, really understanding your role in this space, and how do you elevate folks that you traditionally don't engage? You might feel uncomfortable.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : You might not really see the selling points per se but do it, do it anyways. The more uncomfortable you feel the more you should continue going through that path, because there are community leaders that are like actively trying to figure out how to support that transition as well. Once you connect with them, it can lead to a myriad of things. For folks in New York, you can feel free to reach out to me and my team. Like I said, we're working on solar, we're working on air source heats pumps, energy efficiency. We're doing all of it, really supporting our communities and getting our communities a part of the development and design.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : We're not just going and being like, "We're planning to install 30 air source heat pumps within the specific region at a different with the specific [inaudible 01:00:57]." It's like, "No. What are you doing? How can we support your work? How can we elevate your organizations and put ours in the back burner, because we don't matter." In order to get the climate action we don't matter. That would be my recommendation for folks. Also on your hiring practices, do better. Stop saying you tried, because you-
Brian: Do better.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : ... emailed a couple of people. Do better.
Quinn: Please just do better.
Brian: If I could reference the great Yoda of Star Wars, "Do or do not, there is no try."
Quinn: Nice, Brian.
Brian: I figured you would like that one Quinn.
Brian: Daphany, what about money? What can we do with our money to help support ...?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Pay people. Pay people the [crosstalk 01:01:46] appropriate wages. Pay people the appropriate wages, pay people for their time, pay people for their resources. Also understanding that the intellectual property of the community don't use it for your own extractive purposes. Pay people for ... If you're working together with the idea, pay people for that idea. Pay people for their research. Pay people for their engagement. Just pay people.
Brian: What a an idea. Wow.
Quinn: I can't believe you would just assume that they wouldn't do that Daphany.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I know, right. It's just like people automatically, the first thing that comes out of their mouth is, "Wow, I really love the work that you're doing at Kinetic Communities. Would you let me know your hourly rates that you can help us brainstorm through these ideas that we have?" Yeah, that's the email I get every single time.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah. I've never gotten that email just an FYI.
Brian: Yeah, no I think I'm getting what you're saying here.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I love it. I love it. I love these emails. They're like, "Thank you so much for your work. I really appreciate the important things that you're doing. Do you have a couple of hours to help us think about this."
Quinn: Right. "Can you do free work for us? Thank you."
Brian: [crosstalk 01:03:05].
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Thank you for telling us that we had to pay our partners. Can you spend some free hours working with us to think about our partners.
Quinn: Sure, you're a low person, can you do this for us for free?
Brian: Wow, Daphany it's been over an hour. I'm sort of sorry that we've kept you for that long, but hopefully-
Quinn: [crosstalk 01:03:24]. She's never gone longer than 20 minutes, and she's regretted every one of the 42 since then.
Brian: We really appreciate you being here, though. Thank you very, very much. Before we let you go, if there's first of all any recommendations of any other people that you respect, admire, that inspire you. People that are changing the world like you are, please let us know either now-
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Guests?
Brian: ... or you can shoot us a message later, but we love getting great recommendations from guests.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah. I can give you a whole slew of folks. On the housing space there are organizations in New York City that has worked supporting black and brown communities achieve home ownership. The NHSs is what I'll call them. There's NHS of Staten Island, NHS Queens. There's another organization that is very dear to my heart. They're called UHAB. They have been around since white flight. If you guys don't know what that is, you should look it up.
Quinn: [inaudible 01:04:29].
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Okay, good. They basically when white flight happened, they took black and brown communities that were squatting into buildings and help them rehabilitate the buildings and cooperatively owned the buildings. And now-
Quinn: That's rad.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, it's an amazing organization. Now what they're doing is supporting those buildings fighting gentrification, and ensuring that the co-ops have the right mechanisms to continue moving forward.
Quinn: White people are back.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yep, exactly.
Brian: You said is called You Have?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : UHAB, U-H-A-B.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : The Urban-
Brian: Awesome. Thank you. That's sounds great.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, I'll type it over in the link, although nobody can see this.
Quinn: It's fine, it's all audio.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : UHAB, and then I also want to elevate, the last two I promise. For folks that-
Quinn: No, please.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : ... are really interested in just transition in New York City. There's a coalition called Climate Works for All. We do have a platform of what we're asking from the city, when we're asking organizations to sign on to that platform to show solidarity with organizations that are doing housing justice, social justice, criminal justice. We all collectively wants to see a just transition, but we want to make sure our communities are involved. That's the third entity. And then the last one is being a woman of color in this industry has been incredibly difficult.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : You guys can all see me, but I'm also 4'11", so I'm pretty short. I'm a very loud spoken New York Latina woman, but I'm also pretty short and my height has had limitations with like people seeing me as a figure of authority when I'm in energy meeting. They'll be like, "Oh, you're so cute, are you the intern?" I'm like-
Brian: Oh my god.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : "I hate you. I actually am the executive director, and now I'm not going to do business with you.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I've had that happen a couple of times where I go on like job sites and they're like, "Oh, are you the new intern?" I'm like, "Yeah, no-
Quinn: Oh Jesus.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : ... I don't even look that young so ...
Brian: What is wrong with people?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : People think it's ... I can go into a whole nother hour of things that people have told me and they feel very comfortable telling me, and then I just sit there being like, "What goes through your mind that you feel so comfortable to say something incredibly racist and sexist to me?" But anyway, the last organization that I wanted to elevate is from two of my colleagues who also were feeling the same way. We actually had an event this Friday, where they're women of color that are just fed up with the industry, and so they created something called Women of Color Collective in Sustainability, also known as WOC/CS.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : We actually had an event this past Friday, where we had 432 other women of color across the country join the first time ever.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : People were just so happy because it was just such a sense of, "Oh my gosh, we're not alone. We're all together doing this, and we're here to F stuff up.
Brian: You keep holding back that F-bomb Daphany.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I know.
Brian: Let loose.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : You know what it is? I know it's just because I have to ... I curse so much in like my regular life, so every time I'm like work mode I'm like, "Okay, try to minimize the amount of times you're cursing to five times an hour."
Quinn: The feedback [crosstalk 01:08:07] we get from people that are like, "Listen, this was really great. However, I was driving with my children when you went on your tirade." I'm like, "Look, things are dark." What do you want from me.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I try my best exactly for that reason. I've been told that I go on ... I'll start ranting to people and being like, "What's wrong with you? This makes no sense." Like I said, I really have no fear, because if ... I love the work that I do, my company has been working aggressively in this affordable and energy efficiency space, but I've been broke before. I can lose every single thing and I'm like, "Okay, great. Back to the drawing board." I have no fear in my heart when I say things. But I've also heard people being like, "I have my kid here," and I'm like, "Oh shit, I'm so sorry."
Brian: [inaudible 01:08:51] Oh, shit. Sorry. Oh shit.
Quinn: Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah.
Quinn: Yeah, story of my life.
Brian: Well thank you, we can write this episode PG-13 Officially, thank you.
Brian: Okay, Daphany we have some last few questions for you if that's okay.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, yeah.
Brian: It's stuff we ask everybody.
Quinn: Real quick.
Brian: It's a lightning round sort of.
Quinn: She's definitely never got to this part, so [crosstalk 01:09:12] she has no idea what's coming. Daphany ...
Daphany Rose Sanchez : [inaudible 01:09:22] Now I feel like I definitely should have finished it because I'm like, "Oh, crap."
Brian: No stop it.
Quinn: Oh yeah. You thought the first one was bad? Just wait. No. Daphany when was the first time in your life and you can answer these in lightning style if you're more comfortable. When was the first time in your life when you realized you had the power of change or the power to do something meaningful?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I want to say when I was ... I think it was right after Sandy. I was like 16, I realized that everything I learned didn't matter, and it was just what mattered was to help my community connect to ... My family, right? Help my family and the people that live around those connect to engineers and connect to social services. It was kind of a guilt of being like crap. I learned about sustainability and yet I couldn't even help myself with it. I think it was that moment that I really started not giving a fuck and really focus on community and energy, and resiliency all at once.
Quinn: I love it. Yeah. I mean, if that doesn't get you going.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : If near death [inaudible 01:10:26] doesn't get me going. I don't know what will.
Quinn: If you're windows are not getting bashed in.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I know. It was really helpful though, because it was like ... Up until that time, I was still like believing the stereotypes. You should be embarrassed of where you come from, where you live, who you are, you should always be grateful. I think it was at that moment that I was like, "Oh, fuck all of this. Like, I'm going to just do this and get it done. And I don't really care what people say."
Quinn: There's something about rock bottom that just makes you go like, "Oh. No I don't fucking care anymore."
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Exactly.
Quinn: Well we were thankful you are who you are, but obviously I'm sorry you had to go through that to get there.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Don't apologize you didn't send Sandy my way.
Brian: Wait, did you?
Quinn: Or did I?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : [inaudible 01:11:14].
Brian: All right.
Quinn: Easy, easy, easy not this show. Daphany, who is someone in your life that's positively impacted your work in the past six months?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Who is someone in my life that's impacted my work in the past six months. My parents. The way they've fought for me and for my community all my life has always impacted what I did.
Brian: Can't beat that.
Quinn: Awesome. Easy,,
Brian: Right. That's there one flaw.
Quinn: Even though they won't tell you what your real name is? They seem great-
Brian: I know.
Quinn: ... otherwise.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah they don't ever tell me what my name is.
Brian: What's your self care these days? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed and you got to just have some Daphany time?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Two things. Halloween planning all year long. I love Halloween. Yeah. And then I have this guilty thing of like I always eat sweets, and then I do Spartan races [crosstalk 01:12:09] so I feel like trash.
Quinn: Wait, stop. Wait, you're me.
Brian: You have found your twin.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah? Awesome.
Quinn: That's me I literally east ... My diet is basically like 90% salad greens and 10% chocolate chip cookies, and then I just go run Spartan races to make myself feel better about it.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yep that's ... Although the opposite. I'm like 90% chocolate chip cookies and 10% greens.
Quinn: To be clear I'm lying.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Okay.
Quinn: Yeah, no.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah I've been able to-
Quinn: Let's just get [inaudible 01:12:40].
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I don't do any workout and then I'm like, "Okay, I'm going to sign up for this beast and spend six hours in West Virginia trying to get home before the sun goes down because I'm like I am not going to be out here in the middle of the mountain."
Quinn: Yeah, no yeah. Listen, two questions. [crosstalk 01:13:02] One, do you think Spartan races are ever going to happen again? Two, we have to do one together now. You know that right?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I'm totally down. I just have to warn you though. I do one with my friend and she's like 5'11". She's a giant and I'm short. What we do is she's actually a really good runner, so she motivates me to run, but I am pretty good at lifting her over the walls. I can lift you over the walls, but you have to wait for me to run.
Quinn: A thousand percent I mean, no question. It's ride or die.
Brian: [crosstalk 01:13:33] And I'm going to be so happy watching you guys from the sidelines. Are the sidelines at Spartan races? What do I do? Got it.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : [crosstalk 01:13:39] you're going to have to wait like six hours.
Quinn: I've been trying to get Brian to do one of these for so long.
Brian: I like the eating the [crosstalk 01:13:46] eatings sweets part of this duo and then after that I'm done. No Spartan races for me.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I love it. I've been able to do two trifectas, so-
Quinn: Congratulations. I mean that is hard.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : It is but honestly it's ... I'm very passionate about my work and it's like what I eat, breathe and sleep. Spartan races is something that's like has nothing to do with efficiency in housing. And I'm like, "Okay, this is my break." Just throwing myself across a wall and river."
Quinn: Oh, yeah. Trying not to eat shit as you're flying down like a forest full of roots and you're on hour five, is a great way to just forget about your work for one minute.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Exactly.
Brian: Awesome. Love that answers.
Quinn: All right Brian, bring it home.
Brian: Here we go. Daphany, if you could send one book to Donald Trump, what would that book be? We have a big list of recommendations from all of our past guests. Great stuff. It's on bookshop, and listeners can find all that stuff in the show notes. [crosstalk 01:14:51] What would you add to the list?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : He doesn't even read but ...
Brian: This is very true probably.
Quinn: Pretend it's like someone's reading to him.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : I would say Bargaining for Brooklyn. Bargaining for Brooklyn is an amazing book that I recommend you all to read, that talks about community organizations in the '60s and '70s, during white flight, like what they've done to support and continue helping the community regardless of what was happening outside of them. It's about my neighborhood. Again, that's why I'm saying he won't even read this. Because he'd be like, "Oh, yeah, I'm mad because they sued me because I only wanted white people in my buildings." But it's a great book about Williamsburg and Bushwick, and what happened during those times. How the community again, came together and was like, "Nobody cares about us. That's fine. We'll care for each other. We'll create housing for ourselves, we'll have childcare for ourselves. We'll support each other with legal representation."
Daphany Rose Sanchez : It is just such a beautiful history of how my community pre gentrification was able fight against things that were coming to them so-
Brian: Love that.
Quinn: Excited to check that out.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah.
Quinn: Daphany, last thing. Where can our listeners follow you on the internet?
Daphany Rose Sanchez : You can follow me ... I think LinkedIn is my first, Instagram is my second and Twitter's my third. Although Twitter and Instagram are constantly twisting and turning on that rank level. Daphany Rose Sanchez, Kinetic Communities Consulting on LinkedIn, and then for Instagram it's ... I'm literally looking at it because I'm not really good at it. Daphnyc and Kinetic Communities. For Twitter it's also Daphnyc. I'm a bad millennial, I'm not good at social media, I just opened all of these things last year.
Brian: All good.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Follow me on ... or tweet me at Daph_NYC_ There you go. See? I'm learning. That's [crosstalk 01:17:00].
Brian: Underscores. Those are good. Those are important, I need those. Thank you. Underscores, thank you. Awesome.
Quinn: Perfect, awesome. This has been informative, and so helpful, and encouraging, and delightful as well. And can't thank you enough for all the work you're doing for your community and to pave the way for other communities like yours, because there are so many in so many different places that are all obviously very unique, but are unified in the fact that people that look like us for hundreds of years have been screwing you over. So whatever we can do to help, we want to do that.
Quinn: Thank you again for your time and, and for sharing your pancakes with us [crosstalk 01:17:45]. And yeah, we hope to talk to you again soon.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Yeah, no problem. Thank you for having me. I will definitely hold you accountable to that race whenever they happen, because they're probably not [crosstalk 01:17:58]. I have like three waivers because they got canceled this year so ...
Quinn: This is fantastic. Awesome. All right, Daphany, we will talk to you soon. Say hi to your mom, dad for us.
Brian: Thank you so much.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : Will do.
Brian: Have a great one.
Quinn: All right, take care.
Daphany Rose Sanchez : You too. Take care. Bye.
Quinn: Thanks to our incredible guest today, and thanks to all of you for tuning in. We hope this episode has made your commute, or awesome workout, or dishwashing or fucking dog walking late at night that much more pleasant. As a reminder please subscribe to our free email newsletter at important not important calm it is all the news most vital to our survival as a species.
Brian: You can follow us all over the internet you can find us on Twitter @importantnotimp. Just, it's so weird. Also on Facebook and Instagram at Important, Not Important. Pinterest and Tumblr the same thing. Check us out, follow us share us, like us, you know the deal. Please subscribe to our show wherever you listen to things like this. If you're really fucking awesome rate us on Apple podcasts to keep the lights on. Thanks.
Brian: You can find the show notes from today right in your little podcast player and at our website importantnotimportant.com.
Quinn: Thanks to the very awesome Tim Blane for our jamming music. To all of you for listening. And finally, most importantly, to our moms for making us have a great day.
Brian: Thanks, guys.
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