Truth Week Day Five: Safe Drinking Water
For more than 500 days, Westchester County has been in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Republican Rob Astorino has yet to publicly comment on his Administration’s failure to meet its obligations or the crippling fines — now over $19 million — that have been imposed on Westchester as a result.
“Ignoring a problem does not make it go away,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “This Administration’s pattern of neglect is costing Westchester taxpayers dearly and compromising the future safety of our water supply.”
The County Executive should explain:
- How his Administration could have missed a crucial deadline by more than 500 days – and counting – despite being clearly informed of this priority before taking office?
- How he intends to bring Westchester into compliance with the law, to finance necessary water treatment upgrades, and avoid the prospect of crippling financial penalties?
- How he intends to address parallel challenges that confront Westchester communities that receive their water supply from Westchester Joint Water Works?
“Truth Week” is Noam Bramson’s weeklong effort to get Republican Rob Astorino to address important issues facing Westchester County. On Monday, Bramson challenged Astorino to explain his decision to bring gun shows back to the County Center. On Tuesday, he challenged Astorino explain his proposal for Playland. On Wednesday, he asked Astorino to clarify his views on reproductive health care. On Thursday, Bramson asked Astorino to explain his opinions on climate change. No answers have yet been offered. Today, Bramson challenged Astorino to speak plainly about the County’s violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
A new report from an international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that rising temperatures around the globe are caused by human activity. Yet under Republican Rob Astorino, Westchester County has withdrawn from planning organizations and other groups that promote sustainable growth and abandoned promising regional initiatives such as Westchester 2025 and Westchester Climate Action Plan. At closed-door meetings with Republican activists, Astorino has reportedly explained his withdrawal by citing right-wing conspiracy theories that tie climate action organizations to a non-existent United Nations plot to usurp American sovereignty.
“The County’s neglect of planning priorities hampers economic growth in the region and imperils our environment,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “As a municipal leader, I’ve taken forward-looking action to promote sustainability, while also cutting costs for taxpayers. As County Executive I’d renew Westchester’s leadership role on this vital priority and stand with scientists, not conspiracy theorists, when it comes to the challenge of climate change.”
Mr. Astorino has never publicly acknowledged the reality of climate change. He should tell the people of Westchester:
- Do you believe climate change is real?
- Do you believe human activity has contributed significantly to rising global temperatures?
- Will you unequivocally reject right-wing conspiracy theories that suggest mainstream climate action organizations are part of a United Nations plot to usurp American sovereignty?
- Will you update and implement Westchester’s own Climate Action Plan?
“Truth Week” is Noam Bramson’s weeklong effort to get Republican Rob Astorino to address important issues facing Westchester County. On Monday, Bramson challenged Astorino to explain his decision to bring gun shows back to the County Center. On Tuesday, he challenged Astorino explain his proposal for Playland. On Wednesday, he asked Astorino to clarify his views on reproductive health care. No answers have yet been offered.
As part of an aggressively hostile opposition towards government action in general and efforts to combat climate change in particular, some on the far right have strenuously opposed organizations such ICLEI and Agenda 21.
They suggest that such voluntary efforts to combat climate change are in reality part of an elaborate plot by the United Nations to subvert American sovereignty and take away private property rights. For some examples of this, please click any of these links
According to a report from a local Republican activist, Rob Astorino said he ended the County’s participation in sustainability efforts because of these arguments.
Last June, that activist wrote that “An interesting question by John D’Alois was posed. He asked how the County came to withdraw from ICLEI. Astorino answered that after his appearance on the Sean Hannity show he was flooded with emails about the central planning and zoning by the UN. The money funding for ICLEI was stopped.” [June 22, 2012, LINK
Truth Week Day Three: A Woman’s Right to Choose
“Truth Week” is Noam Bramson’s weeklong effort to get Republican Rob Astorino to address important issues facing Westchester County. On Monday, Bramson challenged Astorino to explain his decision to bring gun shows back to the County Center. On Tuesday, he challenged Astorino explain his proposal for Playland. No answers have yet been offered. Today, Bramson asks Astorino to explain his views on reproductive rights.
Last year, Republican Rob Astorino vetoed a bill to provide Westchester women with safe access to health care clinics. Earlier this year, he opposed the Women’s Equality Act, because of a provision protecting a woman’s right to choose. But Astorino has not clearly defined his own views on a subject of vital importance to many Westchester residents.
“I believe that decisions about reproductive health care should be made by women and not imposed by the government,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “We are all entitled to our own opinions about this subject, and I fully respect different viewpoints,” continued Bramson, “but when public officials seek to force their view on others, we have a right to know where they stand.”
Rob Astorino should tell the people of Westchester:
1. Do you believe in the Constitutional protections established by Roe v. Wade?
2. Do you believe a woman should be permitted to end a pregnancy if her health is at risk?
3. Do you believe that women who are the victims of rape or incest should be permitted to end a pregnancy?
4. Would you sign legislation that protects women from bullying and harassment when they attempt to access reproductive health services?
“Truth Week” is Noam Bramson’s weeklong effort to get Republican Rob Astorino to address important issues facing Westchester County. On Monday, Bramson challenged Astorino to explain his decision to bring gun shows back to the County Center and future plans regarding holding gun shows there. No answer has yet been offered. Today, Bramson renews his call for Astorino to offer vital information about Playland.
Nearly a month after announcing his latest proposal for Playland, Republican Rob Astorino has yet to offer basic information that would permit the public to judge the merits of his plan.
“Playland is one of Westchester’s most valuable assets,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “All County residents deserve an honest discussion about the costs, benefits, and risks associated with any proposal, so that together we can make an informed choice.”
Bramson renewed his call for Astorino to address three simple questions:
- When will the County conduct and complete an expert analysis of the financial and operational assumptions within the Playland proposals?
- By what date does Rob Astorino project that Playland will become financially self-sustaining and no longer dependent upon assistance from taxpayers?
- What is the optimal number of annual visits to Playland Park that the County aims to achieve?
“I am open-minded about options that could secure Playland’s future,” concluded Bramson, “but the County must first perform its due diligence in analyzing choices and plans. The review process up until now has been badly broken. We all deserve answers from the County Executive.”
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson kicked off a weeklong effort to challenge Republican Rob Astorino to reveal his positions and views on important issues. Bramson, the Democratic, Independence, and Working Families Party candidate for County Executive, said that during “Truth Week” he will pose questions to Mr. Astorino on one subject each day.
“On issue after issue, Mr. Astorino’s silence has been deafening,” said Bramson. “The people of Westchester deserve to hear directly from their County Executive on subjects that are vital to our future.”
Truth Week – Day One: Gun Shows
Question for Republican Rob Astorino
Earlier this year, you came out against a state ban on assault weapons and state limits on magazine capacity. And one of your first acts as County Executive was to bring gun shows back to the County Center after a decade long ban.
But in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, you cancelled an upcoming gun show because your spokesman said “at this time…a contract renewal is not appropriate.”
If a gun show wasn’t appropriate after Sandy Hook, why was it appropriate after Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot, after the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, after the massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and after any number of local gun homicides? Instead of suspending a single gun show, will you act now to permanently ban gun shows from the County Center?