Nassau Legislator Ellen Birnbaum won’t resign over alleged ‘insensitive’ comments

Birnbaum was talking about a community center in

Birnbaum was talking about a community center in New Cassel.

MINEOLA - Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum has been ousted from the Democratic caucus, but she says she will not step down.

News 12 has learned that effective immediately, Birnbaum has been permanently expelled from the caucus and stripped of all her committee assignments.

The move comes after Birnbaum was allegedly overheard making racially insensitive remarks about African-Americans last month by three staff members. The Democratic leader of the Nassau Legislature, Kevan Abrahams, claims Birnbaum called a New Cassel community “a bad neighborhood because African-Americans live there,” and also said that “very few people would want to go there."

Abrahams calls Birnbaum's alleged comments insensitive and says they will not be tolerated.

Birnbaum was talking about the neighborhood surrounding the Yes We Can Community Center in New Cassel. She says that while she can't recall her exact words that day, she claims she was talking about how the center was being underutilized and that her comments were never meant to offend anyone.

Birnbaum is refusing to resign as legislator and says she will serve her two-year term.



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