Written by Steve Mosco, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.”
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
With kids today obsessed with all the latest electronic gaming gadgets — the Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, and the like — you’d think that the comparatively antiquated concept of pushing a piece of plastic along a sheet of cardboard would be eschewed by your average teenager; however, judging by the crowd of kids at the Massapequa Public Library’s Board Game Café, this actually may not be the case.
Young Adult Services librarian Peter Cirona, who created the Board Game Café at the library’s Central Avenue branch (in addition to a whole host of other young adult programs), said that it’s a great way for kids to socialize and play some classic board games in a fun and friendly environment.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal pannel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards. Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
Outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites High School graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:47
One of Major League Soccer’s top front office executives has many fond memories of growing up in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Bill Manning, the President of Western Conference champion Real Salt Lake and the club’s field, Rio Tinto Stadium, played for the LIJSL Select Team from 1979 to ‘83 as well as the Massapequa Soccer Club from 1972 to ‘83.
Manning’s Massapequa teams had virtually the same players from Under-10 to Under-19, but kept changing their name depending on who their coach was. He played for the Massapequa Flying Dutchmen (coached by Kurt Knoblauch), the Massapequa Bugs (Dick Roche), the Massapequa Cosmos (Jerry Lyons) and the Massapequa Bulls (coached by his father, also named Bill Manning). The Bulls might have lost in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Open Cup finals to B/W Gottschee in overtime in 1983, but his teams won the LIJSL division championship in 1974, ‘76 and ‘79 plus the Long Island Cup in 1980 and ‘83.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:58
If the games were played on paper, Massapequa would’ve had no shot. The Chiefs faced a tall order last week playing Elmont, which boasted a 12-3 record and four premier scorers. They gave a tremendous effort, but ultimately had their season cut short, 69-62, despite Alex Cosenza leading the scoring with 29 points.
“I can’t ask for anything else from these guys,” said Head Coach Matt Voigt. “I am so proud of them. I applaud their efforts,”