LONG ISLAND, NY — New Long Island assemblymembers who were elected this past November officially started serving their communities this week.
(R) started his first day in office on Wednesday. Gandolfo was elected to New York's 7th assembly district, replacing Andrew Garbarino, who was elected to serve New York's second congressional district.
"I’m excited to be in Albany to begin my first term. The people of the 7th District sent me here to fight our small businesses, schools, police, and our way of life — and that’s exactly what I intend to do," he told Patch. "In the short term, our state government’s top priorities should be streamlining the COVID vaccine rollout, as well as supporting our healthcare workers and small businesses through the pandemic. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, so let’s make sure we all get there together."
Last week, Garbarino reflected on his time serving the 7th assembly district as he prepared to head to Congress.
"As 2021 begins, my tenure in the New York State Assembly comes to a close. For the past 8 years I’ve had the honor of serving the residents of the 7th Assembly District," he wrote in a post. "I've worked to rebuild in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and assisted residents through the unemployment process as COVID swept across Long Island; I've passed some of the toughest sex offender laws in the nation and supported our police and first responders when they needed it most...and so much more. I am grateful to have been able to play a small part in making people's lives better. While we will continue to be challenged in 2021, I look forward to working with anyone and everyone to continue to serve the community I love, as your next Congressman."
The seventh district covers parts of Suffolk County, including Bay Shore, Brightwaters, Islip, East Islip, Islip Terrace, Great River, Oakdale, Bohemia, West Sayville, Sayville, Bayport, Blue Point, Patchogue, and East Patchogue.
Before being elected as assemblyman, the Sayville resident worked alongside Garbarino as his chief of staff.
Representative Michael Durso (R), who was elected to New York's 9th assembly district, announced his swearing-in on Monday. Durso took over for former assemblyman Mike LiPetri, who decided not to run again this year.
Durso posted a photo from the swearing-in on Facebook.
"I had the honor of being sworn in as Assemblyman by my wife, Dana, alongside our two girls," he wrote. "I’m honored by the trust you’ve placed in me to be your representative and I will work around the clock to protect the quality of life for our families and communities."
The Massapequa Park resident will be representing parts of both Nassau and Suffolk counties, including South Farmingdale, Massapequa, Massapequa Park, West Babylon, Babylon, West Islip, Brightwaters, and portions of Fire Island and the Great South Bay area.
"As a State Assemblyman, Michael will work across the aisle to protect the STAR program, keep property tax rebate checks and increase funding for local schools. As a graduate of carpentry from BOCES in Levittown, Michael will advocate for additional funding for vocational programs to train our youth and to fill the shortage of skilled labor," his profile reads. "Michael will always stand shoulder to shoulder with our police, firefighters, doctors, nurses and frontline workers. As a certified first responder, Michael understands the importance of securing the resources needed to keep our communities safe."
New assemblyman Keith Brown (R) shared photos and a video on his social media from his first day in Albany on Tuesday.
"It is an honor and privilege to represent you in the NYS Assembly in this magnificent chamber," he wrote. "Truly humbling."
The seat was last held by Republican Andrew Raia before his retirement from the state assembly. The district is comprised of parts of Suffolk County, including the towns of Huntington, Babylon, and Islip.
At the start of the new year, Gina Sillitti (D) traveled to Albany to start as the new assemblywoman of district 16 which includes the communities of Port Washington, Manhasset, Great Neck, North Hills, East Hills, Old Westbury, Roslyn Heights, Herricks and Lake Success.
Former Suffolk legislator Steve Stern extended his congratulations to Sillitti on Facebook.
"Congratulations to my new colleague Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti! Great to be with you up in Albany for the opening of our legislative session," he wrote. "I have every confidence you will make your constituents proud and I wish you every success."
The first-time elected official told Patch in October that she wants to be accessible to her constituents.
"I want people to see me on the street and say 'Gina was so helpful on an issue facing my family. You should call her on your problem too. She will help you,'" she said. "Because at the end of the day, constituent services, helping people, is the most important job of an elected official."
The Manorhaven resident replaces Anthony D'Urso, a Democrat first elected in 2016, who announced last he would not seek reelection.