Together we make a powerful difference

Apply for the national award-winning Citizens Academy!

Citizens Academy is an interactive educational program of FOCUS Greater Syracuse that informs citizens about how local governments are organized and how services are funded and delivered. It is a place to learn about citizen involvement through an integrated approach to economic vitality, social equity and a healthy environment. Anyone can be an activist. But if you’re nervous to get involved because you don’t know the ins and outs of local government – this is the resource for you! Classes will run every Wednesday from September 15, 2021 through November 17, 2021 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Apply here…

Read more

Show up for Green Amendment Day on July 13th!

Green Amendment Day is dedicated to education and engagement on the power of constitutional Green Amendments for protecting the rights of all people, including future generations, to a clean and healthy environment–with a particular focus on how Green Amendments transform our legal system to strengthen Environmental Justice. We’re challenging you to speak up and take action to demand environmental rights for ALL and to help spread the word across your community, state, and our nation.

Read more

Sign the petition to #MakePollutersPay!

Have you heard? Congress is finally getting ready to vote on a bill that would make polluters, not everyday families pay to clean up Superfund sites. Right now, we need to let our legislators know why bringing back the Polluters Pay Tax is so important — and we need your help to get out the message! If you believe polluters should pay to clean up their messes, use this link to send a letter to your representatives in support of the Superfund Polluters Pay Restoration Act of 2021. Polluters Pay is essential to protecting our communities from corporate pollution and…

Read more

$20M dollars to “rescue” Tompkins County. How do you want to see it spent?

The Tompkins County Legislature is seeking community input on the use of $19.8 million in one-time funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). Input is being sought through a survey asking Tompkins County residents to rank their top three priorities for the funds; priorities are limited to eight options clarified for local municipalities by the Federal Government. Results of the survey will inform discussions by the Legislature, including at the June 30, 5:30pm expanded Budget Committee of the Tompkins County Legislature where Legislators will begin the process of planning how best to spend and/or invest ARP funds.

Read more

Bitcoin Protest Saturday, June 5th in Avon, NY. Bus rides available!

“In our efforts to nip an extractive, exploitative industry in New York in the bud, we are hosting a critical demonstration at the DEC Region 8 Headquarters this coming Saturday, June 5th. We have media interest from Germany, Italy, France, Japan, China, and national news (CBS, NBC, ABC, Now This News). This is our opportunity to put pressure on Governor Cuomo to put his money where his mouth is, If he wants to be a leader on Climate, he must act on the extractive industry of Proof of Work cryptocurrency, which could cripple New York’s climate goals. Please share these…

Read more

Urgent! We need all hands on deck to fight Bitcoin development in the FLX

Will you help us keep the crypto industry at bay? Here’s what to do: Contact your Senators and Assemblypeople. Here is a list of important people to contact. Please use it to pick a few and call or tweet them! Here is a sample call/email script and sample tweets to make things quick and easy. We want to reach as many reps as possible! Sign on here if you are an individual or sign on here if you are an organization to support Assembly Bill 7389 / Senate Bill 6486, which will establish a moratorium on any new or expanding…

Read more

Find a CCIA rally near you!

We only have until June 10th to pass the CCIA this year. So, NYRenews is having rallies all across the state on Tuesday, May 18th! Now that we are nearing the end of this legislative session, it is crunch time to lift up our champions and build pressure on the major political players left to join us. Find a rally near you!

Read more

Become a Climate Steward!

Climate Stewards is a new volunteer program through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County that builds upon the successful models of CCE’s existing Master Gardener and Master Composter volunteer programs. Trainees will learn what is already taking place in Tompkins County to combat climate change, and how, as volunteers, they can help our municipalities implement even more changes.

Read more

Tonight at 7pm – Make your voice heard on climate, jobs, and justice!

Join NY Renews tonight at 7:00pm for a town hall with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris to talk about the THRIVE Agenda and the CCIA. And they’ll be spending most of the time taking questions directly from YOU. New Yorkers need a real recovery NOW, at every level of government! Click here for details and to register.

Read more

Electricity and heat aren’t luxuries; they are necessities. Let’s fight back!

Our utility system is set up to prioritize making money for a small number of wealthy people over us, our homes, our health, and our well-being. Join Alliance for a Green Economy and other members of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance at 6PM on April 8th to learn how we can fight back against the system and demand debt cancellation, energy efficiency, and public power!

Read more

No more road salt!

While we need to use road salt to keep roadways safe in the ice and snow, the accumulation of salt that washes into waterways has unintended consequences on aquatic life. It also largely contributes to Harmful Algal Blooms, which have been a major problem in the Finger Lakes Region for years. Using this much imported salt is also expensive in terms of both money and carbon emissions. Fortunately, practical alternatives are starting to emerge; namely, salt brine and live-blade plows (which you can learn more about in the article below). Over the course of 2 years testing these alternatives, communities…

Read more

Eliminate Gas Leaf Blowers in NYS May 1 – Sept 30

The gas-powered leaf blower is responsible for a significant amount of fossil fuel use, as well as noise and air pollution. Our cars and trucks require strict emissions testing and regulation. The 2-stroke engines in gas leaf blowers (GLBs) lacks emission control components, releasing 300 times the levels of hydrocarbons as vehicles on the road. According to the California Air Resources Board, running one for 1 hour is equivalent to the pollutants released by driving a car 1100 miles.

Read more

Ask Cuomo to protect the Finger Lakes!

Please call Cuomo’s office and put pressure on him and the DEC to protect quality of life and our local economy in the Finger Lakes. WE RESIST BEING A SACRIFICE ZONE FOR WALL STREET! Call him today at 518-474-8390 and tell him he can make it up to his constituents by getting involved and telling Wall Street and greedy outside corporations to take a hike. Our lakes can’t take any more human pressure on them – especially for something as wasteful as bitcoins.

Read more

Stop Utility Shutoffs!

Will you help get 100 emails to the Public Service Commission (PSC) today? This would help in the efforts to head off a flurry of utility shutoffs slated to start next week. New York’s utility shutoff moratorium ends on March 28, and word is that the utilities are getting ready to start shutoffs on Monday, March 29. It’s important for the PSC to tell the utilities NOT TO DISCONNECT ANYONE.

Read more

Seneca Lake needs YOU tonight!

While the Finger Lakes is being considered for a National Heritage Designation by Congress, the small Town of Torrey and Greenidge could make a decision that would forever harm this gem of a region we call home. Burning dirty fossil fuels, warming our water, killing our aquatic life, and generating noise is completely antithetical to our way of life- one that would negatively impact our air, our environment, our water, and our agri-tourism economy- for generations to come- in the midst of global climate change. It’s inconceivable. We cannot allow this to happen.

Read more

Let’s fight off dirty fuel this Thursday!

New York’s Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates that we get off of fossil fuels and invest in frontline communities — eventually, the fossil fuel industry will be irrelevant. Unsurprisingly, they’re pushing back. NY Renews just released a new report detailing five “false solutions” that the gas industry puts forward to seem “clean” and “green”, but in reality are just as dirty as their fossil fuel counterparts. So what to do?

Read more

We must tell the Public Service Commission: New Yorkers deserve better than Holtec!

We must speak out! New Yorkers deserve better than Holtec! Entergy (current owner) is asking the PSC to approve the transfer of Indian Point Nuclear Plant and the associated $1.6 billion decommissioning trust fund to a joint venture of Holtec International and SNC-Lavalin (henceforth Holtec). Holtec has been cited for malfeasance, safety violations, financial misdealings, and corruption. This track record should disqualify Holtec from obtaining the licence to decommission Indian Point and gaining control of the $1.6 billion Decommissioning Trust Fund. Many organizations that follow nuclear industry issues believe Holtec is unfit to manage Indian Point and the trust fund…

Read more

Take the Tompkins Food Future survey!

Tompkins County residents are invited to share their thoughts on our local food system and their priorities for improving it in a brief online survey hosted by Tompkins Food Future, a community-based planning initiative. The survey will remain open through 3/5/21. It takes 10 minutes or less to complete, and you can take it here! Survey responses will provide an overview of the challenges, strengths and needs of our community, and will be used to develop a comprehensive food system plan and recommendations, to be distributed in May 2022.

Read more

Greenstar leads the push for a Living Wage, Sign petition for county-wide living wage in Tompkins

“GreenStar Food Coop, with over 200 employees, has become the largest Living Wage Certified employer in Tompkins County that is not a government organization. The Tompkins County Living Wage is currently $15.37/hour, and there are now 124 certified employers”, the Tompkins County Workers Center reports, for whom this is a major victory. Read more about it here. Like the sound of this? Check out the full list of Living Wage employers (including Sustainable Tompkins!), and sign the petition for a county-wide living minimum wage (right now, it’s $15.37 in Tompkins County, and calculated every two years by Alternatives Federal Credit…

Read more

Tell Ithaca: Let’s do better!

Back in 2017, the City and Town of Ithaca proposed a “green building policy” for new construction and major renovations that was pretty advanced for its time… in 2017. Now, in 2021, the City and Town are proposing to vote on it. However, policy that was advanced in 2017 is not advanced today … they need to strengthen the law before passing it. YOU CAN HELP! Here are 3 easy actions for you to take before the public hearing TOMORROW. It will make a big difference to our representatives to know they have support for this important policy from a…

Read more

Help NYS Go Renewable!

TOMORROW (Thursday, 2/4/21) from 3:00pm – 5:00pm is the NYS Energy Efficiency and Housing Climate Action Council Subcommittee meeting. This is the only opportunity for public input before this body gives their recommendation to the State Climate Action Council. We are advocating for an ambitious sunset plan for gas in all buildings beginning with new construction. The timeline below would end fossil fuels in new single-family homes by 2025 and end new and replacement fossil fuel heating system sales by 2030. Sign up to speak for 2 minutes!

Read more

Fight for our local economy!

e Ithaca Common Council will be voting this coming Wednesday, February 3rd, to stipulate that the new Green Street residential tower, parking garage and conference center in Ithaca be built with a minimum of 30% local labor (defined as being Tompkins County and all contiguous Counties). Please contact Council as soon as possible to support this, which you can easily do with one e-mail to council@cityofithaca.org (the Mayor will also receive this). This requirement will mean more good jobs for people who live and pay taxes in this area.

Read more

TONIGHT @7PM! Fight Bitcoin Mining on Seneca Lake

The Town of Torrey has referred the matter of expanding the Greenidge Power Plant (AKA Bitcoin Mine) to the Yates County Planning Board, which meets TONIGHT, January 28th at 7:00 pm. This referral is basically an admission by the Town Planning Board that it should have consulted the County Board originally, as required by Law prior to issuing the conditioned negative declaration and issuing the site permit. The Town must start the SEQR review process over and conduct a complete environmental review, including requiring DEC participation and a full Environmental Impact Statement.

Read more

Tell Biden — Let’s Build Back Fossil Free

Please join the Build Back Fossil Free campaign on Tuesday, January 26 at 8pm ET for a digital rally calling on President Biden to take bold executive action to end the era of fossil fuel production, protect communities reeling from the climate and COVID-19 crises, and build back fossil free. The digital rally will feature frontline leaders fighting toxic fossil fuel projects and lay the groundwork for a coordinated organizing push to build on this week’s momentum.

Read more

Make Polluters Pay!

Thanks to the hard work of grassroots activists, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) was passed by NYS legislators. It is the nation’s most progressive piece of climate justice legislation, which pledges to eliminate greenhouse emissions in the next 30 years. Now it’s time to #PassTheCCIA! The Climate & Community Protection Act will #MakePollutersPay and create 150,000 NEW GREEN JOBS IN NYS! Want to plug in? Thankfully, NY Renews has outlined some ways you can take action.

Read more

Tell Cuomo to Say NO to Greenidge!

Greenidge is an inefficient gas-fired powered plant on the west side of Seneca Lake that wants to expand its energy generation NOT for public use, but for their own private Bitcoin operation. They want to withdraw nearly 160 millions of gallons of lake water each day, and return it to a trout stream that feeds back into the lake. Discharge temperatures could be as hot as 108 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hotter than most hot tubs, and would be uncomfortable for humans, let alone trout, who prefer water from 40 to 52 degrees F. Please tell Governor Cuomo to deny the…

Read more

City of Geneva Police Reform and Reinvention Collective Group Wants to Hear from You!

The City of Geneva Police Reform and Reinvention Collective Group has posted a public survey to assist in the development of the plan required by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203. Part of this process involves listening and learning from members of the community about their perspectives, experiences and interactions (both positive and negative) with the City of Geneva Police Department.

Read more

Sign on to keep carcinogens out of Delaware River!

Sign this petition to stop the fracked gas export terminal in the Delaware River! Tell New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Delaware Governor John Carney, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to STOP the approval of a fracked gas export facility. The proposed project by New Fortress Energy will violate the Clean Water Act and reverse decades of work to eliminate PCB pollution in the Delaware River. This river provides drinking water for over 15 million people. They have 14,460/15,000 signatures…only a few more to go! Sign on TODAY!

Read more

Sign Petition – Cut Fossil Fuel Subsidies from NYS Budget

The Youth Climate Leaders group is leading the fight to have hundreds of millions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies cut from New York’s 2021-22 budget. As the climate crisis intensifies and the budget deficit looms, eliminating non-essential fossil fuel subsidies is indispensable in the fight for environmental and economic justice. Ending fossil fuel subsidies is already widely supported in the legislature – the senate counterpart of A257C passed this past year. Your support will help tip the scales this budget season. Please sign on here no later than Monday, December 28th.

Read more

Free Plum Trees for Farmers!

Khuba International offers equity-based scholarships for participation in the Learning Farm’s Outdoor School in Enfield. They are currently looking for business sponsorship from farms! — support the participation of income-challenged and racially-excluded children in education in the natural world. Farms that choose to participate will receive two pollination-partner plum tree starts as a gift from The Learning Farm and other collaborating farms!

Read more

We Need Your Stories, Tompkins Residents!

We are collecting local stories that highlight the ways our values, thoughts, actions, and policies are shifting in order to create a more just and resilient Tompkins County. This is an opportunity to explore how you are responding to the pandemic, and what solutions or signs of transformation you see emerging. Use whatever medium you like: self-made video or recorded audio (1-3 minutes and horizontal orientation, preferably), written story (200-400 words), or original works of art or poetry. We will share the stories through multiple media to a broad range of audiences.

Read more

Help Eliminate Nonessential Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Please consider signing the petition calling on the NYS legislature and Governor Cuomo to identify and eliminate all nonessential fossil fuel subsidies and sharing it on your social media platforms. The Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative signed a letter in support of the relevant bill (A257C) in August. At this point, as part of its lobbying campaign, the New York Youth Climate Leaders coalition is asking for individual signers. Only 600 signatures left to meet their goal of 2,000. Let’s help them meet it!

Read more

Volunteers Needed for Carbon Neutrality Project

The Ithaca Carbon Neutrality team (part of Cornell University’s Sustainable Design program), is attempting to make recommendations to the City of Ithaca that will help us reach carbon neutrality by 2030. For a project on thermal decay, they are using temperature sensors to collect data from volunteers’ homes and provide an analysis of how well-insulated these homes are, compared to other homes of the same size. Ideally, this analysis will help tailor retrofit recommendations to the city and the homeowners themselves. Fill out this form to have your home be part of the project!

Read more

Sign Petition to Demand Anti-Racist Action by Cornell

Indigenous students at Cornell have launched a campaign to respond to Cornell’s founding and history, which, “profits from acts of colonial violence and Indigenous erasure”, their petition states. Their demands include increased funding for Indigenous faculty and the Indigenous Studies program, a land acknowledgement before campus events, a mandatory introductory course on Indigenous Studies for all students, and more – Read and Sign the petition here to support them!

Read more

Ithaca Area Mobilization Campaign to Prevent an Election Coup

President Trump has publicly stated that he may not accept or respect a loss in this presidential election. We have reason to prepare for the worst case scenario. Help protect democracy by pledging to non-violently protest if President Trump attempts a coup. Read the pledge from Choose Democracy to learn more and sign the Ithaca-area pledge with as little as your name via Google form. Visit isthisacoup.com for a play-by-play of recent actions by Trump and the US government surrounding threats to American democracy.

Read more

Tell Governor Cuomo: “We Want Green Transportation Infrastructure in NYS”

NY for TCI (New York for Transportation and Climate Initiative) has written a letter, urging Governor Cuomo to implement a “cap-and-invest” program – under which New York and neighboring states would limit and reduce carbon pollution from transportation fuels and invest in our communities to provide better, cleaner, and safer transportation options. By leading on TCI, NYS can accelerate our state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and build back stronger with good family-sustaining green jobs while protecting the long-term health and well-being of our communities. Sign this letter to Governor Cuomo to show your support for an equitable and…

Read more

Sign Petition to Divest NY Teachers from Fossil Fuels

New York’s recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in just ten years. Continued investments by teacher pension funds into fossil fuels are sending the wrong message and are contradictory to the goals of students for a sustainable future. In addition, New York state pension funds have lost billions of dollars holding onto fossil fuel stocks, a loss which local governments and school systems must make up for with citizens’ tax dollars. Please sign this petition asking the New York State United Teachers to support divestment from fossil fuels…

Read more

Tell Cuomo We Need the New York Health Act!

In the past few weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stated that we have to “Reimagine New York.” He explains that we have to learn from the lessons of COVID-19 to make a better New York by changing the systems that so obviously have failed us, namely the healthcare system. As the Health Committee Chairs of the state say, “The need for the New York Health Act has never been clearer. Stop wasting tens of billions of dollars on insurance company profits, administrative overhead, and marketing, making doctors and hospitals spend billions on administrative costs to fight with insurance companies, and…

Read more

Become a Lake Friendly Living Champion!

Making small changes as we live in the watershed can make a big difference. The health and recreational enjoyment of the Finger Lakes depends on our actions and involvement. This summer, a new program, Lake Friendly Living, will provide steps you can take right now, at home, to make a difference in watershed health! What can you do to get involved? Join the Lake Friendly Living program and adopt Lake Friendly Living practices!

Read more

Vote Vote Vote! (+ Early Voting Info)

Exercise your right to vote up until June 23rd! Visit voteearlyny.org and select your county to get started. You’ll find all your early voting options, including times the polls are open and voting locations. You’ll also find instructions for how to vote by mail, your early voting rights, and resources to report an incident of difficulty voting or intimidation. A lovely resource! Here are some sample ballots for the Presidential Primary, City of Ithaca, and towns in Tompkins County.

Read more

Help Invest Stimulus Money into Green New Deal

Billions of dollars are at stake in federal stimulus legislation, and we must make sure the money doesn’t end up in the coffers of fossil fuel companies. Call Senator Schumer at 877-852-4710 and leave a message urging him to block a bailout of the oil & gas industry. As our nation recovers and rebuilds from the pandemic, we must invest in programs that benefit people and the planet, including good green jobs in water infrastructure, not polluters. As the Senate’s top Democrat, Schumer must lead the way in championing a Green New Deal and standing up to greedy corporations.

Read more

URGENT: Sign on to Oppose the Attempt to De-Fund NYS Clean Energy Programs

A letter to circulate to organizations in your network: Dear renewable energy and energy efficiency allies, It has been a while since we reached out to you about a major organizational sign-on letter, and we hope that this email finds you and your loved ones safe and with the resources that you need. As many of you know, Multiple Intervenors (an unincorporated group of large unnamed energy consumers with an undisclosed Board) has petitioned the Public Service Commission to stop collecting money for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs and to take the money NYSERDA is holding for such programs…

Read more

CNY Food Access Resources

Friendship Donations Network has compiled a truly impressive and comprehensive list of all the programs, food pantries, etc that they donate fresh food to in Tompkins and neighboring counties, divided by day of the week! 😱🍓🥪🥗 On their website, they also have a list of other food-related resources in the region. Want to contribute? They are also accepting donations and looking for volunteers to help distribute. To learn more, visit their website.

Read more

Tell NYS Comptroller: No Fossil Fuel Bailouts!

With the nation’s attention on the pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout, the fossil fuel industry is taking every opportunity to profit from disaster. They’ve lobbied for the EPA to loosen regulations and pushed forward pipelines like Keystone XL. And now they’re lobbying to ensure that coal, oil and gas companies receive a significant portion of the bailout funds meant for small businesses. They also want $3 billion that could go to COVID-19 relief to be used to purchase oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It is critical that we push back. Please join a nationwide effort to email Congress…

Read more

Your Help is Needed on the Renewable Heat Front!

What you can do to help: Submit a comment today to the Public Service Commission telling them to stop the gas infrastructure buildout and help with the conversion to renewable heat now. The Commission’s staff will soon release a detailed proposal for a new gas planning policy. This will determine the future of heat in New York. We need your action to make sure the future of heat is renewable energy, not more gas pipelines. We need your voice now to help hold the utilities accountable for reducing reliance on global-warming, health-and-environment-destroying fracked gas and moving toward renewable heat -…

Read more

Become a Social Media Ambassador for Rochester People’s Climate Coalition

Looking for more ways to plug into the climate movement from behind your computer? As a social media volunteer for RPCC, you can provide support to their social media and overall outreach efforts. The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring and facilitating large-scale climate solution mobilization in the Greater Rochester Region. Want to know more? Visit their website.

Read more

Help Prevent Sewage Sludge Processing Plant from Contaminating the Finger Lakes!

The Butler Town Board is considering a proposal by Tully Environment to build a sewage sludge processing plant to be operated in a gravel pit owned by Riccelli Enterprises. In theory, it would be used to process sewer sludge/waste from NYC, compost it, and turn it into fertilizer that could be used on area farmland or elsewhere. Bottom line – if after reading the info below, you feel it’s not something we want in upstate NY, call either Pam Helming’s office, and/or your local NYS Senator or Assemblyperson, and let them know that.

Read more

Learn About Who Will Represent YOU!

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton’s term ends at the end of 2020, and she has announced she will be retiring after her ninth term representing the 125th district, meaning that several democrats have stepped forward to run and take her place for the upcoming term. It is our responsibility as citizens to be educated on who is running to make an informed voting decision on June 23rd (primary) and November 3rd (general), so a handy guide has put together here! Aspiring candidates can still file to run until April 2nd, so more candidates may step forward, but these are the existing candidates…

Read more

Help Get Sunrise Member on Climate Leadership Council!

New York passed the CLCPA this summer, the most ambitious decarbonization bill of any state so far. As part of the bill, the state must name a Climate Leadership Council to help oversee the transition. The Sunrise Movement has a chance to get one of it’s own members, Ryan Madden, onto the committee as a Youth Representative. Ryan has trained with Sunrise, works for the Long Island Progressive Coalition, and helps lead the New York Renews coalition.

Read more

Ensure a Just Transition for Former-Coal Plants

Fossil Free Tompkins has joined with Sierra Club in crafting this letter to Governor Cuomo – asking that he ensure that the plants surrender their air emissions permits, there is a solid worker transition plan in place, that toxic materials, including coal ash landfills, are properly managed, monitored and treated, that the new facilities operate with high levels of energy efficiency, that utility scale solar development is supported at both sites, and that there is adequate funding to enable the transition from coal plants to data centers.

Read more

We Need YOUR Signature on a New Letter to Governor Cuomo About the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis!

NYS Legislature and Governor have been urged to take action against the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by banning the use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals. As you all know, the threat of a post-antibiotic world is real and dangerous, and we can’t afford to wait on the FDA to take meaningful action when it comes to agricultural policy regarding antibiotics use.

Read more