Kara's Story

" I know what it's like to be a single mom, struggling to afford groceries and gas. I've been there. But I never gave up. And I'll never give up on Long Island families. "

Born and raised in Suffolk County, Kara Hahn has been a community advocate and elected official for over a decade, fighting for Long Island’s working families and protecting our unique Long Island way of life. Kara’s parents, a public school teacher and a volunteer firefighter, inspired Kara’s dedication to service at an early age.

As a child, Kara often heard her father answer the call to service at all hours of the night as he rushed to fires and other emergencies in their community. After the devastation of Hurricane Gloria, she and her siblings joined their dad and other volunteers to clear trees throughout the area, helping the community recover in any way they could. Kara saw firsthand the importance of community camaraderie, and the value of hard work.

During her teen years, Kara mowed lawns, shoveled driveways, cleaned rooms and waitressed at the local Three Village Inn. She also worked at McDonald’s, Macy’s, and even Newsday delivering papers on her bicycle.

Throughout her life, Kara has overcome some of life’s toughest obstacles, but never gave up or gave in. As a senior in college, Kara faced an unplanned, at-risk pregnancy, but ended up graduating with distinction while caring for her new baby girl, Karina. Like so many other Americans, to make ends meet as a single parent, Kara briefly relied on food stamps and other social safety-net services. While juggling parenting, graduate school and her early career, Kara also experienced and survived domestic violence. These events shaped the woman and public servant that Kara is today.

Earning her Masters in Social Work (MSW), Kara set out on her path of public service. In her field placements working with those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and advocating for low-income, working women and families, she realized she could make the greatest impact on systemic problems at the policy level.

In her decade as a Suffolk County legislator, Kara has been the go-to champion for families, the environment and women’s rights. Rising to the Deputy Presiding Officer leadership post, Kara has authored laws to protect land and water from pollutants, led the charge to confront Long Island’s opioid epidemic, and worked to keep women and children safe from abuse.

A Brookhaven native, Kara can often be found cleaning up trash along the beach, out for an early morning run, or on the sidelines of her daughter Hope’s soccer games with her husband Christopher.