Nassau Voters Call for Action on Minimum Wage, School Funding at Westbury Forum



Press Contacts:

Steve McFarland (English & Spanish), Long Island Civic Engagement Table steve.mcfarland@maketheroadny.org516-336-0259
Maryann Sinclair Slutsky (English), Long Island Wins, mslutsky@longislandwins.com516-506-3505

Nassau Voters Call for Action on Minimum Wage, School Funding at Westbury Forum

State Senate forum, attended by Haber, demonstrates growing voter engagement from immigrants and communities of color 

WESTBURY — One summer soccer program suffers because over half its students require remedial summer classes. A working father struggles to pay the rising costs of rent while supporting his immigrant family. The stories were as diverse as the room of over 60 community members at the "Yes We Can" Community Center here on Thursday night, all calling for strong leadership on a slate of progressive reforms proposed in the state legislature. [Photos available here.]

The non-partisan forum – the first in a two-part series co-hosted by the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, Noticia, and Long Island Wins, will be followed by a Brentwood forum on October 22nd. Speakers at the event called for widespread voter turnout this election from Senate District 7's large population of voters of color, and featured a question and answer session with candidate Adam Haber, covering a range of issues.

Make the Road New York member Miguel Angel Jimenez said, "We are immigrants. We come to this country for a dream and work to support our families, but the minimum wage of $8.25 is exploitation. That's why we need to raise the wage, to be able to support our families and help our communities grow."

Diane Goins, chapter president of New York Communities for Change, said, "This election needs to be about the issues that affect working families in Long Island. Residents in neighborhoods like Westbury and new cases want their candidates to talk about raising wages and improving our public schools."

"Immigrants and voters of color are the engine of growth in Nassau County, and this Senate District is a perfect example of that change," said Steve McFarland, Coordinator of the Long Island Civic Engagement Table. "Issues like the minimum wage and school funding really matter to working class voters, and they will be turning out at the polls this November to make their voices heard. We're proud to have co-hosted this bilingual forum, and to be part of this growing movement."

"Tonight's forum was a great opportunity to hear about key issues facing Long Island voters," said Maryann Slutsky, Executive Director of Long Island Wins. "Forums like this are a good reminder that the elections this November will have a direct effect on the lives of voters and the communities they live in."

"Long Island Senators are a critical voting block in legislation that impact communities of color in the State of New York. Candidates' positions on key issues must be publicly shared to all voters and allow an educated electorate to decide who will best represent their interests in Albany," says Lucia Gomez, Executive Director of La Fuente. "If we are to move forward in this state, the days in which name recognition and partisan affiliation alone dictate the outcome of these seats must be put to rest.  Candidates must respond and listen to the concerns of all voters in their district, and this must be a prerequisite, not an option."

“The NYIC is committed to expanding opportunities for immigrant communities across New York State to be civically engaged in local government," said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. "We are excited to be part of this work on Long Island that is lifting up diverse community voices and empowering immigrants to advocate for issues that are important to them."