Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Long Island Must Help Itself.

"When Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced plans to expand the "I Love New York" tourism campaign, his office issued a release saying it would "foster economic development throughout the state." But as Moke McGowan, president of the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission, points out, the release also said the initiative would "encourage greater upstate tourism.""Right now, [the initiative] is not going to do a whole lot for Long Island," McGowan said. But he later tempered his comments by saying a stronger New York brand would help Long Island. He added that the bureau has operations of its own - particularly those focused on Internet-based and international marketing - that are paying dividends in local tourism. McGowan talked with Newsday's Daniel Wagner ... Then what will be the impact of the governor's spending? It's going to take them five years to develop the state agency, both structurally and organizationally. I think the low-hanging fruit is, Saatchi & Saatchi is going to take the money to develop a media plan for fall and winter. "

Granted this is tourism, an important part of the Long Island economy, but only part of the economy nevertheless.

Long Island can no longer wait on the "good graces of others" to develop itself into a regional powerhouse. Yes, New York State must help all regions, especially the economically depressed upstate region, but we should be able to do more than one thing at a time and do it well, shouldn't we?

Long Island must make itself a priority which contributes to the state economy, but is not dependent on NYS government to move forward on its initiatives. Yes, Long Island should get its "fair share" of state resources, but we must deal from a position of strength.

This is why I believe the time has come for a Long Island Congress and related Long Island 3.0 ideas. Maybe the State of Long Island is a bit extreme (today anyway!), but a coordinated and powerful Long Island is not.

February 1950

Congressman James Delaney of Astoria raised eyebrows in February 1950 when he announced, somewhat tongue in cheek, that he wanted to make the State of Long Island. A member of the House Rules Committee investigating admitting Hawaii and Alaska as states, he claimed that Long Island would make a much better case for statehood, and “if you throw in New York City, there is no comparison.” He continued, “Alaska, with 90,000, has 1/4 the members of my district.” The proposed state, with 26 members in Congress, would have about the same sized congressional delegation as California or Illinois. Jamaica would be the proposed capital of the state of 9 million.

It is time to become self sufficient.

No comments: