Forest Hills Green Team endorses Senator Addabbo for re-election to NY State Senate for the August 23 Primary Election
Early voting runs August 13 - 21 for the August 23 Primary. Find out where to vote here.
Forest Hills Green Team (FHGT) sent out a questionnaire to all the candidates who are currently running for this position, focusing on three specific bills: The Climate and Community Investment Act (S4264A / A6967); The All-Electric Building Act (A8431B / S6843C) and The New York State Build Public Renewables Act (A1466B).
“We appreciate Senator Addabbo’s past opposition to the Williams pipeline and his support of the State OFF Act” says Mark Laster, Co-Chair, Forest Hills Green Team.
“FHGT wants everyone to recognize that we are in a climate emergency and must urgently reduce our carbon emissions to stall climate change and avoid worst case scenarios. We need to do as much as we can at the individual, community, state and national levels to respond. Senator Addabbo in his meetings with us has expressed his desire to work closely to improve upon the Climate and Community Investment Act and The All-Electric Buildings Act, and would be a cosponsor of the New York State Build Public Renewables Act.”
"I am proud to receive FHGT's endorsement. I have worked on numerous environmental projects within my district over the last 13 years in the State Senate, including revitalizing and protecting Jamaica Bay. I have also worked tirelessly to help mitigate flooding within the district -- which was deeply impacted by the events of Hurricane Sandy -- through both advocacy and legislation. I look forward to continuing my work alongside constituents, fellow elected officials, and community partners in ensuring Queens is not only safe from the damaging effects of climate change, but on the forefront of environmental protection and restoration. I admire the work of FHGT and look forward to partnering with them on environmental issues locally and on a state-wide level. I thank them for their endorsement." says Senator Joseph Addabbo.
"New York State was a leader in passing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act back in 2019 but has passed no further legislation to assure the ambitious goals set out in this act have a chance of being accomplished. We look to working with Senator Addabbo to assure we can meet the goals of the CCLPA," said Mark Laster.
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Vote on Primary Election Day, June 28 - or vote early any day until then
Who to vote for? Read the FHGT
Primary Voting Survey and Guide
FHGT sent a survey to candidates for the many local Democratic party positions on the ballot. Read our primary handout for explanations of what they do. While we did not make endorsements for these positions, the candidate responses to our survey will make your decision process simple and clear.
FHGT Endorses Assemblyman Hevesi for Reelection
FHGT is proud to announce our endorsement of Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi to be reelected for District 28. “Assemblyman Hevesi is 100% aligned with the Forest Hills Green Team positions on all the issues that concern our team” said Mark Laster, Co-Chair of the Forest Hills Green Team. “FHGT wants everyone to recognize that we are in a climate emergency and must urgently reduce our carbon emissions to stall climate change and avoid worst case scenarios. We need to do as much as we can at the individual, community, state and national levels to respond. Assemblyman Hevesi has demonstrated leadership on the priorities we have identified, and we need to continue to have his voice in the Assembly.”
FHGT sent out a questionnaire to all the candidates who are currently running for this position focusing on three specific bills: The Climate and Community Investment Act (S4264A / A6967); The All-Electric Building Act (A8431B / S6843C) and The New York State Build Public Renewables Act (A1466B). Assemblyman Hevesi was a co-sponsor for the Climate and Community Investment Act; a co-sponsor of the All-Electric Building Act and a multi sponsor for the New York State Build Public Renewable Act.
None of the other candidates responded to our questionnaire.
New York State was a leader in passing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act back in 2019 but has passed no further legislation to assure the ambitious goals set out in this act have a chance of being accomplished. We look to Assemblyman Hevesi to work with other legislators to assure the goals of the CLCPA can be accomplished.
A Day of Healing in Celebration of Earth Day
The Task Force for Holistic Healing of Central Queens is organizing a series of events on Sunday, April 24, in MacDonald Park. Besides a park clean up and planting, there will be activities that support awareness of community connections, the environment, and inner peace - a walking labyrinth, an Interactive Humanity Collage, and Art Flags for Peace. Family friendly and suitable for all ages. More about the day here.
Save NYC Composting!
Oppose Mayor Adam's Budget Cuts
Mayor Adams, in a complete reversal of his campaign promises, has proposed massive budget cuts for organic waste collection and recycling programs. The Forest Hills food scrap drop off location, newly reopened after the pandemic, would be closed at the end of June, along with the new FSDO we are organizing at Commonpoint, scheduled to start on April 3. Read our full article, and call Council Member Lynn Schulman at 718-544-8800 to ask her to oppose the cuts.
"Forest Hills Environmental Group Expands Composting to North Side of Queens Boulevard," Forest Hills Post, March 30, 2022.
FHGT completes Food Scrap Drop Off Project at MacDonald Park
The City, through GrowNYC, has re-started its collection of food scraps for composting in a number of locations. One newly reopened food scrap drop off (FSDO) location is the MacDonald Park green market every Sunday. It's around the corner from the Post Office, on the corner near Austin Street.
The city service was put on hold during the pandemic. To fill the void, we started doing our own volunteer-run FSDO in collaboration with Queens Botanical Garden and with Big Reuse in May 2021. We welcome the City restarting the program, and have stopped doing our own food scrap collection at MacDonald Park. We are looking into setting up a new FSDO location at Commonpoint Queens on 108th Street. Watch this space for updates.
Here are some links about the work of NYC Compost Project and GrowNYC.
FHGT 2021 Year in Review
We started the year with an extensive endorsement process to decide which candidate we would endorse for our Council seat in the June primary. Using Ranked Choice Voting, we decided to endorse Aleda Gagarin as our first choice; Lynn Schulman as our second choice and Evan Boccardi as our third choice.
February 2021/March 2021/ April 2021
We begin the process of developing our successful Compost Site in MacDonald Park, partnering with Queens Botanical Gardens; Friends of MacDonald Park and Aleda Gagarin’s campaign. We did this to fill in the gap created when GrowNYC closed down their compost site at the Farmer’s Market.
- We held an event celebrating the opening of our Compost Site in MacDonald Park, which was covered by the local press. We bought a tent for the site using funds we received from Ridgewood Bank.
- We canvassed for Aleda’s campaign in support of our endorsement.
We did the first of a number of activities at our Yellowstone Boulevard site. Members of the team continued to check in on the site to make sure it was being maintained.
Our food scrap drop off site was so successful in attracting users that the two large containers we were being supplied with by the Queens Botanical Gardens filled up early each week. QBG transitioned our site to partner with the Big Reuse, who were able to provide us with 4 containers. Since we had more visibility in the community, we purchased Forest Hills Green Team shirts.
- We were asked to table at the FH Night Out Against Crime.
- We met with Costa Constantinides to review his suggestions for advocacy in the future.
- We organized a series of events, using funding from the Citizens Committee of New York. We learned how to care for street trees with a representative of the Parks Department; we attended the Progressive Potluck Picnic with Aleda Gagarin and Felicia Singh; we planted donated bushes and flowers we picked up from Stuyvesant Cove Park in our Yellowstone Garden; we encouraged people to register to vote in partnership with DemocracyNYC.
We continued working on our Yellowstone Garden and our weekly composting. We were filling all four of our containers; averaging 250 people dropping off their food scraps and collecting names of people interested in learning more about our activities; encouraging people to request their brown bins and offering people to register to vote.
- We met with Lynn Schulman who we had endorsed after Aleda Gagarin to support her election.
- The team organized a Volunteer Recognition Event, where Lynn and Assemblymember Hevesi presented a certificate and a Forest Hills Green Team hat to 24 volunteers who all supported the work of our team. The video of this event is on our Facebook page. In partnership with Queens Botanical Gardens, we distributed 250 bags of compost to be used by members of the community.
- We supported the Yes on 1,3,4 campaign, encouraging community members to support these three propositions. Mark Laster spoke at two rallies representing the team.
- We wrapped up the planting season at the Yellowstone Garden by planting free daffodils we received.
- We canvassed in support of Lynn Schulman and Felicia Singh.
- We explored starting an Urban Farm, meeting with Gil Lopez of Smiling Hogshead Farm and going for a tour of this site.
- Mark Laster testified at the Independent Redistricting Commission’s Queens hearing.
- After numerous meetings and discussions with both Queens Botanical Gardens and GrowNYC, we were informed they will be restarting their compost site. The team decided to encourage people to go to this site and will be working with QBG to identify potential future sites in the community.
- We joined the Climate Can’t Wait 2022 coalition supporting 12 bills being considered in Albany to combat climate change.
- We did a presentation to the fourth-grade class of PS 196, in partnership with a representative of Kids Fight Climate Change with the support of Felicia Singh.
Donate to FHGT
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FHGT Holds Successful August Event Series
We held a series of events in August to raise environmental awareness in Forest Hills. On Saturday, August 21, we sponsored both a Street Tree Care Workshop taught by NYC Parks Department staff and a Progressive Potluck Picnic in Forest Park for environmentalists and activists, with former and current Council candidates Aleda Gagarin and Felicia Singh.
On Sunday, August 29, we hosted Democracy NYC at our weekly food waste collection, doing field outreach about voter registration and how to advocate for climate-friendly city policies.
Later that day we also held our main gardening day at the Yellowstone Boulevard / LIRR Overpass garden. We adopted and transplanted a full car load of plants from the Stuyvesant Cove on the lower east side of Manhattan, which will be renovated next year for stormwater resilience and flood control measures. We also accepted a large donation of compost from Queens Botanical Garden to improve the soil quality at the site. Check out our Facebook page for pictures...or better still, visit this volunteer-run landscaping project on Yellowstone Blvd. near Austin Street and the 112th Precinct police station.
"Forest Hills Green Team works for a more sustainable neighborhood," Sept. 1, 2021, Queens Ledger
Ask NYC to Expand Curbside Composting
The NYC Department of Sanitation is also working to bring Curbside Composting to NYC neighborhoods, starting this fall, on a rolling basis. Sign up to request this service for your individual home or your apartment building at nyc.gov/curbsidecomposting or by calling 311. When a minimum number of sign ups for homes and buildings has been reached, Sanitation will bring the service to that neighborhood. If a neighborhood has not yet had enough sign-ups, it will be placed on a wait list until more of its residents have signed up. The more people in Forest Hills sign up, the sooner Sanitation will start offering curbside organic waste pick up here.
Click here to sign up or call 311.
Read more here.
Brown Bin Apartment Sign Up Guide
Queens Solid Waste Advisory Board shares the Brown Bin Apartment Sign Up Guide, which was made to help renters advocate to get the Brown Bin service in their building. It includes resources, steps to take, sample communications to talk to neighbors, and FAQs. Here are the social media graphics and content to post for Instagram and Facebook.
Please feel free to share on social media accounts to get the word out. This guide was created by Sarah Nylund, @consciousconsumerista, in partnership with the Brooklyn SWAB, @brooklyn_swab and Belinda Chiu, @ahealthyblueprint