Women’s Equality Agenda Rally at Senator Skelos’ Office

From Long Island Exchange:

(Rockville Center, NY) – About twenty women are expected to gather today at 4:45 PM at a rally in front of Senator Dean Skelos’ office in Rockville Center, according to Lisa Tyson, director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition.

They will be rallying Skelos to bring the ten pieces of the Women’s Equality Act together as one piece of legislature, she said.

As it stands they are not going to vote on the reproductive act piece of the legislature, Tyson said.

The vote is scheduled to take place after midnight tonight.

“We have been in Albany lobbying every day”, Tyson said.

This is our opportunity to tell Skelos that we need the reproductive act piece voted on. The piece will make it so that New York state laws are similar to the national laws. If Roe V. Wade is overturned we will keep the same policies in this state.

LIPC in the News, June 2013

Governor Cuomo’s ‘Tax-Free New York’ Would Come at a High Cost

Progressive Coalition protesters decry county’s Sandy contracts

Long Island State Senators hold key to vote on NYS Fair Elections Reform (Photos)

Suozzi, Weitzman get Working Families endorsement

Education Advocates Tout Early Start

Groups protest post-Sandy contributions to Mangano

Nassau Residents to Protest Campaign Contributions from Sandy Contractors to Nassau County Executive Mangano

New PSEG contract outlined at LIPA meeting

Residents Protest Mangano Post-Sandy Campaign Contributions

Power Up Communities offer free LI residents free energy audit

A new program is aiming to help Long Islanders save on energy bills as winter nears.

Power Up Communities, a project run by the Long Island Progressive Coalition, helps connect homeowners to contractors who will offer a free audit of their homes to identify any drafts or insulation work that can be done to make their houses more energy efficient and burn less heating oil in the winter months.

After the audit — which usually cost around $300 for a regular customer — homeowners are given estimates on how much it would cost to have work done on their homes. Power Up Communities then works with the homeowners to help them finance the process.

“We help the homeowner learn about the different programs, financial opportunities and rebates that are available that ordinarily they may not know about,” said Ed Laborde, project manager for Power Up Communities. “For some residents, we go a step further and help them fill out [forms]. A lot of people… have so much to do that this shouldn’t be an added burden to them.”

One way that homeowners can save on making their homes more efficient is the “On-Bill Recovery” program, which allows the cost of the contractor’s work to be paid through savings on the energy bills. The cost of upgrading a home to be more energy efficient is usually between $13,000 to $15,000, Laborde said.

Homeowners can visit powerupcommunities.com to sign up for a free audit or call 516-541-1006 ext. 14.

Power Up Communities started last year, and has helped upgrade 30 homes to be more energy efficient so far.

Source: Newsday

Protesters To Disrupt Koch Brothers' Romney Fundraiser On Long Island

Last week Mitt Romney held a $50K/ticket fundraiser in Park City, Utah that gave donors “an extraordinary level of access” to the candidate and other top Republicans. But Romney was apparently miffed because the Koch brothers had a fundraiser for conservative causes at the same time: “As one fundraiser noted, Mr. Romney is, after all, the candidate.” Ha, suuuure you are Mitt. But on July 8th Romney will meet with the Koch brothers to form the Eye of Sauron at David Koch’s Long Island home, and protesters are ready.

Per Capital NY, a group comprising of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, Greenpeace, and Occupy Wall Street will gather at two locations that evening, the first of which is “basically at the foot of the driveway” of the home. “We’ll be making noise, holding up signs and letting everybody that has to pass by there on the way to the fundraiser know that Long Island does not support the political agenda that they’re raising money for that night,” spokesman David Segal tells Patch.

Article Courtesy of Gothamist.

Protest Plans for Romney's Visit to David Koch's Long Island Home


Here’s a map indicating the locations of planned protests of a  Mitt Romney fund-raiser on July 8 at the Southampton home of billionaire David Koch.

The first protest location “is basically at the foot of his driveway,” and the second protest site is about a third of mile down the only road that leads up to the home, according to a spokesman for the Long Island Progressive Coalition.

The director of LIPC, Lisa Tyson, said they are coordinating with Greenpeace, “Occupy Wall Street,” Moveon.org, Strong for All, United New York, and others.

Click here to see the map.

Progressives Plan to Crash Romney's Fundraiser at Koch's Southampton Estate

By Brendan J. O’Reilly, Southampton Patch

Billionaire industrialist and frequent donator to conservative causes David Koch is planning a fundraiser at his Southampton estate for GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney on July 8 for $50,000 a head — and a number of uninvited guests plan to crash the party.

The Long Island Progressive Coalition said Thursday it will help to lead like-minded groups to “non-violently disrupt” the event, which is one of three Romney fundraisers planned in the Hamptons that day, according to a Politico report.

“We’ll be making noise, holding up signs and letting everybody that has to pass by there on the way to the fundraiser know that Long Island does not support the political agenda that they’re raising money for that night,” said Long Island Progressive Coalition communications coordinator David Segal.

He said the coalition learned of the event after an invitation was leaked online. According to the invitation, the fundraiser will begin at 5 p.m. and the cost is $50,000 per individual and $75,000 per couple, with proceeds benefiting Romney Victory, Inc.

“The fact that David Koch is spearheading this fundraiser is indicative of the role that money is playing in politics right now,” Segal said.

The Romney campaign did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

The protest is planned for 4 p.m. in front of the oceanfront Meadow Lane estate, though demonstrators will first assemble at the Coopers Beach parking lot at 3 p.m. They will then march to Koch’s home carrying banners.

“We want to show up in front of the Kochs’ house to say, ‘We’re tired of you promoting policies that go against the interest of everyday people,'” Segal said.

Joining the coalition are Greenpeace, Occupy Wall Street, Moveon.org, Strong For All, United New York, The Occupied Storefront and Occupy Huntington. Protestors from New York City will be bussed in for free.

Southampton Village has a law against protests targeting a domicile, but Mayor Mark Epley said Thursday that it is the village attorney’s opinion the law does not apply in this case because Romney does not reside at the estate.

The law was adopted after anti-illegal immigration protestors took to demonstrating outside Epley’s house.

Epley said his biggest concern is the safety hazards a large gathering on Meadow Lane poses on a Sunday afternoon when many vehicles are leaving beaches and the county park at the end of the road.

Segal said the demonstrators will not block driveways or impede traffic, and will follow the conventional rules governing protests.

Helen Fitzgerald Dies

Springs resident’s funeral is scheduled Monday in Bridgehampton.

Helen Theresa (Higgins) Fitzgerald, who lived in Springs since 1995, died there on Wednesday. She would have been 83 on April 3.

Fitzgerald was a graduate of the College of New Rochelle where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in French. She earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at State University of New York at Stony Brook.

She worked in outside sales for Pitney Bowes, Inc.  Earlier in her career she taught Religion at Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville. She served as secretary of the East Hampton Housing Authority, served on the Board of Directors for Windmill Village Houses, was on the board  of Whalebone Village Housing Authority, and was a Suffolk County Ombudsman for nursing home residents.

She was also a founding member of the East End Peace and Justice group, an ESL tutor for Spanish Speaking residents, and a member of the Long Island Progressive Coalition. She served as a past president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women. In her spare time she was a writer of distinction and a sailing enthusiast.

A former resident of Massapequa Park for over 40 years, Fitzgerald was the mother of the late William Joseph, Peter and Susan of East Hampton, David and Jo-Anne of Amityville, Thomas A. and Diane of Massapequa Park, Raymond of Westchester, NY, Megan of Copiague, Sheila and Frank Taylor of Durham, NC, Brian and Patricia of Melbourne Beach, FL, and Jean and George Feeney of Johnson VT.

Her grandchildren are David, Michael, Ryan, Joseph, Alice, Nolan, Cassidy, Jonathan, Brianna, Zachary, William, and Katie.

Visitation will be at Yardley & Pino Funeral Home of East Hampton on Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. There will be a service at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork in Bridgehampton, on Monday at 10 a.m., followed by internment at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY.

In lieu of flowers donations to East End Hospice are appreciated.

Meeting with Long Island Progressive Coalition

By: Virginia Gerardi

Topic: Reviving the co-housing initiative. Years ago, a group of coalition members formed to explore reclaiming the Bulova Watch case factory as a co-housing community. As often happens, lack of human resources and other obstacles resulted in the group disbanding. Once again, a property has been identified with community development potential. Bill Chaleff, a member of the LIPC, invited me along to present the vision and budget for developing the property on the corner of Joel’s Lane in Sag Harbor. Three other members in attendance asked questions about the co-housing concept and about the property in particular.  All are aware of the zoning variances that will be required to build our desired number of living spaces and of the resistance on the part of the entrenched elites in town gov’t toward middle and lower income people residing here.

A public forum was suggested to raise awareness, and methods of publicizing that were presented by the members. A big project, worth doing, step by step.

Message to Lawmakers: Stick with What Works for Youngest New Yorkers

By: Mike Clifford, Public News Service – NY

Governor Andrew Cuomo has been using competitive grants to spur competition among school districts, but today lawmakers are being urged to not rely on that approach for early education funding. The jury is out on competitive grants, according to Danielle Asher, early childhood education campaign coordinator with the Long Island Progressive Coalition; she says maybe they’ll work, maybe not.

That’s why Asher says it’s dangerous to use that system to fund early education programs, which she says have been proved to save the state money and provide a quality education.

“It is proven to reduce grade repetition and disciplinary referrals, special education costs; it will save the state $22 million to $32 million, so we need to invest in Pre-K programs.”

Asher is one of the more than 100 parents, teachers and advocates traveling to Albany to urge lawmakers to restore $53 million in early education funding to the general fund. The Board of Regents also backs that approach, while Governor Cuomo lumped funding for early education into $250 million in competitive grants in his executive budget.

Currently, many of New York’s youngest children are on waiting lists to get into early-learning programs, according to Marsha Basloe, executive director of the Early Care and Learning Council. She says that’s a shame, because decades worth of studies show these programs work.

“Students that participate in quality early-care and learning programs are far more likely to attend college and get higher-paying jobs; avoid teen pregnancy; avoid welfare dependency; avoid delinquency and/or crime.”

Basloe plans to meet with lawmakers to talk about the need to find $20 million to fund a Quality Stars program to rate local early education programs.

A news briefing is planned for 11 a.m. at the Legislative Office Building.

A report is at bit.ly/yqELjA. More on the QUALITYstarsNY program is at qualitystarsny.org.

Update: Protest at Verizon Store

Long Island Progressive Coalition holds rally on economic fairness.
By: Deirdre Burns

Protestors in Massapequa Park want Verizon to give them better reception on the issue of corporate responsibility.

Several dozen people held a rally outside the Verizon store in Massapequa Park Thursday claiming the phone company is pocketing large profits without paying a fair amount of tax.

The Long Island Progressive Coalition, which sponsored the rally, say they’ve conducted research indicating Verizon made $33.4 billion in profits from 2008 to 2010, but only paid 2.6 percent in New York State income tax.

The average family of four earning $58,000 paid 4.8 percent in taxes during that same time, according to Lisa Tyson, the director of LIPC.

Tyson argues that this type of tax difference is unfair to hard working families who are struggling every day to make ends meet. With the state at a budget deficit and public funding for schools and health care at risk, Tyson says the problem could easily be solved if the big corporations pay a fair amount in taxes instead of benefitting from tax loop holes.

“At the same time their CEOs are making $8,750 per hour,they’re trying to cut the workers’ salaries and health care,” Tyson said. “They pay absorbent salaries to their top people and the workers suffer. But it’s not just [Verizon]. Other corporations are just as guilty. We are going to be releasing information from other corporations, but this is definitely one. They are one of the dirty dozen.”

The LIPC, which is Massapequa-based, is a grass roots organization dedicated to promoting economic justice.

The protesters were greeted with several drivers honking their horns as they passed by. Tyson said she was able to get the support at the rally in about 24 hours via email blasts and word of mouth to the community through the members of LIPC.

“It’s a good thing to see people passing by and honking their horns in solidarity,” she said. “People care. They want to solve this.”

Hendrick Fayette, one of those attending the rally said it was important to show support for fairness and change.

“We are in need of all hands on deck when it comes to taxes…now big corporations like Verizon and their CEOs are bankrolling our government through campaign contributions and through lobbying,” said Fayette, who is also member of the Long Island Minority Aid Coalition. “They spend millions of dollars in lobbying to get their legislation and their loopholes in writing that is prohibiting us from getting our fair share.”

Verizon spokesman John Bonomo, called LIPC’s claims on the company not paying their fair share of taxes “erroneous.”

“Verizon fully complies with all tax laws and pays its fair share of taxes,” he said. “In 2010, our state and local income tax liability was nearly $275 million. In addition to these income taxes, Verizon pays other state and local taxes, such as property taxes, taxes on gross receipts, franchise taxes, payroll taxes and right-of-way fees. In the five years from 2006-2010, in state and federal income taxes alone, Verizon paid out more than $7.5 billion.”