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Josh on the Issues...

Protecting Our Quality of Life

I have spent the last decade fighting to improve our community by targeting substandard and abandoned housing. Zero tolerance for absentee landlords, squatters, sex offenders and drug dealers has and will continue to be my top priority. 

As Kate Browning’s Chief of Staff, I managed an office that eliminated hundreds of problem homes in our neighborhood. I have successfully fought for regulations on sober homes, helped our police department to increase arrest warrants on drug homes and utilized the newly created Suffolk County Land Bank to purchase abandoned foreclosures, rehab them and sell them to first-time homebuyers. I also oversaw the transfer of over one hundred tax lien parcels to the Town and Villages for purchase by first-time homebuyers ending decades old practices of auctioning properties to speculators.

As your legislator, I will continue these important initiatives.

Public Safety

Reducing crime and protecting our families so we can live and work in a safe community is at the forefront of my agenda. 

I assisted Legislator Browning in drafting and passing the toughest sex offenders laws in the Nation so that these individuals cannot live near areas that our children congregate, and I work with law enforcement daily to enforce the Community Protection Act.

I have advocated for more police officers on our streets to reduce overtime and increase the police presence in our neighborhoods. I am proud to say the second largest police class in Suffolk County history hit the streets in 2017 as a result, and fighting for more officers will continue to be my goal.

Environment

Over the last 12 years I have been front and center in the pursuit of a cleaner and more sustainable Suffolk County. As Chief of Staff to Kate Browning I assisted in preserving over 1000 acres of open space and farmland development rights in the third district alone. 

I Chaired the Yaphank County Center Master Plan Committee that led to the preservation of over 130 acres of public land in Yaphank, and prevented the clearing of over 40 acres for a solar array. I am opposed to trading green for green and believe we can achieve our renewable energy goals without destroying our precious natural resources.

To address the degradation of our water quality I led the fight to construct critical wastewater infrastructure in our community, and helped secure almost $200 million in federal and state aid to build an affordable sewer district in Mastic and Shirley. I also support recently proposed grant programs for newly approved innovative alternative onsite systems for homeowners living in areas where sewers are not available. 

Having lived on the south shore of Long Island my whole life I have witnessed the impacts of sea level rise on coastal communities, and it is only going to get worse. Implementing smart policies to increase coastal resiliency and protect people and property must be a priority, and I pledge to address this growing problem aggressively.

Fiscal Responsibility

As Chief of Staff to Legislator Browning, Kate and I successfully held the line on general fund property taxes for the last 12 years. We also fought heavily against back-door taxes and fees, and I will continue to oppose these gimmicks. 

I am proud that I was a part of the effort to kill the Twilight fees at County parks. I also helped prevent fees such as the doubling of traffic and parking violation fines. I am opposed to fees on mortgage filings and was behind the creation of legislation to eliminate renewal fees on Home Alarm System registrations. 

I am supportive of smart fiscal policies that create greater efficiencies in government through shared services, reduction of long-term debt and the elimination of waste and fraud. 

I will continue to be a strong voice for unfunded mandate relief to reduce the local property tax burden.  

Brain Drain/Affordability

My generation is leaving Long Island because we can’t afford to stay. College debt combined with high property taxes and a lack of high paying jobs is forcing us to leave. Those who choose to stay are still living with parents, in high priced rentals or illegal apartments.

Baby boomers are also leaving as they retire and transition to fixed incomes. They can no longer afford the homes they raised their children in and are taking their equity to other states. 

Building a strong economy with affordable housing while reducing property taxes must happen on Long Island or we will lose our greatest assets. The huge inventory of vacant foreclosures left in the askew of the housing crash is an opportunity to rebuild. I propose increased resources for the Suffolk County Land Bank to speed up the process of getting these homes into the hands of first-time homebuyers, and tougher penalties and enforcement on banks that refuse to revitalize their properties. 

The construction of sewers is needed to redevelop our struggling downtowns, attract investors and entrepreneurs, and to bring better businesses with higher paying jobs into our neighborhoods. I spent the last decade fighting to bring sewers to our district, successfully secured the necessary funding to do so and am the right person to deliver this much-needed infrastructure to our area.  

Opioid/Heroin Epidemic

The Nation faces a serious crisis as opiates ravage communities and destroy families. Suffolk County is not immune, and we must take decisive action to rid our neighborhoods of deadly and highly addictive drugs.

I fully support increased resources towards education and prevention so  we may break this vicious cycle. This means engaging parents and schools so that addiction is stopped before it starts. 

We must do more to ensure those in need of treatment have access to care and have coverage to pay for it. Insurance companies must be held accountable and I will advocate to achieve this. 

As Chief of Staff to Kate Browning, I helped put in place regulations for recovery homes so that slumlords do not take advantage of those in recovery on the taxpayer dime. New York State has failed to address this issue and I will fight for much needed reforms. 

Suffolk County has been a leader in making NARCAN, a lifesaving tool, readily available so that more addicts can have a second chance. However, this is not the solution, and linking those who are saved to treatment is necessary.

Lastly, I am proud of the increased crack down on drug dealers in our communities. I helped draft and pass legislation that toughened the Suffolk County crack house law, and the recent implementation of 631-852-NARC has led to over a 130 percent increase in drug warrants, removing drugs and illegal weapons from our streets.   

I am committed to giving this epidemic the attention it needs to rid the scourge of addiction from our County.