The Center for Civic Engagement’s community partner, the Greater Uniondale Area Action Coalition (GUAAC) is engaged in efforts to begin a Uniondale Beautification Project that would uplift Front Street and adjoining areas. $1 million dollars of funding has been set aside for the project, but the money has been tied up since last year due to political rivalries between Democrats who want to begin the project and Republicans who have kept the money locked up as a bargaining tool.
Members of the Uniondale community have been consistently objecting to this funding stall since then. Pearl Jacobs, president of the Nostrand Gardens Civic Association, was one of the community leaders who protested the standoff in the legislature last year: “Your incessant fighting has had an adverse effect on the people you’ve been elected to serve.” Kevin Abrahams is the Minority Leader who represents Uniondale and has also criticized Republicans for allegedly withholding funds for the Beautification Project as retribution for past standoffs and other political disagreements.
Meanwhile, the people of Uniondale continue to pay taxes that never seem to be appropriately reinvested in the community – issues like school overcrowding, environmental racism, and irresponsible zoning are all threats to the community. Now, when the funds have already been set aside for Uniondale’s main streets to be upgraded, they are locked up by political quarrels. Both parties blame the other for failing to cooperate towards a deal that could unlock the funds in exchange for support of other projects.
Mrs. Jacobs gave CCE an update on the project in her own words: “Unfortunately there has been no movement on the Uniondale Beautification Project due to continued infighting among the Nassau County Legislators (minority and majority bodies). The residents of Uniondale strongly believe that their project is being held hostage in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo’ among the minority and majority legislatures.” The bottom line is that the only ones who really lose are the people of Uniondale. GUAAC’s goal is to continue to apply pressure to lawmakers and make the community heard and receive the investment it deserves.