With holiday optimism still brimming, Jan. 1 always seems like a good time to pledge to be better. But too-broad New Year’s resolutions are nearly impossible to keep, and often they’re broken. So, instead, let’s try to make some resolutions that are doable if the political will can be summoned. Here are a few to consider.
The State Legislature:
To hold more hearings on Long Island — similar to the recent one on housing discrimination — to advance issues like public transit, alternative funding for schools, and building more housing.
To address lingering bias in Long Island’s housing market, more funding is needed for paired testing.
To stop lawmakers from delegating power to special commissions, and start actually legislating themselves.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority:
To hold firm in labor negotiations with the Long Island Rail Road unions, especially on overtime abuses and obscure, costly work rules.
To explore ways to eliminate diesel trains, use solar to power the third rail, and provide better service, especially to oft-neglected LIRR routes.
To make sure the East Side Access and third track projects — scheduled to be finished in 2022 — stay on time and on budget.
To stop the political bickering and deal with reassessment issues, including instituting a five-year phase-in of the current plan.
To continue negotiating police contracts that are fair to officers and the taxpayers.
To continue to control the outsized influence of the police unions in corrupting criminal prosecutions.
To establish a coastal commission that can plan for the consequences of rising sea levels and regulate for the region’s future needs.
The Town of Oyster Bay:
To promote development in downtown Hicksville by working with the MTA on a parking garage, and allowing for more housing units. National Grid: To devise and institute a plan that guarantees enough natural gas for Long Island without the drama of refusing new hookups.
New York sports teams:
To have the New York Islanders play next season — their last pre-Belmont Park one — entirely at Nassau Coliseum.
To win a championship. Just one. By any of the area’s professional teams. It’s been too long.
All of us:
To stop speeding and aggressive driving, and texting while driving.
Once that’s all done? Well, we can’t help ourselves, so we’ll still resolve to hope and dream. That means imagining a year in which no children cower in a closet as a gunman prowls a school hallway. It means supporting scientists who make discoveries in medicine, climate, and space. And it means finding new ways to house the homeless, feed the hungry, and employ those in need of work.
For now, we’ll take small steps forward. Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous new year.