As part of our “5 for 5” series — designed to help GreaterPatchogue.com readers better navigate the 2015 Elections — we asked Pauline Salotti to give us five great ideas that could be set in motion in the next five years.
Salotti, 39, is a Patchogue resident, activist, musician and radio show host on WUSB 90.1 FM.
She’s running for Brookhaven Town’s 5th Council District on the Green Party line. Election Day is Nov. 3.
Set up a Brookhaven Town Bank, which would be owned by the residents and collect town revenues and then loan out some of that money to sole proprietors within the town, residents who want to form cooperatives, and for student loans, for example.
The bank would take deposits from Brookhaven Town residents and give them interest.
North Dakota has almost the same population as our town, and they have the country’s only state-owned bank, which survived the economic recession with flying colors.
Operating independently from the Federal Reserve, we can provide an alternative to Wall Street bankers and establish our sovereignty to create as many jobs as we need.
This bank would work in partnership with smaller retail banks, not against them.
Renewable energy + eco-park = jobs
We simply don’t need to spend $5 billion on Caithness Long Island II to offset the super summer peak times of energy consumption, which amount to less than 100 hours per year. Instead, we should continue our efforts toward renewable energy by installing solar panels
We also can think of fun and safe large-scale projects that bring our community together — rather than divide us with controversial enterprises such as fossil-fuel plants or gambling facilities.
Imagine a water-centric ecological park that utilizes the ocean water flowing through it toward the bay, replicating the positive ecological effects of Fire Island breaches, with renewable energy sources powering the site while enhancing ecology awareness.
This project could be a public/private partnership, which I envision to take place on Fire Island, that can attract thousands of visitors and generate a colossal amount of jobs and revenue.
A related long-term goal would be for us to develop Brookhaven Town’s own renewable energy power plant, which would save people money and move us toward a pollution free environment.
Water Is everything
Pollution of our drinking water and estuaries has been drastically increasing for the last six decades, due in part to a lack of proper infrastructure and exponential population growth.
We need to enact a comprehensive plan to take care of our waters.
State funds have been granted to expand sanitary sewer service and I want to make sure that these funds aren’t squandered once more.
And developers should pay for their own, modern wastewater treatment systems, rather than that be a taxpayer burden.
Combined with a massive outreach in public education on the causes, consequences and prevention of pollution, we can reach a five-year water protection goal to quit turning our aquifers and bodies of water into giant cesspools, restoring the coastal biodiversity we once had.
Local elections are run by one party that has two faces and there’s rarely a real race between the major party candidates.
This causes too many citizens to feel hopeless and excluded from the electoral process, because they don’t believe they can make a difference.
I want to establish an independent, progressive opposition party to the bipartisan establishment, and let the disgruntled rank-and-file members of those parties know they have real choices for candidates.
I also believe each candidate should only have one line on the ballot. This should benefit the transparency, also the checks and balances of the office, by avoiding an oligarchy. An ongoing project is to set up a complete campaign method to assist future candidates and seek out for those individuals.
Help people connect
Community supported agriculture is a concept already successfully proven on Long Island, such as through the Hamlet Organic Gardens program. Residents pay a fixed amount for the season and get to pick up their share of fresh, organically grown vegetables once a week — on site.
I want to see more throughout our neighborhoods. If taken to heart, they can provide sustainability, great improvement to our quality of life and generate jobs.
The town can help these cooperatives take place by donating parcels of vacant land. Directed by experienced organic master gardeners, every age group from local schools to senior citizens, will have a chance to learn self sustainable agriculture by experience.
This is a stellar way of rescuing kids from the social ill epidemics by giving them a sense of purpose in a productive society.
One or more central, vacant buildings could be made into all year-round farmers markets, which settings may inspire and connect residents through cooking, and other groups.