Michael Giangregorio has spent years working with local politicians on improving the lives of families affected by autism. Now he will get the chance to continue this work — and improve the lives of all of his constituents — as Nassau County’s newest legislator.
Giangregorio defeated Robert Miles for the vacant seat in the 19th Legislative District in a special election on Feb. 28. The seat became vacant when former Legislator Steve Rhoads won election to the newly drawn State Senate’s Fifth District by defeating John Brooks in November.
“To pass the torch to such a qualified, hardworking and passionate legislator who has common sense and deep roots in our community feels great,” Sen. Rhoads said. “I know my constituents will be well served with Michael as their legislator. I look forward to working together and fighting to deliver tax relief and safe communities for Nassau South Shore families.”
In addition to an ally in Rhoads at the state level, Giangregorio also could count on an ally at the Town of Hempstead in Councilman Christopher Carini.
“I am excited and looking forward to working with Mike to improve the quality of life of the communities we serve by standing up to the governor’s plan to end local zoning that will allow up to 50 units per acre, supporting our law enforcement, and making our streets safe by demanding the repeal of cashless bail,” Carini said. “Our constituents want the same thing — a safe, affordable place to work and raise a family. We will work together to accomplish this goal.”
Giangregorio and Carini have already worked together on a number of initiatives, including removing graffiti from public areas.
Miles, an attorney for the legislature’s minority caucus, conceded shortly after the results were in on the evening of Feb. 28 and congratulated Giangregorio on a well-run, issue-focused race.
Giangregorio has been a community advocate for many years. When his son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with autism, Giangregorio and his wife, Allison, realized that the autism support system was severely insufficient, particularly when diagnosed individuals reach adulthood. Giangregorio hosted walks at Jones Beach to raise money for autism awareness and was even able to get a state bill passed in 2011 requiring New York-based health insurance companies to fund treatments.
For his autism advocacy, Giangregorio was chosen as the Merrick Herald’s Person of the Year in 2014. And while Giangregorio intends to take some of that activism with him to the legislature, he said he wants to help create a better support system for all of his constituents.
“I am certainly not a one-issue candidate because I have very strong feelings on everything that affects Nassau County,” Giangregorio told the Herald in his roundtable interview prior to the election. “We want to make sure that Nassau County is accessible to all.”
Giangregorio has described himself as a “quality-of-life” politician, focusing his efforts on fighting crime, making sure housing projects are zoned properly, and looking for the answer to the tax assessment system.
A native of Queens, Giangregorio said that while he loved Queens, he moved to Long Island seeking a quiet, suburban lifestyle. As Nassau County grows increasingly urban, Giangregorio said he wants residents to continue to look at Nassau County as a place to live and raise a family.
“I am honored to have been selected by the voters in the 19th Legislative District to represent them in Mineola,” Giangregorio said. “I am committed to delivering on the promises of tax relief, safe communities, and protecting our suburban quality-of-life.”