Charles D. Lavine represents the 13th Assembly District, which consists of portions of northeastern Nassau County. He serves as chair of the Committee on Ethics and Guidance, co-chair of the New York State Legislative Ethics Commission and is a member of the committees on Codes, Health, Higher Education, Insurance, Judiciary, and Social Services.
Assemblyman Lavine is dedicated to fighting for legislation that will make New York an even better place to live. His passion for a more transparent and efficient government has motivated him to author legislation that will strip corrupt public officials of their pensions. The Assemblyman is also a proponent of campaign finance reform and ethics legislation.
To keep our families safe, Assemblyman Lavine has sponsored legislation that will increase penalties for those who use high capacity magazines as well as legislation that will help to halt the trafficking of illegal guns into New York. Troubled by the number of veterans living in poverty and with mental health disorders, he authored legislation to identify veterans in need and coordinate the necessary services to improve the quality of their lives. He is also a proud sponsor of the legislation that resulted in Marriage Equality in New York State.
As President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, Lavine is a strong voice for the Jewish community for the state of Israel. He has been a steadfast advocate for a strong alliance between the United States and Israel.
Assemblyman Lavine is a champion of reforms and legislation to streamline the regulatory protocols of New York State governmental agencies and authorities, advocating on behalf of small businesses to increase governmental efficiency.
The Assemblyman grew up in Marinette, Wisconsin, Menominee, Michigan, Manistique, Michigan and Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated from Marinette High School in 1965 and from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 with a B.A. in English Literature. While at Wisconsin, he was director of the Robert Theobald lectures presented by the University’s Symposium Committee. He also served as a chairman of the fact-finding commission of United Students for Action, a civil rights advocacy group that recommended that the University divest its interests in companies that dealt with South Africa, which then practiced apartheid. The University subsequently ended its investments in those corporations.
A graduate of New York Law School, Assemblyman Lavine earned his Juris Doctorate in 1972. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Moot Court Board, Chairman of the Student Curriculum Committee, and representative of the Student Bar Association representative where he was the recipient of the Student Bar Association’s Exceptional Service Award. In connection with his service on the Moot Court Board, Mr. Lavine was the editor of a publication titled Student Guide to Appellate Advocacy.
Between 1972 and 1976, Assemblyman Lavine was employed as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of the City of New York. He was selected as one of the original members of the pioneering Continuity Unit, which provided each client with a single attorney throughout the processing of the entire case. Prior to that time, clients were represented by a succession of attorneys, with no single lawyer having full responsibility for the case. That innovative approach would eventually be adopted as the model for the manner in which Public Defender Organizations currently provide legal services.
The Assemblyman left the Legal Aid Society in 1976, to practice law. He had offices in Queens County and lower Manhattan, specializing in the defense of complex criminal litigation. He played a role in many of the cases that captured headlines over the course of his legal career. Since his Assembly election, he no longer accepts cases and serves as a full-time legislator.
Assemblyman Lavine has resided in Glen Cove since 1980. His demanding work schedule never kept him from contributing to the betterment of his community. In the mid-1980s, he served as counsel for the Glen Cove Community Development Agency and the Industrial Development Agency. As CDA attorney, he was lead counsel in the City’s successful defense of litigation brought to prohibit Glen Cove from developing a movie theater in its downtown.
In 2000, Assemblyman Lavine was appointed to the Glen Cove Planning Board and in May of 2003, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Glen Cove City Council; a position to which he was subsequently elected. In 2004, he was elected to the New York State Assembly.
He is married to Ronnie, a retired public school educator and active Planned Parenthood of Nassau County volunteer.