CLEOPATRA FITZGERALD RESPONSES
1) What are your top environmental and climate-related priorities?
The topics regarding environment and climate are of great importance. Presently, continuous eco-friendly issues persist throughout the years. We need to gather the present data from scientists, community, corporations, organizations, etc. and make the laws pass to ameliorate the situation before it is too late. What are the problems? Diseases that are “climate-sensitive” could affect the climate sensitive sectors -thus harming people’s health, natural habitats, and the economy. The priorities I would lay focus on to better improve our climate/environment are the following: all types of pollution, health and the environment, clean water, soil,
waste disposal, natural resource depletion, biodiversity, sea-level rise and flooding, deforestation, natural disasters and emergency management, land use, energy conservation, recycling, renewable energy, clean energy, policies, technology, oceans and fisheries, ozone layer depletion, climate change,
toxics, heavy metals, and more will be properly researched by the experts on the field and check resolutions towards the five boroughs. The priority is to decrease the health risks associated with climate change, to preserve natural habitats and productive environments, to create clean technology and infrastructures, to augment knowledge about eco-friendly and to set aside the necessary funds to augment the correct changes.
2) How would you prioritize the creation of climate jobs in New York City and investment in communities of color, if at all?
It is essential that more persons become aware of the great value It is to protect our environment and climate jobs teach that. Through education students should be taught about their environment and how they can apply their studies and make change happen by becoming: scientists, engineers, environment lawyer, hydrologist, biologist, climatologist,etc found in various sectors non-profit,private and public. It is about time that people of color who have been marginalized participate in environmental justice to fix the issues and make social justice a reality. By investing in people of color “systematic racism” or “institutional racism” can be reduced. Racial inequality faced by people of color takes place in various areas -thus perpetuating discrimination which prevents people of color to advance in education,jobs, purchasing of houses, rentals,etc. Therefore -poverty,health,crimes,death rates increase within the marginalized communities. Laws must ensure that persons are treated equally and by investing we can improve the livelihoods of those communities with advanced technology, recreation,banks, better schools,jobs of all types,hospitals,businesses,stores -sectors that bring revenue into the community to make it vibrantly functional. Climate jobs is a start for communities of color to implement new fairer laws and to bring back a cleaner environment in low income neighborhoods and beyond. Each job sector should introduce policies that are eco-friendly and alert employees of their evolving relevance as years go by. Advertisements and recruiters should actively announce climate jobs via social/general media.
3) How would you advance the City’s goal of implementing 100% clean, affordable energy and maximizing greenhouse gas and co-pollutant reductions, if at all?
Many US states have showed support for renewable clean energy and looked forward to “100% clean future by 2050.” Laws have been passed. The US states have set a goal of future greenhouse reduction by analyzing the numbers -likewise, the state Implementation plan checks air pollution and CO standards and NAAQS designations process. Now there are questions if Biden will be accepted by Congress to pass the Clean Energy Bill. “Democrats in Congress reintroduced “the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator Act.” Thus, we can see that a collaboration of acceptance is primordial for laws,bills to pass through.Ethical investing in green, renewable energy can be profitable for both sides. Citizens,immigrants,students,children,elderly have to be aware of means of reducing greenhouse gases such as checking energy use by utility company home energy audit. Businesses need to be in compliance with eco-friendly standards. The branches of government, courts, the Environmental Protection Energy can get things done quicker. I will make sure my staff administration is updated and constantly making the system work as expected.
4) How would you support the affordable and low-income housing sector in improving energy efficiency, enhancing residents’ comfort and living conditions, and meeting the City’s emissions reductions goals, if at all?
The residents of these low or affordable housing cannot bear the costs associated with the improvements since it would be beyond their means to do so. The non-profits, philanthropists, environmental advocacy groups, developers, contractors, energy specialists, state and local governments, owners, investors can help in the attainment of new technology. Inadequate and substandard housing causes unliveable conditions that leads to health deterioration and unattended neighborhoods increases crime rates and intergenerational poverty due to neglect and racial disparities. We need to make certain that these neighborhoods have suitable access to healthcare, education,recreational areas, and that they have safety,liveable conditions, non-discrimination and that they are heard and not afraid of being evicted or incarcerated unjustly. The federal government can aid with rental assistance, tax credits,incentives,innovative regulations, with cost savings on electricity,energy, gas,tenants can have a healthier environment and better quality life. I would support the sectors who are in need of assistance and check with the relevant authorities, organizations,etc to discuss and put into motion the developments to be enacted.
5) How would you support the expansion of clean public transportation in the City, if at all?
It depends on the meaning of “clean” because cleaning as consequence of the COVID19 pandemic is life-saving and crucial and “clean” signifying reduction of pollution by creating laws to decrease vehicle emissions,etc is as well fundamental. US states use for instance, cap and invest to lessen harmful emissions from transportation. Positive results are better health,environment,and revenues that can be allocated to upgrade our failing infrastructure. Modernizing our transportation helps cut wasted time, unnecessary breakdowns, accidents, health issues, etc. I would connect with nationwide, local, international leaders, associations, companies,lawmakers such as the “Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative” -I would question and put forth Innovative policies and amendments as is urgent for the five boroughs and globally. We need more jobs on the sector of clean transportation, we need to devise a method that will collectively encourage persons to participate and advance the clean resolutions.
6) How would you upgrade local industrial port infrastructure in a way that is both sustainable and equitable, if at all?
It is seen how NY port infrastructure is being used to bolster The NY offshore wind energy (Gov.Cuomo et al) -it is used to create jobs and billions for the economy to prosper. Similarly, other ways can be found to upgrade the local port restructuring ...less traffic congestion, safety surveillance, a system that relies on developers and investor funding for trade to flourish even in opportunity zones. Upgrading to cleaner fuels such as biodiesel and renewable diesel -thus, reduced pollution discharge. The manufacturing of modern eco-friendly ships will aid multitudes. This so-called “green port concept” focuses on energy audits, energy managers, port greenness, emissions, ship-generated waste management, ships to be charged a penalty fee if litter is thrown in wildlife/ ecosystem. It is said that equitable infrastructure could prevent inequity by jobs being approachable by means of fair transportation. The community should speak out on how the port is favorable or not and if investments in disadvantaged communities are really making a difference.
7A) How would you develop climate resiliency infrastructure on public lands to protect New York City’s most vulnerable communities, if at all?
Public lands can fall under diverse categories according to their purpose. They can be: parks, national trails, seashores, forests, conservation, refugee, recreational, battlefields, wilderness, etc For this reason, various persons, groups, and techniques support climate resilience by building safer and cleaner infrastructure with affordable engineering costs and emergency management. Nearby public lands, vulnerable communities can be susceptible to the after results of climate change, poor management on failing infrastructures, and that is why each category of public lands needs constant attention. We must safeguard our public lands depending on their frailties and make them withstand flooding, energy, any disasters, ecological susceptibility, hazards, etc. Environmental groups, lawyers, organizations, clubs, activists, can make requests for laws to protect lands and make yearly maintenance a priority. It is noted that public lands should be open to ethnic diversity because cultural people, persons of color visit parks and can be nature deprived, discriminated by unfair restrictions due to color, race, etc.
7B) How would you support the Renewable Rikers proposal, if at all?
The shutting down of the dirty plants and converting it into an energy storage location (backup) many say is a form of reparative environmental justice if closed because the marginalized community is next to bad air pollution and those incarcerated who cannot pay their bails and are pending trial are sent to Rikers. Then, environmental racism has to stop by I believe supporting policy specialists, activists,urban planners, environmental lawmakers, city council members, associations,and others who are willing to assist to make this green transition easier. Through voicing our concerns the issue at Rikers can become a precedent for similar challenges.
8A) How would you support the City in meeting its target of becoming zero waste by 2030, if at all?
Educate others on the importance of recycling. Ask investors to fund since due to COVID19 cuts were made to composting which are on landfills and poorer neighborhoods are affected. Create laws,policies,regulations that are widely enforced. The waste could be used as renewable energy. Distribute “Tips on how to reduce waste”, reduce usage of plastic, paper, reuse items, etc. Keywords: Green technology, urban gardening, green hospitality, Sustainable businesses. The textiles need to be recycled because billions of clothing are being built and if they are in landfills it takes years to decompose. You can donate your items including clothes.
Buildings can be made of longer-lasting materials that withstand exposure and have the durability of time such as iron, steel, concrete, stone. Make more buildings eco-friendly. The Zero Waste Challenge Participants show how businesses are striving to achieve the countdown.
8B) Commercial Waste Zones and Local Law 199 is an example of the sort of comprehensive and transformative climate justice policy that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emission while also raising labor standards, and its implementation will likely happen under the next mayoral administration. How will you ensure that the ambitious goals of the policy are prioritized and accomplished in its implementation?
It cannot be imposed if the workplace, community disregard the laws. Supervisors must check compliance and the map for the commercial waste zone. Warnings, training, educational pamphlets, and then penalties If blatant disregard for the rules. Worker’s rights should be strengthened and ameliorated. Jobs that violate federal labor laws risk financial penalties, lawsuits. The LL199 Commercial Waste Zones should be continued to be followed if its effectiveness is in the majority. If not it can be extended in amendments or revisions to the original. Specialists in this field can verify if it is being carried out correctly or if other methods provide better results. Each suggestion and opinion will be taken into consideration to make sure it is achieved productively.
9A) How would you invest in the New York City workforce for a future of climate jobs, if at all?
Analyze each sector and prepare training to serve as additional on the work training and recruit volunteers, interns to become a part of climate-themed jobs. Urge schools, colleges to teach about nature’s climate. Expand works that are climate jobs such as: Climatologist, geoscientist, tech, scientist, lawyer, energy, sustainable consulting and hundreds of more green careers of different sectors: construction, manufacturing, forestry, transportation, energy trading, etc. Sustainable construction jobs, for instance, create sustainable buildings and human health is enhanced.
9B) How would you implement measures to ensure the creation of high road jobs, if at all?
According to ASBC American Sustainable Business Council there are ten principles that define what constitutes a high road job. It includes:” equality, sustainability, health, fairness.” Thus, employers could create high road jobs through changing policies, rules to be fairer, increase wages, paid family medical leave,etc. Companies, governments can ameliorate high road jobs by making those jobs more responsible to the needs of the employees. For instance, non-discriminatory practices.
10) Is there an innovative idea, policy or otherwise, that you believe would allow NYC to be a leader in our quest for Climate Justice?
Truly fixing socioeconomic inequalities not simply by passing laws but by following through and warning of penalties for those who do not establish a fair workplace or environment. The additional environmental justice bills to be approved and focus on the marginalized: women, colored, indigenous, disabled, elderly, LGBTQ, Etc. Climate change litigation where we see cities nationwide,globally are lawsuits companies, governments that are ignoring their pleas about the risks of pollution, fossil fuels and so on. Even children had lawsuits most known as “Our Children’s Trust” and appealed.