Astoria Assemblyman to host ‘Climate (in) Jeopardy!’ trivia night featuring special guests

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Photo courtesy of NYC-DSA Ecosocialist Working Group

If you’re looking for a localized game of Jeopardy!, you’re in luck.

Astoria Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani will host “Climate (in) Jeopardy!” next week, and will be joined by some special guests to talk about the climate crisis in Queens and beyond.

Those interested in participating will be playing alongside City Council candidate Tiffany Cabán and author Jaya Saxena, as well as actress and writer Mara Wilson, who some may remember from films like “Matilda” and “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

The event will be focused on NRG’s proposal to upgrade their fracked gas power plant in Astoria — which Mamdani, local elected officials, climate advocacy groups and community members have organized against, emphasizing the threat to the community’s air and overall health.

“My district has the worst air quality in Queens,” said Mamdani, who represents Assembly District 36. “Fossil fuel companies like NRG are not just choking our lungs, they’re doing the same to our future. Our neighbors deserve clean air, plentiful jobs, and a promise for a greener future. The fracked gas Astoria power plant that NRG is proposing provides none of these. In fact, it locks us into decades of dirty energy. The fight for our future is taking place right here in Astoria and we must step up and stop this plant.”

Cabán, who is endorsed by NYC-DSA, one of the groups sponsoring the event, said “environmental justice is racial justice.”

“Rikers Island and the Renewable Rikers proposal that could replace every dirty peaker plant in our city is a perfect example of that intersection,” Cabán said. “It’s not a coincidence that the same communities with the worst health outcomes due to pollution are also the same communities that are over-policed and over-criminalized. In fighting for a Green New Deal for Queens we must center and elevate the voices and experiences of those who are most directly impacted by the climate crisis and environmental racism.”

What is the prize, you might ask? “Halting climate chaos and building a renewable future full of good, green union jobs,” organizers say.

“I just firmly believe we need to stop relying on fossil fuels immediately, and as a lifelong New Yorker, I want my city to be an example of how that’s possible,” Saxena said. “And if my playing Jeopardy convinces just a few more people to stand up against corporate greed, then I’ll be a part of it.”

Sebastian Baez, a life long Astorian and DSA organizer, said they want to bring more awareness to NRG’s current proposal.

“NRG tried to keep their proposal to build a fracked gas plant in Astoria as unknown to the community as possible,” Baez said. “As soon as we found out, hundreds of us took to our streets in opposition, but it’s ridiculous how difficult it is to even find out about a project that will affect the health of thousands of people, in one of the city’s most polluted neighborhoods. So we planned an accessible event where Astorians can learn the full truth about the plant, test their knowledge in trivia night style, and learn how we can fight back.”

The virtual event will take place Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m.

To sign up or for more information, visit bit.ly/climatejeopardy.

The event is sponsored by the No Astoria NRG Fracked Gas Plant Coalition, which includes NYC-DSA, Food & Water Watch, Sane Energy Project, Queens Climate Project, NYPIRG, Sierra Club, New York Communities for Change and 350Brooklyn.