New York Times N.Y.C. Bans Pesticides in Parks With Push From Unlikely Force: Children by Anna Barnard
The bill’s passage came on Earth Day amid a flurry of environmental initiatives. But Ben Kallos, the district’s council member, said “a bunch of kindergartners” persuaded him to propose a city ban on pesticides in 2014. “It went nowhere,” he said.
Mr. Kallos said he tried everything as climate change pushed environmental issues higher on the agenda. He recalled holding “the best, cutest hearing ever” in 2017. Children mobbed the floor of the council chambers singing “This Land Is Your Land.”
Still, he said, City Hall and the Parks Department were resistant. But as word of the bill spread, public-housing residents and environmental groups teamed up with Ms. Rogovin’s students and their parents in a widening circle — and eventually signed up enough Council sponsors for a veto-proof majority.
Ms. Rogovin, 73, stuck with the mission even after she retired in 2018 after 44 years of teaching, and as her original kindergarten activists were entering puberty.