Bridgeport must act on clean buses

Connecticut Post

August 2, 2022

by Mustafa Salahuddin

Last month, in New Haven, Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law the Connecticut Clean Air Act. This legislation requires Connecticut’s school districts to transition to 100 percent zero-emissions (fully electric) school buses in districts that serve environmental justice communities by 2030, and requires all school districts in the state to phase out diesel buses by 2035. The act also sets aside $20 million to replace diesel buses. While this will only make a small dent in the number of diesel school buses in the state, it is a source of matching funds to leverage federal funding from the EPA Clean School Bus Program.

Read more: https://www.ctpost.com/opinion/article/Opinion-Bridgeport-must-act-on-clean-buses-17345349.php

Mustafa Salahuddin is president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1336, and a former Bridgeport school bus driver and transit bus operator outside of being a Bridgeport parent. He is also a member of the Carbon Free & Healthy Schools Steering Committee in Bridgeport and a board member of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.


Bridgeport schools face challenging climate future

Connecticut Post

May 29, 2022

by Michael Testani

I was born and raised in Bridgeport. I attended the University of Bridgeport and I have served Bridgeport Public Schools first as a counselor, then as an administrator and now as the superintendent of schools. I love the people of Bridgeport. These are the kids and families I’ve been committed to for over 20 years. Our community is diverse with a small-town feel despite being the largest city in Connecticut.

Read more: https://www.ctpost.com/opinion/article/Opinion-Bridgeport-schools-face-challenging-17201280.php

Michael Testani is superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools.

Labor taking lead on green economy

Connecticut Post

April 28, 2022

by Renee Hamel and Dan McInerney

The American economy is driven by American workers. In Connecticut, many areas of employment have organized labor and fill our unions with bright, hardworking individuals dedicated to moving the state forward and securing a better future for all residents.

However, we still aren’t moving fast enough when it comes to our economic transition toward a green-collar workforce. It is important for labor to lead on climate now. This process begins with individual workers, mainly union members, taking action and organizing around environmental issues.

Read more: https://www.ctpost.com/opinion/article/Opinion-Labor-taking-lead-on-green-economy-17133696.php

Renee Hamel is the communications coordinator for Council 4 AFSCME. She is vice chair of Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.

Dan McInerney is the business manager and financial secretary of IBEW Local 488. He is also a board member of Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.

Workers have a climate plan for region

The Providence Journal

March 9, 2022

by Cynthia Phinney, Pat Crowley, Joe Toner

Amidst omicron, political discord and extreme weather disasters, 2022 hasn’t brought much good news. But flying under the radar is a game-changing story about state budget surpluses that could set New England on a path to tackling some of the biggest issues of our time: climate collapse and deep inequality.

Our states are flush with extra cash, thanks in part to relief money, federal infrastructure funding, and tax revenue that held steady during the pandemic. And it’s not chump change. Rhode Island is looking at a $618-million surplus. The state of Maine is carrying an extra $800 million, Massachusetts has a windfall of almost $6 billion and Connecticut has a whopping $2.2 billion extra in the public purse.

Read more: https://www.providencejournal.com/story/opinion/2022/03/09/opinion-phinney-crowley-and-toner-workers-have-climate-plan-region/9364475002/

Cynthia Phinney is the president of the Maine AFL-CIO and a leader of the Maine Labor Climate Council. 

Patrick Crowley is the secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and co-chair of the Climate Jobs RI coalition. 

Joe Toner is executive director of the Connecticut State Building Trades Council.