On January 16, 2018, I had the pleasure of being nominated to the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency by County Executive Curran. However, the Republican majority of the Nassau County Legislature has refused to approve my appointment. I heard a rumor that they felt I campaigned too aggressively in 2017, and are not supportive of any role that would keep me involved in local government. I have no way of knowing if these are the real reasons, as not one Republican legislator, including my own – Legislator Rose Walker – has contacted me directly.
Returning for a moment to my nomination, I’ll share with you that when I was first approached about being nominated to the IDA, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how I could best serve the people of Nassau County as a member of this all-volunteer committee. After all, I work in academia and am not at all connected to industry or building trades or other related businesses. I then realized that it was for this very reason that I was a good fit for the IDA: The IDA, I thought, needed someone who was the average resident; someone who would ask the questions, “Would I want this in my town?” and “Has the developer conducted any community outreach?” This is the role I aspired to fulfill as a member of the IDA. Given that my nomination has now been blocked by the NC Republican legislators, I can only hope that subsequent nominees who ARE appointed will advocate for our communities in these and other ways. I feel very strongly that the IDA should include members of the public who would in no way directly benefit from decisions the IDA makes. (A list of recent IDA appointments approved by the NC Rules Committee can be found by clicking here: March 12, 2018 IDA Appointments.)
And so, while I will unfortunately not serve Nassau County as a member of the IDA, there is of course a silver lining to the dark cloud that is the partisan Nassau County Legislature.
The question I’ve been asked most often these past four months is, “When are you running for office again?” It’s a logical one, I suppose, given my loss by a mere one-percent in the 2017 election for Oyster Bay Town Council. The IDA nomination had created a new pathway for me to be involved in local government, and created the question in my mind as to whether a volunteer committee position was the better way to serve my community. With this question removed, I can now affirmatively say that I will run for office again. While I’m undecided as to which elected office I’ll be pursuing, the recent actions of our local government indicate that the need for leaders who aim to serve the public instead of themselves is greater than ever.
My campaign account is still active, and I’ll see you on campaign trail.