ON THE ISSUES
Protect Our Hard Earned Tax Dollars and Fight to End Waste, Fraud and Abuse.
All too often economic development in Suffolk County is reactionary, haphazard and unfortunately entirely too beholden to the interests of a few wealthy, politically connected individuals. The County spends 660 million a year on economic assistance. We need to establish economic incentives for those companies who invest in their workers and the community.
We need to be proactive in preparing for where the economy is headed. It will undoubtedly be more automated. We are blessed with one of the most educated workforces in the Country. We have world class research centers at Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Our area should be a hub of STEM related incubators and start-ups.
Projects like the Ronkonkoma Hub offer the potential for economic success, but we need to ensure that all of the stakeholders effectively work together to create a development that works for the entire community. The county needs to provide smart investments in infrastructure and attract the type of business ventures that will benefit the local community.
Work with Local Law Enforcement in the Fight to Stop Violence
Thanks to the tenacious work of the Suffolk County Police and countless community organizations, violent crime in our community has decreased to its lowest levels in decades, continuing its downward trend over the last 20 years.
The Suffolk County Legislature needs to provide our law enforcement and social services agencies with the support they need in order to continue to battle the ongoing opioid abuse crisis. In particular, funding for the the recently implemented PIVOT (Preventing Incarceration via Opportunities for Treatment) should be expanded.
The Legislature should also work closely with law enforcement to ensure they have the proper tools to combat gang violence and sex trafficking. Task forces formed in coordination with state and federal agencies have made significant progress, but we must not become complacent.
Use His Experience as a Environmental Civic Engineer to Protect Suffolk’s Open Space and Water Ways
As an environmental engineer, I know all too well the extensive damage that has been done to our environment. Our waterways are polluted. Lake Ronkonkoma used to be a crown jewel of our area. Now it is not even safe to swim in. Only the tenacity of local civic groups has kept the lake from being lost, but the County has the ability to help introduce advanced waste water treatment systems and direct county resources to oversee a robust restoration process. It simply requires willpower.
The facts are unequivocal. Global warming is going to leave Long Island extremely vulnerable to catastrophic damage. Decisive action must be taken immediately to make our area more resilient.
Making Suffolk County Affordable for Families
The biggest concern facing our community is that people can simply no longer afford to live here. We all know countless friends and family who have moved away in search of opportunity. Wages have remained stagnant for 40 years. This is despite the fact that workers are more productive today than at any other time point in our Nation’s history. A lot of our affordability issues are the result of disastrous national policies and I will be a strong voice advocating for the middle class to our state and national leaders, but there are steps we can take at the County level.
One of my biggest priorities will be drafting legislation for a significant reduction in the fees that middle class families in our district our forced to pay. This will be done in conjunction with a comprehensive reassessment of the way property taxes are levied by the County to find areas where we can provide relief to homeowners. I will propose legislation to significantly increase the resources Suffolk County allocates to developing affordable housing. The County has made tremendous strides in embracing Transit Oriented Development, but we are still severely lacking in available affordable housing for younger workers and retirees. The County can also do more to attract first time home buyers by increasing the current economic incentives. Investing in people should be a main goal of the County.
Ensuring That Our Elected Officials are Held Accountable
Too many of our elected leaders focus more on being someone rather than actually serving their constituents. Public servants should always be responsive to constituent concerns. They should be constantly walking around their community talking to their neighbors listening to their ideas and problems. Elected officials should be honest. They should serve selflessly.