A Night to Celebrate: Looking Back at NYLCV’s Annual Gala

By Peter Aronson

“NYLCV is the place to be,” House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries told the crowd in his keynote address at the New York League of Conservation Voters’ 2023 Gala. And clearly, people have gotten the message: NYLCV raised more than $1.2 million and welcomed over 800 guests to the annual celebration held at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

The League was honored to have Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Leader Jeffries, and Gov. Kathy Hochul in attendance to help us celebrate a year of momentous environmental accomplishments.

“In 2019, the State adopted the most progressive climate law in the nation. Now, we have the plan outlining the path to achieving net-zero carbon emissions,” said NYLCV Julie Tighe, in her opening remarks.

She cited passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Clean Water and Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act and the increased commitment to renewable energy transmission projects, carbon-free building construction, curbside composting in New York City, and congestion pricing.

The League honored Posillico Inc. for its environmental commitment. Posillico, a family-run company, is one of the top engineering contracting firms in the tri-state area and a leader in environmental construction projects. Michael J. Posillico, a long time NYLCV board member and senior partner at Posillico, accepted the award on behalf of the company.  

“Michael Posillico has been a passionate advocate for–and practitioner of–environmental responsibility throughout his career,” said Tighe. “Even before it was considered  “good business”, Michael was bringing  innovative and out-of-the-box solutions to some of the most vexing environmental challenges facing the construction and engineering fields.”   

Board Chairman Steven Russo introduced Sen. Schumer by explaining how instrumental he was in getting Congress to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. “Then came the summer of 2022 – when Senator Schumer proved that he was capable of the supernatural — bringing back from certain death the Build Back Better Act, forged anew as the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Russo. “I do not believe anyone here needs a reminder that when others gave up, Senator Schumer worked tirelessly to find a path forward, and the result was the biggest, boldest climate legislation in our nation’s history.”

Then it was Sen. Schumer’s turn to make introductions, as he welcomed Leader Jeffries, a fellow Brooklyner and senator’s counterpart in the House of Representatives, to the stage. 

Leader Jeffries first took a moment to congratulate the League,  and then reflected not only on the state of environmental policy in Washington D.C., but also on the stakes of the climate crisis and the importance of taking action. He likened it to other pivotal moments in our nation’s history, including the Civil War, and talked about the need to see beyond the current moment and make the hard decisions required to confront this existential threat

Tighe called Leader Jeffries an “outspoken champion for environmental justice” and she thanked Gov. Hochul for delivering on a new state budget with some big climate wins.  

“Governor Hochul fights for what’s right for the environment even when it’s politically hard,” said Tighe. “She stood firm on congestion pricing, she got all electric buildings over the finish line, and she ensured that our clean energy transition will be on solid financial footing by advancing Cap and Invest.” 

Tom Dewey, Board Chairman for NYLCVEF, paid tribute to longtime board member Bob Kulikowski, who recently passed away, saying “He was a brilliant researcher, a dedicated public servant, a passionate environmentalist, a loving husband and father, and a great colleague and friend, and our hearts go out to his husband Chris and son Benjamin.”  

NYLCV and the NYLCVEF would like to thank Sen. Schumer, Leader Jeffries, Gov. Hochul, our entire staff, our board, Chelsea Piers, and all attendees and donors for making our gala a huge success. 


We are pleased to announce that in 2024 we will continue the theme of delivering on climate action by honoring Clean Path, a landmark public-private collaboration between Invenergy, energyRe and the New York Power Authority, and one of the largest clean energy infrastructure projects contracted by the State.  

05.14.23 // AUTHOR: Devin Callahan //