Hempstead Village officials looking past town to become city
With a population density of 16,000 people per square mile, the Village of Hempstead’s residents live closer together than in any other village in New York, and many cities in the United States. The village of 55,000 residents in all is denser than Los Angeles or Baltimore, even three times as densely populated as Houston or Detroit.
So is it any wonder the village board recently chose to begin pursuing city-hood for Hempstead Village by voting to create a committee to craft what could become a city charter?
Mayor Waylyn Hobbs Jr. told The Point Tuesday that the idea was discussed preliminarily under several mayors before him. Hobbs said the biggest advantages involve money, firstly because the village could keep more of the sales tax generated within its lines if it became a city.
Federal money, too, could flow there more easily, with Community Development Block Grants given directly to cities but not to villages, and with many other federal grant programs directed more at cities than at other political subdivisions.
But, other than money, what would the effect be?
First off, pulling those 55,000 residents (which Hobbs calls a significant undercount) out of Hempstead Town would solidify the town’s consistent Republican slant even further. Hempstead Village is largely Democratic-leaning, with a population that is about 90% Black and Hispanic.
The change would also shrink dramatically the town board district of Dorothy Goosby, a local player and Democrat who has often allied herself with the town’s Republicans in order to maximize her political power and, she says, to get her community what it needs. It also would leave her home outside the town borders.
Said Goosby, “I certainly would not like to see that happen. This has been brought up before, but to pursue this and not talk to the community about it, not talk to the town board about it … and to have this young man [Hobbs] going around saying the town does nothing for the village … that’s not true. This is about them wanting to build more big houses and big buildings and this village is already totally full, and short on parking. When this came up before people were against it, and that’s why it went nowhere.”
But Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin, who praises the job Hobbs is doing as mayor and the ease of working with him, said his instinct is to listen and be supportive, though he doesn’t know enough to say whether he could back the move.
“I look forward to a discussion with Mayor Hobbs on the issue, and if he thinks it’s going to benefit the community, I’m going to be very interested in listening and understanding,” Clavin said. “But I’d have to truly understand the ramifications for the town, which are complex, before I could say whether I can support it.”
And even if it happens, it will take some time for Hempstead Village to become the first new city created on Long Island in a century.
According to attorney Paul Sabatino, an expert in municipal law, there are a variety of ways a village can become a city. When the action emanates from the village board, as in Hempstead, the path is through the creation of a city charter, a voter referendum on becoming a city, and then state legislation.
That charter committee is being formed now, Hobbs said, and the tentative plan is to name five members. The deadline to apply for inclusion on the committee is midnight Tuesday, and anyone wishing to apply can do so at https://www.villageofhempstead.org/.
— Lane Filler @lanefiller
Looking for the missing piece
Even as New York State Senate candidates prepare for their own round of primaries next month, there are still some missing pieces — particularly when it comes to financial disclosures. While their petitions were submitted and candidacies declared weeks ago, an analysis by The Point after a Freedom of Information Law request shows that as of July 15, at least six Long Island candidates — all challengers — had not submitted disclosures, which generally are due 10 days after officially becoming a candidate.
That includes State Sen. Anna Kaplan’s primary challenger Jeremy Joseph and, in the same 7th District, Republican candidate Jack Martins. Martins also had to file a financial disclosure as a member of the independent redistricting commission, but his last disclosure on file was as of 2020.
Martins told The Point Friday afternoon he was working on the new disclosure and expected to file soon. Joseph’s campaign manager, Elle Lagalante, told The Point Friday that the campaign’s treasurer was working on it and expected to submit it that day. Kaplan’s disclosure has been filed.
In SD1 and SD2, all candidates had filed their paperwork. In SD3, Republican Dean Murray hadn’t filed as of Friday but told The Point he had just received the necessary forms and would complete them over the weekend. Murray’s opponent, Farzeen Bham, had filed. Wendy Rodriguez, the Republican challenger in SD4, hadn’t filed. Her Democratic opponent will be the winner of the other key Long Island State Senate primary — between Monica Martinez and Assemb. Phil Ramos, both of whom have financial disclosures on file.
In SD5, Sen. John Brooks, like all of the other incumbents, already has a financial disclosure filed, but his opponent, Republican Steven Rhoads, did not. Rhoads told The Point Tuesday afternoon that he had sent the disclosure in Tuesday morning.
In SD6, both State Sen. Kevin Thomas and his challenger, James Coll, had filed their disclosures.
In SD8, Alexis Weik, as the incumbent, has a disclosure filed, as does her opponent, John Alberts, who submitted his disclosure back in June.
In SD9, where a battle of challengers will take place since incumbent Todd Kaminsky is not running again, Democrat Kenneth Moore submitted his disclosure but Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, the Republican, did not. Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick did not return calls for comment.
Interestingly, none of the candidates who had yet to file disclosures — all of which were due by now based on when they declared their candidacies — have yet to receive a delinquency notice. According to state law, if state officials do not receive a financial disclosure, they notify the person in writing and provide another 15 days to “cure the deficiency.” If at that point, a disclosure remains outstanding, a notice of delinquency is filed.
According to state records, the only candidate for a statewide office or Long Island State Senate seat who has received such a notice was Andrew Giuliani, who lost the Republican primary for governor.
— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall
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Religion by the numbers in NY
Among the 3,142 counties across the United States, four of the top 10 most religiously diverse counties are in New York, a 2020 Public Religion Research Institute census has found.
Calculated from a score of 0 — where one religious group comprises the entire population of the county — to 1 indicating every religious group is of equal size, Kings County (Brooklyn borough) and Queens County (Queens borough) topped the list with scores of 0.897 and 0.896 respectively. Rockland County comes in at No. 7 and New York (Manhattan) follows at No. 8.
Long Island’s two counties do not make the top 10, but Nassau and Suffolk counties score 0.837 and 0.781, respectively, putting them higher than the U.S. average of 0.625.
An estimated 1% of the U.S. population identifies as Jewish, but 10% of Nassau County identifies as Jewish. In fact, Nassau County ranks third in terms of the highest concentrations of Jewish Americans, right behind Rockland County (18%) and Kings County (12%). In Suffolk County, 4% of the population identified as Jewish.
Nationwide, only 1% identified as Muslim; Nassau and Suffolk counties report 2% and 1%, respectively. Queens has the highest concentration at 5%.
Nearly half of Suffolk County identifies as white Christian (48%), higher than the national average of 40%. Nassau County comes in slightly lower at 38%.
The census also found that 23% of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, a trend that has slowed down and declined from its peak of 26% in 2018. In Nassau and Suffolk counties, 19% and 21%, respectively, consider themselves religiously unaffiliated.
— Kai Teoh @jkteoh