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On October 28, Bronx residents, elected officials, and community leaders for climate, jobs, and justice gathered in New York.
The meeting featured community leaders Dior St. Hlilaire, Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman and New York State Nurses Association Leader and Bronx Emergency Room Nurse Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez with elected officials, State Assembly members Karines Reyes, Nathalia Fernandez and Kenny Burgos, State Senator Luis Sepulveda and the Bronx Democratic presidential candidate , Vanessa Gibson, spoke out as masters. Statements of support were shared by Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.
Victor Davila, ACTION program manager / community organizer at The Point CDC, recognized Bronx residents who came together to shape solutions for the Bronx.
“Hurricane Ida barely hit New York, but the effects were devastating,” Davila said. “This was not our first storm, and it will not be the last. In order for the Bronx to survive future devastation, we must fund a fair transition to renewable energy. “At the same time, polluters are paying for the damage they continue to do. We want to build a better future for the Bronx through the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act (CCIA).”
The rally brought together over 30 organizations from across the Bronx to support bold climate legislation that relies on Bronx-based community organizations to shape solutions that are right for the Bronx. The event was co-hosted by New York Renews, The Point CDC, Jewish Climate Action Network NYC and TREEage.
Participants gathered in support of the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA), which would have a major impact on the Bronx due to the CCIA’s commitment that a third of the funds raised will go to frontline community organizations, such as the Bronx, which has suffered the worst environmental and climate pollution and most in need of measures to build resilience to the effects of climate change. Speakers referred to the devastating effects of Hurricane Ida and the expected increases in chaotic weather events if the climate crisis continues unabated. The Bronx is particularly vulnerable to the climate and health impacts of high emissions due to the concentration of pollution generated by highways and industry.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, head of the Assembly’s Bronx delegation, was represented by Jack Gorman, a climate activist leader with the Jewish Climate Action Network NYC, the Bronx Jews for Climate Action, and GreenFaith. Gorman shared excerpts from a statement from Dinowtiz acknowledging the need for an urgent, effective response when passing the CCIA.
“I do not think anyone gathered here today is a denier of climate change, but for the anti-scientists who did not seem to realize it before – the intense storms that hammered New Yorkers this summer removed any doubt that the climate crisis is very real and requires an urgent, effective response from our government, “said Dinowitz.” The Climate and Community Investment Act – which is really a carbon tax – has the potential to be the biggest single difference in our fight to mitigate and adapt to climate change that we can do in New York. It’s a good idea and it’s going to be one of our top priorities when we return to Albany in January. ”