DENISE FORD was first elected to represent the 4th Legislative District after an upset victory in 2003. Her legislative district includes the City of Long Beach, Lido Beach, Atlantic Beach, East Atlantic Beach, Point Lookout, and Island Park, parts of East Rockaway, Oceanside, Woodmere, Lawrence and Cedarhurst.
Legislator Ford currently serves as the Chair of the Economic & Community Development & Labor Committee, the Vice Chair of the Government Services & Operations Committee, and serves on the Planning, Development & the Environment Committee and the Public Safety Committee.
As a supporter of the environment, Legislator Ford works with the Western Bays Group which includes environmentalists as well as other government officials and has advocated for the necessary repairs and upgrades to the Bay Park Sewage Treatment plant which discharges into Reynolds Channel. She is also calling for an outflow pipe to be installed at the sewage treatment plant. Legislator Ford continues to advocate for the protection of the Lloyd Aquifer. She fought against the expanded usage of the Lloyd Aquifer by Suffolk County. Allowing another municipality to tap into our local water source would have impacted the aquifer’s output capabilities, set a dangerous precedent for the future, and jeopardized the integrity and purity of the drinking water below.
In addition to her ongoing pursuit against underage drinking and her support of Tobacco 19 legislation, Legislator Ford served as a key figure in organizing the first and now annual Long Beach Suicide Prevention Walk, “Let’s Walk Let’s Talk”, to support the Long Island Crisis Center’s 24-hour intervention hotline and suicide education. In appreciation of her efforts, the Long Island Crisis Center honored her.
Legislator Ford is also proud of the work she has done to help make “Art in the Plaza” a reality in the City of Long Beach. This event provides a venue for local artists and musicians to exhibit and perform their art for everyone to enjoy. Mrs. Ford also helped bring the first farmers market to the City of Long Beach. Located at Kennedy Plaza, the farmer’s market features vegetables, plants, flowers, fruit, juices, preserves, eggs, honey, cheese, and artisan bread that are grown or made locally. It’s a great way to eat healthy, and to give back to the local economy.
Legislator Ford had also worked tirelessly to make sure residents are prepared in case of a hurricane or emergency and hosted forums to educate residents on ways to safeguard themselves against harm. She has also held Bicycle Helmet Safety Day, where she along with the Traffic Safety Board distributed hundreds of bicycle helmets free of charge to residents both young and old alike.
While working together with the Nassau County Department of Assessment Mrs. Ford conducts numerous meetings throughout the year to help senior citizens save money on their Nassau County property tax bill and school tax bill. The meetings are designed to assist in understanding the various tax reduction programs such as the Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption Program and the Enhanced Star Program.
During her term in office Mrs. Ford has been honored for numerous achievements within her community for serving her constituents. In the past she has received the Big Sister award from Project Challenge for her untiring efforts to better her community. She was also named Woman of the Year by the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the exceptional leadership she has given for her constituents. Additionally, Legislator Ford was honored as Woman of the Year by the Michael Valente Lodge. She was again honored as a “Woman of Valor” by the Sisterhood of Temple Emanu-el. Legislator Ford was honored in Albany by Senator Skelos as “Woman of Distinction” for her outstanding achievements and contributions which have greatly enriched the quality of life in her community and beyond as well as a role model for all of us. Legislator Ford was honored by the Arthritis Foundation at their annual fundraising breakfast, and most recently, Legislator Ford received the Americanism Honor from the American Legion Long Beach Post No.972 and the “Extra Step” Award from the Long Beach Landmarks Association.
Legislator Ford has been a resident of the Long Beach community for over 30 years and has long been active in her West End neighborhood. Mrs. Ford stepped down as the President of the West End Neighbors Civic Association to assume her role in the Legislature. She is currently a member in a variety of organizations such as the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW and Kiwanis. In addition, Mrs. Ford retired from the telephone company in 1999 after 25 years of loyal service as both a technician and a shop steward in Locals 1101 & 1106.
Legislator Ford was raised in a family dedicated to public service. Her father was a retired member of the New York City Police Department and her mother worked for many years with the United States Customs Department. She is the proud mother of three wonderful children, Janna Arkow who is a Special Education teacher at the Long Beach Middle School and along with her husband, David, are awaiting the birth of their first child, Harry, who is a member of Local 52 IATSE and an assistant coach for the Gladiators, and Gerard, who graduated from the University of Scranton and is currently a member of Local 52 IATSE. Legislator Ford and her family have had to cope with enormous tragedy, Mrs. Ford’s husband, Harry, a decorated, 27 year veteran of the New York City Fire Department was killed along with two of his fellow firefighters at a fire in Queens on Father’s Day 2001. Legislator Ford’s story has turned from one of tragedy to one of strength and inspiration.