State Assemblyman and Democrat Charles Lavine is running for his second term as representative of the 13th Assembly District because, he said, "I care about public education, safety and security, health care, the environment, good energy policy and all the important issues that confront us, and because I have the best life experiences to make decisions that will best protect our community."
State Assemblyman Charles Lavine
The assemblyman has stated that he believes some of the most important issues facing the district include property taxes, protection of the environment, protection of citizens through laws that truly work, and better management of power and electricity
Property tax relief, he believes, could come through more intense management of the health care system, which accounts for nearly half of state spending, and better management of education spending, with a greater contribution from the state serving to reduce school property taxes. Assemblyman Lavine would also like to see more affordable housing and the passage of stronger laws to protect New Yorkers from gun violence.
The assemblyman does not feel the district has the luxury to attack these issues on a "first-come, first-served basis. These battles must be waged simultaneously; they are all too immediate," he said.
Mr. Lavine stated he has a "unique combination of political and real life experience," which he believes serves him well as assemblyman. He has worked in the private sector as well as amassing a great deal of governmental experience. He has served as lawyer for the Glen Cove Community Development and Industrial Agencies, as a member of the Glen Cove Planning Board and City Council and has served a full term as State Assemblyman, a seat he won running as a reform candidate, and through which he has challenged the status quo and brought about a number of procedural changes to the assembly. Mr Lavine has stated that his political independence, ability to work with diplomacy, and more than 30 years "on the frontlines of our criminal justice systems on state and federal levels" add up to his being a legislator who has true expertise on issues of safety and security. This unique combination of experience in public and private sectors has earned him the backing of law enforcement groups, labor groups and organizations and individuals who believe in good government.
His campaign is focused on continuing to make reforms including the need for a legislature that meets and is available throughout the year and for the need to change Senate/Assembly rules that require both houses to spend wasted time re-passing bills not enacted into law during the first year of a legislative term.
What Mr. Lavine is most fond of in his district is its diversity, which runs from suburban to small city environments, and the complexities and challenges that go along with each.
In addition to a successful run for the Glen Cove City Council in 2003, Mr. Lavine was victorious in a Democratic Party primary (against David Sidikman) and then a general election for the State Assembly in 2004.
Assemblyman Lavine graduated from University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1969 and New York Law School in 1972, served as public defender with Legal Aid Society of City of New York from 1972-76, in private law practice in Queens County and Manhattan, served as counsel to Glen Cove Community Development and Industrial Development Agencies and as member of Planning Board and City Council, served as general counsel to North Country Reform Temple and served on the faculty of Cardozo Law School's Intensive Trial Advocacy Program. He is married to Ronnie, a third-grade teacher at Connolly School in Glen Cove. Children Greg, 29, and Andria, 25, both attended Glen Cove public schools. Greg currently works for Cross Cultural Solutions, a non-governmental organization modeled on the Peace Corps and attends The New School, pursuing an advanced degree in International Relations. Andy lives in Berkeley, CA, works as a hostess in a restaurant and plans to go to graduate school in health care.
Mr. Lavine is a member of the North Country Reform Temple and is involved with numerous bar associations.
Mr. Lavine has received the endorsement of the Nassau Police Benevolent Society and all other state law enforcement, labor unions and NYSUT entities. He received a perfect score from EPL Environmental advocates.
Mr. Lavine is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence Party lines.
Republican Steve Gonzalez is seeking election to the state's 13th Assembly Sistrict, the seat currently held by Democrat Charles Lavine, because, he said, "I believe our district is not being properly represented in Albany on issues that mean the most to our residents, including school and gasoline taxes, preservation of our open space and environmental concerns."
Mr. Gonzalez stated that the main issues facing district residents are high school and property taxes, unfunded mandates placed on school districts, high gas prices and the proposed Glenwood Landing condominium project and the City of Glen Cove's waterfront development plan and financial deficit. In fact, Mr. Gonzalez has stated that, if elected, he would first look to meet with Supervisor Jon Kaiman and residents concerning the Glenwood Landing project and alternate solutions. He has already spoken with the supervisor and stated he will work to seek state and federal aid to clean up the Superfund site. Mr. Gonzalez plans to meet with Glen Cove Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi about state financing concerning the city's fiscal situation, as well as to urge the city council and various regulatory agencies to appeal to the developer of the land to revise the proposal to include more recreational and cultural use and less residential development at the waterfront. He would also seek to begin a dialogue with LI colleagues in the assembly in regard to changing the state education's financing formula and unfunded mandates.
Mr. Gonzalez is in support of legislation signed by the state legislature and Gov. Pataki to cap the state sales tax on gasoline, and has circulated and forwarded petitions to County Legislator Diane Yatauro urging the county to exercise its option to cut its portion of the sales tax. "The cutting of the state and county gasoline sales tax will provide meaningful savings to Long Island consumers," he said. "As we all know, having a car on Long Island is not a luxury but a necessity. The legislation also provides tax credits to homeowners who use energy-saving home heating systems and promotes the development of alternate fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol."
Other issues Mr. Gonzalez is anxious to tackle are legislation regarding civil confinement of violent sex offenders and background checks for all volunteers, interns and employees of assisted living and nursing home facilities in New York State.
Mr. Gonzalez's favorite aspect of the 13th Assembly District is its natural resources that encompass wetland, harbors and the Long Island Sound as well as the district's diverse communities.
Mr. Gonzalez's political background includes eight years on the Glen Cove City Council where he worked to champion open space and upzoning issues. Additionally, he was part of the implementation of Glen Cove's recycling program and the legislation that made Glen Cove one of just three American cities to ban the sale of polystyrene and poly-vinylchoride products.
Mr. Gonzalez believes he is the candidate of choice because, he said, "I would be the advocate for the main issues facing our diverse assembly district. As a city councilman and private citizen, I make every effort to help solve everyday quality of life issues. I will continue to do the same and more [if I am elected to the assembly]."
Mr. Gonzalez is a lifelong resident of Glen Cove. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts degrees from New York Institute of Technology. He currently works as a business development coordinator with the New York City School Construction Authority, working to increase minority and women-owned contractors to pre-qualify and certify with the authority and conduct minority-contracting compliance on all authority projects in Queens County. He as served as Nassau County regional representative for Governor Pataki, a human rights investigator for the NY State Division of Human Rights and a governmental relations manager and purchasing agent for SUNY Maritime College. Mr. Gonzalez is married to Elaine Quinones, a practicing attorney and a prosecutor for the Village of Hempstead.
Civic affiliations include being Past Grand Knight of the James Norton Council Knights of Columbus, Past President of the North Shore Rotary, member of Glen Cove Sons of Italy Loggia #1016, Glen Cove Elks Order #1458 and member of the Glen Cove Sports Hall of Fame Committee and has received commendations as a honorary member of Glen Cove DECA and for his assistance with the Glen Cove Police Department.
Mr. Gonzalez is running on the Republican and Conservative Party lines.