The Biggest Little Committee You've Never Heard Of

by

Published For The Corridor

MidSummer Arts

There are a lot of little niceties on Long Island that we all take for granted. Like Republic Airport, and the open HOV lane during non-rush hours. Action Long Island’s enviable record of achievement is due to the motivation and imagination of our members. They are clearly dedicated to a common purpose to maintain and improve the quality of life on Long Island for themselves, their families and their businesses. This volunteer membership, dedicated to a common purpose, has a remarkable history of being an unstoppable force.

In 1980, when Action Long Island was created, it tackled a single mission, to keep Republic Airport open. From this, a model plan emerged, followed by the FAA for local commuter airports across the nation, and just as important, a group of dedicated volunteers with broader vision.

With deep roots in transportation, ALI went on to widen NYS Route 110, gain Interstate designation for the LIE (which made it eligible for Federal funding), opened the LIE HOV lane for all drivers during the non peak hours, and, working closely with our NYS Legislators, helped create the mechanism for road construction at night.

ALI went to Washington and brought back the money for the Heavy Ion Project at Brookhaven National Labs, created the first inter-municipal recycling programs, established a program to take batteries out of the waste stream, and, with students from Ward Melville High School proved the economic and scientific viability of municipal ash (Project Ashphalt) as a highway paving material. The students went on to win a Westinghouse Science award for their project, and a 1st place U.S. Department of Energy Award.

In 1992, as an “Educational experience”, in conjunction with seven school districts and over seven hundred high school students, ALI studied the viability of statehood for Long Island. When the students reported at the state “Convention” held at Farmingdale High School, the results strongly pointed toward statehood for Long Island.

Whether ALI targets the areas of energy, environment, economy, education, housing, economic development, healthcare, or others, we have always enjoyed the benefit of close alliances with our elected officials. ALI has always benefited from the unbounded energy of our dedicated members who represent the business, labor, education, governmental and civic communities. These volunteers recognize our ability to affect positive change for all Long Islanders.

As we move forward we have a very challenging agenda: The Housing Task Force is working on housing for young adults, and appropriately situated higher density residential units; Healthcare has developed a position paper to be presented to our elected officials relating to asked for legislation to promote wellness and contain healthcare costs; Transportation is working with NYSDOT to cost effectively and expeditiously improve our road network, and with the LIRR to build the second track to Ronkonkoma, reopen the Republic Airport Train Station, and an innovative future for the LIRR; Environmental and Energy is working to contain energy costs and clean the air, has an improved model for LIPA, and they are also working with our Congressional delegation to find additional funds to improve the sewer capacity; Small Business and Economic Development is moving forward to improve the current lending environment and create additional sources of capital for small businesses. While the agenda is ambitious, these projects are only an example of what is currently underway.

It is our deep belief that we are here today to write the history of Long Island, called upon by the future to take action. We are willing to accept the responsibility that we are all part of the challenges we are now confronted with, and we invite you to join us in finding solutions. With your personal support ALI will continue to achieve goals and objectives that appear, at the outset, to be impossible.

Mr. Sackstein is the Director of Action Long Island and a CPA in his own practice. He can be reached at ALI Headquarters, 945 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville. 631.425.2700.

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