By Mike Cassesso
On February 13, we have an opportunity to help elect a proven environmental champion to the U.S. House of Representatives and take the first step towards flipping Congress back to pro-environment control.
This special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District (to fill the seat left vacant by George Santos’ expulsion) pits Democrat Tom Suozzi, a longtime public servant with a lengthy record of environmental action, against a local public official with a thin record who is endorsed by both the Republican Party and New York’s far-right Conservative Party. The choice for New York families concerned about clean air, clean water, and a clean energy future could not be clearer. That’s why the NRDC Action Fund and other major environmental groups have endorsed Suozzi in this critical race.
Suozzi, who previously represented the district in Congress and served in local elected offices, enjoys a 98% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters and was previously named New York State Environmentalist of the Year. He is running in part on a record of environmental action in the district. His opponent, Mazi Pilip, has almost no record of environmental votes and she is refusing to answer specific questions about her policy preferences. Still, her embrace of the Conservative Party’s endorsement is telling.
The Conservative Party of New York State denies mainstream climate science, opposes marriage equality, opposes abortion rights, and wants to weaken safeguards that protect the quality of our air and water. And while these positions are out of step with voters in the 3rd District, they are also opposed by most Americans who want Congress to turn away from the culture wars prioritized by House Speaker Mike Johnson and his ultra-MAGA legislative agenda.
Over the next couple of weeks, the NRDC Action Fund will join citizens throughout the 3rd District in working to turn out voters for this crucial special election. Our national network of activists will help communicate to key voters the importance of voting in this race to protect clean air and water, support clean energy and fight climate change that is already increasing the frequency of devastating flooding on Long Island.
The future of America’s climate fight is on the line in this year’s elections. Energy and environmental issues will be key points of contrast in contests across the country, including in the all-important race for the White House. We need you in this fight, and there are many ways to get involved. To find out more and get invites to exclusive volunteer opportunities, join our All In for Climate Action list today.
Mike Cassesso is the political and advocacy director for the NRDC Action Fund.