Syracuse Advocates Urge a YES Vote on Environmental Rights Amendment

For Immediate Release: October 21, 2021

Proposal 2 would give every New Yorker a right to clean air, clean water, and a healthful environment

Syracuse – Last week, advocates and elected leaders from Syracuse rallied at Onondaga Lake Park to urge support for a constitutional amendment that would give all New Yorkers a right to clean air and water (Proposal 2). Appearing on this fall’s general election ballot, the measure would amend Article 1 of the State Constitution by adding: “Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”

Because no one should get sick because of their zip code, the Environmental Rights amendment will help make sure all New Yorkers have clean air and water. The amendment will also:

  • Help New York’s economy thrive by keeping people healthy and lowering health care costs for businesses and families
  • Require that government officials consider the environment in decision making
  • Protect communities of color that have faced higher levels of air and water pollution for decades

Syracuse: Kate Kurera Talks About Amending the State's Constitution to Include Environmental rights

Passing this amendment would make New York just the third state in the U.S. to recognize protecting environmental rights as an inalienable right.  

More information on the campaign to pass Environmental Rights in New York can be found at

“Voting YES on Prop 2 will give a right to clean air and water to every New Yorker today and for generations to come. If you want this right for yourself and your family, then go vote — it’s yours for the taking,” said Kate Kurera, Deputy Director at Environmental Advocates NY and leader in the ‘Vote YES for Clean Air and Water’ coalition.

“Environmental Rights are a value statement that declares every New Yorker — regardless of the color of their skin, zip code, or how much money they have — has the right to clean air and clean water and a healthful environment. It puts these rights in front of every decision the government makes. Being a union of healthcare workers, we know that we cannot live our full lives, and be our full selves without clear water and air.  Many times, our members take the brunt of environmental degradation based on where they live and who they are. Every New Yorker deserves to live with clean air and water.  Voting yes on this amendment will go a long way to ensure that right.” Mark Spadafore, Upstate New York Political Director – 1199SEIU UHWE

“Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE) supports the right for all to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment,” said Lindsay Speer, Director of Community Programs with Alliance for a Green Economy. “These should not be luxury items; these are the basic building blocks of life and determine health outcomes for entire communities for generations, and New Yorkers know it. Let us enshrine this knowledge in the state Constitution and ensure that future decisions no longer allow the pollution of any of our communities. This is a key stepping stone on the path to energy justice and a renewable energy future.”