A big thanks to all our recent fundraisers!
A big thanks to all our recent fundraisers!
AFFORDABLE WORKFORCE HOUSING
Long Island is dealing with an affordable housing crisis and the Town of Islip must take a lead in addressing it. Housing costs are driving families away from Long Island, forcing them to leave their hometowns and start lives in more affordable locations like North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. This crisis is cross-generational: both retirees and young people struggle to afford living on Long Island. As a result, Suffolk County’s population is falling, even as the population of our country grows. Outside of the human toll inflicted by unaffordable housing, the decline in population it leads to comes with economic consequences.
Fewer residents will result in measurable decreases in real estate tax revenue, a reduction of qualified employees in the labor pool for local businesses and the Town of Islip, a reduction in the consumer base for existing businesses, and fewer opportunities for new businesses. Despite some big talk, our local government has thus far offered very few tangible solutions.
If we want Islip to succeed in the coming decades, we must face this crisis now. Going forward, development projects must be enacted thoughtfully, with consideration to affordability and the infrastructure needs of the involved communities. Instead of approving more luxury apartment rentals, which are beyond the financial reach of the average Long Islander, we need to build additional affordable housing that respects the density of existing communities. Smart, affordable housing not only helps preserve our community for future generations, but strengthens our community today.
Affordable WORKFORCE housing shall be defined as housing which costs no more than one-third of the median family income in the affected zip code. New development projects proposed in the Town of Islip which contain more than 10 units will be required to offer 30% of said units as affordable workforce housing for different income levels, from senior citizens, to teacher’s aides, to nurses, to teachers and to law enforcement officers, so they could all afford to live in our Town. For every additional 5% of eligible units made affordable, the developers of the property will be eligible for tax rebates and/or abatements.
Developers will also receive incentives for projects that use smart growth planning, like prioritizing walkability and access to our trains and downtowns. We must also preserve the character of each community where an existing or new housing development is proposed.
New developments seeking a zoning change to increase density must have 50% of the units as affordable workforce housing, ensuring that the character of the community where it is being proposed is preserved.
We will also offer a streamlined permit process to applicants over 55 years of age, who intend to modify a section of their house for rental purposes as an affordable workforce housing unit (as defined in this release) in an owner-occupied premise. Said permits will not exceed 10% of the total housing in any hamlet and will consider the income of the applicant so as to ensure that this policy benefits primarily those who need it. This will permit older residents to stay in their homes longer while providing low rent units to younger generations.
The Town will tighten regulations regarding zombie and long foreclosed homes and penalize the current owners and/or financial institutions for permitting these properties to fall into disrepair. The Town shall review tax payment records, move to assume ownership of properties whose owners have not paid taxes, and will target young families to turn these vacant houses into thriving homes. For nearly a decade these homes have sat vacant, serving as a blight on our community. At the same time young people were moving away because of housing prices. Through our action targeting these homes, we can clean up our communities and provide the housing that is needed for a new generation of Islip Residents.
Individuals or families who purchase these zombie or long foreclosed homes will also be eligible for a streamlined permit process in order to create an affordable workforce rental unit as an affordable workforce housing unit (as defined in this release) in owner-occupied premises. Said permits will not exceed 10% of the total housing in any hamlet and will consider the income of the applicant so as to ensure that this policy benefits primarily those who need it.
Further, basement apartments shall be legal so long as they conform to building code, which we will implement, which will require two exits and appropriate window sizes.
These policies will increase the amount of affordable workforce housing units in Islip, and increase access to them, helping retirees, families, and young people stay and thrive in our town.
Our communities in the Islip Town Council District One (ITCD1) comprehended by North Bay Shore, Brentwood, and a strip of Central Islip have a long record of neglect by the local town board. The Roberto Clemente Park illegal dumping in 2014 of more than 40,000 tons of toxic solid waste, and the Omni Recycling Brentwood Rail Transfer Station (OBRT) proposal show us that the present Islip Town government does not care about the environment for our residents in ITCD1.
Roberto Clemente Park clean up and overhaul has not been completed to this day. On December 20, 2016, a two-million-dollar grant for the rebuilt of the spray park section was announced (https://www.facebook.com/townofislip/posts/1227640507282443). The spray park is still pending its opening. On December 5, 2018, the skate park construction was announced ( https://www.sweetimpact.com/2018/12/05/robert-clemente-park/?v=7516fd43adaa ). The skating rink’s construction has not even started as of March 2021. Completion of the clean up and overhaul at Roberto Clemente Park was scheduled for the autumn of 2018. Election for Supervisor and two town board members was in 2019 and during its campaign, all three elected officials promised to finish completely Roberto Clemente Park renovation. It is 2021 and another election for two town board members for council district 1 and 2 will take place, yet Roberto Clemente Park has not been completed.
OBRT proposed recycling of solid waste site is located at 80 Emjay Blvd, Brentwood. The only access to this site is through Crooked Hill Road from RT495 in the north and Fifth Avenue from Sunrise highway in the south. Then trucks have to use Suffolk Avenue or any other residential street in the area, please see map above.
OBRT proposes a minimum of 1,200 tons of solid waste and debris to be processed daily, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., 6 days a week; an estimated minimum of 28 trucks per hour, peaking at 35 trucks per hour, will roll in to the facility.
The negative impact that this heavy truck traffic will generate is immeasurable from pedestrian and vehicular safety to air pollution and aquifer contamination.
NO contingent plan has been presented to deal with air pollution generated from truck emissions and garbage decomposition. Our aquifers will also be contaminated with chemical residuals that both solid waste and debris generate along with garbage breaking down, if no plan to protect them are implemented. This is bad for Brentwood, North Bay Shore, and Central Islip.
The ONLY solution to minimize pedestrian and vehicular traffic exposure to danger is converting the section on Sagtikos Parkway, between RT 495 and Southern State Parkway, in to an expressway, connecting RT 495 and constructing a ramp onto 80 Emjay Blvd. However, this alternate pass way requires involving federal, state, and county authorities denying its prompt approval, making its implementation much less likely.
In order to end this type of systematic abuse, I, as your councilman, will fight for the community in the following manner: establish a permanent office within ITCD1 that will be open in hours that are convenient for our constituents so that they can voice, propose, and get information of vital importance. In addition, invite and create strategic partnerships with community organizations and local businesses that will bring their concerns and be empowered in the decision making of all related issues. Businesses and community working together guarantees a steady economic growth and betterment of quality of life.
The United States is undergoing a “Diversity Explosion.” Race is again a contentious topic in the U.S., as shown by the divisive rise of Donald Trump and the activism of Black Lives Matter (BLM). Yet Diversity Explosion argues that the current period of profound racial change will lead to a less-divided nation than today’s older whites or younger minorities fear. Prominent demographer William Frey sees America’s emerging diversity boom as good news for a country that would otherwise face declining growth and rapid aging for many years to come.* To put this in perspective for our Town of Islip, now is the appropriate time to exploit Diversity Explosion for the benefit of the minority communities of North Bay Shore, Brentwood, and Central Islip. The purpose of these initiatives is to dramatically improve the economic well-being of our low income people quickly. Priority must be given to small and micro business owners.
As a small business owner and President of the Salvadoran American Chamber of Commerce, I know the strengths and needs of our community. An active business participation will increase revenue and economic growth in the North-Western part of the Town of Islip. This is why I intend to create year around events that will promote economic growth and the needed revenue for the Town of Islip.
In Amy Liu’s paper(ⱡ) on economic development lists the following points of essence:
1 The Work Must be Urgent, Visible and Iterative
2 There Must be an Intentionality as to Race and Inclusiveness
3 Efforts Must be Networked and Evolving with High Capacity Institutions
Because of the above mentioned essentials, and to ensure success of these initiatives, strategic partnerships with the Salvadoran American Chamber of Commerce, the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce must be established, and any other chamber of commerce interested in promoting micro, small, and diverse businesses.
MARKETPLACE AT ROBERTO CLEMENTE PARK & CLAYTON STREET FIELD
This initiative is to have a marketplace at the Roberto Clemente Park every weekend, beginning on Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, ending during the Hispanic Heritage month. It will start on Friday evenings and end on Sunday evenings with cultural events on both instances; either ethnic group dances and or musical groups.
Business owners will preregister for participation on the marketplace, for a nominal fee that will entitle them to a designated space for the weekend.
BRENTWOOD & CENTRAL ISLIP MARKET PLACE
This initiative is indoors where La Espiguita Hall, or similar, will hold this event on weekends during the day. At night, different cultural events will take place if availability permits. This will begin after the Columbus Day holiday through the weekend before Memorial Day weekend.
STREAMLINING OF PERMITS
Unfortunately, our Islip Town Building Department takes too long in the permit process for delis, pizzerias, restaurants of Hispanic ownership. This might be because of the lack of understanding of the rules and regulations on the part of the applicants. To expedite and avoid unnecessary delays the permit process, we must empower our local chambers of commerce to assist small business owners to get guidance and complete the necessary documentation before submitting a permit to the Building Department. Once submitted, the town must streamline such permit minimizing the wait time and begin operation as soon as possible.
*Diversity Explosion by William H. Frey
(ⱡ)Remaking Economic Development, The Markets and Civics of Continuous Growth and Prosperity by Amy Liu
*POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE*
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