Tags Posts tagged with "Suffolk County Legislator Manuel Esteban"

Suffolk County Legislator Manuel Esteban

Photo by Raymond Janis

Why cashless bail is right

The starting place for any discussion of bail reform is an understanding that jails are terrible places. This includes county jails, rural jails and frankly even the drunk tank where those arrested for DUI are properly held overnight.

Anyone accused of a misdemeanor or a nonviolent felony who spends a week or weeks in jail will be damaged forever. They will be terrorized, abused and intimidated by the other inmates. They may be raped and infected with AIDS.

If they have a job, they will have to call in, and more likely than not will lose that job. If they have a business, the business will likely fail. Single parents may lose custody of their children. All of which reinforces the cycle of poverty, which is at least contributory to what causes poor people (those who cannot make cash bail are by definition poor people) to commit misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.

A priori, the impact of cash bail is visited on the poor — like if they had the $500 they would have paid it — and poverty is disproportionately inflicted on people of color. Oh, yeah, people of color get arrested a lot more than white people. Cash bail is inherently discriminatory.

Let’s dispose of the outcry that through cashless bail we are putting dangerous criminals out on the street. At worst, what we are doing is putting cashless suspects back on the street while continuing to let the ones with cash out on the street.

One of the fundamental principles of our society is that a person accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Bail is justified by a weighted measure of factors on the likelihood that the defendant will show up in court. The courts are supposed to consider threats to the community — antagonistic to the presumption of innocence — only when the prosecution makes a strong showing in support of a charge involving violence or the threat of violence.

New York’s vision of bail reform was limited to misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. So take the “dangerous criminal” argument off the table.

Timothy Glynn


A message from outgoing Leg. Esteban

As the results have come in and the voice of our community has been heard, I write this with a heart full of gratitude. Serving you has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Though the outcome was not what we hoped for, the journey has been immeasurably rewarding.

I express my deepest thanks to the Suffolk County GOP, my staff and campaign team. Your tireless dedication and belief in our vision have been the backbone of our efforts. I’ve seen your hard work and sacrifices firsthand, and it will not be forgotten.

To my supporters, your passion has been my inspiration. Every handshake, every story, every event, every moment spent with you has reinforced my commitment to public service.

This moment is not the end of our story; it’s merely the turn of a page, the beginning of a new chapter. Change is an essential thread in the fabric of our democracy, and I embrace it fully, eager to see where it leads us all.

To my family, my children and my wife, your support has been my sanctuary. Politics is a demanding path, and without your love and sacrifice, this journey would have been impossible. And to my dear mother, who is battling illness in the hospital, with incredible strength, my focus now turns to you, to return the loving support you have always given me.

I pledge to continue to be a voice for the voiceless, to advocate for those in need and to help forge a future that benefits all. Our work together is far from over, and I eagerly anticipate the next ways in which I can serve.

I extend my congratulations to Rebecca Sanin [D-Huntington Station]. Taking on the mantle of leadership is no small task, and I have great respect for anyone who steps forward to serve the public in this capacity. I trust that you will carry forward the wishes and needs of our community with integrity and dedication. May our transition be smooth and our shared objectives for the community’s welfare continue to be the guiding light of our efforts.

Thank you all, once again, for the privilege of being your public servant.

Manuel Esteban

Suffolk County Legislator

Legislative District 16

Support your community by shopping local this Saturday

You can support small retailers and restaurants by joining me and your neighbors on the 13th annual National Small Business Saturday, this coming Nov. 25.

Small Business Saturday began on Nov. 27, 2010. It was in response to both Black Friday (large stores) and Cyber Monday (e-commerce stores).

Small Business Saturday is designed for those starting holiday shopping to patronize small along with local community-based businesses.

Many small independent businesses are at the mercy of suppliers, who control the price they have to pay for merchandise. The small business employees go out of their way to help find what I need. Customer service is their motto.

An independent mom-and-pop store does not have the bulk buying purchasing power that Amazon or large national chain stores have. This is why they sometimes charge a little more.

It is worth the price to avoid the crowds and long lines at larger stores in exchange for the convenience and friendly service your neighborhood community store offers.

Our local entrepreneurs have continued the good fight to keep their existing staff and suppliers employed without layoffs and canceling supply orders. They work long hours, pay taxes, keep people employed and help fight crime by serving as the eyes and ears of neighborhoods. Foot traffic is essential for the survival of neighborhood commercial districts.

The owners of independent mom-and-pop stores are the backbone of our neighborhood commercial districts. Show your support by making a purchase.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

From left, Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (3rd from left) and Legislator Manuel Esteban (center) at the forum. Photo courtesy of Leg. Bontempi's office
John Venza, one of the presenters, speaking to the audience. Photo from Leg. Bontempi’s office

The Northport Public Library recently collaborated with Suffolk. County Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (R-18th L.D.), Suffolk County Legislator Manuel Esteban (R-16th L.D.) and Suffolk County Legislator Robert Trotta (R-13th L.D.) to facilitate a timely discussion on addiction, mental health and today’s youth.  One of the objectives of the event, entitled “Breaking the Stigma,” was to encourage more frequent and honest dialogues on the topics in both public and private circles.

“The issues of addiction and mental health are too important to ignore or tiptoe around,” said Bontempi.  “These serious issues warrant our full attention, and part of the process leading to that is recognizing that they are simply part of the human condition.  We need to address our issues, not be ashamed of them.

“The night’s presenters included John Venza and Gordon Gooding who spoke respectively about concerns surrounding addiction and the stressors associated with everyday life.  The presentations made it clear that there are no shortage of challenges out there, but there are also many treatment options and preventative tools.

“If you are a parent or caregiver of children, staying up-to-date on the growing body of knowledge and resources in this arena is so important,” added Bontempi.

For those interested in exploring resources regarding addiction and mental health, visit: https://www.scnylegislature.us/171/Stephanie-Bontempi and click on “Behavioral Health Directory.” 


Legislator Stephanie Bontempi greets attendees at the event. Photo from Leg. Bontempi's office

On June 8, at the Huntington Public Library (Station Branch), Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (R – 18th L.D.) joined with Legislator Manuel Esteban (R – 16th L.D.) and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office to co-host a Senior Medical ID Card event.  Although the event was geared toward seniors, the cards were issued to anyone 18 years of age and older.

Legislator Manuel Esteban poses for a photo at the information table with a Deputy Sheriff and the venue’s librarian. Photo from Leg. Bontempi’s office

“It really is essential to have your most vital medical information on you at all times, especially if and when you are not able to speak for yourself,” said Bontempi.  “Whether it’s an allergy or another serious medical condition, the sooner first responders know about these issues, the better they can assist you; that’s why I got one for myself.”

Those attending the event filled out a form to outline their essential medical information and the best person to contact in case of an emergency.  This information was then transferred to a photo ID card produced and issued right on the spot within minutes.

To learn more about the Senior Medical ID Card program and other offerings of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office, visit: https://www.suffolkcountysheriffsoffice.com/community-programs.     

Photo from Leg. Trotta's office

The Commack Kickline Cougarettes won the varsity kickline title and the Sportsmanship Award at the 2023 National Dance Alliance Competition in Orlando, Florida. This was their second consecutive kickline title at this competition.

Suffolk County Legislators Rob Trotta, Leslie Kennedy and Manuel Esteban Sr., who represent the Commack area, invited the team, their coaches and School Superintendent Jordan Cox to attend the May 23 General Meeting of the Legislature to recognize the team and coaches for their achievement.

“As a graduate of Commack High School North, I am so impressed by these student athletes and congratulate them and their coaches for their athleticism, precision and team effort,” said Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta. In addition, Legislator Trotta invited several of his classmates who were on the Kickline team at Commack North to join him in congratulating the current team members.

Pictured at the Suffolk County Legislature are the Commack Kickline team, coaches, Commack Superintendent Jordan Cox (left) Commack Athletic Director Pat Friel (next to the superintendent) Legislator Rob Trotta (center) former teammates (in front of him) and Legislator Kennedy (sixth from right).

Purple rocks with faces and names painted on them represented local lives lost to fentanyl. Photo from Kara Hahn’s office

Grieving residents and elected officials gathered on Tuesday, May 9, for a press conference in Hauppauge hosted by Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) for National Fentanyl Awareness Day. A pebble was dropped into a jar every 8 1/2 minutes during the press conference, representing the average span that another individual dies from a fentanyl overdose in the United States. Purple rocks with faces and names of lost loved ones painted on them were placed on the ground in front of the podium, representing the 175 lives lost each day due to this epidemic.

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, at podium, hosted a press conference on May 9 to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. Photo from Kara Hahn’s office

In addition to Hahn, several other elected officials attended and spoke at the press conference, including county legislators Anthony Piccirillo (R-Holtsville), Manuel Esteban (R-East Northport), Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) and Stephanie Bontempi (R-Centerport).

Several parents and family members of individuals who had lost their lives due to an opioid addiction also spoke. One common thread speakers emphasized was that prevention is key.

Something as simple as parents talking to their children about the dangers of drugs could encourage them to never experiment in that area. Dorothy Cavalier, currently chief of staff for county Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) and future candidate for Anker’s term-limited post, said that she’s “seen the great work that we can do and the amazing things that can happen when people just talk [to their children].” She warned that children might receive a pill from another kid at school thinking that it will help them focus while studying, but it might be laced with fentanyl.

Doctors overprescribing drugs for other issues could also lead to an addiction. Esteban said that there needs to be accountability for doctors to disincentivize giving out dangerous drugs too freely. “We need laws to hold doctors responsible who overprescribe,” he said. Piccirillo added that the county has won lawsuits against large pharmaceutical companies and put that money back into the community to help parents and children that are battling this addiction issue.

Several speakers also touched on the need for better treatment options for those attempting to overcome this battle with addiction. “We need programs that give people a fighting chance,” Esteban said. “Studies show they need at least three months. Why are we not funding these programs?” 

The mental health crisis was also discussed as a factor in this rising issue. Bontempi emphasized that part of this has to do with putting too much pressure on children and keeping expectations too high. Claudia Friszell, who lost her son to an overdose and is a drug treatment advocate, said, “We need to talk to our kids about dealing with stress and our emotions.”

Kennedy emphasized that we “need more funding for mental health treatment, which includes substance misuse.” She said that it should be a focus to get the federal and state governments to fund programs that get treatment to every individual who needs it.

Suffolk County Legislators Kara Hahn and Stephanie Bontempi hug after latter’s speech at the May 9 press conference to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. Photo by Daniel Febrizio

Many speakers wished to remove the stigma around drug addiction. Carole Trottere, who lost her son in 2018 and helped organize this event, said, “Some people think these kids deserved what they got or they knew what they were getting into.” She added that some people will say that all those who have died from overdoses were “just a bunch of drug addicts.”

Blue Point resident Dorothy Johnson, who lost her son in 2011, wants to remove that shame and stigma. She said that when returning to work after her son passed, no one wanted to talk about it with her. Johnson works in her community to get people discussing this issue so that those in need know they are not alone.

Steve Chassman, executive director for the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, emphasized that if a person is struggling with addiction they should reach out for help. “If you’re out in the cold from opiate or substance use, it’s time to come in from the cold, and we will help you,” he said.

Hahn began the press conference by informing the attendees of the fentanyl death statistics in the United States: seven every hour, 175 each day, 1,225 each week, more than 5,250 each month and more than 63,000 each year. The hope is that an environment is built where those battling drug addiction feel supported enough to seek help before they become another number in the rising fentanyl death total.

In a press release from Hahn, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. 

The release noted that since taking office in 2012, Hahn “has sponsored several pieces of legislation designed to help stem the tide of opioid deaths in Suffolk County.”

Pixabay photo

On Wednesday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. Suffolk County Legislators Rob Trotta, Manuel Esteban and Stephanie Bontempi will host an Identify Theft Prevention Seminar at the East Northport Public Library, 185 Larkfield Road,  in East Northport.  

Assistant District Attorneys from District Attorney Ray Tierney’s Financial Crimes Bureau will address Identity Theft from an elder abuse point of view focusing on motor vehicle theft, forged documents, insurance fraud, and other acts of identity theft.

As a former Suffolk County Detective, I know first-hand how devastating identity theft can be for our seniors and that they are reluctant targets of such crimes,” said Legislator Trotta. “I encourage everyone to attend as anyone can be an unwilling victim,” Trotta added.

“Anyone can be the victim of ID theft, especially someone who is not equipped with preventive strategies. Hearing from and engaging with ID theft prevention experts is a fantastic way to avoid becoming a victim,” said Legislator Stephanie Bontempi.

Legislator Manuel Esteban Sr. said, “It is my pleasure to partner on another important community program to help our residents.”

The event is free and open to all. The library will be taking reservations via phone at (631) 261-2313 or through its website at https://www.nenpl.org/

Suffolk County Legislator Manuel Esteban (R-Commack) announced March 21 that Commack resident Maria Teresa Romero has been named the Suffolk County’s 2022 “Woman of Distinction” for her work in founding Latina Sisters Support, Inc., which provides outreach, education and support about breast cancer to non-English speaking women.

“Today we are making history,” said Esteban. “As Suffolk County’s first Hispanic Republican Legislator, having the honor of naming the very first Hispanic Woman of Distinction will forever be a highlight of my brand-new career in government.”

Ms. Romero is the first Hispanic woman to receive this distinguished honor since the first award was presented in 2003.  She was chosen to represent the 16th Legislative District by Legislator Esteban, who is also the first Hispanic Republican representing this district.

Ms. Maria Teresa Romero is a Breast Cancer survivor of eleven (11) years.  She  turned her own experiences into a pillar of strength for all Latina and Hispanic women and founded Latina Sisters Support, Inc. to address and resolve the disparities in access to quality healthcare and breast cancer awareness amongst the Latino community. Unlike most nonprofit organizations who receive grants, Ms. Romero has personally funded this the organization with both personal funds and private donations.

“Ms. Romero saw a true need and continues to work day and night to provide services to Hispanic women who are fighting breast cancer,” said Legislator Esteban. “Her dedication is boundless, and she has helped hundreds of women and their families facing the sometimes-deadly diseases.

The very journey that women feel helpless, scared, hopeless, extremely ill during periods of chemo treatment, and the disparity of not having insurance at all to treat this life and death illness.

“It is an honor to recognize Maria Teresa Romero as the 2022 “Woman of Distinction” for Suffolk County.  Professionally and personally, she is a leader among women and is deserving of this recognition due to her overwhelming compassion for others and life’s purpose.  She is devoted to helping cancer patients not only survive, but provide them and their families hope for a better tomorrow,” said Legislator Esteban.

A humble, Ms. Romero said, “I am most proud and excited to be the recipient of the Woman of Distinction of Suffolk County, I assure you that this award will serve as a motivator for all my future endeavors. I will continue to strive on bringing kindness and awareness to the world and spread a message of love and unity allowing my moral compass to lead the way. My life changed drastically by being diagnosed with cancer and within seconds my purpose on earth also changed. I want to establish resources and services for women that are going through cancer. The Women are indeed the drivers of my motivation.”

On behalf of the Suffolk County Women’s Advisory Commission, Chair Tina Norton said, “I would like to congratulate Maria Teresa Romero, Winner of the 2022 Woman of Distinction Award. She rose to the top of our review of this year’s nominees. Her steadfast commitment to women facing cancer diagnosis and her tireless support along their journey speaks volumes to her role as a distinguished community leader. She represents the best of who we are and is a model for how we lift one another up throughout life‘s highs and lows!”

Office of Women’s Services, Grace Ioannidis, Director stated, “As we celebrate the Platinum Anniversary of this award, Maria Teresa Romero represents exactly what this is all about. She dedicates everyday of her life fighting for the dignity and survival of women with cancer.”

Legislator Esteban along with his colleagues will honor and present Ms. Romero with a proclamation before the full the Legislature at their scheduled General Meeting on Tuesday, March 29 around 10 am.