When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) unveiled his ambitious environmental agenda last week, he did not choose City Hall or the green meadows of Central Park as his backdrop. Instead, he announced the plan from the headquarters of The Point, an environmental justice organization in Hunt’s Point, the South Bronx.
It was a telling choice.
Hunt’s Point, which is in the nation’s poorest congressional district, carries a heavy burden of environmental hazards, including nine truck-based waste transfer stations. Speaking from this embattled community, surrounded by advocates who helped shape his plan, de Blasio made it clear that he understands something his predecessors have not: You cannot separate poverty and inequality from environmental issues.
In New York City, we know that low-income and working communities disproportionately bear the brunt of polluting facilities, and those communities are also typically located in flood-prone, climate-vulnerable areas. This injustice is further compounded by a lack of access to quality workforce training, good jobs, and affordable housing.
De Blasio’s plan, OneNYC, offers a chance to turn this situation around... Read more