Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan is “running on [his] record,” he said in a sitdown interview with Blank Slate Media.
Lafazan, a Democrat, is running for a second term against Republican challenger Timothy Jenks to represent East Hills, Brookville, Upper Brookville, Old Brookville, Glen Head, Locust Valley, Lattingtown, Bayville, Centre Island, Mill Neck, Cove Neck, Oyster Bay, East Norwich, Oyster Bay Cove, Muttontown, Laurel Hollow, Syosset and Woodbury in the 18th District.
SHe said his record includes 10 bills passed into law, including several providing resources for substance abuse treatment: Timothy’s Law, which established a countywide substance abuse hotline and a law using asset forfeiture to take money from drug dealers and put it into addiction treatment programs. Lafazan also conceived and passed a law creating the NassauCares app, which points users to nearby treatment centers.
“Resources are only useful if people know they’re available,” Lafazan said. “We don’t want to fight a 21st century war with 18th century technology.”
Concerning tax reassessment in the county, Lafazan said that he “has to” support the proposed five-year phase-in, that he voted down the Assessment Bill of Rights to “hold the party line” and that the property tax system is “antiquated.”
“It is a real possibility that people may have to leave their homes because of reassessment,” Lafazan said.
Lafazan’s goals for a second term would include more transit-oriented development and affordable housing for millennials. He said he is sponsoring legislation to build 500 micro apartments.
“If we’re not moving forward, we’re moving backward,” Lafazan said.
While Lafazan does not support the county opting into the use of recreational marijuana, which he said is “as bad as alcohol,” he said he does support availability of medical marijuana, which he describes as “important for so many people,” and of decriminalization of marijuana across the state.
“We spend too much money imprisoning people for this offense,” Lafazan says.
Additionally, the legislator said he favors term limits and an independent redistricting commission being brought in to create districts after the 2020 census.
Lafazan, who won his seat in a special election in 2017, is a former member of the Syosset school board, which he was elected to at age 18 shortly after graduating from Syosset High School. He completed undergraduate work at Cornell University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, and earned a Master’s Degree in Education Policy from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
“The learning curve is over, and I’m ready to become a senior voice in the county Legislature,” Lafazan said.