Louie's Oyster Bar & Grille in Port Washington was the locale chosen by the National and State League of Conservation Voters (LCV) to announce their endorsement of Hillary Clinton for re-election to the United States Senate. Elected officials, community leaders, environmentalists, representatives of community organizations, and party leaders gathered for the event. Also present were students and staff from the Education Support Center, an outreach program of the Port Washington Education Foundation (PWEF). In his introductory remarks, Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli, chair of the New York State Assembly Committee of Environmental Conservation, said in his introductory remarks, "We have a difficult time getting our agenda through, and I have been impressed by the senator. She has made this very much a high priority and has been with us as an advocate on all the issues." To Clinton, he said, "Thank you for your great job." She, in turn, praised DiNapoli as "a leader in environmental issues, and my adviser, especially on brownfields." Both DiNapoli and Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman praised the LCV, an organization which is not only an advocate for the environment, but which takes direct political action. Kaiman said, "We can't do it alone. We need partners like the League of Conservation Voters, as well as partners at all levels of government."
Marcia Bystryn, Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters, in announcing that group's endorsement of Senator Clinton for re-election, said, "During her first term, she showed tremendous tenacity in defending the environment, and she delivered for the voters of New York State." Bystryn added, "Her greatest strength lies in her capacity to think in new and creative ways". As an example, Bystryn mentioned that the recent heightened concern about security issues and finding alternative sources of energy have provided an opportunity to forge a comprehensive environmental policy.
Gene Karpinski, President of the national LCV, announced that they were not only endorsing Senator Clinton, but that they were naming her one of their "champions." He said, "We endorse dozens of candidates in Washington, but only a handful are recognized as champions. She not only consistently votes right, but she stands up and leads. She has pointed the way for the future."
Clinton began by praising local officials Kaiman and DiNapoli for their activity on behalf of the environment. She went on to describe the LCV as "one of the most important environmental organizations - not just a watchdog, but also taking direct political action." Noting the numerous children in attendance, Clinton said, "Many of us came to this cause for this reason. That's what my motivation has been."
Clinton, a member of the Senate Environment and Public works Committee said that despite what she described as a "hostile environment" there have been a number of achievements on the environment. She mentioned the passage of a federal brownfields law, a reduction in the lethal emissions of school buses, land purchases in the Adirondacks, defeat of a plan to drop dredging spoils into Long Island sound, and actions to protect the NYC watershed. In spite of the difficult political environment, Clinton was optimistic about the opportunity for more progress on environmental issues. She said that she is working with Republicans to achieve a bipartisan initiative on these issues. For example, she reported traveling to the Arctic with John McCain.
In this area, Clinton said that she is working on storm water restoration, helping to support the New Cassel revitalization, and attempting to restore funds to the coastal environmental study, which she described as "on the brink of completion." In response to a question from the Port News, Clinton said that her most important priorities for the peninsula are the health of the Long Island Sound, which she described as a "jewel," storm water runoff, and protecting the quality of the aquifer.
Clinton said, "I am proud to have this endorsement. I am proud to be a 'champion,' but I don't think I've done enough yet."
In summary, she said, "One final thing. Sometimes it's easy to get discouraged and it's easy to give up. Don't give up. That's what the other side wants us to do."