By Matthew Fischetti
North Brooklyn pols have two things in common: they want you to vote for the Environmental Bond Act and want you to vote for Kathy Hochul.
At a Friday November 4th rally, North Brooklyn electeds and advocates like the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance and Newtown Creek Alliance, stumped for the ballot measure and Governor Hochul at Bushwick Inlet Park.
If passed, Proposition 1 on voters’ ballots would unlock $4.2 billion in spending, by taking on debt, for at least $1.1 billion for flood risk and restoration, up to $1.5 billion for climate change mitigation, up to $650 million for land conservation and at least $650 million for water quality improvement.
“This is a great investment for families to be able to enjoy our waterfront, to come to these areas, clean up brownfields throughout the state, and develop and construct and build beautiful parks like this one, we deserve better,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.
Brownfields are former industrial areas potentially damaged by industrial pollution. The state has been studying ways to remediate the potential damage in North Brooklyn since at least 2017, in order to give them new life and possible devlopment in the future.
“We are the first generation to really truly feel the effects of climate change,” Governor Hochul said at the rally, emphasizing the importance of the bond measure. “We’re also the last generation to do anything about it before it’s too late.”
Brooklyn Beep Antonio Reynoso highlighted the long-term fights North Brooklyn politicians have had to go to bat for: like the decade-plus years of advocacy for Bushwick Inlet Park in an area with one of the highest asthma rates in the city.
“It’s an unfortunate reality, that we grow up needing to fight for the environment, that you need to fight for North Brooklyn. But it is who we are. It’s what defines us,” Reynoso said.
Reynoso emphasized that the measure would help North Brooklyn by gaining more greenspace without having to spend as much time fighting and advocating for it.
“So prop one means so much to us, because we don’t want to have to fight for these things for environmental justice and equity in North Brooklyn,” he continued. “Why do we have to come out every single time to fight for these things? Voting prop one takes a little bit of a burden away from our advocacy, and allows us to focus on other things like enjoying the parks that we fought for.”
“In the Assembly I have been so grateful to have an ally like the Governor in office, she is really standing firm on climate,” Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher said. “And I’m really looking forward at what needs to happen to move us away from fossil fuels and towards a resilient New York State.”