Senator Jack M. Martinswas hosted by hundreds of Haitian community members from Westbury, New Cassel, Elmont, North Valley Stream and South Floral Park in a "Town Hall" style meeting. The forum was an introduction for Senator Martins to the Haitian community as their new Senator of the 7th Senate District. Residents asked questions to Senator Martins in a free flowing discussion moderated by community members associated with the Salvation Army. The forum was moderated by Captain Joseph Lubin of Elmont. Joseph's son, Junior Lubin, escorted the Senator during the visit and introduced him to community members.
"This was an outstanding meeting that focused on issues and concerns that the Haitian community has identified and want to address. People expressed their hopes, dreams and future of their neighborhoods. I was honored to visit with them and not only listen to their concerns, but share with them news about our State budget and the challenges we face. I was very pleased with the support I received at the gathering and I look forward to being a regular visitor and community partner," said Senator Martins.
Many forum participants asked Senator Martins about local property taxes and cuts to education. Other questions centered around revitalization projects and job creation. "One area I really look forward to working with the Haitian community on is economic empowerment issues. My priority is to help create jobs, cut local property taxes and improve quality of life. Whether it is on Hempstead Turnpike, Jericho Turnpike, Elmont Road, Prospect Avenue, Old Country Road or streets and neighborhoods in between, we have opportunities that await us," said Senator Martins. "We have to seize these opportunities for the benefit of everyone."
After the forum, Senator Martins met with local youth and talked with them about their ideas, dreams and culture. Young people actively participated and asked questions. Students shared with Senator Martins what they were studying and even taught him a little French Creole. "You learn so much from our young people and I can't thank them enough for their warm hospitality. They were a lot of fun to visit with," Senator Martins concluded.