Expand and enforce the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
Strengthen the Department of Environmental Conservation
Improve water quality standards. Stop dumping raw sewage!
No new fossil fuel pipelines
In 1867, one of the world’s first modern oil refineries opened on the banks of Newtown Creek in Greenpoint. More than a century and a half later, North Brooklyn is suffering the consequences of climate change and industrial pollution wrought by our fossil fuel economy.
We have urgent local needs. North Brooklyn, like much of NYC, is served by Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). That means both sewage and stormwater head to the same treatment plants. When it rains, the system can overflow and untreated sewage gets dumped directly into our fragile waterways. For example, each year over 1.2 billion gallons of CSO are discharged into Newtown Creek, the tributary that forms the border between Greenpoint and Long Island City. New York State recently signed off on a plan to tackle this disaster–except it would only reduce sewage dumping by 61%. They could have selected a plan for 100% reduction. But they were cheap and shortsighted.
North Brooklyn also faces a wider crisis. The science is clear: we have a decade to transform our energy system or face catastrophe. It’s that dire. Working people and waterfront communities will bear the brunt.
But climate change also presents a unique opportunity. The public investment and planning that it will require to transition to a carbon-free economy can also create tens of millions of high-paying union jobs. We may have just passed an ambitious climate change law but we need representatives who will chase it, clarify it, expand it, and make sure the goals are being met. And crucially, it must prioritize the needs of working people.
This doesn’t just mean unprecedented investments in green energy jobs that must include higher wages, secure benefits and the rights to collectively bargain. It also means investing and valuing in low-carbon jobs like teaching and care work. By dramatically raising standards in these industries, we can make them more attractive options for young people entering the workforce. A green transition also means massive investments in public transportation and green housing construction.
This is the fight of our lives and I’ll be on the front lines.