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climate

Green New York

The climate crisis has arrived in our state and in Queens—and it’s getting worse. We need bold legislation that holds polluters accountable, upgrades our infrastructure, bans fossil fuels, and puts people and the planet first.

Power Is a Public Good

Build Public Renewables Act
In 2023, regular New Yorkers passed the largest Green New Deal victory in American history with the Build Public Renewables Act, which empowers the New York Power Authority to step in to build the publicly-owned clean energy we need to get New York off fossil fuels when the private sector falls short. Now, we have to make sure New York uses BPRA to kick off the biggest buildout of renewable energy in history, all while lowering energy bills and creating tens of thousands of union jobs. BPRA will transform our climate, health, infrastructure, and economy, and I promise to fight to unlock its full potential and build renewables at the scale the climate crisis demands.

Lower Utility Bills
We don’t have to depend on corporate monopolies for our energy. Con Ed and National Grid overcharge us, cut off power when we can’t pay outrageous premiums, keep us hooked on dirty fossil fuels, and neglect their infrastructure which results in blackouts. When rates go up, they profit, and working families suffer. If we empower the New York Power Authority and transition to 100% democratically owned renewable energy, we will lower our bills and create a cleaner, healthier New York.

In addition, with BPRA, we established the REACH program to automatically discount energy bills of low- or moderate-income customers in disadvantaged communities, and I will be a voice for working families to ensure the program is done right. I will also support the New York HEAT Act, which caps utility bills at 6% for energy-burdened neighbors.

Green Union jobs
The Green New York we deserve will be built by well-paid union workers. Transitioning to a just, renewable future with labor leading every step of the way is non-negotiable for me. We need to keep New Yorkers safe by building publicly owned renewable energy, building green social housing, and retrofitting existing buildings and schools to fortify our future. These necessary projects will create tens of thousands of jobs in the process, and I will be fighting to ensure these are thriving-wage, union jobs that hire from communities who have been historically marginalized from the clean energy workforce.

Health
Every New Yorker deserves to breathe clean air. But across the state and Queens, thousands of New Yorkers are struggling with asthma and dirty air because our state is still hooked on fossil fuels. It’s time to bring the smokestacks down. The Just Energy Transition Act (A4866) will jump-start the phase-out of our oldest and most-polluting fossil fuel plants, so that every New Yorker can breathe easy. But right now New Yorkers in manufacturing zones across the state are forced to bear unchecked pollution from delivery trucks associated with the e-commerce mega-warehouses like Amazon that keep expanding in communities of color. The Clean Deliveries Act (A1718) would create protections for schools and disadvantaged neighborhoods, safeguarding our lungs from the air quality issues these warehouses have produced.

Green New Deal for Queens

Green Social Housing
The future is Green Social Housing built by the working class, for the working class, and owned by the working class. I will support the creation of a Social Housing Development Authority that will build and preserve permanently affordable housing that is publicly owned, tenant-controlled, union-built, and climate-resilient. See more here.

Clean, healthy homes should be for everyone — not just the rich. That’s why I also support the Green Affordable Pre-Electrification Program (A9170), which will provide funding for renovations to existing, older buildings that are often in need of weatherization and other energy efficiency improvements. This will make green homes accessible for working-class and low-income homeowners and renters, lower utility bills, and help New York achieve its climate goals.

With more than two thirds of New York City’s greenhouse emissions coming from buildings, combating climate change means we need to transition away from fossil fuel boilers and furnaces in our homes. The upgrades necessary to comply with Local Law 97 can be daunting, especially for New Yorkers on fixed incomes, working class families, and co-op shareholders living in older buildings. That’s why I support the Bucks for Boilers Act (A9990), which would provide resources to households and building owners to make their homes more energy efficient and upgrade their gas boilers to electric heat pumps when it’s time to replace them. The Bucks for Boilers Act would provide upfront costs to low-income New Yorkers who would otherwise not be able to make these necessary upgrades, and would require high-road labor standards for workers undertaking the upgrades—creating good, union jobs while ensuring that no one gets left behind in the transition to a renewable and green future.

Investing in public transit and bike lanes
City planning shouldn’t prioritize cars over people. It’s time to shift gears towards pedestrian-friendly streets, ample green spaces, and efficient public transit. Let’s design cities that prioritize the well-being and accessibility of all residents, not just vehicles. By creating infrastructure that keeps everyone protected, we can create vibrant, livable communities where walking and cycling are safe and enjoyable. Investing in sustainable transportation options benefits our health, environment, and quality of life.

Climate resiliency
We cannot slow-walk urgent infrastructure upgrades on behalf of the establishment’s fossil fuel donors. We must end our reliance on fossil fuels and protect people from the super storms they cause. That means retrofitting buildings and schools to make them safer and greener, and investing in green space, urban forests, and desperately needed flood mitigation.

More green space is not just good for the soul, it’s important for flood prevention. Queens needs flood mitigation as the climate crisis worsens. Green spaces can play a significant role in alleviating flooding, and urban forests have a big impact on flood control, allowing water to infiltrate into the soil instead of simply running off into streets or storm sewers.

I will also support state funding for an expanded tree initiative. In addition to reductions in four pollutants, (O3, NO2, SO2, PM10), carbon sequestration, decreased stormwater runoff, building energy savings due to shading, a 30% increase in tree coverage could lead to 40% fewer deaths from urban heat.