Thousands March For the 5th Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy in remembrance of lives lost and to rise for bold climate action at the state and local level
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New York, NY — Thousands of New Yorkers came together for the #Sandy5 march on October 28, 2017; to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in a wave of blue, participants are demanding powerful climate action from New York’s elected officials. Over 150 local, state and national organizations, with strong representation from neighborhoods impacted by the storm, signed-on to the march.
“Superstorm Sandy revealed the inseparable link between environmental justice and climate change,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. “The low-income communities and communities of color across New York City, who are most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis, have come together to demand that our elected officials take bolder, swifter action to bring about a just recovery, make our city more resilient, and bring us to 100% renewable energy.”
Participants are marching to remember all lost to Sandy, resist the Trump administration’s rollback of protections, and rise demanding bold and immediate action from New York’s elected officials at all levels of government.
“Five years ago the world watched in horror as Sandy struck its greatest city; now, the world watches in hope that New York will take the steps to help head off the next storm. In the financial capital of the planet, divesting pensions from fossil fuels would be a signal to everyone else that real change is really coming,” said Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.
With youth of color leading the march, Sandy5 kicks-off at Cadman Plaza Park at 11:45am before crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to the Lower East Side for a rally and art installation at the Alfred E. Smith Houses. The six areas most notably still living with Sandy’s devastation include: Hunts Point, The Bronx; Lower East Side, Manhattan; Red Hook and Sunset Park, Brooklyn; The Rockaways, Queens; and Staten Island. Survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, Irma, and Katrina are joining today’s march in solidarity with impacted communities around the world.
“Our family lost our home in Sandy. Five years later, my daughter still has nightmares and gets scared when it rains. All these storms are climate change, brought to us by the likes of Exxon and Trump, who are now taking the federal government backwards. Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have the power to create many good new jobs for people who need it badly by moving us now to actually solve the climate crisis,” said Rachel Rivera, a Sandy survivor and member of New York Communities for Change now living in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. “It’s time for them to pass and implement bold solutions, now, not call their tiny, tentative little baby steps on this issue of our collective survival ‘leadership’. That’s why I’m marching.”
Organizers are calling for just and sweeping climate action from Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Senator Chuck Schumer. In the five years since Superstorm Sandy, New York’s elected officials have failed to adequately meet ongoing needs in the hardest hit neighborhoods, apply pivotal lessons to plan for future climate disasters, and aggressively transition to a fully renewable economy. Organizers demand:
* At the City level, Mayor de Blasio must: meet the needs of NYC’s hardest hit neighborhoods, disproportionately people of color and low income; develop a flood protection plan for vulnerable communities; and divest from fossil fuels;
* At the State level, Governor Cuomo must: commit New York State to 100% renewable energy, thousands of good union jobs and true environmental justice by making polluters pay for the climate-destroying pollution they dump into our air;
* At the federal level, Senator Schumer must: Stop Trump’s climate-killing agenda by fully funding the EPA, block the dirty energy bill, and support legislation for 100% renewable energy.
“As we recall the devastation of Sandy, we know that the climate crisis has only gotten worse in the past five years. It is time for our elected officials to take much bolder climate action on a much faster schedule. We must move off of fossil fuels and into a new energy economy based on 100% renewable energy sources,” said Leslie Cagan, Coordinator of the Peoples Climate Movement NY.
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