Chris Quinn: Standing up for all New Yorkers

Being mayor is about standing up for all New Yorkers and speaking hard truths even when they might not be popular to every audience you are talking to. That’s why I believe strongly, that everyone in New York needs to do their fair share when it comes to handling the city’s waste.

For too long, low-income communities of color have had to bear a disproportionate amount of the city’s waste and suffer the heath consequences because of it. Communities like Harlem, the South Bronx, and Williamsburg have done more than their fair share for decades. That’s why I worked so hard, with so many advocates, to put in place a city-wide waste management plan where all neighborhoods took responsibility. No neighborhood, no matter how wealthy or connected, should expect others to bear the burden of their waste.

While some politicians have made it clear they would reverse course and roll the clock back on the environmental achievements we have made, we won’t back down. Over the last several days I have been so heartened by the outpouring of support that has comes from all segments of the environmental justice movement to say no way, no how. See for yourself:

"As an advocate of environmental justice, I strongly support equality and fairness in managing the distribution of New York City’s residential and recyclable waste.  It is unjust to continue to perpetuate environmental degradation in environmental justice communities." - Nydia Velázquez, Congresswoman, NY 7 

“If my borough has to carry the burden of trash, other neighborhoods should do the same. It is simply not right or fair to say that simply because a community has more money, more resources or more connections that they don't have to do their fair share.” - Joel Rivera, Majority Leader, New York City Council, the Bronx

"We suffer the consequences of dealing with a disproportionate amount of garbage and we're simply asking other neighborhoods to do their part." - Annabel Palma, New York City Council Member, the Bronx

“North Brooklyn has sixteen operating transfer stations with a combined capacity over twenty times larger than the proposed capacity for East 91st Street.  While the Upper Eastside fights against a single transfer station, the children in my district continue to breathe in the toxic fumes of dump trucks coming from Manhattan." - Diana Reyna, New York City Council Member, Greenpoint-Williamsburg

"We cannot, and should not expect our Latino and communities of color to continue to bear the brunt of these types of facilities, while affluent communities get a pass on doing their fair share." - Maria del Carmen Arroyo, New York City Councilwoman, South Bronx 

"The bottom line is, we have been fighting for years to end the practice of dumping on communities of color. In Manhattan, five out of six bus depots are in places like Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. The lack of a proposed waste transfer station would only add to that disparity and we need equity." - Inez E. Dickens, Assistant Deputy Majority Leader, New York City Council, Harlem 

"Outer borough neighborhoods, particularly in the Bronx, do more than their fair share of handling the City's waste and Manhattan, including the Upper East Side, has a responsibility to do the same," - New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Bronx

"The facts are simple and undeniable: majority-minority neighborhoods have for too long shouldered the burden of this City's waste so that communities like the Upper East Side didn't have to do so. Those days are rightfully over." - Jumanne Williams, New York City Council Member, Brooklyn  

“We have a plan that will finally make changes to this unbalanced system and leaders have two choices: stand up on the right side of environmental justice or stand against communities that have been unfairly overburdened with garbage for decades. We need a mayor who will not abandon the children and families in the Bronx, Harlem and Brooklyn. Without 91st Street, the solid waste plan will be ineffective and the negative health impacts on communities of color will continue.” - Peggy M. Shepard, Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice  

“This is not about one neighborhood vs. another. This is about all neighborhoods supporting an equitable distribution of waste processing.” - Eric Bruzaitis, OUTRAGE member and community resident

I promise you I will be a mayor that stands up for all New Yorkers. 

Sincerely, 

Chris Quinn