NYLCV Releases City Council Scorecard

New York League of Conservation Voters

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2021
Shachar Sharon, ssharon@nylcv.org

NYLCV Releases City Council Scorecard
Manhattan Scores 100%, a First for a Borough Delegation, and Two-Thirds Earn High Marks

New York, N.Y. – The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) today released its latest NYC Council Environmental Scorecard, in which Council Members are evaluated based on their support of environmental issues in the previous year.

Manhattan was the first delegation to earn a perfect average of 100%. Twenty-three Council Members received a perfect score of 100%. The full scorecard is available here.

Each Council Member’s score is calculated based on voting and sponsorship records on 12 key environmental bills identified in this year’s scorecard that encourage waste reduction, improve public health, and promote sustainable transportation. As the only organization that provides a New York City Council environmental scorecard, NYLCV’s assessment of the Council’s record is important for determining which Council Members are working to protect New York City’s environment and which are not.

NYLCV’s top priorities from its recent New York City Policy Agenda included promoting waste reduction, encouraging sustainable transportation, and reducing emissions. The Scorecard is the League’s primary tool for holding Council Members accountable for progress on these goals.

Among the bills included in this year’s scorecard were an e-scooter pilot program to reduce pollution and expand access to zero-emission micromobility, the Renewable Rikers Act to repurpose Rikers Island for sustainability and renewable energy infrastructure, and the CORE Act to close the gap on food scrap collection and organic waste recycling that was created by cuts in last year’s budget.

NYLCV President Julie Tighe said, “We are excited that so many Council Members are supporting the environment. We thank the 37 Council Members who earned high marks this year! The Scorecard is an essential tool for guiding elected officials’ positions on important environmental issues. By measuring their dedication to the environment, we can fight to keep environmental leaders in office, and create accountability for those who fail to protect our planet. It is more important than ever that we continue this work in 2021. Two-thirds of City Council Members will be new next year and we must ensure that the Council continues to prioritize the environment and serve as a role model for other cities to follow.”

Highlights include:

  • The citywide average score this year was 85%, which was higher than last year’s average of 81%.
  • Manhattan was a standout performer, receiving a borough average score of 100%. This is the first time any borough has scored a perfect 100%.
  • 23 Council Members, almost half of the Council, scored a perfect 100%.
  • 37 Council Members, over two-thirds of the Council, scored 80% or above.
  • Although it scored the lowest for the sixth consecutive year, the Staten Island delegation showed the most improvement, with an average score of 53%, compared to 42% last year.
  • Ten Council Members received a failing score (under 70%).

Scores of key committee chairs

Resiliency and Waterfronts: Justin Brannan, 100%

Environmental Protection: Costa Constantinides, 100%

Parks: Peter Koo, 92%

Health: Mark Levine, 100%

Sanitation & Solid Waste: Antonio Reynoso, 100%

Transportation: Ydanis Rodriguez, 100%

Perfect Scores of 100

Bronx – Ritchie Torres*

Brooklyn – Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Justin Brannan, Laurie Cumbo, Brad Lander, Farah Louis, Alan Maisel, Antonio Reynoso, Mark Treyger

Manhattan – Diana Ayala, Margaret Chin, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, Bill Perkins, Keith Powers, Carlina Rivera, Ydanis Rodriguez, Helen Rosenthal

Queens – Adrienne Adams, Costa Constantinides, Barry Grodenchik, Donovan Richards*, Jimmy Van Bramer

*No longer in the City Council

NYLCV also conducted extensive consultation with partner organizations in the transportation, environmental justice, public health, conservation, parks, and clean energy communities to select bills for inclusion in the scorecard. Relying heavily on their input, NYLCV drafted an initial list of more than three-dozen bills. The final list was pared down to 12 to indicate the highest collective priorities.

Council Members earned points by casting pro-environment votes or by co-sponsoring bills. Negative votes count against the final score. Votes missed due to medical or other excused absences were not factored into the score. Bills that passed during 2020 were graded on whether or not each legislator took the pro-environment vote. Bills that did not reach a vote during 2020 were graded on co-sponsorship. An exception was made for Intro 1592-A, the Renewable Rikers Act, which was a priority bill that was brought up for a vote on February 11, 2021. As in NYLCV’s tradition, Council Speaker Corey Johnson was not graded. However, the citywide average and the bills which come to the floor for a vote, which the Speaker has substantial influence over, are a reflection of his commitment to the environment.

The New York League of Conservation Voters is the only non-partisan, statewide environmental organization in New York that takes a pragmatic approach to fight for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy, and open space. For more information, visit www.nylcv.org.


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