Nassau County Virtual State Legislative Forum sponsored by AARP NY

November 19, 2020  
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Event Description

Nassau County Virtual State Legislative Forum sponsored by AARP NY

As state lawmakers are gearing up to head back to Albany, they’ll be making important decisions on the coronavirus pandemic response, the state budget, and issues that will impact your household finances. This virtual forum offers a chance to ask questions about your representatives’ legislative and policy priorities.  Now, more than ever, it’s important for you to be able to hear directly from your legislators. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity!


Connect with Your Lawmakers  representing Nassau County on their priorities for 2021. Join us!

November 19, 2020


Connect with us to discuss important topics with your lawmakers, such as:

•            Nursing Homes, Long Term Care and Family Caregiving

•            Prescription Drug Affordability

•            Financial Security


This is a free event. Registration is required to attend.



John Brooks
John Brooks
New York State Senator, District 8
A lifelong resident of Long Island, John E. Brooks has devoted his life to giving back to his community. In November 2016, the people elected him to continue his service in the New York State Senate. For more than 45 years, Senator Brooks has been an active volunteer firefighter with the Seaford, Medford and Lindenhurst Fire Departments, previously serving as Seaford's Chief of Department. In addition to his work for the fire department, Senator Brooks served on the Seaford Board of Education for a total of six years, acting as Vice President from 1997-1999. Prior to Superstorm Sandy, Senator Brooks was the Chairman of the Long Island Hurricane Symposium Programs where he worked hand-in-hand with hurricane experts and the National Weather Services to evaluate risk on Long Island. Professionally, Senator Brooks was an executive in the insurance industry and worked as the Director of Risk Management for Nassau County. He successfully challenged the New York State of Health Insurance Plans’ rate increases, resulting in its rollback and producing a savings of $300 million statewide. Senator Brooks legislative priorities include tackling government corruption, ensuring that all students receive the highest quality education possible, addressing taxation evaluation, confronting hunger in our communities, combating the opioid epidemic, and making Long Island is an affordable place to live and raise a family. Brooks is a veteran of the New York Army National Guard, and holds a Bachelor’s degree from New York Institute of Technology and an Associate’s degree from the State University of New York at Farmingdale. He resides in Seaford, has a son, John, and is the proud grandfather of Penelope.
Edward Ra
New York State Assemblymember, 19th District
Long Island native Ed Ra was first elected to the New York State Assembly on November 2, 2010. His district includes parts of the towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay in Nassau County. Assemblyman Ra serves as Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. The committee vets all bills with fiscal implications, most critically the legislation that comprises the New York State budget. He previously served as Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore, a role in which he coordinated and led floor debate for the Conference. Ra also served as Ranking Member of the Assembly Education Committee, where he fought against the state’s overreliance on standardized testing and became a leading advocate for students with special needs. Ra’s legislative priorities include emphasizing transparency and accountability in the state budget process, rooting out public corruption and promoting public safety. Ra led the effort to roll back and reform dangerous changes to the state’s bail and discovery laws. Assemblyman Ra graduated from Loyola College in Maryland in 2004 with a B.A. in Computer Science. He received his J.D. from St. John's University School of Law in 2007 and his LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2008. Assemblyman Ra is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Prior to his election, Ra served as a Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of Hempstead and as a legal aide in the Office of the New York State Attorney General. Assemblyman Ra is a member of the Franklin Square Kiwanis, a 3rd Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the 12 Apostles Council, and a member of the Cellini Lodge #2206 Order Sons of Italy in America. Assemblyman Ra is a resident of Garden City South, where he lives with his wife, Laura and their shelter dog, Carter.
Judy Griffin
New York State Assemblymember, 21st District
Judy Griffin was elected on November 6, 2018, to represent the 21st Assembly District, which includes Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Malverne, South Hempstead, Baldwin and parts of Freeport, West Hempstead, Oceanside, East Rockaway, Lakeview, Hewlett, Hempstead, Franklin Square, and Valley Stream. Directly before she was elected to office, Judy served for several years as a senior advisor and Director of Community Outreach to NY State Senator Todd Kaminsky. As his Director of Community Outreach, Judy was particularly successful in developing productive relationships with many of the same business and civic leaders in Senator Kaminsky’s district whom she will now represent in Albany. As Assemblywoman, Judy is thrilled that she will be able to continue to dedicate herself to working for, and fighting for, the interests of all of the residents of the 21st District. Judy and her husband raised their four children in Rockville Centre, where they’ve lived for nearly three decades. Judy’s career in advocacy was initially inspired by her natural interest in her own children’s educational experiences. As a mother, Judy understood the incredible impact that teachers would have on her children and instinctively appreciated the importance of having caring, dedicated and compassionate educators. She advocated for programs that enable all students to thrive, especially those with special education classifications. Judy’s educational advocacy efforts later broadened to tackle many other critical issues which led her to the front lines as a leader of the nascent “Opt-Out” movement, where she fought to rid school districts of unfair standardized testing practices. She believes students should spend their time in school learning, not merely test taking, and teachers, as professionals, should be evaluated as such. Judy has a history of being civically involved in the community. She joined the Rockville Centre Newcomers Club upon moving to Rockville Centre and became President the following year. She was a member of the RVC Mercy League, a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader and an engaged PTA member who chaired many committees at local schools. She was also an activist in various local issues. In 2016, she was Senator Kaminsky’s representative on the Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth, serving as Government Representative from June 2016 to June 2018. As an Assemblywoman, she is now on the Government Sector for the group. Later in 2016, she became a founding member of Raising Voices USA, a civic engagement advocacy group. Legislative priorities for Judy include: bringing back a fair share of the tax revenue to the district; ensuring government is kept out of women’s personal reproductive health decisions; strengthening gun safety measures; expanding voting rights; promoting legislation to protect our environment; and enacting common-sense ethics rules to clean up corruption in Albany. Judy will advocate for a comprehensive approach to the opioid epidemic, with more emphasis on prevention, and wants to explore more effective ways to help our veterans, seniors, and young people. And, as always, Judy will continue to stand up for the hard-working men and women of labor. Judy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics with minors in Political Science and Communication from the State University of New York at Oneonta. After graduating from college, she worked in the financial industry at Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. and Scudder Stevens and Clark Inc. Subsequently, Judy graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2009 and became an Integrative Health Coach. She then founded a health coaching business and co-founded a corporate wellness business. Judy is also the author of Flourish Beyond 50.
Kristen McManus
Associate State Director of Advocacy, AARP New York
Kristen McManus is the Associate State Director of Advocacy for AARP New York. After spending six years as an Office Director and Legislative Aide in the state Assembly, Ms. McManus joined AARP to focus her attention on consumer protection and financial security issues impacting older New Yorkers. In addition to her advocacy work, Ms. McManus served as the consumer representative on the state’s Out-of-Network Reimbursement Rate Workgroup, as well as the workgroup on Principle Based Reserving for Life Insurers. She was named as one of City & State’s 40 Under 40 Albany Rising Stars. A Long Island native, she currently resides in Albany, NY.
Bernard Macias
Associate State Director for Long Island, AARP New York
Bernard Macias serves as the Associate State Director for Long Island. In this role, Macias oversees community outreach and engagement, local member experiences, federal, state and local advocacy organizing, and directs the Island’s more than 400 very active AARP volunteers and its membership of close to 500,000 - across both Nassau and Suffolk County. His extensive experience in advertising and marketing, and his expertise in engaging multicultural audiences brings valued and perspective to AARP New York’s work to help 50+ Long Islanders live their best life. Macias was the Account Director on the AARP Account Management team at d'exposito & Partners, managing AARP's Multicultural Markets and Engagement account, for all Hispanic/Latino campaign initiatives. Macias has extensive marketing experience and broad expertise in creating unique and dynamic community programming. Prior to joining d’exposito & Partners, he worked as Management Supervisor at GlobalWorks, a NY multicultural ad agency, managing the Cablevision account, for residential mass, direct marketing and business-to-business initiatives. Bernard began his advertising career at Wunderman Worldwide in the area of media planning and buying. Later, he worked for Marti Flores Prieto & Wachtel/New York, a division of J Walter Thompson, on Rums of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Tourism Company. His interest in the Hispanic market led him to work at The Bravo Group/Young & Rubicam, where he was responsible for the planning and execution of several direct marketing accounts at BravoDirect, servicing clients such as AT&T, Citibank, H&R Block, and USPS. Macias later moved to McCann Erickson where he brought with him his combination of advertising and direct marketing experience to work on UPS International managing all the efforts in Latin America. His agency work has led him to work in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Puerto Rico. His passion for understanding all marketing disciplines later led him to work at Long Island headquartered - Don Jagoda and Associates, a 50 year-old and industry-respected full-service promotion marketing agency, where he served as Director of New Business Development for Hispanic Market contest promotion/sweepstakes marketing.
Melissa Miller
New York State Assemblymember, 20th District
Melissa L. Miller was elected to the New York State Assembly on November 8, 2016. Her district is in Nassau County. Melissa (Missy) Miller was elected into office her first time running for assemblywoman of the 20th District, Nassau County. In the Assembly, Missy plans to advocate for increasing accessibility to programs for disabled children and adults, finding more ways to combat a growing heroin epidemic, government transparency including term limits for legislators and giving power back to school districts to choose their own curricula. Having raised two children with complicated medical issues and losing her oldest daughter to a rare disease, Missy has dedicated much of her life to helping chronically ill children. For 25 years she has worked in professional and volunteer capacities to train hundreds of pediatric residents to handle the wide variety of challenges they will face working with chronically ill children. She will continue to effectively use her vast wealth of knowledge to help countless others. As a leader with Compassionate Care New York — a statewide group of patients, providers and organizations advocating to relieve the suffering of extremely ill patients — Missy has worked with state legislators to pass New York’s Compassionate Care Act. In 2015, Missy was awarded the New York State Women of Distinction award for her impressive participation and dedication to passing the Compassionate Care Act. Missy currently lives in Atlantic Beach, where she was born and raised, with her husband, Brandon, and children, Katy and Oliver.

Opening Remarks and Introduction by Zach Williams, City & State NY


Welcome Remarks by Bernard Macias, Associate State Director for Outreach on Long Island, AARP New York



New York State Senator John Brooks

New York State Assemblymember Edward P. Ra

New York State Assemblymember Judy Griffin

New York State Assemblymember Melissa Miller

Kristen McManus, Associate State Director of Advocacy, AARP New York


Closing Remarks by Bernard Macias, Associate State Director for Outreach on Long Island, AARP New York

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