What Matters for District 29

Climate Change

*Climate ResiliencyWhile we invest in our economic recovery from COVID-19, we must not lose sight of impending battles down the road. Climate change remains an existential threat for humanity.

Nonetheless, I believe we can draw from our lessons learned with COVID-19 to face that threat. We will prove once again that New York City is the indomitable city and that we can adapt and overcome any challenge.

I propose several targeted investments to shore up our climate resiliency as a neighborhood and a city.

New York City central park climate change

  • Invest in our storm water management to mitigate flash floods
  • Invest in NYCHA preparedness & disaster readiness
    • Assist Disabled Residents stuck in their units during emergencies
    • Ensure emergency management plans are in place at every NYCHA property
    • Ensure Property Managers possess accurate emergency contact info for tenants.

NYC Green New Deal We have taken positive steps with NYC’s Green New Deal but we must continue to invest and fortify landlocked neighborhoods like ours in tandem with our coastal neighbors. No neighborhood is immune from another Superstorm Sandy.

The QueensWay

If elected, I want to pursue the installation of the QueensWay as soon as possible. Revitalizing miles of abandoned railway into a mix of parkland and open space that can connect the cultural and business communities of Queens is long overdue.

In terms of education, it would provide an outdoor learning space for the numerous schools within walking distance in Rego Park, Forest Hills, and Richmond Hill among other communities. The incorporation of outdoor cultural venues would connect the vast opportunities available for cultural immersion in one of the most diverse counties in the country.

Eliseo Labayen supports the QueensWay Project In terms of small business support, the QueensWay would rival the High Line in Manhattan connecting and intersecting different business areas. Hundreds of thousands of people would be able to safely walk or bike across neighborhoods and discover new businesses to shop from.

In terms of climate change, the QueensWay is a support to nearby public transit, bicycling or walking rather than driving thereby reducing CO2 emissions. In and of itself, the QueensWay is a greenway providing much needed green space that can connect central Queens to Forest Park and much more. If elected, I’d be an unabashed ally of the QueensWay working with the neighboring councilmembers and community groups to get this implemented.

Continue the Expansion of NYC Rain Gardens

If elected, I’d be a staunch supporter of green infrastructure projects across NYC. Rain gardens are an example of such a tool to be utilized in the fight against climate change.

Rendering of ;the NYC Rain Gardens - Eliseo Labayen 2021 In a nutshell, according to the NYC DEP, “rain gardens are planted areas designed to collect and manage stormwater that runs off the streets and sidewalks when it rains.” This form of green infrastructure has beautified neighborhoods across the city, purified our air, and served as an effective tool to combat flooding. 

I applaud and support the expansion of NYC’s Green Infrastructure Program beginning the construction of more than 5,000 rain gardens on top of the 4,000 that have already been built across the city. In conjunction with other green projects large and small, tackling climate change will be one of my top priorities.