Preserving Our Environment
As Mayor, many told me that Newark’s budgetary constraints were reason to put environmental issues on the backburner. But I knew that our environment couldn’t wait, and that there was economic potential waiting to be unlocked in a 21st century green economy.
I quickly worked to implement sustainability programs that created green jobs, slowed the growth of our carbon footprint, and saved millions of dollars by driving down energy costs.
In 2008, I created Newark’s first Office of Sustainability and organized a “Green Future Summit” that brought additional structure to our efforts. In 2013, we released Newark’s first ever Sustainability Action Plan, which provides a comprehensive roadmap for making Newark a greener, healthier and more vibrant city.
More importantly, these programs have delivered concrete results that will continue to benefit Newarkers long after I leave office. We:
- Raised funds for and executed the largest parks and green-space expansion in Newark in over a century;
- Created a program that trained Newark youth in home weatherization and then placed them in jobs that paid a living wage to do the work in our neighborhoods;
- Built over 400 units of green affordable housing;
- Secured $1.5 million for a major campaign to expand Newark’s tree canopy to reduce the urban heat island effect;
- Pushed successfully for an agreement among state, Port Authority, and private sector leaders to install a new “baghouse filter” on the Covanta Energy facility that will reduce emissions of particulate matter by almost 200 tons per year;
- Partnered to begin clean up of the Passaic River, one of the nation’s most serious Superfund sites;
- Created acres of urban farms that now provide fresh produce to underserved neighborhoods.
As your Senator, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the United States is a world leader in the green economy, that we address global warming before it is too late, and that we protect against threats to environmental health and our most cherished environmental assets here in New Jersey. My priorities will include:
- Fighting to eliminate unfair and unnecessary subsidies for the oil and gas industry that put the United States at a disadvantage in the race to develop green technology;
- Ensuring the enforcement of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, and work to protect the environment in every corner of New Jersey – from the Highlands to the Pinelands, the streets of Newark to the Jersey Shore;
- Opposing drilling in the waters off of the Jersey Shore;
- Working to support comprehensive climate change legislation that incentivizes the creation of green jobs and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
A healthy environment is in everyone’s interest; Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all breathe the same air. As Mayor I brought people together – from business, government and the community – to address local and regional environmental concerns, and will carry the same approach with me to Washington to tackle our federal challenges.