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
Boston University: B.S., Journalism, Film & English Literature 1972
Media Appearances (21)
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.”