(Guy Kawasaki's The Art of the Start is required reading for anybody who wants to be an entrepreneur, or who wants to start something in general. I can't recommend it enough)
I said last week that advocating for the Lighthouse needs to become a movement, and I am more than willing to take a leadership role. I am not one to throw out empty words, so today will kick off what I hope will become some group brainstorming sessions aimed toward building up the movement and getting our message out there.
I want to discuss a few random bits of news first.
UPDATE: FOR THOSE SEEKING KATE
According to the Long Island Business News, Kate Murray is kicking off her re-election campaign with a public rally tomorrow at 1PM at Levittown Veterans Memorial Park. If you can make it, I'm sure she'd love to hear about what issues are important to us.
I Join Islanders Independent
As I tweeted earlier today, I have joined BD Gallof's Islanders Independent as a contributing writer. I will probably write 1-2 pieces a week, many about topics beyond the Lighthouse Project, and this will not in any way affect the regularity or quality of the posts on this site. I hope those of you who don't read that site regularly will give it a look.
Community Alliance Highlights This Blog
For those who have not made it over there, The Community Alliance runs a fantastic blog that details many of the issues affecting Long Island, in addition to the Lighthouse. Yesterday, they wrote a piece featuring Let There Be Light(house), in which I discuss a little bit about Kate Murray and the overall goal of the blog. I suggest you check it out, as well as some of the other posts over there.
Suozzi Kicks off Campaign, Plugs Lighthouse
Tom Suozzi, seeking his third term as County Executive, formally kicked off his campaign at a rally held at RXR Plaza in Uniondale this Tuesday. He also posted video on YouTube detailing his vision for this election season.
Suozzi is centering his re-election campaign around relief from the crushing property taxes currently faced by citizens in Nassau County. According to Newsday's Spin Cycle blog, Suozzi has an interesting idea to improve the tax burden on Long Island: approve the Lighthouse. In Suozzi's view (and mine), approving the development will bring much-needed tax revenues and hopefully preclude the need to raise property taxes in the foreseeable future.
(Blogger's Note: The Newsday reporter was a bit overzealous here, referring to the Lighthouse as "controversial" for some reason, and slamming numerous aspects of it. First of all, every action has negative consequences. I believe the positives of the Lighthouse outweigh the negatives, and this means the project should be built. Second of all, saying that a development such as this, that will spur commercial investment and keep more jobs on Long Island, will not help ancillary communities is simply not true.)
Our friend the 7th Woman also has a great piece on this.
Where is the Opponent?
Last week, I wrote about how Jay Jacobs, Chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Party, promised to name a "formidable" challenger to Kate Murray this week. It appears, now, that this promise will not be kept. In a Newsday article from yesterday, Nassau Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) still appears to be weighing whether or not to enter the race, and this suggests the Democratic Party does not yet have a nominee.
This silence will soon be broken. According to the Nassau County Democratic Party's official website, the party is holding its nominating convention Thursday, May 28, at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. Expect Kate Murray's opponent to be named no later than at the convention, and I plan to be in attendance.
We Didn't Start the Fire...
...but we are starting a movement. It has become painfully clear that Kate Murray and the intransigent people running the Town of Hempstead are content to stall the Lighthouse until either Charles Wang and Scott Rechler give up or voters demand a change. We must not sit around and wait for a change; we must demand it NOW.
Today, we saw in real-time the danger in which the Lighthouse Project continuously finds itself. Chris Botta wrote a pessimistic piece on the Lighthouse (which did not contain any new information), and the comments section was immediately overrun with people declaring the Lighthouse dead and arguing over whether Queens, Brooklyn, or Suffolk County is the best relocation option for the Islanders franchise. Some people, even those who are in favor of the project, betrayed a stunning lack of knowledge in the overall process, blaming Nassau County for a process that is controlled by the Town of Hempstead. If even Islanders fans cannot be counted on for solidarity, and many who favor the project don't understand the whole story, we have a very serious problem on our hands, a problem that demands a bold solution.
Therefore, I am proposing a bold idea for you guys. Over the next few days and weeks, I want to start running group brainstorming sessions on this blog. I hope to pass many of our ideas onto the Lighthouse, but it will mostly be in terms of what we, as citizens who care, can do in order to sustain the movement and put this process forward.
I have a list of ideas that I want to discuss in the formation of a movement:
- The need for an emotional story
- Marketing and positioning
- Dealing with pure hockey fans
- Dealing with low-information voters
- Spreading the word
- Encouraging voter participation
- Contributing to the process when you do not live in the Town of Hempstead or Nassau County
We cannot sit and wish for the movement to grow. We must be the ones we've been waiting for. We must stand up, demand our voices be heard, and share our desires to move Long Island forward.
Please share your thoughts in comments. Petition. Email Me. Follow me on Twitter.