ABLI invites U.S. Senate candidates to appear for debate that focuses 2.7 million people on Long Island's future

Sep 20, 2012, 13:25 ET from ABLI

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Stating that the issues of Long Island energy, infrastructure and taxes need to be defined and explored in this year's U.S. Senate contest, Jan Burman, President of the Association for a Better Long Island (ABLI) today invited Senator Kirstin Gillibrand and her Republican challenger Wendy Long to debate the issues under the auspices of the ABLI.

"New York State cannot power itself out of this painful and sustained recession with Long Island and Long Island can't fulfill its role as an economic powerhouse without the focus and attention of our U.S. Senate representatives," stated Mr. Burman. "Against the backdrop of a Presidential debate to be held at Hofstra next month it is appropriate that we also welcome our Senate candidates to debate the topics that will define our region's future."

In extending invitations to both camps the ABLI leader said, "We have no agenda other than Long Island's quality of life. We have no political leanings other than seeking an advocate for the region's 2.7 million people. We have not seen the two candidates for U.S. Senate discuss our concerns face to face and it's time that silence was broken with a debate that addresses the issues that can make or break Long Island's leadership."

Burman said topics for discussion must include, among other issues, federal funding for Suffolk County sewers, hydrofracking in New York and Long Island's natural gas infrastructure, the role of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs in regards to casino gaming in the state and the region and access to low cost hydro power from Canada and upstate New York.

ABLI Executive Director Desmond Ryan stated, "Democracy is about participation. And our candidates need to participate in a vigorous debate before Long Island's concerned, involved and active electorate. We hope both candidates will accept."

The ABLI is a business advocacy group that represents some $15 billion in commercial, retail, industrial and residential properties throughout Nassau and Suffolk. Its agenda includes the support of public policies that creates orderly economic growth, addresses infrastructure, energy and tax issues and seeks the enactment of progressive land use.