Suffolk County Virtual State Legislative Forum sponsored by AARP NY

November 12, 2020  
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Event Description

Suffolk 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 Suffolk County on their priorities for 2021. Join us!

November 12, 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.



Phil Boyle
New York State Senator, 4th District
NYS Senator Phil Boyle is a life-long resident of New York's Fourth State Senate District. Phil received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned a law degree from Albany Law School and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany. Phil served several years on Capitol Hill as a senior congressional aide, Legislative Director, campaign manager and Chief of Staff. Subsequent to his time in Washington, Phil was elected to the NYS Assembly in 1994 where he represented the 8th Assembly District, encompassing portions of Islip and Babylon Towns. Phil has served in the NYS Senate since his election in 2012.
Fred Thiele, Jr.
New York State Assemblymember, 1st District
Fred W. Thiele, Jr. was born on August 26, 1953 and is a lifelong resident of Sag Harbor, New York where he currently lives with his wife NancyLynn. He has three children, (Michael, Jeffrey and Josephine) and three grandchildren. Mr. Thiele is a 1971 graduate of Pierson High School. He attended Cornell University and is a 1976 graduate of Southampton College of Long Island University. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in Political Science and History. In 1979, he received his law degree from Albany Law School. In 1980, he was admitted to the Bar in the State of New York. Mr. Thiele began his career in government service in 1975 after he was selected by his college to participate in the New York State Assembly Intern Program. Upon graduation from law school in 1979, Mr. Thiele became counsel to then-Assemblyman John Behan of Montauk. He served in that capacity until 1982. From 1982–1987, Mr. Thiele was Southampton Town Attorney. During his tenure as Town Attorney he was the town’s chief legal officer and was involved in the implementation of open space and environmental zoning and land preservation programs. In November 1987, Mr. Thiele was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature. As a Legislator, Mr. Thiele chaired the Energy and Environment Committee and enacted legislation that nominated Peconic Bay and Gardiners Bay for the National Estuary Program. In November 1991, Mr. Thiele was elected as an Independent to serve as Southampton Town Supervisor. Under his leadership, the Town decreased taxes for three consecutive years, bringing much needed stability to the Town's finances. He enacted a number of important initiatives including open space preservation, affordable housing, environmental protection, comprehensive long-term planning, economic development and government reform. In 1995, Mr. Thiele was elected to the New York State Assembly to fill the seat vacated by Assemblyman John Behan. The district includes the Town of East Hampton, the Town of Southampton, the Town of Shelter Island, and the southeastern portion of the Town of Brookhaven. Mr. Thiele is serving his 13th term in the New York State Assembly. Assemblyman Thiele has numerous accomplishments as a State Assemblyman. He authored legislation which created the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund Act (CPF). This groundbreaking legislation authorized the five towns in the Peconic Region to establish dedicated funds, financed by a 2% real estate transfer tax for land preservation and water quality protection. Since its enactment 20 years ago by public referendum, the fund as generated more than $1.4 billion and has resulted in the preservation of more than 10,000 acres of sensitive lands. Other environmental initiatives have included state funds for improving water quality, Peconic Bay and South Shore Estuary projects, farmland preservation, and state acquisition of critical environmental parcels. Mr. Thiele has also been very involved in transportation issues including the establishment of the South Fork Commuter Connection, the region’s first multi-modal commuter system providing an alternative to traffic congestion. Mr. Thiele has also focused on affordable housing. During the 2019 Session, the Legislature passed his bill to permit the Peconic Bay region towns to establish Community Housing Funds, which would provide up to $20 million annually to provide financial assistance and new housing opportunities for local residents. Mr. Thiele continues his efforts to insure fiscal responsibility at all levels of government. He has supported successful initiative to reduce income taxes and was an original proponent of the STAR program to reduce school taxes. Mr. Thiele is the Chairman of the Assembly Local Governments Committee and serves as a member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, Environmental Conservation Committee, Oversight, Analysis and Investigation Committee, and Transportation Committee. He is also a member of the Assembly Majority Steering Committee.
Steve Englebright
New York State Assemblymember, 4th District
In the early 1980s, Steve Englebright helped lead the effort to preserve the Long Island Pine Barrens and is credited with articulating the connection between the preservation of the Pine Barrens ecosystem and protection of the sole source aquifer which it overlays as a public health imperative to safeguard the drinking water of 1.5 million people. His interest in the interface between science and society in the policy area of public health led him to public elected office where he has served in the Suffolk County Legislature and the New York State Assembly. As the only natural scientist in the State Legislature, Steve Englebright’s ability to translate technical concepts and findings into meaningful public policy has enabled him to craft policy that has relevance to our lives and health. As the Legislature’s leading proponent for the use of clean, renewable energy, Englebright authored New York’s first solar and wind net-metering laws in the 1990s and successfully pushed in 2008 for the expansion of solar net-metering to include all utility customer classes. These laws now provide the necessary foundation on which to ramp up New York’s renewable energy production. In February 2015, Assemblyman Englebright was appointed Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation. His environmental priorities include advancing policy and budgetary initiatives to improve the quality of our air and waters, open space preservation, recycling and sustainability, and ramping up our efforts on the state level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the impacts of climate change including sea level rise, ocean acidification, and future extreme weather events. Steve Englebright is on the faculty of the Sustainability Studies Program at Stony Brook University. He received his BS from the University of Tennessee in 1969 and an MS in Geology (Paleontology/Sedimentology) from Stony Brook. Standing Committee Assignments 2017: Environmental Conservation (Chair); Education; Energy; Higher Education; and Rules.
Joe DeStefano
New York State Assemblymember, 3rd District
Dedicated to making his community a better, safer place, Assemblyman Joe DeStefano has devoted his life to serving his neighbors. His public service career started in 1980 when he volunteered with the Medford Fire Department and he has been answering calls ever since. For the past 25 years, he’s served as a fire district Commissioner, having also held the positions of Fire Police Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant, Department Recording Secretary, Department Vice President, and Department President. He’s also served with the Medford Volunteer Ambulance for the last 36 years. Joe was a Public Safety Communication Supervisor in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, where he managed the day-to-day operations of the dispatchers as well as supervised radio communications and other vital functions for 27 years. Enjoying widespread support from the working men and women of his district, he was the Unit President of the Sheriff’s/Probation Civilian Unit, representing more than 200 Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees members. The Suffolk County Fire District Officers’ Association named Joe “Commissioner of the Year” in 2017 and over the years, he’s held numerous other roles, including Suffolk County Fire District Officers’ Association Secretary and Treasurer, Brookhaven Town Fire Districts President, and Regional Director, Secretary, and Treasurer of the New York State Association of Fire Districts. Joe is a 1978 graduate of Patchogue/Medford High School and earned an Associate Degree in Business Management from Suffolk Community College. He is a long-time member of the Medford Civic Association and the Medford Chamber of Commerce. He was the district manager of the Riverhead Fire District and is a life member of both the Medford Fire Department and Ambulance company. Now representing the people of central Brookhaven Township, Joe fights for safer neighborhoods, stronger communities, and preserving the property tax cap while pushing Albany to curb spending. He is a proud supporter of fire services, law enforcement, and our military. Taxpayers across his district count him as an ally and know they can turn to him for assistance on governmental and community issues. He is the ranking Minority member of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and serves on the Aging, Governmental Employees, Labor, and Transportation Committees. Joe was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 2018 and has demonstrated his strong constituent service, community leadership, and unwavering support for all the residents, organizations, and businesses in his district. A resident of the 3rd Assembly District for more than 48 years, Joe and his wife, Linda, have two children and one grandchild. His district includes the communities of Bellport, Brookhaven, East Patchogue, Coram, Farmingville, Gordon Heights, Mastic/Shirley, Medford, Middle Island, and Ridge.
Michael J. Fitzpatrick
New York State Assemblymember, 8th District
Michael J. Fitzpatrick was elected to the New York State Assembly, representing the 8th Assembly District, on November 5, 2002. Prior to the New York State Assembly, Mr. Fitzpatrick represented the people of Smithtown as an elected member of the Town Board for 15 years, from 1988 through 2002. Assemblyman Fitzpatrick serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Housing Committee and is also a member of the Ways & Means, Higher Education and Agriculture committees. In 2020, Mr. Fitzpatrick was named Vice-Chairman of the Program Committee. Mr. Fitzpatrick is an active member of the New York State Chapter of the American-Irish Legislators Society and is currently serving as the organization’s Secretary. Active in the community, Assemblyman Fitzpatrick is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and past president of the board of trustees of the Cleary School for the Deaf in Nesconset, New York, where he remains an honorary trustee. He was member of the Suffolk County Chapter Revision Commission and the Human Services Committee of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In addition to public service, Mr. Fitzpatrick spent more than 20 years in the financial services industry. Assemblyman Fitzpatrick is a1975 graduate of Hauppauge High School and a 1979 graduate of St. Michael’s College in Vermont, from where he received his B.A. in Business Administration. Mr. Fitzpatrick was born in Jamaica, Queens on April 15, 1957 and raised in Hauppauge, Long Island. He is married to the former Lorena Herrera of Chihuahua, Mexico, with whom he has raised two children, Corina and Michael. The couple reside in the hamlet of St. James in Smithtown.
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.

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


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



Senator Phil Boyle

Assemblymember Fred Thiele Jr.

Assemblymember Steve Englebright

Assemblymember Joe DeStefano

Assemblymember Michael J. Fitzpatrick

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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