We congratulate County Executive-elect Steve Bellone on his election. And we congratulate both Bellone and his opponent Angie Carpenter on running campaigns largely free from the kind of hateful attacks on immigrants that have too often been the currency of Suffolk County politics. We hope this means a new page is turning.
We were particularly heartened that both candidates could join Long Island Wins, Noticia, and the Long Island Civic Engagement Table for an unprecedented candidate forum on Long Island’s diversity. Suffolk County and Long Island as a whole face some incredibly difficult challenges, and we’ll need every Long Islander – immigrant or native-born – to feel welcomed and be able to contribute to building a stronger region.
The new county executive inherits a county government that has too often failed to take care of and protect its residents. Even now, the U.S. Department of Justice is engaged in an ongoing investigation into discriminatory policing against Latino residents. But he also inherits a county full of Long Islanders looking for real solutions on immigration, and ready to work to maximize the contributions of the immigrants who are helping keep Long Island’s economy going, and renewing our area’s commitment to faith and family.
Immigrants come to Long Island from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America to work hard and take care of their families. We look forward to working with County Executive-elect Bellone to make Long Island work for them, too.