A little over six months into his first term as an Assemblyman, Dan Quart can say with confidence that his experience as an elected official has met the high expectations he held for the job.
“On a personal level it’s been very satisfying and rewarding to try and pass legislation that brings needed services back to the district, but also keeps the line so spending doesn’t get out of control,” reflects Quart, who represents Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “I am enjoying being a part of it.”
Running for office was a natural extension of Quart’s work in the community. A graduate of St. John’s School of Law, he dedicated himself to pro bono advocacy, particularly on behalf of low-income tenants facing eviction. In 2003 then New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye honored him as one of the city’s top pro bono attorneys.
Growing up in northern Manhattan with a social worker mother and a father who was a New York City public school teacher and guidance counselor, Quart knew he wanted his profession to revolve around helping people.
So far he views his time in the Assembly positively, with helping secure funds to continue construction of the Second Avenue Subway, increasing education and Medicaid by 4 percent, and boosting school construction among his proudest accomplishments.
Quart, who fell short in his first bid for elected office back in 2005, attributes his ultimate success to pure hard work and determination.
For Quart, a quote by Maya Angelou sums it up: “Nothing works, unless you do.”
How did your past jobs get you to where you are now?
“I’ve been in private practice for 13 years, and it instilled a lot of discipline in me. The practice of law is a good training ground for being an elected official.”
If you were not working in politics, what would you be doing?
“I’d be an attorney in private practice, assuming my baseball skills can’t get me onto the Yankees—and that’s fairly certain.”
Five years from now, what will it say on your business card?
“Hopefully it will say ‘Dan Quart, member of the state Assembly.’ ”
If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
“Teleportation, because it would save me on travel time on the freeway getting to and from Albany.”
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