Calls for Ethics Reform Get Louder on Long Island

By Timothy Bolger and Michael Harris

Advocates and citizens frustrated with the avalanche of corruption scandals on Long Island and elsewhere in the state are rallying around the issue and organizing grassroots efforts aimed at pressuring lawmakers to be more ethical and transparent.

Local good government groups picketed last week outside the Long Island office of New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Smithtown), urging him to allow passage of ethics reforms for Albany lawmakers before the legislative session ends Thursday, June 16. And a New York City-based nonprofit last week announced that it’s suing LI municipalities that fail to turn over financial documents in a statewide citizen-led transparency initiative recently started in Nassau and Suffolk counties […]
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Presiding Officer Gregory Calls On State To ‘Raise The Age’ Of Criminal Responsibility

Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory last week called on state lawmakers to reform the state’s juvenile justice system during a press conference with the Long Island Progressive Coalition in support of the “Raise the Age” campaign at the June 1 meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature in Hauppauge. 

New York is one of only two states in the country where 16-year-olds are automatically charged as adults in criminal court, the other being North Carolina. Raise the Age NY is a public awareness campaign that includes national and local advocates, law enforcement leaders, legal representative groups, faith leaders and unions that have come together to increase public awareness of the need to implement a comprehensive approach to raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York State […]


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Skelos Sentencing Statement

Skelos Sentence

Lisa Tyson, Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition on Senator Dean Skelos Sentencing

“When it comes to having elected officials who are responsive to the needs of most New Yorkers, Dean Skelos embodies all that’s wrong with Albany. What’s worse than his crimes to enrich himself and his son is the legal bribery that happens every day at the Capitol. When Skelos was head of the Senate Republicans, he set the agenda – an agenda that put CEO and his own personal profits before the needs of ordinary New Yorkers.

As the prosecutor noted his actions have “eroded the public trust.”  The public trust cannot be restored until we have a fair and just election system.  This sentencing should be a clear message to Senator John Flanagan and the Senate that real election reform that takes big money out of politics and provides Long Island voters with the assurance there is transparency and accountability in the system.”

No Room For HATE in Patchogue

patchogue trump protest collage

Yesterday, hundreds of protesters gathered in Patchogue to stand up to Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant hate speech. 

Trump spoke at a GOP fundraiser at the Emporium, on the same street where Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant was murdered in a hate crime. Trump’s campaign is stirring up the same hate that led to Marcelo’s death and the violence committed against countless immigrants in our Long Island communities.

We came together yesterday to say that there is no room for xenophobia in Patchogue or on Long Island, that we value our diversity, and that we will not tolerate a Presidential candidate who aims to strip away the dignity of our immigrant communities.

We must stand together against the policies and practices that seek to demonize and criminalize immigrants.

Here’s Some Press Coverage From the Protest:

News 12 Coverage

Newsday Coverage

WSHU NPR Coverage

Fios Coverage

MSNBC Coverage

Greater Patchogue Coverage

CBS News Coverage

CNN Coverage

CBS New York Coverage

Patch Coverage

Long Island Report

Long Island Press

LOVE Trumps Hate

“Get Your Hate Out of Our State”

Yesterday, Donald Trump hosted a campaign event at Grumman Studios in Bethpage to rally support for his xenophobic, misogynistic, racist, hateful rhetoric that threatens the progress we fight for every day.


But his message was not met without opposition.

trump protest photo grid


As supporters entered the venue, hundreds of protesters gathered to send a clear message: Trump’s hateful platform does not represent Long Island. Chant’s ranged from “Get your hate out of our state!” to “The people united will never be defeated!” We stood together to show Long Island, our country, and the world that we do not tolerate threats against our families, our friends, our neighbors and our communities.

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Donald Trump’s backward ideas on issues ranging from immigration reform to the economy are exactly the type of policies that we organize against every day. In order for us to keep building a better tomorrow we need the capacity to keep us going.

Will you make a donation to help fund the fight for a more progressive Long Island?

Yesterday’s successful protest proved the LIPC’s organizing power. But we cannot do this without your help. A successful movement will need both people power and the funds to keep our operations going. With your help we can continue to grow Long Island’s progressive movement. A monthly donation as small as $5/month will help fuel the fight.


Check out the Press Coverage from the Rally & Protest:

New York Times Coverage

NBC Coverage

ABC 7 Coverage

Newsday Coverage

Patch Farmingdale Coverage

NY Daily News Coverage

Letter: LI Clergy Call on Elected Officials to Do the Right Thing & Raise The Age

April 5, 2016


Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of the State of New York

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY  12224


Honorable John Flanagan

Senate Majority Leader

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224


Honorable Carl Heastie

Assembly Speaker

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224


Dear Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Flanagan and Speaker Heastie:


As faith leaders from many backgrounds, traditions and beliefs, we write to you united by our great concern for the future of children in our communities. Too many are being swept up into the adult criminal justice system and getting trapped in a cycle of poverty and crime. We all know children who have faced down difficult circumstances and rebuilt their lives. But the lack of age-appropriate interventions for 16- and 17-year olds in the adult system, as well as the heightened exposure they face to violence and abuse, is making it difficult and in many cases impossible for even the most intelligent and capable teens to become productive and successful members of our communities.


As a state, New York is failing these children. Today, we humbly ask you to raise the age at which children are automatically charged as adults.  Currently, New York is one of two states where youth as young as 16 automatically end up in adult courts, jails and prisons.


Passing the raise the age proposal will enhance public safety and offer youth age-appropriate interventions (including, when necessary, incarceration).


In 2013, nearly 34,000 16- and 17-year olds were arrested and faced prosecution in the adult system – the vast majority for non-violent crimes. We should be better than that.


Adult prisons do not focus on rehabilitation, and are not designed to meet the needs of children. National studies show that young people confined in adult facilities are much more likely to face traumatic physical and sexual violence than those in juvenile facilities.


This lack of age-appropriate intervention and increased exposure to violence also leads to higher rates of recidivism and, as a result, higher costs for the justice system as a whole. Our current law sets young people up to become re-offenders: research has shown that young people who go through the adult system are much more likely to re-offend than those in the juvenile system.


From a public safety perspective, raising the age is about being both smart on crime and tough on crime – an approach that numerous law enforcement officials from around the state have endorsed. By creating a path to more positive outcomes for more children, raising the age would lead to crime reductions and help foster safer, more livable streets throughout the state.


Thank you for your consideration of this matter. We are ready to stand by you and move forward with this important policy change. It goes without saying that all New Yorkers will be better off under this approach.





Reverend Michelle Raysor, Connecting for Purpose

Reverend Thomas Humphrey, Long Island Men’s Center

Bishop Donald S. Hudson, Common Ground Christian Life Center

Pastor Carol A. Paynter, Smithtown United Methodist Church

Reverend Kate Jones-Calone, Setauket

Reverend Thomas Goodhue, Long Island Council of Churches

Pastor Sheila M. Bedford, Westbury United Methodist Church

Pastor Mark Musser, New Village Church

Reverend Dr. Tim Hoyt Duncan, First Presbyterian of Northport

Reverend Farrell Graves, All Souls Episcopal Church

Bishop Earnest Robinson, Long Island Breakthrough Center

Pastor Gregory Wilk, Abundant Life Church

Reverend James B. Rea, Jr., Bethany Presbyterian Church

Reverend Janice Moore-Caputo, North Shore Presbyterian Church of Great Neck

Reverend Karyn O’Beirne, Unitarian Universalist Society of South Suffolk

Pastor Frederick Woodward, First Presbyterian Church of Greenlawn

Reverend Kymberley Clemons-Jones, Valley Stream Presbyterian Church

Reverend Eddie J. Jusino, First Presbyterian Church of Freeport

Reverend Dr.Tracie Saunders, Presbytery of Long Island

Reverend Scott Williams, Christ First Presbyterian Hempstead

Reverend Mark Tammen, Presbyterian of Long Island

Reverend Kenneth Graham, Presbytery of Long Island

Reverend Charles Coverdale, First Baptist Church of Riverhead

Reverend Cynthia Liggon, First Baptist Church of Riverhead

Reverend Chuck M. Cary D. Min, Westhampton Presbyterian Church

Reverend Charles Bell, Messiah Lutheran Church

Reverend Canon Richard D. Visconti, All Souls Episcopal Church

Father Andrew Koterba, St. Francis Polish National Catholic Church

Reverend John W. Kloepper, Phd., Presbytery of Long Island

Reverend Margaret Allen, Unitarian Universalist of Stonybrook

Reverend George A. Bynoe, Int’l Dream Team Christian Association

Reverend Dr. Jimmy Hulsey, First Presbyterian Church of Smithtown

Cantor Eric Schulmiller, Reconstructionist Synagogue of North Shore

Pastor Kyle Watkins, Safe house

Pastor Alex Bryant, E.P.H.O.D Ministries

Co-Pastor Dr. Teresa Bryant, E.P.H.O.D Ministries




LIPC Response: VICTORY in the Fight For $15 on LI

“The efforts of workers from across Long Island have led to a victory in the Fight For $15.  The raise in the minimum wage means that there are now over 382,000 Long Island workers who will get a raise.  Their raised wages will strengthen our communities and local economies.  While the long phase-in dilutes the full benefit to our local economies, it is still a huge victory for Long Island.  We only wish that workers in Upstate New York could share in this victory with us and not be forced to accept a lower wage and wait even longer for the economic benefits of a higher minimum wage,” Lisa Tyson, Director LIPC.

FF15 w Sepa


For more information about how you can fight for economic justice on Long Island contact Olivia at

We Came Together to Demand $15

Drive for $15 rally photo 4

This past Tuesday, February 23rd, hundreds of Long Islanders gathered at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury to rally for a $15 minimum wage. The rally was part of the Drive for $15 bus tour sponsored by 1199SEIU. 1199SEIU President George Gresham is touring the state to speak bout the importance of a decent wage. Governor Cuomo joined the tour on Long Island to stand in solidarity with the workers and allies who are fighting tirelessly in the Fight for $15. Cuomo told the crowd that the minimum wage was not meant to merely be a wage that can sustain you, but a wage that can provide you with a decent living. Neither are possible on a minimum wage salary which translates into $18, 720 per year. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was present at the rally as well as several elected officials from the Nassau County Legislature and Town of North Hempstead. The Drive for $15 bus tour is part of the campaign to win a $15 minimum wage in this year’s state budget which will be finalized on March 31st. The raise would lift up 382, 236 Long Island workers and increase their spending power by nearly $2.5 billion.

Check out this great video from Newsday about the event.

To learn more about the campaign contact Olivia Santoro a 516-541-1006 x 12 or

LIPC Luncheon, April 16, 2016. Come Celebrate 37 years of the LIPC

We invite you to join us on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at the  Timber Point Country Club as we Celebrate 37 Years  of the Long Island Progressive Coalition Fighting for Social and Human Dignity.

This year we honor:

JoAnn Smith, Planned Parenthood of Nassau County

Diana Coleman Award for Progressive Leadership

June and Ron Smith, NYSUT

Bill Pickering Labor Leader Award

Peter Gollon, Sierra Club of Long Island

Award for Environmental Vision in Sustainable Development

Daphne Marsh, Wyandanch PTA

Frank Scott Education Award

Susan and Ken Feifer

Long Islanders Who Have Made A Difference

David Gallo, Georgica Green Ventures

Long Islander Who Has Made A Difference

For more information and to register this event please visit us at or see attachment. For further information please call John at 516-541-1006×10 or email at