Queens borough president hopeful Melinda Katz has announced an environmental plan that she hopes to put in place if elected.
In an effort to improve the environmental quality of Queens, Katz intends to create green jobs and reduce pollution as part of her “Plan for Green Queens” initiative.
“The borough president … can be a strong advocate for [the environment],” Katz said Tuesday. “Every project that goes through the borough president’s office needs to talk about park space, transportation [and] how buildings are built.”
The plan, which includes steps that would leverage city purchases and procedures, attempts to expand the green-collar industry in Queens by encouraging the next mayor to “invest in strategic tax credits for the green-tech industry.”
The plan also includes planting 1,000 trees across Queens, especially in areas with few green spaces such as Jamaica and the Rockaways, and expanding park space.
Katz said the first steps in making Queens more environmentally friendly would be to weatherize governmental buildings with energy-efficient upgrades, starting with Borough Hall.
The energy upgrades would include intelligent thermostats to reduce heating costs during winter months and white-painted roofs, which studies have shown absorb less heat than a standard roof, to save costs on air conditioning. Other upgrades Katz is pushing for are installing solar panels to reduce overall energy costs, as well as fully insulated windows and doors.
Katz would also like to cultivate a culture of recycling by placing more recycling cans on street corners, as well as making them more accessible to those living in apartment buildings.
Katz’s plan won her the endorsement of the New York League of Conservation Voters. Marcia Bystryn, president of NYLCV, said the group is endorsing Katz because she an environmental leader with the ability to speak about sustainability issues in a comprehensive fashion.
“She’s a strong and consistent voice for sustainability … Melinda Katz knows that Queens residents are clamoring more than ever for a clean environment,” Bystryn said.
Katz is running against Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) in the Sept. 10 primary.