1st Hispanic trustee in Patchogue seeks to create change in the village

Lizbeth Carrillo is shaping the future of local politics as the first Hispanic Patchogue Village trustee.
As a first generation American, she knew the struggle of being an immigrant very young.
She became her parents' interpreter as they learned how to negotiate the logistics of their new home.
"At 5 years old, I was discussing LIPA and discussing bills and how to register," Carrillo says. "And I loved it."
She grew up to serve as a community outreach director, a Hispanic community liaison for the Village of Patchogue and as a liaison for the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department.
Carrillo says serving as an elected official was a natural next step.
Some say that her election to the Board of Trustees is a sign of healing because in 2008, the fatal stabbing of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero drew national headlines. Seven teenagers were convicted in the racially charged killing.
Carrillo has already helped to bring about change including arranging the first Hispanic Heritage Parade in the village. She also hopes to tackle issues by working with the Hispanic youth and paving the way for other Hispanics to take on leadership roles.
"If I can make it, anyone can make it," Carrillo says. "Just have your heart in the right place and it goes a long way."