Message From Our Director: We have lost our Fearless Warrior

We have lost our fearless warrior.

Yesterday, Diana Coleman LIPC Co-Chair passed away. This is a huge loss for Long Island and for all of us. For decades Diana has fought the hard fight for justice. She was the lead plaintiff forcing Nassau County to redistrict due to the impact on minority communities. She has been a leader in Long Island’s civil rights battle over and over. Just one example is in the Youtube video where she is giving the Republicans a piece of her mind about their unjust redistricting battle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=361TytgYr1c

Diana has been the Co-Chair of LIPC for over a decade and has worked to build the organization and to impact social, economic and racial justice. She was a truly brilliant person who had skills in management, finance and policy. She cannot ever be replaced and the organization owes a huge debt to her.

Diana taught me how to be powerful and how to challenge people, but at the same time how to laugh and be friendly to those people you are challenging. We are all just people and being human comes first.

Diana was also an amazing friend to me and many others. We shared so much about our lives and supported each other. She was one of the best friends I have ever had and I already miss her so much.  She was an amazing listener and would be honest with you when you needed it. I have learned so much from Diana.

                                       Service Details
                                       Funeral Service will be on Saturday, January 17th
                                       Wake: 8am to 10am, Service at 10am 
                                       Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
                                       Corner of Brookside Ave & Centennial Ave.  Roosevelt

As a tribute to Diana, please speak out for justice and make your voice be heard like you see in this video.

Always in Solidarity,

Lisa Tyson

Director

Long Island Progressive Coaltion

Views From 90 Penn: LIPC Gave Me a Voice

DeAngelis Photo

 

My name is Bridget D’Angelis and I am currently an intern at Long Island Progressive Coalition. I am a senior at Long Island University and I am a sociology major. Growing up, I constantly changed my mind as to what I wanted to do for a career. But, the one thing I have always been set on is my passion to help people. I have always said I wanted a job where I could make a difference by helping people live better lives. My professor confronted me about this internship, and although I did not know much about the organization, the offer was too good to pass up. I am so glad I got the opportunity to intern here at LIPC.  I learned about the importance of politics, a subject I was never too keen on or paid attention to. There are so many crucial issues on Long Island we need to address such as affordable housing, quality education, minimum wage, and other important matters in our society.

One event that opened my eyes to the reality of education and jobs was the Good Jobs, Good Schools forum that I attended. Quality and equal education is such an essential part of a student’s progression in life. Long Island schools need quality teachers, personalized classes, extended learning time, and other necessary components in order to give students of all races and ethnicities a chance for a promising future. The other pressing issue that I grew passionate for was the minimum wage problem. The minimum wage needs to be increased a significant amount. Community members are struggling to put food on their tables and support their families. No person that works a full time job should live in poverty. It was exciting to see the political candidates relay their positions on the subject matter as well. You always hear about theses issues on the news, but when you witness it first hand and listen to people talking about their struggles, it becomes real.

I believe LIPC will help me in my professional career by that I want to work in the criminal justice/sociology field. I want to work as a counselor or an advisor to people who have issues that need to be addressed. This type of work relates to LIPC in that I would be making a difference in society and creating a greater sustainable living for someone. LIPC looks at the broad spectrum of social inequalities and having a little experience with that will help me focus on the smaller, individual spectrum of social issues.

It was also able to see how the election process played out. I was educated on the candidates and the problems that they wanted to address. These problems were local issues that affect the people of Long Island each and every day. I am very fortunate to have had this new experience here at LIPC. I worked with an amazing and down to earth group of people who are so incredibly passionate and dedicated to their line of work. I felt like I was apart of something, that I was making a difference to society in my own small contribution. LIPC gave me a voice. I could express my thoughts and opinions freely on issues I became very knowledgeable of. I was able to venture out of my bubble and make a difference by trying to help people live better quality lives.

Interns Needed for 2015 at LIPC

Do you know a bright, young progressive person on Long Island?  Do you know of a college student who wants an internship where they can gain real experience and make a difference?

LIPC needs interns for 2015.

Intern photo

 

Have a passion to help the community and want to get real world experience?

Want to learn how to organize and communicate with Long Island Communities?

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Make a Difference

The Long Island Progressive Coalition is looking for enthusiastic interns, who want to improve the quality of life for all citizens on Long Island.

Become part of a fun, cooperative work environment while earning college credit.

LIPC is a 35-year old, Island-wide, multi-issue, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development, revitalizing local communities, enhancing human dignity, creating effective democracy, and achieving economic and social justice.

Join us in fighting for:

• A quality public education system

• Affordable housing- Yes in My Backyard

• Clean Money Clean Elections

• Community empowerment in low income areas

Learn community-organizing skills including:

• Strategy development

• How to use social media in organizing

• How to make community change through electoral campaigns

No prior experience required. Training is provided.

Contact the Dan Fingas our Organizing Director (516) 541-1006 x17 or email dfingas@lipc.org

 Please forward this email along to any interested students you know or contact Dan at dfingas@lipc.org with any names of progressive students who you think would be a match.

Views From 90 Penn: Get Active to Make Change

Photo on 9-30-13 at 9.08 AM

My name is Myranda; I am an intern at the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC) during the fall semester of my junior year at LIU Post. I am studying Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice with the hopes of some day attending Law School. I am truly passionate about the growth and prosperity of human society and truly believe that equality is essential for humanity to survive the ever-changing world we live in. Upon being offered this internship by Dr. Heather Parrott, I was elated to begin working with the organizer’s of LIPC because I knew that we had similar goals for not only society on a grand scale but more specifically the Long Island community.

In the past weeks, I had the opportunity to attend two Good Jobs, Good Schools forums that were open to the community and provided vital and informative knowledge to concerned citizens in struggling Long Island areas. Both forums were non- partisan events hosted by the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, Long Island Wins, and Noticia, where candidates running for office were invited to speak alongside community members who came to share their stories of triumph and struggle. After having made my fair share of phone calls to invite members of the community to these forums, I was quite skeptical of how the turn out for the events would be, considering that many of my phone calls ended with either no one even picking up or a “no” but when I arrived I was pleasantly surprised.  Not only were there more than a dozen participating organizations present, there were also concerned community members who came with questions and wanted to have a voice.

Watching a handful of hardworking community members stand up at the podium with shaky voices and concerned looks on their faces was nothing short of inspiring. It was truly amazing to hear the handful of men and women speak of their struggles and needs for change in the upcoming year as we approach Election Day. Some spoke of a need for a raise in the minimum wage to a working wage because they struggle to feed their families and pay their rent; others spoke of the need for adequate and equal funding throughout all of our schools and some even addressed the issues they face as minority groups trying to make better lives for themselves and receive degrees after graduating from the New York public school system. These speakers were hardworking, concerned, struggling residents who are standing in solidarity to raise awareness for these pressing issues. Witnessing these people speak and hearing of their struggles was genuinely eye opening because while I am aware of the growing difficulties Long Islander’s face as the cost of living continues to rise yet wages have remained the same and state aid in school’s has been cut significantly, witnessing people share the accounts of their struggles first hand really made me realize how pressing these issues are.

As a young woman, working towards a degree in my field and hoping to one day make a difference for well being of the community, the commitment to making progressive changes which will benefit Long Island is something I hold close to my heart. If more people in struggling communities would join together, like the speakers did at these forums I truly believe that Long Island could start to see beneficial, essential changes. We, as individuals cannot continue to put our faith in others to work toward policy changes because one person, or even a small group cannot do it alone, we must all stand up together.

Protesters Give Martins Roadblock Award

 

“More than two dozen protesters from three progressive advocacy groups gathered at the Mineola office of State Sen. Jack Martins Wednesday afternoon to present him with Roadblock Awards for blocking several pieces of Democratic legislation.

The protesters, members of Make the Road Action Fund, the New York Communities for Change and the Long Island Progressive Coalition, were confronted by Martins campaign adviser E. O’Brien Murray, where a heated argument reportedly ensued.”

 

Click  here  to read more of this article

LI Democratic hopefuls hoping for help from Cuomo

Cuomo

Newsday: June 7, 2014 9:01 PM By RICK BRAND rick.brand@newsday.com

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 john@lipc.org 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

LIPC RECEIVES NYSERDA GRANT TO HELP HOMEOWNERS WITH HOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS

(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.

PowerUp Amityville 1
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.”

PowerUp Amityville 2
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.

PowerUp Amityville 3
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: