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If you’re trying to help the environment, don’t turn to City Councilmember Erik Martin Dilan for some support.
The Bushwick legislator not only has the worst environmental record in the borough, but the city as well, according to a recent study conducted by the New York League of Conservation Voters.
After evaluating the Council’s voting and sponsorship records on 13 bills designed to create green buildings, make the city more energy efficient and improve local transportation, Dilan received a score of 13.
In contrast, the league gave Brooklyn Heights City Councilmember David Yassky, who represents one of the more environmentally friendly neighborhoods in the borough, a 100.
Other top rankers include Fort Greene City Councilmember Letitia James and Coney Island City Councilmember Domenic Recchia, who both scored a 96. Park Slope City Councilmember Bill de Blasio and Marine Park City Councilmember Lew Fidler both received an 87.
Yassky said that he is proud of his record “of aggressively pushing forward a progressive, forward−thinking agenda in the Council.”
“Not only is the environmental agenda critical because of our need to reduce carbon emissions, tackle the climate crisis, and improve public health, but because of the abundance of opportunities biotech and environmental technology present to create good jobs right here in New York City,” he said. “If our city is to compete in the 21st century economy, the green agenda will be a critical component.”
League spokesman Dan Hendrick said that his organization was “disappointed” with Dilan’s score.
“No one should have the distinction of having the worst record when it comes to environmental concerns,” he said. “Clearly this isn’t one of his issues.”
A spokesperson for Dilan refuted the League’s assessment, explaining that ten of the 13 bills haven’t been put to a vote yet.
“It’s unfair to judge on sponsorship,” said Dilan spokesperson Rafael Espinal, adding that Dilan is “really concerned about the impact of how these new bills will affect building owners and small businesses.”
“He takes a sensitive approach to these bills and doesn’t sign on until he’s looked over it very carefully,” Espinal said.
Other poor scoring local councilmembers include East New York City Councilmember Charles Barron, Flatbush City Councilmember Matthieu Eugene and Bedford−Stuyvesant City Councilmember Darlene Mealy, who all scored a 17 and Borough Park Councilmember Simcha Felder, who scored a 35.
The League of Conservation Voters said that, on average, the City Council had a 61 percent environmental record.
Their scorecard shows “a clear view of where members of the New York City Council stands on the most important environmental issues facing our city,” explained League of Conservation Voters President Marcia Bystryn.
“With so many City Council members running for higher office or seeking re−election this year, the need for an independent assessment of their environmental commitment is more important than ever.”
Hendrick said that council members were informed that they would be scored on bill sponsorship. In fact, many council members signed on to these bills after they were informed about what the league was going to evaluate.
But that doesn’t constitute cheating, at least in their mind.
“We want them to be on these bills,” he said.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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