“The overarching issue is always tied into taxes,” Abrahams said. “Nassau County as a whole … and Long Island as a region, we send an enormous amount of money in federal tax dollars to Washington and we don’t see that return on investment. You saw it two years ago with Superstorm Sandy, where the Congressional members on Long Island had to practically beg for us to get the necessary resources to rebuild the region. So it’s all tied into making sure that we get our fair share.”
If elected, Abrahams said he would build on McCarthy’s legacy as a gun control advocate by pressing for “comprehensive background checks” for gun purchases. However he stressed a “two-pronged” approach to curbing gun violence, incorporating both gun control measures and support, including funding, for social services like mental health care, substance abuse programs and youth programs.
Abrahams, who previously worked as budget director for the Nassau County Legislature’s Democratic caucus, a legislative aid to McCarthy and to former Queens Democratic Congressman Floyd Flake, and a financial analyst for Astoria Federal Savings Bank, was first elected in 2002 and won re-election six more times in the Legislature’s 1st District, which also covers Roosevelt and Uniondale as well as parts of Baldwin, Freeport, Hempstead. His fellow Democratic legislators selected him as the chamber’s minority leader 2012.
He said the Legislature’s unanimous approvals last year of a plan to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum and of borrowing to fix the Hurricane Sandy-damaged Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant were among the proudest achievements of his tenure.
Nevertheless, Abrahams described himself as “frustrated” with the direction the county in the last several decades.
“If you have a longstanding history here in this county, you’re frustrated because you’ve seen this county deteriorate over the last 30, 40 years,” Abrahams said. “… That’s what my connection is with people. I see the county the same way they do. I think it’s unfortunate that we’ve seen our county, area and our nation continue to be stagnant.”