From Hunts Point to Riverdale, the Bronx rallies behind climate justice now

On Oct. 28 Bronx residents, elected officials and community leaders rallied for climate, jobs and justice in New York. 
Photos courtesy of NY Renews

On Oct. 28 Bronx residents, elected officials and community leaders rallied for climate, jobs and justice in New York.

The rally 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 alongside elected officials State Assembly Members  Karines Reyes, Nathalia Fernandez and Kenny Burgos, State Senator Luis Sepulveda and Democratic nominee for Bronx Borough President, Vanessa Gibson, spoke out as champions. Statements of support were shared from Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz.

Assembly Member Karines Reyes speaks at the rally.

Victor Davila, A.C.T.I.O.N program manager/community organizer at The Point CDC, recognized Bronx residents coming together to shape solutions for the Bronx.

“Hurricane Ida barely hit New York yet the effects were devastating,” Davila said. “This was not our first storm and it will not be the last. For the Bronx to survive future devastation we must fund a just transition to renewable energy. Together we are supporting common-sense legislation that funds a just transition to renewable energy while making polluters pay for the damage they continue to do. We will 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 jointly organized by New York Renews, The Point CDC, Jewish Climate Action Network NYC and TREEage.

Attendees rallied in support of the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA), which would have a major impact on the Bronx because of the CCIA’s commitment that one-third of funds raised will go to community-based organizations in frontline communities, like the Bronx, which have suffered the worst of environmental and climate pollution and are in greatest need of measure to build resilience to the impact of climate change. Speakers referenced the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ida, and the expected increases in chaotic weather events if the climate crisis continues unabated. The Bronx is particularly vulnerable to climate and health impacts of high emissions because of the concentration of pollution generating highways and industry.

Assembly Member Kenny Burgos speaks at the rally.

Assembly Member, Jeffrey Dinowitz, head of the Assembly’s Bronx delegation, was represented by Jack Gorman, a climate activist leader with Jewish Climate Action Network NYC, Bronx Jews for Climate Action and GreenFaith. Gorman shared excerpts from a statement from Dinowtiz that recognized the need for an urgent, impactful response by passage of the CCIA.

“I don’t think anyone gathered here today is a climate change denier, but to those anti-science people, who didn’t seem to realize before – the intense storms that hammered New Yorkers this summer erased any doubt that the climate crisis is very real and demands an urgent, impactful response from our government,” Dinowitz said. “The Climate and Community Investment Act – which is effectively a carbon tax – has the potential to be the single largest difference maker in our fight to mitigate and adapt to climate change that we can do in New York.  This is a good idea and it needs to be one of our top priorities when we return to Albany in January.”

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