New York City politics have been a lot more lively this year thanks to Rev. Billy Talen’s campaign for mayor with the Green Party. Meanwhile, four hard-working Green candidates for NYC city council are hoping for a breakthrough in this overwhelmingly Democratic-voting city.
David Pechefsky, who spent twelve years working for the city council, is now running to represent District 39, Park Slope – Brooklyn. He has made a major issue out of reforming the city council so that the speaker doesn’t have all the power, as this short video explains nicely. To learn more about David Pechefsky and donate to his campaign, check out his website (donations to NYC candidates from residents of the 5 boroughs can be matched 6-1 by the city’s public funding program – so please help out NYC’s 5 excellent Green candidates!).
Evergreen Chou, a Green stalwart in Queens since the 1996 Nader campaign, is running to represent District 20, Flushing – Queens. Chou’s proposals include a requirement that 1/3 of new housing be allocated for low-income earners, a city survey of pollution-related conditions like asthma, new bike and pedestrian paths along Flushing’s waterfront, and posting the city budget online for greater transparency in how tax money is spent.
Lynne Serpe, an energy efficiency expert, community organizer and urban gardener, is running to represent District 22, Astoria – Queens. Her comprehensive platform focuses especially on the link between the environment and public health. Lynne Serpe is calling for sustainable development with thriving small businesses and green jobs; more public space, including community gardens and waterfront access for all; an improved transportation network; and energy-efficient, affordable housing. She recently penned an editorial for the New York Daily News calling for instant runoff voting in New York City.
Walter Nestler, a landscape architect who has served as an environmental watchdog on Community Board 9, is running to represent District 18 in the Southeast Bronx. He promises to fight the city’s habit of using the Southeast Bronx as a dumping ground for hazardous waste. Like Reverend Billy Talen, Nestler seeks to protect local businesses in a city that he sees as “becoming increasingly hostile towards” small business owners.
New York City – still the world’s leading example of strength through diversity – needs a strong Green Party to advance social and economic justice and sustainable development. With some innovative thinking, New York can lead the way to America’s future, but it is in mortal danger of succumbing to its worst demons – real estate speculation, disneyfication, and the Wall Street speculation that took down the global economy last year. By donating to Billy Talen, David Pechefsky, Evergreen Chou, Lynne Serpe, and Walter Nestler, you can help to turn the Big Apple Green.
(Pictured: L – Billy Talen and Lynne Serpe, R – Walter Nestler (L))