“We have to create an environment where our young people can afford to stay here,” he said. His initiatives include the “Jump Start” tax credit, which would provide up to $7,500 in tax credits for three years for recent graduates of college or trade school, as financial assistance and as a “bridge” to free college tuition.” Student loan debt, he said, “is the No. 1 impediment” to young professionals buying their own homes. Gregory also said he would advocate for Medicare for All. Among Gregory’s legislative priorities is the Military Justice Improvement Act, sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), to prevent sexual assault in the military. Gregory said he also would fight for legislation for public financing of elections that would be similar to a bill passed in the Suffolk County Legislature.
Gregory, 49, of Copiague, serves as presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature. Gregory, the first person of color to hold that post, was first elected to the legislature in 2008 to represent the chamber’s 15th District and also has served as majority leader. Gregory, who grew up in Central Islip, earned a bachelor’s degree in justice and public policy from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Gregory enlisted in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of first lieutenant. He is married and has four children.