Tag: immigration

HWCLI Celebrates #ZeroDiscrimination Day

In the United States, in New York and on Long Island, we are seeing an increase in prejudice, hate, and discrimination.  Our neighbors and community members are being targeted and discriminated against based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.  It is inexcusable and must be stopped.

Three years ago, the United Nations dubbed March 1st as Zero Discrimination Day. This campaign, started by UNAIDS, is “the opportunity to celebrate everyone’s right to live a full and productive life with dignity—no matter what they look like, where they come from or whom they love.” Today, the world celebrates the fourth Zero Discrimination Day, and ­­­­­it is more important than ever for us to raise awareness for this global movement of solidarity.

At HWCLI, we stand for tolerance, compassion, and understanding for our diverse communities on Long Island and all over the world. We believe that diversity, in our organization and in our region, is what makes us most successful. We believe in erasing stigmas and empowering our community. For those of you being targeted or discriminated against; we see you and we stand with you today and every day.

Join us and a global community of advocates in celebrating Zero Discrimination Day. Together, we can make a difference for our community and our society. Use the #ZeroDiscrimination to share why you are standing up for zero discrimination.

A Message from HWCLI’s Board Chair, Bob Detor

It is with mixed feelings that I write to announce Gwen O’Shea’s departure from the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island.

Fifteen years ago this month, Gwen O’Shea joined the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island. Ten years ago this year, she was selected as its President/CEO.  During her tenure, she expanded and diversified the organization’s revenue infrastructure.  She reshaped the organization’s governance structure, by-laws, and mission to achieve greater efficiency, transparency, and enhanced active community partnerships.

Gwen oversaw the establishment of the Unmet Needs Roundtable after the Economic Downturn in 2007/2008, Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.  This effort brought more than $10 million in financial support to Long Island individuals and families struggling with their disaster recovery.

During these responses and other initiatives, her work with community partners and government officials at the local, State and Federal level, ensured the voices and concerns of those most at-risk were heard.

I think anyone who has worked with Gwen has found her to be dedicated to the mission, professional and a tenacious advocate for Long Island’s most vulnerable and at-risk.

Gwen’s leadership has been a great benefit to this organization and, undeniably, she will be deeply missed here.

Gwen’s last day with the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island will be on Friday, March 24th.

We will begin the search for her replacement over the next few weeks. Please click here for a copy of the position profile.

On behalf of HWCLI’s Board of Directors, please join me in thanking Gwen for her caring service and wishing her all the best as she assumes her new position as President/CEO of CDCLI, a long-standing partner of HWCLI and a critical part of the Long Island community.

Support HWCLI on #NYGivesDay and #GivingTuesday

During the holiday season, the word ‘giving’ comes up a lot. Giving thanks, giving the perfect gift, and hopefully you are hearing a lot about giving back. The magnitude of community philanthropy and kindness that we see during the holidays is heart-warming. And just like all of you, we want to continue to give to our community: we aspire to give things like social justice and equality-access to basic necessities like health care access, safe housing and nutritional supports.

For almost 70 years, the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island has been the voice for Long Island’s working families, low income individuals, the elderly, the sick and the poor.  We know that nearly 1 in 4 Long Islanders are struggling to put food on their tables, pay utilities, find affordable child care and access healthcare.  Long Island families are having to choose between which basic human necessities they can afford.  HWCLI and our partner health and human service agencies have been and will continue to be here– providing services, advocating and supporting.  But we need your help and we need your support to make sure our collective Long Island voice is loud enough to be heard in Albany and in DC. In the non-profit sector, we rely on your giving. We rely on your generosity and support so we can continue to pursue our mission of improving the lives of Long Islanders. In the spirit of #GivingTuesday and #NYGivesDay, please donate to HWCLI’s advocacy for Long Island’s at-risk and vulnerable families.

Together, we can make a difference. On November 29, your donation of any amount will help. Click here to view our New York Gives Day profile.

We hope you all have a happy and safe holiday season.

HWCLI’s #Forthe24 Twitter Chat

On October 13, Newsday published an article titled, “LI’s Shrinking Middle Class”, here is an overview:

According to a recent study, 17.8% or 165,758 Long Island households are making more than $184,657 annually.  This is a 60% increase since 1990.
While this seems like wonderful news, the study also states an increase in the number of Long Island households earning less than $46,165 a year from 179,879 (21% of all households)  in 1990 to 227,914 (24.4% of all households) in 2014. 
What this article re-enforces, is the message we, as a collective having been saying for years. Long Islanders are struggling! It takes almost 2x that amount to survive.
The survival budget standard for a family of 4 is approx.$85,000
Almost 25% of all Long Island households are experiencing significant daily challenges in meeting the basic human needs of our families- housing, food, clothing, transportation, and health care.
Since  the release of this article brought greater visibility to the issue, we were prompted to create a plan of action. A plan of action that continues to bring visibility to the needs of Long Islanders. A plan of action that must include all of Long Island’s elected officials.
Join us in HWCLI’s Twitter Chat on November 4th at 1 PM as we ask ourselves and our elected officials what we can do to support the 24%. 
Simply use the #Forthe24 to join the conversation.


How to join:

  • Log on to Twitter
  • Make sure you are following @HWCLI
  • Use the #Forthe24 along with your tweet

Making a difference starts with a conversation!

Bill Would Expand Insurance Coverage for NYers

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the opening of the New York State of Health Marketplace, 2.8 million New Yorkers have enrolled into quality, affordable health coverage. Among the provisions of the ACA is the basic health program, which allows states to provide low-cost coverage to eligible individuals who have incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $23,700 for a single person).

Since the Essential Plan became available in 2015, nearly 400,000 New Yorkers have enrolled. They now have access to quality healthcare with no deductible and premiums of $20 or less.

Yet New York residents who are Permanently Residing under the Color of Law (PRUCOL) are not eligible for the Essential Plan. Many of those affected are young adults who grew up in the U.S. and are beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Ironically, these individuals are already covered by Medicaid if their income is below the threshold. Once their incomes increase and they are no longer eligible for Medicaid, they face a “coverage cliff” and often must choose between work and access to health insurance.

The New York State Assembly is working to expand Essential Plan eligibility to include immigrants who are PRUCOL. The Assembly included $10.3 million in its 2016-17 budget to provide this coverage.  Unfortunately, the funding was ultimately cut during budget negotiations. Assembly members Richard Gottfried and Marcos Crespo have since introduced legislation that would expand Essential Plan eligibility to include immigrants who are PRUCOL. Bill A10054 was successfully voted out of the Assembly Health Committee on May 17 and is now awaiting a vote by the Ways and Means Committee.

Health Care for All New York has drafted a Letter of Support for A10054. Please feel free to adapt this letter for your organization. Submit completed letters to Assembly Member Gottfried (gottfried@assembly.state.ny.us)


A new report released by the New York State Comptroller’s Office shows the impact and contribution the growing Hispanic population in New York has had on shaping the economy.

According to the report, nearly 3.7 million New York residents are Hispanic – about 20 percent of our total population.  While there are Hispanic New Yorkers living in every city and county across the state, 87 percent of Hispanics reside in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County.

As of 2013, more than 75 percent of Hispanic New Yorkers aged 18 to 24 had earned a high school diploma (or its equivalent), up sharply from 57 percent in 2000. And Hispanics accounted for 17 percent of New York’s labor force.

Entrepreneurship and business ownership are on the rise in the Hispanic community. The report found that between 1997 and 2012, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses more than doubled, from 104,000 to nearly 268,000. This means that 13 percent of all businesses in New York are owned by Hispanics.

While the report focuses primarily on data from New York City, similar contributions are evident on Long Island and across New York State.