Views From 90 Penn: Opening my eyes to politics

Interns View: Opening my eyes to politics

Frankie Rotolo

My name is Frankie and I currently engaged in an internship with the LIPC. I am a junior at LIU Post studying sociology. I must admit, prior to accepting this amazing offer to work with such a hardworking, and dedicated group of people I was extremely nervous and felt as if I was in the dark. I am not proud of the fact that I had intentionally ignored politics and anything that had to do with them. Partially due to ignorance, and age.  I thought to myself “I am spending most of my time to studying sociology, what could that possibly have to do with an involvement in politics?”  One month later, I have a completely different mindset.

With the help of the coalition I was able to realize not only the importance of politics, but the connection to sociology as well. Once I was able to make this connection (which came rather quickly and obviously) I was able to fully commit myself to making the most out of this opportunity.

If there is one thing that is embedded in my mind from all of my passionate sociology professors at LIU Post, it is the concept of the sociological imagination. This concept helps us to understand that most issues that occur for one person, or even a small group of people, usually end up being broad scale issues that are important to many.

A great quote I have heard over and over from my professors to explain this is: “The personal is political” which was used to great extent in feminist sociology; panning out on one women’s issue to reveal that it is actually the issue of many. In relation to the work with LIPC, I have seen that if one school district is having issues due to cuts and underfunding, it is usually similar issues to many others across the state. That one school’s issues now become not just their problem, but the problem of multiple schools and people in those communities; which is then where politics can come into play, to help solve the issues of many of these schools.

Now I must ask, what is the best way to solve or improve broad scale issues amongst a large group of people? Well I’m sure most of you already put it together; it is politics. Laws and policies over time have constantly affected and determined many social actions and constructions amongst many people, creating oppression, inequality, equality, and liberation amongst races, class, and gender; which are the most popular subjects of study in sociology.

I am so enlightened and grateful for this opportunity I was given by the LIPC and my professor. I was able to step out of my comfort zone, and I am now learning so many wonderful and useful things in relation to sociology, as well as learning a great deal about politics in the process (and enjoying it might I add). I am very eager to continue my time here and can’t wait to participate in some of the wonderful events that the LIPC is hosting and involved in.

Groups rally in Hauppauge Against Cuomo Budget

From Newsday:

Labor and liberal groups rallied in Hauppauge Thursday afternoon, protesting portions of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget as a boon to the wealthy.

“We’re here because we’re angry about the governor’s proposal to benefit the rich and corporations and make the rest of us pay,” said Lisa Tyson, director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition. She said portions of Cuomo’s budget would exacerbate income inequality in New York State.

Two dozen members of the groups held signs at the brief news conference in front of the New York State Office Building in Hauppauge.

Cuomo’s office declined to comment Thursday.

The coalition is protesting three parts of Cuomo’s budget: reduction of the estate tax, a provision the coalition said would reduce taxes on banks and a proposal to freeze property taxes by encouraging consolidation of local government services.

“When you talk about consolidating services, it usually means someone is laid off because someone else is doing the job,” said Nick LaMorte, Long Island regional president of the CSEA, the region’s large public employee union.

Tyson said the tax cuts for the wealthy would be paid for by taxes on the middle class or cuts to services that are relied on by the wealthy.

Tyson said the wealthy don’t need help. “Do we need help?” she asked the crowd. A woman at a nearby bus stop shouted, “That’s why we’re taking the bus.”

Dan’s View: We’re Covered!

On Saturday February 1st we, at LIPC, can say We Got Covered!

Dan FingasThe fight for expanded access for affordable care has been a long one in the United States.  There are been elected officials, like my former Congressman John Dingell (D-Michigan) who have been working on it for more than 50 years.

Congressman Dingell and others of his time were true leaders who saw that living in a modern democratic republic with as much wealth as we have as country should mean that no man, woman, or child should want for medical services when they are sick or hurt and a doctor to help keep them from getting sick.

That’s why so many in America were fighting for the passage of the Affordable Care Act when President Obama had his chance to make healthcare for all,  a reality.  I know that I was working hard in Michigan for that goal and that Long Island Progressive Coalition was lobbying elected officials, holding rallies, and energizing Long Islanders for passage of the ACA.

On March 23, 2010 the dream of affordable care became a reality.  It was an exciting time and the culmination of the activism of hundreds of thousands across the nation.  Change of that magnitude is a difficult task and our federal government definitely struggled with it this last fall.  But the importance of the measure far outweighed the headaches of implementation.

In December, LIPC staff and our Board looked into our ACA options and found that the Small Business Exchange was going to be perfect fit for our needs.  As a small staff living across Long Island we found the program that really worked for us all and met the needs of the organization.

So this weekend we officially enter the Small Business Exchange and become just 6 of the 9 million people now covered by federal healthcare.

 

Views From 90 Penn- Celebrating 10 Years of Progressive Politics

 

10 years of  Progressive Politics on Long Island

I recently found the program from the ten-year celebration of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, times have changed and maybe some names but the issues remain and we must continue to strive for results. There is work to be done still, in Affordable Housing, for Fair Elections, for developing Energy Efficient homes and Equal Education for all, in solidarity; we will make a better Long Island for the future.

March 15th is growing close and once again, it will be time to celebrate the Long Island Progressive Coalition. This year is our 35th year, as you, our members, our supporters, our brothers and sisters in the unions, our Board of Trustees, and my colleagues on staff both past and present, have worked so hard over the years in order to move Long Island Forward, let us celebrate our accomplishments.

I ask you to join us on March 15, 2014, to celebrate and honor those Long Islanders that have made a difference in the Progressive landscape that shape this island. If you cannot join us; I implore you to make a contribution to the LIPC, any donation allows us to grow and become stronger to fight for social, racial, and economic justice for you, our fellow Long Islanders and most importantly for the youth and the future.

I thank you all for your continued support and hope to see you in March: it is an event not to be missed.

Kind thoughts to all,

John Delaney
John H. Delaney

Administrative Director

Gov. Cuomo to tout public financing of campaigns

Cuomo

 

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will try to impose a system of public financing of campaigns and ethics reforms for New York in his executive budget proposal Tuesday, his spokesman said.

Last week more than a dozen groups led by the Working Families Party, which is influential in Democratic politics, urged Cuomo to use his extensive budget powers to overcome opposition by Senate Republicans,

Continue reading here:  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/politics/gov-cuomo-to-tout-public-financing-of-campaigns-1.6835175

Green With Envy

Orre, an intern at the Long Island Progressive CoalitionThere are many ways to make your everyday life greener without sacrifice. You probably waste more energy than you think, thus also wasting your money. Energy is expensive, but changing just a few of your habits can lower your usage and bills, and help save the environment at the same time. Install a low-flow showerhead, turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, cut one minute from your shower time to save gallons, don’t let tap water run while you wash your dishes, and fix your water leaks. Unplug chargers and small appliances when not in use because plugged-in electronics still use energy. Use your refrigerator efficiently by adjusting the thermostat to recommended setting, allow hot food to cool before putting it inside and avoid opening the door multiple times. Before working at the Long Island Progressive Coalition I was never really concerned with environmental issues or energy efficiency. I have become increasingly more aware of adjustments in my own life I should take that will not only benefit me when it comes to utility bills, but will also have a small environmental impact on the planet. I believe that these small changes are something everyone should be able to incorporate into their everyday life.

To take your green new lifestyle to the next level and save even more money contact the Long Island Progressive Coalitions PowerUp Communities program and get your home retrofitted! It all starts with a free home energy assessment, conducted by a certified contractor who will comprehensively assess your homes energy use. Shortly after the assessment, your contractor will present a report of your homes efficiency and outline the ways you can reduce drafts and save money on your utility costs. PowerUp will walk you through the process of getting the rebates and financing you qualify for. Some energy efficiency measures that can cut your energy waste significantly are replacing and upgrading your boiler, converting from oil to gas and properly insulating your home. Make these changes, save a heap of money and make your neighbors green with envy! Working closely with PowerUp over the past couple of months I have learned about how the process can really change someone’s life. I think that it’s a program that results in a spectrum of positive outcomes, from cutting waste and saving people money to sparking job and business opportunities locally. I am sure that having a larger amount of energy efficiency programs like PowerUp would reduce green house gases emissions significantly worldwide.

I recently attended a meeting with my magnificent supervisor Marriele Robinson for New York community based organizations working for energy efficiency. One of the interesting issues we discussed was how important it is for the different organizations to have energy efficient offices. Some of the simpler changes in habits offices can implement have to do with making office operations and office purchasing more energy efficient. It can include using environmental friendly copiers, paper and ink. You can cut down on electronic waste by using power strips, setting computers to sleep after a given time and having an admin-controlled thermostat. Digitizing folders, printing double sided and having electronic signatures can significantly cut down the usage of paper.

It is a fact that the climate is changing and that people have a profound effect on that change. We need to significantly reduce our emissions and one way to do that is to use energy more efficiently. Energy efficiency improvements can slow down global warming and its frightening consequences.

 

Groups Urge Town to Settle Housing Suit

Housing advocates  on Tuesday urged the Town Board to accept a proposed settlement of a lawsuit that would allow apartment rentals at a development in Melville.

The NAACP lawsuit, which reaches back more than a decade, involves a plan for apartments on Ruland Road. The settlement would allow 77 one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom rental apartments. Others, such as the Sweet Hollow Civic Association, say the apartments should be sold, not rented.

Richard Koubek, president of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition, said, “The time has come” for affordable rental apartments. Citing the decline in enrollment of students in the Half Hollow Hills school district which has led to a decision to close two schools, Koubek said, “This is a case of some people in Dix Hills working against Dix Hills.”

The Town Board is scheduled to consider the proposed settlement next Tuesday in a 7 p.m. hearing at Town Hall.

Tuesday’s press conference outside Town Hall brought together a coalition of groups and individuals, some of whom have been on opposite sides on other housing issues. Among the advocates, such as the NAACP, the Progressive Coalition and the Melville Chamber of Commerce, was Matt Harris, a community activist who opposes the Avalon Huntington Station development on East Fifth Street.

Read full article at the Half Hollow Hills Patch: http://halfhollowhills.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/groups-urge-town-to-settle-housing-suit_8fc59161

Jan. 14th – No More Excuses Rally

Rally for Education in New York

For too long the students of New York have seen their favorite classes eliminated, teachers cut, resources dwindle, and opportunities lost. It’s time for NO MORE EXCUSES! Join us on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 in Albany to demand that New York lives up to its promise of providing every student with a “sound basic education.”

WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 14th, 2014
WHERE: New York State Convention Center, 386 Broadway, Albany
WHAT: Rally at the Capitol to demand “No More Excuses: Educate Every Student”

 

Visit the Alliance for Quality Education for more information!

Rally for Rentals: Push for family friendly, affordable rentals in Melville

About 20 housing advocates gathered Tuesday in front of Huntington Town Hall, demanding that the town board settle a decadelong dispute and allow the creation of affordable, multi-bedroom rental units in Melville.

The town board is slated to vote next Tuesday on a settlement at its meeting. The outcome of the vote could end a lawsuit brought by the NAACP and Fair Housing in Huntington Committee, which first accused the town of housing discrimination in 2002.

The suit challenges a proposed affordable housing development in Melville, saying it discriminates against families and minorities. Fair Housing has since dropped out of the suit.

Click here for the full article: Rally for Rentals

Also available via Newsday.com here

Seminar on home energy use planned

Seminar on home energy use planned 
Homeowners can learn how to better insulate their homes to save money and the environment at a seminar in Manhasset this month.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock is holding a program with the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities program from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 at 48 Shelter Rock Rd. in Manhasset.

Homeowners can learn about saving on heating oil, reducing drafts, and how to get an energy audit and apply for rebates and other financial opportunities.

Marriele Robinson of the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities project, and Jaime Pereira, director of business development at Powersmith, which provides energy-efficient services to homes, will speak.

For more information, call 516-472-2941 or write ministerasst@uucsr.org.