District 11 Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton selected as new county democratic caucus leader

District 11 Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton selected as new county democratic caucus leader
Nassau County District 11 Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton has been selected as the next leader of the county's democratic caucus. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Nassau County Legislature Minority)

Nassau County District 11 Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove), who represents Long Island’s North Shore, is stepping into a new role as the leader of the Nassau County Legislative Democratic Caucus.

“Being selected by my colleagues to lead our caucus at such a dynamic time in the history of the Legislature is a tremendous honor, and I am deeply humbled by the trust they have placed in me,” DeRiggi-Whitton said.

DeRiggi-Whitton, a 12-year county legislator, was elected to her seventh term serving District 11 in November, garnering 64% of the district’s votes. She represents the residents of Port Washington, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Sea Cliff, Glenwood Landing, and Glen Cove.

The legislator previously told Blank Slate that she considers herself a moderate Democrat who doesn’t “vote down the line.”

Stepping into this new position, DeRiggi-Whitton said the Democratic caucus will be pushing forward in conducting oversight of Nassau Executive Bruce Blakeman’s administration and enacting checks and balances, establishing initiatives to boost affordability in the county, environmental protection measures, preservation of public safety, infrastructure investments and greater responses to address the opioid epidemic.

DeRiggi-Whitton is a staunch advocate for addressing the opioid epidemic that has been exacerbated by the presence of fentanyl in the community.

She has hosted Narcan training sessions over the years to teach residents how to administer the overdose-reversing drug and inform them of the issues at hand, and co-sponsored legislation that would require fentanyl test strips to be included in Narcan kits – which is still awaiting approval in the Legislature.

DeRiggi-Whitton has pushed for the disbursement of the county’s opioid settlement money to help address the county’s current crisis, proposing solutions like funding treatment centers and covering patient drug treatments.

In tandem with the county’s opioid settlement money, DeRiggi-Whitton has also advocated the county distribute its federal COVID-19 relief funds, or ARPA money, to improve failing infrastructures or even put money into people’s hands.

Her other legislative initiatives have focused on environmental issues and actions, including banning the use of fracking water to make pellets that melt snow.

DeRiggi-Whitton is succeeding the current minority caucus leader Kevan Abrahams. He served as the caucus’ leader since 2012 but is stepping down after not seeking re-election this year.

Her leadership position, which was selected by members of the caucus, is to begin in 2024.

DeRiggi-Whitton’s fulfillment of the leading position will be formally confirmed in January when the new legislature convenes. The selection will occur when the 19 legislators vote on a presiding officer, granting the runner-up of the opposing party the position of the minority leader.

As the Nassau County Legislature is split 12-7 with Republicans controlling the legislative body, the presiding officer nominated by a majority of the votes is expected to be a Republican.

“I am beyond proud to lead our team into the future, and we are ready to directly confront and overcome Nassau County’s greatest challenges,” DeRiggi-Whitton said.

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