The success of our organizing victory with the Led Zeppelin tribute at the Brookhaven Amphitheater was due in no small part to political allies, including Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko.
Since taking office in April 2009, Lesko has kept his word to Local 802.
A former U.S. attorney, Lesko won the Brookhaven Town Democratic Party’s nomination to run in a special election for the seat once held by Brian Foley, who is now a state senator.
Local 802 took an interest in the race and reached out to the Lesko campaign.
In a series of conversations, Lesko promised to stand with Local 802 in the event of a dispute between an employer in the town of Brookhaven and our members.
Further, he expressed the desire to find a way to restore funding to the Brookhaven Arts and Humanities Council, whose budget was completely eliminated by the Republican-controlled Town Board.
Additionally, he agreed to create a committee to find ways to bring creative sector jobs to the town.
Since his election, he has honored every single promise.
In a meeting on June 22, Lesko reiterated his commitment to the arts and asked me to assemble the aforementioned working group.
The following evening at a Brookhaven Town Council meeting, Supervisor Lesko sponsored a resolution restoring the budget of the Brookhaven Arts and Humanities Council for the remainder of the year.
I spoke at the meeting in favor of the resolution and when it came time for the vote, it passed 5 to 2.
(A copy of my remarks to the Brookhaven Town Council can be found here.)
By standing with Local 802 and launching these new arts initiatives, Mark Lesko has shown the 600,000 residents of the town of Brookhaven and Local 802 his commitment to the arts and his understanding of its cultural, educational and economic benefits.
He’s done the right thing by the Long Island Philharmonic, our members, and the arts communities within the town of Brookhaven.