Which Queens nonprofit leaders want Amazon back?

A silhouette of someone.
A silhouette of someone.

Which Queens nonprofit leaders want Amazon back?

And other updates from across New York.
March 1, 2019

New York nonprofit leaders are among the 70 or so big names who signed an open letter urging Amazon to reconsider moving to Long Island City, Queens. The New York Times reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pitching Amazon executives about reversing their abrupt pull out from plans to establish a satellite headquarters in New York City.

“We know the public debate that followed the announcement of the Long Island City project was rough and not very welcoming,” reads the open letter. “Opinions are strong in New York – sometimes strident. We consider it part of the New York charm! But when we commit to a project as important as this, we figure out how to get it done in a way that works for everyone.”

Signatories include: Plinio Ayala, president & CEO of Per Scholas, Inc.; Christopher Hanway, executive director at Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement; and Anthony Lopez, executive director of Zone 126.


New Alternatives for Children has won a Mutual of America Foundation Community Partnership Award. The award recognizes the Manhattan nonprofit’s work on education services and advocacy – and comes with a $25,000 prize. A Feb. 28 luncheon honored the 37-year-old organization, according to a press release.


Four New York reporters have received fellowships to cover Raise the Age implementation across the state. The 2017 law means that 16- and 17-year-olds suspected of committing crimes will not be automatically charged as adults in New York, once it fully goes into effect later this year. Additional provisions require that counties across the state remove qualifying teens out of adult facilities, including Rikers Island. However, implementation has been far from perfect.

Covering this process statewide is increasingly difficult at a time when many local newspapers have gone out of business. To give New Yorkers a better sense of what is going on, the Tow Foundation is providing funding for the Chronicle of Social Change for stipends and reporting support, according to a Feb. 26 press release.

“New York State lost nearly a third of its newspapers in the last 15 years, many of them outside of media-rich New York City,” Michael Fitzgerald, the Chronicle's New York editor, said in the press release. “This is a way to incentivize talented local veteran and student journalists to cover major policy transformations that badly need more oversight.”

Here are the fellows:

  • Abe Kenmore, political reporter at the Watertown Daily Times in the North Country.
  • Devon Magliozzi, general assignment reporter at the Ithaca Voice in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Elizabeth Floyd Mair covers the large Albany suburb of Guilderland.
  • Muhammad Nomani, a graduate student at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications.


The Long Island Community Foundation has a new board chair. Patricia Marcin is a Uniondale-based partner at Farrell Fritz, where she specializes in estate planning and related issues, according to a Feb. 28 press release. She was first elected to the foundation board in 2010 and to the position of vice chair four years ago. Marc Wong will succeed her in that role. He is a managing partner at The Empire Group, where he develops financial plans for clients.

“We’re thrilled to have Tricia serve as board chair,” David Okorn, executive director of the foundation, said in the press release. “Throughout her years of service on the Foundation’s board, her insight and passion for Long Island have been invaluable. Together with Marc as vice chair, we are confident that their leadership and steadfast commitment to philanthropy, will continue to grow LICF’s charitable funds to further improve the quality of life on Long Island.”


A new campaign called Fair Futures wants New York City to increase spending on academic support for foster care youth. A total of 65 child welfare agencies, nonprofits and advocates want a $50 million increase in annual funding for youth between middle school age and 26 years old, according to a Feb. 28 press release.

That money would go a long ways to boosting the long-term prospects of youth in the foster care system, advocates say. Inaugural members of Fair Futures include FPWA, New York Foundling, Children’s Aid, Good Shepherd Services, The Children’s Village, and Catholic Charities.

About 4,000 children in middle school and high school are in foster care, with about 650 aging out of the foster care system each year once they are 21 years old. Graduation rates are dramatically lower for foster youth compared to their peers.

“As we envision a New York where every child has an equal opportunity to succeed, we must invest even more in youth in foster care,” Alan Mucatel, CEO of Rising Ground, said in the press release. “Through Fair Futures we can assure that these young people complete their education and are prepared for employment so that they can best support themselves as adults.”  

A spokesperson clarified post-publication that the campaign aims for funding for life coaching for foster care youth to age 26 as well.


About 100 faith leaders are calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to build more housing for the homeless. Specifically, they want him to do two things. The first is to reserve 10 percent of the 300,000 housing units in the plan for homeless people and households. The second ask is for 24,000 of these units to be new, according to the letter. “While we recognize and commend you and your administration for all your efforts to address the crisis, we must call on you to do even more,” reads the letter. See the full list of signatories below:

Zach Williams
Zach Williams
is a staff reporter at New York Nonprofit Media and sister publication City & State.