Assemblywoman Fernández unveils 7-Point Plan, pledges to deliver environmental justice, empowered Bronx for all

Assemblywoman Fernández unveils 7-Point Plan, pledges to deliver environmental justice, empowered Bronx for all
Nathalia Fernandez

THE BRONX - On March 18, 2021, Assembly Member Nathalia Fernández, candidate for Bronx Borough President, announced a bold, innovative, multi-faceted policy to achieve true environmental justice. Fernandez’s 7-point plan will uplift communities throughout The Bronx while making it the greenest borough in New York City.

“The Bronx is home to several major highways and waste transfer stations - two leading causes of our borough’s sky-high asthma rate. Our Black and brown communities have long been targeted by environmental racism. We cannot wait any longer to implement life-saving measures that empower all Bronxites,” said Assemblywoman Fernández. “As borough president, I will invest in renewable energies, upgrade our infrastructure, create good-paying green jobs, and improve the quality of both our air and water.”

According to a press release sent to Parkchester Times on Thursday, Jennifer Blatus, Fernandez's Media Manager, said, "New York City has let other cities surpass it in terms of policy making and ingenuity when it comes to climate change protections. Although we are two decades into the 21st Century, current policies and investments don’t reflect the needs of our time."

"To meet the magnitude of this moment, Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernández has introduced a 7-point plan that includes implementing new policies and funding investments that not only will revitalize but transform The Bronx," she added. 

According to Jennifer Blatus, Fernandez’s plan for a greener Bronx includes:

The Environmental Bond Act

  1. Nathalia will advocate for the “Restore Mother Nature” Environmental Bond Act in the State Assembly to be on the ballot this fall. The $3 billion plan will increase resiliency, protect wildlife habitats, and create 65,000 jobs throughout New York State. If elected, Nathalia will work with the other borough presidents and the next mayor to establish a five-borough resiliency plan to enforce environmental protection on a city-wide level.

Reducing The Bronx’s Carbon Footprint

  1. Nathalia co-sponsored the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in the State Assembly. As borough president, Nathalia will ensure that New York meets its climate goals by advocating for the necessary funding needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create alternative, renewable energies throughout New York.

Creating Sustainable Transportation

  1. Nathalia understands that we cannot reduce transportation emissions unless we develop and encourage alternative, sustainable transportation methods. As borough president, Nathalia will work to:

    1. Expand bus service and build miles of bus and bike lanes

    2. Expand bike sharing throughout the borough 

    3. Complete construction of the four proposed Metro North stations in Co-op City, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park, and Hunts Point

    4. Install publicly accessible and affordable EV charging stations across The Bronx

    5. Support the creation of tax incentives for individuals who purchase used electric vehicles

    6. Encourage transition of the city fleet to zero-transmission vehicles and advocate for a city bus pilot program in the west Bronx, an area that suffers from the worst air pollution in the Northeast

    7. Partner with academic institutions to educate and train Bronxites in electric vehicle servicing, giving them the opportunity to operate their own electric vehicle service shops

Investing in Green Infrastructure, Creating Green Jobs

  1. Nathalia knows that by investing in green infrastructure, we can build a sustainable Bronx that provides jobs, improves our air quality, and upgrades our existing, rapidly deteriorating infrastructure. To accomplish this Nathalia will:

    1. Weatherize buildings to make them more energy-efficient and implementing corresponding job training programs to ensure that Bronxites take advantage of this burgeoning industry 

    2. Install solar panels on NYCHA complexes, schools, libraries, and other city-owned buildings, and building solar farms on undeveloped city-owned parcels

    3. Develop urban farms to allow Bronxites to grow produce

    4. Support and funding the development of union-friendly job training programs for the green energy sector

    5. Require flat-roofed residential buildings with six or more apartments to have green roofs

    6. Support the construction of offshore wind farms

    7. Replace standard street lights with LED lights

    8. Create “smart sewers” by installing sensors that detect rising waters and redirect water flow to stop combined sewage overflow from entering the Bronx River and Harlem River

Curbing Our Heat Island Effect

  1. To minimize the consequences of the “urban heat island” effect, Nathalia will:

    1. Champion the construction of green roofs and expand the DEP's curbside rain garden program to reduce stormwater runoff 

    2. Allocate the necessary capital funding to paint at least 100 miles of Bronx roads with white paint

    3. Prioritize planting more trees to reduce temperatures throughout the borough

A Green NYC

  1. To create a greener Bronx, Nathalia supports investing in projects that positively impact vulnerable communities city-wide, including:

    1. Implement The Renewable Rikers Act study to build a center for renewable energies, such as solar and battery, and create jobs for hundreds, if not thousands, of New Yorkers. 

    2. A partnership between SUNY and CUNY institutions to ensure that Rikers Island also serves as state-of-the-art green energy research, educational, and workforce development center. 

Modernizing Waste Removal

  1. As Borough President, Nathalia will support the existing efforts of her colleagues in government and convene vested stakeholders to develop solutions that will revolutionize The Bronx’s waste management system and provide both jobs and environmental equity to traditionally disenfranchised communities, including:

    1. Zero emissions garbage trucks

    2. Marine transfer stations that encourage the use of barges and remove the need for trucks altogether

"This is the first of several plans that Nathalia will propose to revitalize and transform The Bronx as we start the long road of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the next few months, Nathalia will share more of her vision of fighting for a Bronx that works for all of us.

"If elected, Nathalia would be the first woman to hold the office of Bronx Borough President and the first Latina to hold borough-wide office in New York City history. Visit www.Fernández2021.com for campaign information and updates," Blatus concluded.