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May 16th, 2013In recent months, New York suffered a black eye from the all-too-familiar one-two punch of public corruption.
We saw several New York politicians arrested, indicted, and/or convicted. Most of them are accused of illegally exchanging money in return for promising to provide improper influence.
These alleged transgressions have become far too common in New York State - 32 New York officials have been indicted, convicted or censured in the last seven years, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group.
So, what's a concerned electorate to do?
Fortunately, some of BALCONY's influential members have recently released reform proposals that have received considerable media attention.
Click HERE for details.
Top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes Director to Headline New York Diabetes Summit
May 14th, 2013
Dr. Ann Albright, Ph.D., RD, Director of the Division of Diabetes Translation, CDC
The Institute For Leadership (IFL) and the Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY) jointly announced that nationally recognized diabetes expert Dr. Ann Albright known for her work on models of care in community clinics and leading national type 2 diabetes prevention efforts will serve as the keynote speaker at the inaugural New York Diabetes Summit on May 16th.
Dr. Albright, Ph.D., RD, is director of the Division of Diabetes Translation for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Albright is well-known for her work in diabetes including the implementation of evidence-based diabetes care guidelines and development of public awareness campaigns to increase understanding of the disease, the importance of blood glucose control and making lifestyle changes to prevent type 2 diabetes.
May 9th, 2013
You are Invited to:
The New York Diabetes Symposium
Featuring Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Ann Albright
Director, Division of Diabetes Translation
Centers for Disease Control
Thursday, May 16, 2013 -- 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Ballroom 4 West 43rd Street New York, NY 10036
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION: SYMPOSIUM
April 30th, 2013
Alan Lubin, Michael Mulgrew, Anita Kartalopoulos, Bill Thompson and Lou Gordon
BALCONY held its 2013 Golf Outing on Monday April 29th at the New York Country Club in Rockland Country. During the dinner reception, BALCONY honored UFT President Mike Mulgrew, former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson and Anita Kartalopoulos partner of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz.
Finally after torrential rains and hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of the event two times in October 2012, more than 80 golfers hit the links Monday on "naturally" a "drizzly" BALCONY golf outing.
And a good time was had by all!
April 29th, 2013
by Sean F. Reardon
Here’s a fact that may not surprise you: the children of the rich perform better in school, on average, than children from middle-class or poor families. Students growing up in richer families have better grades and higher standardized test scores, on average, than poorer students; they also have higher rates of participation in extracurricular activities and school leadership positions, higher graduation rates and higher rates of college enrollment and completion.
Whether you think it deeply unjust, lamentable but inevitable, or obvious and unproblematic, this is hardly news. It is true in most societies and has been true in the United States for at least as long as we have thought to ask the question and had sufficient data to verify the answer.
What is news is that in the United States over the last few decades these differences in educational success between high- and lower-income students have grown substantially.
April 29th, 2013
by Erik Kriss
The Big Apple’s appetite for sweet drinks and fattening food is growing deadlier by the year.
A staggering 10.5 percent of New York City adults, or close to 650,000, have been diagnosed with diabetes — more than double the rate of the life-shortening disease a generation ago, officials said yesterday.
And another 230,000 residents are walking around without knowing they have it, according to the city’s Health Department.
April 18th, 2013
By Alan Lubin, BALCONY Founder and Co-Chair
Shame. That’s what the razor-thin bloc of Senators who killed a very commonsense and bi-partisan attempt to strengthen our nation’s gun laws should be feeling right now.
The centerpiece of the Senate bill would have strengthened background check requirements for those trying to purchase guns—a simple policy that 90 percent of Americans support and that many believe is already law.
Through spin and smear efforts, the NRA was able to stoke fear in 90 percent of Republicans and a small number of Democrats, all of whom cowered in fear that the group’s misinformation campaign would hurt their re-election efforts.
April 18th, 2013
The Chief op-ed, by Arthur Cheliotes, President of CWA Local 1180 and founding member of BALCONY
Following the news that six New York politicians allegedly exchanged bribes to illegally place State Sen. Malcom Smith (D-Queens) on the New York City mayoral ballot, a number of good government groups convened to discuss how to eradicate dirty money in New York politics.
“As long as the first thing you need to do when you run for office is raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, we're going to have a show-me-the-money culture,” said Karen Scharff, executive director of the good government group Citizen Action of New York. "We want transparency, disclosure, lower limits, better enforcement. ... But without public financing you're not going to change the culture.
As President of Local 1180 CWA and a founding member of BALCONY, I am joining over 100 civil rights, business, faith-based, grassroots community, good government, environmental and labor organizations to call on Albany to take the money out of politics.
News from BALCONY Archives
May 17th, 2013
May 2nd, 2013
In targeting corruption, Gov. Cuomo should respect the workings of democracy
By Michael Waldman , Miles Rapoport AND Susan Lerner / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The shocking allegations against four more elected officials in New York are depressing — but they provide an opportunity for bold action by our state leaders. Gov. Cuomo has proposed a new, comprehensive campaign finance law, including the creation of a voluntary, small-donor public financing system and an independent enforcement unit.
May 2nd, 2013Elected Officials, Unions, Community Groups File Suit Against City, Developer Acadia @ Brooklyn’s City Point Project; Demand City Shut Down Project, Halt Subsidies, Create New Environmental Impact Statement; Say Acadia Took City Land, $40 Million in Public Money, But Pays Workers Poverty Level Wages
April 26th, 2013
April 25th, 2013
News from our Members Archives
May 6th, 2013
By Rob Abruzzese and Mary Frost
State University of New York’s (SUNY) search for an entity to take over Long Island College Hospital (LICH) may be designed to fail, warned LICH supporters Thursday night at the Cobble Hill Association’s community forum to discuss the future of the 150-year-old hospital.
The nearly bankrupt (SUNY) issued a public Request for Information (RFI) on Wednesday to signal its intent to find another operators to take over LICH.
But the RFI has “more holes than Swiss cheese,” said Jerry Armer, the 76 Precinct Community Council President and long-time community activist. “And the holes are designed for a developer to use this land as something else.”
The RFI calls for an operator who could provide health care services either "on the [LICH] campus or in the community around" the hospital, leaving open the possibility that some or all of the valuable Brownstone Brooklyn real estate could be sold.
Women's Equality Agenda, Spearheaded by BALCONY Executive Board Member Cynthia DiBartolo, Tops Governor Andrew Cuomo's 'Priorities'
May 6th, 2013
Letter to New York Daily News from Governor Andrew Cuomo
We have accomplished much in this legislative session: a third balanced budget on time, business and middle class tax cuts, an extensive economic development program, teacher evaluations, gun control — and the list goes on.
But now is not the time to rest on our accomplishments. There is more to do for our state — and several more weeks in this legislative session.
Here are my top priorities:
The Women’s Equality Act. This is a 10-point plan to address the many lingering inequalities that women still face in our state and in our society, and it’s essential. Today, men are 32 times more likely than women to become a CEO or member of a corporate board. Meanwhile, women are five times more likely to be victims of sexual harassment or domestic violence as well as twice as likely to be victims of housing or lending discrimination.
April 24th, 2013
By Casey Seiler
The state chapter of the National Organization for Women brought its troops to Albany on Tuesday to press for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Women's Equality Agenda, 10 initiatives first outlined in early January that still haven't evolved into legislative language.
The lack of concrete details presented a challenge for the advocates, who would like nothing better than to secure commitments from enough Republican lawmakers in the Senate to help bring the measure to the floor despite the concerns of GOP Conference Leader Dean Skelos.
"This is a first step," said Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW's New York City chapter.
A coalition of some 750 groups and businesses are pushing for the agenda, which includes economic fairness provisions, stronger laws to fight human trafficking, Ossorio said. In addition, legislation similar to the Reproductive Health Act that supporters say will codify and modernize abortion rights protections is supported.
April 22nd, 2013
By Jimmy Vielkind
The Cuomo administration is finalizing a contract with Datrose, a Webster-based data entry, document scanning and personnel firm, according to a memorandum provided by a state official.
The April 17 memo says Datrose will "design a professional development and knowledge transfer program for state employees so that they can learn their search techniques" and "provide expert advice and support to the State to design and implement a comprehensive recruitment strategy for the State."
April 17th, 2013
By Tom Precious
A couple of arrests of legislators, a couple of ideas for cleaning up Albany.
So it went Tuesday, as Assembly Democrats unveiled a package of changes to the state’s campaign finance laws, including taxpayer-funded campaigns and a new panel of appointees of the governor and Democratic and GOP lawmakers to better enforce violations of fundraising and expenditures by candidates.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo offered up his own ideas, minus actual legislation, including ending a 66-year-old law that lets local party leaders give ballot lines to candidates not enrolled in their parties.
BALCONY Issues in the News Archives