Nine candidates seeking the Democratic nod for the 17th Congressional District election will speak in Stony Point.

Nine candidates seeking the Democratic nod for the 17th Congressional District election will speak at a forum on the environment Feb. 23.

Nine candidates seeking the Democratic nod for the 17th Congressional District election will speak at a forum on the environment Feb. 23. (Kristin Borden/Patch)

ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY — Nine Democrats vying for Nita Lowey’s Congressional seat will participate in a forum Sunday at The Stony Point Center on the environment. The candidates will discuss Feb. 23 how they plan to address environmental issues facing the 17th Congressional District and the nation.

The forum is co-sponsored by 23 grassroots organizations from Rockland and Westchester counties.

The candidates who have confirmed attendance: Catherine Borgia, David Buchwald, David Carlucci, Asha Castleberry-Hernandez, Evelyn Farkas, Allison Fine, Mondaire Jones, Catherine Parker, and Adam Schleifer.

Issues expected to be discussed include the Green New Deal, closing of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, the Paris Climate Agreement, Westchester County Airport, fracking, and renewable energy.

The forum is being co-sponsored by grassroots organizations from Westchester and Rockland Counties: Westchester for Change, Rockland Goes Green, United for Clean Energy, Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG), Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE), IPSEC – Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, Indivisible YorktownNY, The Stony Point Center, CD17Indivisible, Healing and Protecting Our Land Together – A Call To Prayer, Walkabout Clearwater Chorus & Coffeehouse, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Rockland Citizens Action Network, 350 NJ-Rockland, CCoHOPE Indivisible, NAACP-Peekskill area Chapter, Indivisible Rivertowns, Indivisible Westchester, Rockland Sierra Club, Sierra Club Lower Hudson Group, NY, Explore WESPAC, Coalition to Prevent Westchester Airport Expansion, Mothers Out Front-Rivertowns.

The forum will be moderated by local activist Courtney M. Williams, PhD, cofounder of Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG).

The event is fully accessible and will include ASL interpretation and ACCESS area reserved for those with disabilities.

WHO: Democratic candidates for Congressional District 17
WHAT: Environmental Forum
WHEN: Sunday, February 23, 2020, 2pm to 4pm
WHERE: The Stony Point Center, 17 Cricketown Rd. Stony Point, NY

As a lead-up to the forum, several of the candidates offered thoughts on the issues.

Asha Castleberry-Hernandez:

“My aim as Congresswoman of District 17 is to lead a thriving citizenry that is safeguarded from all of our current day challenges spanning the societal and environmental spectrum. Designing and supporting equitable frameworks that my community can access and afford is a top priority. Fostering initiatives that showcase the talents from people across demographics is also key in my envisioned process. Tapping into the rich perspectives of all the cohorts under my watch will allow me to galvanize my district and extend their brilliance and needs to the forefront. Climate Change does not discriminate, and neither should we.”

New York Assemblymember David Buchwald:

“Our Lower Hudson Valley environment faces pressing challenges, from addressing the threat of the climate crisis to ensuring that the shutdown of Indian Point is done responsibly. It’s important that voters in New York’s 17th Congressional District have the opportunity to hear from the different candidates about their record and vision if elected to Congress. I’m proud to have co-sponsored New York’s version of the Green New Deal and helped stop the federal government from turning the Hudson River into long-term parking for oil barges. In Congress, I’ll keep on fighting for the Lower Hudson Valley – bringing real science back to the EPA and combating the climate crisis.”

Allison Fine:

“I’m excited to have a dedicated environmental forum. Climate change is the existential crisis of our time and how we treat our planet and where we go from here is a crucial test for leaders. I am looking forward to presenting my ideas and listening to the community at this forum.”

Adam Schleifer:

“I am thrilled to participate in this urgent discussion about our most basic responsibility as parents, policymakers, and citizens: how to be good ancestors and leave a habitable, healthy earth to those that follow.”

Dr. Evelyn Farkas:

“From combatting fossil fuel corruption in Ukraine to overseeing disaster preparedness in Southeast Asia, my career has made it clear that environmental sustainability and national security are inseparable. Unfortunately, too many lawmakers look at climate change as simply an ‘environmental issue.’ It’s not. It is a national and global security issue, a social justice issue, an economic issue, and a public health issue—and I am eager to bring this perspective to Washington.”

Mondaire Jones:

“I am so grateful that we are able to have a forum completely dedicated to environmental issues, as the environment is the number one priority in my campaign. If we do not have a planet to inhabit, none of the other stuff matters so much. I have been vocally advocating for a Green New Deal since I announced my campaign and believe we cannot take half-measures in our fight to avert climate catastrophe.”

Catherine Borgia:

“Climate change is the most important “long emergency” of our time. We owe it to future generations to have a full, frank discussion of how to act quickly before it’s too late.”

Catherine Parker:

“Climate change is the most pressing issue of our day because it encompasses so many other issues- housing, healthcare, social justice, good jobs, immigrations, and others. We need to fight this as ware- policy, incentives, innovation, and a deployment of resources. If we continue to do nothing we will have squandered our children’s future.” 

By Lanning Taliaferro