Bay Ridge

‘Political Gladiators’ book offers tips to Millennials

Brooklyn BookBeat

December 30, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Joshua A. Lafazan’s book tells the stories of elected officials who won their first elections before the age of 30. Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis
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New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli won his first political office at the tender age of 18 when he was elected to the Mineola school board. Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis was first elected in 2010 at 29 years of age. Her colleague, Assemblymember Michaelle Solages was 27 when she was elected. And Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro’s first foray into politics was his election to the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tivoli. He was 18.

The stories of these elected officials and other whiz kids can be found in “Political Gladiators: How Millennials Can Navigate the 21st Century Political Minefield and WIN!” a book by Joshua A. Lafazan. From Next Gen Publishing, the 242-page book was published in November.

Lafazan knows whereof he speaks. In 2012, he became one of the youngest elected officials in the history of New York state when he was elected to the Syosset Board of Education at the age of 18. He was re-elected to another three-year term in 2015.

Featuring the stories of politicians from across the country who won their first elections in their 20s, the book seeks to provide a primer on how young Americans can enter the political process and succeed in being elected to public office.

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Through the telling of their stories intertwined with his own story, Lafazan seeks to provide a clear, no-holds-barred view of what a campaign really looks like as a millennial candidate, and what life as a young elected official has in store. He also discusses the importance of Millennials having a seat at the government table.

“It’s often forgotten that America was founded by disruptive youth; four of our nation’s Founding Fathers were in their 20s during the Constitutional Convention. Yet America has largely abandoned the inclusion of youth into the nation’s most important policy conversations,” Lafazan said in a statement.

Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) said she was honored to be included in the book.

“I chose to run because I was unhappy with my community’s representation in the state Assembly. At the time, the state had a $13 billion deficit that my generation was inheriting and we deserved to be a part of the process. With the help of my supporters, we were able to channel that displeasure and desire for change into an effective campaign to defeat a two-term incumbent. Hopefully, Joshua’s book will inspire others to do the same,” Malliotakis said.

Lafazan, who called Malliotakis “an incredible role model for me personally,” said the Bay Ridge lawmaker is “emblematic of what all young elected officials should strive to be when they enter the political arena.”

Lafazan also said he firmly believes that the Millennial generation “can end partisan gridlock once and for all, and [get] government working for the people once again.”

“Political Gladiators” is available through Amazon and at other places where books are sold.

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