Democrat Dr. Eve Meltzer-Krief is running for the Suffolk County Legislature in the 18th District. She calls herself a “fierce advocate for policies that help advance the health and well-being of children.”
“Our families and our children are really just facing a whole variety of really crisis situations at one time,” she said, pointing to mental health, gun violence, climate change, and cost of living. “All of these issues need our attention.”
Meltzer-Krief has been a Centerport resident for 24 years. She is a longtime practicing pediatrician in Huntington, a Harborfields School Board member since 2021, and is particularly passionate about improving children’s mental health.
“I’m seeing it more and more everyday in my practice,” she said. “Children struggle with mental health, and the pandemic added to that with social isolation. The rise of hate and some of the divisive rhetoric on social media and on TV or even school board meetings has only fueled those mental health issues.”
The legislative candidate noted that “there must be a multi-pronged approach to caring for our students.” She said she pushed strongly for the prohibition of flavored vape products and tougher gun control legislation, as well as implementing free universal lunches for school students.
As a legislator, Meltzer-Krief said she would push for the county to leverage funds for mental health services for both children and parents to prevent emergency room mental health visits.
“I’m not a politician, I’m a child advocate,” she said. “Children have no voice. We have a saying in pediatrics: ‘Put kids first,’ and that’s what I would do. We need more legislators in office who will do just that — put kids first — because they are our future.”
The mother of two also spoke about two of the most hot button topics in the district: how to attain affordable housing, and clean water. She acknowledged that affordable housing is a serious issue, noting that her own daughter wants to be a teacher on Long Island but “has no hopes of being able to live here.”
“The towns need to re-evaluate their zoning laws so that more affordable housing could be built and take advantage of large, unused industrial spaces and convert those into affordable housing units to draw young professionals and students to the area,” she said. “Companies need to invest in innovation and make this a place that young people want to come to and can afford to live in.”
Meltzer-Krief also commented on the so-far-failed Suffolk County Water Quality Restoration Act, which her opponent voted against putting on the ballot in November for voters to decide on.
“It’s very unfortunate because it’s the health and wellbeing of all of us that suffers,” she said. “We’re all going to suffer from poor water quality. Every environmentalist I spoke to is extremely disappointed about this.”
Meltzer-Krief serves in leadership roles on a number of boards, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and NYS Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Advisory Board.
She is running against Legis. Stephanie Bontempi.