Pure Exploitation - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1520542

Pure Exploitation

Since my last statement on the matter, I have contacted via email the LGBT Network president, David Klimnick, and asked him why the LGBT Network made this decision. My email mentioned the donation receipts of said corporations, which have given money and support to U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY), U.S. Representative Peter King (R-NY) and even President Trump.

As I was writing an email to Klimnick anyway, I additionally asked why Bethpage Federal Credit Union will be a sponsor of their 1969 Gala. In 2016, the PAC under Bethpage Federal Credit Union gave $2,450 to Rep. King and $500 to Rep. Zeldin — both of whom have actively voted, in multiple cases, against the LGBTQ+ community.

I sent my message to Klimnick’s email (provided on the LGBT Network website) on August 26. I received an automated message immediately after, stating, “I will be out of the office until September 3 with limited access to email. During this time I will check emails periodically, but if this is an urgent matter please contact my assistant Joey Villafane … and he will try to reach me.” I then forwarded my email to Villafane.

I have yet to receive an email response from either Klimnick or Villafane. I provided my physical college mailing address in the email as well, just in case written response was for some reason preferred. I have yet to receive a response through that method either.

The lack of response to the community, and an individual who has actively been involved with and donated to the LGBT Network, speaks volumes. Not only is this a total disregard of genuine interest to the community they say they represent but a clear implication that the knowledge of these companies past and continued donation record was known in the decision to make them sponsors and take their money, caring less that these companies are simply doing a marketing stunt to expand their base of customers. A pure exploitation of a social cause.

Until the LGBT Network gives a response, apologizes for their poor decision-making, creates a plan of action to avoid this going forward, and replaces Walmart and People’s United Bank as the sponsors of their workplace summit, they have wholeheartedly failed the queer community.

Max MicallefNoyacMr. Micallef is a senior at Purchase College in Westchester County — Ed.

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