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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Immigration
Type: Event

Victory! Suffolk County Adopts Improved Human Rights Law

MRNY member Frank Sprouse-Guzmán praises the expansion of the Human Rights Law at today’s signing with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (center).

It’s an exciting moment for civil and human rights in Long Island. We are pleased to announce the second of two important victories in Suffolk County — in just seven days!

After unanimous passage by the county legislature, County Executive Steve Bellone signed into law today new protections that strengthen Suffolk’s Human Rights Law for all residents.

The new, improved Human Rights Law:

  • Expands protections against employment discrimination based on family status, pregnancy, and for domestic workers;
  • Adds protections for transgender people, veterans, domestic violence victims, pregnant women, and disabled residents;
  • And much more!

Most importantly, the new law prohibits discrimination against renters who receive public assistance or other subsidies. As MRNY member Maria Rebaza testified to the legislature recently, “This law will stop landlords from discriminating so we can all find decent homes.”

With these new protections, communities vulnerable to discrimination — like low-income and immigrant New Yorkers — will have the power to stand up to employers, landlords, and creditors who violate their rights.

This victory sends the message to Long Islanders that all of us matter and all of us have rights.

Thanks to the leadership of County Executive Steve Bellone, MRNY members are helping Suffolk turn the page on a past riven with racist and anti-immigrant politics that have sparked discrimination and even hate crimes against our communities.

In September, in response to our years of organizing, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department announced it would no longer cooperate indiscriminately with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s unjust dragnet deportation enforcement. Suffolk’s new policy will keep more families together, improve community-police relations, and make our communities safer.

We look forward to continuing our work throughout Long Island to build a better New York for all of us.

Thank you to all of our amazing partners in the Long Island Housing for All Coalition, including New York Communities for Change, ERASE Racism, and many more, for their hard work and collaboration in this victory.