Suffolk Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) celebrates on election night,...

Suffolk Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) celebrates on election night, Nov. 3, 2015. She ultimately defeated Republican challenger Steve Tricarico by 17 votes. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

I am writing to respond to the Newsday editorial board’s comments in its endorsement of my opponent in the last election [“Newsday endorses: Suffolk County Legislature,” Editorial, Oct. 26]. I’ve been elected four times without Newsday’s endorsement, however this last editorial about me truly hit below the belt. The comment, “she isn’t a leader” was disrespectful to me as an elected official.

After reading in Newsday about a cancer cluster in my area, I started a nonprofit organization to address the issue [“Residents still want answers,” News, June 24, 2006]. Because of my leadership, the state followed up with an investigation to determine why cancer rates were elevated in my community. After reading a local newspaper article about residents wanting to preserve land in Mount Sinai, I joined the Mount Sinai Civic Association, and as beautification chairwoman and a board member, I helped create the Mount Sinai Heritage Park.

I’ve also been involved in Brookhaven politics for more than three decades and, as you know, Brookhaven can be an extremely challenging political minefield. That didn’t stop me from running for public office. When I first ran in 2011, I won in a district that was so incredibly challenging, most strategists are still scratching their heads.

As a county legislator, I have initiated and facilitated many important projects, including the School Active Violence Emergency hotline that provides a direct 911 response for school emergencies. I’ve created focus groups to address issues, including school traffic safety, job opportunities and North Shore coastal erosion. When the rails-to-trails 10-mile bike path from Mount Sinai to Wading River was nearly eliminated, I stepped in and got it back on track. That’s government working for the people, and being productive with the opportunities and resources available.

Sarah Anker, Mount Sinai

Editor’s note: The writer represents Suffolk County’s 6th Legislative District.