For those of you who have been following along with the Our Sustainable City column, we are onto our third staff spotlight. This week, we are introducing you to Mia Ambroiggio, our Resilience Corps fellow who has been serving with our office since November 2021. You have probably seen her name before in the byline of this very column.

Mia Ambroiggio Courtesy photo

Casey: What is your position title/description? How long have you been in this position? And what do you work on for the Sustainability Office?

Mia: I am the Sustainability Fellow within the Greater Portland Council of Governments Resilience Corps working in the South Portland Sustainability Office for the year. I am about six months into this experience, so halfway through. Most of my work in the Sustainability Office has been outreach focused: I write the weekly Our Sustainability City column in the Sentry, a monthly column in Amjambo Africa, and am part of the One Climate Future communications team.

In addition, I assist in research and program narrative writing in areas such as electric lawncare equipment, beneficial electrification and single-use plastic reduction.

Casey: What is the Resilience Corps?

Mia: The Resilience Corps works throughout the greater Portland region building resilience in areas such as sustainability, climate action, digital equity, economic development and more. It is an interesting and unique opportunity to add capacity to municipalities and nonprofit organizations and work on a variety of resilience-focused projects. The cohort is jam-packed with some really impressive and inspiring people that I feel lucky to know and work with.

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Casey: What is the importance of outreach and communication in sustainability/climate action?

Mia: Successful climate action and sustainability efforts are not possible without outreach and communication. When we speak about concepts such as intersectionality and inclusivity, the core component of that is putting in the work to reach the communities climate change will disproportionately impact. Without the element of information sharing, climate action and sustainability work would be an internal effort, causing communities to be less informed about how climate change will affect them and how to get involved in climate action.

Casey: What has been your most rewarding experience/project in this position (so far)?

Mia: One of my first Amjambo Africa columns called “Everything is Connected” was about the importance of identifying vulnerability, getting involved in community climate action efforts, and how social and environmental sustainability are inevitably intertwined. Looping in my newfound knowledge of South Portland’s climate action plan with equity-focused environmental thought, especially on a platform that reaches diverse audiences within Maine, was extremely rewarding.

Casey: You’re always researching new topics to write about for the Sentry and Amjambo Africa. Can you share something impactful that you learned that has stuck with you?

Mia: Honestly, I cannot get over how terrible small motor lawn care equipment is for the planet. I never thought I would feel so strongly about how much I dislike gasoline powered lawnmowers, but my goodness. They pollute the soil. They emit so much. Yuck.

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Casey: How can South Portland residents interact with you/your work?

Mia: I love receiving emails in response to Sentry articles (or anything else). Reach out to me whenever and I would love to connect.

Though Mia is new to South Portland, over the course of her service she has been getting to know the city and what it has to offer. Here are some of her favorite places so far:

Favorite local business? SoPo Seafood (this is sort of a half-answer. Mia hasn’t been but is dying to)

Favorite coffee shop? Omi’s

Favorite place to eat? Taco Trio

Favorite place to recreate? Fisherman’s Point

Casey Zorn is sustainability program manager for South Portland. She can be reached at 207-347-4147 or [email protected]

Our Sustainable City is a recurring column in the Sentry intended to provide residents with news and information about sustainability initiatives in South Portland. Follow the Sustainability Office on Instagram and Facebook @soposustainability.

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