On Monday, Jan. 11, North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan (D–Great Neck) filed paper-work with the Federal Elections Commission to seek the Democratic nomination in New York’s Third Congressional District.
Last week, Congressman Steve Israel (D–Huntington), who currently holds the position, announced that he will not seek reelection in 2016.
Serving her second term as Council Member in the Town of North Hempstead representing Great Neck, Manhasset, Roslyn and North Hills, Kaplan was first elected in 2011, becoming the first Iranian-American elected to municipal office in New York State. If elected, Kaplan would also be the first Iranian-American in the U.S. Congress.
“Congressman Israel has been an extraordinary leader for this district, all of Long Island and our national Democratic Party,” said Kaplan. “I would be proud to follow in his footsteps. I’m running for Congress to continue my work as an advocate for our community and to be a strong voice for middle class and working families in our district.”
Kaplan began her career in public service as an elected Trustee of the Great Neck Public Library District and later served on the Town of North Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals, before being elected to the Town Council in 2011. In November, Kaplan was reelected for her second term with more than 66 percent of the vote.
Born Anna Monahemi in northern Iran, Kaplan was raised in Tehran and came to the U.S. as a refugee at age 13.
“I never thought in a million years that I would be running for office,” said Kaplan in a speech at the Great Neck Social Center in August, describing her life and growing up Jewish in Tabriz during the Shah’s reign and overthrow. “I love this country and I can never do enough.”
Kaplan added: “We are blessed to be living here. What makes our community so wonderful is the fact that it’s so diverse. This is what America is all about. This is the foundation on what America was built on, people coming from all over and bringing all their assets and attributes and sharing them with everyone.”
Some of the issues Kaplan will focus on include addressing the needs of middle class and working families,
with a focus on college affordability; robust foreign and national security policies, including unwavering support for the State of Israel; strong advocacy for women’s rights in all areas, including issues relating to choice; greater access to educational and job training opportunities in underserved communities; stemming the rising tide of gun violence that has plagued many communities in the U.S.; and providing housing for returning and homeless veterans, including specially adapted housing for wounded warriors with disabling injuries.
A graduate of Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Kaplan has lived in Great Neck for more than 20 years. She is married to Darren Kaplan and has two daughters, Sarah and Taylor.
For more information, visit www.annakaplanforcongress.com.
To read the Kaplan profile from her visit to the Great Neck Social Center, click here.