Earlier this month, the Legislative Majority convened a hearing focusing on anti-Asian hate crimes and violence. During the hearing several Asian American community activists testified that they knew of many people who were afraid to report hate crimes in part because of New York’s new Discovery reform laws mandating that prosecutors turn over the contact information of victims and witnesses to defendants within 15-days of arraignment. This includes their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
To address this disturbing matter, I joined my colleagues this week by sending a letter to our state leaders calling on them to expeditiously amend the Discovery reform laws to exclude personal information regarding victims and witnesses from being shared with defendants, specifically in the case of hate crimes. Racial hate and bias have no place in our society and violence of this nature against anyone is reprehensible and must not be tolerated. Our state leaders must immediately amend the law. I will continue to do anything I can to see that this law is changed so that anyone who is the victim of a hate crime can report it without fear of reprisal from the individual who perpetrated the crime upon them.
In a unanimous vote this past Monday, the Nassau Legislature approved legislation to require individuals who live or work at county owned properties to disclose political campaign contributions. The bill was introduced by the Legislative Majority after it was discovered that a $20,000 campaign contribution was made by an individual seeking to rent the Milles Fleur mansion in Sands Point from the county, on the same day the rental was approved by the Rules Committee of the Legislature. This law will now close a loophole in the disclosure laws and create greater oversight of county real estate transactions.
On another note, a quick reminder about two virtual food drives being supported by the Legislative Majority: One is being coordinated by Island Harvest Food Bank to help benefit clients of The Safe Center LI and the other by Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Food Bank. As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Long Islanders particularly hard and while area food pantries have ramped up their collection and distribution efforts, the surge in demand has created even more challenges than usual.
Donating is fast and easy and can be accomplished by visiting either of the following websites:
https://yougivegoods.com/nassaulegislaturefooddrive2021. I encourage my fellow Long Islanders to show their generosity by assisting us in this worthwhile endeavor to help those struggling with food insecurity.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts and ideas you may have with respect to the County or on any particular issue that you think I may be able to assist you with. You may contact me at (516) 571-6214 or by email at LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov .
Have a great weekend everyone! 😊
Laura M. SchaeferLegislator, District 14