Reverend Dr. Elliott Leads The Way Towards Educating and Empowering Minorities While Also Offering Hope, Wisdom and Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults
By Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher @HHSYC
Last week we had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Reverend Dr. Phillip Elliott, one of Nassau County’s most influential business and community leaders who is also a Pastor and the Deputy County Executive. His life-long achievements and commitment to uplift the lives of others left a real impression upon us. In addition, his leadership as Nassau’s Deputy County Executive overseeing the office of Minority Affairs provided real hope and opportunities for minorities looking to succeed in the county. We applaud his work, accomplishments and contributions to help make Nassau one of the top counties in the nation. Thanks to unsung heroes like Rev. Elliott, who is a beacon of hope for many residents especially the younger generation, we believe that Nassau County is headed in the right direction.
INTERVIEW WITH NASSAU DEPUTY COUNTY EXECUTIVE DR. PHILLIP ELLIOTT
Question: Where were you born, raised and reside now?
I was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia in a segregated community in a segregated school system with a back of the bus system. I presently reside in Baldwin, New York.
Question: How many different hats do you wear?
I only wear one hat but I wear many hat bands, which include: Husband, Father, Grandfather, Bishop, Deputy County Executive of Nassau County, Pastor, Community Leader, Professor, Advocator, and Developer.
Response: “Wow, I knew you were a busy man after the first five minutes of the interview” said Charles.
Question: Tell us about the Mission and Purpose of the Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs.
The Office of Minority Affairs (OMA) was created by the Nassau County Legislature and its mandated mission is to serve as a partner to the citizens of Nassau County in strengthening and building communities through programs which promote the development, advancement and betterment of economic, employment, business and cultural opportunities for the minority residents of the county and the improvement and stabilization of economically deprived areas in the county. The OMA serves as a central coordinating body for county funded and county assisted agencies or offices involved in any of the foregoing purposes.
The OMA has the following powers and duties as stated in the Nassau County Charter:
a) Assist the various officers of the county government in improving the delivery of quality of life services such as social services, mental health, health services, public works projects involving the minority community and public safety.
b) Provide the County Executive and the County Legislature with “Minority Community Impact” assessments on budgetary actions and policies.
c) Provide access and opportunity for minority participation in county contract and procurement programs.
d) Develop and improve the county’s Women and Minority Business Enterprise programs to afford greater opportunities to participate in public contract bidding procedures as well as exploring ways and means to assure their participation.
e) Produce and publish any research papers or studies on issues affecting the minority community.
f) Provide assistance in the implementation of Affirmative Action programs in county government employment, housing and the development of an annual Affirmative Action report required by the county for certain of its state and federal funding sources on employment opportunities for minorities in the work force.
g) Administer the county’s Affirmative Action program.
Question: Can you briefly describe some of the important projects are you working on?
- Wavier of bonding requirements up to $250,000.00 on construction projects, thereby, increasing procurement opportunities for women and minorities.
- Implementation of a minority merchants market, thereby, allowing the identification, cultivation, and exposure of minority businesses in Nassau County for increased business opportunities.
- Establishing of Nassau County Goals for all County contracts.
- Conducting a disparity study, which will serve as the basis for establishing above-mentioned goals.
Question: What accomplishments have been achieved under your watch?
- Increased woman and minority participation in Nassau County contracting and job opportunities.
- Increased certification of women and minority contractors.
- Increased Cultural Diversity.
- Monitor and enforce Federal mandates for the Nassau County Bus system.
Question: What does the future look like for the Agency?
The future looks very challenging given increased Federal and State regulations and the pending development opportunities in Nassau County, ie; Nassau Coliseum and Hempstead Renaissance.
Question: How can minorities benefit from this Agency?
Minorities can benefit by attending business readiness workshops, becoming a registered vendor and becoming certified in the WMBE and DBE programs.
Question: How will the County benefit?
The county will benefit with a reduction of unemployment, poverty and reliance on government for sustenance. We will have a healthier economy and social well being for residents.
Question: Tell me about your Church and relationship with the community.
I am the Bishop and Pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church of Hempstead, which provides senior citizen housing, youth programs, family, marriage, and relationship training, and drug recovery programs. The Antioch Church boasts of 1800 members working together to better the community and mankind through an “In Reach, Out Reach, and Up Reach” ministry. By “in reach”, I mean developing one’s self in one’s purpose. By “out reach”, I mean reaching out to help others in the community, and by “up reach”, I mean reaching up to God for guidance, wisdom, strength, and a personal relationship with Him.
- Someone asked me recently, “What is my legacy?” And I liked the question, because perhaps I’d been too modest to proclaim some of the work that I’ve done that I’m most proud of—that’s my gifting to teach and educate. I have a personal charge for Christian education, especially for training church and spiritual leaders and shepherding shepherds.
- Sunday School & Word Leadership Academy where they get Christian education, help with homework and school studies and also have a forum to talk about some of the issues they face outside of the church, like peer pressure, violence and drugs.
- High School Grads—more than 90% of our high school grads have gone on to college and are very successfully completing their studies.
Christian Education: for 2 decades, we’ve been able to help educate the local community in the gospel through theological and seminary programs offered through colleges:
- NY Theological
- Virginia Union University
- Richmond, VA, Seminary
Question: What are your goals?
To transcend traditional notions of Spirituality to include Economics, Health Education and Social Well-Being with sustainable and replicable Domestic and Global initiatives.
Question: What words of wisdom do you have for our youth and young adults seeking to find their way in life?
Do not allow anyone or anything to Define you or Confine you. However, what you are going through may Refine you for your true purpose. Follow your dreams wherever they may take you.
Question: How does someone get in touch with you if they want to know more about your many projects?
I can be contacted at:
Antioch Baptist Church
94 James L.L. Burrell Avenue
Hempstead, NY 11550
Church Office: (516) 485-1499
Email: [email protected]
Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs
(516)-351-4698 or (516) 571-0415
Email: [email protected]
ABOUT NASSAU COUNTY
Nassau County is a suburban county on Long Island, immediately east of New York City in the U.S. state of New York, within the New York Metropolitan Area. As of July 2011, the population was 1,334,436. living within two cities, three towns, 64 incorporated villages, and more than 60 unincorporated hamlets. There are 11 zip codes served by 67 postal address names. There are 56 public school districts within the county.
In 2012, Forbes magazine, in an article based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, reported that Nassau County was the 12th richest county in America and the wealthiest in the State of New York, with an annual median household income of about $91,000.
The racial makeup of the county was 73.0% White (65.5% non-Hispanic White), 11.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.6% Asian (3.0% Indian, 1.8% Chinese, 1.0% Korean, 0.7% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese, 0.1% Vietnamese, 0.9% Other Asian), 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.6% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.6% of the population.
Nassau County is home to numerous colleges and universities, including Adelphi University, Molloy College, Briarcliffe College, New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Old Westbury, Nassau Community College, Hofstra University, C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University, United States Merchant Marine Academy, and Webb Institute.
Nassau County is also home to Gold Coast Studios where Spiderman was filmed and Grumman Studios, which is the largest Film Studio in NYS, where Angelina Jolie filmed Salt. In addition Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, and a host of other TV shows are filmed in Nassau County.
For further information about this article or what Nassau County has to offer please hit us up at [email protected] Also, stay tuned for weekly updates from Deputy County Executive Phillip Elliott on issues pertaining to Nassau County, Youth and the Church-based community.