Written by Maryann Sinclair Slutsky Friday, 13 April 2012 00:00
Last year, my son decided to leave his bachelor life behind. He moved in with his longtime girlfriend – now fiancée! – packed up his apartment in New York City, and bought a house back in the Glen Head neighborhood where we raised him. I couldn’t have been happier.
As you know, he’s the exception. Hordes of young people are leaving Long Island and not coming back: a lack of jobs, affordable housing, and entertainment are luring them away: to Brooklyn and Queens, to other parts of the country, and to strange places like Manhattan.
The numbers are unsettling. From 1990 to 2007, the number of native born Long Islanders in prime working age (20-34) decreased by 222,000, or 39 percent, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute. Normally we would depend on these young people to start businesses, raise families, and pay taxes – but they’re just not here.
What’s keeping Long Island from becoming a ghost town is this: immigrants. Immigrants are coming to Long Island from countries around the world – Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America – to follow the American Dream, strengthening our communities and growing our economy. During the same period I mentioned before, the number of foreign born people in prime working age on Long Island grew by 40,400.
That’s been a boon to our troubled economy – as those workers are paying taxes, serving as customers for existing businesses and creating their own businesses, and making Long Island a culturally richer place.
But while immigrant communities have buoyed the Long Island economy, our policies aren’t serving those residents.
One small but important example is state funding for college. Many children of immigrants aren’t eligible for New York State tuition assistance. It doesn’t matter if you were brought to the U.S. as a child, if you grew up here, went to high school here, or if this is the only country you’ve ever known. You’re not eligible.
The New York DREAM Act would change this, making it possible for the estimated 5,500 undocumented students in New York to access state aid. It wouldn’t solve the bigger problem – that there needs to be a way for these students to earn citizenship– but for these talented young people, it’s a sign of hope.
But it’s not just good for the students themselves. It’s a low-cost way to make a serious investment in our future. Students who are bright and committed enough to go to college and interested in staying here will have the means to do so.
When I think about the future of Long Island, I think about my son, and I’m thrilled to have him close by. But I also think of all the other mothers whose kids might stick around thanks to the stronger Long Island the DREAM Act would help create. Let’s make it happen.
Maryann Sinclair Slutsky is the executive director of Long Island Wins, a nonprofit organization that promotes practical immigration solutions that work for everyone, rooted in respect and dignity for all. Visit its website at www.LongIsland Wins.com.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:00
A North Massapequa family continues to send out massive seasons greetings this year with an array of twinkling lights, carolers, reindeer and even Santa himself — all in an effort to raise some funds and the Christmas spirit.
This is not the first year the Oemcke house at 186 N. Syracuse Ave. has kept the block well lit during the holiday season. Steve and Carrie Oemcke have always had an affinity for Christmas decorations, but they kicked the yuletide into high gear about three years ago and have expanded their display exponentially with each Christmas.
Saturday, 14 December 2013 00:00
The chef was busy sautéing onions, mushrooms and peppers while his sous chef prepared the wild salmon with a mustard Dijon’s and a panko topping. A few hours earlier the same team was busy inserting a lifesaving stent into a man’s heart. Dr. Kevin Marzo, aka the cardiac chef who is the chief of cardiology at Winthrop University Hospital along with his physician assistant Joe Dardano were preparing a special meal for a very discriminating audience, teenagers.
Last Wednesday evening at the beautiful demo kitchen located at Hampton Major Appliances in Garden City, the space donated by owner Frank Ingraldi, Dr. Marzo and his team consisting of Dardano and the marketing department of Winthrop University Hospital, Diane Bachor and Courtney Seck were preparing a gluten free meal for the Explorer’s Club. Forty students, the majority from Massapequa High School and some from Manhasset, Jericho and Garden City attended the event.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
It was an exciting and well deserved evening for the Massapequa Volleyball girls varsity team and their coach at the Nassau County Volleyball Coaches Association awards dinner. The team worked very hard this year, achieving more than expected as a Cinderella team.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Chris Mammone of Massapequa, who saw his four year winning streak broken in 2012, started a new one this year with a strong 15:32 finish to win the 21st annual New York Blood Services Rob’s Run, a 5 Kilometer cross country race held through Stillwell Woods in Woodbury. Mammone’s performance headed up the team championship win for the Bellmore Striders.