Kaplan announces transition committee, seeks community input

Kaplan announces transition committee, seeks community input
Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan will soon become state Sen. Anna Kaplan. (Photo from the Town of North Hempstead)

North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, the New York state senator-elect for District 7, announced the formation of a transition committee Tuesday afternoon that plans to hold meetings and discuss legislative issues with district residents.

Bill Bodkin, an attorney, activist, and founder of the Port Washington Democratic Club who is chairing the committee, said the group aims to solicit concerns from residents and gauge their priorities in the transition period.

“Many of the Legislative priorities of the Governor and the Democratic majority are well known: the Reproductive Health Act, the Child Victims Act, stricter gun laws and election reforms,” Bodkin said in a news release. “But Senator-Elect Kaplan wants to make sure that she starts her time in Albany with an understanding of all the issues facing residents of the Seventh District, including the issues that don’t get the headlines.”

Kaplan defeated incumbent Republican Elaine Phillips on Nov. 6, helping shift the state Senate firmly into Democratic control. The Senate, once controlled 32 to 31 by Republicans, now has a 40-to-23 Democratic majority.

Kaplan described the shift as a “unique opportunity” for residents to express their views and concern on what Albany’s priorities should be.

The meetings will be held in Westbury, Elmont and the Port Washington/Manhasset area. The first one will take place at the Yes We Can Community Center’s second floor conference room in Westbury on Monday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.

Residents can email [email protected] with concerns.

Other meetings have not yet been announced.

Among the committee’s members are North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Viviana Russell, Albertson resident and Muslims for Progress co-founder Tofique Harun, Great Neck attorney Rachel Geula, North Hempstead Indian Malayee Association Chairman and Manhasset Hills resident Kal Varughese and Eric Wang of Great Neck.

The group also has representatives from Westbury and Elmont, including Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, whose district touches Floral Park, Sohail Rana, the director of Community Organizing for the New American Voters Association, and Brenda Odom, a Westbury resident and former vice president of Hispanic United of Westbury.

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