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Young professionals: How can we stay on LI?
September 16, 2010 by JAMES BERNSTEIN

At Kodiak's Restaurant & Bar in Farmingdale one night earlier this week, about 50 people in their 20s, 30s and 40s sat chatting and dining, in what could have been an any-night-on-Long-Island scene. But it had more purpose than that.

These were young professionals preparing for oossible battles to come - battles with town zoning and planning boards and with political and business leaders. If battles come, they will be about the future of the young professionals - and Long Island. They are organized under the umbrella of The Action Long lsland Young Adult Alliance, an offshoot of The Action Long lsland business group, which is focused on keeping the next generation living and working here.

The young professionals expressed the same hopes their parents and grandparents had -to live in decent homes, hold down well-paying jobs and raise families. But many said staying here for a working career would be difficult, at best.

Even now, most must still live at home with their parents.

For Megan Bove, 25, of Massapequa, who has her own interior design firm - Esotico Designs -the key is finding an affordable place. Some people, Bove said, equate affordable with low quality. "That's not the case with us," she said.

Jenna Victoria Pollack, 28, of Jericho, a real estate consultant who owns JVP Consultants of Garden City, finds the lsland a tightening maze of traffic jams and logjams at town halls. Frances Picone, also 28, of Melville, a senior exchange coordinator at the Exchange Solutions Inc., a financial services firm in Freeport, says her "roots" are on the lsland but finding a place of her own now? "Virtually impossible," she said.

Many are mobilizing to fight for the proposed Avalon Bay housing development in Huntington Station, which would provide apartments for people of different incomes and ages.

Action Long Island chairman Sheldon Sackstein said the young professionals have not been heard by the Island's powerful. "They [young professionals] haven't had a common voice," he said.

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