Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker was elected to public office in a special election for the Sixth District in March 2011. Sarah, the daughter of a disabled Navy veteran, has lived in Suffolk County for over 30 years. She is a longtime community advocate, public servant and working mom with a history of improving her community. She continues to be a strong voice on many issues including children’s health and safety, economic sustainability, land preservation and environmental protection.
After Sarah's grandmother lost her battle with breast cancer, Sarah was compelled to address the staggeringly high breast cancer rate on Long Island. She founded Community Health and Environment Coalition (CHEC) and led the organization in its campaign for greater awareness of how our environment affects our health. Sarah’s advocacy was vital in advancing the New York State Department of Health’s efforts in researching cancer cluster causes in our community.
Sarah’s leadership was recognized as “Woman of the Year” in the environment by the Times Beacon Record newspaper. In addition, Sarah has been honored with the New York State Senate Woman of Distinction Award, Rotary Club Community Service Award, and citations from both Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven for community service. Sarah has also served on:
- Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Community Advisory Committee
- Mount Sinai Civic Association Board
- Mount Sinai School District’s Board of Education
- New York State Senator Ken LaValle’s Environmental Roundtable
- Suffolk County’s Cancer Awareness Taskforce
- United States Congressman Tim Bishop’s Breast Cancer Advisory Board
Along with her friends and neighbors, Sarah advocated to create a community park in Mt. Sinai on property slated to be developed. Today North Shore Heritage Park shines as a community jewel.
Prior to being elected, Sarah helped spearhead the creation of Brookhaven Town’s first Energy Department. Through her role as director of the department, she implemented the Green Homes Go Solar programs, which provided energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities for Brookhaven residents.
Currently, Sarah serves as a member of the Veterans and Consumer Affairs Committee, the Public Safety Committee, and the Public Works, Transpiration and Energy Committee. She serves as the Chairwoman to the Suffolk County Addiction Prevention and Support Advisory Panel, School Traffic Safety Commission, and the Rails to Trails Civic Advisory Roundtable. Sarah is a member of Suffolk County’s Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion Coalition and Brookhaven National Lab’s Legislative Roundtable.
Sarah continues to prioritize initiatives that stabilize government finances, improve quality of life, and promote increased health and safety measures for children and families. Her legislative accomplishments include: initiating the SAVE (School Active Violence Emergency) Hotline, an emergency notification system to improve school safety; increasing bullying awareness through the creation of Suffolk County’s first bullying awareness website; creating a law that merchants must display a warning sign indicating the dangers associated with liquid nicotine; preserving open space and protecting groundwater through land acquisition; initiating the North Shore Coastal Erosion Task Force to address severe erosion issues on our north shore; directing the development of a small business webpage and printable resource guide to provide information to small businesses; addressing the need for immediate notification of a cyber-security breach; directing the creation of a substance misuse prevention website dedicated to mental health, addiction, substance misuse, prevention and recovery services; and protecting seniors against scams and fraud through the creation of a scam alert website. Sarah sponsored legislation to ban the intentional release of helium balloons to protect our environment as well as legislation to ensure that a copy of the NYS Good Samaritan Law is provided in every Narcan Kit distributed in Suffolk County to encourage the use of the life saving measure as well as calling 911 when witnessing an overdose. Sarah is a staunch advocate of substance misuse awareness by supporting and promoting drug prevention and education programs, supporting increased law enforcement measures, and advocating for increased medical insurance support and rehabilitation facilities for addiction and mental health rehabilitation.
Sarah lives in Mt. Sinai and is the mother of three children.