The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

“What do we do when our climate’s under attack? Stand up fight back!”: MSE’S Environmental Activism Club Rallies in Albany


On March 27, 2024, high schools across New York sent students to the Capitol in Albany to fight for climate justice. We all arrived at 10 AM and assembled in a conference room where we then headed to the “Million Dollar Staircase” to advocate for the Climate Jobs and Justice Package (CJJP), a pro-worker climate plan that creates green union jobs to tackle the climate crisis. Assembly member Dr. Kelles, Senator John Liu, Senator Kristen Gonzalez (the youngest ever senator in New York), assembly member Dana Levenberg, assembly member Emily Gallagher and the chairwoman for the NY HEAT act talked to the incredible group of over 400 kids on the Million Dollar Staircase. 


Photo taken by Charlize Prifti

CJJP is a “package” of climate change legislation that addresses different issues from holding the largest polluters in NY accountable to protecting low and middle income New Yorkers in the transition away from fossil fuels. The Climate Change Superfund in specific would not only hold the largest polluters in NY accountable for future contributions to pollution but also how they’ve affected the climate in the past. This bill would raise billions of dollars a year to tackle climate change and improve NY’s electric grid. The People’s Climate Justice Budget calls on the Governor and legislature to invest $1 billion for climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience planning. Finally, the Green Healthy Schools Campaign, launched in December 2023, highlights the clean, green schools program, which would incentivize schools to move towards green energy and sustainability. This campaign was launched in response to Mayor Eric Adams’ threat to cut millions of dollars from DOE funding. 


After chanting on the Million Dollar Staircase, we moved to the War Room and listened to student-prepared presentations and speakers from different districts of New York. We rallied outside of Governor Hochul’s office while she worked on allocating the budget. Finally, students split up into groups and talked to legislative staff (mostly assistants) and advocated for the CJJP by addressing certain issues of sustainability in schools. For example, students from Beacon High School, who have a taxi stand in front of their school that pollutes the vents with gasoline and paint, advocated for cleaner air around their school. This issue has not only bothered students but also affected the health of many students at this school. Here at MSE, we can advocate for the wide-spread use of recycling bins and transitioning to a climate-friendly approach. Being around high school students from all over the city, all of us chanting and fighting together for a collective cause, was incredibly inspiring and motivating. In junior Tann Waraloardgoson’s words, “It was a fun first time experience. It was cool being able to fight for something I believe in, in front of all these people in power”.

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    AdorApr 5, 2024 at 1:30 pm

    Well done! Fully support your initiative.