Constantinides, who has represented Astoria and parts of Woodside and East Elmhurst since 2013, is the chair of the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee. One of his signature bills is the Climate Mobilization Act, which has been dubbed as New York City’s version of the Green New Deal.
Standing alongside Stringer at Ralph Demarco Park in Astoria on Friday, Constantinides said New York City needs a mayor who will put climate “front and center.”
“Scott has been there for us, and will be there for us as mayor,” he said. “He’s shown as comptroller that he understands that climate change is the battle of our lifetime.”
The Astoria councilman praised Stringer for being one of the city’s first officials to come out against hydrofracking back when he was Manhattan borough president.
As comptroller, Stringer has fought for a five-borough resiliency plan, Constantinides said. He also touted Stringer’s opposition to the Williams Pipeline, as well as a plan to replace 50-year-old power generators in Astoria, which local environmental groups have opposed.
Astoria proides 55 percent of the city’s power, the councilman noted, but the fossil fuel plants have come at a cost. The asthma rates in the neighborhood are higher than borough average.
Constantinides said the city needs to make investments in green energy, solarize buildings and create green jobs.
“That’s the mayor that we desperately need right now,” he said.
In accepting Constantinides’s endorsement, Stringer called the councilman a “nationally recognized” climate leader who is thoughtful, smart and visionary.
He said he will be relying on Constantinides’s advice and guidance with the councilman serving as the campaign’s senior climate change adviser. The Astoria councilman will continue his day job representing western Queens, and will help the campaign in his free time.
“That means as we usher in our proposals, I’m going to have the person in government who understands how to accomplish things right by my side,” Stringer said, “going through our proposals and implementing them.”
One proposal that Stringer will support is turning Rikers Island, once the jails have closed, into a hub for renewable energy generation. Constantinides has laid the groundwork for that idea, which the comptroller called “visionary” and “forward-thinking,” for several years.
“We need a mayoral administration that is actually going to dismantle the fossil fuel infrastructure in this city and rebuild an environmentally friendly New York,” Stringer said. “We are going to craft the most progressive climate agenda this city has ever seen.”