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Curran launches committee to increase diversity in Nassau Police Dept.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced the launch of a Police Diversity Committee last week after a media report highlighted a disparity in the hiring of minority applicants for police departments throughout Long Island.

Curran said the 10-member committee, composed of various community, civic, civil rights and religious leaders would be tasked to aid in the improved diversity of the Nassau County Police Department. The committee, she said, would file recommendations on how diversity can be improved throughout the department ahead of the next police officer civil service exam sometime in 2022.

“My administration is committed to increasing diversity in Nassau’s police force and will advocate for the changes we need to accomplish this goal,” Curran said. “I thank the members of the Nassau County Police Diversity Committee for their commitment to police reform.”

Since 2012, the Nassau and Suffolk Police Departments hired just 67 out of the pool of 6,539 Black applicants, according to the findings. The number of Black applicants who choose to sit for Nassau County written exams fell from 2,055 in 2012 to 1,213 in 2018, according to the findings. From 2012 to 2018, according to Newsday, only 36 of the 2,508 total Black applicants were hired by the county’s police department. In the past 20 years, the number of Black officers in the county’s police department fell from 110 to 103, according to the findings.

 

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Curran proposes $25 M in relief for Nassau County local businesses

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran proposed a measure last week that would provide local businesses with $25 million in federal funds to help make up for revenue losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Curran said last Wednesday that the plan to provide the $25 million in funding for grants, loans and other assistance was the result of a survey conducted by the county’s Economic Advisory Council. The funds, she said, would come from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Small businesses employ our neighbors, family, and friends and are the heart of our vibrant downtown communities that need help,” Curran said. “We need to expand our efforts to support these businesses by providing direct assistance while also helping them take advantage of the programs available from federal and state sources as well.”

The study was conducted by Hofstra University, which has aided the county in gaining insight and statistics from local businesses since last summer. According to Curran, the study found that the most effective way for the county to revive its business districts is to provide direct support of small businesses paired with a streamlined process for business owners to apply for federal aid.

According to county officials, Nassau is anticipating nearly $200 million in 2021 from the federal plan, along with $185 million in 2022. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who advocated for more than $10 billion in federal aid to New York, said he was pleased to see Curran propose an initiative to aid local businesses.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and County Executive Curran’s plan to use this federal rescue package this way will help them, and their employees weather the remainder of the pandemic and power Long Island’s recovery,” Schumer said.

Curran’s proposed measure would also feature stabilization loans to increase the flexibility of pay-back periods and secure lower interest rates for startup and minority- or women-owned businesses.

“These programs will act as a shot of adrenaline for our local economy and hopefully act as a bridge for our main street shops as the country returns to some form of normalcy this summer,” Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, said.

The proposed measure would have to be voted on by the County Legislature. Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said the Democratic caucus “looks forward” to supporting Curran’s measure.(source: theislandnow.com)

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Latest News New York

Laura Curran proposes direct cash relief for Nassau County homeowners

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has proposed that Nassau County dedicate $100 million to provide direct cash relief to County households. Nassau County’s projected budget surplus of $75 million and incoming federal funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) make the announcement possible. Nassau County, which experienced unprecedented negative economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, is receiving $385 million from the federal government — $200 million in 2021. Under County Executive Curran’s proposed plan, approximately 300,000 homeowners in Nassau County would receive a payment of roughly $375.

“I am calling on the County Legislature to support this important program and will work with my Economic Advisory Council to get this done,” said Curran.

 

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Latest News USA

Nassau County’s Human Rights Law to be amended to prohibit Covid-19 fueled discrimination

Mineola, NYFueled in part by the irrational, false and unfounded association of specific ethnic groups with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, violent attacks and bias incidents against Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have increased at an alarming rate in New York and throughout the country. In response to these unacceptable developments, Nassau County Legislator Arnold W. Drucker (D – Plainview) unveiled legislation that would give victims new tools for asserting and affirming their rights in civil court.

 Under Legislator Drucker’s proposed local law, the County’s Human Rights Law would be amended to specifically outlaw discrimination, defined as including but not limited to assaulting, harassment, menacing or inflicting physical harm, emotional harm or injury, based on an actual or perceived relationship to the COVID-19 pandemic. Victims of discrimination and the County Attorney would be empowered to sue for compensatory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

Furthermore, individuals who violate the COVID-19 discrimination ban would be subject to civil penalties of $5,000 to $25,000 per incident, which would be recoverable and payable to the aggrieved victim. Additional fines – of $5,000 – $10,000 for a first offense and $10,000 to $20,000 for subsequent offenses – can also be levied.

“At previous moments in our history, we did not do enough to confront this kind of pernicious bigotry, and the shame of the Chinese Exclusion Acts and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II continue to reverberate throughout our history,” Legislator Drucker said. “Thankfully the good in Americans is prevailing to confront this recent scourge against our Asian brothers and sisters as we have seen our elected leaders stand up and not just speak out against this hatred, but have proposed new laws designed to criminally prosecute and punish these purveyors of hatred and vitriol.”

Legislator Drucker introduced the proposed local law on Wednesday, April 7 with the unanimous backing of his Minority Caucus colleagues as cosponsors.

“Nassau County is standing together against the rising tide of Anti-Asian hatred,” County Executive Curran said. I thank Legislator Drucker for introducing this legislation, which will strengthen Nassau’s efforts to ensure all residents are protected and respected.”

“This bill is an active step to curb the surge of violence against Asian Americans and produce repercussions for perpetrators of anti- Asian violence,” said Farrah Mozawalla, Executive Director of Nassau County’s Office of Asian-American Affairs. “It is prescribing a whole new area of action for victims of COVID 19-related hate crimes in Nassau County. “

“On behalf of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Nassau County, I offer sincere thanks to Legislator Drucker, the co-sponsors of this Bill, and County Executive Laura Curran for their work in fighting discrimination and supporting our community in this meaningful and substantive way,” said Shany Park, a Syosset parent and member of the Korean American Friends of Syosset.  

 

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County Executive Curran announces vaccine equity video campaign

As part of the #WeCanDoItNassau public awareness campaign, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced a new video series encouraging communities of color to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The videos feature members of the Nassau County’s Healthcare Equity Group providing information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and personal testimonials about why they would “rather have the vaccine than the virus.”

County Executive Curran formed the Nassau County Healthcare Equity Group to combat hesitancy of the COVID-19 vaccine and increase vaccine access for communities of color.  The Healthcare Equity Group will also address other health equity issues impacting communities of color.  The Team is led by Deputy County Executive for Health and Human Services Kyle Rose-Louder, and includes the following members from the Office of Minority Affairs, Office of Hispanic Affairs, Office of Asian American Affairs, Office of Health Equity, and the Office of Human Services: Dr. Carolyn McCummings – Commissioner Human Services and Dr. Andrea Ault-Brutus – Office Health Equity

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Nassau County holds inter-faith candlelight vigil for victims of hate

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and the Nassau County Office of Asian American Affairs hosted an Interfaith Candlelight Vigil Against All Acts of Hate and Discrimination on the front steps of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative on April 1st. The vigil was held in honor of the victims of the Georgia massage parlor shootings, which took the lives of eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, and all victims of hate.

“Nassau County is standing together against the rising tide of Anti-Asian hatred. Although there have been no reported hate crimes targeting Asians in Nassau, the attacks we’re seeing nationwide are unacceptable. Nassau County will continue to work alongside our state and federal partners to combat hatred with action that will deter violence, protect our residents, and educate the public,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

 “We are here to stand vigil for the victims of the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia. We honor each life lost at the hands of atrocious, violent hate, and we are committed to raising awareness of the anti-Asian discrimination that has swept the country. Nassau County has no place for hatred, violence, and inhumanity,” said Farrah Mozawalla, Executive Director of the Office of Asian American Affairs.

Event speakers included: Pastor Steven Na from the Edge City Church in New Hyde Park; Dr. Isma Chaudhry from the Islamic Center of Long Island; Bishop Lionel Harvey from the First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury; Olivia Wong from New Hyde Park Memorial High School; Commissioner Shirley Shing from the Nassau County Human Rights Commission; Rabbi Susan Elkodsi from the Malverne Jewish Center.

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Curran & Singas announce Nassau Courthouse designated as historic landmark

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by District Attorney Madeline Singas, Nassau County Administrative Judge, the Hon. Norman St. George and others to announce that the Nassau County Courthouse at 262 Old Country Rd. in Mineola was added to the National Register of Historic Places.  Planned by the federal Public Works Administration as a Depression-era infrastructure project between 1938 and 1940, the Nassau County Courthouse has been the centerpiece of the Nassau County Court campus for 80 years.

“It gives me great pride that this incredible structure has earned its place on the list of historic places and I thank Dan Looney, deputy executive assistant district attorney for his decades of diligent research that led to this recognition,” said County Executive Curran.  “Justice requires constant maintenance, so do her courthouses – and this recognition not only highlights this historic gem but could lead to funding that will help preserve its history for another 80 years to come.”

 “When the Nassau County Courthouse was constructed in 1940 it was regal, state of the art and created a sense of civic pride,” District Attorney Singas said. “Today, it’s our turn to bring this building back to its majestic beginnings. Thanks to the National Historic Register designation, we’ll now be able to receive funds to restore the courthouse and preserve a piece of Nassau County history.”

“We are delighted that our Nassau County Courthouse is being listed on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places.  Not only is it an amazing building with incredible architecture, it is a vital Courthouse in Nassau County.  Judges, Court Staff, attorneys and the public utilize the building daily for the adjudication of felony criminal cases.   Judge St. George noted that it is fitting that the inscription on the West Side of the Building reads “Justice is God’s Idea, but Man’s Ideal”.  Everyone who enters the Courthouse commits themselves to the pursuit of Justice for the citizens of Nassau County,” stated the Hon. Norman St. George.

The effort to have the courthouse listed in the Registry was spearheaded by Daniel G. Looney, deputy executive assistant district attorney.  With the court’s original records, blueprints and transcripts burnt in a fire at Mitchel Field in 1974, it took almost three decades and a 62-page application, documenting the architecture, history to earn the recognition.

Theodore Roosevelt in 1900 laid the cornerstone for the county’s first courthouse at Old Country Rd. and Franklin Avenue.  It was expanded in 1911 and 1926 and renovated later, but by the late 1930s Nassau had grown – and outgrown the initial courts.

In 1938 Lawrence Lincoln, Lawrence J. Lincoln, a local resident who had worked at Henry Bacon’s architectural firm on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., designed the complex.

The influence of the Lincoln Memorial is present in the building’s design – the courthouse’s tall columns, lofty ceilings, lanterns, and sunlit rotunda mirror the memorial’s design.   And the tripod entrance of the courthouse is a miniature of its counterpart in Washington.
The project, constructed by P.J. Carlin Construction, cost $2.65 million and provided jobs for around 600 workers.

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Nassau County Democratic Committee files 13,000+ petition signatures for County Executive Laura Curran

On Monday, the Nassau County Democratic Committee filed more than 13,000 petition signatures on behalf of County Executive Laura Curran’s re-election campaign. The Committee in partnership with dozens volunteers from across the county collected more than twenty times the necessary signature threshold throughout the month of March and filed them on the first possible day, demonstrating the strength and organization of the party and the re-election effort. 

New York State Party Chair Jay Jacobs released the following statement: “The thousands of signatures filed yesterday show that we are using every moment to organize and talk to voters. Voters are excited to re-elect Laura Curran, a leader they know and trust, as County Executive and our Nassau County Democratic volunteer infrastructure is already showing what it is capable of.” 

County Executive Laura Curran also released a statement upon hearing the news: “I am so grateful to the Nassau County Democratic Committee and the dozens of dedicated volunteers who carried our petitions and delivered this tremendous haul of signatures,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I’m excited to hit the campaign trail and bring my message to voters as we push toward November. They know what I do: That we need tested and trusted leadership through it all and that’s what I will continue to provide to Nassau families.”

County Executive Curran is running for re-election with more than $2 million on hand. 

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Hundreds, including officials, community leaders rally to show support for Asian Americans

Local officials and community leaders led by Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (I-Woodbury) attended a “Stand Up to Hate” rally with hundreds of people to condemn increases in bias incidents and violence against Asian-Americans in the age of COVID-19 last weekend.

Lafazan’s office coordinated the event, held on the front steps of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building on Sunday, with Gordon Zhang, president of the Long Island Chinese American Association, and Farrah Mozawalla, executive director of Nassau County’s Office of Asian American Affairs.

“It’s on all of us to speak out in a loud, unified, and categorical voice to demand an end to this violence,” Lafazan said during the rally. “We know that we cannot drive out hatred with more hate. As Dr. King taught us many years ago, only love can do that. Which is why when you look at this crowd – and you see Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Jews standing together – when you see people of all different races and backgrounds standing together, when you see people of all different ages standing together, there can be no mistaking that love and unity is the answer.”

“We stand with our brothers and sisters. As Asian-Americans, we are all in this together,” Mozawalla said. “No one should be made to feel unsafe, uncomfortable or feel like they do not belong. It is important for us to reiterate that Nassau County is diverse and inclusive.”

The rally was attended by elected leaders, including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), multiple members of the New York Senate and Assembly, North Hempstead Town Clerk Wayne Wink and Nassau County Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum (D-Great Neck).

Community leaders like Tracey Edwards, Long Island regional director of the NAACP; Dr. Isma Chaudhry, spokesperson and past president of the Islamic Center of Long Island; Eric Post, Long Island regional director of the American Jewish Committee; Andrea Bolender, chair of the board of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County; and Dr. Asiah Mason, CEO of the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, which provided American Sign Language interpreters for the event; also spoke.

“The steady stream of hateful rhetoric linking Asian-Americans with COVID-19 and the ensuing number of anti-Asian hate crimes is abhorrent,” Suozzi said. “It is incumbent upon all of us to do everything in our power to call out and reject xenophobia and racism each and every time it rears its ugly head. We must always ensure that hate will never win.”

“The recent wave of hate crimes across the country, particularly against the Asian-American community, must stop,” DiNapoli said. “We must speak out against any form of hate and discrimination directed toward our fellow Americans and New Yorkers. Our neighbors must know we have their backs, and we won’t tolerate any violence or threats of violence or intimidation against anyone.”

 

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