City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) crossed party lines last week to support Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s third bid against Democratic city Comptroller Bill Thompson for the city’s highest office, citing his support for the independent candidate’s environmental efforts.
“As the Council’s Environmental [Committee] chairman, I want to continue working with my partners Mike Bloomberg to fully implement PlaNYC, his visionary environmental sustainability plan that is cleaning our air, reducing asthma, protecting our water supply and reviving our economy by creating thousands of green jobs and growing a thriving green economy,” said Gennaro, who did not endorse Bloomberg in 2001 or 2005.
“But we also need Mike Bloomberg for much more,” he said. “We need him to build on his phenomenal success in improving our schools, to continue his national leadership in reducing crime and getting illegal guns off our streets and to keep improving our quality of life as no other has in my 27 years in government.”
Gennaro represents the Council’s 24th District, which includes Briarwood, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Hillcrest Estates, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, Utopia Estates and parts of Forest Hills, Flushing, Jamaica and Rego Park.
He is one of a list of Democrats who have thrown their weight behind the mayor, including U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), former Mayor Ed Koch and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Bloomberg and Booker made the rounds in Queens and spoke at several Queens churches Sunday morning, including Mount Moriah AME Church, Greater Allen AME Cathedral and New Jerusalem Baptist Church — all in Jamaica.
Gennaro and Bloomberg have worked together on green initiatives in the city and on Earth Day this year, Gennaro joined Bloomberg to launch a six-point plan to make existing large buildings energy-efficient through retrofits. The two said the plan will create 19,000 green construction jobs and reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent.
In November 2007 the Council passed the Gennaro-sponsored Local Law 55, which was supported by the mayor and aims to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
“Jim has been a key partner in our effort to green New York City,” Bloomberg said. “Together, we have worked to retrofit our city’s buildings, end antiquated city practices and transform the way we approach environmental protection. Jim shares my belief that green jobs are the jobs of the future and together we will keep New York City a national leader on environmental issues.”
Gennaro praised Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, a master plan for building an environmentally sustainable New York which, like Local Law 55, lays out initiatives for cutting the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030. The plan’s efforts include incorporating hybrid cars into city fleets.
The Thompson campaign has pointed out throughout the city comptroller’s run for mayor that he has worked hard on environmental efforts, including attempting to stop natural gas drilling within or near the city’s upstate watershed, which provides drinking water to the city’s residents; calling for the preservation of wildlife space in the Ridgewood Reservoir; and issuing a report documenting the impact of airport congestion at the city’s three major airports; and the rise in airport runoff, especially the flow from Kennedy Airport into marshes in Jamaica Bay.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.