Vincentian declares candidacy for Hempstead Trustee

Rosanne Small-Morgan.
Zoe Morgan

Vincentian-born Rosanne Small-Morgan, a senior advocate for the elderly, blind, disabled and underserved population, has declared her candidacy as an independent candidate for the office of Trustee in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead, Nassau County, Long Is.

There are four Trustees in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead that has a population of about 55,000 residents, according to the United States Census.

With a heavy concentration of Caribbean Americans, Hempstead is predominantly African American (Blacks) and Latinos. There is also a small population of whites and Asians.

Small-Morgan, 51 – who moved with her family to Hempstead in October 1994 after residing in Queens Village – is a wife and a “proud mother of two gifted children,” one of whom has autism.

Small-Morgan, who migrating from St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 1988, is reportedly the first Caribbean-born woman to seek the office of Trustee in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead.

A senior consumer advocate, author, mentor, motivational speaker, radio and talk show host, with a weekly newspaper advice column, Small-Morgan told Caribbean Life that she’s been “sitting on this announcement for a couple of weeks, going back and forth with God.

“Literally, if He didn’t speak to my heart, I wouldn’t do this,” she said. “I am confident that, with my many years of public service, along with the many connections that I’ve made networking personally and professionally, I can help enhance and bring positive changes to the Inc. Village of Hempstead.

“My family and I love this historic village,” she added. “We know there’s so much more that can be done to enhance its growth and opportunities for its residents. I want to see us all thrive, have improved quality of life and continued growth.”

Small-Morgan, who is running on the ticket, Transparency for Hempstead, also works in the utility industry, where she manages Nassau County and the Rockaways in Queens.

She said she has filed and then I received a letter stating that her petition was accepted for the process to be put on the ballot.

“So, now, it’s gone to the Nassau County Board of Elections to be determined for any objections and specifications for me to be given the all clear,” she said. “However, I can continue to campaign in the interim.”

Small-Morgan – who is also the executive director of the non-profit organization, Autism Who Knew Inc., which caters primarily to the African American, Caribbean and Latino populations – said the Incorporated Village of Hempstead is “due for a change.”

She said this change should involve “transparency, using grassroots efforts to bring more services and economic opportunities to the residents.”

“I am that person to bring these changes to the Village,” Small-Morgan affirmed.

She said the role of the Trustee is to set policies, approve budgets, and generally oversees the work that involves reviewing and approving the various appointed boards and committees in the Village.

Small-Morgan said her campaign planks are focused on economic development; mentorship and internship programs, especially for the middle and high school children; developing a new first time Home Buyers program for young families; helping the elderly and the underserved to get more services; and aiding families with special needs children.

On economic development, she said she would foster an environment to lure big and small businesses alike to the Village.

Small-Morgan said the mentorship and internship programs would enable intervention before middle and high school children are recruited by gangs.

The new, first time Home Buyers program for young families would “bring more pride of ownership in the village,” she said.

Small-Morgan said she would fight for more services, such as energy efficiency programs, addressing food insecurity and financial literacy, for the elderly and the underserved.

For families with special needs children, she said she would assist them in accessing “their rightful services.”

“I would like to be their advocate, so they can have the best quality of life possible,” Small-Morgan said.

“I think I stand a great chance of winning,” she added. “I am an advocate at heart. Addressing the needs and concerns of the residents of the Inc. Village of Hempstead is very important to me.  I look forward to meeting the public and hearing their concerns.”

Small-Morgan – an active member of the Hempstead United Methodist Church, where she sits on the Board of Trustees – promised to be transparent and honest.

She also vowed to work hard in bringing the promised programs and agendas “to life.”

“The public will benefit from my many resources that I will share with them, and I am eager to do so,” Small-Morgan pledged. “I am very approachable and willing to work with others for the greater good.

“I want to see all the residents have an improved quality of life,” she added. “I would like to help create an upward trajectory for the residents of the Incorporated Village of Hempstead. It will be an honor to work within my community.

“We are in such a unique time here in America – division, distrust and, in many cases, a depressed economy,” Small-Morgan continued.  “I, however, am still very hopeful that we can make small changes to yield a huge and positive outcome.

“One brick at a time builds a solid foundation,” she said. “That is what my mother taught me.  I hope to become a bricklayer to build a sturdy and prosperous foundation for change in the Inc. Village of Hempstead for future generations.”

Small-Morgan’s mom, Lorna Small, who was shockingly murdered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2008, was the retired Director of Libraries and Archives in her native land.

Small-Morgan said her mother taught her to have faith, to persevere and to give-back to the community.

“So, in her memory, I continue to persevere, through my struggles, and to give back and help others through their journey,” she said.

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