The goal of my writing to put both my education and experience in land use to work. I feel that Long Island’s residents are the most important resource this region has. Long Island has complex challenges that unfortunately, have been the status-quo for decades. I feel this is the by-product of public apathy and the constant cycle of local leaders who reflect “more-of-the-same.” The public has every right to be apathetic to the workings of local government. The cost of living regionally keeps on increasing, and simply put, people are too hard working and busy in their normal lives to delve into the issues. Compound that with the fact that many have given up on our broken system, especially after the fragmented response to Sandy, the blizzard, and the string of corruption, we have a perfect storm of apathy here on Long Island.
Despite this, I feel that if we put politics aside (to the best of our abilities), and educate ourselves on the issues, we can evoke lasting change. Thanks to technological advancements, public engagement in government is easier than ever. I feel that with more social media outreach and online use, young professionals can become further engaged in the governmental process.
In 2010, I set out to create a public resource for information on Long Island’s land use issues, available to all who are interested. The Foggiest Idea was created to provide simple, easily approachable insights to Long Island’s complex issues. Since then, I am happy to say I’ve watched the site grow slowly but steadily. Due to the nature of my writing, I never was looking to create monster amounts of web traffic looking, but rather respectable numbers that show yes, people are interested in these issues. Most of my web traffic comes from people looking to understand land use terminology, how our aquifers work, economic demographics of the region and global warming’s impact on those aquifers. I sincerely thank everyone for the time they take visiting. When I speak at events, I am always pleasantly surprised to find that yes, people actually do care about planning on Long Island, and how land use impacts themselves and their communities.
That all being said, my opinion on the land use issues of the day may not be popular at times. I welcome disagreement with my views. I write on expensive, complex and often conflicting issues that involve many different communities and stakeholders. Given those factors, it is unrealistic to expect harmony between all involved. Anyone who disagree should always feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea, or via email at email@example.com.
I’d be more than happy to hear your thoughts on what I write about. Honestly, I am not looking to get everyone on my side, but rather, I am just happy that we’re having a discussion on local land use. I am still young, and feel that we can all learn from each other’s experiences. Each dissenting discussion gives me insight into how Long Islanders feel on a given topic. As I always say, public input and participation is what drives the urban planning process.
Unlike most who speak and write on Long Island’s regional planning, my livelihood is not connected to any of this. This disconnect is a luxury that allows me to speak from my gut on these issues. I do not need to worry about reelection in November, have millions of dollars invested in a pending project or worry about a grant funding my group next year. Rather, I am a Young Islander who studied urban development/land use planning and public policy in school, reads up on the issues daily, and shares my passion for the topic with the rest of the Island.
By writing, I hope to convey my passion to help define what these issues are, and how we can tackle them moving forward. Thank you all for taking the time to read Young Island each week. I hope you have found the posts to be insightful and informative.
Richard Murdocco is the Digital Marketing Analyst for TFCU, although the views expressed in this post are Murdocco’s alone and not shared by the TFCU. Follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org