As September settles in, bringing with it cooler temperatures as we relish the final remnants of summer, the winds of change follow. I am pleased to report the completion of the repaving of Old Country Road; Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage and the section of Manetto Hill Road between Old Country Road and Old Bethpage Road were also repaved after PSEG-LI completed some of their infrastructure work. This month, I will be re-commencing Constituent Call Time, evening office hours during which I will be available to answer or assist anyone who would like to speak to me about a particular issue. You can find more information and a schedule on https://bit.ly/LegislatorDrucker.
Perhaps the most significant change we have experienced as Nassau County residents and New Yorkers in recent weeks is the installment of our new Governor, Kathy Hochul, the first woman to lead the state of New York. Here in Nassau County, I passed legislation in 2018 requiring those in positions of power in County government to undergo sexual harassment training. It is my priority to work with stakeholders and local leaders to update this legislation to provide the safest work environment possible.
The challenges before our new Governor are manifold: the Supreme Court has ended the federal eviction moratorium posing new problems for both landlords and tenants - while several pandemic unemployment benefit programs are slated to end on Sept.5. Additionally, we must be prepared to meet the urgent need to provide resources to our incoming Afghan brothers and sisters, whom I hope will find refuge and support in our state and our County. At precisely this time last year, I pledged my support to the Jericho Family Support Center, a transitional housing facility that sought to address housing insecurity here in Nassau County by providing job training, childcare, and other essential support to end the cycle of homelessness for so many residents. Unfortunately, due to strong community opposition, the Jericho Family Support Center was never built and remains in litigation today.
Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you are in need of assistance. My team and I will do everything we can to connect you with available resources. You can also locate a list of available resources and programs on my website and on Facebook at facebook.com/legislatorarnoldwdrucker. As your County Legislator, I will continue to work with my colleagues at all levels of government to implement solutions for all residents whom I represent.
In many ways, September offers a time of reflection. For most Nassau County residents, a farewell to summer includes a celebration of Labor Day. On Labor Day, and every day, it bears repeating: Thank you to all of our brothers and sisters in labor and trade, the essential workers and frontline heroes who came to work when many of us stayed home, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our world running throughout the pandemic. Still, these workers continue to place the health and safety of others above that of their own each day. For this reason, Labor Day, and the workers it honors is especially meaningful.
This week, we continue to mourn the loss of 11 Marines, a Navy medic, and a member of the Army, who, along with many civilians, were killed in Kabul. As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of September 11th, the darkest and most horrific day in our nation’s history, many of our neighbors and friends may need support as they experience painful reminders of loved ones taken too soon. If you or someone you know is struggling, or simply needs to talk, please contact the Long Island Crisis Center at 516-679-1111.
September also ushers in the sacred Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. Sadly, we have seen a rise in incidents of antisemitism both globally and locally. Though this increase is both alarming and disturbing, I am proud to have introduced a bill which passed unanimously establishing a task force to identify and examine the root causes of antisemitism here in Nassau County. Comprised of members of the Legislature who will appoint community leaders to work in partnership to hold a public hearing and a 60-day comment period, our goal is to eradicate antisemitism here in our County, but we can’t do it without you: we will need robust participation from Jewish and non-Jewish members of the public in order to succeed. We must be mindful of our unwavering mandate to always be kind to one another and to celebrate our cultural and religious differences, the beauty of our mosaic community.
As the new school year and the new Hebrew year approach, it is only fitting to wishing all who observe Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year), and a happy and healthy academic year to our students and teachers, who remain frontline heroes and sheroes in the battle against COVID-19 and the Delta variant. May we all work together to end this pandemic once and for all by adhering to mask mandates in schools and by opting to wear masks, especially in large gatherings, getting vaccinated, and obtaining booster shots, washing hands often and using sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing so that we may truly and fully experience the gift of renewal.
Arnold W. Drucker
Nassau County Legislator, District 16