Assemblyman emeritus Harvey Weisenberg will be reading from and presenting his new book, "For the Love of a Child: My Life, My City, My Mission," at the Long Beach Public Library at 111 W. Park Avenue in Long Beach, NY. Saturday, Nov. 10, 2 pm.
Harvey (as everybody calls him) was the voice for the diabled during his more than 20 years in the New York Assembly, and now, well into his eighties, he is still an outspoken advocate for the disabled and their families.
"This is the story of Harvey Weisenberg―a lifeguard, teacher, policeman, and eventually a New York politician, who quietly made a difference in the lives of millions of children and adults with special needs. In the summer of 1965, Harvey, a lifelong resident of Long Beach, New York, met two people who would make a profound impact on his life: Ellen Laufer and her seven-year-old son, Ricky, who had been born with cerebral palsy and was severely disabled. That day at the Coral Reef Beach Club in Lido Beach, where Harvey worked as a lifeguard, was the beginning of a love story that continues to this day. Not only did Harvey fall in love with Ellen, he also fell in love with Ricky, who introduced him to the challenges of both children with special needs and their families. Through this relationship, Harvey found his life’s mission.
For the Love of a Child tells the story of the people who inspired Harvey early on, as well as the City of Long Beach, which greatly influenced his life in public service. He held office for thirty-eight years, thirteen as a council member in Long Beach and twenty-five in Albany as a state assemblyman. During this time, he worked with―and in some cases, bumped heads with―five New York governors. As a legislator, Harvey’s priorities were always for the people, not political agendas, as his story shows.
Harvey knows first hand that children with special needs are filled with unconditional love. God gave him an angel in Ricky, a saint in Ellen, and, thanks to both, a mission that allowed him to spend his life making sure that children like Ricky and their families are given the best quality of life. Through his story, Harvey shares the important work he did, the challenges he met, and the life-changing experiences he has had along the way."