Long Island Lobby Coalition meeting with members of the Senate in Albany during the fifth annual Long Island Lobby Day
The Long Island Lobby Coalition formed in 2009 in response to political chaos in Albany that put politics first and public service second. The groups in the growing coalition represent over 50 Long Island businesses, environmental groups, civics, human services, Smart Growth planners, labor groups and transportation advocates. Lead members include:
American Communities Institute at Dowling College
Citizens Campaign for the Environment
Empire State Future
Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce
Long Island Business Council
Long Island Federation of Labor
Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Long Island Software and Technology Network
Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Vision Long Island
In 2013, the coalition updated its platform from the original five critical issue areas to include one on Superstorm Sandy impacts. The six issues are "Transportation," "Energy and Environment," "Sewage & Infrastructure," "Small Business, Jobs & Economic Development," "Human Services," and "Post Sandy Recovery." In the coalition's fifth year, over 50 organizations signed onto its platform, and over 40 groups attended the annual Lobby Day in Albany.
The 2013 Long Island Lobby Day
The 2013 Long Island Lobby Day began with a meeting with five of the Long Island Senators: Ken LaValle, Charles Fuschillo, Kemp Hannon, Jack Martins, and Carl Marcellino. Under the leadership of CCE's executive director and Vision Long Island, the group presented its platform and received positive feedback on many of its issues. From there, the group met with fourteen Assembly members in a meeting hosted by Assemblyman Sweeney. The coalition ended the day with a meeting with the Governor's staff.
In 2013, several hot issues on the platform included sewage infrastructure funding, a push for renewable energy, and continued efforts to improve mass transportation options. The American Communities Institute at Dowling College provided a solid list of action items suggested by small businesses. Community members from areas hit hard by Superstorm Sandy were there to stress the importance of getting assistance to the communities that are still struggling to rebuild and rebound from the storm.
The group has one formal annual meeting in Albany, but member organizations continue throughout the year to advocate for specific agenda items. The coalition looks forward to working with Long Island's elected leaders to move these issues to the forefront over the next few months. Advancing these keystone issues will allow us to protect the Long Island that we love while ensuring that we continue to move forward with smart planning and renewable energy.
The Coalition has had several significant victories:
- The Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act was signed into law in August 2010. This legislation will help prioritize infrastructure investments in town centers and existing downtowns. The Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Priority Act (A8011B/S5560B) instructs State agencies, authorities, and public corporations to align their spending on infrastructure with stated Smart Growth criteria. Many of these agencies must form advisory committees that include environmental and community stakeholders in order to advise them on public infrastructure investments in accordance with Smart Growth principles. The agencies are further instructed to issue written Smart Growth Impact Statements in regard to their project choices, which includes providing justifications for projects deemed vital that do not meet Smart Growth criteria. It "requires such infrastructure investments, to the extent practicable, to meet the criteria."
- The Child Safe Playing Fields Act (A. 7937a –Englebright / S. 4983a –Foley) was signed into law in May 2010. Pesticides are used outdoors at most schools in New York State, even with no evidence of need. To help protect our kids, this legislation bans non-essential pesticides on outdoor school grounds in schools K-12 and daycare facilities. The growing body of peer reviewed scientific evidence indicates that pesticide exposure can lead to serious long-term and short-term adverse health impacts, especially for children. There is clear science showing that pests and weeds can be successfully managed with readily available and affordable non-toxic alternatives.
- Complete Streets (S.5411 – Fuschillo / A.8366 – Gantt): In 2011, legislators signed a law making NY's Streets Greener and Safer with Complete Streets. The Complete Streets legislation will encourage the design of roads that promote safe access for walking and biking in local communities. The bill is essential to creating smarter, more sustainable communities, encouraging alternative modes of transportation, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and preventing pollution.
- Sewage Pollution Right to Know Bill (A.10585A Sweeney / S.6268D Grisanti): The bill was passed by the legislature on the final day of the 2012 session. This act will finally give the public the right to know when raw or partially treated sewage is discharged into New York waters, allowing the public to avoid unnecessary exposure to dangerous sewage pollution. Sewage overflows occur throughout NY. They contaminate beaches, bays, rivers, lakes, and streams; and can flood streets and back up into homes or other buildings. Members of the public can often be seen recreating in areas that have recently been contaminated with sewage because they are simply unaware. This law will educate the public and allow them to make informed decisions on the use of recreational waters in New York State.
Adrienne with Senator Ken LaValle
Working hard to get sewer infrastructure and renewable energy on Long Island!
Updated by tbono 2/28/13