Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is joining three other regional mayors in calling on Congress to pass President Joe Biden’s (D) infrastructure and climate plan.
During a virtual Town Hall yesterday, Bhalla; Annapolis, Maryland Mayor Gavin Buckley; Albany, New York Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and Scranton, Pennsylvania Mayor Paige Cognetti said Biden’s infrastructure plan should be tied to a $3.5 trillion jobs and climate package awaiting a vote in Congress.
“Hoboken is on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Superstorm Sandy flooded over 80% of our city and left residents without water and power for days, and chronic flood events have become more frequent. We are proud to be part of the solution by investing in green infrastructure, solar energy, and electric vehicles, but there is more work to be done,” Bhalla said.
“We’ve pledged to have our City operations be carbon neutral by 2035, and when they’re completed, our resiliency parks will hold over a million gallons of stormwater runoff. But this moment also demands bold action at the Federal level. Congress must pass President Biden’s Full Build Back Better Agenda now to give Hoboken and cities like us the tools we need.”
The mayors highlighted the union jobs that would be created if Congress moves forward with the president’s plan to tackle climate change, pointing to investments in renewable energy sources and weatherization that would also help lower energy costs for consumers and businesses alike.
“Annapolis is particularly vulnerable to climate change, having experienced the largest increase of any U.S. city in nuisance flooding days over the last 50 years,” noted Buckley.
“We are committed to strategically tackling climate change, but need a similar commitment from Congress. Simply stated, we need federal investments that match the scale of the problems we face. We need to pass the full Build Back Better agenda.”
They also pointed to proposals that would replace every lead pipe in the nation, finally eliminating a threat to our nation’s children, as well as investments in remediating contaminated industrial sites as a means of revitalizing blighted communities.
“Every elected official, from the federal level to the local level, has a role in combatting climate change. We have a massive opportunity with President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, and the City of Albany is ready to do our part to rebuild our infrastructure, build a clean energy grid, and create good-paying jobs for our community,” Sheehan asserted.
Furthermore, while the mayors hailed the bipartisan compromise that led to the infrastructure deal, they called on Democrats in Congress to press forward with a standalone climate and energy package, pointing to overwhelming public support for investments in clean energy and other aspects of the president’s agenda.
A recent Data for Progress poll found that 65 percent of voters support these investments
Cognetti joined with her colleagues in calling on Congress to work with Biden to ensure swift passage of legislation that enjoys such significant support.
“The fact is that Scranton residents are counting on Congress to pass President Biden’s agenda to create jobs while tackling the existential threat posed by a changing climate. We need Congress to meet this historic moment and act without delay.”
The event was hosted by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.