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An Open Letter on Climate to Antonio Delgado

The below letter has been signed by more than 65 constituents and is part of a grassroots effort to pressure Congressman Antonio Delgado into honoring his climate commitments. You can add your name to the letter here.

Dear Representative Delgado,

We are a collection of your constituents, and we are calling on you as our elected leader to enact bolder action against climate change. We are parents, grandparents, teachers, social workers, gardeners, students, farmers, mechanics, councilmen, and business owners, and we are all desperately alarmed by the climate crisis.

Science tells us that we are quickly running out of time to make the changes that should have been a priority years ago. Your work to cosign the Climate Action Now Act and sponsor the Green Jobs Opportunities Act is a start, however we need a much more aggressive response to our situation. We need to act and change together. We need dramatic direction and legislation from our government and elected leaders to save the future of our species. And we need it now. 

As a young congressman representing the iconic Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains, where climate change is a top priority for your constituents, we expect you to be a prominent voice on this issue and are confused why you are not. While cosponsoring the H.Con.Res.52 is progress, we question why it took nine months for you to sign and why you were the 100th legislator to do so. We expect you to be a leader in this issue, not a follower. This is not good enough.

After hearing your supportive comments surrounding the Green New Deal during your campaign, you inspired our vote and we were excited when you won. However, when you did not sign the GND nor act urgently on this matter, we were profoundly disappointed. While you tout your support for the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis as a “key component” of the GND, we do not have time for a watered down version of the legislation and are asking you to honor the words of your campaign. You will not have our future support in 2022 unless you:

  • Support House Resolution 332, Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.
  • Publicly commit to achieving a 100 percent renewable energy economy as soon as possible: 100 percent clean, renewable electricity, 100 percent zero-emission vehicles, 100 percent clean buildings, and aggressive standards across industry and agriculture within the next 10 years.
  • Sign the Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act of 2021.
  • Call upon President Biden to deny permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure projects and withdraw federal permits for the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipelines.
  • Publicly commit to ending fossil fuel extraction on all public lands and sign the Keep It in the Ground Act of 2021.
  • Publicly support ending all fossil fuel subsidies and exports and sign the End Polluter Welfare Act of 2021.
  • Publicly support and work to stop fracking through EPA pollution rules.
  • Create a transition task force. Collaborate with workers, communities, and state and local governments to develop a plan to phase out all existing fossil fuel production.
  • Slow development and protect natural habitats to ensure natural carbon sinks stay intact.
  • Ensure a just and equitable recovery from climate-related disasters.

We know you are a proud and loving father of two boys. Like us, we’re sure you’ve often wondered about the legacy and planet you will leave behind for your children to inherit. Taking bold action on climate change today is the only way to ensure we do not fail our children and grandchildren in the challenges to come. As a legislator in the most powerful country on earth, you have a unique opportunity to be remembered as someone who stood on the right side of history before it was too late.

We need a systematic transformation and as our elected leader, you are required to create such change. With the control of the house and senate the time to act and enforce lasting change is now. We beg you. For our communities. For your boys. For humanity.

The River is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the newsroom.