Queens trio takes last place on environment report card

Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman James Gennaro received special praise in a recent report for their support of environmental legislation.
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While a number of their colleagues got glowing reviews, a trio of Queens City Council members showed a duller shade of green when their voting records put them on the bottom of the list of environmental causes.

Former Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and ex-Councilman James Gennaro, the Fresh Meadows Democrat who chaired the Environmental Protection Committee, received high praise from the New York League of Conservation Voters advocacy group on its annual environmental scorecard for their across-the-board backing of more than a dozen green bills last year.

The report said the two “deserve enormous credit not only for the quality of their work but also for their professionalism and remarkable work ethic, down to their last days in office.”

But three borough lawmakers were not so kind to the Big Apple environment, as far as their voting records — or lack thereof — were concerned.

Council members Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), Dan Halloran (R-Bayside) and Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) each received a score of 76 on the league’s report card — the lowest mark handed out in the entire City Council.

Each of the lawmakers voted against the controversial bill to charge a fee for plastic bags and missed three other votes, though the poor marks may have had more to do with scheduling than environmental views.

The environmental group pointed out that Ferreras missed her three votes while away on maternity leave, and Vallone signed on as a sponsor to all three of the bills he missed.

On the other end of the spectrum, four borough lawmakers earned perfect scores of 100: Council members Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside).

Council members Gennaro, Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) each earned a 94 on their report cards.

Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) received a grade of 91 and former Councilman Leroy Comrie got a mark of 88.

Overall, the average score for an individual Council member was 91, and the league pointed out that the members of the new leadership team, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan), scored highly.

“This bodes well for the environmental movement in this new era of city leadership,” New York League of Conservation Voters President Marcia Bystryn said.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 3:17 am, February 7, 2014
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Reader feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
How exactly is this so-called reported card calculated because how do any of the Jamaica electeds (Wills, Richards, Comrie) receive a high score. Jamaica is a garbage strewn mess with garbage and toxic chemicals from all of the auto body chop shops that litter Jamaica, so how can these folks get a high score. All one needs to do is come out to Jamaica and see what an environmental mess it really is.

Total BS.
Feb. 8, 2014, 4:07 pm

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