Cohort 20 Graduation Speech from CM Robert E. Cornegy Jr.

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icon-clock February 13, 2020

Remarks delivered by New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy at the Cohort 20 Graduation.


Good Morning!

I am Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., representative for the vibrant communities of Bed-Stuy and Northern Crown Heights.

It is my great honor and pleasure to be addressing you today, commending your success, and congratulating you on your graduation. This is the 20th cohort of students to graduate from this incredible program that prepares young adults for the economy of the future.

I would also like to congratulate Founder and Executive Director Lisbeth Shepherd on another successful iteration of the program, and wish you continued success in your endeavors.

I am a proud to support Green City Forcethrough New York City Council Discretionary funds, as well as advocating for funding through my role on the Council’s budget negotiation team. I am grateful that we were able to get you funding through the Greener NYC program and Council Speaker Initiative support.

Our city, state, and much of the country is moving swiftly toward a clean energy future. We must decarbonize our electrical grid, build a resilient renewable energy market, and move away from dependence on fossil fuels to protect our planet’s fragile and threatened environment.

And no one knows that more than the people in this room. Young people are clear eyed about the future that the generations ahead of them are leaving behind. Your generation is standing up to demand environmental and climate justice.

With a great sense of urgency, you are forming bonds and coalitions to lead and demand that the status quo be changed, that your stake in the well-being of the climate be recognized. I am endlessly inspired by the young people of today, people like my daughter who continues to make me aware of the pressing issues facing her generation.

In moving toward a more just and sustainable future, we must ensure that young people from all communities have a shot at a rich STEAM education. I am working hard in my office to ensure students from Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights have access to jobs in sustainability, green infrastructure, resiliency planning, and more. We all have an interest in the well-being of the planet, and should all have equal opportunity in accessing the professions that allow us to do that very important work.

Right now my office is working on a green initiative that focuses on education and creating green roofs in our school district. In 2020 we are investing more in science, technology, and the arts- something that has been underfunded in our district for years.

I want to let you know that I am proud of you all for making it to this moment, and I hope that you feel great pride in yourselves, and in your colleagues. This is an important moment and milestone, and you are on your way to a fulfilling future doing work that makes a positive impact on the lives of your family, friends, neighbors, and communities.

Keep striving for greatness, and use what you have learned here to go be awesome. We believe in you, and support you, as you lead us into a better future.

Thank you, and congratulations!