See the statement below.
Sierra Club of New York Announces “Early Endorsement” of Assemblyman Steve Otis
Rye, N.Y. – The Sierra Club of New York has announced their “Early Endorsement” of Assemblyman Steve Otis (D–WFP–IND – Rye) in his 2020 re-election campaign in recognition of his many years of service as an environmental advocate statewide.
Ed Berry, Political Director for the Sierra Club said, “Steve Otis, back in 2015 exhibited the vision to propose the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act. Its purpose was to help local governments pay for necessary clean water projects. He had the strength to get it passed into Law. Not an easy process in our contentious state legislature. Today it has grown to benefit all of the Westchester communities along Long Island Sound. This vision and strength is just one example of why the Sierra Club is proud to give an early endorsement to Steve Otis in his campaign for re-election to the State Assembly.”
Assemblyman Otis, in accepting the Sierra Club’s endorsement said, “I have worked with the Sierra Club for many years on environmental issues in Westchester and Albany. We will continue to work together on clean water, air quality, renewable energy and climate change. Their early endorsement is a significant statement of support for our shared commitment to a clean and healthy environment.”
Assemblyman Otis brings a long history of environmental leadership in Westchester and New York State. His most notable recent success centers on the passage New York’s clean water grant program, the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015. Started as a plan to award $200 million over three years, the WIIA program has grown dramatically and is the largest part of Governor Cuomo’s $5 billion comprehensive clean water program announced in 2017 and 2019. WIIA is administered by the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation in coordination with the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health.
In the first five years of the WIIA program, almost $1.2 billion in state grants have been awarded statewide to local governments to help pay for almost 700 needed clean water infrastructure projects. The grants have saved local governments over $2.5 billion in reduced property taxes and created 67,000 new jobs. Westchester projects have been awarded $45.5 in grants including every Westchester coastal community on Long Island Sound.
The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest environmental organization in the United States with 3.8 million members. It has been fighting to protect the planet since John Muir (Sierra Club founder in 1892) took Teddy Roosevelt to camp in the California mountains at Yosemite National Park. The Sierra Club works with other partner organizations, nonprofits and campaigns to build a diverse and inclusive movement that represents today’s American public. Understanding that environmental issues can’t be separated from social justice- because we all breathe the same air and share the same land, its motto is to ‘explore, enjoy and protect’.
In addition to this endorsement from the Sierra Club Assemblyman Otis has also received the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters and has a 100% scorecard rating form the Environmental Advocates of NY.