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July 27, 2011
 

 

Dear Friends:

 

The BALCONY coalition has been productive in analyzing the economy and other critical issues confronting New York State, New York City, and the United States. The following excerpts will serve as an introduction to these important reports.

 

 

 

 

BALCONY has joined Restoring America's Promise, voicing its belief in the importance of just treatment for all Americans.  "We believe in the concept of Shared Sacrifice, for all Americans and we are bringing that message to all of our business and labor members." The Business and Labor Coalition of New York opposes attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and domestic programs. At the same time, the coalition calls for the creation of a substantial jobs program, opposes the preservation of tax cuts for the wealthy and tax deals for big corporations. BALCONY members of the Restoring America's Promise Coalition include the Medicare Rights Center, The New York State United Teachers, Metro New York Health Care for All, and Teamsters Local 237.

A statewide caravan recently traveled from one end of the state to the other to demand that New York Congressmembers do the right thing and take proposals to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Food Stamps, WIC, Head Start, and other bedrock programs off the table during negotiations over raising the federal debt ceiling.

"The House GOP Budget is a moral disaster with its reverse-Robin Hood plan which makes seniors and the disabled pay $6000 more for Medicare every year while giving even more tax breaks for the wealthy; it is quite clear that instead of adjusting and tweaking Medicare to make it stronger, the House GOP is using the deficit as an excuse to dismantle Medicare as a social insurance program and turn it into a capped subsidy that will pay only 32% of health costs," said, Michael Burgess, Public Policy Consultant for the Statewide Senior Action Council.

 

Restoring America's Promise    

 

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Eighty Members Sign on to Progressive Caucus Letter Demanding No Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security    

 

Washington, D.C. - Eighty Member of Congress have now signed onto a letter spearheaded by Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) leaders to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insisting that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid be off the table in any budget deal. Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American have also signed the letter and are encouraging their respective Caucus members to join them.

Originally sent by CPC co-chairs Reps. Raśl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison on July 8, the letter is still open for signatures and has become the primary vehicle for House Democrats to express their support for the programs during budget negotiations. The letter says that middle-class families "have sacrificed enough, and a deal that pushes the American Dream further out of reach, in order to pay for extending tax breaks for the rich and corporations, is simply unacceptable."    

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FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE:

 

Governor Cuomo's Fiscal Policies -- How will New York's Economy Be Affected?

 

By Frank Mauro 

June 24, 2011

 

FPI

 

 The 2011-2012 New York State Budget 

 

Governor Cuomo won a great political victory in getting his 2011-2012 budget adopted on time and with very few changes. And it now looks like the Legislature will be enacting-again with very few changes-the very tight cap on property tax levies that the Governor spelled out during his 2010 campaign.

What remains to be seen is how the economy will respond to the Governor's budget and the tax cap as they are implemented. Counties, towns and most cities have calendar fiscal years,

so we will see the initial impact of the cap on those governments during calendar year 2012. But for school districts, which face the most restrictive caps, the caps will first apply to the school years that run from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013.    

 

Read the Complete FPI Report

 

      

 

CONIBERAL? PROGRACTIONARY? 

DEMOS 
By Richard Brodsky 

 

I used to be able to recognize lefties by smell, touch or sound. They cared about progressive taxation, economic justice for the poor, a decent level of government services and the environment and had a healthy suspicion of big business.

 

Read the full article:  BRODSKY  

   

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BUDGET CUTS COULD STRANGLE SPUTTERING ECONOMIC RECOVERY
By James Parrott, June 2011  

 

Budget Cuts  

Demonstrators marched from City Hall to Wall Street last month to protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed budget cuts.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recent spate of indicators showing weakening in the economy is a reminder of the folly of government budget austerity as the best medicine. More than anything else, the economy needs more jobs. Businesses are not creating jobs because consumer demand, which accounts for two thirds of gross domestic product, is anemic.    

 

Read the article: Parrott    

      

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FPI SMALL BUSINESS BROOKLYN 

 

June 22, 2011. Small Business and Immigrant Entrepreneurship, Brooklyn Labor Market Review (BMLR), Spring 2011.

 

Prepared by FPI for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the latest issue of the BLMR looks at immigrant entrepreneurs in Brooklyn by sector. The report finds that there are nearly 14,500 Brooklyn immigrant small businesses across a range of sectors from construction to restaurants, grocery stores, child care services and doctors' offices.

 

Read the report:  Brooklyn  

 

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VIDEO REPORT: SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE: A BALCONY FORUM

 

May 6, 2011, more than 100 New York labor and management safety experts participated in a Safety in the Workplace Conference presented by BALCONY, LABORPRESS, headed by Neal Tepel, and the Mason Tenders at the Milberg Law Firm in New York City.

 

BALCONY Director Lou Gordon, forum moderator, introduced the central question of the day: "How does the current anti-regulatory environment impact worker safety?"

 

 Safety Panel

 

Key speakers included Assembly Member Rory Lancman, Joel Shufro of NYCOSH, John Delgado of Laborers Local 79, Matthew Funk of the Pasternack law firm and John Samuelsen, President of TWU Local 100, Lou Gordon, BALCONY Director.  

(R-L in photo).

 

 

 

For the full report: SAFETY

 

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AMERICAN RIGHTS AT WORK: CREATING GOOD JOBS FOR OUR COMMUNITIES: PENSION DOLLARS AT WORK 

By Michael Wasser, March 2011

 

American Rights At Work 

 

Over the past year, defined benefit retirement systems, known more commonly as pensions, have been the target of political attacks. Newly elected governors in states ranging from Wisconsin to Florida argue that the public employee pensions are a fiscal burden to taxpayers.

Conservative groups like the Hudson Institute assert that defined benefit plans negotiated as part of collective bargaining agreements create problems through underfunding.  This attack on pensions flanks the assault on unions, as union members are more than three times more likely to have a pension plan than non-union workers. Critics do not mask the connection between eradicating unions and eliminating pensions, as a participant at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference opined, "If we just stop and cure the pension problem, we have not gone far enough."  In doing so, they use the economic downturn as an opportunity to diminish the expectations of workers and permanently limit the value of pensions, even when prosperity returns.

 

Read the full story:  PENSION DOLLARS   

 

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BALCONY SUPPORTS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

By Bruce Ventimiglia, BALCONY Co-Chair; Chairman, Saratoga Capital Management
March 10, 2011

 

Bruce Ventimiglia 

 

The showdown in Wisconsin, in Ohio and other states seeking to eliminate collective bargaining for public employees is a dagger aimed at the heart of both business and labor.

 

The attempts to eliminate collective bargaining must be rejected entirely. BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, was formed to find common ground between business and labor. The right to join a union and engage in collective bargaining is essential in a democratic political system. If we look at non-democratic societies there is no freedom of the press, no freedom of speech, no right to vote and no union representation nor collective bargaining. We believe that only at the bargaining table via collective bargaining can we achieve a fair and productive working environment.

 

Read the full story: COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

 

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BALCONY MEMBERS LEDWITH AND LOCKER REFUTE NEED FOR CONSTRUCTION UNION WORK RULE REVISIONS

 

Robert Ledwith 

 

Robert Ledwith, Business Manager and Financial Secretary Treasurer of Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing  Ironworkers Local 46 spoke out against construction rule revisions, describing work rules as "the final attack on working people in our country."

 

 

 

Michael LockerMichael Locker of Locker Associates described the report as reflecting "the deterioration of labor management relations nationwide."  BALCONY members Robert Ledwith and Michael Locker called for bridging the interests of business and labor, citing the long history of labor unions. Locker stated, "the challenge is to construct real partnerships between labor, management, and government that can address these [work rule and communication] problems."

 

Ledwith and Locker made their remarks at a panel discussion June 9 regarding a report issued by the Regional Plan Association: "Construction Costs in New York City: A Moment of Opportunity." Other participants included Steve Spinola of REBNY, Jay Badame of Tishman, Jeffrey Levine of Levine Builders and Douglaston Development, and Donald Capoccia of BFC Partners.

 

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DEMOS   American Prospect Magazine   FPI



American Rights At Work  American Cancer Society


Freelancer's Union   Metalic Lather Workers

Locker

 

Golf Outing 2011

BALCONY 2011 GOLF OUTING
OCTOBER 12, 2011

 

New York Country Club
103 Brick Church Road

New Hempstead, NY 10977
(Rockland County, NY) 

 

 

For more information, click the picture or contact

   

 

 

 

angela.severiano@balconynewyork.com 

or call:  (212) 219-7777 

 

 

BALCONY MEMBERS DIRECTORY



 
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MEMBER DIRECTORY E-BOOK



BALCONY New York
4 West 43rd Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10036
(212) 219-7777

Lou Gordon, Director
loug@balconynewyork.com

 


BALCONY, THE BUSINESS AND LABOR COALITION OF NEW YORK

Bruce Ventimiglia, Co-Chairman; Saratoga Capital Management
Alan Lubin, Co-chairman
Dr. James Melius, Executive Board; LECET
Stephen Madarasz, CSEA
Lou Gordon, BALCONY Director
Angela Severiano, BALCONY
Diane Masters, BALCONY
Kevin R. Weaver, BALCONY



BALCONY is a 501c(4) non-profit. Contributions are not tax deductible and BALCONY makes no political endorsements nor campaign contributions.