The BALCONY Bulletin

Finding  Common Ground Between
New York Business
and Labor
August 20, 2009



On July 29, 2009, Gov. David Paterson signed the
Young Invincibles health care law in Rochester, NY.

Click here for the Paterson Press Release.
Providing health care coverage for 800,000 uninsured young New Yorkers, so called "young invincibles" ages 19-29 has been a top legislative priority of BALCONY as we partnered up with the American Cancer Society, DEMOS, and the Freelancers Union.
In October 2009, we held a comprehensive forum at NYU Wagner School which featured Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, Community Healthcare Networks CEO Catherine Abate, CWA local 1180 President Arthur Cheliotes, NYS Department of Insurance Deputy Superintendent Troy Oeschner and American Cancer Society VP for Advocacy Peter Slocum.
The forum even featured actress Hogan Gorman who preformed an excerpts from her award winning play Hot Cripple. "We believe this forum helped highlight the need for coverage and are pleased that a new law was passed by the Assembly and Senate and signed by Governor David Paterson", stated BALCONY Director Lou Gordon.
BALCONY issued a comprehensive report regarding the uninsured young New Yorkers forum.

ArmorySupport Grows for Living Wages in Community Benefits Agreement
at the Kingsbridge Armory

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz will soon decide whether or not to support The Related Companies' application to redevelop the landmark 600,000-square-foot Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. While Diaz's decision is non-binding, it will carry much weight with the City Council when Related's application to purchase the architectural gem to build the "Shops at the Armory" mall comes before it in the fall.

"Economic development that creates jobs that keep people in poverty accomplishes nothing," says Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), a KARA member. "We expect and demand that the Kingsbridge Armory be developed in a way that strengthens the community, and not just enriches the developer."

Read the compete story: Armory

Visit KARA's website for more information - http://www.ourarmory.org.

Community Healthcare Network Opens New Primary Care Facility
in Long Island City, Queens


Queens, NY- Community Healthcare Network (CHN) is excited to announce the opening of its tenth federally qualified health center and second location in Queens. The new Long Island City location is part of a continuing commitment to provide all New York City residents with quality healthcare.
Community Healthcare Network's Long Island City Health Center, located at 36-11 21st St., provides primary care, including pediatrics and family planning services, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Patients can call (718) 482-7772 to schedule appointments.
For more information, click here: CHNNYC


A BALCONY Wellness Project is in development as a joint project of BALCONY, the American Cancer Society and the Teamster Center Services.

At the most recent BALCONY advisory committee meetings in Albany and New York City members discussed the objectives, goals and challenges involved in the creation of a Wellness Program that will result in healthier employees, union members and their families.  It is anticipated that we can launch the Wellness Program before the New Year.

"A BALCONY Wellness program developed with the American Cancer Society and the Teamster Center Services can improve productivity, lower health care costs and demonstrate a positive concern for the health and fitness of employees and workers," stated BALCONY Co-chair Alan Lubin.

Why a BALCONY Wellness Program?

Click above.
AFL-CIO President
John Sweeney

John Costello (NYSUT), John Sweeney,
Lou Gordon (BALCONY)

Mark your calendar for the following important BALCONY Members' events...


       43rd Annual
       New York Giants  
       Kick-Off Luncheon

to benefit the
John V. Mara Cancer Research Fund
at St. Vincent's Hospital

Wednesday, September 2, 2009
noon - 2:00 p.m.

Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, NY

NY Giant Alumni Man of the Year Award: Stephen Baker

For more information call (212) 604-6838 or slennon@svcmcny.org



New York City Central Labor Council
Labor Day Parade

September 12, 2009

10 a.m. - Fifth Ave. & 44th St.

Click here for details: Parade


Public Policies and Investment Strategies
for a Low-Carbon Economy
September 16, 2009
The Grand Hyatt New York
New York, NY
Confirmed speakers include:

Lord Nicholas Stern,
Former Chief Economist, World Bank and Special Advisor to the Group Chairman of HSBC on Economic Development and Climate Change

Bill Lockyer
California State Treasurer

Rob Lake
APG Investments Head of Sustainability

Tim Wirth
President, United Nations Foundation

Thomas DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller
Mindy Lubber
President of Ceres and Director of INCR

The Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, a BALCONY member, and its partner, The LGBT Community Center, invite you to participate in the Out of Work Job Fair.

September 17, 2009



Click here for details.

Visit the website.

Business Leadership Luncheon
Friday, September 18, 2009
11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Keynote speaker
New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson

Topic: The Current Economic Crisis
& How New Yorkers Can Begin Building a Stronger City

Maestro's Caterers
1703 Bronxdale Avenue
Bronx, New York 10462

Click here to register and for more information.

RSVP by e-mail:  polancoartesis@gmail.com

20th Annual
Health & Benefits Expo

Set for September 25, 2009

For more information, click here: Expo

26th Annual

St. Vincent's Hospital Westchester Golf Open

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
7:30 am - 10:00 pm

Fenway Golf Club, Scarsdale, NY

For more information, contact 914-925-5411
or msuttton@svcmcny.org
The Medicare Rights Center's 20th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, New York City on October 14, 2009 will honor Dr. Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, both ardent advocates of good, affordable health care for all Americans.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is serving as the Honorary Chair and Dinner Co-Chairs include Jack Ahern, Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Michael Fishman, Denis Hughes, Richard Iannuzzi, David Kessler, MD, Alan Lubin, Michael Mulgrew, Richard Ravitch, David Satcher, MD, Donna Shalala, Andrew Stern, James Tallon, Randi Weingarten and Jack Wurm, among others.
Inquiries about the Celebration Dinner can be directed to Denise Grant at 212-204-6223 or e-mail dgrant@medicarerights.org


The Women Builders Council is proud to be the preeminent organization promoting the role of women in the construction and building industries.

Our third annual Champions Award Gala & Reception will be held on October 21, 2009 at the Bank of New York Mellon, 101 Barclay Street, New York City at 6:00 pm.
The WBC 2009 Champion Awards Dinner will recognize leading women who are making outstanding contributions to the building industry.  If you know an outstanding woman in the construction industry, nominate her today at www.wbcnyc.org/outstandingwomen2009/About.aspx

Click here to register: Champions

Open this e-Mail in your Browser


 Click Here:  Bulletin August 18, 2009
e-mail broadcast produced by Kevin R. Weaver

The Business and Labor Coalition of New York has enlisted WCBS NewsRadio880 as its media partner to conduct a series of Access for Small Business Forums throughout New York State in the fall 2009 and early 2010. These events will assist small business owners and small business organizations to gain access to the information they need to weather the current economic storm and plan for a rapidly changing business future. 
BALCONY will co-host a series of at least 5 forums throughout New York State. These forums, co-sponsored by BALCONY's business coalitions, such as New York AREA, and chambers, such as the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, will deliver timely information, products, and services to owners of small businesses.

We will also work with key New York legislators to strengthen our relationships and act as a conduit for programs.

"Small businesses are the economic engine of New York State," said BALCONY co- chair Bruce Ventimiglia, chairman of Saratoga Capital Management. "The BALCONY Access for Small Business Forums will bring together experts who can help small businesses survive in these trying times." he added.
We anticipate one forum will be held in each of the following strategic areas

□  The Capital Region
□  Buffalo/Rochester/Syracuse
□  New York City
□  Westchester
□  Long Island
BALCONY Access for Small Business includes:
□  Access to capital
□  American Recovery Act and procurement    

□  Access to health care, wellness programs and
    other vital benefits for employees and families

□  Lowering energy costs
□  Advancements in technology
For more information contact Christine Serrano Glassner, BALCONY small business consultant at Christine.glassner@balconynewyork.com
or call (212) 219-7777.

For Sponsorship Opportunities click here.


(L to R) Chris Ward
(Executive Director of the Port Authority of NY/NJ),
Robert Ledwith
(Local 46 Metalic Lathers & Reinforcing Ironworkers),
Samara Barend
(NYS Commission on State Asset Maximization)

On June 18, 2009 BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, staged an informative forum on the financial challenges facing New York as we attempt to fund the pressing infrastructure needs of our state and region. Chris Ward, the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, detailed the authority's $3.3 billion capital plan, warning that key projects may be sacrificed if all available capital is allocated to the Silverstein Project at the World Trade Center site. 
The impact of the $24 billion federal stimulus on New York infrastructure and construction and the recently announced New York State proposal to foster the creation of public private partnerships were debated at the forum by government, business and labor leaders.

(L to R) Chris Levandos (Verizon/FIOS),
Dr. James Melius (NY LECET),
Alan Lubin (BALCONY Co-Chair),
Lou Gordon (BALCONY Director),
Steve McInnis (NYC District Council of Carpenters)

View the videos from the
Port Authority/BALCONY forum: Videos

Since our forum, both BALCONY member the New York Building Congress and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have issued reports critical of the slow pace of the federal stimulus funds to be invested in New York State infrastructure projects.  The reports are below.

DiNapoli: New York's
Local Infrastructure Needs
Projected To Be
$80 Billion Under Funded
Over Next 20 Years

At the current rate of spending, New York will have $80 billion in unmet infrastructure needs over the next 20 years unless state, federal, and local governments work together to improve multi-year capital planning and better fund infrastructure projects, cautioned State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in a report he released in Syracuse. DiNapoli's report estimates the state's capital needs for repairing roads, bridges, and water and sewer lines will swell to a quarter trillion dollars over the next 20 years.

Read the entire press release: Infrastructure

$1.5 Billion in Stimulus Money Currently Approved for NYC Transportation Projects, but Little Actually Spent to Date


A total of $1.57 billion in federal stimulus dollars has been approved to date for transportation capital projects in the five boroughs of New York City.  Another $1 billion in transportation projects are likely to be approved for stimulus funding, according to a New York Building Congress analysis. However, an analysis of project data provided by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), also found that virtually all of the approved capital funding has yet to be spent. 

For more information and to read the entire write-up, click here:  Transportation Projects

EnergyNew York State Energy Plan
a Step Forward,
says New York AREA

"Governor Paterson's preliminary state energy plan is an important step towards securing our energy future and maintaining our state's quality-of-life.  We applaud the Governor and his staff for their efforts and leadership," stated Arthur "Jerry" Kremer, former Chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and Chairman of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA) www.area-alliance.org
Read the entire article: NY AREA

DebateThe 2009 National
Health Care Debate

As the President, the congress, and the public debate the future of America's health care, we at BALCONY urge our members to be heard. Contact your Congressman and Senators giving them your personal, organizational, union, and business opinion on the challenges facing our nation.  Please review the BALCONY 7 Principles for Affordable Health Care Initiatives, adopted in the Fall 2007, as you consider the various options being presented.

Why We Need
Health Care Reform

by Barack Obama

OUR nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven't heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.

Click here to read the entire NY Times article
by President Obama

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

by Atul Gawande, Donald Berwick, Elliott Fisher and Mark B. McClellan

As the discussion on health care reform continues across America, Mark McClellan and other health policy experts have looked for solutions from communities that are already redesigning health care for the better. The experts offer a number of steps that can help our nation change how health care is delivered so that it is both less expensive and more effective.

To view the proposal, click here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"The Cause of My Life"
by Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Inside the fight for universal health care.

Click here to read the Newsweek article

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

GovernmentCare's Assault on Seniors

Former New York State Lt Governor Betsy McCaughey recently discussed the impact of the National health care debate on Seniors in the Wall Street journal.

Click here to read the Wall Street Journal article.

MyelomaMultiple Myeloma
in World Trade Center Responders:
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

Emergency personnel who responded to the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers may be at higher risk for multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. The findings, which were published in early August in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, are still very preliminary, but suggest that airborne toxins may have damaged the rescue workers' lungs.

"Since 2006, BALCONY has made the monitoring of rescue workers at the World Trade Center a top policy priority , joining the larger coalition advocating for treatment and extended benefits," stated Lou Gordon, Director of BALCONY. " In fact, we produced several TV and Radio PSA's featuring actress Sigourney Weaver and former boxing champ, the late, Jose Torres, alerting those involved in cleanup , rescue and recovery to register and to be regularly screened so as to qualify for New York State workers' compensation benefits should they become ill."

Multiple myeloma normally affects the elderly, but was shown to develop early in the emergency personnel, who were all under 45 years old.

Rescue workers were heavily exposed to a toxic chemical soup released from the fires that raged at the World Trade Center site for three months after 9/11. The chemicals included several known carcinogens, some of which have been linked to a heightened risk of multiple myeloma.

Read the full story: Myeloma

HealthcareReport Compares Four Comprehensive Reform Proposals and Their Impact on
Health Insurance Coverage
in New York

On July 17, 2009, the New York State Departments of Insurance and Health issued a report to Governor Paterson on the Partnership for Coverage Initiative on the Release of the Urban Institute report.

BALCONY, working with the American Cancer Society, has been instrumental in assisting the New York State Department of Insurance and Department of Health in delivering business, labor and advocacy opinions on the current state health insurance in New York. Together we held forums in Buffalo, Albany, New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rochester,  providing thought-provoking testimony and round table discussions on health care benefits.

Read the full report: Insurance

Health Care for All New Yorkers analyzed the July 2009 New York State Health Care Recommendations of the Urban Institute.

Click here:
HCFANY Analysis

Empire Page Logo2
Discounted Subscription for BALCONY members and friends to the Empire Page -- the ultimate source for news about NYS government & politics

 Learn more: click here 
BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, represents more than 1,000 New York businesses, labor unions, and trade associations. BALCONY seeks common ground in the public policy debate in New York to spur economic development through the adoption of business/union friendly, socially responsible common sense laws that maintain and improve the quality of life for working New Yorkers.

Call, Write or Email BALCONY
633 Third Avenue, 16th Floor 
New York, NY 10017

Contact: Lou Gordon - BALCONY Director