Gus Christensen Leads on Opposition to the E. 91st St. MTS

Gus with other Pledge 2 Protect volunteers protesting in front of Grace Mansion
Gus with other Pledge 2 Protect volunteers protesting in front of Grace Mansion

Gus continues to help lead our community’s critical fight against the construction of the marine transfer station at Asphalt Green. He was one of the Pledge 2 Protect Eight (P2P8), the original group of eight protestors who were arrested back in May for attempting to stop the city from cutting down the mature, flowering pear trees that had lined the side of the athletic fields at Asphalt Green for decades. While we could not stop the city from cutting down those beautiful trees, the resistance effort yielded a series of intense negotiations with the new administration regarding the future of the project. However, the city has not shown good faith in those negotiations. So now Pledge to Protect is back at the barricades, speaking the language that our city’s new government understands best: civil disobedience. Gus is out there at dawn for every protest, leading the chants and helping to direct the civil disobedience actions. Actions speak louder than words, and Gus is taking action to preserve and protect our community’s quality of life as well as the environment (and the budget) of the entire city.

Gus arrested in an act of civil disobedience
Gus arrested in an act of civil disobedience

Some people seem to think that the fight is over because construction has begun. But here are the facts:

–– Only a small portion of the construction has been completed so far, much of which is underwater structural work. And everything that has been done so far could easily be re-purposed for the right plan: to use the newly enlarged pier for an expansion of Asphalt Green and Carl Schurz Park, as the city has done with many of the piers on the west side of Manhattan.

–– Construction on the access ramp has been stopped since a terrible accident in July that could have killed an innocent bystander. Currently, the city is trying to figure out how to make building the ramp “safe” for all of the children playing on the field immediately adjacent to the construction site.

–– These delays not only add to the already grossly over-budget cost of the project, but they also give our movement more time to educate lawmakers around the city. The facts are on our side: the city has admitted that building the MTS will NOT reduce garbage truck traffic in any meaningful way in overburdened communities outside of Manhattan as originally promised.  And the more time that we have to educate elected officials from other parts of the city, the more support we are winning over to our side. The alliance that we recently announced with S.T.R.O.N.G.- Southern Brooklyn is a great example of this – we now have a half dozen additional legislators from that part of the city on our team, including Frank Seddio, the Brooklyn Democratic Party leader. And we continue to work to bring more legislators onto our team.

Gus is the only candidate in this race who has put forward a serious plan to dump the dump while improving the entire city’s air quality and solid waste management plans:

–– Continue to send Manhattan’s solid waste directly to out-of-state industrial locations—the cleanest and least harmful solution.

–– Focus on recycling and lift New York City’s recycling rate from a pathetic 15% to 50% just like other major cities.

–– Transition the city’s garbage truck fleet from diesel to cleaner and cheaper electric and compressed natural gas (CNG).

With Gus’ solid waste management plan in place, all New Yorkers would be able to breathe a little easier.

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