I want to thank Will for taking the time to write this great piece. Follow him here on twitter.
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Will Curley I am 30 years old. I lived on Long Island for 21 years. I left Long Island in 2002 due to the fact that I did not fit in the future of Long Island, whose politics and structure favors baby boomers and retirees. I attended Hofstra University, and as a kid hitch hiked down the turnpike to get to Isles games. On a game by game basis I had attended at least 25 games a year working since I was 16. I moved to New Orleans with a huge hole in my heart being away from my Islanders, Mets, Jets, Jones Beach, the best Coffee, Bagels, and Pizza in the world. I later moved back to the northeast, although not to Long Island, but to Delaware. I have a household income of 90K, two wonderful boys, a great wife, and a house with a lot that feels like I own my whole block in farmingdale.
My Wife and I make a good living and have seen the Isles on the road since I moved away in Atlanta, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Washington, New Jersey, MSG, Columbus, and Raliegh. We are die hards. We love Long Island. I had hope that maybe I would come back if the Lighthouse Project were created, then it went dark. Now I am excited again. I had my childs baptism last week and spent the afterparty educating my family that still lives on Long Island (although dwindling) about the 8/1 vote. They all know that they will have a $58 yearly tax increase, however they do not know that they are at risk of losing Long Islands only professional sports franchise and the last North American Professional Sports Dynasty in the Islanders. They don't know that they will lose $248 million in revenues, taxes, and additional income from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum if a new building is not built.
This is not only about the Hockey team, it is about Long Island. I live in Delaware, my sister lives in New Jersey, my father lives in North Carolina, and my brother is moving from Garden City to Texas. Long Island needs to show it can grow into the future. Approve a project that will help more demographics on the Island and break the traditional build a senior citizens complex and get re-elected scenario. I would love to come back and live on the Island where I have so many great memories. Bring my children to see playoff hockey and the Ringling Brothers as my parents and grandparents did for me. If it remains business as usual I sadly will never come home. I tell stories to my boys of how my Grandfather painted the Grumman Ball on top of the factories in Bethpage and my mother built fighter jets. It was such a great place. This step forward needs to happen if there is any chance of the tens of thousands of young adults leaving the Island hope to return.
I sincerely hope you vote YES for those of us who want a chance to come home.