Assemblyman Charles Lavine was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2004. He is currently the president of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators and the chairman of the Assembly Ethics Committee.
1) Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
I have a great life, today and four years ago. Proud husband of 47 years, father of two grown children and now grandfather to two adorable little ones. I am privileged and honored to be a public servant and had a successful career prior to that practicing law in the federal and state courts. But I am deeply concerned about the lives of the people I represent on Long Island, which is why I am driven every day to do this work.
2) Have you ever been the target of discrimination?
Yes—I grew up in small towns in the Midwest. At times we were the only Jewish family in town. I know discrimination up close and personal and have felt its destructiveness. I abhor discrimination in any form. These experiences shaped who I am today and why I fight so hard for equal rights for all.
3) What was the last television show you binge-watched?
“Game of Thrones”—I don’t think it’s possible to watch only one episode.
4) What was your favorite vacation from your childhood?
We didn’t take many, but I always enjoyed visiting my grandma, who lived in Chicago. That was the “big city” until my parents drove us across country to see New York when I was 12.