As a Green and alumnus of the State University of New York at Brockport, I am deeply disappointed to discover that SUNY Chancellor, Kristina M. Johnson is connected to Applied Energy Systems (AES), a corporation that specializes in nonrenewable energy and is currently devastating Puerto Rico with its coal powered energy plants. It has been reported that AES has been dumping toxic coal ash on the southern part of Puerto Rico, creating an environmental disaster.
Recently, Chancellor Johnson resigned from AES under pressure from Puerto Rican activists on the island as well as in Rochester – particularly the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP). Unfortunately she still owns over 150 thousand shares of stock in AES, worth over $2.5 million.
Between Brockport, Monroe Community College, and Empire State University, the SUNY system has been the educational home to thousands of Puerto Rican Rochestarians and for the head of SUNY to be involved in the systematic polluting of their homeland is unacceptable.
When elected to City Council in November, I will ask my fellow City Council members to cosign a letter calling for Chancellor Johnson to not only divest her stock from AES, but to use her standing with AES to call for the closing of their coal energy plants and pay reparations to Puerto Rico in order to ameliorate the damage they have done.
I stand in solidarity with Rochester PIP in calling for the immediate and equitable decolonialization of Puerto Rico.