Sen. Charles Schumer’s political career started in 1974 when he was elected to the state Assembly at age 23 — the youngest member of the Assembly since Theodore Roosevelt, who was 22 when he was elected in 1880.
Schumer was in the Assembly chambers today to visit with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and other lawmakers. New York’s senior senator joked that he would have been the third longest serving member of the Assembly had he stayed — behind only Assemblymen Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, and Joe Lentol, D-Brooklyn.
And the food is better now, he said.
“I love it here. This is where I got my start, and I have good relationships with most of the people,” Schumer told reporters, joking that “the lounge is much improved. They used to have six kinds of Lipton soup in the packet – chicken, tomato – now they have many better things to eat.”
Schumer did address some more serious topics, saying he’s a proponent of casino gambling if a community wants it and that he hopes the state and unions can work out an agreement on teacher evaluations, as federal money hangs in the balance.
On casinos, Schumer said, “As for where it should be specifically, I wouldn’t get into that yet, but in certain areas it should be supported. I don’t think it’s a panacea for our economic problems, but given the fact that it’s happening in so may other states, I don’t think New York has much choice.”
He also said that he supports the Legislature’s vote today to divest from companies who have business with Iran, saying it supports similar efforts on the federal level.
“If all the states line up behind us, it just backs us up,” Schumer said. “And there are certain things the states can do that the federal government can’t do. The sanctions are really beginning to work. The Iranian government is feeling the heat.”