21st Annual Smart Growth Awards: LIVE and In-Person!

Smart Growth Awards Logo

For over 20 years Vision Long Island has been honoring individuals, organizations, and projects that advance the growth of our downtowns and infrastructure. Specific focus areas include transit oriented development, affordable housing, environmental sustainability, traffic calming, transportation enhancements, clean energy and community based planning.

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2020 Smart Growth Summit Review

While the event was very long, and dug into many deep challenges, it was an overwhelmingly hopeful affair, grounded in real people doing real things, so much so that folks kept watching long after 5pm on Friday! In summary:

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Vision Smart Growth Awards, Summit

We also deeply missed being able to gather with 1,000 community leaders at a live Smart Growth Awards this year. We are grateful for all our sponsors at Vision Long Island do to advance Smart Growth, their focus on serving Main Street (especially now!) and for their endeavors — like so many other nonprofits — to ensure their important work continues.

The online version was still deeply valuable. You can read a brief description of the honorees here. Check out their YouTube page for a video of the event itself, as well as great videos at the sites with the honorees.

Please also continue to check out the Long Island Main Street Alliance for news and information aimed at helping Long Island’s small businesses.

The Smart Growth Summit will also be virtual this year!

“In a time of social distancing and being unable to meet in person, the 19th Annual Long Island Smart Growth Summit is an event that takes on more importance as we seek to assist our local communities through economic recovery guided by placemaking principles.

This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, we will be holding a virtual program that will feature workshops, technical worksessions, and plenary sessions on regional and local issues facing downtown redevelopment, complete streets projects, infrastructure investment, regulatory relief and economic recovery through the Coronavirus.

For years, Vision has brought together thousands of civic members, chambers, community-minded developers, environmentalists, design professionals, labor, academics, seniors, young people, and minority owned businesses along with federal, state, county, town and village officials from Long Island and the region.

We need your continued energy and participation to help shape recovery efforts so the many years of progress made in our local communities is not lost.”

When: December 2nd through 4th

For More Info and to Register: Visit their Eventbrite page

We Repeat: Main Street News is a Must-Read

We’ve said it before, we’re going to keep saying it:

 

THIS IS VALUABLE AND IMPORTANT.

Vision Long Island and the Long Island Main Street Alliance publish the Main Street News. This is a grounded, productive, community-oriented force for those who care about the economic aspects of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s sobering, comprehensive and helpful.

While these issues are bursting with a broad range of information and resources, some key issues lately involve strong advocacy for local leadership, particularly in terms of local zoning, helping local businesses prepare for reopening, and focusing on the need and what’s being done to help folks meet basic human needs.

There’s some substantive good news in there, too.

Check out their website. Follow their Facebook.

Vision is one of our strongest advocates for Long Island downtowns, and has been generally connecting diverse local stakeholders to learn and work together for the betterment of our communities for over 20 years. We strongly believe they are a huge reason why there’s as much healthy communication and collaboration in the name of true public service and community development on Long Island as there is today. We are grateful to call them a sponsor.

Main Street News is a Must-Read: What’s Open, How Folks Are Doing, What You Can Do.

THIS IS IMPORTANT. Vision Long Island, one of our region’s strongest advocates for Main Street is now releasing daily issues of their new Main Street News. as it endeavors to keep up with events as they unfold. Check out their website. Follow their Facebook.

It’s a sobering, comprehensive review of important, information that includes a range of local initiatives, resources and ways you can help.

There’s news about what’s open, how folks are doing and whatever they can find to help folks weather the storm.

So go there and get informed. In general, some updated ideas that have seemed good to us include:

  1. Find your favorite local businesses on social media. Call them on the phone See what they’re doing. Buy their stuff.
  2. Buy Gift Certificates. Consider simply sending a donation to your favorite local business
  3. Restaurants are closed, but many can still do takeout/delivery. This article, which seems very well resourced, helped us feel informed and a lot safer about doing that!
  4. Realize many of these places care about their own health, your health and the community more than most ever realized. Know that many local shops are going out of their way to safely keep on keeping on — Much of Main Street — not just the eateries — are now offering curbside service and even delivery. Look up their website/social media. Even if they aren’t advertising it, call them to inquire!
  5. Special events are hugely important for organizations. Had an event cancelled? Send a donation! You can check our newsletter archives to find 100s of great local organizations
  6. Strongly consider supporting policy proposals that directly support individuals, small businesses and local governments. While they are going out of their way to come up with creative means of keeping going, there is only so much they can do,
  7. Just be kind — Especially to the cashiers, service providers and others working through this. Just. Be. Kind.

On the Human Services Front

A lovely piece from Firefly Kate Sydney’s Compassion Collection

One of the many folks on the Human Services front that we’ve long appreciated is Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds of the Family & Children’s Association in Nassau County. He suggest that this press update from NYS Senator Kaplan is a good resource for those who care and/or need services during this challenging time, be they senior services, hunger, housing, healthcare, domestic violence, drug addiction, or legal services.

We were heartened to hear that caring LIers crashed the LI Cares website trying to make donations. Still, food banks are facing significant challenges, especially with everyone rushing the grocery stores!

They are running an “Essential Drive in Response to COVID-19 School Closures, which you may donate to here. You can check out their Facebook Page for information on what they’re doing to serve our most vulnerable, including mobile food pantries!

From The INN: What You Can Do to Help Right Now

Housing Help has been offering info on legislative and other matters that impact housing and more

Mental Health: We don’t know where this “Waves of Wellness” is based, save Facebook, but it’s been helpful

For Veterans: One of the better sources of information we’ve come across aimed directly at vets is Patchogue VFW Commander Dave Roger’s personal Facebook Page. We are grateful for his service.

For Seniors: Stop and Shop will be open exclusively to folks over 60 from 6-7:30am starting Thursday. This lets them get there when it’s the least touched and the best stocked. We are grateful.