By Peter Aronson
Primary Election Day in New York State was a resounding victory for the environment as almost all the candidates endorsed by the New York League of Conservation Voters were victorious.
As of this writing, 95% of the candidates we endorsed either won or were winning, with only one loss.
In New York City, the League’s endorsed candidates had a near clean sweep, with 14 city council members winning their primary election.
The six mayoral candidates we endorsed who had primaries all won: Mike Spano, in Yonkers; Shawyn Patterson-Howard, in Mt. Vernon; Yadira Ramos-Herbert, in New Rochelle; Gary McCarthy, in Schenectady; Ron Kim, in Saratoga Spring; and Charles Patricelli, in Watervliet.
“We are very pleased with these results in both New York City and throughout the state,” said NYLCV President Julie Tighe. “As we look towards November, we are determined to continue our fight for a greener, more sustainable New York, and that starts with electing environmental champions to office. When NYLCV candidates win, the environment wins, and we look forward to working to get all of our endorsed candidates over the finish line in the general election.”
The endorsed New York City Council members who won are: Tony Avella, Christopher Marte, Carlina Rivera, Carmen De La Rosa, Kevin Riley, Marjorie Velazquez, Pierina Sanchez, Amanda Farias, Tiffany Cabán, Linda Lee, Shekar Krishnan, Julie Won, Lynn Schulman and Jennifer Gutiérrez.
NYLCV is the only statewide environmental advocacy organization that annually endorses candidates that meet its environmental standards. Every election year, NYLCV develops candidate questionnaires and holds candidate interviews. NYLCV’s State and New York City Council Scorecards are also considered when making endorsement decisions.
League staffers and volunteers were busy leading up to and on Election Day with strong get-out-the-vote efforts–knocking on doors and passing out hundreds of informational palm cards to voters–for four of our endorsed candidates: Mayor Patterson-Howard and NYC Councilmembers Schulman, Marte and Velazquez.
The GOTV effort in the final days before the primary followed weeks of phone banking on behalf of those candidates as well as for Councilmembers Gutierrez, Sanchez, and Riley.
At a press conference in Yonkers the week prior to the election, Tighe stood at Unity Fountain in Yonkers to announce NYLCV’s endorsement of Mayor Spano.
“His record speaks for itself,” said Tighe. “Throughout his tenure, Mayor Spano has consistently prioritized environmental issues, recognizing that a healthy environment is not just a luxury but a necessity for our well-being and the well-being of generations to come.”
Earlier that week, NYLCV and Eleanor’s Legacy hosted a house party in Mount Vernon for Mayor Patterson-Howard, where the mayor and dozens of supporters were on hand to celebrate her strong environmental record since taking office in 2019 and commit to working toward her reelection.
“Mayor Patterson-Howard understands that a thriving city requires a healthy environment, and her commitment to building a sustainable future for her community is an inspiring example for mayors across the state to follow,” said Tighe.
New York voters are determined to make the environment a voting issue this year and every year. Candidate positions on issues such as building a clean energy future, fighting climate change, and protecting public health will be a major factor in who voters cast their ballots for in November and in future elections.
For the 2023 election cycle, the League has thus far thrown their support behind a total of 48 candidates statewide, endorsing 39 candidates for New York City Council and seven candidates for mayoral races, and two for the Westchester County Legislature. Several of these candidates did not have primary challenges.
Please keep an eye out for more endorsements before the November election. And please tell everyone you know that NYLCV is the organization to look towards when determining which candidates will prioritize the environment.
Now it’s on to November!