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Dedicated to standing up for the community and what is right.


We’ve heard a lot about the affordable housing crisis over the past year. If you believe Nassau County has such a crisis – what actions do you recommend the County take in the short-term (a year or two) and longer term (3-10 years)? If you don’t believe there is a crisis or that Nassau County has no role to play, please explain both the potential benefits and harms of having the County act to increase the number of homes available, absent a crisis.
Yes, there is an affordable housing crisis in our region. Nassau County and specifically the Town of Hempstead must work more collaboratively with Governor Kathy Hochul to increase and diversify our housing supply. A key part of those efforts must be strategic updates to zoning codes, which fall within the jurisdiction of the Town of Hempstead, and greater state incentive to increase the housing supply. In the short term, I believe we must pursue additional funding in the state budget for such incentives; in the long term we must change our zonings code to create more mixed-used housing opportunities. I support the Governor's affordable housing proposal, but based on the initial resistance, I believe we must engage in much more extensive outreach and education to secure the necessary local support to adopt it. Any development that we pursue must be sustainable and consistent with smart growth principles. The end goal is to create livable and sustainable communities.

Our sustainable supply of safe drinking water is increasingly threatened by over-pumping of our aquifer (which causes salt-water incursion) and by chemical toxins leaching into our ground water. Please offer three specific actions you recommend to the County to keep our drinking water safe and plentiful or explain why you do not see the threat as urgent.

I support the implementation of local policies aimed at improving water infrastructure and keeping our drinking water free of contaminants, especially PFAS and 1,4 -dioxane. An initial step needed is a legislative hearing focused on assessing (creating an infrastructure report card, if you will) and addressing our infrastructure needs, including our water infrastructure. I recently stood with my Minority Caucus colleagues to make this request. We must also continue advocating for increased federal aid so that we can implement targeted improvements for our most vulnerable infrastructures. I believe it is also important to re-examine and re-assess the effectiveness of our water treatment systems and sewers so that we can maximize their effectiveness. The County must show a plan to restore streams and other water resources. Another action is to implement an aggressive plan for securing the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid and post pandemic aid that is available.

We must adopt zoning that emphasizes the preservation of local green spaces and the wetlands. I am very proud to have reached across the Queens-Nassau border to my colleague in government Donnovan Richards, who is the Queens Borough President, to ask for a plan to address the wetlands of Jamaica Bay that border the southwest areas of the 3rd Legislative District. I am happy to report that the Borough President has authorized a $60 million infrastructure project plan to address water issues along our borders based on my written request and input from our constituents. As for Kings Park Point and the shorelines, we must do more to protect these natural resources including the Pine Barrens. We must create more pocket parks, community gardens and urban farms and protect them through legal protections such as conservation easements held by land trusts or other legal entities. We must protect open space from private development and expand open space set asides, and promote investment.

What do you envision for the future of Nassau County in light of the most urgent issues related to your constituents?
The most pressing issue faced by my constituents is the high property taxes paid by Nassau County homeowners and high rent as a result of that as well. If we do not fix our broken property tax assessment systems, I envision uncertain times and economic difficulty caused by an unsustainable system that causes property taxes to increase every year. In order to avoid increasing assessment rates, one must file a property tax assessment grievance or assessment challenge every year. I teach constituents how to grieve their property tax assessment. I was the first legislator to place such an instructional video on “YouTube” and provide largely attended workshops that show them how to do it for themselves and not pay a private firm to perform the same task. The system is so broken that if you purchase a home at $500,000 it is not assessed at that value. Also, the homes in affluent areas are assessed at a lower rate than homes in non affluent neighborhoods. We must unfreeze the assessment roll

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