Senator Serrano Hosts Affordable Housing and Environment Justice Workshops During Caucus Weekend

José M. Serrano

February 16, 2014

(Albany, NY) - Senator Serrano sponsored two very important workshops during the 43rd Annual New York State Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislators Conference Weekend in Albany. The informative workshops touched on issues that affect his district on a daily basis.

Serrano kicked off Caucus Weekend by sponsoring an affordable housing workshop with Assemblyman Walter Mosley, entitled "Let's Talk Housing: The State Of Affordable Housing In New York State." This workshop discussed remedies to the ongoing and problematic loss of affordable housing and rent stabilization, safety, gentrification, preservation of housing, protecting tenants and other housing policies and priorities. Senator Serrano is a vocal proponent of affordable housing and is the sponsor of numerous bills aimed at protecting, preserving and creating more units. The Senator and Assemblyman were also joined by a panel of experts to discuss ways to stop gentrification in our neighborhoods.

The second workshop, "It's A Green Thing: Communities of Color Find Their Voice In Environmental Justice," was cosponsored by Senator Serrano and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. The environmental justice workshop also featured Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York. The workshop discussed a wide range of topics such as the effect of hydrofracking, Superstorm Sandy, brownfield sites, waste transfer stations and other environmental issues and the impact they have on  communities of color. 

"Historically communities of color have been burdened with an unfair share of hazardous, polluting facilities and truck routes, and as a result, asthma rates are much higher in these communities," said Senator Serrano. "Immigrant and low-income communities are allowed very little input in the planning process of things like waste transfer stations, which has led to an over-saturation in places like the South Bronx. The mission of workshops like the one we had today is to change that reality."