“The protection of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the open space we enjoy is not an academic or feel good exercise for me or my constituents. I take it very personally and it is critical to our health, the quality of life in our area and the sustainability of our community and our city.”


Robert's Record

  • As Chair of the City Council Education Committee, fought to get PCBs out of classrooms. Through hearings, legislation and press events, fought the Bloomberg Administration 10-year timetable and pushed for faster clean-up
  • Sponsored the City Council resolution in support of state legislation to ban fracking in New York State
  • Sponsored law to phase out dirty boilers in our schools that were polluting the air, particularly in Northern Manhattan.
  • Worked with Bill Perkins to protect children from the deadly effects of lead in their homes
  • Continued the fight against lead poisoning in the Dominican Republic where he joined with a delegation from “Friends of Lead Free Children” to advocate for the cleanup of toxic site in Haina, resulting in a full clean-up of the site
  • Been a strong advocate for open space that is so important to both our physical and mental health. This has included bringing irrigation for the first time to historic 20-acre Isham Park; working with the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance on the development of a new Eco Dock in the Dyckman Marina

Robert's Agenda

  • Reduce Use of Plastic Bags. I support a 5 cent fee on plastics bags to discourage use. Similar fees have been successful in other cities in getting people to bring their own reusable bags when they shop, and generated a 60% to 90% drop in plastic bag waste. As was included in the approved city legislation, we must address potential impacts on low-income New Yorkers by exempting SNAP/WIC transactions from the fee and committing to the distribution of free, reusable bags in low-income neighborhoods.
  • Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals. Children are the most vulnerable to dangerous products, and we must do everything we can to protect them. We must recognize that the school environment is also important for learning. That’s why I continue to advocate to require all schools to test for lead contamination and for the state to provide funds to help schools pay for testing and remediation. And it’s an outrage that NY still hasn’t passed The Child Safe Products Act that will disclose to consumers if products contain chemicals of concern and eventually ban the most harmful chemicals. 
  • Fixing our subways. Our subways keep this city and our economy moving, and right now everyone knows they are broken.  This is particularly important in this district that has one of the lowest percentage of car ownership anywhere. Fixing them will take better management, setting real priorities and a reliable funding stream. I support the concept of congestion pricing, but at the same time we need to enact policies that insure upper Manhattan doesn’t become a parking lot for those coming into the city but not wanting to enter the congestion zone and our subway system can handle the new users.
  • Convert to renewable fuels.  I support passage of the Climate and Community Protection Act which would mandate a NY State-wide shift to all-renewable energy by 2050, provide support for impacted communities and worker re-training, and raise funds for the needed investment from polluter fees. This bill has twice passed the NY State Assembly, but has been blocked in the NY State Senate, in large part because the IDC, of which my opponent is a member, empowered the Republican minority to be in control.
  • Be big and bold in our ambition to build a clean-energy economy that works for everybody