A handful of Manhasset women are rallying around fellow resident and Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas with a new educational networking group.
Charlene Prounis of Plandome Manor and Arda Nazerian Haratunian of Plandome founded Women for Singas, a countywide organization, to help women be more involved in the governmental process while educating them about how the intricate Long Island government works. They are co-chairwomen of the group.
“Long Island is one of the most complex in terms of numbers of layers of government, and most people don’t realize that,” Haratunian, who worked for U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi when he was county executive, said.
On March 14, the group will hold an informational fundraising event, Prounis said, focusing around three issues that Singas has focused on most since her 2015 election: county corruption, drug trafficking and the MS-13 gang.
“So often, women don’t take active roles,” Prounis said. “The whole movement came about because Madeline came to us and said so often at her events, mostly men attend. Where are the women?”
Haratunian described the group as a nonpartisan one for all ages, from young women newly eligible to vote to older women who have lived on Long Island for decades.
“Madeline is a Democrat, and we also have women now leading Nassau County and the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, and that’s unprecedented,” Haratunian said. “They happen to be Democrats, but local government is not a partisan thing. It’s services that everyone wants: public safety, clean water, good roads.”
The goal for the group is countywide, Prounis said, but she also envisions women creating their own local chapters as it spreads across Nassau County.
Prounis said during previous talks with Singas, she learned much more about the campaigns and issues she tackles regularly, including her work to help create the Hope Treatment Center in Hempstead where people who have overdosed can go for treatment and her recent visit to Washington, D.C., to discuss gun trafficking through the “Iron Pipeline” from Florida to New York.
“People don’t really know how much goes into a district attorney’s job and what she’s done,” Haratunian said. “[President Donald Trump] referenced twice during his [State of the Union] speech Long Island and MS-13, and Madeline and her office were the people behind that successful apprehension of the top MS-13 guy. Despite the breadth of what she does, she’s pretty low key about it.”