Santino Launches Language Access Initiative at Hempstead Town Hall; Current Multilingual Employees Fluent in 17 Languages to Provide Translation Services to Neighbors

In an unprecedented move to further expand the public’s access to municipal government, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino announced that his administration will provide neighbors with translation services upon request at Hempstead Town Hall.  The Supervisor was joined by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad at a press conference announcing the new program.

This important step comes on top of Santino’s much-praised moves to stream town board meetings online, offer sign language interpreters and provide electronic hearing units for neighbors with hearing impairments.

“Hempstead Town is America’s largest township and is home to almost 800,000 people with a wealth of different languages, cultures, and traditions.  I’m proud to take this important step forward to ensure there are no language barriers between residents and municipal government,” said Supervisor Santino.

“There is abundant language diversity in my council district,” stated Goosby.  “This program will ensure true and unlimited access to our government for people who do not speak English.”

In partnership with CSEA Local 880, municipal personnel fluent in languages other than English will provide translation services at town board meetings and on-site at departments upon reservation, free of charge to residents seeking assistance.

“This is a progressive program that will open up the doors of government for more people,” said D’Esposito.  “I am grateful that the town’s labor union is working hand-in-hand with Supervisor Santino to make this program available to our residents.”

More than 35 members of the Hempstead Town workforce fluently speak, in addition to English: Creole, Czech, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Memoni, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Slovak, Spanish, Ukranian, Urdu and American Sign Language.

“Everyone is welcome at Town Hall.  Increasing Hempstead Town’s accessibility to all residents has been a top priority of my administration,” said Santino.  “Being able to communicate with neighbors in a language they understand is key to our work in the communities that make up our municipality.  It’s also a critical part of building a stronger relationship between our township and residents.”

“I am happy that my office is playing an important role in presenting this program,” stated Ahmad.  “Neighbors are encouraged to call my office to arrange for translation services.”

“By expanding language access and interpreter services to residents with limited English proficiency at Town Board meetings at no additional cost to taxpayers, our government is providing access to all,” Santino said.

“The town’s labor union is always seeking new ways to improve the town’s services to residents,” observed CSEA, Local 880 President Charles Sellitto.  “I am pleased to partner with Supervisor Santino and the Town Board on this worthwhile program.”

Residents who wish to utilize these translation services are asked to call the Hempstead Town Clerk’s office 72 hours before a town board meeting or other planned visit to Town Hall.  Please call 516-489-5000 ext. 5682 to request translation services  so that personnel can be assigned to meet neighbors’ needs.