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Archive for April 9th, 2013

WHAT DO YOU VALUE?
For the past year, the GASD, City of Amsterdam, various not-for-profit organizations and committed individuals have collaborated to meet the needs of our youth-at-risk that are dealing with circumstances of poverty, neglect and/or isolation. This community partnering began in response to a terrible tragedy last summer – the murder of two boys by two other boys, all under the age of 16. The pained outcry from our constituency for more attention to the needs of young people was immediate and persistent. The resulting action taken can only be considered revolutionary.
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Through the combined efforts of those mentioned above, a Community Action Group has formed to offer constructive, creative and healthy opportunities for our youth. We have opened a recreation center focused on athletics and wellness, and an arts center promoting self-expression through dance, theater, music, literature and the visual arts. Most importantly, confident, new leaders in their 20’s have emerged to mentor students and advocate for increased investment in these ventures.

The importance of physical education in this scenario cannot be overly emphasized when we are trying to inspire our youngest and neediest residents. Many of these children deal with weight issues, struggle to work in team settings, and must learn to work with authority figures. Sports are a natural conduit to these learned attributes. Your support will be instrumental in providing access to programs, activities and services that are so vital to reaching our common goals.

THE CITY BUDGET
We need your support for our Department of Recreation requests in this year’s budget. We are asking to increase the position of Assistant to the Recreation Director to full-time. She coordinates activities at the centers and goes after financial support for these initiatives. In under a year, she has brought in $25,000 in revenues for programming, equipment and building improvements, all for 20 hrs/wk and $10,000/yr.

She’s developed a new recreation website and FB page, a comprehensive calendar for recreational events, a weekly email blast to over 2,000 individuals, and facilitates events like the Hosner 5K Run. This summer, we are planning a Summer Break-out Event featuring Radio Disney, a Summer Wellness Program with SMH, and Summer Camp Activities at the centers. Imagine what she could do in 40 hours?!

The Recreation Director works tirelessly and is the driving force behind the ALL of the scenarios described above, and MUCH MORE. He is asking that his salary be raised to be commensurate with that of other department heads. This is an investment in our future.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
If you value the changes we are making for the betterment of our community, we need you to VOICE YOUR SUPPORT! Call the aldermen, write letters to the editor and come to Council meetings to speak your mind!

Joseph M. Isabel ~ 1st Ward Alderperson (518) 684-6260
Valerie Beekman ~ 2nd Ward Alderperson (518) 842-1430
Gina DeRossi ~ 3rd Ward Alderperson (518) 842-5697
David J. Dybas ~ 4th Ward Alderperson (518) 842-5865
Richard Leggiero ~ 5th Ward Alderperson City Hall (518) 843-0808

These people need to hear from residents that support quality of life improvements and are optimistic about what we’ve been doing.

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