Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New York Mayor Should Support AAEA-Drafted EJ Bill

Letter of Support

Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY  10007

Re: Environmental Justice Act [Int. No. 886]

The African American Environmentalist Association supports Council Member Inez Barron’s Environmental Justice Act [Intro 886]. The legislation has numerous cosponsors and I sincerely hope that it will be passed by the council and that you will sign it into law.  We encourage you to let the New York City Council know that you support the legislation and intend to sign it upon its passage by the Council.

Your OneNYC was recently the recipient of harsh criticism from environmental justice activists who said that it does not reflect equity.  The criticism can be silenced if you support this legislation, which assures that the executive agencies and environmental justice activists will work together to bring about a just future.

The legislation is vitally important in protecting communities throughout New York City.  At present, there is no national or state law that protects these communities.  Int. No. 886 is a local law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to identifying and addressing environmental justice issues. Int. No. 886 sets up an interagency task force to develop agency-wide plans to assure that environmental justice in incorporated into the planning and implementation of agency duties. The legislation also creates an associated environmental justice advisory board, reflecting geographic balance, comprised of pertinent committee chairs or their designees, appointments from environmental justice community boards health or environmental committees, at least seven appointees who are directors, members or employees of environmental justice organizations and at least two appointees who are directors, members or employees of organizations engaged in research related to human health.

I drafted the Environmental Justice Bill for Councilman Charles Barron in 2003 and Councilmember Charles Barron introduced the bill (Int. No. 404) in 2004 with seven cosponsors.  After meeting with Councilwoman Inez Barron in 2014 to request re-introduction of the legislation and after much review and revisions by the Committee on Environmental Protection, Councilwoman Barron introduced the legislation that we are considering today. 

We encourage you to let the New York City Council know that you support Int. No. 886 in order to help accelerate passage of this legislation.

Sincerely yours,

Norris McDonald


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