Written by Steve Mosco, email@example.com Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00
Social change rarely comes out of an elected politician’s office without a little prodding from the wide end of a protestor’s megaphone.
Gentle prodding is the standard operating procedure of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, a grassroots community organization in Massapequa. Born on the eve of the Reagan administration in 1979, the coalition, a collection of citizen activists, seeks to be a voice of opposition to social and environmental injustice.
“Our hope, the progressive hope, is to find and endorse candidates, no matter the party, who have democratic justice in their hearts,” said Lisa Tyson, the director of LIPC. “It matters who is elected and that is why we endorse. The ideal politician is someone we never have to call.”
Most elected officials can expect a call from the LIPC on any number of issues including education, affordable housing, government efficiency, energy, sustainable development and fair elections, the latter of which Tyson said involves flushing the influence of special interest lobbyists from the decision-making process in government.
Tyson said the LIPC works to inform and involve citizens to elect strong-willed politicians who will not bend easily to influence.
“Elections are the one day every two to four years that elected officials need something from the community,” she said. “We beg them to vote for legislation we need, but Election Day is the one day we have the power over them and they need us.”
The LIPC is stationed on Pennsylvania Avenue in a house donated to the organization in 1994 by longtime Massapequa activist Katharine Smith. Smith, an early supporter of civil rights in the 1960s and champion of numerous social movements, was active until her death in 1997 at the age of 104.
One of the Coalition’s recent rallies surely would have made the spry Smith proud. Early in June, the LIPC led a rally in front of Senator Dean Skelos’ office in Rockville Center. The goal was to prod the Senate into voting on the Women’s Equality Act as one piece of legislation, rather than 10 separate pieces.
“Having separate pieces allows them to single out reproductive rights and vote against it,” said Tyson, adding that the bill never passed because the senate did not vote on the reproductive part of the legislation. “A vote against reproductive rights takes us backwards. And we can’t survive if we’re going backwards.”
Tyson would like to see Long Island, and New York State at large, continue to move forward in all social aspects, including who is voted into office.
“We need more women and more people of color in office,” she said. “We need to change the status quo of governing because the status quo is not working.”
Tyson said the LIPC welcomes volunteers and concerned citizens who wish to learn more about what they can do.
“We’ve come a long way but we could be doing a lot better,” she said. “We might get kicked, we might lose, but we are always going to come back, change our strategy if we have to, and keep going.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
For the first time in its history, the Massapequa High School Mock Trial Team was invited to hone its skills at Harvard University’s High School Training Seminar. The seminar offers a range of basic and advanced classes that better position teams to win state and national competitions.
Participants — seniors Rebecca Girardin, Jenna Petrungaro, Christie Flanders, Cameron Wunderlin, Justin Jakubowski and juniors Selin Solen, Jeremy Wiss, Griffin Konen, Emily O’Leary, Nicole Feeley, Nicolle Dananberg, Taylor DelValle, Jillian Prystupa and Katie McMahon — called the experience, “amazing.”
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 10:58
These days, raising kids is rougher and tougher than ever — sometimes parents just need a break. And when that break is beaconing, both new parents and old pros look to the ever-reliable babysitter to provide a few hours respite from the many duties of caring for children.
However, parents often have a difficult time locating an honest, trustworthy and reliable babysitter in a pinch. But the Massapequa Public Library’s Babysitter Job Fair aimed to remedy this problem.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With the Nassau County title on the line, junior kicker Zach Kolodny was the most composed player on the field. With time expiring, he booted the game-winning kick to send the Farmingdale Dalers into the Long Island Championship with a 29-26 victory over the Massapequa Chiefs.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Kolodny. “I was confident from the beginning that I would make the kick,” he added. “We practice this every day.”
The game featured a bevy of twists and took on a completely different feel in the fourth quarter than it did for the first three quarters.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
It was a historic day for the Chiefs as both the boys and girls varsity soccer teams capped the season with state championship titles. The win was the first state championship for the boys, who defeated Fairport, 1-0 at SUNY Cortland and the fifth for the girls, who beat North Rockland, 2-1 in Middletown, New York.
The winning goal for the boys team was scored by sophomore Dylan Nealis, who just the day before scored the winning goal in the AA state semifinal.