Sunday, New Year’s Eve, I turned off the TV and headed to bed soon after watching the ball drop in Times Square. But this unusually low-key start to 2018 was necessary, for by lunchtime the next day, I’d covered the Inaugurations of three Democrats – LAURA CURRAN, LAURA GILLEN, and SYLVIA CABANA – replacing three GOP office holders here in Nassau County.
Though it was New Year’s Day morning, close to a packed house at Hofstra University’s Adams Playhouse watched New York Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL and Congresswoman KATHLEEN RICE swear-in Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Hon. MICHAELLE SOLAGES swear-in Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana.
Hempstead, New York, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. NYS Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL (in green dress) and Congresswoman KATHLEEN RICE (seen partly behind podium) swear-in LAURA GILLEN (center) as Hempstead Town Supervisor, at Hofstra University. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)
U.S. Senator CHUCK SCHUMER was a speaker at both the Town of Hempstead and County County Inaugural ceremonies.
About an hour after that, and even though it was a bone-chilling 14 ℉ / -10 ℃, a thick arc of bundled-up onlookers stood thisclose together in front of the Theodore Roosevelt Legislative & Executive Building to witness Gov. ANDREW CUOMO administer the Oath of Office to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
It was a doubly historic day for Long Island. Before Laura Gillen took office, Town of Hempstead hadn’t had a Democratic Supervisor in over a century; plus, Laura Curran is the very first female Nassau County Executive.
Town of Hempstead/Nassau County Inaugurations: VIDEO
When I covered the January 15th “Our First Stand Rally” at Westbury supporting the Affordable Care Act, both of my daughters were participants. And when I photographed the January 24th visit to Sen. Schumer’s L.I. office in Melville by the activist group Together We Will Long Island, my older daughter, Sue Moller, was the TWW-LI admin there. These were the first times my daughters happened to be involved with political events I covered.
Protest marches, resistance events were certainly helping raise awareness of protestors’ reactions to the Trump administration’s goals and actions, but advice from Bernie Sanders and some others strongly stuck in my mind: Protesting isn’t enough. “Resistors” need to run for office and to help fellow activists run for office.
Then, after covering two more events – the January 30th Press Conference when Nassau County Democratic Party leaders endorsed LAURA CURRAN for N.C. Executive and JACK SCHNIRMAN for N.C. Comptroller, and the TWW-LI “Politics 101” Event – I heard exciting news: My daughter Sue was running for Hempstead Town Council!
With that candidacy as catalyst, civic engagement and politics ended up being even a bigger part of my 2018 than I could have guessed at the start of the year.