Category Archives: Activism

Mineola, New York, USA. April 26, 2021. Activist at rally holds sign saying: STOP TAXING OUR WATER. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally to urge NYS Assemby to push through legislation, before that date, corresponding with NYS Senate Bill S989A to establish a Nassau County Water Authority and except water works corporations in counties of populations over one million from a special franchise tax. (© 2021 Ann Parry, AnnParry.com)

Activists Rally to STOP New York American Water Rate Hikes

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (annparry.com)
April 27, 2021

Activists urge NYS Assembly to pass legislation to create Nassau County Water Authority

  • contact info for NYS Assembly members at end of post
“Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. At rally, activists hold signs saying STOP TAXING OUR WATER, and Water for ALL! Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. At rally, activists hold signs saying STOP TAXING OUR WATER, and Water for ALL! Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Yesterday, April 26, activists held a rally in Mineola about the unfair burden of paying dam-bursting rates – about to rise 26% higher on May 1st – for water from New York American Water, a private company.

Living in Merrick, I’m among over 124,000 customers of NYAW in Nassau County who pay rates many times higher than county residents with municipal water.

“Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. MARGARET MAHER, from non-profit Food and Water Watch, speaks at rally. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally to urge NYS Assembly to push through legislation, before that date, corresponding with NYS Senate Bill S989A to establish a Nassau County Water Authority. (© 2021Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. MARGARET MAHER, from non-profit Food and Water Watch, speaks at rally. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Since 2011, I’ve been covering rallies and attending meetings about the extreme, unfair difference in rates customers pay for water from private companies versus municipal water in Nassau County.

“Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. Activists and civic leaders - including in front row, center, wearing lapis blue face mask and jacket, CLAUDIA BORECKY, a Co-Director of CAWS (Clean Air Water Soil) - rally at Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. Activists and civic leaders – including in front row, center, wearing lapis blue face mask and jacket, CLAUDIA BORECKY, a Co-Director of CAWS (Clean Air Water Soil) – rally at Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

But the notable changes water customers have experienced over the past 11 years have been repeated sales from one private water company to another, and a flood of rate hikes.

“Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. At front, GEORGE POMBAR, President of Glen Head-Glenwood Civic Association, speaks at rally. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally to urge NYS Assembly to push through legislation, before that date, corresponding with NYS Senate Bill S989A to establish a Nassau County Water Authority. (© 2021Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. At front, GEORGE POMBAR, President of Glen Head-Glenwood Landing Civic Council, speaks at rally. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

New York State Senate Bill S.989a

Recently, however, New York State Senate Bill S.989a passed –  sponsored by Sen. James Gaughran (Dem.-5th District, Northport) – which relates to the assessment of property owned by water-works corporations – including creating a Nassau County Water Authority and exempting water works corporations in counties of populations over one million from a special franchise tax.

In addition to NYS Sen. James Gaughran, Sen. John Brooks (Dem. – 8th Dist., Seaford), Sen. Leroy Comrie (Dem. – 14th Dist., St. Albans)  Sen. Todd Kaminsky (Dem. – 9th Dist., Long Beach), and Sen. Kevin Thomas (Dem. – 6th Dist, Garden City) actively supported the bill’s passage, and speakers at the rally thanked them.

“Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. L-R, DAVE DENENBERG, Co-Director of CAWS; LLOYD NADEL (speaking at mics) attorney for Glen Head-Glenwood Landing Civic Council; ERIC WELTMAN, Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Action; (activist); GEORGE POMBAR, Pres. of GH/GL Civic Council; and AGATHA NADEL, Director of NSCC,  speak at rally. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. L-R, DAVE DENENBERG, Co-Director of CAWS; LLOYD NADEL (speaking at mics) attorney for Glen Head-Glenwood Landing Civic Council; ERIC WELTMAN, Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Action; (activist); GEORGE POMBAR, Pres. of GH/GL Civic Council; and AGATHA NADEL, Director of NSCC,  speak at rally. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

But for New York American Water customers to avoid the 26% rate hike, and for such changes to take place, the NYS Assembly must also pass corresponding legislation before May 1st.  [See UPDATE near end of post]

“Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. Activist META MEREDAY, of Baldwin, speaks at rally and holds up sign saying: NY Assembly, Only You Can Stop the Rate Hike! Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally to urge NYS Assembly to push through legislation, before that date, corresponding with NYS Senate Bill S989A to establish a Nassau County Water Authority. (© 2021Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. Activist META MEREDAY, of Baldwin, speaks at rally and holds up sign saying: NY Assembly, Only You Can Stop the Rate Hike! Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)


Contact your NYS Assembly member:

New York State Assembly members:  assembly.state.ny.us/mem/

Michael Durso  •  District 9
nyassembly.gov/mem/Michael-Durso
dursom@nyassembly.gov •  516-541-4598

Charles D. Lavine  •  District 13
nyassembly.gov/mem/Charles-D-Lavine
LavineC@nyassembly.gov  •  516-676-0050

David G. McDonough  •  District 14
nyassembly.gov/mem/David-G-McDonough
mcdonoughd@nyassembly.gov  •  516-409-2070

Michael Montesano  •  District 15
nyassembly.gov/mem/Michael-Montesano
MontesanoM@nyassembly.gov •  516-937-3571

John K. Mikulin  •  District 17
nyassembly.gov/mem/John-K-Mikulin
mikulinj@nyassembly.gov •  516-228-4960

Taylor Darling •  District 18
nyassembly.gov/mem/Taylor-Darling
darlingt@nyassembly.gov  •  516-489-6610

Edward P. Ra  •  District 19
nyassembly.gov/mem/Edward-P-Ra
rae@nyassembly.gov  •  516-535-4095

Judy Griffin •  District 21
nyassembly.gov/mem/Judy-Griffin
griffinj@nyassembly.gov  •  516-561-8216

Michaelle C. Solages •  District 22
nyassembly.gov/mem/Michaelle-C-Solages
SolagesM@nyassembly.gov  •  516-599-2972


“Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. AGATHA NADEL, Director of North Shore Concerned Citizens (NSCC) speaks at rally, and behind her at right is ERIC WELTMAN, Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Action. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally to urge NYS Assembly to push through legislation, before then, corresponding with NYS Senate Bill S989A to establish a Nassau County Water Authority. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. April 26, 2021. AGATHA NADEL, Director of North Shore Concerned Citizens (NSCC) speaks at rally, and behind her at right is ERIC WELTMAN, Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Action. Faced with a 26% rate increase from New York American Water going into effect May 1, 2021, activists and residents who are NYAW customers rally to urge NYS Assembly to push through legislation, before then, corresponding with NYS Senate Bill S.989As to establish a Nassau County Water Authority. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)


Company & groups in post:

New York American Water – www.amwater.com/NYAW/
facebook – nyamwater    twitter – @nyamwater

CAWS – LI Clean Air Water and Soil – www.licaws.org/

Food and Water Watch
www.foodandwaterwatch.org/2021/03/02/stopping-privatization/

Glen Head-Glenwood Landing Civic Council
www.facebook.com/ghgwlcivics/

North Shore Concerned Citizens (NSCC)


→ UPDATENew York State Assembly Bill A07279

Before May 1, 2021, NYS Assembly Bill A07279 passed, which “relates to the establishment of the north and south shore water authority and capping the rate a water-works corporation may increase its rates and charges.” It was sponsored by Rep. Charles Lavine (Dem. – Dist. 13, Glen Cove), and co-sponsors Rep. Judy Griffin (Dem. – Dist. 21, Rockville Centre), Rep. Michaelle Solages (Dem. – Dist. 22, Elmont), and Rep. Michael Montesano (Rep., Ind., Cons. – Dist. 15, Glen Head).

NYS Assembly Bill A07279 differs from NYS Senate Bill A.989.a in some significant ways. For one, the NYS Assembly bill would form a North and South Shore Water Authority, covering fewer New York Water Authority customers than the Nassau County Water Authority NYS Senate Bill S.989.a would cover.


my Photo Gallery: Rally to Stop NY American Water Rate Hikes

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North Merrick, New York, U.S. June 4, 2020. Black Lives Matter March heads east on Jerusalem Ave and then turns north onto Bellmore Avenue, toward eastbound entrance to Southern State Parkway. Shortly before protestors arrive, Nassau County Police officers park several patrol cars at intersection to stop and divert traffic to make path for peaceful march of largely of young marchers, black and white . Many marchers wore face masks, some masks covering mouth and nose, some masks lowered below mouth as they chanted. Young black man with megaphone led the chant: megaphone man: NO JUSTICE marchers: NO PEACE megaphone man: NO RACIST marchers: POLICE Signs marchers carried included: RIP GEORGE FLOYD - IGNORANCE IS ALWAYS AFRAID OF CHANGE - BLM! - BLACK LIVES MATTER - NO RACIST POLICE

from Merrick, Long Island: Black Lives Matter

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (annparry.com)
June 5, 2020

peaceful march in turbulent June

VIDEO – Black Lives Matter March, N. Merrick, NY, Thursday, June 4, 2020:

Last night, while driving home shortly before 9 PM, I accidentally found myself in the path of a Black Lives Matter March about to turn onto Bellmore Ave from Jerusalem Ave in North Merrick.

When marchers turned, they passed between my car and several Nassau County Police patrol cars parked to block the intersection, so marchers had a safe, clear path.  [google maps]

I held my iPhone out the driver’s window to film the marchers, many spread out for social distancing. Most were young, some black, some white, and most wore masks, either covering their mouths and noses or under their chins.

They carried signs with messages including: RIP George Floyd  –  BLM!  –  Black Lives Matter No Racist PoliceIgnorance is always afraid of change

A man with a megaphone led his fellow marchers in a chant:  No JusticeNo PeaceNo RacistPolice

After they continued north for a few minutes, police cleared a path through the intersection, and neighboring cars and I continued south. 

Later, I learned the marchers were part of a massive, peaceful Merrick march that started earlier that night on Sunrise Highway and ultimately blocked traffic on the Southern State Parkway

NAACP.org   BlackLivesMatter.com


  This Tuesday night, June 2, self-proclaimed reporter got over 10,000 views on facebook when he live-streamed his take on about 30 people at Merrick Road, Merrick, protesting against Black Lives Matters supporters who wanted to march east from Trader Joe’s to Massapequa.

The ugly comments that anti-BLM March group made about the protestors were exacerbated by the videographer repeatedly and inaccurately referring to that small group as The People of Merrick, as if they represented the entire community.

As an aside:  One of the anti-BLM protestors commented how someone was wearing a mask (following CDC guidelines during COVID-19 pandemic) and asked, rhetorically, if the person was a coward.

It’s an anti-mask sentiment I suspect not only the chief executive of the United States but also the COVID-19 virus – if sentient – would share.


  48 minutes ago, today, an email from NY State Senator John Brooks (District 8) landed in my inbox:

Last night, we witnessed a second wave of protests over the tragic death of George Floyd. In good part, this second march was the direct result of spiteful remarks gone viral, made by ignorant people flanking the peaceful march the day before. Let’s be clear, in Merrick there exists an overall community of wonderful people who genuinely believe in the fundamental principles upon which this nation was founded. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness combined with the understanding that all are created equal provides the basis of outlook, action, and acceptance of any Merokian I have come to know.

The remarks made by these ignorant few do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the people of the Merrick community or, for that matter, any community on Long Island. Yesterday, many Merokians walked along in protest, while many others stood on sidewalks providing support, applause, and even bottles of water to the passing marchers. In response to the tragedy of George Floyd, I witnessed members of this community march in support of the most basic of human rights, and I was proud; In response to vile words of thinly veiled hatred by a minority of instigators peddling divisiveness, I witnessed this community come together once again to protest that hatred in a peaceful way, and I was inspired.

Merrick is a community of fairness and understanding, of acceptance and fellowship, and I am proud to represent this community in the NY State Senate.

Sincerely,    John E Brooks

I largely agree with Sen. Brooks’ above statement.


Walk the Walk

Segregation is rampant on Long Island, and – as Newsday’s undercover investigation found – it didn’t happen by accident. [*see links below] 

Yes, we need to Talk the Talk of the truth that Black Lives Matter and deserve equal justice, and to Walk the Walk by supporting/participating in Black Lives Matter protest marches.

Be we also need to take the countless steps needed to have our community, our Long Island communities, be more diverse and reflect the truth that Black Lives Matter and deserve equal justice, housing, health care, education and job opportunities….

*Newsday  – Three-year investigation uncovers widespread unequal treatment by real estate agents on Long Island (2019):

Undercover Investigation:  racial steering by real estate agents

Opinion/EDITORIAL (Updated Nov. 17, 2019): Segregation’s stain on Long Island can be overcome


FEATURE PHOTO at top of post: Merrick, New York, U.S. June 4, 2020. North Merrick, New York, U.S. June 4, 2020. Black Lives Matter March heads north on Bellmore Ave in direction of eastbound entrance to Southern State Parkway.


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