Nassau legislative Democrats on Monday dedicated their wing of county government headquarters in Mineola in honor of their late colleague, Judy Jacobs, who died last year at age 77.
Before numerous friends, family members and ex-colleagues of Jacobs’, Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) led a brief ceremony renaming the minority caucus offices of the county’s Theodore Roosevelt legislative and executive building after the longtime lawmaker.
“Today, we honor Judy with this small gesture because she had the greatest heart and that heart made the ‘minority wing’ a home,” Abrahams said.
Jacobs, of Woodbury, served on the county legislature from its 1996 inception through her Sept. 13 death. Known for her even-tempered manner — within a body long marked by partisan bickering — Jacobs held roles including minority leader in the late ’90s and, most significantly, presiding officer from 2000 to 2007.
A onetime teacher, Jacobs spent years attempting to limit young peoples’ access to tobacco products. In 2002, she helped Nassau become the state’s first county to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, and in 2006 raise the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 19.
Her husband, Sidney, died of lung cancer in 2004, and in recent years Jacobs unsuccessfully pushed county leaders to again raise the tobacco purchase age from 19 to 21.