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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Nassau County Executive

CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Laura Curran (DEM, WFP, WEP) Nassau County Legislator

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    Cassandra J. Lems (GRE) Administrative Services Manager & Patent Paralegal

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    Jack M. Martins (REP, CON, TRP, REF) Candidate for Nassau County Executive, Small business owner

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Biographical Information

What viable tactical steps are you proposing that would attract people to your city/town and keep current residents from leaving Long Island for other states?

What specifically will you do to increase the availability of low income/middle class housing, rental as well as ownership, in order to keep our young people from leaving and to attract other young people to our communities.

Since we are seeing the effects of climate change in the form of serious hurricanes and other weather events here and elsewhere in the country, what will you do to strengthen the infrastructure of our towns and cities to deal with the aftermath of such events?

Campaign Web Site http://www.lauracurran2017.com
Campaign Email info@lauracurran2017.com
Campaign Phone (516) 218-6205
City/Town of Residence Baldwin
Prior Civic Service Trustee, President, Baldwin School Board
Our tax base has stopped growing and revenue has flatlined because of it. The answer here is not raising taxes on a population that’s already among the highest taxed in the country – the answer is more long term economic growth. In order to do that we need to do true transit-oriented development to grow our tax base. We need to restructure our IDAs to incentivize new businesses to move to Nassau County while helping the businesses we already have here grow. We need to build rental and affordable housing around our transportation hubs so that young people have places to live. If young people have places to live, businesses will see a wealth of employable talent and look to expand here. We also need to invest in our infrastructure because that’s spending that pays dividends down the road. This means investing in public transportation, in our roads and sewers, and bringing our County into the 21st century.
We need to get our County’s finances in order while partnering with our state and federal partners to help build affordable housing units in developing areas around Nassau County if we are going to keep young people here. That means working across partisan lines and across municipal lines with the zoning municipalities to make sure these units are built.The fact is: not everyone is looking for a single-family home anymore - we need to build affordable units that are typically more desirable for young individuals or empty nesters. I believe young people also want to live in or near mixed used areas - neighborhoods with shops, restaurants and walkable downtowns. But if we are going to attract new, young residents, we also have to ensure we have good paying jobs available. That means restructuring our IDAs to attract new businesses and strengthen our existing ones so people start looking to Nassau as a desireable place to live and work.
I believe Nassau County can be a role model for what a modern County can look like. We can work with our state and federal partners to incentivize builders and property owners to develop their properties with green technology, retrofit our County buildings and add solar panels to them, build wind turbines, and update our sewage system.

During this campaign I committed that, if elected, I will ensure Nassau County upholds the standards laid out in Paris Climate Agreement, regardless of President Trump’s decision to withdraw. In addition, I will continue to abide by the Obama-era regulation, which President Trump revoked, that mandates federal funds that go toward new infrastructure account for climate change effects like rising sea levels and powerful winds. I also committed to putting a Master Resiliency Plan for Nassau County into place on day one so the next time we are hit with a natural disaster we are prepared and can rebound in a timely manner.
Campaign Phone (516) 248-3059
City/Town of Residence New Hyde Park, New York
Prior Civic Service Current Green Party of New York State Committee member, representing Nassau County Greens
We must get the cost of living down so that people of modest means can afford to live here. Mandate that affordable housing be a part of every new building project, pass a $15 minimum wage for Nassau County, and make public transportation more affordable and more convenient for ALL Long Islanders. Nassau County should refuse to accept cuts in bus service, and should take back control of our bus service from private for-profit hands, if necessary.

Most importantly of all, we have to reduce property taxes to something resembling a reasonable level. The county's reliance on regressive and excessive property tax income can be reduced by supplementing it with a new, progressive county income tax piggybacked to the state income tax, thus shifting the tax burden away from low and middle income households and onto higher income households. The completely broken assessment and grievance system, which mostly benefits tax grievance attorneys, must be completely overhauled.
Mandate that affordable housing be a part of every new building project. Ensure that low income areas are served by fully funded mass transportation. Work with the towns and cities to loosen restrictions on and even encourage group and communal housing, particularly for the young, but also for the elderly. Laws that were originally passed to prevent exploitation of the poor in overcrowded living situations are now hindering people of modest means from pooling their resources by sharing homes. We should instead look for creative ways in which to help people afford to live in the housing that is currently available in Nassau County, as well as to create new, low-cost housing.
The county should adopt the provisions of the Paris Climate Accord. Limit fossil fuels, encourage renewable energy, and protect existing wetlands, which are a natural barrier to flooding. Discourage further development in flood-prone areas. The county could give away free trees, plant storm-water gardens, add bike parking and bike lanes, etc.

Every household should have at least one person trained by CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). I am proud to be that individual in my own household; we are prepared to shelter in place in the event of a hurricane or other emergency, and I am trained in basic emergency procedures. Everyone would benefit from attending this free series of classes to become more self-sufficient. Each of you should consider signing up for CERT classes.

Replace paved parking lots with water-permeable paving surfaces to reduce water runoff and reduce flooding. Convert public lots when repaving; encourage private owners to convert.
Campaign Email info@MartinsForNassau.com
Campaign Phone (516) 341-7407
City/Town of Residence Old Westbury, NY
Prior Civic Service Mayor of Mineola 2003- 2010, New York State Senator 2011-2016
Nassau County is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. We need to keep it that way. In order to do that, economic development is critical. We must connect people to jobs. For our economy to grow, we must get back control of our finances so that more companies are interested in moving here. We need to balance our budget -- and not on the backs of middle class families -- and then eliminate the need for state oversight through the Nassau Interim Finance Authority. I have proposed changing the way we do our property tax assessments and reforming the way our Industrial Development Agency works. I personally reached out to Amazon to suggest Nassau County is the right place to relocate their new headquarters which would eventually bring 50,000 jobs to the area. It is time to stop playing defense; we need to Think Big again to encourage economic development and job creation and to ensure current residents and their children will continue to call our Long Island communities home.
Our young people are the future, and making Nassau County an affordable place to live is important to ensure we keep them here, and to attract other young people here as well. When I was Mayor of Mineola, I led the effort for downtown redevelopment and revitalization, and as a result of the success we had, many other towns and villages have followed Mineola's lead. The downtown revitalization not only provided an expanded tax base for the Village of Mineola and the school district, but it has also provided a variety of housing stock for those in Mineola -- housing stock that doesn't exist anywhere else in Nassau County. That means housing at varying price points that enable young people and families who are just starting out to build roots here. An opportunity for downtown living needs to be an important component of our efforts to increase the availability of middle class housing to provide not only variety, but also affordability.
Climate change is real. Nassau County communities know full well the devastation a storm can bring. I have worked over my years in public office to invest in infrastructure and resiliency. That includes, while as a Senator, supporting legislation that is now law requiring climate change be a consideration when it comes to planning for infrastructure and building projects. Also, we must have a commitment to hardening infrastructure to ensure it can withstand a storm of the ferocity of Sandy - or worse. And equally important is our commitment to the environment itself. One of the natural safeguards against storms is coastal wetlands, and ours have been systemically destroyed by over-nitrification of our waters. So the need for investment in sewers and denitrification efforts is essential. This will ensure our coastal wetlands are restored and provide the natural barrier against storms, as we continue our efforts to reinforce those natural barriers with manmade barriers.

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