New York State recently agreed to pass the Climate and Community Protection Act, a bill that will ensure all the state’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2050. Many climate activists fought for this bill, including members of the local group, Long Island Progressive Coalition.

While climate and energy are important to LIPC, this is just one of many issues the organization focuses on. They are self-described as “A grassroots community-based organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development, revitalizing local communities, enhancing human dignity, creating effective democracy, and achieving economic, social, and racial justice.”

This month, we’re shining a spotlight on the Long Island Progressive Coalition, so you can learn more about what the group stands for.

Worker-Owned Businesses

Business Negotiation Economic inequality is another issue LIPC is taking on, and it’s doing so with the help of a $20,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation. These funds will go toward promoting worker cooperatives, where employees have a stake in the direction of a business, as well as sharing its profits.

There are examples of this model working all over the world. King Arthur Flour, for instance, used to be a family-owned business. Now, its ownership is shared by all 325 of its workers.

Many locally owned businesses are owned by Baby Boomers who are looking to retire. LIPC sees this as an opportunity for them to sell their businesses to the employees instead of shutting their doors forever.

Education

LIPC is also a member of the organization, The Alliance for Quality Education. This statewide movement works to reduce inequality in New York’s public schools.

Low-income areas—which tend to house more students of color—often get shortchanged with lower amounts of school funding. This means they don’t have the resources to provide a quality education, which in turn makes it harder for these underprivileged students to find poverty relief.

This community-based organization seeks to change that with a multifaceted approach. Its educational reform platform fights for things like:

  • Environmental Education Culturally responsive education that serves the state’s diverse population
  • A positive school climate that’s free from discrimination and bullying
  • Increased teacher diversity to improve student/teacher relations
  • Sustainable community schools that focus on community engagement
  • Childcare and pre-kindergarten support across the state
  • State financial aid for undocumented students via the New York State DREAM Act

Election Reform

New York City has taken steps to publicly fund its elections as a way to reduce the role wealthy corporations play in politics. Meanwhile, the rest of the state lags behind when it comes to election reform, even with the need for fair elections.

LIPC wants to ensure everyone has a fair say in politics. That’s why it works on a campaign for fair elections, which focuses on reform in four key areas:

  1. Getting NYC’s publicly funded election system adopted statewide.
  2. Decreasing election contribution limits
  3. Ending pay-to-play by preventing contributions from contractors and lobbyists
  4. Increasing election transparency and accountability

How to Get Involved

If you want to help create a more sustainable and economically just Long Island, connect with Long Island Progressive Coalition on Facebook. From the group’s page, you can sign up to receive action alerts, find out about upcoming events, and more.

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