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Press Release: Sunrise Movement Hamilton College Endorses Senator Rachel May for Reelection

Contact: sunrise@hamilton.edu


Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y. — Today, Wednesday August 12, 2020, Sunrise Movement Hamilton College officially endorses Senator Rachel May for reelection to the NY State Senate, 53rd District. The decision comes after voting hub members unanimously voted to endorse the Senator for reelection.


Sunrise Movement Hamilton College is a hub of the national grassroots organization the Sunrise Movement. The hub was founded in the fall of 2019 and has held numerous rallies for climate justice on the Hamilton College campus and in the city of Utica, drawing approximately 500 attendees across all events. The hub plans to continue their activism this fall when classes resume, campaigning for a divestment of Hamilton’s endowment from fossil fuels, moving the college’s carbon neutrality date from 2050 to 2030, increased climate policy in the Mohawk Valley area, and, now, reelecting Rachel May to office.


The hub’s leadership has released this statement on the endorsement:


“After a unanimous vote by official members, we are now able to announce that Sunrise Movement Hamilton College will be endorsing State Senator Rachel May for reelection to the New York State Senate to represent the 53rd District, which includes Clinton, NY.


Now begins the work of sending Senator Rachel May back to the NY State Senate. When we reelect May, we are promoting a politician that knows the seriousness of the climate crisis and how it affects and is affected by all sectors. In her answers to our initial questionnaire when soliciting our endorsement, Senator May named lead poisoning and flash floods as two great concerns for the 53rd district. She has supported legislation to divest the NY State pension fund from fossil fuels and has actively supported divesting Syracuse University and Cornell University’s endowments from fossil fuels. As senator, she was a key player in passing the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), introduced legislation to include climate education in NY K-12 schools, and, looking ahead, plans to introduce a bill to establish a New York Civilian Conservation Corps. For each of these policies, she has centered support for young Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color by creating green jobs and training opportunities that benefit them, a major tenant of the Green New Deal.


It is our belief that Senator Rachel May is not only an ally to, but a key leader for, our fight for climate justice on Hamilton’s campus and in the Mohawk Valley. Though ensuring she returns to Albany next year will not be enough to solve the climate crisis alone, we are confident that she will be one of the loudest voices in the room for our movement for good jobs and a livable future.


As this is our first official endorsement, we are also making a promise to our members to hold Senator May accountable to the promises that she makes to create a greener and more just Central NY and to continue our activism independent of her. Though Senator May intends to keep a check on Governor Cuomo to make sure that he enforces the CLCPA, we also need to pull our weight in this fight as well, to make him feel the power of young people who will not let their future be washed away by the climate crisis.


In short, Senator Rachel May is the climate champion that we need to represent Central NY, and our endorsement is an intent to hold her to her promises. Let’s send her back to the State Senate.”



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*Sunrise Movement Hamilton College is a student organization and does not speak for the educational institution where it operates, Hamilton College*


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