He is 25, his campaign manager is 20 and the volunteers on his campaign for county Legislature District 18 are as young as 6 years old.
Joshua Lafazan certainly does not fit the usual profile for a county legislator as he seeks re-election for a district that includes East Hills, Greenvale, Glen Head, Woodbury, the Brookvilles and Syosset.
And that does not include the fact that he is living in the basement of his mother’s home in Syosset.
But Lafazan, a Democrat, also stands out for the amount of legislation he sponsored that was signed into law in his first term. This includes “Timothy’s Law,” which will establish a 24-hour, toll-free substance abuse hotline where the public can reach substance abuse counselors.
A second bill established an app providing residents with resources regarding substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery.
He also sponsored the “Dignity For Our Heroes” package, signed into law in April, which marked veterans as a protected status under the county’s Human Rights Law, in addition to creating the Nassau Commission on Ending Veteran Homelessness, which guides projects meant to reduce the number of veterans who are housing insecure in the region.
Lafazan also gets an A for transparency, providing a written justification for every vote he has taken, live-streaming his news conferences, holding regular coffees with constituents and alerting them of key votes taking place or major issues in the community
And he offers a needed voice for millennials who have been leaving Nassau County in the face of high taxes, high living expenses and limited housing options.
Lafazan, who was elected to the Syosset Board of Education at age 19, calls for pressing school boards to reduce spending by partnering with other districts on purchases and other ways the county government can save money.
At the same time, Lafazan backs a significant expansion of zoning for mixed-used developments that provide retail stores on the ground floor and three or four floors of apartments above in downtown business districts.
This is seen by some as a way to increase the number of shoppers in downtowns and provide affordable housing to millennials and others.
Lafazan is opposed by Timothy Jenks, a Republican living in Glen Head.
Jenks’ answer to the high taxes in Nassau County is to support an assessment bill of rights backed by Nassau County Republicans aimed at scoring political points as well as legislation making the county assessor an elected position.
Both bills were recently vetoed by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
Blank Slate Media endorses Lafazan.