Samuel Gonzalez for Suffolk Legislative District 9

The Editorial Board
Sam Gonzalez

Democratic incumbent Samuel J. Gonzalez relentlessly listens to and advocates for his community. This past term, he was the lone "no" vote in the legislature on the county's police reform plan, fueled by concerns from his constituents that it lacked an independent investigator to hold the department accountable.

This district was hard hit by COVID-19. Gonzalez, 60, of Brentwood, used his ties as a former labor union official to borrow trucks with screens and microphones to provide vaccination information in English and Spanish. That, plus other messaging and organizing pop-up vaccination sites, helped improve vaccine rates. His out-of-the-box thinking includes union certification programs for high-schoolers, non-train-station-oriented downtown development around 5th Avenue, and innovative multifamily housing solutions. He should see these through in his next term.

Republican Maxima Castro of Brentwood is not actively campaigning.

Newsday endorses Gonzalez.