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Five Things to Know About Kara Hahn

The county legislature candidate tells us in her own words.

The race between Anthony Moncayo and Kara Hahn for Suffolk County's fifth legislative district is partly because there is no incumbent candidate in place. That's why Patch has given the candidates the opportunity to share what they feel are the five most important things about their campaigns. You can also watch a video of the candidates talking about their campaigns .

Here's what Hahn had to say:

  • Kara has 8 years of experience in the Suffolk County Legislature, two as chief of staff to current legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher. As chief of staff to Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher Kara assisted her in her efforts to preserve Detmer Farm and Smoke Run Farm and worked with her task force for agricultural and environmental management in Suffolk County. Kara also assisted Legislator Viloria-Fisher’s efforts to adopt LEED standards for county buildings, to establish the $75 million Save Open Space (SOS) Farmland Preservation and Hamlet Parks Fund, to encourage the use of alternative fuels and Green Power by Suffolk County, to adopt a GREEN Clean and environmentally friendly dredging program, and her efforts to expand the Public Transportation Bus Route to Downtown Stony Brook (S60). As aide to Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay Kara assisted in his efforts to provide funding to the Nature conservancy to reseed the hard clam population in the Great South Bay, to find solutions to storm-water runoff problems and to ban the sale of toxic coal tar sealants in Suffolk County. Kara worked to make the work done at the legislature more transparent and accessible to Suffolk’s residents. She revamped the Legislature’s website making it more user friendly and making more information available online.
  • Kara is immediate past president of the Civic Association of the Setaukets & Stony Brook and active volunteer for numerous community organizations. Immediate Past President Civic Association of the Setaukets & Stony Brook, Village Times Herald Civic Woman of the Year 2009, Co-Chair, Greening of 25A Committee, Board Member -Child Care Council of Suffolk –2005 Honoree Child Care Advocate Award, 2006 Honoree Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign, Volunteer – Gallery North, Three Village Historical Society, Candlelight House Tour House Chair and Docent, Committee Member Walk for Beauty Committee, Member Three Village Chamber of Commerce.
  • Kara is a hometown girl, raised in Stony Brook. She is a 1989 graduate of Ward Melville High School. The daughter of a Local Volunteer Firefighter and educator mother, Kara was raised to value public service. Most people learn their first civics lesson while sitting in a classroom, but Kara Hahn first remembers serving the public while riding in the back of pickup truck with her dad after Hurricane Gloria ravaged Long Island back in 1985. A volunteer firefighter, Ron Gerry showed 14-year old Kara, her brother Kevin and sister Kristin what it means to make a difference in people’s lives. For days, they worked side-by-side with other community members to clear downed trees from the roadways. Kara’s Mom, Pam, is a long-time community and PTA activist and taught Kara the importance of community. Today, as she drives those same roadways and neighborhoods with her daughters Karina and Hope, Kara continues to be inspired by those early lessons and seeks to instill that same sense of civic responsibility in her children.
  • Kara is committed to growing jobs, rooting out government efficiency, improving public safety and protecting our environment. Jobs & the Economy - Kara knows Suffolk’s economy has got to be our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY! We must create a better business climate! Doing business in Suffolk must be more efficient and we must give business an incentive to stay or start up here. Two exciting initiatives Kara supports are Mark Lesko’s “Accelerate Long Island” and Steve Bellone’s “Innovate Suffolk.” We need to create a research triangle like the one in North Carolina or Boston. We have Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University and Cold Spring Harbor Labs right here. Other Counties around the nation would do anything to have just one of these assets, we have three. However, every year inventions emerge from these research centers, but the companies formed to bring them to market often leave Long Island and with them the jobs that should be ours. Kara knows we must do all we can to keep those jobs here. Steve Bellone proposed to create Innovation Zones to keep those companies in Suffolk County and Kara supports that. She also supports cutting the government red tape that often creates delays for job growth. Suffolk’s Health Department is responsible for the permits for new and expanding business and now it can take up to a year for a business to get permit approvals. That’s too long and has to change. Too often the County’s Health Department is an impediment to people looking to make investments and expand their businesses. We need the health department to become a partner for job creation. Time is money, Kara gets that. She worked in the private sector; for a small public relations firm then for a large international high technology company. It shouldn’t take 9-12 months for a permit to open a bagel store, where there used to be a bagel store. The process has to move quicker, files shouldn’t sit on some desk for months. Government shouldn’t get 5-6 “bites at the apple.” Kara also wants Suffolk County to help create and expand real Downtowns. We need to do more to encourage transformations from strip malls to destination. The Co. must fast track intelligent projects that include mix uses. We must reinvigorate our downtowns - we need apartments above our stores and restaurants to create vibrant, bustling destinations. We must incentivize redevelopment so that old, worn out strip malls can become places people want to go & places people want to live. Suffolk Community College, which trains and retrains our workforce, must be flexible enough to respond to workforce needs that come from developing industries like biotech and nano technologies. Public Safety - Kara knows the 1st responsibility of government is to protect the safety of it residents. In this brutal economy, no area is immune to crime. Think about it – hot spots of gang violence from one end of the county to the other, a drug epidemic in our schools and neighborhoods, the Pharmacy Murders in Medford – the list goes on. Kara believes that Public Safety is at a crossroads in Suffolk County. She is concerned that there is a growing drug epidemic among our youth and yet, in the 6th precinct, where her district is located, there is ONLY ONE resource officer serving ten high schools. She is troubled that Suffolk’s police force is at its lowest level in more than a decade and if the expected retirements are not replaced at the end of this year it will be at its lowest level in 20 years. Kara is alarmed that sector cars are being shut down on the overnight shifts, and that we’re taking school resource officers out of the schools and detectives off of investigations because we don’t have enough to respond to crime. Public safety is often thought of like a three legged stool – One leg is crime and emergency response, when someone calls 911 the police respond. Another leg is crime investigation, when a crime is committed police try to determine who did it. And what I consider the most important leg is crime prevention, this is where we are at risk of failing the most. We don’t have enough officers to be patrolling like we should, if our force continues to drop there will be no presence on the streets that deters crime.
  • Kara is endorsed by Newsday, The Village Times Herald, The Port Times Record and many other organizations: New York League of Conservation Voters, Long Island Environmental Voters Forum, The Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Action Fund, Long Island Federation of Labor, Executive Political Action Committee, Faculty Association Suffolk Community College, Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, Inc., Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, Suffolk County Corrections Officer Association, Suffolk County Deputy Sherriff’s Police Benevolent Association, Suffolk County Probation Officer’s Association, Suffolk County Detective Investigator’s Association, Suffolk County Superior Officer’s Association, New York City Police Benevolent Association, Suffolk County Park Police, Suffolk County Detective’s Association, 1199 SEIU, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Democrats of Suffolk County.

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