Readers Write: Jon Kaiman outlines his agenda in run for Congress

I, like many of you, have wondered how our nation can come together, as one people, with a common purpose.  What does it mean to be an American? What ideals do we hold? Who do we aspire to be now and in the future?

Whether you’re a retiree concerned about the cost of medical care, a family juggling bills and a mortgage or a student just starting out – we all have a role to play in figuring out the direction of our country. My role, in the coming months, will be that of a candidate for the United States Congress and, if successful, as our next congressman in New York’s 3rd Congressional District.

I live in northern Nassau County with my wife and three children who have all been active in our schools, our synagogue and our local arts center.  Every Sunday morning for the past 25 years, you can find me ordering my ritual bagels and lox at Bagel Hut in Great Neck.

Professionally, I am a problem-solver who has dedicated close to three decades of my life serving you in state and local government, where I have overseen crisis management, municipal reform and fiscal oversight at the highest levels.

The challenges we face today may feel national in scope, but they are still local in nature. How can our residents and businesses thrive in today’s economy?

How do we keep our families safe? How do we prepare for and respond to increasingly extreme weather events? How can we repair old wounds with friends, neighbors and family in these divisive times?

The answer lies in our ability to reject extremism and reclaim our identities as New Yorkers and Americans with a common purpose in pursuit of a fair, just, and rational world. And if we can come together in our community, we can come together as a country.

I believe we can elevate our discourse even when we disagree and ultimately find common ground from which to overcome our community’s most pressing challenges.

My deep experience as a problem solver in government uniquely prepares me for this moment: to serve as an effective champion in Congress for you on day one.

I started my career in public service as my town’s public safety commissioner, overseeing emergency management, animal control, and even the town’s harbor patrol. I would serve as a Nassau County District Court judge before being elected to five terms as the North Hempstead town supervisor, a town of more than 225,000 residents.

In 2012, the governor called upon me to serve as New York State “Superstorm Sandy Czar,” and also as chair of the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority, a state oversight entity that ensures Nassau County’s finances are managed prudently.

Most recently, I’ve spent almost five years working side-by-side with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone administering Suffolk County’s $3.5 billion county government. I understand how government works. I understand how to get things done. I understand that we in government must fiercely and faithfully represent those we serve.

I am a lifelong progressive, common-sense Democrat. As such, I am not the enemy of those who are politically to the left or right of me.

I fight hard for my convictions but appreciate that I do not own a monopoly on good solutions to the challenges we face.

Countless residents who have gotten to know me over the past 20 years know that I always avail myself for dialogue on how my policy goals impact those who disagree with me. These discussions strengthen the critical decisions we make for our future.

I will work to strengthen and protect our families and communities: Safeguarding Social Security and Medicare; codifying a woman’s right to choose; boldly addressing climate change, now; banning assault weapons; preserving the right to vote; and ensuring universal access to affordable health care and pre-school.

I also believe we must support our nation’s annual financial allocation to Israel, fund Iron Dome, and oppose the BDS movement. Our nation must also support NATO and strengthen this alliance.

Concerning public safety, I believe we must work with our police; give judges discretion when setting bail and hold district attorneys accountable if they refuse to prosecute theft, assault, and armed robbery (as the new Manhattan DA recently announced).

I believe in police accountability, police de-escalation training, police partnerships with mental health experts, and community support for our law enforcement personnel who put their lives on the line every day.

It would be my great honor to serve you in Congress. In Washington, just as I have in state and local government, I will work to bring us together as a community in pursuit of the important work that is before us.

Jon Kaiman

Great Neck




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The Island Now

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