How Will the Battle For Long Island Play Out Politically


October 15, 2014

Recently the Long Island Press did an article about the competitive political races that can be found all over Long Island this year.  Lisa Tyson, LIPC Director was asked to weigh in for the story and her comments on this year’s race were:

Lisa Tyson, director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, said the election surveys did have a discouraging effect initially.
“People saw that Sienna poll and said, ‘Well, it’s over!’ But it’s not over! Republicans spend early, Democrats spend late,” Tyson told the Press.
As for the prospects of the Democrats gaining the upper hand in the state Senate, she admitted that Denenberg’s abrupt departure in September was “a huge disappointment. It was the surprise of the century for many of us. He was going to win that seat! Mr. Venditto is a really lucky guy.”
Still, Tyson held hopes that an agreement Cuomo made earlier this year at the Working Families Party’s convention that he would commit the handful of members of the Independent Democratic Conference to caucus with the Democrats in the state Senate would make a significant difference.
“We have not heard that that commitment has changed at all,” said Tyson, who is active in the WFP. “So, as long as that stands, I do believe that Democrats will be controlling the Senate.”
“It all comes down to the ground game and who’s inspiring voters more,” said Tyson, the local progressive coalition leader. “It’s not about mail and television. It’s about door to door—and that’s where Democrats succeed.”

Click the link below to read the full story:


LIPC Endorses Congressman Tim Bishop

LIPC Bishop 2

On October 9th, 2014 LIPC gathered with over a dozen other progressive groups to announce their endorsement for the reelection of Congressman Tim Bishop in the 1st Congressional District.

At the rally Lisa Tyson, Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition stated “ Progressive organizations from labor, environmental, women’s rights, social justice, immigrant groups throughout Long Island came together today to show their support for a real progressive leader Tim Bishop. He has worked hard for Long Island families and seniors and we want to ensure Long Island has Tim for another four years.”

The network of progressive organizations in attendance with LIPC included: Communications Workers of America Local 1108, 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East, LI Transgender Advocacy Coalition, New York Communities For Change, New York State Nurses Association, Make the Road Action Fund, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Action Fund, RWDSU/UFCW Local 338, Sierra Club, SEIU 32 BJ, and Teamsters Joint Council 16.

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Long Island Progressive Unity Rally in Support of Adrienne Esposito for NY State Senate

LIPC Esposito


On October 2nd 2014, LIPC joined with a large group of aligned progressive organizations to announce their endorsement of Adrienne Esposito for NY State Senate in the 3rd district and urges its members to vote for Adrienne Esposito on November 4th.

At the rally Lisa Tyson, LIPC Director spoke at the importance of this endorsement rally. “Progressives of Long Island came together so the invisible Long Island voice could be invisible no more.  We are here carrying the message of the voiceless and electing Adrienne Esposito to the Senate will bring that voice to Albany.”  Tyson continued, “We need a fighter in Albany who will provide quality education for all students and finally pass fair elections legislation and Adrienne will do that.”

The network of progressive organizations in attendance with LIPC included: Communications Workers of America Local 1108, 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East, LI Transgender Advocacy Coalition, New York Communities For Change, New York State Nurses Association, Make the Road Action Fund, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Action Fund, RWDSU/UFCW Local 338, Sierra Club, SEIU 32 BJ, and Teamsters Joint Council 16.

Unity Rally

Views From 90 Penn: “A time for Social Media to be Progressive”


G Berkenfeld Photo

My name is Gabrielle Berkenfeld and I am currently an intern for the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC). I am a sophomore at Syracuse University and majoring in sociology at the moment. While I am not sure if sociology is exactly what I want to major in, it does allows me to open my eyes and look at all the possibilities that the world has to offer. My internship at the LIPC this summer has allowed me to experience something new and gain an understanding of working for an organization that works so hard to help others. The LIPC works on many different projects, such as Education, PowerUp Communities and Fair Elections to ensure that the people on Long Island are treated equally and live in a safe environment. In order to make that all possible the LIPC needs a way to communicate to others the issues they are dealing with and how people can lend a hand.


Social media has a big impact on many different types of organizations. In today’s society people rely so much on technology and are constantly checking the two most used social media sites: Facebook and Twitter. On June 25th, I accompanied Dan Fingas, LIPC’s Organizing Director to a social media workshop at Hofstra University for a company called Sprout Social. Sprout Social is a website that allows you to connect your organization’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Sprout Social also allows you to see all the statistics from all your different sources of social media. It can help your organization figure out the most appropriate time to post on social media and when people are most likely going to share or like the news or information that is being posted. Sprout Social is a whole new way to make sure you get people to notice what is being posted and get the word out there about important events or meetings coming up.


By using Sprout Social the Long Island Progressive Coalition can be “Progressive” in the way they utilize information and make sure their social media sites are getting their point across to exactly the right people. At the workshop, I learned that an organization shouldn’t just post once a week they should be posting 3-5 times a week. In order to post 3-5 times a week there should be a schedule planned out of exactly what an organization wants to post and when they want to post. Sprout Social allows you to set a day and an exact time for your post so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself all the time.


At any organization, the whole staff should be taking care of posting on social media rather than just one person. This way it allows for others who are reading your posts to see different voices/opinions/events/meetings coming from everyone which ensures a definite way to be “Progressive” all together.


So far, being an intern at the Long Island Progressive Coalition I have been immersed in many different causes that  I wasn’t previously aware off and I now see why the LIPC works so diligently for or against these issues.  By using Sprout Social and different social media sites, I think the LIPC will be more “Progressive” and definitely benefit from trying to spread awareness about the different causes/issues that they are working on to everyone using social media.


In order to find out more about these important issues and ways of helping out you can Like the Long Island Progressive Coalition page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @LIProgress.


Views From 90 Penn: Progressive. What’s in a Word?

Lewis Photo

By Raven Lewis

Progressive is a word that can make people think of change or the crazy lady on the insurance commercial. For me it was the later until I started to intern at the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC) in Massapequa.

Prior to the start of my internship I had never realized the importance and power of the word progressive. It is ironic that I did not understand its value because I had unintentionally dedicated my life to something that I did not have a name for.

Throughout my late teen age years I always spent my summer working and volunteering. It was around the age of fourteen that I started working in lower income areas to decrease the racial tension and gang violence between the Latino and Haitian community in Nassau County. It was volunteering as a fourteen year old, African-America girl from a moderately wealthy area that gave me my first taste of social injustice. I came to realize that the media’s and societies portrayal of these youths as delinquent’s was false. These children were simply just children in need. I was confused on the feasibility that three towns over there were kids who didn’t have affordable housing or quality education. It was a revelation that placed me on the path to a ‘progressive agenda’.

In college I continued by flirtation with “progressive’ by working with Middle Earth a peer education group and SHAPE a Sexual Health and Peer Education group. In these organizations I learned how health care was not as easily available to everyone as I had originally perceived. Middle Earth exposed me to the struggles faced by those with depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders and how our health care system is not equipped to help. The issue of health care was reinforced through SHAPE which dealt with women, young adults and those in the LGBT community who could not receive the progressive health care they needed.

Looking back it is clear what path I was going to take as a career considering all the extracurricular activities I did; but for me it was still unclear. Even after I started interning at the LIPC it still took a couple of week for me to fully grasp what progressive was and what it meant to me.

Progressive is the very definition of social movement. It is not just one agenda rather the agenda of every individual in a community. It is important to note that it is not a group agenda in which everyone agree on the same issues. It is not possible to get everyone to agree on an issue but it is possible for everyone to support the opportunity to have a voice.

LIPC showed me that I didn’t necessarily need to pick an issue rather I needed to be a voice and cheerleader for a progressive agenda. It is not just, unequal education, lack of health care or affordable housing that are the problem, rather it is the power and voice of the collective non-progressive agendas that is. Those who believe in a progressive agenda must unite to support each other’s and themselves. Committing to help other and all progressive agendas is the key to strengthen and maintaining a progressive lifestyle on Long Island. My life goal is not to have a career or position. It is to live a progressive life and always remembering that all are in need, all need help and we must work together to create a progressive future.

LI Democratic hopefuls hoping for help from Cuomo


Newsday: June 7, 2014 9:01 PM By RICK BRAND

Democratic State Senate candidate Adam Haber of East Hills saidhe hasn’t heard from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo about how he intends to help elect a Democratic Senate this fall.

Environmentalist Adrienne Esposito and attorney Joseph Fritz, who are vying in a primary for the Democratic line in the 3rd Senate District in Suffolk, also haven’t heard from Cuomo’s campaign. Neither has Nassau County Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick), who is seeking the 8th District seat.

All three are involved in some of the most competitive races for State Senate across New York. Until last week, Cuomo showed little interest in winning a clear-cut Democratic majority.


Yet, to get the backing of the labor-backed Working Families Party a week ago, Cuomo pledged to work for a Democratic Senate to end decades of Republican domination. The GOP is clinging to a narrow majority with the help of six dissident Democrats.

The question is how will Cuomo’s pledge play out at the grassroots level: Will local Democratic contenders be like the characters in the Samuel Beckett play “Waiting for Godot” — where the title character never shows up?

Haber, a retired Wall Street executive who is challenging freshman Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), said he supports Cuomo and is optimistic the governor will get personally involved in key races.

“I’d hope he’ll come down and together we could go to some civic or business group like the Long Island Association — [for] meaningful face time with people who are decision-makers,” Haber said.

Esposito, who is seeking Democratic support but is not a party member, said she has to rely primarily on her own efforts.

“What I’m doing is running a grassroots campaign and talking about working-class issues,” she said. “If anyone wants to help they’re welcome, but I’m not tying myself to anyone.”

Fritz said, “I give Cuomo credit, foregoing his own party to a limited extent, to make things work.” But he said Cuomo now sees, “It’s time to move on.”

Denenberg said it was too early to forecast what role the governor could play. But he said the push by Cuomo and labor leaders for a Democratic Senate and for initiatives including a “circuit breaker” for school taxes, which would limit how much homeowners pay based on income, would benefit the 8th District.

Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said he does not see Cuomo stepping directly into local races. “I think the governor is putting his major effort into getting himself re-elected and if he does well all our candidates will be the beneficiaries,” Schaffer said.

Cuomo’s office did not respond to a call for comment last week. On Wednesday Cuomo seemed to back off his May 31 attack on Republicans as “ultra cons.” He said in Rochester, “We’ve reversed that partisanship that existed in Albany . . . I’m not going back.”

But State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), chairman of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, said discussions are underway about Cuomo’s role in upcoming campaigns. Gianaris said he expects Cuomo to make campaign appearances and give financial help.

Jay Jacobs, Nassau Democratic chairman, said the best thing Cuomo can do is help local candidates financially. “It’s a lot less about endorsements and a lot more about putting mail into people’s homes, telephone banks and field operations to get the vote out,” Jacobs said.

Scott Reif, spokesman for Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), said he expects “minimal impact” from Cuomo’s backing of a Democratic Senate and expects the GOP to hold all nine Long Island seats.

Lisa Tyson, Long Island Progressive Coalition director and a Working Families Party activist, called the prospect of long delayed progressive bills reaching the Senate floor vote a “real game changer.”

Tyson, who initially was reluctant to back Cuomo for the Working Families nod, said, “Ultimately the question is can we trust” Cuomo. “But as progressives, we have to hope.”

Looking Back at our Luncheon and the first half of 2014

Honorees 1

With June steadily approaching it seems an appropriate time to look back at past six months. This year the Long Island Progressive Coalition celebrated its 35th year with a luncheon on March 15, 2014 at the Timber Point Country Club in Great River. A turnout of old friends, politicians and our friends in labor all came together to honor some outstanding Long Islanders who truly make a difference in helping pilot this island forward. A sense of comradery was felt in the room as the introductions and honoree speeches spoke of commitment, hard-work and a priority of making Long Island a greater place live. The luncheon also honored the principles and ideas of the LIPC while reminding us its need for its formation in 1979; a unified front to combat social justice, to try to insure fair elections, to earn a decent wage and mostly importantly to move Long Island Forward.


This past budget season there were victories and some defeats but the LIPC will continue to look forward on the task in hand, we will continue to help steer Long Island as we strive to create a better Long Island in the present and most importantly the future. Our PowerUp Communites program continues to help fellow Long Islanders make sure their homes become more energy efficient, saving homeowners money while helping to conserve and protect the environment. Our AQE program is working toward ensuring a fair and equal education for all children in every community while fighting for programs that will enable children to get a step ahead via pre-k education. Our campaign for Fair Elections in New York continues to strive for an election system that works for all Long Islanders and not just a privilege few.  Our YIMBY campaign strives to say YES to affordable housing options desperately needed by senior citizens, veterans, young professionals, and working families in Suffolk and Nassau counties. These challenges  our staff is faces daily and are willing to take to extol their efforts to further a passion for a better Long Island but we cannot do it alone, so we look towards are membership and peers to engage with us and help along the way.


We once again thank our 2014 Luncheon honorees, our fellow organizations, and our friends in labor for their support. Finally, we would like to thank all our LIPC members for helping make this year’s luncheon a rousing success.


If you are not already a member, I encourage you to join, to be part of the excitement, to help lead us forward. For more information, please contact John, at or by phone at 516-541-1006×10.

In Solidarity,


The LIPC Staff


Once again our 2014 Honorees:

David Calone

Adrienne Esposito

Gene & Lopez

Mike Gendron

Lillian Clayman

Margarita Espada

Risco Mention-Lewis


(Amityville, NY) The Long Island Progressive Coalition has been awarded a $720,000 Green Jobs- Green New York grant by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to continue assisting Long Islanders through the energy efficiency process over the next 2 years. This is the second grant that the LIPC has been awarded from NYSERDA through the Green Jobs-Green New York Act, having received the first in 2012.

With these new resources the LIPC is expanding its PowerUp Communities energy efficiency campaign, assisting more homeowner in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The LIPCs PowerUp Communities program will provide outreach, education and one-on-one support for residential energy efficiency improvements, as well as advocate for good paying, green job creation and community revitalization through an innovative referral program.

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PowerUp Project Coordinator Marriele Robinson, Homeowner Thomas Greene, Homeowner Vincent Brown, and Legislator DuWayne Gregory. Photo Credit: Long Island Progressive Coalition.

“The PowerUp Communities program is an effective tool to help Long Island families lower their utility costs,” said Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, “I would like to thank the Long Island Progressive Coalition for administering this program which will benefit many families and create jobs, as well.” PowerUp Communities Project Coordinator, Marriele Robinson stated, “It shouldn’t be a privilege to live in a comfortable, affordable home. The Long Island Progressive Coalitions PowerUp Communities program improves the quality of life for Long Islanders, spurs local job creation and can fundraise for local organizations. It’s a win-win for the community in every sense.”

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Homeowner Thomas Greene and Legislator DuWayne Gregory. Photo Credit: Long Island Progressive Coalition.

Focusing in low-to-moderate income, working communities, the LIPCs PowerUp Communities program assists homeowners through every step of the energy efficiency process, including scheduling each homeowner for a Free or Reduced Cost Home Energy Assessment. From there PowerUp representatives help homeowners utilize rebates and financing offered through the state and utilities to receive energy saving home improvements. Improvements can include new heating systems, conversions to gas, health and safety upgrades, insulation and air sealing. PowerUp homeowners in focus communities receive a 5% discount off of their projects costs and can rely on PowerUp as a customer watchdog, answering questions and remedying any issues that arise.

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PowerUp Project Coordinator Marriele Robinson, Homeowner Thomas Greene, and Legislator DuWayne Gregory. Photo Credit: Long Island Progressive Coalition.

“If it wasn’t for PowerUp Communities, I would not have gone through with the energy efficiency work. I recommend everyone go through with the PowerUp program,” said Thomas Greene, a 92 year resident of Amityville that completed the PowerUp Communities program and hosted the press event. Homeowners like Mr. Greene have saved anywhere from $800 to over $2000 a year on utility costs after the energy efficiency upgrades.

The LIPCs PowerUp Communities program also utilizes a community donation referral fee. This referral fee allows for local community and religious institutions to receive up to $200 in donations for each homeowner that completes the PowerUp program after hearing about it from that organization. This referral has potential to raise thousands for the organizations that matter most to Long Islanders, making the LIPCs PowerUp Communities a true, all-encompassing community revitalization program.

“The best part was when the job finished and winter came, I felt a complete difference. I only needed two oil deliveries,” said Vincent Brown, a Lindenhurst PowerUp homeowner. “When the process was done, my contractor donated to my church. It’s great that I got to help them give back to my community.”


Time to Tell the NYS Public Service Commission to End Cable Monopolies

Let’s face it: in today’s world, we all need internet access, not just telephone service. If you want to start a small business, keep up in school, or look for a job, you need to be online. But not all internet access is created equal, especially when your cable company is a monopoly.

FiOS, Verizon’s state of the art fiber optic network, breaks your local cable monopoly on internet, phone and TV. But Verizon is cherry-picking where to build FiOS — and most of New York is getting left in the high-speed-internet dust.

Access to reliable, affordable phone and internet shouldn’t be determined by the luck of where you live, or how wealthy your neighbors are. Access is more crucial than ever. That’s why we need FiOS throughout the State.

We’ve seen almost 40 years of deregulatory fever. Now, all of us are at the mercy of giant telecommunications companies. They decide who gets — and doesn’t get — quality service, while charging steep prices that just keep rising. Outside of the New York City metro area, internet speeds are akin to those in parts of the Appalachia, and prices are too high throughout the state. [1] If Verizon keeps cherry-picking wealthier areas to build FiOS, and cable keeps its monopoly, that won’t change.

Check out video from the Brookhaven Town Hall on Cable Monopoly:

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Talks Jobs, Housing, and Diversity with Latino and African-American Residents


Community Members Posed Key Questions at Community Forum
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Talks Jobs, Housing, and Diversity with Latino and African-American Residents
Brentwood, NY – April 17, 2014 – On Wednesday night, more than one hundred Suffolk County residents from Latino, African-American, and immigrant communities joined Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for a forum hosted by Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, and the NAACP. Residents who came together at the Brentwood Public Library posed questions about the most pressing issues facing Suffolk’s diverse communities: jobs, housing, and diversity.

Participants in the event were thrilled to have the opportunity to ask questions on a wide range of topics affecting communities of color, including housing discrimination, addressing the foreclosure crisis, how to combat wage theft, and the status of efforts to welcome immigrants to Suffolk County.

Miriam Elaraby, member of Make the Road New York, said: “This event was an important way that our community and our elected representatives can join together to better our community. I’m pleased that issues of diversity, employment, and housing are being discussed, because they’re the main priorities for the community.”
Nelsena Day, member of New York Communities for Change and Brentwood resident, said, “These public forums are very important for our communities, because, with the diversity in our neighborhoods, people need to be respected and cared about by our elected officials. Providing stable jobs and keeping housing affordable will allow individuals to support their families in this county.”

“From Suffolk County Executive Bellone’s language access Executive Order making Suffolk County one of the most language accessible suburbs in the country to publicly supporting comprehensive immigration reform and declaring Welcoming Week in Suffolk two years in a row, the county’s leader has signaled to the immigrant community as well as all Suffolk residents that the county has opened its heart and mind to work through how we can maximize immigrants’ contributions and build a stronger community together.” Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, executive director, Long Island Wins.

Amparo Sadler, member of Long Island Progressive Coalition and the Alliance for Quality Education, said, “The forum was a great opportunity for the community to understand how County Executive Bellone plans to close the inequality gap. The segregation of Long Island causes educational inequalities between rich and poor districts. We must focus on closing this gap by funding low income school districts and investment in a true universal Pre-K program, in order for all children in Suffolk County an equal opportunity to a quality public education.”

Event co-sponsors included Long Island Wins, Long Island Progressive Coalition, National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers, The Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, Long Island Latino Teachers Association, The Muslim Center of Long Island, New York Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic.