Joshua Lafazan

Position: Nassau County Legislator, District 18

Topic: Mobilizing Young People in a Time of Crisis Biography

Joshua Lafazan's Biography

Having been first elected to public office at age 18, I am no stranger to being the youngest elected official serving in a body of government. At 26 years old, today I am currently the youngest elected legislator on Long Island, where I have the privilege as Nassau County Legislator for the 18th District.

I have served in elected office during times of crisis in our country, from Superstorm Sandy in 2012, to widespread power outages on Long Island in 2018, to the current COVID-19 Pandemic we face today.

Time and time again, as a nation we fail to incorporate a vital group into our preparedness training and disaster response - young people!

My generation - the largest, most educated, and most diverse generation in American history - has been eager to participate during times of crisis, yet young people are often an afterthought during both the planning stages of response, and the response execution.

As a young legislator, my office has been able to mobilize young people to get involved and help when needed most, and I hope to use my speaking time to share my experience with those in attendance.

From pairing young students to shop for vulnerable seniors during our COVID-19 crisis, to using students on social media platforms to quickly disseminate crisis communications, to organizing students to eradicate drunk driving in a community, to forming advisory councils and gaining critical information, to raising thousands of dollars in donations exclusively through new online funding platforms like Venmo, our office understands just how important it is to get the youngest among us involved and activated. And we can't wait to share it with everyone at the conference!