The Climate Voters’ Handbook: New York

The Climate Voters’ Handbook: New York

The climate crisis is on New York’s ballot.

New Yorkers are feeling the climate crisis. From record-breaking heat waves to deadly floods, “once-in-a-lifetime” weather events are becoming our new normal. We need lawmakers who are committed to taking climate action—and we need your help to elect them.

This summer, the federal government took historic climate action by passing the Inflation Reduction Act—providing almost $370 billion to invest in clean energy and climate justice.

But our work isn’t done yet. We can—and must—do more to protect New York’s environment and residents from the climate crisis. And that work starts by heading to the voting booth.

Learn more about what’s at stake in New York during the midterm elections this November and how you can take action.


THE WHEN: Important dates

Don’t know if you’re registered to vote? Want to request a mail-in ballot? You’re in the right spot to have all your logistical questions answered! Check out this list of key deadlines and resources to make sure you don’t miss the chance to vote by November 8.

Make sure to…
By this deadline
More info
Register to vote
Friday, October 14, 2022
Apply for a mail-in absentee ballot (eligibility restrictions apply)
Monday, October 24, 2022
Things you should know: Your mail-in ballot must be postmarked—not necessarily received—by Tuesday, November 8, 2022!
Vote early
Saturday, October 29, 2022–Sunday, November 6, 2022
Tuesday, November 8, 2022


THE WHO: Meet the candidates

We must face the climate crisis head-on by electing environmental champions who will put New Yorkers before the profits of polluters. The following candidates have impressive records of fighting for a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable climate future.


Running for governor
Governor of New York since 2021and former New York lieutenant governor

Why we support Hochul

  • She has set ambitious climate goals to invest in renewable energy; committed to electrifying 2 million homes (with 40 percent of them for low- to moderate-income households); expanded the Clean Green Schools initiative so that 1,000 public schools in disadvantaged communities can have clean energy; and committed to cleaning up the transportation sector.
  • Suffice it to say, Hochul has set a bold, equitable climate agenda for New York that aims to address environmental injustices and keep the state on track to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050.


Running for U.S. Senate
Senator for New York since 1999

Why we support Schumer

  • Schumer just clinched a huge win by shepherding the historic Inflation Reduction Act—which invests nearly $370 billion in climate action—through the Senate. This is the largest investment in climate and in environmental justice in our country’s history.
  • Beyond this recent victory, Schumer has a long-standing history of tackling the climate crisis. He created a Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, cosponsored bills to set national goals of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 (including plans to transition all U.S. vehicles to zero-emission), fully funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect our public lands, and so much more.


Running for U.S.  House of Representatives (NY-08)
Representative for New York since 2013; former New York State Assembly member

Why we support Jeffries

  • Both as a state assembly member and a representative, Jeffries has sponsored and cosponsored a number of climate and environment bills, including: requiring the Department of the Interior to set up a grant program for conservation efforts; setting requirements to reduce plastic production; supporting efforts to increase recycling and composting; and providing funding for water infrastructure and for clean drinking water for Indigenous tribes.
  • Even better, Jeffries does not accept PAC money from oil, gas, or mining companies or any affiliated trade associations.

Important note: This election cycle, the NRDC Action Fund focused on endorsements for key federal and gubernatorial races. We know there are other important races on the ballot, so we encourage you to seek out other trusted resources to help you learn about candidates in races we have not covered.

THE WHAT: The Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act

Also known simply as the Bond Act or Proposal 1, this is a $4.2 billion investment in clean and safe water, public health, land conservation, and environmental justice—and it’s on New York’s ballot this November.

If passed, the Bond Act will fund:

  • Clean water by upgrading sewers and water lines and replacing lead pipes
  • Clean air by investing in electrifying school buses, making energy-efficient upgrades in buildings, and planting more trees
  • The creation of new and the protection of existing green spaces
  • Environmental justice by ensuring at least 35 percent of all funds are dedicated to disadvantaged communities

The problem? Ballot measures tend to be wonky and hard to understand, which means a lot of people end up skipping them when voting. We can’t let this opportunity for historic climate investment pass us by! Check out the next section to see how you can get involved to make sure people know to vote YES on Proposal 1.

You can also learn more about the Bond Act by reading this blog post on

THE HOW: Take action

This election cycle is bound to break fundraising records. But money isn’t the only determinant of the outcome—your advocacy can make a difference in such hotly contested races. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

Share this voter guide on social media
Make sure your friends and family in New York know that the climate is on New York’s ballot and that they have all the info they need to vote for climate champions on November 8.

Share to Facebook. >>
Share to Twitter. >>

Join Slack to connect with other climate activists
Find other people like you fighting for climate action in New York—because a grassroots movement requires strength in numbers. You’ll be the first to know about important volunteer opportunities and actions you can take to help secure a victory for our candidates and the Bond Act this fall.

Join NRDC Action Fund’s All In for Climate Action Slack space—and look for the #local-new-york channel. >>

Sign up to be a poll worker on Election Day
A sign of a functioning democracy is high voter turnout, but unfortunately, polling places in some states are forced to close due to a lack of poll workers. This makes it much harder for people to vote.

Volunteer with Power the Polls to make sure every polling location stays open and every voter has a chance to cast their ballot. >>

THE RESULTS: As of November 16, 2022

We know that when it comes to fighting climate change and securing a clean and healthy future for everyone, every election counts. This one was no different. Democrats fought hard to retain their majority in the Senate, while Republicans are poised to take narrow control of the House of Representatives.

But a split Congress means leaders from both parties have a responsibility to work together to build a livable future for all. Now it is important to continue to push for equitable climate action and insist that both parties work to deliver a clean energy future. The NRDC Action Fund has a long history of working with bipartisan legislatures to achieve real climate progress. There is tough work ahead—but for now let’s celebrate the new and returning climate champions.

Here are the new and returning climate champions at the helm in New York:

  • Kathy Hochul has been elected as governor.
  • Chuck Schumer has been re-elected as senator.
  • Hakeem Jeffries has been re-elected as representative for District NY-08.
  • Pat Ryan has been re-elected as representative for District NY-18.

The following candidates were not elected this year:

  • Bridget Fleming, who ran for representative for District NY-01.
  • Jackie Gordon, who ran for representative for District NY-02.
  • Robert Zimmerman, who ran for representative for District NY-03.
  • Josh Riley, who ran for representative for District NY-19.

Candidates weren’t the only ones on the ballot this year, and on election day New Yorkers rose to the occasion to pass the Environmental Bond Act! This sets the stage for a historic investment of $4.2 billion in clean and safe water, public health, land conservation, and environmental justice. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her leadership on this issue. Our work does not end here—we must now shift focus to the rollout of this program to ensure this money goes to where it is needed most. Stay in the loop on all the ways you can get involved by visiting the Better New York webpage.

Our journey does not end on Election Day. We will continue to defend the wins and learn from the losses over the last two years. And we hope you will continue to support this work.

Paid for by the NRDC Action Fund in coordination with Vote Yes for Clean Water & Jobs.