The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Green Team Travels to Albany to lobby for Climate Legislation

Green Team Travels to Albany to lobby for Climate Legislation
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Members of the Townsend Harris High School Green Team joined the TREEage organization for a “Youth Day of Action” in Albany. Last Wednesday, students met with various legislators, governors, and activists to advocate for the Climate, Jobs and Justice Package (CJJP), a series of acts which would work to decarbonize New York and create “a clean energy economy.”

TREEage is a grassroots organization dedicated to empowering high school and college-aged students in New York City to advocate for climate action in New York by pushing legislation, advocating for progressive leaders, and working for greener schools. They continue to defend green laws such as Local Law 97 which regulates pollution in the city.

Senior Carolina Corcuera, president of THHS Green Team, said, “It was inspiring and powerful to hear the speakers — who were senators, assembly members, professors, and other youth — talk about why this legislation in question was so important to them.”

While in Albany, students split into groups where they voiced their concerns to state lawmakers over climate change, discussed its effects on local neighborhoods, and shared personal anecdotes. 

Carolina said, “Our group spoke personally to Assemblyman Braunstein, Assemblywoman González-Rojas, and Assemblyman Ron Kim’s assistant… We were able to talk more about our concerns for the future and why we think the CJJP is so imperative to New York’s Progress.”

On the same day that the students were lobbying for CJJP, the Just Energy Transition Act was passed by the NY state Senate, which authorizes the replacement of four gigawatts of New York’s fossil fuel facilities and sites by 2030.

Harrisites that attended the event described it as an enriching opportunity to learn about lobbying and the importance of civil protesting in the fight for climate justice. 

Junior Julie Remache said, “This was my first time meeting [my district representative] and I was able to talk to her about the issues our family faced with climate change in our neighborhood.”

Freshman Lillian Parella, who is also a part of another teen climate activist group, the Veggie Nuggets organization, said, “The-Co-Executive Director of TREEage, Shiv Soin, asked Veggie Nuggets to come up with something to [convince] Governor Hochul to pass the CJJP and we came up with the idea of a Composition Notebook filled with climate stories from people all around NY.”

Junior Ana Ramlagan said, “The most memorable part of the trip was marching at the top of the capitol. It felt surreal being surrounded by so many people who all are united together under one cause.”

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