Chase Serota has been a part of local politics from childhood. As the son of Daniel Serota, the mayor of Brookville since 2012, Chase attended village trustee meetings as early as 12 years old. Being the youngest in a room of politicians never fazed him, something which he has carried on years later as a legislative intern for Josh Lafazan, an Independent from Woodbury.
Serota first met Lafazan when the latter became the youngest member of the Jericho School District Board of Education. This inspired Serota to create a student board representative position in the district.
“He was well-liked by both staff and students and respected by all,” said Hank Grishman, the superintendent in Jericho. “He had a love for politics. Chase was instrumental in starting the Student School Board Representative position, which is so valuable and is still in place today in Jericho. We always knew that Chase would go on and accomplish great things.”
Now 20, Serota leads Lafazan’s teenage intern team, which consists of dozens of people as young as 12. As the campaign manager, he runs day-to-day operations in Lafazan’s office, researching policy, overseeing canvassing, handling the recruitment of interns and volunteers and representing the legislator at campaign events, just to name a few of his responsibilities.
Serota has grown exceedingly passionate for his position, as he said he believes that there needs to be a strong representation of young people in local politics, something which he believes is increasing. “At a time where there’s so much division and frustration in politics on the national level,” he said, “we’ve seen youth activism come into action on a local level.”
It is up to younger people to prove that they are experienced and prepared to do what they think is right in the world of politics, said Serota, who is also the youngest campaign manager in Democratic politics in Nassau County. Although he said that he and Lafazan have had difficulty fact-checking it due to a lack of accurate records, Serota may be the youngest in history.
“If we’re successful,” said Serota, “other young people can point to our campaign as the models of future political involvement for young people”
Serota said his father, who is also the commissioner of the Old Brookville Police Department, was always a strong role model. The mayor described his son as “a very empathetic, hardworking, conscientious, bright young man” who is a natural leader. Being a good listener is a crucial skill to have in politics, Daniel said, and Chase is always willing to listen to all sides of the issues and work on alternative possibilities to get things done.
Lafazan said he trusted Serota, describing him as loyal, trustworthy and someone that shows a great deal of tenacity when fighting for the right thing.
“He was just an exceptional and precocious intern who I just saw a ton of potential in,” Lafazan said. “This campaign would not have been successful without Chase Serota.”
A junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying politic science and communications, both of which feature political concentrations, Serota wants to stay in local politics after he graduates. Local politics, he said, sees through the partisan gridlock that is present on a national level because the biggest concerns on a local level are to maintain a healthy infrastructure to benefit all community members.
This is something Lafazan can see Serota doing with great success. “I think we’re seeing a future elected official in the making,” he said. “I hope one day I get to vote for him.”