The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

98 Signatories
25 Counties

Dear Governor Hochul,

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 AlvaradoFrank AndersonClayton BarberRachel Barnhart
LegislatorCouncilor SupervisorLegislator
Westchester CountyCity of RomeEssex CountyMonroe County
Keith BatmanSara BollingerJohn BouvierBenjamin Boykin II
Cayuga CountyTown of ManliusTown of South HamptonWestchester County
Jeff BragmanEllen CalvesCheryl ChapmanMargaret Chin
CouncilmemberBoard MemberDeputy MayorCouncilmember
Town of East HamptonTown of BedfordVillage of EndicottNew York City
Terry ClementsDan CoffeyRichard ContiRobert Courtenay
LegislatorBoard MemberPresident Pro TemporeCouncilmember
Westchester CountyTown of BethlehemCity of AlbanyTown of Chester
Maureen CunninghamAnthony DavisRick DavisRobin Deloria
Board MemberAldermanMayorSupervisor
Town of BethlehemCity of Kingston City of TonawandaTown of Newcomb
Frank DendantoElaine DentonTasha DiazWilliam Dillabough
SupervisorCouncilor CouncilmemberCouncilor 
WallkillTown of ManliusCity of YonkersOgdensburg
Beroro EfekoroCorey EllisMalik EvansCatherine Fahey
LegislatorCouncil PresidentCouncilmemberCouncilmember
Albany CountyCity of AlbanyCity of RochesterCity of Albany
Delia FarquharsonGinnie FarrellDennis FeeneySamuel Fein
Mount VernonCity of AlbanyAlbany CountyAlbany County
Mark FlemingAviva FriedmanAnthony GriceMitch Gruber
Rensselaer CountyCity of BinghamtonCity of Newburgh City of Rochester
Beau HarbinLashay HarrisLinda HasmanJacqueline Hernandez
LegislatorCouncilmemberLegislatorDeputy Supervisor
Cortland CountyCity of RochesterMonroe CountyTown of Woodbury
Thomas HoeyNadine Hunt-RobinsonRandall JohnsonMike Kelly
CouncilmemberCouncil PresidentCouncilmemberCouncilmember
City of AlbanyCity of White PlainsCity of PoughkeepsieCity of Plattsburgh
Hollie KennedyFrank KeophetlasyJoseph KeyesWilliam Kinne
Board MemberLegislatorTrusteeLegislator
Town of East GreenbushMonroe CountyVillage of PatchogueCounty of Onondaga
Douglas KoopKatelyn KrieselNeil KrupnickMary Kuhn
AldermanCouncilor Board MemberLegislator
City of KingstonTown of ManliusTown of Hyde ParkCounty of Onondaga
Lee KyriacouHilda LandoBeatriz LebronWillie Lightfoot
MayorLegislatorCommissionerCouncil Vice President
City of BeaconSteuben CountyRochester City School DistrictCity of Rochester
Mervin LivseyJohn LordMary LupienMichele Madigan
Town of HighandsTown of SoutheastCity of RochesterCity of Saratoga Springs
Howard MaffucciDamon MaherRick MattersMiguel Melendez
LegislatorLegislatorBoard MemberCouncilmember
Monroe CountyWestchester CountyTown of East GreenbushCity of Rochester
Arthur MerrillMatthew MillerDelvin MoodyNanci Moquin
SupervisorLegislatorCouncilmemberTown Clerk
Town of ColchesterAlbany CountyCity of UticaTown of Bethlehem
Luke MurphySarah NappaTerry NelsonSteven Noble
City of OneontaTown of SoutholdCity of BeaconCity of Kingston
Joe O’BrienBob PalumboCatherine ParkerMichael Patterson
Albany CountyCity of Canandaigua Westchester CountyCity of Rochester
Victoria PlotskyAndre RaineyWilliam ReinhardtKerin Rigney
Albany CountyCity of PeekskillAlbany CountyTown of DeWitt
Angela RileyChristopher RobinsKimie RomeoMary Frances Sabo
City of BinghamtonNiagara CountyTown of IrondequoitNorth Greenbush
Loretta ScottReynolds Scott-ChildressLaroue ShatzkinPatricia Slavick
CouncilmemberAldermanTown ClerkBoard Member
City of RochesterKingstonTown of CortllandtTown of Guilderland
Heather StaleyMichael StammelSue SteeleMark Venuti
CouncilmemberBoard ChairCouncilmemberSupervisor
Town of Union Rensselaer CountyCity of TroyTown of Geneva
Ruth WalterHeather WatersSusan WilsonRobin Wilt
Westchester CountyTown of ManliusCortland CountyTown of Brighton
Rita WorthingtonKen Zalewski  
AlderwomanPresident Pro Tempore  
City of KingstonCity of Troy