Building on the foundation laid in his 1998 run for State Senate, Jon Schuyler Brooks has accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party as its candidate in the Seventh Senate District. He will oppose incumbent Republican Michael Balboni. "We know that sometimes a mission cannot be accomplished on the first try," Mr. Brooks told the delegates at the Nassau County Democratic Convention. "Two hundred years ago, on his second try, the founder of our party, Thomas Jefferson, was elected president. Thirty-five years ago, on his second try, the conscience of our party, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., completed his march from Selma to Montgomery. This year, on my second try, and with your help, I will complete the mission started two years ago. The Manhasset Press reported that Mr. Brooks made "a surprisingly strong showing" in 1998, posting record-setting numbers for a challenger.
"Challenger Jon Brooks, 39, of Manhasset is the kind of candidate that Nassau Democrats need more of," said the 1998 Newsday endorsement editorial. "Though making his first run for office, Brooks is an articulate lawyer and businessman with experience in government and politics." Newsday noted that Mr. Brooks had detailed plans-"for better managing HMOs, for example."
An environmental lawyer and litigator, Mr. Brooks recently became a visiting professor of law. In 1998 he received the endorsement of the New York League of Conservation Voters. Previously he served as chairman of the International Environmental Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association.
"When the Communist regimes started to fall in Central Europe," said Tom DiNapoli, member of the State Assembly and chairman of the Nassau Democratic party, "Jon set aside his successful environmental law practice and started a company which promoted democracy in Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland through the development of business opportunities and jobs for the people of those countries." The company is Cirrus Resources Incorporated and Mr. Brooks now serves as its president and chief executive officer.
During the administration of President George Bush-and in recognition of his pioneering work in the former Communist countries, Mr. Brooks served as one of only two representatives of private industry on the delegation of the United States to the International Conference on the Conversion of Military Facilities. He also has been invited to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Russell 20/20 Group, the United States Trade and Development Agency, and others, to voice opinions on the political climate and business opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe.
The voters "now have a chance to bring that voice back to our part of the world," said DiNapoli. "It is a voice I want joining mine in Albany; it is a voice with a message which needs to be heard in the State Senate."
Mr. Brooks also has governmental experience. He worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan as a legislative staff assistant and for Supervisor May Newburger when she was a member of the New York State Assembly and chairwoman of the legislative commission on Water Resource Needs of Long Island.
A graduate of Tulane University School of Law, Mr. Brooks was named Best Advocate in the United States in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and was articles editor of The Maritime Lawyer. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.
The Seventh Senate District includes Great Neck, Lake Success, Manhasset, Port Washington, Greenvale, Roslyn, Searingtown, East Hills, Manhasset Hills, North Hills, New Hyde Park, Herricks, the Willistons, Albertson, Old Westbury, Westbury, New Cassel, Hicksville, Carle Place, Mineola, Franklin Square, Floral Park, Stewart Manor, Elmont and Bellerose.