Upper West Side CERT

HSAC Presents Sustainability and Efficiency Recommendations to New York Leaders

By Ian Alterman and Linda Lopez

In a public press conference yesterday at the Grand Hyatt New York, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) presented a draft of recommendations by its Sustainability and Efficiency Task Force, an independent advisory board of sustainability experts.

HSAC press conference

Mayor Bloomberg, addressing the meeting, is flanked by HSAC members, Senator Gary Hart and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Judge William Webster is on the far right.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed the featured speaker, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and a packed room of interested parties from New York’s intelligence, law enforcement, and first response agencies, and the business and academic communities.

After commending the HSAC on its work in drafting the recommendations, the mayor put in a pitch for additional DHS funding for various initiatives of the NYPD, OEM, and other agencies dealing with anti-terrorism. Ms. Napolitano spoke about the continued need for vigilance and outlined some of the initiatives DHS has undertaken in the year since she became secretary. After their remarks, the mayor and secretary left, and the business meeting was called to order.

The meeting was chaired by William Webster, the HSAC chairman and former director of the CIA and FBI, and co-chaired by Gary Hart, the former U.S. senator from Colorado.

HSAC logoThe HSAC panel included Norman Augustine, the former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., and Martin O’Malley, the governor of Maryland, as well a dozen or so other HSAC members, including the task force chair, Dr. Lydia Thomas, the former president and CEO of Noblis, Inc.

After opening remarks by Mr. Webster, Mr. Hart spoke about the need for continued vigilance in protecting the American people, but emphasized the importance of safeguarding civil liberties in the process. Quoting Benjamin Franklin, he said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Dr. Thomas presented the recommendations of the task force, which, its executive summary says, “outline[s] a strategy through which the Department of Homeland Security can adopt sustainable practices, decrease reliance on foreign oil, limit contribution to climate change, and address fiscal concerns in a way that strengthens the DHS mission and enhances the overall security of the nation.”

Ruth David, the president and CEO of ANSER, Inc., gave a brief presentation about the ongoing work of the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Advisory Committee, an HSAC subcommittee.

Several CERT members attended the meeting, including UWS CERT deputy chiefs Linda Lopez and Ian Alterman.

NOTE: Downloadable documents for further information may be added to this post over the next few days.

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