The New York League of Conservation Voters has named state Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton)) a 2013 “Eco-Star” for her work on environmental initiatives in Albany.
Ritchie is one of only six state legislators to be so designated.
The award is presented to those elected leaders who authored critical legislation, lobbied their colleagues and helped broker bipartisan, bicameral solutions to New York’s many environmental and energy challenges, the news release of the award said.
Ritchie, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, sponsored the Food Metrics Bill to strengthen New York’s local food economy. In addition to authoring the Senate version of the bill, Ritchie played a pivotal role in negotiating a consensus version with the Assembly and then lobbied her colleagues to ensure final passage, the NYLCV said.
The Food Metrics Bill will require state agencies to establish a food procurement tracking system, enabling New Yorkers to understand how food dollars are spent, with the potential to unlock state dollars to achieve economic goals such as supporting upstate farms and food production.
“The Food Metrics Bill would not have passed without State Senator Ritchie’s hard work,” said NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn. “This legislation will set the state agencies on a path to providing fresher food, reducing food-related transportation costs and helping local farms. State Senator Ritchie has once again proven her dedication to the agricultural economy of the New York State.”
In response, Ritchie said, “There are so many benefits to putting more locally grown foods in our hospitals, prisons and other state facilities—healthier, more nutritious meals for consumers and a ready-made market for our hardworking farmers—and that’s what this legislation aims to do.
“I’m thrilled to be recognized by the New York League of Conservation Voters, who share my goal of not only supporting initiatives that strengthen farmers’ bottom lines, but also encouraging more consumers to buy and eat local,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie represents the state’s 48th Senate District, which includes northern and southern townships in St. Lawrence County, plus Jefferson and Oswego counties.
The New York League of Conservation Voters was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan policy-making and political action organization that works to make environmental protection a top priority with elected officials, decision makers, and voters by evaluating incumbent performance and endorsing and electing environmental leaders to office in New York State.