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On the Environment

On the Environment

General Overview

 Upon taking office, we will begin to put together a Climate Action Plan similar to the ones adopted by other towns. (See East Hampton’s here.) Input will be sought out from the town’s various departments, the environmental council, local environmental groups, and all interested citizens.

Cleaning Our Bay
Our bay is sick, and nitrogen is the main culprit. As Supervisor, I will end the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers on all town-owned properties and work with local environmental groups to help get the word out to home-owners about the role our lawn care plays in polluting the Bay.
While the cost of sewering is too much for the Town to take on alone, I will use my position as Supervisor to advocate for increased sewering projects with our county, state, and federal representatives to help bring sewers to all of Islip. Additionally, it is important that increased sewering does not come with increased population density, as that will neutralize the benefit.
I will also introduce a tree planting program, wherein we plant native trees that will help retain water to help alleviate our storm water run-off problem. This program will be focused on areas that are unsewered and along our creeks and waterways for maximum effect.

Clean Energy
We will install solar panels on town-owned buildings and properties where possible. 
When purchasing new vehicles for the town’s fleet, we will begin to purchase electric vehicles where cost effective.
We will be aggressive in pursuing state and federal grant monies for clean energy initiatives. The current administration has fallen behind while other towns on Long Island have taken advantage of these programs.

Apprenticeship Program

As we continue to roll out our policy plans for a concrete way to preserve Islip, for now and future generations, today we're going to touch on our labor policy.
The Town of Islip cannot grow without sustainable, smart building projects and developments. However, alongside growth, we must consider the importance of organized labor that has been protected by American unions for well over a hundred years. Unions make our economy stronger and support the workers who built Long Island. Unions provide well-paying jobs with good benefits and improve the quality of life for their members. Attempts to reverse Long Island’s “brain drain,” the exodus of our younger generations from their hometowns, must involve expanding the pool of available careers that can support a family. Unions provide these careers, and, increasingly, young people are drawn to these jobs, avoiding the high cost of college and finding purpose in a craft or trade.
Yet, currently, Islip is the only town on Long Island that does not have an apprenticeship law. This is shameful, and, when elected, my team and I will enact the following apprenticeship regulation:

Climate Change

The crisis of climate change is already manifesting in myriad ways, from extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy to the heat wave this summer that brought Islip’s heat index to over 110 degrees. Due to its geography, Long Island will be increasingly susceptible to the impact of climate change over time. Obviously, we cannot turn back the climate clock by ourselves, but, just as obviously, there are things the Town of Islip must do to address this crisis that the current administration is failing at. Our town needs leadership dedicated to both preparing for increasingly extreme weather events and alleviating as much already existing damage as possible through enacting smart policy.

Transparency & Accessibility

A well-functioning government must be transparent in how it conducts business and spends taxpayer money, readily available in responding to constituent needs, and accountable to its residents alone. It shouldn’t require a FOIL request or a deep dive through Newsday’s archives to discover how the Town Council voted on an issue. Town hall meetings shouldn’t be held at times that make it impossible for working residents to attend.

Community Development Agency (CDA)

Today, as we continue to talk tangible ways to address the challenges facing our community, I'm going to talk about the CDA.
The Town of Islip’s Community Development Agency (CDA) has two roles: it assists low and moderate income residents through housing and public service programs and it works to eliminate blighted and deteriorated conditions in the Town's neighborhoods and commercial districts.

Affordable 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.

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