New York-born Modi'in resident named No. 5 on Green Party list
By EHUD ZION WALDOKS
If elected an MK, New York-born Alex Weinreb hopes to expand his environmental plan for Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut nationwide.
Weinreb, 50, got the fifth slot on the Green Party list headed by Pe'er Visner on Sunday, just before the midnight deadline for registering candidates.
"The environmental situation in Israel is horrendous. More people die from air pollution than from war and traffic accidents combined," he told The Jerusalem Post this week.
"If we don't act now, in a few years we will all be wearing facemasks like they do in [East Asia]," he said.
Weinreb made aliya in 1970 at the age of 12. He went to high school in Jerusalem and studied geography and archeology after serving in the army. An archeologist by training, he owned several businesses in Jerusalem before moving to Modi'in in 1996, where he has been a deputy mayor in charge of environmental issues for the past five years.
After running unsuccessfully for mayor in November, he set his eyes on a larger stage. He remains a titular deputy mayor with the environmental portfolio, but without a salary.
According to Weinreb, there are two major governmental sources for environmental change: the municipalities and the Knesset.
"We [the Green Party] got 47 representatives in 22 cities into local councils [in November], now it's time for a green party in the Knesset," he said.
According to most recent polls, neither the Green Party nor any other environmental party will pass the 2 percent electoral threshold on February 10.
Weinreb would focus on reducing air pollution in cities, public transportation, more cellular antennas to reduce radiation as much as possible, free environmental education from kindergarten through high school, recycling, green construction, protecting and developing green spaces and archeological sites, and other environmental issues.
As deputy mayor, Weinreb oversaw a series of environmental achievements in Modi'in. He introduced recycling across the city, including a major project on construction waste and demolition, according to his local campaign Web site. He also brought environmental education into the schools. He also managed to prevent a building project on Titora Hill and turn it into a green preservation area.
Weinreb joins a few other Anglos among the environmental parties running for Knesset. The Green Movement-Meimad's No. 3 is Prof. Alon Tal, originally from North Carolina, and a breakaway party from the Green Leaf Party called "Alumni of the Green Leaf Party and Holocaust Survivors" sports Anglo Michelle Levine at No. 3.
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