A collection of environmental groups and labor leaders on Tuesday announced a campaign to push for the final passage of an amendment to New York's state constitution that would guarantee a right to clean air and water.
The amendment has the backing of organizations like Environmental Advocates NY and the Adirondack Mountain Club, as well as labor leaders like Mario Cilento, the president of New York State AFL-CIO.
"As New Yorkers, we recognize that clean air to breathe and clean water to drink are fundamental to a healthy life," said Peter Iwanowicz, the executive director of Environmental Advocates NY. "And this November, we have an historic opportunity to protect our families’ health now and in the future by voting to amend our state constitution."
The referendum put before voters this November comes after lawmakers in Albany approved the amendment two times over separate sessions of the legislature. The groups on Tuesday formed the "Vote Yes for Clean Air and Water," which is set to include a social media presence and digital effort to promote the amendment's final passage.
The measure has the backing of labor, in part, due to the potential for expanding job creation in the green energy sector.
"All New Yorkers deserve access to clean drinking water, clean air, and a healthy environment," Cilento said. "That is why we are strongly encouraging union members across the state to approve this constitutional amendment in November. This amendment will not only protect our environment by promoting investment in our water infrastructure and new energy technologies, but it will also create solid middle-class jobs in the process."