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Climate Change Debate Should be Held in the Boroughs, Local Electeds Say

Hurricane Sandy floods the gantries in Long Island City (File Photo: 2012)

Aug. 12, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

Local politicians are calling on CNN to host its Democratic Presidential climate town hall—scheduled next month in New York City– in either Queens or Brooklyn.

Council Member Costa Constantinides, State Sen. Mike Gianaris and other local leaders joined with environmental advocates on the steps of City Hall Friday and argued that Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination should have to make their case in areas most at risk from the dangers of climate change.

Constantinides organized the rally and applauded CNN’s decision to host a climate town hall in New York but said that the network needed to take the discussion beyond Manhattan.

“These candidates should have to answer directly to the people most at risk of climate change — so we have to take this show beyond the bright lights of Broadway,” Constantinides said.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris said that many residents in Queens and Brooklyn have already felt the effects of climate change and referenced Hurricane Sandy that cost 43 lives and $19 billion in damage.

“Queens is on the front line of the climate debate,” Gianaris said. “While some debate the merits of climate change, we live its effects every day.”

Andrews Grove on 49th Avenue in Long Island City following Hurricane Sandy (Photo: LIC Post)

The rally coincided with a letter signed by 13 City, State and federal elected officials to CNN Worldwide President Jeffrey Zucker, asking the climate town hall be held in either Queens or Brooklyn.

“Qualifying candidates should answer to the Rockaway, Coney Island, and Long Island City residents who every day face toxic air, unprecedented sea level rise, heat waves, and other extreme weather,” says the letter signed by Constantinides, Gianaris, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and 10 others.

CNN will host its climate town hall on Wednesday, September 4 in New York City.

The letter notes that the City Council has made strides to combat climate change in recent months, referencing the recent passage a package of legislation known as the Climate Mobilization Act, which will be the largest emissions reduction ever mandated by a city.

Costa Constantinides holds a press conference on the steps of City Hall Friday calling for CNN to hold its climate debate in Queens or Brooklyn


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With Astoria turning progressive elected officials are trying so hard to appease them. Astoria over whelming voted for Caban. I hope she runs for city council.

Gardens Watcher

CNN and other cable networks need to do better with these debates. Seems like the moderators just want to encourage verbal food fights between the candidates. We’re choosing a candidate for President, not an actor or actress who made the best performance and scored the best one-liners.


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