NY vs Godzilla: Taking on Big Money


In The Creative Resistance’s new video, “NY vs Godzilla: Taking on Big Money,” watch Edie Falco explain how lobbyist money is blocking passage of progressive issues in New York State and how passing a small-donor matching system can help us fight back. We can get Big Money out of New York politics!

Tell your State Senator and Assembly Member that you want small donor matching, before April 1st. We can get big money out of politics. Visit: https://fairelectionsny.org/act


Directed and Produced By: Eric Rockey

Produced By: Adam Baran, Eric Rockey, Liz Manne and Tracie Holder

Written By: Jacques Servin, Adam Baran and Eric Rockey

Animation By: Anthony Kraus

Narration By: Edie Falco

Watch on the Creative Resistance YouTube Page:  Watch Video Online Here

Environmentalists Cheer CCPA, Blast ‘Federal Inactivity’



A statewide coalition rallying for “climate justice” delivered high praise Friday for some of the sharpest environmental regulations ever considered by Albany.

With the New York State Senate hosting its third legislative hearing in four days on a proposed slate of new and pointed environmental laws (following sit-downs in Albany and New York City), members of NY Renews – a coalition of more than 160 organizations championing environmental policy “grounded in equity and justice for communities and working people” – testified Feb. 15 at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola.

Led by State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Rockville Centre), chairman of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee, the hearing was an opportunity for legislators to hear from regional stakeholders on Senate Bill S2992, the Climate and Community Protection Act, which sets aggressive mandates that would create a 100 percent renewable-energy New York State in just 30 years.

And NY Renews did not disappoint, with multiple members – representing both Long Island-based and statewide organizations – testifying their full-throated support of the CCPA, along with a few stinging rebukes of current federal policies on the environment and the working class.

Climate-change deniers need not apply, noted biologist Cathy McConnell, a member of the Long Island Progressive Coalition who testified that “climate change threatens our way of life” on the Island, including “our homes, our beaches, our communities and our future.”

“But … we will stand up to protect our homes, our families and our communities,” McConnell said. “We must defend our way of life, and that means supporting the CCPA.”

Guy Jacob, conservation chairman of the Nassau Hiking and Outdoor Club, said it was up to individual states to take the mantle on environmental issues “in the face of federal inaction.”

“Throughout our union’s history … individual states have led and changed the course of American history,” Jacob testified before the State Senate panel. “Once again, New York State is at the crossroads of historical significance.”

Crowd favorite: Members of the NY Renews Coalition and other environmental activists gathered in Mineola Feb. 15 to support Albany’s proposed Climate and Community Protection Act.

Making history is certainly on the minds of Kaminsky, who introduced Senate Bill S2992, and his multitude of co-sponsors – a partisan assemblage of statewide Democrats with a few third-party designations thrown in and nary a Republican in sight. A companion bill sponsored by NYS Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Port Jefferson) is working its way to the State Assembly floor, similarly supported along party lines.

Referencing the Paris Agreement – the international climate-change accord agreed to in 2015 by 195 countries and later dismissed by President Donald Trump, who summarily withdrew the United States – and noting “the severity of current climate change,” the CCPA warns that “the threat of additional and more severe change will be affected by the actions undertaken by New York and other jurisdictions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.”

To that end, it lays out a laundry list of emission-reduction, clean-generation directives spanning multiple industries and, where necessary and possible, targeting disadvantaged communities first – a cross-cultural smorgasbord of renewable-energy mandates meant to promote good-paying jobs and boost the production economy while saving the world.

The proposed law also creates a “New York State Climate Change Council” – including members appointed by the governor, the Senate and the Assembly, as well as at-large professional members – to see the new mandates through to fruition.

The ultimate goal: a statewide reduction of 100 percent (from 1990 levels) of greenhouse-gas emissions from anthropogenic sources by the year 2050, with at least a 50 percent reduction achieved by 2030.

It’s an ambitious agenda – but according to NY Renews member Ryan Madden, sustainability organizer for the Long Island Progressive Coalition, the Empire State has the wherewithal “to reorient ourselves and to tackle the climate crisis with the urgency it demands.”

“In New York State, we have a solution … that will serve as a model to other states,” Madden told state legislators Friday. “This is a transformative bill that changes the logic of our economic and governance systems, the only appropriate response to the threats posed by climate change and the structural forces that have caused it.”

Republished from Innovateli.com.  Read the article online by clicking this link

LI schools jockey for state aid in annual fight for a larger share


By John Hildebrand john.hildebrand@newsday.com

Westbury and Brentwood school leaders aired a long list of troubles on Wednesday — everything from overcrowded classes to losses of lunch time — as part of a statewide campaign aimed at generating more state funding for districts that serve large numbers of low-income families.

At Westbury Middle School, which has chronic problems with overcrowding, a visiting group of state lawmakers and others saw classrooms set up in a basement, throngs of students jamming hallways and teachers working in cubicles lining both sides of a narrow passage. Visitors also heard from students themselves.

“I think the classrooms should be smaller — not in size, but in numbers of students,” said Katherine Hendricks, 13, an eighth-grader. “There’s a math class of, like, 31 students, and it’s hard for the teacher to meet individual needs.”

Reprinted from Newsday.com.  Read the article online here

Long Island Needs Your Voice in Albany for Fair Elections


On February 12, New Yorkers will descend upon Albany to make sure the State Legislature focuses on fixing our broken campaign finance system with publicly financed elections. Dozens from Long Island are already planning to join and so should you!

Together we will fight for a 6-1 matching system that takes the power away from corporations and big donors and gives it back to constituents and the community.

We Need YOUR Voice in Albany!  Join Long Island Progressive Coalition in Albany on February 12 for our first lobby day of the year.

We’re asking our legislators to go all in for fair elections.

We’re arranging a free bus from Long Island leaving from Suffolk and Nassau County and will have free lunch for all.

New leadership in the State Legislature has pledged to support fair elections. We can make sure the State Legislature keeps up the good work.

For More information, please contact Dan Fingas at 516-541-1006×17 or dfingas@lipc.org

FINAL POINT-Progressives at an intersection


At the intersection of preparation and opportunity you can find a whole bunch of advocates who have pushed state legislation for years only to run into the wall that had been the Republican-controlled State Senate.

After November’s big blue wave, Democrats now control the chamber along with the Assembly and governor’s mansion, and those advocates feel well-positioned for a payoff on all that work.

Two such umbrella groups — the Long Island Progressive Coalition and NY Renews — visited Newsday’s editorial board Wednesday afternoon to highlight some of their signature proposals.

For the LIPC, it was public campaign financing, and its members were buoyed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal in Tuesday’s budget address for a 6-to-1 match on donations of $175 or less. Cuomo’s embrace means “we’ve won” on selling the concept, Stephan Edel, director of the New York Working Families Project, told The Point, but “negotiations are going to be hard” when it comes to reconciling Cuomo’s bill with measures from the Assembly and Senate.

NY Renews is getting behind two climate change-oriented bills. The headliner was the Climate Change and Protection Act, which would take the state entirely off fossil fuels by mandating a 100 percent cut in human-created emissions by 2050.

“The governor has evolved. Yesterday, he put some cards on the table,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, referring to Cuomo’s budget pitch for the state to get 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. “It has broad bipartisan support…We’re pretty confident it will come up for a vote.”

The enthusiasm was captured by LIPC director Lisa Tyson, who said simply: “It’s a new state.”

But it’s still Albany, and even with the new party alignment not all the sailing will be smooth.

Michael Dobie

Taken Newsday Online – Progressives at an intersection

Seeking green light for NY climate-change bill

An article in  Newsday uplifting the need to pass the Climate & Community Protection Act, along with fellow NY Renews member Environmental Advocates of New York and our legislative champions Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Senator Todd Kaminsky.

“Englebright said the costs of inaction are too high. ‘You pay now or you pay later . . . failure to respond now means the ultimate cost may be insurmountable or dramatically higher,’ he said. ‘There are terrible costs of not addressing it straight up.’”

Continually quiet on this landmark bill is Governor Andrew Cuomo. If he wants to reach his own goals, he needs to #PassTheCCPA


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

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