Democrat Roger Corbin, current Nassau County Deputy Presiding Officer and Republican Wanda Arroyo are seeking election to the 2nd Legislative District, which encompasses communities within both the Town of Hempstead and Town of North Hempstead, including Westbury, New Cassel, Hempstead Village, Lakeview as well as parts of Uniondale, Lynbrook, Garden City and Rockville Centre.
Wanda Arroyo, a lifelong resident of Hempstead Village, is a senior program associate at the National Association for Older Americans where she manages Minority Outreach of New York State. Arroyo holds a bachelor's degree in political science from St. John's University and has certificates from the Association of Training of Trainers, the New York American Volunteer Association and the Public Relations Society of America.
Arroyo has worked in collaboration with organizations such as the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, New York Black MBA's Association, the National Hispanic Coalition and has provided educational resources to older Americans living in New York State through her involvement with various minority senior associations.
A member of the First Baptist Spanish Church of Hempstead, Arroyo was a counselor to young people when she was 16 years old and later served as choir director/piano player. Over the years, she has been involved with such community organizations as the Hempstead Kiwanis Club, the National Hispanic Coalition, the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and ASALI.
If elected, Arroyo states she will fight to bring county spending under control and in line with what taxpayers can afford and will work to eliminate the projected $399 million budget deficit that is the result of Democratic spending. Arroyo also states that she will work to stop county fiscal mismanagement and will oppose fiscal gimmicks and Úquot;one shotsÚquot; to balance the county budget. In addition, Arroyo supports a moratorium on future county property tax hikes, stating that Nassau County Democrats have raised taxes 57 percent since gaining control of county government.
As of press time, numerous phone calls to Wanda Arroyo for an interview with this newspaper had not been returned.
- Victoria A. Caruso
Democrat Roger Corbin is seeking election to his fifth term as Nassau County Legislator, 2nd District, Corbin's involvement in public service began when he served as a member of the original Charter Revision Committee. With the formation of the county legislature in 1995, Corbin became the first Africian-American Democrat to be elected and in 1999, he was named deputy presiding officer. He is currently seeking election to his fifth term in the 2nd Legislative District.
Corbin, a 46-year resident of New Cassel, graduated from Westbury High School in 1964. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a graduate of Pace University where he earned a bachelor's degree in business law. He recently retired from the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation where he worked for 31 years as a branch manager.
Throughout his tenure in the legislature, Corbin has served as chair of the Health & Human Services Committee and led the way to a countywide smoking ban in the workplace earlier this year. In November 2000, he co-sponsored and voted for a Pesticide Notification Law establishing countywide notification requirements for commercial and residential lawn pesticide applications.
In June 2001, Corbin joined in unanimously passing legislation to create the Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee and, in September 2002, as vice chair of the Minority Affairs Committee, he approved a bill requiring contractors who do business with Nassau County to use minority and women-owned businesses for at least 15 percent of the contracted amount. Most recently, Corbin approved legislation to preserve open space, recreational areas and other environmentally sensitive areas in the county.
Recently, Corbin implemented a minority task force on health disparities in the county and particularly for those in District 2 and plans, if re-elected, to hold educational forums on flu shots, immunizations, Healthy Start and will work to make sure that the mammography van continues to go throughout the district. Úquot;I am going to lean on the health issue for a long time because I believe health is the key to a successful community,Úquot; said Corbin. Úquot;I want to make sure that our residents are getting good, quality health care.Úquot;
Another issue Corbin plans to address, if re-elected, is the continued cleanup the district's industrial areas, particularly those in New Cassel. Úquot;We have to really try to revitalize that area, take care of the brownfields and other toxic areas in the New Cassel community caused by local businesses,Úquot; he said. Úquot;I am going to be pushing very hard to make sure we remediate and make sure we get the proper authorities to police these things and make sure they are cleaned up correctly.Úquot;
According to Corbin, a major concern affecting the 2nd L.D., not to mention all of Nassau County, is job creation. Úquot;We need to start asking the malls to put anchor stores in our downtown areas. By doing that, the indigenous folks who live in the communities will walk to and revitalize their downtowns,Úquot; he said. Úquot;Putting satellite stores in our downtowns will not put the ma and pa type of stores out of business, but rather surround them and enhance them.Úquot;
If re-elected, Corbin plans to work with the Town of North Hempstead regarding the issue of illegal housing and code enforcement within the district. Úquot;County Executive [Thomas] Suozzi knows this has been a major, major problem throughout Nassau County,Úquot; Corbin said. Úquot;Illegal, multiple dwellings, as they relate to the Westbury/New Cassel community, are a problem. They have a right to live, but not to live in that condition. It is a human right for them to live safely and decently and not be taken advantage of by the unscrupulous landlords who are making a fortune of this most vulnerable population.Úquot;
Addressing those concerns, said Corbin, comes down to affordable housing. Úquot;It's a domino effect. If we had decent senior citizen homes with ambiance and security within our Westbury/New Cassel community, which is affordable, then those homes that our seniors leave can go to the young people,Úquot; he said. Úquot;We need to find a way that we can get our young people to buy into our community.Úquot; To do so, Corbin said Nassau County must offer high-tech jobs that can pay the necessary wages for people to stay here.
As legislator for the 2nd L.D., Corbin has said he has brought a lot to District 2, including the revitalization of the county's Tanglewood Preserve in Lakeview, capital improvements along Prospect Avenue in New Cassel and the revitalization of both Hempstead and Westbury Village. Recently, Corbin and Legislator Richard Nicolello awarded Westbury Village some $150,000 in revitalization funding which will be used to revitalize the downtown and Post Avenue. Corbin is also working with the 3rd Precinct to secure that residents of Westbury and New Cassel are safe and is working with Senator Michael Balboni, to secure funding to resurface the track at Westbury High School.