Carol Berman was an influential figure in the American Democratic Party, representing New York, specifically Nassau County. With a rich history in politics and activism, Berman’s life is a testament to her dedication and passion for public service.
Early Life and Background: Born on September 21, 1923, Berman hailed from Lawrence in Nassau County. Her political journey began with her association with the Democratic Party, eventually leading her to serve in the New York State Senate from 1979 to 1984.
Fight Against Supersonic Transports: One of Berman‘s earliest and most notable campaigns was her resistance to the landing of Concorde and other supersonic transports at the nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport. As a resident of Lawrence, she was directly affected by the runway approaches of the airport. Leading the Emergency Coalition to Stop the SST, she mobilized protests against the Concorde, notably in May 1977, where up to 1,000 cars caused a slow-down at the airport during peak hours. By August 1978, she announced plans for a lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, advocating for residents to join the cause.
Political Endeavors and Election History: Before her tenure as a State Senator, Berman held positions as a district aide for Assemblyman Eli Wager and Representative Herbert Tenzer. She also served as vice chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee and was a delegate for Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson during the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City.
Elected in November 1978 to represent the 9th District, Berman‘s jurisdiction included parts of southwestern Nassau County and southeastern Queens. Despite the district’s Democratic leanings, she faced challenges from Republican Dean Skelos in the early 1980s. Though she emerged victorious in their first face-off in 1982, by 1984, Skelos managed to defeat her, with the endorsement of President Ronald Reagan. The two would meet once more in 1986, with Skelos emerging victorious again.
Accident and Legal Battle: In September 2006, Berman experienced a personal setback when she sustained an ankle injury after falling into a gap at the LIRR’s Lawrence station. This incident led her to file a $1 million claim against the Long Island Rail Road and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The lawsuit concluded in January 2009 with a settlement of $150,000.
Death: After a long and impactful life, Carol Berman passed away on October 17, 2023, at the age of 100.
Carol Berman‘s life was marked by her dedication to public service and her commitment to the well-being of her constituents. Whether it was her fight against supersonic transports, her tenure in the New York State Senate, or her battles in the courts, Berman remained a steadfast advocate for the rights and interests of the people she represented. Her legacy remains an inspiration for future politicians and activists alike.