(BRENTWOOD, NY) Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez (D- Brentwood) is calling for unity and an end to the divisive rhetoric from fellow Legislators Robert Trotta (R- Fort Salonga) and Anthony Piccirillo (R- Holtsville) while Suffolk County is in the midst of fighting the deadly Coronavirus.
As representative for Suffolk’s Ninth District, Legislator Gonzalez supports the Suffolk County Police Department voluntarily working with local churches that produce homemade cloth face coverings specifically for hard-hit communities like Brentwood, Central Islip and Wyandanch. Legislators Trotta and Piccirillo are against the measure. The collaboration between SCPD and local churches is premised on the calculus that distributing facemasks in hard-hit communities will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help save lives throughout Long Island.
Legislator Gonzalez said, “Providing facemasks to Hispanic day laborers protects everyone whom they may come in contact with.” Legislator Gonzalez represents North Bay Shore, Central Islip, and Brentwood, NY. Demographically, Brentwood is nearly 70 percent Hispanic and has the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases in Suffolk County. “The effects of the Coronavirus are not abstract in Brentwood, it has claimed the lives of residents in my district at an alarming rate,” said Legislator Gonzalez. Although providing personal protective equipment to everyone in need would be ideal, distributing facemasks in particularly hard-hit communities and to day laborers who are forced to congregate protects those who have the ability to shelter in place, especially vulnerable senior citizens.
“This is a time to work together,” said Legislator Susan A. Berland. “We have a collective commitment to provide goods and services to meet the vital needs of all members of our community and I am dedicated to collaborating with my colleagues to ensure the health and safety of all Suffolk County’s residents.”
“While hundreds of people have died and continue to die in Suffolk County, elected officials must work together to find answers and to provide assistance to every person in need; as leaders we need to be building bridges not sewing division,” said Legislator Richberg (D- West Babylon). “Our true enemy, CV19, has proven to spare no race, age or geographic region, and despite these remarks I restate my commitment to work with all of my colleagues in government to move Suffolk County forward and to help all of our constituents, no matter where they work, where they live or how old they are.” “Now is not the time for thinly-veiled attacks,” said Legislator Gonzalez. “We can see through this divisive rhetoric. Coronavirus does not discriminate.”