My parents raised me to be a life long political activist, beginning at the age of five when I helped to bag and distribute tiny tree seedlings on behalf of my father David Lavine’s upstart environmental campaign for the Connecticut State Legislature. (His original Inland Wetlands Protection legislation is still the template for most other such laws in this country.) My mother Gladys, at 79 years of age, is still actively engaged in ensuring environmentally sustainable growth as Chair of the Aquidneck Island Planning Committee in R.I.

My own current political engagement is as NYS Democratic Committeewoman for downtown Manhattan. I am also the co-founder and Chair of the NYS Democratic Committee’s Progressive Caucus.

I’ve previously served as Co-Chair of the Board of NY’s Gay & Lesbian Community Center, on the Board of the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and as past President of one of NY’s leading progressive Democratic clubs, Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats. I’m an attorney and used to work as Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy at Safe Horizon, New York City’s largest victim services agency.  I’ve also worked in both city and state government, at the NYC Department of Health and for NYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick.

My wife Roberta A. Kaplan, is the attorney who won the landmark Supreme Court victory overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) in Windsor, guaranteeing all legally married gay couples full federal rights – one of many of her remarkable accomplishments. We live with our amazing young son who keeps us firmly grounded. I liberally opine here on politics, boys and schools, fracking, food and agriculture, Israel, and other diverse subjects.