Posts Tagged ‘Long Island’

Views for 90 Penn: Becca’s View

Friday, April 11th, 2014


Fudge-photo
      My name is Becca and I am currently an intern with LIPC. I entered this position in January during my last undergraduate semester at LIU Post, where I study sociology. At the end of this year I will be graduating from college and entering the real world. Everyone’s dream is to find a job in their field straight out of college. In my recent job search I have noticed something concerning; there aren’t many positions, at least not for someone holding a bachelors degree. Most positions require a Master Degree or higher. That is at least another two years of school that I would have to pay for while working at a job that doesn’t pay me enough to afford rent let alone pay for graduate school.

At 22 I am at that age where living with my parents is no longer desirable. However, as a Long Islander that is essentially my only option. Not only are there few jobs available to me but the salary rates do not match up with the average cost of living on Long Island. While thinking about my future it seems to me like the most feasible option is to move out of the state.  Long Island is my home, it is where I was born and it is where I’ve continued to live for the last 22 years. My parents, my sister, and my friends are all here. It is sad to think that I may not be able to afford to live on this island I call my home, because let’s face it; Long Island is not affordable; especially for people like me.

It is important that we bring affordable housing to Long Island. It is not just you people who are struggling. Senior citizens cannot afford to pay property taxes on their homes. When they are forced to move due to high costs it is nearly impossible for them to find affordable rentals. Families, who make less than 100,000 dollars a year, cannot afford to buy homes here. So even though they are not poor they have no place to live. Through LIPC’s Yes in My Backyard campaign (YIMBY) we a bringing affordable housing to long island one community at a time. LIPC encourages communities to reach out to their town officials to make sure they know that affordable housing is important to Long Islanders.

After coming to intern with the Long Island progressive coalition I realized how pressing these issues are for many Long Islanders. There are many people holding down jobs that don’t pay them a livable wage and the cost of housing here is astronomical compared to other states. The Long Island Progressive Coalition fights to ensure that people have good paying jobs, affordable housing, and other equal opportunities, regardless of their race or where they live. It is amazing to know that I became involved with an organization that helps fight for people like me and I am glad to be helping fight for a better future, not just for myself but for all Long Islanders.

LI groups protest Cuomo tax cuts to banks, wealthy, funding cuts to schools

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Long Island Protest

Chanting “Banks got the gold mine, the people got the shaft,” “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” and waving signs calling for living wage jobs, affordable housing, affordable schools and universal Pre-K, labor and community groups rallied outside the Bank of America office in Great Neck to call attention the growing wealth gap in New York State and to call for investment of state dollars in schools and communities, not tax breaks for the largest banks, as Governor Cuomo is proposing.

Read more here: http://www.examiner.com/article/li-groups-protest-cuomo-tax-cuts-to-banks-wealthy-funding-cuts-to-schools

See more pictures here: http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/long-islanders-protest-cuomo-tax-cuts-to-banks-wealthy-funding-cuts-to-schools#slide=1

Residents Rally Outside Sen. Martins’ Office to Protest His Refusal to Support Fair Elections

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Long Island Progressive Coalition

(Garden City, NY) Area residents joined with labor unions and progressive advocates on Wednesday in rallying outside of Senator Jack Martins’ office, protesting his refusal to support a proposal by Governor Andrew Cuomo to create a system of publicly financed elections.

Represented at the rally were Long Island Progressive Coalition, the Working Families Party, Communications Workers of America, Common Cause New York, United Auto Workers and MoveOn.org.

“After years of corruption and broken government, Governor Cuomo has included a Fair Elections system of lower contribution limits and small matching funds, ensuring we’ll see more candidates running and more participation from small contributors. Polls consistently show that a vast majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents support these reforms. Today, I’m asking my Senator, Jack Martins, to stand with his constituents and not the special interests that seem determined to keep the status quo. Senator Martins: Keep Fair Elections in the budget,” said Port Washington resident and Common Cause member Phil DePaolo.

The Fair Elections proposal would create a public matching system for small dollar campaign contributions, giving everyday voters an equal voice in the political process. Candidates who opt into the system wouldn’t have to rely on big money donations from well-connected insiders and can instead focus on catering to their constituents. Cuomo included the proposal in his 2014 Executive Budget, which is currently being debated by the legislature.

Read more: 

Green With Envy

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Orre, an intern at the Long Island Progressive CoalitionThere are many ways to make your everyday life greener without sacrifice. You probably waste more energy than you think, thus also wasting your money. Energy is expensive, but changing just a few of your habits can lower your usage and bills, and help save the environment at the same time. Install a low-flow showerhead, turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, cut one minute from your shower time to save gallons, don’t let tap water run while you wash your dishes, and fix your water leaks. Unplug chargers and small appliances when not in use because plugged-in electronics still use energy. Use your refrigerator efficiently by adjusting the thermostat to recommended setting, allow hot food to cool before putting it inside and avoid opening the door multiple times. Before working at the Long Island Progressive Coalition I was never really concerned with environmental issues or energy efficiency. I have become increasingly more aware of adjustments in my own life I should take that will not only benefit me when it comes to utility bills, but will also have a small environmental impact on the planet. I believe that these small changes are something everyone should be able to incorporate into their everyday life.

To take your green new lifestyle to the next level and save even more money contact the Long Island Progressive Coalitions PowerUp Communities program and get your home retrofitted! It all starts with a free home energy assessment, conducted by a certified contractor who will comprehensively assess your homes energy use. Shortly after the assessment, your contractor will present a report of your homes efficiency and outline the ways you can reduce drafts and save money on your utility costs. PowerUp will walk you through the process of getting the rebates and financing you qualify for. Some energy efficiency measures that can cut your energy waste significantly are replacing and upgrading your boiler, converting from oil to gas and properly insulating your home. Make these changes, save a heap of money and make your neighbors green with envy! Working closely with PowerUp over the past couple of months I have learned about how the process can really change someone’s life. I think that it’s a program that results in a spectrum of positive outcomes, from cutting waste and saving people money to sparking job and business opportunities locally. I am sure that having a larger amount of energy efficiency programs like PowerUp would reduce green house gases emissions significantly worldwide.

I recently attended a meeting with my magnificent supervisor Marriele Robinson for New York community based organizations working for energy efficiency. One of the interesting issues we discussed was how important it is for the different organizations to have energy efficient offices. Some of the simpler changes in habits offices can implement have to do with making office operations and office purchasing more energy efficient. It can include using environmental friendly copiers, paper and ink. You can cut down on electronic waste by using power strips, setting computers to sleep after a given time and having an admin-controlled thermostat. Digitizing folders, printing double sided and having electronic signatures can significantly cut down the usage of paper.

It is a fact that the climate is changing and that people have a profound effect on that change. We need to significantly reduce our emissions and one way to do that is to use energy more efficiently. Energy efficiency improvements can slow down global warming and its frightening consequences.

 

Groups Urge Town to Settle Housing Suit

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Housing advocates  on Tuesday urged the Town Board to accept a proposed settlement of a lawsuit that would allow apartment rentals at a development in Melville.

The NAACP lawsuit, which reaches back more than a decade, involves a plan for apartments on Ruland Road. The settlement would allow 77 one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom rental apartments. Others, such as the Sweet Hollow Civic Association, say the apartments should be sold, not rented.

Richard Koubek, president of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition, said, “The time has come” for affordable rental apartments. Citing the decline in enrollment of students in the Half Hollow Hills school district which has led to a decision to close two schools, Koubek said, “This is a case of some people in Dix Hills working against Dix Hills.”

The Town Board is scheduled to consider the proposed settlement next Tuesday in a 7 p.m. hearing at Town Hall.

Tuesday’s press conference outside Town Hall brought together a coalition of groups and individuals, some of whom have been on opposite sides on other housing issues. Among the advocates, such as the NAACP, the Progressive Coalition and the Melville Chamber of Commerce, was Matt Harris, a community activist who opposes the Avalon Huntington Station development on East Fifth Street.

Read full article at the Half Hollow Hills Patch: http://halfhollowhills.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/groups-urge-town-to-settle-housing-suit_8fc59161

An Interns View: Unequal Education for All

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

By Rita Iosefson

It’s true. Not every school district on Long Island gets the same funding from New York State. As an elementary education major, my education and sociology classes have exposed me to the large funding gap between school districts. A study conducted at Columbia University Teachers College in 2009 demonstrated the alarming disparities among Long Island’s school districts. Researchers studied five different Long Island school districts, each representing a different demographic, and interviewed 75 school administrators, teachers, students, parents and school board members of these districts.

It is a known fact that resources are more easily diverted to wealthier districts, allowing these systems to offer a wider selection of courses and higher experienced teachers. Students in these districts have a greater chance of moving onto college than students in poorer districts. Poorer districts are challenged to attract better prepared educators and provide other enrichment opportunities.

I went to school in one of the more affluent school districts on Long Island. It is important that I don’t take for granted the opportunities I was given because of where I live. I was able to broadcast on my district funded radio station in high school and I participated in after school activities in middle school. My teachers encouraged me to take advanced classes that would earn me credit towards my bachelor’s degree. These privileges are unavailable to many students within a short driving distance of where I grew up. The Uniondale School District is about a twenty minute drive from my town. This district, along with other disadvantaged school districts on Long Island, has fewer teachers who have earned a master’s degree, as compared to wealthier districts, where 90% of teachers typically have earned a master’s degree.

As a future educator, I would be thankful to teach in a disadvantaged school district, to help bring its reputation up, in hopes of gaining funds from New York State. This is not the same for every aspiring educator, because of district reputations. High income schools, such as Locust Valley and Syosset, spend about $26,000 per student. Low income school districts, such as Roosevelt and Wyandanch, spend about $18,000 per student. This trend exists because lower funded school districts, on average, have to spend more on ESL programs than wealthier districts, leaving fewer funds available for other programs.

I have learned that many students are disadvantaged because their school district is unable to provide the “perks” that others can on our Island. I firmly support the Long Island Progressive Coalition in its efforts to ensure quality education for all of Long Island’s students.

Click here to read more on the study referenced in this post: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news.htm?articleId=7175

 

Dan’s View: An Introduction to Long Island

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

 

Dan Fingus PictureIt has been a fast paced and fun last 3 months that has brought me from my 11 year career in union, political, and community organizing in the Midwest to Long Island. Over these past few months I started a new job as Organizing Director for the LIPC, moved east, pretty far east (I have been told repeatedly) to Medford, and began to get an introduction to Long Island.

Long Island is a different place from the State of Michigan where I have been living since I was 14. In Michigan, we only have one party that attempts to represent progressives, one set of sports teams, and progressive political scene that is far more dominated by Unions than anything else. We also had space, lots of space between cities and towns.

I am really enjoying my education in Long Island; it’s been a fun experience learning the towns, streets and highways by number much more than by name, the Shores, the Forks, and about that little city to the west. I am also learning a lot about the fierce pride in Long Island. Not in any specific town or region, but on the Island as a whole and as a fantastic place with lots of beauty and opportunities, but also as a place that has a lot of challenges.

I am excited by the passion I see for social justice with members and supporters ready to Move Long Island Forward on issues as diverse as affordable housing; equality in education; fair, publicly financed elections; green, sustainable energy; and international trade deals that support the people and not corporations.

I am also excited to continue to meet our supporters, work with other progressive groups doing good work and hopefully getting the opportunity to travel to all the sights and towns I have heard so much about.

As with all new challenges it is all fresh and new and a little bit intimidating, but 2 months into Long Island I am excited for the challenge!

Intern’s View: LIPC is helping me understand the inequalities around us

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Intern’s View: LIPC is helping me understand the inequalities around us

My name is PJ Lydon and I am a senior in LIU POST.  I have been yearning for a calling in my life and I love to try out different things. Presently, I have four jobs and I am taking 18 credits this semester, my senior year.  My major is sociology with a minor in criminal justice.  My professor and I have been searching for the right internship for me since the spring, when I explained to her that I wanted to be able to help people in need.  My professor, knowing of LIPC’s desire to help Long Islanders with programs such as Power Up Communities, helped guide me to this internship.

I have been an intern in LIPC for just a under a month, here, I work Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.  I have been greeted by a wonderful staff and their diligence to the job inspires me, they are quite passionate about being able to help others. My supervisor is John Delaney, the Office Administrator.  Mr. Delaney is quite the well rounded gentleman, he is constantly working on various projects, is a pleasant speaker, as well as an enthusiastic mentor. With Mr. Delaney’s  guidance, I am doing research to help ensure further development of the organization, as well as making phone calls, which is one of the fundamentals of organizing the principles upon which the LIPC was founded upon.

My main goal is to be a College Professor, one who is able to recognize the social inequalities that face many Americans daily. It is a goal of mind to have the ability to have a job working with emerging adults; I truly enjoy working with people, this has led me to volunteer on campus for a program in which I mentor and guide fellow students studying here from aboard.  The youth are the key in solving inequalities, by learning about the different inequalities of intersectionality.

One area I hope to learn more about and research is gangs.  Their social structures fascinate me; in researching different gangs; I could focus on the reasons why people join them, what draws them to this way of life, and learn about what happens when members leave the gang and rejoin society.  I want there to be a sense of justice in our political system and show people with my research that there needs to be more awareness of the consequences of these need to more aware of the consequences of gangs.

I want a vast knowledge of the inequalities that communities face, the LIPC has been able to show me that working as a whole we could slowly eliminate inequalities and help save people’s money and improve the lives of Long Islanders.  My goal is to improve myself one day at a time; I want to grow my mind, body and soul.

Helen Fitzgerald Dies

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

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

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

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.