Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker was elected to public office in a special election for the Sixth District in March 2011. Sarah, the daughter of a disabled Navy veteran, has lived in Suffolk County for over 30 years. She is a longtime community advocate, public servant and working mom with a history of improving her community. She continues to be a strong voice on many issues including children’s health and safety, economic sustainability, land preservation and environmental protection.
After Sarah's grandmother lost her battle with breast cancer, Sarah was compelled to address the staggeringly high breast cancer rate on Long Island. She founded Community Health and Environment Coalition (CHEC) and led the organization in its campaign for greater awareness of how our environment affects our health. Sarah’s advocacy was vital in advancing the New York State Department of Health’s efforts in researching cancer cluster causes in our community.
Sarah’s leadership was recognized as “Woman of the Year” in the environment by the Times Beacon Record newspaper. In addition, Sarah has been honored with the New York State Senate Woman of Distinction Award, Rotary Club Community Service Award, and citations from both the Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven for community service. Sarah has also served on:
- Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Community Advisory Committee
- Mount Sinai Civic Association Board
- Mount Sinai School District’s Board of Education
- New York State Senator Ken LaValle’s Environmental Roundtable
- Suffolk County’s Cancer Awareness Taskforce
- United States Congressman Tim Bishop’s Breast Cancer Advisory Board
Along with her friends and neighbors, Sarah advocated to create a community park in Mt. Sinai on property slated to be developed. Today North Shore Heritage Park shines as a community jewel.
Prior to being elected, Sarah helped spearhead the creation of Brookhaven Town’s first Energy Department. Through her role as director of the department, she implemented the Green Homes Go Solar programs, which provided energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities for Brookhaven residents.
Currently, Sarah serves as the Chairwoman of Suffolk County’s Seniors and Human Services Committee and the Suffolk County Health Committee. In addition, she is the Vice Chairwoman of the Veterans and Consumer Affairs Committee and is a member of the Environment, Planning and Agriculture Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee. She serves as the Chairwoman to the Suffolk County Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel, School Traffic Safety Commission, and the Rails to Trails Civic Advisory Roundtable. Sarah is a member of Suffolk County’s Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion Coalition, Transportation Working Group, Welfare to Work Commission, Child Care Commission, Board of Health, Emergency Department Opioid Response Working Group and Brookhaven National Lab’s Legislative Roundtable. She is also an Advisory to the Youth Addiction Panel and the Teen Pregnancy Task Force.
Sarah continues to prioritize initiatives that stabilize government finances, improve quality of life, and promote increased health and safety measures for children and families. Her legislative accomplishments include: initiating the SAVE (School Active Violence Emergency) Hotline, an emergency notification system to improve school safety; increasing bullying awareness through the creation of Suffolk County’s first bullying awareness website; creating a law that merchants must display a warning sign indicating the dangers associated with liquid nicotine; preserving open space and protecting groundwater through land acquisition; initiating the North Shore Coastal Erosion Task Force to address severe erosion issues on our north shore; and protecting seniors against scams and fraud through the creation of a scam alert website. Sarah is a strong advocate of drug awareness by promoting drug prevention and education programs, supporting increase law enforcement, and advocating for increased medical insurance support and rehabilitation facilities for addiction and mental health rehabilitation.
Sarah lives in Mt. Sinai and is the mother of three children.