Early Career & Accomplishments
1974 - 1980
New York State Assembly
In 1974, Chuck returned home to Brooklyn to run for the New York State Assembly as a representative of the forty-fifth Assembly District. At the age of 23 he became the youngest member of the legislature since Theodore Roosevelt. Chuck spent six years in the Assembly, where he:
- Wrote and passed legislation encouraging efficient use of rent-controlled properties;
- Protected cemeteries from vandalism by writing legislation requiring they be fenced and guarded;
- Limited noise pollution by banning motorcycles from residential streets between 9 pm and 8 am;
- Conducted a study showing that unnecessary ambulance calls created life-threatening medical delays; and
- Increased penalties for arson in houses of worship.
1980 - 1998
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1980, at age 29, Chuck was elected to represent the 9th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Over the course of his 18 years in the House, representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens, he earned a reputation as a no-nonsense crime fighter and consumer advocate, writing and helping pass some of the most important pieces of legislation of this era, including:
- The 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill which put 100,000 new cops on the street, enforced "three strikes and you're out" sentencing, and created after school programs for troubled teens;
- The Violence Against Women Act, the first federal legislation protecting women from domestic abuse;
- Forcing credit card companies to disclose interest rates in a now familiar chart, seen on all credit card solicitations and bills, known as the “Schumer Box”;
- The Brady Bill, which instituted mandatory background checks for handgun purchases;
- The Assault Weapons Ban, which outlaws the manufacture and importation of 19 types of semi-automatic weapons, including the Uzi, AK-47 and Tech-9; and
- The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which made blockading family planning clinics a federal crime.
- Exposed a 90% increase in breakfast cereal prices in a 1995 report entitled "Consumer in a Box", and demanded that the Justice Department investigate breakfast cereal antitrust violations;
- Authored the 1992 Anti-Auto Theft Act, which requires car manufacturers to mark often-stolen parts with an indelible ID number in order to make it easier to crack down on theft. The bill also included an anti-car jacking provision; and
- Sponsored the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, which organized data on crimes of bigotry, as well as the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would allow federal authorities to prosecute these offenses.