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 and work with the NYS Teachers Retirement System to get fossil fuels out of pension funds.
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 paying excessive prices to drug companies. Invest those dollars into guaranteeing care for every New Yorker and supporting health care providers.” Click here to send a message to Governor Cuomo that we need the New York Health Act. Read more of what Health Committee Chairs Gustavo Rivera and Richard N. Godfreid have to say here.
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!
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.
This Wednesday, May 20th at 12:00pm the New York Health Campaign will be conducting a huge virtual rally. We want to send an overwhelming amount of messaging to our NY government in Albany that NOW is the time to pass the NYHA. It’s an EMERGENCY! We need this law now. Here are ways you can join and help:
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.
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 and use it to reduce energy bills. AGREE has written a comment in opposition to the petition, and we are inviting groups all over New York to sign on. There is a link to the text of our comment in the preamble of the sign-on form. There are better ways to make energy bills affordable, rather than the short-sighted effort to take money from public clean energy programs. (And those other efforts are underway in rate cases, through a different and more reasonable petition submitted by Public Utility Law Project citing numerous other sources of rate relief that is much needed, and with the rent/utility strike campaigns.) Multiple Intervenors has long opposed clean energy programs because their members (hidden from public view) don’t want to help pay for them. Their petition seeks to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to further their agenda of defunding these public programs. This “secret club” needs to be opposed. Please circulate the sign-on link to your organizational allies. Let’s drown their petition with opposition. The deadline for signing on is 5pm on Friday, May 15. Thank you! To learn more about this issue, read this Politico article.
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.
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 and demand that they oppose all efforts to bail out the fossil fuel industry. You can find your representatives here.
What to do: Call NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at 518-474-4044 and urge him to divest the State Pension fund from fossil fuels. You can also tweet him at @TomDiNapoli or @NYSComptroller.
Phone Script: Please divest the NYS pension fund from fossil fuels. It is wrong to invest in companies that are destroying the planet and it is a risky financial investment. The state lost $500 million alone in its investment in Exxon last year. It is time to divest.
Sample Tweet: New York State has about $13 BILLION invested in fossil fuels. @NYSComptroller DiNapoli refuses to #DivestNY, no matter how many billions of dollars he loses. Call @TomDiNapoli at 518 474 4044. Divest now and save lives.
Thanks to Leslie Cagan at Peoples Climate Movement New York for sharing this message with us!
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 – NOW!
Share this message with your networks!
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.
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.
This hands-on and in-depth training prepares volunteer Energy Navigators to help others in the community understand their energy use and make progress towards reducing energy use and bills, and switching from fossil fuels to renewables. Focus is on helping low- and moderate-income residents (both homeowners and renters) save energy and money.
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 (last updated Feb. 29, 2020):
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.