The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council participated in the People’s Climate March on Sunday, September 21, 2014. Council members joined a broad coalition of environmental, labor and community groups demanding world leaders take a proactive stance on environmental justice during the United Nation’s Climate Summit, Tuesday, September 23, 2014.
This mobilization by thousands of advocates and organizations around the world demonstrates the need for cross-sector collaboration to minimize the impact of global warming. Members marched in solidarity with them to pursue an international response to the detrimental health and economic effects all communities face under extreme weather conditions.
New York City Progressives hope to advance a multi-tiered approach to create a healthier and more sustainable environment. Members look forward to being allies in the fight to avoid climate catastrophe. The People’s Climate March provides a platform to galvanize around this universal experience that is creating critical consequences at home and abroad.
WHAT PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS MEMBERS SAY:
“The People’s Climate March provides a unique opportunity to address long standing issues surrounding climate change, public health, energy dependence, and most importantly, social justice,” said Caucus Co-Chair and Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, Council Member Donovan Richards. “Business as usual, in terms of irresponsible energy usage and development, will only continue to cause further detriment to our environment and negatively impact those most vulnerable. Today’s march marks the culmination of years of work by environmental advocates, labor unions, faith leaders, and concerned citizens dedicated to spurring global action and combating climate change. I anticipate great changes not only for New York City, but also for the wider international community. Together, we can and will change the world!”
“Taking action on climate change should not just be a priority for progressives; it should be a priority for everyone. On Sunday, the Progressive Caucus is proud to march with the rest of the City Council and people from all over New York City, the country, and the world to demand that climate change be addressed,” said Caucus Co-Chair Antonio Reynoso. “The Caucus has a particular interest in ensuring that underrepresented communities are heard in the conversation around sustainability, and we hope that ALL New Yorkers will join us in the streets on Sunday. To change everything, we need everyone!”
“I’m proud to walk in the People’s Climate March and continue the deeply important effort to combat the threat of climate change in our city and across the world,” said Council Member Margaret Chin, Treasurer of the Caucus. “We simply can’t wait when it comes to protecting the planet that future generations will inherit — we must act now, and we must stand united for policies that put our environment first.”
“Superstorm Sandy, a sign of things to come from climate change, hit New York City two years ago, and we are still rebuilding our City,” said Vice-Chair for Policy, Council Member Ben Kallos. “We join together in the peoples’ climate march, steps from the United Nations, so our world leaders will take the necessary action to fight climate change.”
Council Member Brad Lander said, “If we don’t want to tell our kids and grandkids that we utterly failed them — when the evidence was clear — then we must take bold action now. On the eve of the People’s Climate March and the UN Climate Summit, the New York City Council is helping to lead the way. By setting an ambitious goal, retrofitting our buildings to save energy, committing to dramatically reduce NYC’s own use of fossil fuels, cleaning up our air, and promoting mass transit, we’ll be able to approach future generations with a clear conscience and a more sustainable planet.”
“The world needs action on climate and we need it now,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “The People’s Climate March will allow New York City to show the world how crucial it is that we act on climate change and I am proud to join with my Progressive Caucus colleagues in marching this Sunday.“
“As the father of two daughters, climate change is an incredibly personal issue. We must protect our natural resources so that my little girls, and children everywhere, can grow and raise their own children in a stable, sustainable world.” Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez said, “Everything begins with education; we need to start educating our children from an early age about climate change in order to have them grow aware of their impact on our environment. Today we march to show not only the UN and Congress, but also governments and citizens worldwide that Climate Change is a major issue that we need to address.“
“New Yorkers experience the growing effects of climate change daily,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “This weekend, thousands will take to the streets to sound the alarm on the negative impacts of continued inaction. Climate change undermines our safety, security and economy and disproportionately harms low-income communities. The Peoples Climate March will serve as a call to action for the world.”
“The People’s Climate March is an opportunity to highlight a real problem for communities like ours – both in urban America and across communities of color – that have been historically impacted by environmental injustices. These include inequitable waste disposal policies and the use of certain fuels which have negatively impacted countless families, but that we are just now beginning to recognize,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “This is time to focus on working with our partners in the environmental community to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.”
“As a councilmember representing a waterfront district, and as Chair of the Committee on Waterfronts, issues of climate change and its impact on the city are of the highest priority for me. As we learned from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, for which we were woefully unprepared – with tragic consequences – we must take all necessary steps to prepare for the impact that climate changes is having on our city,” said Councilwoman Debi Rose (49th District/SI). “We have a moral and practical imperative to do everything we can to reduce climate change and save our precious environment. As an elected official, I have been and pledge to continue to do all that I can to address climate change for the continued safety and success of our great city.
The Progressive Caucus is committed to confronting climate change by prioritizing affordable transit, greener buildings and livable streets.