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Long Island activists demand that provisions be restored to Democrats' reconciliation bill

Progressive activists on Long Island gather Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, to commemorate the ninth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, and urge elected officials to fight harder for the $3.5 trillion federal infrastructure bill.
Desiree D'Iorio
/
WSHU Public Radio
Progressive activists on Long Island gather Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, to commemorate the ninth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, and urge elected officials to fight harder for the $3.5 trillion federal infrastructure bill.

On Long Island, progressive activists gathered on the boardwalk to commemorate the ninth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath, and to urge elected officials to fight harder for the original Build Back Better bill in Washington.

About two dozen activists called on members of Long Island’s congressional delegation to fight harder for bigger investments in climate, employment and health care initiatives in the federal reconciliation bill.

They said Congresswoman Kathleen Rice and Congressman Tom Suozzi are blocking key items in the $3.5 trillion measure.

“Three or four big things are still outstanding. One is directing the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for all of us. And unfortunately, Kathleen Rice is standing in the way of that happening,” said one of the activists.

The organizers represented diverse interest groups including New York State Alliance for Retired Americans, 1199 SEIU and SEPA Mujer.

The rally was held just one day after Biden announced a smaller $1.75 trillion framework for infrastructure spending.

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Born and raised in Connecticut, Desiree now calls Long Island home. She is WSHU’s 2019-2020 News Fellow, covering local government, the environment and public affairs on Long Island. She received her A.A. in Communications from Nassau Community College and B.A. in Journalism from Stony Brook University. Her past internships were at the Long Island Press and WSHU. In 2019, she co-wrote a four-part series about the Long Island Pine Barrens, bringing to listeners the sights and sounds of this unique ecosystem nestled in the heart of Suffolk County. There are 300 tabs open across her devices at all times.