One of our most important goals at NYLCV is to make sure elected officials keep to their promises when it comes to the environment. Our primary tool for doing this is our New York City Council Environmental Scorecard, which evaluates each member on their environmental record. NYLCV is the only organization that produces an Environmental Scorecard to give an independent assessment of the City Council’s performance.
In consultation with over thirty respected environmental, public health, transportation, parks and environmental justice organizations, we release a list of key bills that we will score for that calendar year.
We are pleased to report our success rate on 2016’s scorecard bills was near perfect, a reflection on the impact of our scorecard and the responsiveness of our elected officials. Of the twelve bills on the 2016 scorecard, ten are now law. The legislation on this scorecard is on track to enjoy a similar level of success. Since day one of her tenure, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has been both a strong environmentalist and an attentive ally to NYLCV and our partners. In her final year, she helped assure passage of key bills to improve both indoor and outdoor air quality, to promote urban agriculture, to improve energy efficiency, and to better prepare the city for severe weather.
Last month, Corey Johnson was selected by his colleagues as her successor. Over the years he has been an effective advocate in the fight against climate change and in protecting the health of our most vulnerable. In particular, we appreciate his efforts as the lead sponsor on legislation to require the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene to conduct an annual community air quality survey, an important tool in identifying the sources of air pollution — such as building emissions or truck traffic — particularly in environmental justice communities. Based on this record and after he earned a perfect 100 on our City Council Scorecard in each year of his first term, NYLCV was proud to endorse him for re-election last year. We are confident he will build on Speaker Mark-Viverito’s impressive record of environmental leadership and we look forward to working with him.
At the same time, we are facing significant environmental challenges and the clock is ticking on our ambitious citywide sustainability goals, including getting to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Council must not only move on bills where there is near-unanimous consensus. We will need to see thought-leadership, policy innovation, and action from the Council in 2018. We are challenging both the Speaker and individual members to be bold and to make sure that New York City stays on the forefront of cutting-edge environmental policy.
A downloadable PDF version of the 2017 Scorecard is available here.