Monday, January 03, 2005

2005 - The Year of the Community

Happy New Year, members and friends of The Community Alliance

As some of you may already know, the Malvene/West Hempstead Herald has bestowed the honorarium of Person of the Year upon The Community Alliance Co-Chair, Seth Bykofsky. Of course, the year was 2004, so the reign was short-lived, and we’ve been informed that, alas, unlike the Nobel Prize, there is no monetary component.

We make mention of this accolade not for purposes of self-aggrandizement, but rather, to highlight yet again the importance of community organizations – individually, as civic groups, and collectively, under the umbrella of associations such as The Community Alliance – in advancing the many causes we categorize as “quality of life.”

To be sure, we have kept the issue of illegal accessory apartments front and center. We must, in the coming year, resolve to advance the cause through constant vigilance, persistently nudging both neighbor and officialdom toward compliance. The weapons necessary to eradicate the epidemic of the illegal rental are now in hand. Let us ensure that these tools are used effectively.

At the same time, let us resolve to find practical solutions to the other compelling issues that plague community. Here at The Community Alliance, we stand resolute and determined in the endeavor to bring affordable housing to Long Island. We are resolved to keep the pressure on State, County and Town government to give Long Islanders true property tax relief, this in the form of fundamental change in the way revenues are raised for our schools and our local services. We are resolved to assure that every child in every village and hamlet receives educational opportunities second-to-none, in an environment that is conducive to learning and free of the threat of gangs, of drugs, of intimidation of any kind. We are resolved that our streets will be safer, that our sidewalks will be cleaner, that local ordinances will be enforced, and that no community will be left behind.

In essence, The Community Alliance resolves to make 2005 the Year of the Community – your community and ours – a year during which our quality of life here on Long Island is not only secured, but vastly improved.

We look forward to working with our friends and neighbors through the local civic associations and community groups, to strengthening our partnership with State, County and Town government, and to forging new alliances as we move forward with vivacity, with renewed enthusiasm, and with that passion for advocacy that benefits all of us on this wonderful island we call home.

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