Nassau Executive Laura Curran Seeks to Regain Hispanics’ Trust

Laura Curran and her team during a meeting with members of the Hispanic press on Long Island, held on Thursday, Sept. 6, in Mineola. (Photo from NCPO via Noticia Long Island)

“Latinos are important to the development of the economy of this county, and I want them to know that we work with transparency,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran at a meeting with the Hispanic press and representatives of Long Island community organizations. (…)

A Democrat and a legislator from 2014 to 2017, Curran made history in January 2018 when she was sworn in as the first woman to head Nassau County. (…) Eight months later, her administration has begun taking firm steps to keep her promise of putting an end to corruption that she made to voters.

“I want our Hispanic residents to know and be informed of everything that is going on in the different departments that form my administration,” said Curran, highlighting the work the Department of Social Services, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and the Police Department, among others, have been carrying out to provide efficient services for the county.

Unfreezing taxes is the first of the executive’s campaign goals that she is seeking to achieve. “We have services to cover, and we need residents to pay their taxes,” said Curran, referring to the fact that, for the first time in a decade, the market price of the county’s 400,000 homes will be reevaluated.

Property tax assessments were frozen in 2011 by the previous administration, but Executive Curran ordered them unfrozen in 2018 and signed a bill to review property valuations across Nassau for 2019.

(…) Curran said that she made sure that her tax plan will benefit the middle and lower classes the most.

For his part, Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, one of the high-ranking officials who accompanied Curran during the meeting with the Hispanic press, said that he is committed to finding solutions to the safety issues faced by the diverse communities in the county. The executive appointed him in February 2018 after 35 years of service on the force.

“So far, we have achieved only positive results. In the last seven years, violence in the county has dropped 30 percent, and just this year we have been able to reduce it another 5 percent,” said Commissioner Ryder. (…)

The Hispanic connection

For Nassau County and Executive Curran, it is essential to restore the connection of Hispanic residents with C.A.S.A., a county agency that provides bilingual assistance for job, health, housing and educational services provided by the county and by state and federal agencies.

“In their everyday lives, the Hispanic community has different needs. C.A.S.A is a Nassau County agency that provides a safe space, we speak Spanish, and we will make sure to continue to provide the best guidance for Spanish-speaking residents,” said Gabriela Castillo, director of C.A.S.A.

Castilllo, a Salvadoran lawyer, said that C.A.S.A. (…) also plays an important role in the work the county’s departments carry out, as it allows them to evaluate procedures related to Latinos and their needs.

“The new leadership is making certain to include residents in their administration and to ensure real transparency,” said Castillo. “We need to work hand in hand to reestablish trust with the Hispanic community, and we will keep looking for ways to reach out to them,” she said.

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