March 23, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Baptist Ministers of Greater New York Announce Opposition to Proposed Grocery Bag Tax

NEW YORK, NY (March 23, 2015) – Today, the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Greater New York & Vicinity joined the growing coalition to oppose Intro 209, a proposed citywide grocery bag tax currently under consideration by the City Council.

Launched in November to protect low-income families and senior citizens from a minimum 10-cent fee per grocery bag, the Conference joins a coalition that includes DC37, Teamsters Local 237, the Black Leadership Action Coalition, the Bodega Association, The Safety Net Project of the Urban Justice Center, the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council and the American Progressive Bag Alliance in opposing the regressive measure and promoting recycling education programs as an alternative.

In a statement released today, the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Greater New York & Vicinity explained their opposition to the bill:

“Our congregants are no strangers to poverty, and the Baptist Ministers Conference have seen the families we serve struggle to get by. That’s why we’ve banded together to fight for policies that lift up low-income communities of color, like raising the minimum wage and opposing a 10-cent plastic bag tax that would unfairly penalize our congregants. Ten cents a bag adds up quickly for families below the poverty line – our membership has voted to stand with vulnerable New Yorkers, instead of creating new hardships."

Through an education campaign focused on NYCHA developments in all five boroughs, the coalition aims to demonstrate how recycling is an effective way to keep the city clean without overburdening its most vulnerable constituencies. The program highlights the reusability of plastic retail bags, which are 100% recyclable. More than 80% of New Yorkers report that they always reuse plastic retail bags, while more than 90% of New Yorkers reuse them as wastebasket liners, lunch totes, or for dog-walking.

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