Views From 90 Penn: Social Justice and Education

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LIU Post Senior Samantha Capofarri

My name is Samantha; I am currently an intern at the Long Island Progressive Coalition. I am graduating from Long Island University in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Sociology. As a future teacher I am truly passionate about equality in education and society as a whole. When Dr. Heather Parrott offered me this internship I was really nervous at first. Once my first day came around and I met everyone at LIPC I was beyond excited to begin working with the organizer’s of LIPC and Alliance for Quality Education, I knew from the start that we had similar goals in mind, not only for quality education but for the entire Long Island community.

In the past few weeks of this internship I really learned a lot about how LIPC helps our Long Island community and citizens in struggling Long Island areas. Currently I am working on promoting the Rev.Barber Speech, this event was held at Stony Brook University on April 28th. Rev.Barber is the president of the North Carolina NAACP and the founder of the Moral Mondays Movement. Moral Mondays is a social justice movement that has taken hold across the country and calls for economic justice and government accountability. While making the phone calls to invite members of the community to this event, I learned so much from the people on the other end of the phone. Hearing how passionate the citizens in our community were about bringing this movement to Long Island really opened my eyes to the importance of community involvement. If we want something to happen or to see a change we need the support of our community. Having the support of the community is what makes movements, like the Moral Monday Movement, successful.

The next campaign I began working on was for the Alliance for Quality Education. The AQE fights for quality education in every school district regardless of its location. As a future Early Childhood educator I am passionate about what the AQE fights for. Education is the foundation of our future, therefore it should be of the best quality. Unfortunately there are many school districts in need of aid that aren’t receiving the aid and support they need to provide that quality education all students deserve. Most students, at some point in their school career don’t feel completely satisfied with their education quality and learning experience. If schools, students, and parents work together to improve the quality of education that students are receiving then students will have an easier time getting the education that they deserve. In the past few weeks I have gained so much for my future education career from working with the AQE.

As a young woman, finishing my degree and hoping to one day make the differences in education and the well-being of our Long Island community, I will always be committed to making progressive changes that will benefit Long Island. The real world can seem like a scary place. College is supposed to prepare you to enter it but academia can leave a lot of gaps. A great strategy for becoming more prepared for this challenging life event in my opinion is to get an internship. Having an internship and mentors to guide you on your new journey in life provides a hands on experience that can only come from someone who’s done it all before. The people I have worked with so far at LIPC have provided me with so much information and knowledge to take with me after I graduate and enter the real world.

Views From 90 Penn: LIPC has Opened My Eyes to Public Education on LI

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Intern Jennifer Imhoff with her son Everett

My name is Jennifer Imhoff and I am finishing my last semester at LIU Post. My internship at LIPC has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have had the opportunity to work with people who are passionate about what they do, and are willing to help educate others about the many issues affecting people living here on Long Island.

I am studying to become a social worker because I have an interest in helping people and making the world a better place, and an internship with the Long Island Progressive Coalition has exposed me to the many ways that I can help people. I have had the opportunity to attend local forums on education, attend rallies in Albany, Nassau, and Suffolk County. I have been able to speak to people that are directly affected by the 2% tax cap. The 2% tax cap does not take into consideration school districts that are facing increased enrollment, causing class sizes to grow in these districts. Unfortunately, it is the high- needs districts that benefit the most from state and local funding, but when there is less money to spend per pupil, all of the children are directly affected.  The state is underfunding schools and programs are being cut because of the tax cap and state underfunding.

As a student, parent, and wife of a teacher I see the pressure that is being put on our students and teachers.   It is not fair to use student’s test scores to evaluate teachers and this needs to change.  The State also needs to fully fund our schools. Schools district can not maintain vital programs when state aid is cut and districts need to adhere to the 2% tax cap.   The Board of Regents suggested $2 billion as the minimum needed in additional state aid, however they are only receiving $1.6 billion.  I also learned that the way the funding is distributed very important.  High-needs schools need to get more funding and have access to more resources so that students in those districts also receive a quality education.  LIPC has given me the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, and I am proud to have participated in the internship program here. I challenge you to get involved in the education campaign with the Long Island Progressive Coalition. Attend a meeting, make a call, or write a letter but take action to make a difference.

Join Us As We Remember Diana Coleman

News 12 has been playing a story about Diana Coleman for Black History Month which is shown below. I was cooking dinner one night and hear Diana’s voice on t.v. I went to see the story and I just cried because I miss her friendship but also we have lost such a fearless warrior who fought for her community for decades and made a real difference in all of our lives.

News 12 did an excellent job highlighting some of the amazing things she had done in her life. You saw her when she was suing Nassau County for unfair assessments to the minority communities. You saw her leadership in working in her community to deal with crime and violence. And you saw her making strong arguments on various issues where she worked to convince people why they should support issues like fair redistricting and campaign finance reform.

At our annual luncheon on April 11th we are giving the first Diana Coleman Community Leadership Award. NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli will be talking about Diana who was a close friend of his and giving this award to North Hempstead Supervisor. Please join us for this event as we honor Diana and reflect on our work for social, economic and racial justice.  Contact john@lipc.org for more info about how you can join us on April 11th in honoring Diana.

In Solidarity,

Lisa

2015 LIPC Luncheon Honoring Progressive Long Islanders

Please join us to celebrate 36 years of the Long Island Progressive Coalition and help us honor Long Islanders who are leading the way on progressive issues.

Join us on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 at the Timber Point Country Club in Great River.

This year we are introducing the:

Diana Coleman Award for Progressive Leadership

Introduced by NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli

We are honoring:

Judi Bosworth,
North Hempstead Town Supervisor,
Diana Coleman Award for Progressive Leadership
 Jacob Dixon,
Choice for All,
Award for Environmental Vision in Sustainable Development
Rev. Charles & Shirley Coverdale,
First Baptist Church Riverhead,
Long Islanders Who Have Made a Difference
Thomas Garry,
Harris Beach,
Long Islander Who Has Made a Difference
Dylan Skolnick,
Huntington Cinema Arts Centre,
Long Islander Who Has Made a Difference
NY State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages,
Long Islander Who Has Made a Difference
And the introduction of the
John “Jack” Gremse Volunteer of the Year Award

For your convenience a link to a printable version of the Invite is here: 2015 LIPC Invite.

Please, if you have any questions or would like to take an ad in our Luncheon Journal, contact John at 516-541-1006 x or john@lipc.org

 

A.G. Schneiderman Ensures Equal Education Opportunities at 7 L.I. Schools

January 15, 2015
New York City Press Office / 212-416-8060
Albany Press Office / 518-776-2427
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman
A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN SECURES AGREEMENTS WITH SEVEN SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ENSURE EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNUNITY FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Agreements Help Ensure That All Students Are Provided Educational Access Regardless Of Language Ability
Schneiderman: All Students Across New York State Deserve Equal Access To Educational Opportunity
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced agreements with seven school districts in Suffolk and Westchester Counties to expand educational access for limited English proficient students (“English language learners” or “ELLs”). In Suffolk County, the Riverhead Central School District, the Patchogue-Medford School District, and the Amityville, Greenport, East Hampton, and Hampton Bays Union Free School Districts agreed to develop and implement new policies and procedures concerning ELLs and their families, beginning with those families’ first interactions with school districts and continuing through those students’ educational careers. These districts have also agreed to implement new training protocols for their staff and personnel. In Westchester County, the Mount Vernon City School District agreed to similar and additional steps concerning ELLs.
“Our schools must provide students with the tools and resources to succeed regardless of English proficiency or where they came from,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office is proud to work collaboratively with school districts to ensure that language barriers will not stand in the way of students obtaining a quality education, and that students and their families understand the services that are available to them.”
According to Census data, approximately two and a half million New Yorkers do not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. Over 17% of Suffolk County residents speak a language other than English; over 8% speak Spanish; and over 6% speak English less than “very well.” The evolving demographics of student populations in New York State have caused many ELLs to face language barriers in accessing school services, including not receiving timely screenings or appropriate English-language development services.
In February 2014, in response to information received from parents and advocates concerning Suffolk County schools, the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau opened an inquiry to examine districts’ language access policies and procedures. These districts all serve significant ELL populations, ranging anywhere from 12 to 16% of their student bodies.
Following the Attorney General’s review of the districts’ existing policies and procedures, the six districts agreed to expand language access for students and parents through the adoption of model Language Access and Enrollment Procedures for use within the districts. The agreements secured by the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau will ensure that districts meet the needs of students and parents, regardless of language ability by requiring the following:
  • Students are properly screened for language ability when entering the districts;
  • Parental notifications are provided in the family’s native language on a host of subjects, including student placement in a bilingual/ESL program or evaluation for special education services, or a district’s intent to discipline a student;
  • Parents are offered interpreting services at various school functions, including district orientations on bilingual/ESL programs and Committee on Special Education meetings;
  • Districts have translated materials available on their websites, as well as clear designations of district Language Access Coordinators along with contact information for those Coordinators;
  • ELLs and their families do not face enrollment barriers in the form of document requirements beyond those set forth by the New York State Education Department;
  • District personnel are trained on the Language Access and Enrollment Procedures; and
  • Periodic reports to the Attorney General regarding the districts’ provision of services to ELLs and their families.
In May 2014, the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau received a complaint concerning delays by the Mount Vernon City School District in the language assessment and provision of ELL services to two students in the District. Mount Vernon is a linguistically diverse district, with ELLs constituting approximately 35% of the student body. The investigation by the Civil Rights Bureau revealed that District language access and recordkeeping policies were insufficiently detailed to ensure the timely provision of ELL services, resulting in a delay in providing such services to the two students for almost a full academic year. In addition to the forms of relief described above, the Mount Vernon CSD also agreed to:
  • Provide an informational program at least twice each academic year, for the next three years, explaining the Language Access Procedures to ELLs, their families, and the larger community;
  • Develop and adopt a complaint procedure to track all future complaints concerning language access issues in the District;
  • Create and maintain a tracking database to chart the progress of, and provision of services to, all students screened by the District for English language proficiency; and
  • Provide detailed regular reporting to the Civil Rights Bureau, for three academic years, concerning the screening, assessment, and provision of services to ELLs, and any complaints regarding the same.
The Attorney General’s language access agreements are part of the office’s ongoing work to promote greater access to educational opportunity for students across New York State. In addition to addressing language barriers faced by students and their parents, the office is also working to address the school to prison pipeline; working to lift enrollment and registration barriers faced by unaccompanied minors and undocumented youth; working to ensure compliance with the anti-bullying mandate of the Dignity for All Students Act; and working to eradicate admissions barriers imposed by colleges and universities based on applicants’ contacts with the criminal justice system.
“Ensuring that students have access to all educational resources is paramount to their academic success and our success as a region,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “On November 14, 2012, I signed Executive Order 10-2012 directing county agencies and departments to provide language assistance services (translation and interpretation) to people of Limited English Proficiency (LEP).  Each agency provides interpretation services between the agency and an individual in his or her primary language.”
Amol Sinha, director of NYCLU’s Suffolk County chapter, said, “These settlement agreements help create a pathway to opportunity for English language learners in Suffolk County. We commend the Attorney General’s Office for making language access a top civil rights priority.”
Lucia Gomez, executive director of La Fuente, said, “Long Island is home to an increasingly diverse community of families, many of whom are limited English proficient. We have an obligation to make sure that language does not stand as an obstacle to learning opportunities. These agreements help promote diversity in schools and ensure success for all students.”
Luis Valenzuela, executive director of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, said, “The Alliance applauds the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau for working to address the barriers faced by too many of our limited English proficient communities. We hope that these agreements will be implemented immediately and followed conscientiously and deliberately. Ensuring that our schools meet the needs of all children is critical to the social and economic well-being of our communities.”
Cheryl Keshner, coordinator of the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition, said, “When schools fail to meet the language needs of limited English proficient students and parents who unable to read documents and important materials regarding their education, students are denied meaningful educational opportunity. We thank the Attorney General’s Office for working to lift language barriers across Long Island schools.”
Blanca Villanueva, community organizer for the Alliance for Quality Education, said, “The Alliance for Quality Education applauds Attorney General Schneiderman’s efforts to remove barriers to education for students on Long Island. New York State has a requirement to provide a quality education to all students in New York no matter their primary language and the actions of A.G. Schneiderman is an important step in ensuring that some of Long Island’s student who are in the most need will have better access to a quality public education.”
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Justin Deabler and Dariely Rodriguez of the Civil Rights Bureau which is led by Bureau Chief Kristen Clarke. The Bureau is part of the Division of Social Justice, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin Bragg.
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Give Today: $1500 in 5 Days Campaign

Dear Supporters,

I am happy to kick off Day 1 of our $1500 in 5 days campaign. The Long Island Progressive Coalition is ready to go into 2015 with renewed vigor and passion. Give today HERE and your gift will be matched.

When I started at LIPC, I could not believe the divide in different school districts, the lack of a universal healthcare system, and most importantly, the fact that Long Island residents are leaving in great numbers.  Since working at the LIPC, I have seen time and time again, how we’ve stood up for people and won.

With your help, we’re going to do it again in 2015. Our goal to raise $1500 by Friday, December 12th, 5PM to fuel our campaigns.

LIPC member David Calone will graciously be matching dollar for dollar all gifts received. That means your donation will be doubled.

Your gift will allows us to work towards helping to create more affordable housing on the island! It will insure that we will be there to makes sure each child on this island has an equal education! And it will provide that we will be there to tell our political leaders that we will not stand for corruption, for pollution, for an island with a declining infrastructure, an island where young and old are leaving in vast numbers because cause of a lack of jobs, a lack of affordable housing, and that we want fair elections now!

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When you see the LIPC Members, Board, and Staff with our Blue LIPC shirts, know we are rallying for you, we are the LIPC Blue Wave.  Join us to help launch the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s Blue Wave towards 2015.

 We thank you for your generosity over the years. Together we can make Long Island a better place.

In solidarity,

John H. Delaney

LIPC Office Administrative

P.S. The easiest way to give and have your gift matched is to give online HERE. But if you’d rather call we can be contacted at 516-541-1006 x10 with a donation or mail a check, please send it to:

LIPC
90 Pennsyvlania
Massapequa, NY11758

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.

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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.

How Will the Battle For Long Island Play Out Politically

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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:

http://www.longislandpress.com/2014/10/11/how-will-the-battle-for-long-island-play-out-politically/

 

LIPC Endorses Congressman Tim Bishop

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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