(BROOKLYN, NEW YORK): Democratic Conference Leader, State Senator John L. Sampson, told a gathering of the faith community leadership in his district that present-day challenges demand that they change their operational paradigms and become more involved in community-building. Over 20 members of the faith community recently attended a “Faith Community Breakfast Meeting” called by Senator Sampson to hear from the faith community what issues and challenges that they faced and to give an account of his stewardship in Albany.
“This year has been a very challenging one for all New Yorkers. It has been particularly difficult for you and the programs and services that you run to help the less fortunate in our community. You have had to do more with less. This belt-tightening will unfortunately continue into 2012. Right now the state is facing a $350 million budget deficit for this year and $3.5 billion for fiscal 2012-2013. That’s going to mean more cuts to the kinds of services and programs that help your community,” Senator Sampson said in accessing the state of the state.
He told the gathering that it was important to consolidate services and complement each other rather than seeing themselves as competitors. He said that after listening to the meeting there was a clear need for capacity building and organizational training. Senator Sampson also urged meeting participants to become more creative in respect to available services and not bolster redundancy because that cripples the roster of services.
“You must think out of the box. Now is the time to come together and learn from each other. You do not need to reinvent the wheel. There are some things that each of you do well and some things that you don’t do so well. By coming together you will build strength and tap into pools of expertise and professionals that will help you improve your organizations,” Senator Sampson said.
Senator Sampson will hold a follow-up meeting with the faith community leaders in January next year that will include a seminar on not-for-profit development, legal and compliance issues.