Environmentalists Blast Marcellino For Water Bill Defeat
The Long Island Environmental Voters Forum has taken the position that those who did not vote to support the clean water bill, no matter what the reason, are ineligible for endorsement in the state-wide elections, this fall. Environmentalists vowed to pursue the legislation. They sent the following letter to Senator Marcellino.
New York State Senator
Dear Senator Marcellino:
We are shocked and deeply distressed that the New York State Senate failed to put the Long Island Water Quality Control Act to a vote before the end of this year’s Legislative Session. As the public’s representative in the State Senate for the Fifth Senatorial District, you are responsible for the health and safety of your constituents as well as the environmental and economic health of Long Island.
We believe that you and your colleagues had the obligation to prevail upon your own Senate Leadership to put a bill of this importance to a vote. Those who elected you did not transfer responsibility for sound government policy on matters of importance for Long Island and your Senate District to the Senate Majority Leadership. We and they hold you responsible for the failure of this critical initiative.
As a result, you are ineligible for endorsement for re-election by the Long Island Environmental Voters Forum and while we will not automatically endorse your opponent in the November election, we will make your abdication of responsibility in the matter of drinking water and surface water quality, a major issue in the campaign.
Protection of public health and safety is the most important function of government at every level. You failed conspicuously to meet your responsibility despite overwhelming evidence of the decline in Long Island’s water quality and the support of the Island’s water purveyors, non-profit, non-partisan advocates for clean water and the people who drink, cook with, bathe and swim in Long Island’s water.
You were told that your vote could require direct intervention with Senate Leadership and that such leadership on a matter of this importance was necessary and expected. Still, you failed to vote on this matter, despite the Assembly’s passage of the bill by a margin of 112-24, and water quality improvement on Long Island has been delayed indefinitely, as a result of your failure. The longer we wait the more it will cost us all to solve Long Island’s serious water quality problems. Failure to clean-up Long Island’s water is not an option.
We hope that you will recognize the mistake you made and the unacceptability of the result and that you will strive to prevent a recurrence of this circumstance when water quality improvement returns to the State Legislature. In the meantime, you should be ashamed of yourself.
The Long Island Environmental Voters Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization created to identify, recruit, endorse, support, train and actively campaign for pro-environment candidates for public office.
Board of Directors
Long Island Environmental Voters Forum