Environment

I support the climate crisis efforts and the need for environmental justice and equity, especially in Southern Hamden. I will focus on continued efforts to maintain and improve the surface water quality and groundwater quality, specifically in the neighborhood surrounding the Olin Powder Farm. The climate crisis has caused negative impacts on residents’ health, the education system, business, and employment opportunities. These initiatives are essential to improving the quality of life for all of our residents.

Hamden does not proactively pursue environmentally sustainable actions. Environmental concerns and needed actions are consistently put on the back burner and the effects of environmental consequences of previously made economic decisions on our most vulnerable residents continue to be tolerated by the town.

I will work to make Hamden a more environmentally sustainable community by: *Address systemic racism by determining the greatest environmental concerns/needs of our vulnerable communities and begin to systematically address these concerns.

*Clean up the Olin Powder Farm with funding from the state and Olin, in cooperation with non-profits and state agencies

*Continue efforts to maintain and improve surface water quality and groundwater quality especially in Southern Hamden through low impact development and/or green infrastructure

*Encourage remediation/rehabilitation of existing sites throughout the town before developing new areas in town

*Work to get needed bus routes in Hamden to reduce pollution and provide needed transportation

*Addition of street trees to Southern Hamden, and green islands along the middle of Dixwell Ave, to reduce heat islands

*Create mini-parks throughout Hamden and designate existing public areas with large trees as Hamden parks for natural cooling

*Support passage of the Tree ordinance to establish legal responsibilities for the care and planting of trees

*UI is a major threat to our street trees, appoint a responsible person/office to receive and respond to calls/emails regarding UI complaints/concerns/questions.

*Require Planning and Zoning have an environmental statement for all agencies/industries that may have significant impacts on the environment. If a decision is made to waive the filing of such a statement, a signed letter of explanation should become a part of the file for that project.

*Enforce and strengthen as needed anti-blight regulations to improve morale and the health and safety of the neighborhoods where these locations exist.

*Re-open conversation on Community Choice Aggregation with public information meetings and bring before the Hamden Legislative Council. Clean alternative sources of energy are critical to our resiliency.

*Work with utilities and town experts including the Energy Use and Climate Change Commission to determine the most impactful locations to install wires underground and develop solar farms

*Increase the miles per gallon of town vehicles and add electric vehicles to our fleet

*Make our town more environmentally sustainable and save money at the same time.

*Fuel Efficiency Standards in Our Town Fleet

*Vehicles, excluding heavy machinery and fire trucks, will have fuel efficiency standards with a strong preference for electric vehicles. My personal car is electric and that’s what I’ll use as mayor, rather than the current SUV.

*Energy Efficiency in our buildings and properties

*Our buildings and properties will be evaluated for solar panels and other forms of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. We can save on utility costs by reducing consumption and creating our own power source.

*Tree Planting

*In cooperation with our schools and neighborhood civic organizations we will develop a “native species” tree sapling growing program so that we can inexpensively plant more trees in Hamden. Trees clean our air, provide shade, assist with drainage and provide many other benefits.

*Reduce our Carbon Footprint

*Our soft textile recycling program is now running and needs more outreach and publicity for full implementation. I will improve the composting program for residents who would like to compost but don’t have space available on their property. We will encourage education in our schools to teach proper recycling that complies with our single-stream recycling requirements.

*Find Efficiencies

*Increase the responsibility of the Energy Use and Climate Change Commission to help us use less energy. For example, we might find ways to eliminate the need for multiple trips for permits and outreach. This means fewer miles on our vehicles, less pollution, and less cost.