I have just returned from a Climate conference in Atlanta and on the first evening the intentions were set at an Interfaith Mass Meeting at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. The meeting was led by Former Vice President Al Gore and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II. Reverend Barber spoke of the undeniable connection between racial injustice, environmental injustice,and environmental degradation. We learned how the worst impacts of the production of fossil fuels are thrust upon the poor. From communities who become the dumping grounds for the industrial waste of fossil fuels; like devastating coal ash that poisons their water, to communities like Standing Rock that become occupied by the gas pipeline merchants. Has anyone ever heard a natural gas compressor station? Think 24/7 jet engine within 150 feet of your home. Imagine raw sewage in your yard and a local government unwilling to do a thing about it.
Here at home, I know that East Hampton Democrats work tirelessly to elect climate smart and environmentally sensitive leaders who understand the potential future we face and understand that their mission is to work together for the betterment of our community. From water quality protection and restoration, to their immediate response when safe drinking water was threatened, to planning for the inevitable future we face as a coastal community with hamlet studies and coastal resiliency planning, to providing affordable housing opportunities so that we do not lose the fabric of our community, and the ongoing support for policies and programs that help the most vulnerable in our town.
Our Democratic leadership is working diligently to ensure that our community is doing all it can to be a strong, diverse and vibrant community with tangible actions and not just empty words. We see that in their work; by their dedication to the transformation to 100% renewable energy that has been incorporated in the Comprehensive Plan, and in the community driven hamlet planning; in the purchase of new property for affordable housing, and the planning for a new senior citizen center which is invaluable to our senior population and much more.
The progressive work of the Democratic leadership of our town has never been more important than it is today, as we face a total failure of environmental and community protection, and witness racism and division across our nation from the President and his party. Therefore, local governments and communities must be the leaders for a sustainable future.