Long Islanders lobby for funding in Albany
A group of local activists calling itself the Long Island Coalition met with lawmakers in Albany Monday to lobby for funding on behalf of the Island.
The coalition?s two dozen members urged Gov. David Paterson?s top staff members, Long Island?s two Democratic state senators and Albany leadership for a fair share of state and federal stimulus dollars. Proclaiming Monday the first Long Island Lobby Day, they say their goal is to improve Long Island's quality of life and the economy.
The coalition is calling for money to upgrade sewers, improve roads and transportation, housing for the needy, new energy sources, debt relief from the defunct Shoreham plant and small business tax relief.
"Long Island is one community, one island [that] is now speaking with one voice,? says Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens? Campaign for Environment.
Mineola Mayor Jack Martins (R) says the coalition is putting the region ahead of party in a bi-partisan effort. However, state Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Freeport) is not convinced Albany?s New York City-bias will be tempered.
Coalition members say their agenda is daunting, but entirely practical. The legislative session ends in two weeks.