Amber Small, the former Brown administration staffer who is challenging the widely respected former State Senator Al Coppola in the 60th district primary, is making environmental issues a cornerstone of her campaign. Coppola, who has long championed environmental issues, is credited by his supporters as shaping the policy discourse.
For more than a decade, Coppola has been a leading voice in defending the West Side in the face of environmental justice issues caused by diesel exhaust emanating from the Peace Bridge’s truck plaza. At the same time the Brown administration and its staffers have squashed environmental activists’ efforts to address the West Side’s shocking rates of cancer, asthma, and neurological disorders that scientists have lined to the bridge.
Two years ago, Coppola called for a statewide ban on plastic micro-beads in consumer products before any sitting State Senator at the time and prior to US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s more high-profile effort to do the same.
As a resident of the Delaware District, Coppola has been advocating for a clean up of Scajaquada Creek for years. He even played a role in the clean up of Hoyt Lake and the rehabilitation of the Marcy Casino while on the Common Council.
While in the Senate, Coppola passed the Pesticide 48-hour Notification law and a slew of other public health protections before retiring in 2001 to found the Energy Cooperative of America.
“Time and time again, Al Coppola has been a leading voice to protect our environment, clean our waterways, improve public health, and demand justice for our neighborhoods,” explains one resident of the Columbus Park-Prospect Hill neighborhood. “Coppola is an honest man who is in politics to serve constituents and help everyday people.”
For several months, rumors of private polling conducted by a local Republican pollster suggest that Coppola is leading Small by a 2-to-1 margin, largely attributable to his stellar name recognition in the district. Coppola is said to perform strongly against both of his potential Republican rivals: Kenmore attorney Kevin Stocker and Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs.