The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo,
We, the undersigned elected officials from across New York State, are concerned about the health, prosperity, and resiliency of the millions of New Yorkers we represent in the midst of the global pandemic, economic crisis, and climate emergency. We support your administration’s leadership with the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) to invest in a cleaner, more accessible, and more affordable transportation sector for all New Yorkers.
Thank you for your leadership in protecting public health during the pandemic and in implementing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Building on your leadership, to meet New York’s ambitious climate goals, we must make substantial investments across New York to modernize our transportation infrastructure and reduce harmful pollution that is worsening our public health and climate emergencies.
The transportation sector is responsible for more than 40 percent of New York’s greenhouse gas pollution that is harming human health and driving the climate emergency. Pollution from cars and trucks causes asthma, premature deaths, heart and lung disease, and increased mortality rates from COVID-19, especially in overburdened communities.
The TCI policy will help New York cut carbon pollution by generating up to $1.4 billion per year to invest in our communities across the entire state and create cleaner, more efficient, and safer transportation options for New Yorkers in rural, suburban, and urban areas. TCI will create good, family-sustaining green jobs, accelerate our state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and fight existing inequities by investing a substantial amount of these proceeds in underserved and disadvantaged communities as required by the CLCPA.
By requiring the oil industry to cut and pay for the pollution it causes, TCI will generate the resources needed to help tackle New York’s biggest and most persistently growing pollution problem—the tailpipe emissions from motor vehicles. TCI revenues will help New York fund transportation initiatives being developed under the scoping plan of the CLCPA, such as improving public transit, enhancing walkability and bikeability, adding charging stations, and electrifying bus fleets and other vehicles.
Targeted green infrastructure investments and workforce development are key strategies in economic recovery from the pandemic. Public works spending has historically been a key strategy to reverse economic downturns, and these critical transportation initiatives will require an expanded workforce across the state. We must prioritize workforce development in low-income and environmental justice communities.
The TCI policy will also help New York expand local-state partnerships for clean transportation, unlocking new economic opportunities when we need them most. Providing funding for sustainable transportation infrastructure investments to communities can help local governments that are struggling fiscally as a result of the pandemic and would otherwise be unable to make the green investments needed to meet our CLCPA goals.
TCI will help create a more equitable and just state by helping to address environmental injustice pollution burdens faced by communities of color and low-income communities and address barriers to reliable, convenient, and affordable transportation faced by people with disabilities, veterans, older residents, rural residents, and other vulnerable populations, which too often impede access to healthcare, social services, and jobs.
Environmental justice and social equity must be central principles for any transportation climate initiative to succeed. To help New Yorkers recover from the economic crisis, the TCI program’s benefits and costs must be progressive, not regressive, and must reduce energy burdens for low-income households. It will be critical to prioritize funding to disadvantaged communities and solutions that enhance transportation accessibility and affordability. We urge you to support complementary policies to ensure transparency in funding generation, allocation, and distribution and ensure a minimum of 35 to 40 percent or more of investments are committed to lower-income communities and communities overburdened with pollution.
We urge you to sign a regional TCI Memorandum of Understanding by the end of 2020 that addresses environmental justice and equity, cuts greenhouse gas emissions, creates good jobs and economic growth, and commits New York to implement this important program.
Thank you for considering this bold step forward. We stand ready to work with you to build a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous New York for all.
|Jose Alvarado||Frank Anderson||Clayton Barber||Rachel Barnhart|
|Westchester County||City of Rome||Essex County||Monroe County|
|Keith Batman||Sara Bollinger||John Bouvier||Benjamin Boykin II|
|Cayuga County||Town of Manlius||Town of South Hampton||Westchester County|
|Jeff Bragman||Ellen Calves||Cheryl Chapman||Margaret Chin|
|Councilmember||Board Member||Deputy Mayor||Councilmember|
|Town of East Hampton||Town of Bedford||Village of Endicott||New York City|
|Terry Clements||Dan Coffey||Richard Conti||Robert Courtenay|
|Legislator||Board Member||President Pro Tempore||Councilmember|
|Westchester County||Town of Bethlehem||City of Albany||Town of Chester|
|Maureen Cunningham||Anthony Davis||Rick Davis||Robin Deloria|
|Town of Bethlehem||City of Kingston||City of Tonawanda||Town of Newcomb|
|Frank Dendanto||Elaine Denton||Tasha Diaz||William Dillabough|
|Wallkill||Town of Manlius||City of Yonkers||Ogdensburg|
|Beroro Efekoro||Corey Ellis||Malik Evans||Catherine Fahey|
|Albany County||City of Albany||City of Rochester||City of Albany|
|Delia Farquharson||Ginnie Farrell||Dennis Feeney||Samuel Fein|
|Mount Vernon||City of Albany||Albany County||Albany County|
|Mark Fleming||Aviva Friedman||Anthony Grice||Mitch Gruber|
|Rensselaer County||City of Binghamton||City of Newburgh||City of Rochester|
|Beau Harbin||Lashay Harris||Linda Hasman||Jacqueline Hernandez|
|Cortland County||City of Rochester||Monroe County||Town of Woodbury|
|Thomas Hoey||Nadine Hunt-Robinson||Randall Johnson||Mike Kelly|
|City of Albany||City of White Plains||City of Poughkeepsie||City of Plattsburgh|
|Hollie Kennedy||Frank Keophetlasy||Joseph Keyes||William Kinne|
|Town of East Greenbush||Monroe County||Village of Patchogue||County of Onondaga|
|Douglas Koop||Katelyn Kriesel||Neil Krupnick||Mary Kuhn|
|City of Kingston||Town of Manlius||Town of Hyde Park||County of Onondaga|
|Lee Kyriacou||Hilda Lando||Beatriz Lebron||Willie Lightfoot|
|Mayor||Legislator||Commissioner||Council Vice President|
|City of Beacon||Steuben County||Rochester City School District||City of Rochester|
|Mervin Livsey||John Lord||Mary Lupien||Michele Madigan|
|Town of Highands||Town of Southeast||City of Rochester||City of Saratoga Springs|
|Howard Maffucci||Damon Maher||Rick Matters||Miguel Melendez|
|Monroe County||Westchester County||Town of East Greenbush||City of Rochester|
|Arthur Merrill||Matthew Miller||Delvin Moody||Nanci Moquin|
|Town of Colchester||Albany County||City of Utica||Town of Bethlehem|
|Luke Murphy||Sarah Nappa||Terry Nelson||Steven Noble|
|City of Oneonta||Town of Southold||City of Beacon||City of Kingston|
|Joe O’Brien||Bob Palumbo||Catherine Parker||Michael Patterson|
|Albany County||City of Canandaigua||Westchester County||City of Rochester|
|Victoria Plotsky||Andre Rainey||William Reinhardt||Kerin Rigney|
|Albany County||City of Peekskill||Albany County||Town of DeWitt|
|Angela Riley||Christopher Robins||Kimie Romeo||Mary Frances Sabo|
|City of Binghamton||Niagara County||Town of Irondequoit||North Greenbush|
|Loretta Scott||Reynolds Scott-Childress||Laroue Shatzkin||Patricia Slavick|
|Councilmember||Alderman||Town Clerk||Board Member|
|City of Rochester||Kingston||Town of Cortllandt||Town of Guilderland|
|Heather Staley||Michael Stammel||Sue Steele||Mark Venuti|
|Town of Union||Rensselaer County||City of Troy||Town of Geneva|
|Ruth Walter||Heather Waters||Susan Wilson||Robin Wilt|
|Westchester County||Town of Manlius||Cortland County||Town of Brighton|
|Rita Worthington||Ken Zalewski|
|Alderwoman||President Pro Tempore|
|City of Kingston||City of Troy|