Councilman DuWayne Gregory
DuWayne Gregory has given 26 years of service to his country, county and community. An Army veteran, he served five terms in the Suffolk County Legislature representing the county’s 15th legislative district before joining the Babylon Town Board in January 2020. In 2011, he was chosen as the Legislature’s Majority Leader and was the first person of color to serve in that role. Just three years later he became the first person of color chosen as Presiding Officer and was reelected annually by his colleagues six years being the third longest serving Presiding Officer. A native Long Islander, DuWayne Gregory took great pride in leading the Legislature on building an economy and environment in Suffolk County that would enable the working class to thrive, revitalizing downtowns, investing in convenient transportation and affordable housing, prioritizing the fight against crime, and keeping quality higher education accessible to all.
Before joining the Suffolk County Legislature, Gregory served the Town of Babylon in a variety of capacities, having worked as Special Assistant to the Supervisor and Citizens’ Advocate, where he responded to and resolved constituent concerns. He then went on to serve as the Deputy Commissioner for Highway in the Building and Grounds Division and then Commissioner of General Services.
Councilman Gregory has marked his career in public service with landmark achievements that include creating a gun offender registry, bringing back neighborhoods by creating the Suffolk County Land Bank which helps put blighted properties back on the tax rolls, and making Suffolk County the first municipality in the nation to ban the sale of powdered caffeine to minors.
As part of his ongoing efforts to combat the drug crisis, DuWayne was proud to partner with CN Guidance and Counseling Services and Northwell Health to launch Project Connect, a program that dispatches an outreach advocate to emergency rooms to offer resources to people who have survived a drug overdose. He also directed efforts to create the county’s “Stay Alive LI” mobile app to put lifesaving information in the hands of those suffering from drug addiction.
The son of working class parents, DuWayne Gregory took seriously his responsibility to his constituents to create policies that inspired change, protected the rights of workers, and stimulated the local economy. In that spirit he created the “Charting the Course” seminar series to facilitate communication between the business sector and local government and a Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Council to protect and promote Suffolk’s $1.6-billion marine industry and to attract good-paying jobs to the region. He also co-sponsored efforts to form the Long Island Manufacturing Task Force to encourage growth of the manufacturing sector here in Suffolk County. He supported the RISE Act, which prohibits employers from asking about salary history, to help promote equality in the workforce, and had proposed legislation to ensure a second chance by banning the box on job applications asking if applicants have a criminal history. Additionally, he created legislation to give service-disabled veterans who are business owners an equal opportunity to contract with the county under the women- and minority-owned business law.
He also created the Superstorm Sandy Review Task Force to look at the progress that has been made since the storm struck and identify what work needs to be done to protect Suffolk County from future storms. Many legislative recommendations have come out of this task force, including strengthening our environmental protections and natural barriers.
Engaging our young people is one of his passions, and in addition to creating several youth programs including the Next Generation Advisory Council, Youth Leadership Caucus, Distinguished Youth Award and Page Summer Internship Program, he recently directed the county to create a pilot homeownership program to address obstacles faced by millennials with mounting student loan debt. He also established a Youth Anti-Bullying Task Force made up of high school students who discuss challenges associated with bullying in the 21st century and develop creative solutions to stop bullying.
Councilman Gregory has received many honors and recognition throughout his career. In 2019 City and State recognized DuWayne as Long Island’s Top 100 Influencers, 2019 City and State recognized him in their Color of Power List as one of the top 100 Black Influencers in New York’s State, Long Island Press 2015-2019 listed as Long Island Top 50 among others.
Councilman Gregory currently resides in Copiague with his wife and children.