Before joining Hofstra, Lawrence Levy spent 35 years as a reporter, editorial writer, columnist and PBS talk show host, winning many of journalism’s top awards, including Pulitzer Finalist, for in-depth works on suburban politics, education, taxation, housing and other key issues. As a journalist, he was known for his blending of national trends and local perspectives and has covered six presidential campaigns. As executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies, he has worked with Academic Director Christopher Niedt to give it a truly national profile. He works especially close with Hofstra’s strong academic community to shape an innovative agenda for suburban study, forge alliances with other institutions, not-for-profit groups and government agencies and promote the study of the suburbs nationwide. Levy is a member of a Brookings Institution advisory panel and led a collaboration between Hofstra and Boston College to create a first-in-the nation suburban ecology initiative, and another alliance between Hofstra and Cornell to sponsor the Local Government Leadership Institute. Before joining Hofstra, he was senior editorial writer and chief political columnist for Newsday. Levy has been a guest contributor to CNN.com, the New York Times.com, covering the 2008 presidential campaign from a suburban perspective. He also writes a regular column on politics for the Albany Times Union, and appears regularly on local and national television.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (6)
Suburban Spaces and Development
Politics of the Suburbs
2022 Educator of the Year (professional)
Lawrence Levy was honored as the 2022 Educator of the Year by the Long Island Black Educators Association (LIBEA). The organization focuses on professional development for educators and academics for students.
Boston University: B.S., Journalism, Film & English Literature 1972
Media Appearances (46)
Ed Romaine wins Suffolk County executive race against Dave Calone
FOX 5 News NY tv
Lawrence Levy was interviewed by Fox 5 WNYW about the Suffolk County executive race between Republican Ed Romaine and Democrate Dave Calone. He said, “This race – the Suffolk County Executive race – could be a bellwether for what happens moving towards the race for the White House in 2024.”
Political experts: Race for Suffolk County executive could be snapshot of U.S. in 2024
was interviewed by a number of media outlets regarding the importance of the suburban voting block and how this year’s local elections could tell where the country is going politically in 2024. Other interviews on this topic: WNYC Spectrum News News 12 Long Island https://news.hofstra.edu/2023/11/08/importance-of-local-elections/
Long Islanders remember JFK 60 years after president's assassination
Lawrence Levy was interviewed by Newsday regarding the 60th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the impact he had on Long Island residents during his campaign.
Romaine and Calone go head to head in Suffolk County executive race
FOX 5 News NY tv
Larry Levy was interviewed by Fox 5 WNYW about the Suffolk County executive race between Republican Ed Romaine and Democrate Dave Calone. He said, “This race – the Suffolk County Executive race – could be a bellwether for what happens moving towards the race for the White House in 2024.”
Will the red wave wash away the last Democratic seat on Long Island?
City & State New York online
Larry Levy was interviewed about the Suffolk County executive race between Republican Ed Romaine and Democrate Dave Calone. “Will the red wave wash away the last Democratic seat in Long Island?” highlights Democrats’ challenges in the local suburbs.
Vote 2023: Former prosecutor, veteran politician vie for Suffolk County executive
News 12 LI tv
Larry Levy visited the set of News 12 Long Island to preview the October 24th televised debate between Republican Ed Romaine and Democrat Dave Calone, who are running for Suffolk County Executive . “Debates are important, and this debate – in particular – is important because it’s the last chance for both candidates to get a wider audience,” he said. “They have to continue to define themselves at this late stage even more than they have been trying to define their opponent.”
Hochul's new affordable housing plan draws support, but skepticism remains
In this Newsday article, Lawrence Levy said, “A very broad consensus with academics, business people and advocacy groups agree there is a shortage of both affordable housing and a variety of housing regardless of price … That is damaging in our competitiveness in recruiting and retaining particularly young workers and retired baby boomers who still have a lot to contribute to the economy even if they are not working.”
Trump/Biden rematch on Long Island would look different in 2024, experts say
Lawrence Levy noted that Long Island isn’t viewed as a critical battleground in the presidential elections because New York is such a Democratic state. However, he said, Nassau and Suffolk are “home to hundreds of thousands of suburban swing voters who are a reliable bellwether for what is happening in competitive states where the suburbs are decisive.”
Congressman Santos charged: What comes next
WCBS-TV News tv
WCBS-TV News talks to Lawrence Levy about what to expect as the case against Congressman George Santos plays out.
Hochul’s late budget strategy seems like it worked
City & State New York online
Lawrence Levy was interviewed about Governor Hochul’s budget, which was announced nearly a month after the April 1 deadline. “She certainly came out of it with an enormous amount of money to spread around the state, not just to advance her own priorities but to meet the needs – political or otherwise – of community leaders from Brookhaven to Buffalo,” Levy said. But he added that in some ways, Hochul is still “a political work in progress.”
Hofstra dean examines Hochul's suburban housing plan
NY1 News tv
Lawrence Levy joined NY1’s Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” to discuss Governor Kathy Hochul’s plan to build 800,000 homes statewide over the next decade.
Mayor Adams tapped to stump for Biden 2024 re-election campaign
FOX 5 News NY tv
New York City Mayor Eric Adams who is expected to be part of a national advisory board stumping for President Biden and Democrats. Lawrence Levy said that Mayor Adams, who presents a more moderate voice, may have the ability to swing suburban voters. "Adams is a double tool for Biden," Levy said. "He not only can speak to urban audiences, particularly black voters who are a major base for the Democratic Party and Joe Biden, but he also can speak to suburbanites who find his moderate positioning and message comforting in ways that, for example, Bill de Blasio did not."
Recalling 2009, Long Island Lawmakers Recall MTA Tax Hike
Lawrence Levy was called on by Newsday to discuss an increase in the MTA payroll tax, recently proposed by New York State Governor Kathy Hochul. The announcement by Governor Hochul recalled an unpopular 2009 tax that cost Democrats control of the State Senate in 2010. On its own, the MTA tax might not draw a lot of contention. But Levy said, “… you add it to expected pushback on [Hochul’s] housing proposals and other issues and you have the makings of political synergy.”
Pressure on Santos to resign mounts even after he steps down from House panels
Long Island Business News print
Lawrence Levy was interviewed by Long Island Business News about Long Island Congressman George Santos, and pressure mounting on him to resign from office, even as he stepped down from committee assignments. Polling in his district found that 78% of voters he is supposed to represent said “overwhelmingly” that Santos should step down. Published January 31, the Newsday-Sienna College poll found that 83% view him unfavorably. Levy said, “At a time when we have never been more divided on Long Island and around the country, the Newsday-Sienna poll shows there is one thing politically that everyone agrees on: That Santos should resign.”
Kirsten Gillibrand starts fundraising as possible Lee Zeldin 2024 Senate threat looms
New York Post print
Lawrence Levy is featured in this New York Post article which discusses how Senator Gillibrand has started fundraising off the threat of a 2024 challenge from the New York gubernatorial candidate.
Suffolk County Executive Race Begins to Take Shape
Lawrence Levy was interviewed by Newsday about how the 2023 race for Suffolk County Executive is unfolding. Democratic leaders are showing support for David Calone, former chairman of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, while some Republicans have expressed that they hope Lee Zeldin, former gubernatorial candidate, will run. “How he performed on Long Island last November in the race for governor shows that Lee Zeldin at this moment is the Republican Party’s strongest candidate, by far,” for county executive,” said Levy. “Republicans and even some Democrats are waiting for Lee Zeldin to make up his mind … If he decides to run for county executive, a lot of Republicans will probably not make a go of it.”
Rep. George Santos again says he won't resign, only the voters can get him to leave
WCBS-TV News tv
Lawrence Levy has been interviewed by a number of media outlets about Long Island Congressman George Santos, who has been under an ethics investigation since it was reported that he fabricated multiple details regarding his family, education and work history.
Larry Levy on what to expect from Gov. Hochul’s address
News 12 LI tv
News 12 spoke with Hofstra University's Larry Levy about what's at stake for Gov. Kathy Hochul as she gets ready to give her first State of the State address.
Hochul proposes increasing housing units in the state by 800,000
Lawrence Levy discussed Governor Hochul's plans to increase the number of homes by 800,000 units over the next decade, primarily for low-income and middle-class households and with a special focus on Long Island.
A Long Island primary season unlike any other
Long Island residents should brace themselves for a set of unprecedented congressional primaries. For the first time in recent political history, three of the Island’s four districts feature open races with no incumbent running.
NY primary results indicate Dems are coalescing around the center
Lawrence Levy spoke with Newsday regarding the upcoming gubernatorial election. “The governor’s exceptionally strong showing in the primary as a moderate — across region, gender, geography and just about every other political category — puts her in a great position in the general to energize and unify Democrats of all stripes,” said Levy. “The Supreme Court decisions on abortion and guns have electrified Democrats and many moderates, especially women.”
LI becoming more diverse and older, new census figures show
Long Island is in line with national trends showing an aging and more racially and ethnically diverse population, as its white population continued to show a small decline while other groups posted increases between 2020 and 2021. "Policymakers should look at these numbers and realize that these changes have been happening for a very long period of time and will continue to happen," said Lawrence Levy.
Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls to hold final debate before primary
Lawrence Levy spoke with Newsday regarding the trends in California’s recent elections and how that could influence the upcoming gubernatorial election in New York.
LI's teachers are overwhelmingly white and mostly female — but resignations, retirements could change that
A Newsday article looks at how COVID-19 has stalled progress in diversifying Long Island’s teacher workforce, but expected end-of-school-year resignations and early retirements may create hiring opportunities for school districts. The front-page story features interviews with Lawrence Levy, Vice President of Economic Development and Professional Studies and Executive Dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies, and School of Education Professor Alan Singer. In 2019 Levy and Dr. William Mangino, Professor of Sociology, authored a study, Teacher Diversity in Long Island Public Schools, that found that minority teacher recruitment in Long Island’s public schools has lagged far behind the surge in enrollment of students of color, depriving students of a richer cultural experience in the classroom and minority educators the opportunity for well-paying jobs.
New data: Nassau GOP enrollment declines 25G since Trump ascendancy
New state voter enrollment statistics show Nassau shed nearly 25,720 Republicans since April 2016, around the time Donald Trump had seized control of the race to win the GOP presidential nomination. Analysts said the numbers, including in Nassau, could be the result of several trends: New Yorkers moving out of state, an increasing number of minority voters who don’t tend to enroll as Republicans, a growing share nationally of voters who don’t enroll in any party and Republicans leaving the party after Trump became the face of it. "It’s a combination of demographics and ideology," said Lawrence Levy, executive dean of Hofstra University’s National Center for Suburban Studies. Demographically, the fastest-growing group of people on Long Island and nationally is people of color, Levy said, who generally don’t register Republican. "Ideologically, a lot of Long Island voters who had been moderates who would vote for a Democrat from time to time were turned off by the more strident conservatism, particularly on social issues, which was amplified by the Trump presidency," Levy said.
A chance to close Long Island's teacher diversity gap
Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, wrote an op-ed for Newsday discussing how recent teacher retirements during the COVID-19 pandemic present opportunities to improve diversity in hiring practices in Long Island’s school districts.
These are the gatekeepers who let Biden win
Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, recently wrote an opinion piece for CNN.com discussing the impact of the suburban vote in the 2020 presidential election.
Rep. Suozzi among LI Democrats trailing with absentee ballots still to come
CBS 2 NY tv
Larry Levy, of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, says Tuesday was a good night for Republicans on Long Island, and that things were amplified due to "unrealistic or unrealized expectations for Democrats."
Covid-19 Migration Alters Electorate of New York Suburbs
Wall Street Journal print
Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies, talks with the Wall Street Journal about how New York city residents migrating to the suburbs due to COVID-19 has changed the electorate in places like Long Island and the Hudson Valley.
President Trump, the suburbs aren't stuck in the 1950s anymore
In an op-ed for CNN.com, Lawrence Levy, vice president for economic development and professional studies and executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, discusses President Trump’s renewed attention on winning back critical votes among suburban swing voters as his poll numbers suffer.
Trump bets his presidency on a ‘silent majority’
In the suburbs, said Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, “unlike in 1968, minorities are at the table.” And it is not just in the suburbs. Across the country, Trump’s base of white, non-college-educated voters is declining as a share of the electorate as the population becomes more diverse.
The path to the White House leads through here
In an op-ed for CNN.com, Lawrence Levy, vice president for economic development and professional studies and executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, discusses why suburban swing voters are so crucial to national elections. “What the suburbs tell us is not necessarily who can win party caucuses and primaries, in which the candidates speak mostly to “blue” Democrats, but the candidates who can attract ‘purple voters” when it most counts — in general elections,” he writes.
Larry Levy Named to City & State's Power List
City & State online
The former Newsday columnist and PBS host is a recognized expert on suburban politics and policy, and helped develop the National Center for Suburban Studies into a respected institution that frequently provides expertise to suburban communities grappling with sustainability, economic revitalization and demographic change. Since joining Hofstra, Lawrence Levy has forged critical research alliances with institutions like Harvard, NYU and Cornell and generated nearly $4 million in grants, gifts and contracts for the school.
The Suburban Myth of Health and Wealth
US News & World Report online
On the surface, Nassau County is a wealthy and thriving suburban enclave in New York City's backyard... "From the 20,000-foot level, we have one of the wealthiest and healthiest suburbs in America," says Lawrence Levy, executive dean of Hofstra University's National Center for Suburban Studies. "But the closer you get to the ground, the more you realize the unrecognized disparities. "I am in a community where quality and outcomes in health care are terrific, whereas there are neighborhoods and villages cheek to jowl where you could be in the inner city," Levy says. "Much of the country (has) fallen victim to this myth of wealth and wellness in the suburbs."
Study spotlights lack of teacher diversity on LI
Hiring of black and Latino schoolteachers in Long Island's public schools failed to keep pace with a decadelong surge in minority enrollments, leaving thousands of students without role models of their own race or ethnicity and limiting opportunities for teachers of color, Hofstra University researchers conclude in a study... The new 42-page analysis by the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University was written by William Mangino, chairman of the Department of Sociology, and Lawrence Levy, the center's executive dean.
Young people worry homeownership is impossible, poll says.
Fox 5 NY tv
Hofstra Dean of Suburban Studies Larry Levy said that homeownership, particularly in the suburbs, wasn't nearly as widespread until the G.I. Bill after World War II. "Federal, state and local officials have got to take a step back and look at a number policies," Levy said. "They have to look at student loan forgiveness but they also have to look at things like things like encouraging rental units to build in areas where they want to live."
Curran Becomes First Woman Elected As Nassau County Executive
CBS 2 News tv
Hofstra University’s Larry Levy said to expect the previously impermeable Republican block to reach back if they want to keep their jobs. “It will be difficult for Curran to get things done, but I think the Republicans on the legislature saw the so-called handwriting on the wall and saw that people obviously voted for change,” Levy said...
Analyst: Curran’s historic win could herald bipartisan work in Nassau legislature
Long Island Herald print
Nassau County elected its first female county executive on Tuesday, as Laura Curran, a legislator from Baldwin who campaigned almost exclusively on rooting out public corruption, defeated Jack Martins, a Republican former state senator. According to political analyst Larry Levy, of Hofstra University, the win could make for some genuine bipartisan work at the county legislative level...
Failure of GOP health bill may take toll on Trump administration
News12 Long Island
Hofstra political analyst Larry Levy says the bill's failure may even present a silver lining for the president. "I think he's probably better off with this thing not passing, and then he can try to make some deals on other things that people care about," says Levy...
Long Islanders Stand to Lose with Loan Cut on Hold
Long Island homeowners could be on the hook for hundreds of dollars more in loan payments, after the Trump administration halted a planned cut in Federal Housing Administration loan premiums last month. A new report by Christopher Niedt of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University finds that could cost more than 4,500 borrowers on Long Island an average of $800 dollars more a year. Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the center, said that's ironic. "While proportionally black and Latino homeowners were hurt the most, the most people hurt were the same white working class homeowners who really powered him to the presidency."
The Politics of America's Suburbs (podcast)
The Bond Buyer online
How are the nation's suburban municipalities shaping up politically and financially? Larry Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University discusses how the 2016 presidential election played out in the suburbs and whether the changing landscape in Washington D.C. will impact borrowing for infrastructure projects.
'Dog whistle' tactics as old as American politics Coded racial language makes 2016 campaign comeback
Long Island Herald online
With terms like “forced busing” and “states’ rights” now relics of a different political era, the new dog whistles include the terms “inner city” and “criminal alien,” and even Trump’s campaign slogan, according to Lawrence Levy, of Rockville Centre, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.
Op-ed: Suburban voters make a president, and they can break him, too
Once again, as they have almost every four years since they became the dominant voting bloc, the "swinging" suburbs picked the winner of a US presidential election. But if suburbanites hold the keys to the White House, as well as control of Congress, these independent-minded voters also offer a doorway to winning after the election. If the President-elect and leaders of both major parties want to build coalitions for legislation, they will look to the centrist sensibilities of suburbanites for policy compromises that might isolate partisans on the far right and left.
Debate stage set at Hofstra with all eyes on Long Island
News12 Long Island
For political analysts, it's a day of work that could go down in history. Hofstra University Political Analyst Larry Levy says it’s a really big deal for the university. “We only had a couple of months to put this together, which usually we spend more than a year on, and the two candidates are so close in a confrontation really for the ages.”...
Schools face new challenges as poverty grows in inner suburbs
The Washington Post online
“The commercial tax base that can take the burden off of homeowners is often pretty meager, and the burden falls on people who already are struggling just to stay in their homes,” said Lawrence Levy of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.
Cuomo Boasts of New York’s Rebirth, but Hits Snags
The New York TImes online
Lawrence C. Levy, an expert on suburban politics at Hofstra University, said Mr. Cuomo’s platform was meant to appeal to every demographic, including liberals and suburban homeowners crushed under the weight of high property taxes. He said the governor’s attempt to pair forceful advocacy on social issues with restraint on taxes and spending could be difficult to achieve. “If he succeeds,” Mr. Levy said, “he positions himself as not only a different kind of Democrat, but for him, a different kind of Cuomo.”
Research Focus (1)
Teacher Diversity in Long Island's Public Schools
Excerpted from the Executive Summary: Even as the number of non-White students and residents on Long Island has surged over the past decade, the hiring of Black, Latinx and Asian teachers has failed to keep pace, leaving minority and White students alike with few, if any, diverse role models that an increasing body of research has identified as important for their success. For example, 61 percent of Long Island’s 642 public school buildings do not have a single Black teacher and 43 percent have no Latinx. Research by The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University (NCSS) has found that 179, or about 28 percent of Long Island’s public school buildings, do not have one non-White teacher. That means some 80,000 students will never see a Black, Latinx or Asian teacher in any of their classrooms. The study has identified 378 buildings, about 60 percent of Long Island’s total, that have fewer than 5 percent minority teachers. The situation is even more extreme when considering only Black or Latinx educators: Two-hundred-twenty-three (35%) Long Island schools do not have a single teacher of either heritage. Forty-nine percent of all students on Long Island – 212,000 children – attend schools where they never see a Black teacher; similarly, 30% – 129,000 students – attend schools without a single teacher of Latinx origin