Albany, NY – As Congress finalizes the big infrastructure and recovery plan, frontline communities and climate activists participated in today’s Seal the Deal National Day of Action. The 68 actions across the country include 8 in New York State, and were planned to push members of Congress to approve a budget that prioritizes climate, care, jobs, and justice.

The New York State actions were organized by NY Renews, a coalition of community, labor, environmental justice, and faith-based organizations fighting for climate justice policy in New York, and the Green New Deal Network. New Yorkers are demanding that Congress take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle the most pressing challenges our communities face by passing a robust $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.

Quotes from our allies in government

“In order to successfully combat climate change we know that we must ‘seal the deal’ on climate, jobs, and justice. I’m proud to join climate change champions as we continue our collective efforts to urge passage of a strong budget reconciliation bill and uphold our values and priorities. There is an existential crisis, and we must meet the urgency of this crisis with swift and bold climate and infrastructure investments today more than ever,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13).

“Across America—and around the world—we are witnessing the dire consequences of a warming planet. Floods are roaring. Wildfires are burning violently and angrily out of our control. Heat records seem to be broken every week. The climate crisis is upon us and we cannot afford to continue turning a blind eye to the most existential threat facing humanity today. Unfortunately, New Yorkers know this fact better than most—our city is deeply vulnerable to rising sea levels and scorching heat waves. As we prepare to contend with extreme weather and scorching heat waves, we need a federal  response that meets the urgency of the moment. I’m proud to stand with the coalition of over 200 environmental, justice, faith, labor, and community groups represented by NY Renews to demand an infrastructure bill that puts green jobs and environmental justice first. As we prepare for tomorrow’s storms, we need to make meaningful investments in clean, renewable energy, decarbonization, and climate resilience. Anything less isn’t enough,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler (NY-10).

“Climate change is one of the single most pressing threats facing this country and the global community. And our most vulnerable communities are bearing the brunt of the consequences. As Chair of the House Oversight Committee, I am committed to ensuring that the Biden-Harris Administration and all federal agencies have the tools they need to implement the Justice40 Initiative. This is crucial to ensuring that our climate investments advance racial and economic justice. And beyond the Justice40 Initiative, Congress must prioritize policy solutions that focus on climate justice. We are in a state of emergency – wildfires are burning, cities are flooding, and extreme weather events are becoming all too common. We need to act now and we need to act boldly. For the health and safety of all Americans, for environmental and social justice, let’s make a Green New Deal. We can’t afford anything less!,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12).

“We need a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that allows our communities to survive and thrive, with dignified employment, clean air and water, caregivers, and access to essential services,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY-7) in a video released supporting the Day of Action.

“Staten Island and South Brooklyn have suffered on the frontlines of climate disaster, but time and time again our elected leaders have failed to fight for the kinds of proactive investments in resiliency that could save our lives,” Brittany Ramos DeBarros, Democratic Congressional candidate for New York’s 11th District said. “Even the Department of Defense has listed the climate crisis as one of the most pressing security threats we face and we need our leaders to put people and the planet over profit and politics now more than ever.”

Quotes from our coalition partners

“From the smoky skies of the west coast to the massive hurricanes of the east, climate change is here and wreaking havoc. The recent IPCC report leaves no doubt that this change is human caused. Republicans like Tom Reed are in complete denial about this, and even our more progressive legislators rarely endorse the scale of change needed to keep the Earth inhabitable. We must pass the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill as a first step in addressing this total threat to humanity. We also need to get organized to take on the capitalists who brought on this crisis. Together we are stronger than their greed!,” said Augie Faller, member of Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America.

“The just released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report confirmed what we all saw on our TV screens and outside our windows this summer: the world is getting hotter, causing storms, flooding and fires out west. The climate crisis is going to get dramatically worse unless our government takes dramatic action. As the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, the U.S. must take the lead. We are counting on Congressman Delgado to join us and be a voice for strong climate provisions in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill now being debated by Congress,” said Tyler Vanderhaag, Citizen Action Community Organizer in the Hudson Valley. 

“The pandemic has put a spotlight on frontline communities who lacked access to clean air, water, and dignified employment opportunities before the pandemic, and we continue to suffer losses during the pandemic,” said Pamela Stewart-Martinez, Community Organizer, Voter Engagement at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “I encourage all community members to come together and vote for leaders who fulfill their commitment to real community investments in green jobs, renewable energy, electrification, decarbonization, public housing, and climate justice.”

“As nurses and healthcare professionals on the frontlines, we have already seen the destruction that climate change and environmental degradation has had on the health of our patients. From hypertension to asthma, our patient population is getting sicker.  No one is going to tell me that climate change is not a public health crisis!  COVID has only deepened the crisis that environmental racism has inflicted on our low-income communities and communities of color.  We must take the opportunity to right what has been so wrong for way too long—the time is now to seal the deal on a Green New Deal and enact the Climate and Community Investment Act here in New York!,” said Nella Pineda-Marcon, RN, BC, NYSNA Board Secretary.

“Fighting for climate justice is not a choice for those of us on the frontlines, it’s a means for survival. It’s a matter of life or death. On Long Island, it’s getting hotter, sea levels are rising, species are dying off, storms are getting worse, floods are becoming more common and our infrastructure is crumbling. If we stick with the status quo, who do you think is going to be forced to bear the brunt of this worsening crisis? It’s going to be the same historically marginalized and colonized communities that bear the brunt of every crisis on Long Island, one of the most segregated regions in the U.S. So we don’t have time for obstructionists like Congressman Zeldin. Our lives are on the line, and it’s time for Congress to act like it. They must use budget reconciliation to make big, bold investments in climate solutions, the care economy, jobs and justice. Zeldin can get on board or get out of the way,” said Monique Fitzgerald, Climate Justice Organizer, Long Island Progressive Coalition.

“We must act now to ensure that coming generations will inherit a planet that can sustain a life worth living. We call on all our Congressional leaders to do their sacred duty and enact the Green New Deal. And if Congressman Zeldin isn’t ready to do what’s right, then we call on him to get out of the way,” said Rev. Dr. Matthew E. Moore, Missioner for Environmental Justice, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island.

Photos of the NY event will be uploaded in This Folder