(MINEOLA, N.Y.) – Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D – Glen Cove) has been designated to serve as leader by the members of the Nassau County Legislative Democratic Caucus starting in 2024.
DeRiggi-Whitton, 55, of Glen Cove, won her seventh two-year term with more than 64 percent of the vote in the 2023 general election. As caucus leader, DeRiggi-Whitton would succeed current Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams, who has served in the role since 2012 and is leaving office at year’s end after not seeking re-election.
As Leader, Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton said the Democratic caucus will remain keenly focused upon oversight of the Blakeman administration; reaffirm the Legislature’s crucial role as a provider of checks and balances as a coequal branch of government; and prioritize the delivery of initiatives that will make Nassau more affordable and protect the environment; preserve public safety; reinvest in infrastructure; and enhance the response to the ongoing opioid drug addiction crisis.
“Being selected by my colleagues to lead our caucus at such a dynamic time in the history of the Legislature is a tremendous honor, and I am deeply humbled by the trust they have placed in me,” DeRiggi-Whitton said. “As I embark upon this exciting new chapter as a public servant, I want to thank Nassau County Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs and my Democratic colleagues for their support, and extend my gratitude to my colleague and friend Kevan Abrahams for his guidance and leadership during the last 12 years. I am beyond proud to lead our team into the future, and we are ready to directly confront and overcome Nassau County’s greatest challenges.”
Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton’s selection as Minority Leader will be formalized in January during organizational meetings for the 15th term of the Nassau County Legislature. Under the Nassau County Charter, the Legislator who receives a majority of votes from the body’s 19 members becomes Presiding Officer; the runner-up in that tally from the opposing party becomes Minority Leader.
Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton’s ascension will mark the latest milestone in two decades of service as an elected official. Prior to becoming a Legislator, DeRiggi-Whitton served two terms on the Glen Cove City Council, where she began to build her reputation as a fiscal hawk and strident environmental advocate who was acutely aware of the community’s needs.
During this time, she further distinguished herself in numerous philanthropic endeavors such as the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. After her daughter Amanda was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age three, Delia has been an outspoken advocate for diabetes awareness, treatment, and research, and remains a prolific fundraiser who has helped to raise well over $1 million through annual “Cooking for a Cure” events.
She is a founding board member of the not-for-profit First City Project Collective, which seeks to leverage the community-building power of the arts to spark an artistic and economic renaissance in downtown Glen Cove. One of the organization’s signature events is an annual Toys for Tots drive at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which has grown from its roots in Glen Cove to become the largest one-day collection event in America.
Delia is married to Richard Valicenti and is the mother of three adult daughters and an adult stepson. Her father, Hon. Donald DeRiggi, is a retired Nassau County judge and past Mayor of Glen Cove. Delia’s mother, Dr. Mildred “Millie” DeRiggi, is a noted local historian who previously worked as an answer/question writer for the legendary quiz shows “Jeopardy!” and “G.E. College Bowl” during the 1960s.
PHOTO CREDIT – Office of the Nassau County Legislature Minority