June 11, 2019

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UUPers rally for environmental protections bill

uupdate 5-29-19

UUP members, above, joined hundreds of concerned citizens and climate activists from across the state June 11 in calling for the governor to pass the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act.

At a rousing rally on the state Capitol’s Million Dollar Staircase, nearly 300 supporters—many of whom were wearing green shirts that read SD“Climate. Jobs. Justice. Pass The CCPA”—waved signs and shouted chants like “Pass the CCPA.”

The rally was organized by NY Renews, a coalition of more than 150 community groups, labor unions, churches and other organizations committed to preserving the environment, green energy, and promoting climate justice. UUP is a NY Renews coalition member.

“The CCPA will go far in helping to protect the environment, today and into the future,” said UUP President Fred Kowal, who attended the afternoon rally. "If passed, this legislation would provide a major boost to the green energy industry and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying green jobs statewide.”

UUP’s statewide officers—VP for Academics Jamie Dangler, VP for Professionals Tom Tucker, Secretary-Treasurer Jeri O’Bryan-Losee, and Membership Development Officer Tom Hoey—were also at the rally, holding signs that said “UUP Supports the Climate and Community Protection Act.”

Several Cortland Chapter UUPers, including Mark Bischoff and Amy Russell, came to the rally to push for the CCPA in the waning days of the 2019 state Legislative Session, which ends June 18.

“I’m 31 and I hope to have a family and a clean world for my children to grow up in,” said Russell. “I still have faith that our elected officials will do what’s right.”

The CCPA has support in the state Assembly and Senate, as well as backing by Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Gov. Cuomo has been measured in his responses about the bill.

The CCPA is a comprehensive bill with mandates that the state be free of fossil fuels by 2050; half of the state’s electricity would have to come from renewable sources by 2030. It also protects communities impacted by climate change and demands fair labor standards for projects that receive public funds.

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