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New York League of Conservation Voters Endorses Assemblyman Steve Otis

NYLCV President Julie Tighe Joins Otis at a Socially Distant Press Event at Rye Playland Boardwalk Rye, N.Y. — Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters joined Assemblyman Steve Otis (D–WFP–IND – Rye) at Rye Playland’s Boardwalk to announce the League’s endorsement of Assemblyman Otis in his re-election effort. The event was scheduled as a “Socially Distant Press Conference” in recognition of the need for everyone to practice safe distancing
during the current Covid-19 health crisis.

Julie Tighe said, “Assemblyman Steve Otis is committed to protecting our environment and public health. Not only does he have a lifetime perfect score of 100% on our State Environmental Scorecard, he also helped create the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act to make sure that localities have the funding they need to provide access to safe and clean water to New Yorkers every day. Clean water is one of NYLCV’s top priorities and that’s why we are proud to stand with Assemblyman Otis in his reelection. We urge voters in Assembly District 91 to cast their ballot for him on Election Day.”

Assemblyman Otis, in accepting the League’s endorsement noted his long partnership with the group, “I have worked with the NYLCV for decades. They are a key part of the coalition of groups that advocate on environmental issues in New York State and a key player in the success we have had in leadership on important issues across the country. I really appreciate the League’s support and Julie Tighe joining us in Westchester today.”

Assemblyman Otis brings a long history of environmental leadership in Westchester and New York State. His most notable recent success centers on the passage New York’s clean water grant program, the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015. Started as a plan to award $200 million over three years, the WIIA program has grown dramatically and is the largest part of Governor Cuomo’s $5 billion comprehensive clean water program announced in 2017 and 2019. WIIA is administered by the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation in coordination with the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health.

In the first five years of the WIIA program, almost $1.2 billion in state grants have been awardedstatewide to local governments to help pay for almost 700 needed clean water infrastructure projects. The grants have saved local governments over $2.5 billion in reduced property taxes and created 67,000 new jobs. Westchester projects have been awarded $45.5 in grants including every Westchester coastal community on Long Island Sound.

Environmental Bio:

Assemblyman Steve Otis has played a leadership role on environmental issues for decades through a variety of positions going back to the 1980’s. The Assemblyman helped create the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, New York’s primary clean water infrastructure grant program. WIIA has grown from a plan to spend $200 million over three years, when it was enacted in 2015, to $416 million in grants awarded by the state in 2019, eclipsing the $300 million NYS Environmental Protection Fund appropriation for the first time. The WIIA program is the largest portion of Governor Cuomo’s 2017 and 2019 $5 billion comprehensive array of clean water programs. Since 2015 WIIA grants have totaled almost $1.2 billion in direct assistance to local governments. With the strong support of the Governor, the Legislature and a coalition of environmental, local government, labor and construction industry groups, the growth in the program has been steady: 2015-$75 million, 2016-$175m, 2017-$255m, 2018-$270m and 2019-$416m. It is especially significant that this environmental spending occurs outside of and in addition to EPF funding.

Assemblyman Otis is involved in a wide variety of environmental and conservation issues in the Assembly. He serves on the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, Assembly Climate Change Work Group, as well as the committee with jurisdiction over state parks. He also has served as Chair of the Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management. The Assemblyman is a member of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Commissions and Authorities, which works on legislation relating to the PSC, MTA and other transportation authorities.

Awards:

  • 2016 Audubon New York’s William Hoyt Environmental Excellence Award.
  • 2018 Nelson A. Rockefeller Award from the New York Water Environment Association.

As Mayor of the City of Rye (1998-2009) Otis implemented numerous environmental projects and initiatives, including four open space acquisitions, wetland protection, park improvements and other policies that enhance the environment.

As Counsel and Chief of Staff to State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer for over twenty-five years, he worked on numerous statewide and local environmental issues.

Assemblyman Otis is a past Chair of the City of Rye Conservation Commission and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the NYS Association of Conservation Commissions for over twenty-five years. Other past environmental panels and activities include: Westchester County Flood Action Task Force, Vice Chair of the Long Island Sound Watershed Intermunicipal Council, Vice Chair of the Westchester County Environmental Management Council, and Co-Chair of the City of Rye’s Project Impact FEMA program. He has also served on the Stewardship Committee of Audubon NY. Otis helped write the City of Rye’s local wetlands law and wireless equipment siting law. He began his local service on the City of Rye’s Recycling Committee and the Rye Conservation Committee in the late 1980’s.