"From amazing tourist destinations to inspiring organizations to must-eat local food, this tour has taken me to some incredible places," Speaker Heastie said. "Today I had the unique opportunity to see firsthand the work that Keep Your Change, Inc. is doing to transform the lives of local kids, learn about the history of aviation on Long Island and visit the construction site of a soon-to-be YMCA."
"It was truly an honor to have the speaker here today to see the amazing things that Long Island has to offer," said Assemblymember Jean-Pierre. "The places we visited truly embody some of my district's greatest strengths – our commitment to education, investing in our youth and our rich history in aviation."
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Jean-Pierre began today's tour by visiting Keep Your Change, Inc., an academic support program and a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to build character, self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect to help build stronger communities. Keep Your Change, Inc. provides after-school learning and summer programs to more than 50 local youth.
In 2017, the program received $15,000 in state funding. The town of Babylon's Human Services building, which houses Keep Your Change, is also set to receive a $615,000 State and Municipalities Capital Grant for renovations.
The pair also toured the American Airpower Museum, an aviation museum that hosts a collection of aviation relics and aircraft. The Museum is fully chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and is a federally recognized not-for-profit organization. It is one of only a few museums in the world that actually flies historic aircraft, including an original Republic P-47D fighter among others in its fleet.
The Assembly works with museum to navigate issues with the New York State Department of Transportation regarding runway reconfiguration and its negative impact on museum tie-down space and events.
Upon leaving the aviation museum, Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Jean-Pierre visited the construction site of a future YMCA in Wyandanch. The new YMCA will share a location with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center, and will utilize partnerships and support from the state, Suffolk County and generous private donors. The new facility will bring employment opportunities, stimulate economic growth and strengthen the community. Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Jean-Pierre nominated the community center for a $4 million State and Municipalities Grant.