Houses of worship take advantage of program that helps them afford solar power

 

Terrific Newsday coverage of our PowerUp Solar Long Island program and partnership with Resonant Energy which is bringing low-cost #solarto houses of worship and nonprofits across LI. Our campaign was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for support under their Sunshot Prize program. Thanks to First Baptist Church of RiverheadShelter Island Presbyterian ChurchBellmore Presbyterian Church, & Presbytery Of Long Island for undertaking this with us. This wouldn’t have happened without your tireless leadership throughout the process. Thank you to SUNation Solar Systems for your belief in our program and competitive offerings when we put the projects out to bid.

“Solar panel installations have been cost-prohibitive for many local churches, synagogues and mosques, whose donation-based budgets can make coming up with a down payment a challenge, and whose tax-exempt status prevents them from taking advantage of tax breaks. Now, a program — funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative, offering discounted install rates through bulk bidding, low-interest financing and agreements allowing a third party to take advantage of tax credits — is making solar affordable.”

Visit powerupsolarli.com to get involved.

Read Newsday Story here

Push for a Publicly Funded Campaign Finance System

 

LIPC Director Lisa Tyson Discussing a new coalition that has formed to push for publicly funded elections in the state. Members of “Fair Elections for New York” want lawmakers to enact three reforms: increase the power of small donations, limit the influence of big money, and, make it easier to vote through things like early voting and same day registration.

The coalition is made up of labor unions and pro-Democrat groups, but also some good government groups and charities. Members are hopeful that with Democrats in control in 2019, these reforms will get passed.

Watch LIPC Director Lisa Tyson talking Fair Elections here

Long Island victories trigger big win for NYS Dems

 

Long Islanders woke up Wednesday to learn their votes helped Democrats win a majority of the New York State Senate.

Those gains put the Democrats in control of the senate for the first time in eight years.

“The Democrats won an overwhelming majority in the state senate largely because of the six victories on Long Island,” said Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association, the region’s top business group.

The victory likely puts Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, as the next Senate majority leader.

“Her district is suburban,” said Michael Harrison, president and CEO of Axcelsior Strategic Solutions, a Massapequa-based government affairs firm. That distinction indicates that Stewart-Cousins would have an “appreciation” for and “be sensitive” to Long Island’s needs, Harrison pointed out.

Now, all eyes are on Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat in the 9th district who defeated Francis Becker by a margin of 62 to 38 percent.

“This time, when I go back to Albany it will be in the majority, and I look forward to all the great things we will accomplish together,” Kaminsky said in a statement.

“Watch for Sen. Todd Kaminsky to be awarded a leadership position as he will now become the go-to guy to get things done in the state senate,” Law told LIBN. “I am confident he and his new senate colleagues will look out for our region.”

Harrison shared that sentiment.

“Kaminsky emerge as the natural leader combined with the most experience,” Harrison said. “He is the known quantity within the Democratic conference right now.”

A Democratic majority in the state senate could mean lawmakers will pass new legislation that allows New York to collect sales tax on Internet purchases, Harrison said.

While Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed collecting online sales tax previously, “it never made it through,” Harrison said.

John Flanagan, the senate GOP leader, said in a statement that the election results were “disappointing,” Republicans will continue to have a “strong voice” at the state level.

“Senate Republicans will never stop advocating for the principles we believe in or the agenda that New Yorkers and their families deserve,” he said.

Democrats would do well to work with expertise of Flanagan, as well as Sen. Philip Boyle and Sen. Kenneth LaValle – who all won races as incumbents on Tuesday, Harrison said.

Democrats should “make use to the degree that they can of that institutional knowledge,” when it comes to challenges that the region, Harrison said.

But Lisa Tyson, the director of the Massapequa-based Long Island Progressive Coalition, said there is now momentum for change.

“We have new leadership in the senate that must stand up and fight for progressive changes throughout the state,” Tyson said in a statement.

“New York voters spoke loud and clear today as they shifted the power in the New York State Senate,” she said. “Voters want real change. They want voting reform, public financing of elections, school aid that does not leave any child behind, and they want New York to make a bold stand and truly address climate change.”

The results

In an upset in the state’s 5th senate district, James Gaughran, a Democrat, defeated state Sen. Carl Marcellino, a Republican and the 23-year incumbent, by a margin of 54 to 46 percent. And Democratic candidate Kevin Thomas ousted 29-year incumbent Kemp Hannon, a Republican, by a margin of 50 to 49 percent,

And in the 7th district, Anna Kaplan, the Democratic North Hempstead councilwoman, unseated Sen. Elaine Phillips, the Republican incumbent, 54 to 45 percent.

John Brooks, the Democrat incumbent, defeated Jeff Pravato, 53 to 47 percent in the 8th district. And in Suffolk, Legis. Monica Martinez defeated Dean Murray, a Republican, in the 3rd district.

Long Island Business News, Author, Adina Genn

Long Island victories trigger big win for NYS Dems

Democrats Win NY Senate Majority After Long Island Upsets

 

Democrats unseated three Republican New York State Senators on Long Island and picked up a fourth LI State Senate seat previously held by a Republican, likely flipping the balance of power from GOP to Democratic control in the state’s upper legislative chamber, according to unofficial early returns from the state Board of Elections.

In a rematch of a razor-thin 2016 race, Democratic Suffolk County Water Authority Chairman James Gaughran unseated 23-year incumbent state Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) 54 to 43 percent, results show. Democratic Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan ousted freshman state Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill) 53 to 44 percent, results show. And 29-year-incumbent Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) is two percentage points behind Democratic challenger Kevin Thomas, who declared victory.

In Suffolk, Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) beat State Assemb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) 50 to 47 percent in the race to replace retiring state Sen. Tom Croci (R-Bohemia) in the 3rd Senate District.

“This is an historic night in New York State,” Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs told supporters.

It is the first time in a decade that the Democrats may control the state Senate, where Republicans have long been the lone check on Democratic power in state government. The GOP’s current one-vote majority hinges on a lone Democratic senator that votes with the Republicans. Before that, a since-ousted faction called the Independent Democratic Conference voted with Republicans to give the GOP a majority.

It’s a stunning development considering  all nine LI state Senate seats were solidly Republican not long ago. Now, the GOP holds just three of those seats.

“Today, voters braved the rain and came out across the North Shore of Long Island and I’m honored that they chose me, a Jewish refugee from Iran, to be their next State Senator,” Kaplan said. “We now have an important responsibility to protect Long Island taxpayers, protect women’s reproductive health rights and do more to end the scourge of gun violence. I look forward to the opportunity to getting to work for all Long Islanders and New Yorkers.”

The other five members of Long Island’s State Senate delegation, including New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), were all re-elected.

“New York voters spoke loud and clear today as they shifted the power in the New York State Senate,” said Long Island Progressive Coalition Director Lisa Tyson. “For decades the NYS Republican Senate have blocked reforms that would improve people’s lives. We have new leadership in the Senate that must stand up and fight for progressive changes throughout the state.”

Long Island Press.com, Timothy Bolger, author

https://www.longislandpress.com/2018/11/07/democrats-win-ny-senate-majority-after-long-island-upsets/

 

Flip Flip Flip

 

The Long Island Progressive Coalition endorses NYS Senate and Congressional candidates

 

Friends,

This Midterm election will probably be the highest turnout in decades across the country and here on Long Island. The stakes have never been higher. The fate of this country and the fate of New York State is in the hand of voters and once again Long Island will be at the center of it all.

The destructive politics of President Trump has brought this country back 50 years by destroying the environment, vilifying and deporting immigrants, gutting the health care system, attacking unions and so much more. Voters are primed and ready to go to the polls to protect Long Island from Trump’s racist, hate-filled agenda. These voter won’t be able to vote out Trump but they will be able to vote for the future of the US Congress. Now is the time to Flip Flip Flip.

The destructive politics of NY Senator Flanagan and the Senate Republicans have been holding this state hostage for decades. We need leadership in the Senate that will pass legislation that improves Long Islanders’ lives, that makes New York State a champion in climate change action, education equity, ethics reform, public financing of elections and so much more. Now is the time to Flip Flip Flip.

The Long Island Progressive Coalition believes that the following candidates will be crucial in representing Long Island against President Trump and Senator Flanagan’s disastrous agendas and are receiving our endorsement:

CD 1: Perry Gershon
To volunteer, please call: 631-364-9828

 

CD 2: Liuba Gretchen-Shirley
To volunteer, please call: Kevin: 845- 264-7031

 

NYS District #2: Kathleen Cleary
To volunteer, please call: 631-827-3328

 

NYS District #3: Monica Martinez  
To volunteer, please call: 631-439-0403

 

NYS District #4: Lou D’Amaro
To volunteer, please call Kevin: 516-242-6941

 

NYS District #5: Jim Gaughran
To volunteer, please call Mario: 516-232-4906

 

NYS District #6: Kevin Thomas
To volunteer, please call Tam: 202-815-5065

 

NYS District #7: Anna Kaplan
To volunteer, please call: 516-366-0923

 

NYS District #8: John Brooks
To volunteer, please call: 516-308-2665

 

NYS District #9: Todd Kaminsky
To volunteer, please call Hallie: 516-508-2115

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Are Now Solar Developers!

As of last week, The LIPC now call ourselves a solar developers! As a part of Long Island Progressive Coalition we have created a nonprofit solar program with Resonant Energy. Last week our first project was installed at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church. This marks a huge accomplishment for LIPC and a sign of things to come. We are committed to building out community-driven clean energy solutions that expand access to institutions and communities left behind in the renewable energy economy.

Check out powerupsolarli.com to learn more and help us bring solar solutions to your community.

LIPC Director Lisa Tyson named one of City & State New York Long Island Power 50

The Long Island Progressive Coalition is very proud of our Director Lisa Tyson for being name to City and State New York  Long Island 50 Power List.

An expert at grass-roots organizing, Lisa Tyson has been behind some of the most uphill political battles on Long Island in recent history. She galvanized commuter support for the Long Island Rail Road’s third track, helped pass the law increasing the state’s minimum wage and pushed affordable housing projects in Huntington and Southampton over the finish line. She skillfully fills an assortment of roles, from policy wonk to fundraiser to advocate, and has become a leader of Long Island’s “resistance” movement.

Community Solar at LIPC

 

By Christina Lau, LIPC Intern –

On June 13th at the Bethany Presbyterian Church, I attended LIPC’s PowerUp Solar Community Meeting aimed to inform leaders from nonprofit organizations and religious institutions on how to adopt solar in their communities and on their rooftops. Being a new volunteer to LIPC, I was not previously exposed to any of the presenters which overwhelmed but also intrigued me. The first two presenters represented the New York Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA) and discussed how our current energy systems are controlled by multinational corporations that lack accountability. They mentioned that National Grid isn’t even an American company which surprised me. The absence of local input regarding our energy alarmed me, which seemed to be the goal of the EDA. They created the foundation of the meeting and showed the audience why we should care about and question our energy sources.

Following the EDA’s presentation, Resonant Energy and the Long Island Progressive Coalition gave a thorough overview of PowerUp Solar Long Island. They highlighted a startling fact that 80% of Long Island rooftops are commercial, nonprofit, or religious. These rooftops could help fight climate change if they did not face disproportionate barriers to entry than regular households because of their tax exempt status.

Before the meeting, I never knew houses of worship and nonprofits could go solar and I was especially unaware of how much space they dominated on Long Island. I was thus eager to learn about the solutions PowerUp Solar provides to assist those who want to partake in the solar movement but are currently financially unable to. While they spoke about the three main solutions (bulk buying, leveraging tax incentives, and low-cost loan options), they also fielded many questions. I was pleased to witness an engaged audience and learned more from their active participation. People were concerned about costs, upkeep, and whether or not PowerUp would stay involved after installation. The presenters responded that they welcome any follow-up, even questions regarding how to get bird poop off a solar panel. They gladly receive engagement because their goal is to build community relationships not just provide easier access to solar.

PowerUp concluded the meeting by sharing stories and details about their three ongoing projects. I believe this asserted a level a trust among the audience because they could easily identify with these local houses of worship. Before this meeting, I had a vague understanding of the work PowerUp was involved in but now I understand why their endeavor is so crucial. During the presentation everyone was asked to decide their top energy choice and most responded with solar or wind. Likewise, those who already had solar on their homes expressed considerable satisfaction. These events combined exemplify the huge potential of this program because there is no lack of demand, just a lack of financial resources and knowledge which PowerUp can readily supply. It’s clear to me that PowerUp Solar is genuinely dedicated to educating and empowering communities on Long Island to embrace solar as an effective means to combat climate change.

I can’t wait to keep working with LIPC to help communities realize the benefits of locally produced clean energy.

Long Islanders Join Thousands in Albany for #CuomoWalkTheTalk

 

By Joe Tonini,

Monday April 23rd 2018, dawned bright and beautiful, a harbinger of what was to be a good day; good for environmental awareness, good for social justice. And, of course, good for the ongoing political education of Governor Andrew Cuomo. This was a day when thousands would descend upon Albany to tell the Governor to walk the talk on climate – to be the bold climate champion NYS needs by stopping all fracking infrastructure, moving to 100% renewable energy, and making corporate polluters pay.

Our Long Island bus was filled with folks from both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Ryan Madden, the Sustainability Organizer with LIPC – who did an excellent job of both planning our outing and coordinating the events of the day – gave us a briefing on the ride up to Albany. We had an early, delicious lunch as we approached Albany, and despite the challenging logistics it went off without a hitch. A huge thank you to Bhavani Jaroff of iEatGreen for providing the scrumptious food!

We departed the bus in the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood of Albany, a working class area and community of color that has been saddled with a fossil-fuel power plant for generations. We heard several speakers tell personal stories of living near this plant and of the poor health outcomes experienced by family members. Epidemiological data tells us of higher instances of cancer and asthma in areas adjacent to fossil-fuel power plants. It is one of thing to read of such problems, it is quite another to hear testimony from those directly affected.

Following the Sheridan Hollow rally, over 1,500 of us marched to the State Capital, and an enthusiastic group we were; with creative signage, and some marchers in creative attire as well (e.g. one woman’s outfit consisted of 500 single-use plastic bags). We rallied again in the shadows of the Capital, with speakers from several groups, emphasizing the need for Governor Cuomo to walk the talk.

The Governor has done some good things to help mitigate the effects of climate change. New York State has banned fracking under his leadership. He has committed to closing down the remaining coal-fired power plants in our state, with some provision for those whose jobs will be lost. NYSERDA during his time has become a powerful advocate for renewables. However, his support for the nation’s most ambitious climate legislation, the Climate and Community Protection Act has been tepid. How can he then lay claim to a mantle of an environmental champion and social justice advocate while building a new fracked-gas power plant in Sheridan Hollow?

Our day in Albany concluded with a spirited rally at the “million dollar staircase”, followed by 55 brave and committed souls who engaged in the time honored American tradition of civil disobedience, getting arrested for blocking entrance to the Governor’s office. We will continue to push Gov. Cuomo to walk the talk on climate. These events are energizing and they are fun too!

Working on Climate with LIPC

 

By Paige Golembeski

Over the past month, I have been interning with the Long Island Progressive Coalition. As a student at SUNY New Paltz majoring in Environmental Geochemical Science and minoring in Environmental Studies, I care deeply about safeguarding our climate for future generations. I thought it was important to channel my academic work into local action but didn’t know exactly how to do that.

In early January at a meeting of the Bay Shore-Babylon Women’s Huddle, a leader with the Long Island Progressive Coalition spoke about her efforts with the organization on an ambitious climate campaign under a statewide coalition called NY Renews. After hearing about the aims of the coalition, I immediately reached out to LIPC to see how I could help. I had six weeks before I left for my semester abroad and I was determined to use that time to dig into local climate action. I am grateful to have found LIPC during this time.  

Before I started, I was unsure what to expect. I had never worked for a grassroots community group before but I jumped right in. I found out that I would be calling local elected officials each week and asking them to sign-on to an open letter calling for increased action on climate change and a transition to 100% clean renewable energy in NYS. Each week I would be following up in order to ensure the elected official received the letter and to hold them accountable for a response. I would also be participating in weekly phone banks where a group of us would be calling constituents of a state senator whose support was crucial in the progression of the Climate and Community Protection Act, a bill championed by NY Renews which would commit New York to reaching 100% renewable energy economy-wide by 2050, attach fair labor standards to clean energy jobs, and ensure adequate resiliency resources get to communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

With previous internships, I never felt that I had an impact with what I was doing or that I learned much of anything. But working with LIPC taught me a number of different lessons. I learned how important persistence is in this line of work.

Through my consistent calls to local elected officials, I saw that without constant reminding, officials would have bypassed what we had to say and moved on to another issue. Because of our persistence, over 20 elected officials signed-on in support of the open letter we sent out. And in phone banking, I saw the importance of persistence, as well as the willingness of people on the other end of the line to help further a cause they care about. Many people were willing to listen to our message and ultimately made calls to their State Senator Elaine Phillips urging her cosponsorship of the Climate and Community Protection Act. Because of the numerous people we called and the dozens of people who called Senator Phillips, we were able to secure her support for this crucial piece of legislation. When I heard the news, I was in disbelief. We had actually done it!!!

In such a short period of time I saw the true power of grassroots organizing in bringing people together and pushing for progressive change. It was so encouraging to learn first hand that the voice of the people can have a direct impact on state decisions.

Gaining the support of elected officials for the open letter and working to secure the cosponsorship from the state senator showed me that the fight to combat climate change is long and trying, but that everyday citizens have a direct role in leading the efforts. The Long Island Progressive Coalition empowered me in a way I was not expecting, and for that, I am truly grateful. I’ll be back at their office as soon as I return home from abroad.