In Effort to Secure Restoration of Youth Service Funding
(Long Island, NY) Nassau Fight for Youth & Families, dismayed by the loss of Nassau County funding to youth programs and family services that will impact thousands of families and as many as 50,000 youth, held a press conference and prayer vigil on Monday, August 6, 2012 at Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, in Mineola. Close to two dozen clergy members and more than 50 supporters representing communities from across Nassau County gathered. Faith leaders spoke from their religious perspective about the program cuts and the negative impact they will have on their communities and called for leadership from elected officials.
Among the faith leaders speaking at the press conference were Andrew Busley, Youth Service, Long Beach; Sister Evelyn Lomoreux, Elmont; Angela Floyd, Parent, Glen Cove; Rev. Arthur Kindle, Jr., Calvary Baptist Church of Roosevelt; Rev. Jeff Weils, Community United Methodist, Massapequa; Elizabeth Belasco; Rabbi Judy Cohen-Rosenberg, Community Reform Temple, Westbury and Rev. Dr. Nellie Taylor-Walthrust of Westbury Gospel Tabernacle who offered the closing prayer.
Nassau Fight for Youth & Families was created by faith based groups and concerned citizens to continue the effort to keep the public informed and have Nassau County Executive Mangano, Legislators Kevan Abrahams and Joe Schmitt to come to an agreement to restore funding. The renewed effort began on Wednesday, August 1 when a new group of prominent Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish leaders along with a group of children delivered petitions with more than 3,500 signatures to County Executive Mangano and legislators Abrahams and Schmitt. These activities immediately attracted significant media attention.
Nassau County families and young people in need of youth service programs are in crisis. County funding has been eliminated and programs cancelled. Thousands of families and as many as 50,000 youth have been impacted due to of politically focused bickering.
“All Nassau County residents, especially the working families and middle class, are being hurt directly and indirectly without these youth programs. We as religious leaders see this as an important religious and community issue. We are committed to bringing our message to the media, the public and directly to legislators and the County Executive,” said Rev Mark Robinson of Community Bible Church in Inwood.
Every day without funding and programs, young people remain at risk. Those who spoke on the steps of the legislature building and before the legislature itself explained why programs are needed for today and for their future. Clergy outlined why these programs are important for the future of Nassau County, families and young people, especially at-risk youth.
The faith leaders and supporters of Nassau Fight for Youth & Families urge citizens to write, call and email their county elected officials and ask them to put aside partisan differences and put families and young people first. Telephone numbers and email addresses for all legislators can be found at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Legis/index.html.
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