Lou D’Amaro: Democrat
Lou D’Amaro (D)

Photo provided

Lou D’Amaro: Democrat

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
10/18/2018


He reached his term limit as Suffolk County legislator in the 17th District last year, and now Lou D’Amaro is looking farther north. This Election Day, he’s hoping to unseat Phil Boyle as New York’s 4th District senator. 

In a recent telephone interview, D’Amaro, who is an attorney, explained why he first decided to run for public office. “As a member of the community, you want to have an impact on where you live, and the best way to do that is through public service,” he said, noting that his tenure serving in the county was a very good one, where he chaired the Ways and Means and Budget committees, adding that he worked through the difficulties of the Great Recession by helping to keep costs down for taxpayers. “It was a great run,” he remarked. “I want to continue in public service.”

The candidate, who is a resident of North Babylon, said since May he’s been walking the 4th District and talking to residents and they all seem to have similar concerns. The cost of living on Long Island, particularly the high taxes, is a major worry. He said if elected, he would fight for Long Island to get their fair share of state aid and work with Gov. Cuomo to restore state and local tax deductions, also known as SALT, that were eliminated by the federal government beginning this year. However, D’Amaro supports the state-imposed 2 percent cap. “It forces government to live within their means,” he added.

Keeping young people on Long Island is also a concern. As legislator, D’Amaro said he helped to bring the major corporation Canon to Melville, which generated higher-paying jobs. He said more economic development would be needed in the future along with workforce housing.

D’Amaro said he’s been opposed to the Common Core method of education. “Teaching to a test is not the way to educate kids,” he said. “It’s inappropriate.” He added that he was also opposed to using test scores to evaluate teacher performance.

While hitting the pavement, he said he had the opportunity to speak with people who have lost children to the opioid epidemic gripping Long Island. “This is a major health issue,” said D’Amaro, the father of two teenage sons. “Many of these people get addicted due to pain management.” He said that the way to handle the issue is to focus on monitoring those dispensing addictive medicine and providing better treatment facilities for those addicted. In addition, funding for law enforcement is imperative. As legislator, D’Amaro said he helped to get the antidote Narcan into the community, which has saved many lives.

He is not interested in making New York a sanctuary state. However, he said, “I think all levels of law enforcement need to be sensitive to the [immigrant population].”

D’Amaro believes funding law enforcement is the best way to deal with MS-13. He added that there should also be “funding for local-based organizations to give youth alternatives to [joining] gangs.”

“I support the SAFE Act,” he said, regarding New York’s strict gun control laws. “It was a good law that prevented more than 70,000 people from getting guns. It saved lives.”

D’Amaro said that the pending Red Flag bill also has the potential to save lives. The bill, which passed in the Assembly but never made it to the floor of the Senate, would give teachers, school administrators, law enforcement and families the right to petition judges to remove guns from the homes of troubled individuals.

“That’s common-sense legislation,” he added.

And D’Amaro said the Red Flag bill is just one of the reasons he wants to go to the New York Senate. He noted that too many bills are left in Senate limbo. Another is the Child Victims Act that would bring justice to victims of abuse later in life. And another pending bill would provide protections for women on the state level should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

If elected, he hopes to also look into ethics reform. He said having those principles in place would help to curb corruption.

“I’m interested in passing those reforms to make things more transparent,” he said.

“There’s plenty of work to do up there. And I intend to [get those things done] when I get to Albany.”