DuWayne Gregory has devoted his life to serving our country and the people of Long Island. From his service as an officer in the United States Army to his proven record of protecting our tax dollars, balancing budgets and putting politics aside to deliver results for Long Island families, seniors and businesses in the Legislature, DuWayne has again and again stepped up, overcome all odds, and made a real difference for the men and women who call Long Island home.
A native Long Islander, DuWayne’s parents moved here from the Bronx in search of a better life and greater opportunities. His father was an auto mechanic, his mother a community health nurse who often worked two jobs to provide for the family. They faced many of the challenges that middle-class families across the country face, and instilled the values of family, determination, and service in their children – values that would define DuWayne’s life and career.
Growing up in a family with a long history of military service, DuWayne’s interest in the armed forces started at an early age. His father was a World War II veteran, and his granduncle was one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. These examples led DuWayne to consider a career in the service, ultimately deciding to enlist in the United States Army after graduating from college. There, he would serve in the field artillery, become an officer commanding a platoon of soldiers, and earn his airborne jump wings.
His time in the Army taught DuWayne the importance of determined leadership, working together, and refusing to back down in the face of any challenge — lessons he would take with him to the next stage of his career.
After leaving the Army, DuWayne returned home and became the Citizens’ Advocate for the Town of Babylon. Seeing the need for strong leadership and new ideas, DuWayne ran for, and won a seat in the Suffolk County Legislature in 2008. In 2014 his colleagues elected him Presiding Officer of the Legislature, making DuWayne the first African American in the county’s history to hold the position.
In the Legislature, DuWayne has earned a reputation for problem solving and working across the aisle to tackle important issues. His successes include efforts to revitalize downtowns and attract new high-tech jobs, helping to lead the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and passing strong new laws to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. Under DuWayne’s leadership, the Legislature passed three consecutive balanced budgets that maintained critical county services while freezing the general fund property tax.
Now DuWayne is taking on his biggest challenge yet, a deadlocked, dysfunctional Congress that seems more interested in listening to special interests than Long Island families. He knows breaking through the gridlock will be tough, but DuWayne has taken on tough challenges before – and overcame them.