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Cuomo Creates LI Council for Economic Development

Governor Cuomo announces Long Island Regional Council Members at SUNY Old Westbury (Picture by: Rashed Mian)

Budget. Done. Property tax cap, marriage equality. Done and done. Now Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on to phase two of his plan as Governor: Economic development.

The governor visited Long Island on Wednesday to announce his plan to spur economic growth across New York State by putting the pressure on each region to develop the best plan for their area.


During a speech at SUNY Old Westbury, Cuomo announced that Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz and Long Island Association President Kevin Law will chair a group of business leaders and elected officials who will make up the Long Island Regional Council Members.

At stake is a $1 billion in economic development money that will put Long Island up against nine other regions in New York State. The council’s job is simple: Come up with the best plan for both Nassau and Suffolk counties and they will be rewarded.

“This will allow Long Island to take its faith into its own hands,” Cuomo said. “We’ll provide incentives, we’ll provide funding, we’ll provide partnership, but they’re going to have to come together to design an economic future that works for Long Island.”

The nine other regions include: Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York.

“This council, this area, this group is coming for that money,” said John Durso, the President of Long Island Federal of Labor, who is a member of the council.

Added Law: “The competition starts now.”

Listen to part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s speech:

Cuomo’s economic development tour brought him to LI where business leaders and elected officials including state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), both Nassau and Suffolk County Executives, Ed Mangano and Steve Levy, and Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice were in attendance.

Skelos, who introduced Cuomo, said the two had a meeting recently where they both concluded that the next step in the legislative process was “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Cuomo said the state can no longer dictate what’s the best economic approach for each region.

“Buffalo is different than Long Island, the Adirondacks is different than Long Island,” he said. “Each region has its own fingerprint its own complexity, its own opportunities, its own challenges.”

Law, who said he was “humbled” and “honored” to co-chair the council, said the council will convene a meeting as soon as possible. In September Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy will host a meeting to help guide the separate councils.

Rabinowitz, his partner on the chair, said in a statement: “By creating these Regional Councils, Governor Cuomo is sending a strong message that building a vibrant, sustainable economy requires partnerships between industry, government and educational institutions that capitalize on each region’s unique strengths.”

Cuomo’s community-based approach is also part of his plan to spur competition between different regions, he said.

“I believe in the competition…because we don’t have enough money to fund every plan,” he said, “and we want to fund the best plans.”

Below is the Long Island Regional Council Members:

Regional Co-Chairs
Stuart Rabinowitz, President, Hofstra University
Kevin Law, President, Long Island Association

General Members
Bill Wahlig, Executive Director, Long Island Forum for Technology
Marianne Garvin, CEO, Community Development Corporation of Long Island
Desmond M. Ryan, Executive Director, Association for a Better Long Island, Inc.
Patricia McMahon, Sector Vice President and General Manager of Battle Management Engagement Systems, Northrop Grumman Corporation
Harvey Kamil, Vice Chairman, NBTY, Inc.
Belinda Pagdanganan, Government Relations Manager, National Grid
James D’Addario, President & CEO, D’Addario and Company Inc.
Anne D. Shybunko-Moore, President/Owner, GSE Dynamics, Inc.
Noreen Carro, Owner, LMN Printing Co., Inc.
Tracey Edwards, Vice President of Operations, Verizon Communications
John R. Durso, President, Long Island Federation of Labor
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., President, Stony Brook University
Elaine Gross, President & CEO, ERASE Racism
Mark Fasciano, Partner, Canrock Ventures
Patricia Edwards, Vice President for Community Development Long Island, Citigroup
Paulette Satur, President, Satur Farms, LLC
Joseph Cabral, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System
Samuel Aronson, Director, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Dr. Calvin Butts, President, SUNY Old Westbury
Rupert Hopkins, President & Chief Executive Officer, XSB, Inc.

Elected Officials
Nassau County Executive
Suffolk County Executive
Town of Hempstead Supervisor
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor
Town of Brookhaven Supervisor
Town of Islip Supervisor

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