[lg policy] Suffolk County NY: Steve Bellone Announces Broad New Language Access Policy for Suffolk

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 17 15:56:17 UTC 2012

Steve Bellone Announces Broad New Language Access Policy for Suffolk

Posted November 14, 2012 by Patrick Young, Esq.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has announced a new policy
making Suffolk the most language accessible suburb in the United
States. Most county agencies under Bellone’s jurisdiction dealing with
the general public will now have interpretation and translation
provided in six languages. The languages are those most commonly
spoken in Suffolk. They are Spanish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese,
French Creole, and Mandarin.

This marks a sharp break with the Steve Levy administration’s
approach, which marginalized immigrants by keeping even essential
emergency services like police protection in English-only. That
benighted policy provided an environment in which immigrants reporting
hate crimes were turned away by police, allowing swarms of teens to
target Latinos with virtual impunity. This contributed to the 2008
killing of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue.

Although the official announcement came today, Assistant County
Executive Luis Montes told an audience at the Long Island Language
Advocates Coalition (LIIAC) conference on Friday that Deputy County
Executive John Schneider will be in charge of implementation and that
each county agency will designate a high-ranking executive to run

The conference was dedicated to the memory of Marcelo Lucero and it
was refreshing to see a Suffolk leader honor his memory with more than
just words. This new policy will make Suffolk a welcoming place for
immigrants and save lives.

Groups like the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, Long Island Language
Advocates Coalition, Long Island Civic Engagement Table, Make the
Road, New York Communities for Change, Long Island Wins, and CARECEN,
played key roles in the struggle for the new policy.


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