I also want to be forthright about my values. I am a reformer; I believe in deepening transparency, accountability, and integrity in our political system. By consistently prioritizing collaboration and communication, I know that together we can deliver better results for our community.
When it comes to the climate crisis, our leaders have waited so long and mitigated so little that moderation will fail us. We live in a waterfront district that could be deluged when the next big storm hits. We must act. Together, we can transform the 33rd into the first carbon neutral district and be a model for Brooklyn, New York City, and beyond. To end our dependence on fossil fuels and reach carbon neutrality in the 33rd District, we need a holistic and highly localized approach. Our 53 bold new initiatives build on climate policies already in place and target the largest sources of emissions in the city and our district: buildings, transportation, electricity, and waste. By empowering and incentivizing residents to act urgently to reduce emissions in each of these sectors, we can end our dependence on fossil fuels. With the right mix of new policies and financing, we can help both our planet and our communities in cost-effective ways. This vision for a carbon neutral 33rd District is informed by overarching principles:
To save our neighborhood, our city, and our planet, we will need the city, state, and federal governments to each enact bold Green New Deals that reimagine our policies across the board. The initiatives in this plan are guided by core objectives, including the elimination of fossil fuel infrastructure, building a 100% renewable energy electric grid, and creating tens of thousands of good, union jobs. To achieve these objectives we must reconsider our approaches to vehicular traffic, waste disposal, zoning and development, and more. While we aggressively push the federal and state government for critical action and hold corporations accountable, we can and must act closer to home.
Our neighborhoods are where the vision and values of the Green New Deal become a reality. If elected, the 33rd Council Office will serve as an organizing home to reach our goal and we will have a dedicated climate justice staff member. We will help people make changes in their own lives, mobilize their neighbors, and advocate for legislation that provides more government assistance and action. We will encourage our neighbors with more resources to invest more, and work together to ensure low-income and BIPOC residents — who are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis — experience the positive impacts of these policies.
Our plan details how we will facilitate electrification and retrofits of our neighborhood building stock - the largest source of emissions -including helping at least 1,000 building owners access PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) funding, expanding the Climate Mobilization Act, eliminating gas hook ups in new construction, and incentivizing shifts to an all-electric building stock.
Any climate change and resiliency agenda must place the most historically marginalized among us at the forefront, as the impacts of the climate crisis are most keenly felt by these communities - including the 12,000 NYCHA residents in the 33rd. Under our plan, we will eliminate gas from all NYCHA buildings, use public procurement to install efficient appliances, and pass local legislation to ensure NYCHA retrofits generate good, green-jobs for NYCHA residents.
To make the expansion of solar energy onto every viable roof in the 33rd as simple as possible, we will expand city and state tax credits, streamline the permitting process, modify the Fire Code, and provide all landlords and homeowners with a Solar Installation Kit to ensure they can easily and efficiently access available resources.
To increase battery storage in the district, we will legalize the use of in-home lithium ion batteries, streamline the permitting & approval process, and canvass the district to encourage all building owners to install batteries.
We will require heat pump installations to be fully covered by new and existing financing programs, convene experts to identify barriers and propose legislative reforms to facilitate take-up, and prioritize City-owned buildings for installation to help grow the market.
To place the Brooklyn Navy Yard at the center of our green transformation, we will commit all available Navy Yard sites to supporting offshore wind operations, create a wind-power training program for public housing and local residents, and utilize every available rooftop for solar installation.
We must restore funding for citywide composting, so every resident of the 33rd can put their compost out for curbside pickup, and we must explore incentive-based systems to increase recycling and composting participation rates.
Under our plan, the 33rd Council Office would launch an organizing campaign encouraging all residents to participate in appropriate, affordable voluntary programs to help make our district carbon neutral.
Our plan has proposals to target emissions from City-owned buildings, reduce the size of the City fleet, and prioritize schools for efficient appliances and solar installation.
To reduce dependence on gas guzzling cars and discourage personal car ownership, we must expand mass transit options, enhance pedestrian spaces, improve bicycle safety, and affordable access to e-bikes, and increase availability of electric vehicle charging stations.
Our community has stepped up to fight environmental injustice time and again. We hope to bring this energy and focus to realizing carbon neutrality in the 33rd, so that we can start making the changes needed to protect our neighborhoods.