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Business Manager Christopher Erikson and ALIGN NY Executive Director Maritza Silva-Farrell, leaders in the Climate Works for All coalition, published an op-ed in the Gotham Gazette making the case for building green and healthy schools in all five boroughs.

The Climate Works for All coalition of labor unions, environmental justice advocates, and community groups has released a report and a plan to replicate the success of the net-zero P.S. 62 on Staten Island. CW4A calculates that $1.5 billion is needed to install solar and HVAC systems in every public school in NYC. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services already has $3.8 billion in funding for city energy efficiency upgrades.

Join us in demanding our current mayor and the next administration to stand up for our communities by building Green, Healthy Schools now! Sign and share the petition.

In related news from June 29, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm came to New York City to discuss ways to build a clean energy economy and create good-paying union jobs. As part of the visit, she sat down at a roundtable with union leaders and workers organized by Climate Jobs NY. Participants included Local 3 member Justin Savignano, NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Gary LaBarbera, Utility Workers Union of America President James Slevin, AFSCME District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido, United Federation of Teachers VP of Middle Schools Richard Mantell, 32BJ SEIU Officer Lenore Friedlaender, Communication Workers of America District One Political Director Bob Master, and Seanelle Leesang, a science teacher and sustainability coordinator at I.S. 68 in Brooklyn. Video of the full event is available on YouTube.

They discussed the value of having labor driving bold climate action while ensuring that the new clean energy economy is built with good union jobs, noting that New York is leading the way by investing in large-scale offshore wind infrastructure with high-road labor standards. They highlighted the opportunity to make schools carbon-free, healthier, and safer while creating good union jobs and saving schools millions in energy costs. And they emphasized the importance of a just transition for communities that currently rely on fossil fuel industries, as well as promoting access to good jobs and careers for frontline and disadvantaged communities.