Wed, 30 Nov 2011

LI Herald: Legislator Abrahams voted to lead County Democratic Caucus

Kevan Abrahams was recently elected by the Nassau County Democratic Committee to represent the County Legislature as the leader of the Democratic Caucus. Abrahams, 37, has been the legislator of the 1st District since his election in 2002, serving the areas of Uniondale, Roosevelt, Hempstead and Baldwin. When first elected, Abrahams was the youngest legislator in the history of Nassau County; by rising to his new post he will become the first African American in county history to lead a major party.

“It was tremendously humbling and I am honored that my colleagues have kindly elected me the leader for the next two years,” said Abrahams.

Abrahams will be inaugurated as the Democratic leader on Jan 2., replacing Diane Yatauro, the legislator of the 18th district, who chose not to run for reelection as the Democratic presiding officer, a position she held since 2008.

“I am so pleased that Kevan Abrahams will be our new caucus leader,” said legislator Judy Jacobs, a Democrat who represents the 16th District, and who served as the Legislature’s presiding officer from 2000 to 2007. “He maintains a thorough understanding of county budgeting and finances, which is so sorely needed these days. He also brings proven leadership and a firm dedication to our principles and values.”

As of press time, control of the legislature still hung in the balance as races in the 14th District and 18th District remained to close to call. (See story, page 3.) However, the latest vote count had 10 Republican legislators and nine Democratic legislators, making it likely that Abrahams will be the deputy minority leader. Peter Schmitt, a Republican from Massapequa who represents the 12th District, is the leader of the Republican Caucus and the current presiding officer of the legislature.
In addition to his duties as the Democratic leader, Abrahams also serves as the vice chair of the Rules Committee and as a member of the Economic and Community Development and Labor, Government Services and Operations, Public Safety, Education, Planning and Minority Affairs committees.

“I think we’re going to be able to lead on the mantra on stabilizing residents’ property taxes, as well as focusing on enhancing quality of life,” said Abrahams, “all at the same time while ensuring public safety is at its highest standard in Nassau County.

“We’re going to scrutinize the borrowing practices that are existing right now,” Abrahams continued. “From the minority legislative point of view, we’re going to make sure that we do not borrow one particular dime that we do not need to.”
Abrahams first joined the County Legislature staff in 2000, serving as the Deputy Finance Director, and eventually moving up to the position of Finance Director. He has also served as a legislative assistant and Deputy District Director for former Congressman Floyd H. Flake, and served as District representative for U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy.

Abrahams, who is married and has two children, has also worked in the private sector, serving as a financial analyst for Astoria Federal Savings Bank. He received his Bachelors degree in political science from Queens College and also attended Baruch College’s MBA program.

“I haven’t been here the longest, but I’ve been here long enough to realize how to be an effective leader, and how to get things done here in Nassau County,” said Abrahams. “But at the same time be able to reach across the aisle and work with the majority leader in Peter Schmitt, and work with county executive [Ed Mangano.] And I think that is what people are expecting, for their government to work together.”

Select list(s) to subscribe to:

(No leading Zeros)
There is no fee.
standard carrier rates apply.
Allow access to my contact info.
Click herefor Privacy and Terms.