Seen on Nostrand: Community Activists Advocate for Protecting the Environment

On July 19 a coalition of groups gathered outside a community garden where Andrew Cuomo was doing an event. They stood across the street and shouted out slogans, many related to environmental problems.  We talked to Eric Weltman who was present and he later gave us the following written statement.  Eric is a organizer for Food and Water Watch and Food and Water Action.

Our purpose at the community garden event was to send a message to Governor Cuomo: Be a true climate leader and move New York off fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy.

Four years ago, Governor Cuomo took the bold step of banning fracking – after years of tenacious grassroots organizing urging him to do so.

Unfortunately, New York is experiencing an onslaught of pipelines and power plants that transport and burn fracked oil and gas.

Along with many other allies, including New York Communities for Change, NYPIRG, and 350Brooklyn, we’re prodding Cuomo to stop fossil fuel infrastructure and be more aggressive in transitioning to renewable energy.

That said, our coalition isn’t “protesting Cuomo,” per se – nor are we supporting any other candidate for governor.

We’re engaged in a variety of tactics, including picketing, phone calls, and letters to the editor, to nudge Cuomo to be a true climate leader.

As governor, Cuomo has a tremendous amount of authority. He talks a good game. But New York still only produces 4 percent of its electricity from solar and wind power – and, as noted, the Cuomo administration is still approving fossil fuel projects.

New York and the nation needs Cuomo to lead the movement off fossil fuels – which is why we were there with our signs, banners, and leaflets outside the community garden event.

Eric also pointed out the Santosh Nandebalan is an organizer and lives in the Crown Heights community.  He can be reached at

UpdatesJohn DeWind