A chance to serve the community and make a difference


I appreciate the Herald for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself to its readers. As the new Nassau County legislator in the 4th District, I have the pleasure of representing the barrier island on the South Shore, from Point Lookout to Atlantic Beach, as well as Island Park, a good portion of Oceanside, and the Bay Park area of East Rockaway.

I also have the honor of succeeding Denise Ford, who for 20 years has been a tremendous advocate for this district, not to mention an extraordinary person. Like Denise, I don’t come from a political background, and my path to becoming an elected official was not the traditional one.

I attended Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, and shortly after graduation I enlisted in the Marine Corps. When I returned home, I moved to Long Beach, and have been here ever since. I met my wife, Barbara, in 1998, and we married in July 2001.

The following year, I received my associate’s degree from Nassau Community College, and took the entrance exam for the New York City Fire Department. Eighteen months later I joined the FDNY, and was assigned to Ladder 107 in Brooklyn. In the evenings I attended Queens College, and went on to open a home inspection business during my years as a firefighter.

In 2016 I transferred into Special Operations, and in 2020 I was promoted to lieutenant. I served as an officer in Engine Company 211 until March 2022, when I transferred back into Special Operations, where I am now, serving as an officer in Squad Company 288.

So, how did I get here? I’ve always had an affinity for politics and sociology. I consider the two to be closely intertwined, and believe the main role of elected officials is to listen to their constituents. Communication is one of the most important fundamental skills that any successful leader can possess — not just talking, but actively listening and understanding what someone is saying or trying to say. Something that I feel we need to work on together in our current society is better understanding one another and our different opinions.

I believe that everybody looks at life from a different perspective, through a different lens. That lens is formed by many different factors, including childhood upbringing, friends and experiences. Some of these are innate, while others are learned, and the list of influences is endless.

The point is, all these things help create the lens through which we view the world, and everyone’s lens, understandably, is different. Two people can look at the same issue and see different things, and both can be correct. One of my goals is to support my constituents as they look at the world through their different lenses, and to give us all the space to not always agree, but be able to respectfully acknowledge one another’s perspectives, even when we don’t understand or agree with them. If we can listen with the intention of hearing and understanding rather than with the intention of responding, we may start to simplify many of our disagreements.

Since taking office in January, I have been actively involved in legislative matters and have also had the opportunity to travel throughout the district, meeting residents and business owners and attending a variety of events and activities. Those experiences further reinforced my awareness of just how great a place Nassau County is to live, work and raise our families.

I’ve also started hosting and scheduling events of my own, including property tax assessment grievance seminars, mammography van screenings and a program about Medicare, with others to follow.

I look forward to working with my fellow legislators over the next two years, and using my life experiences to make a positive difference by serving as a bridge that unifies our communities, to the benefit of all of my constituents.

Patrick Mullaney represents Nassau County’s 4th Legislative District.