A picture of Representative Steny H. Hoyer
Steny H.
Democrat MD 5

About Rep. Steny
  • Paying Tribute to the Memory of David L. Levy

    by Representative Steny H. Hoyer

    Posted on 2015-01-16

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    HOYER of maryland in the house of representatives Friday, January 16, 2015 Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the life of David Lawrence Levy, a pioneering children's rights leader and advocate for joint parenting, who passed away last month. A longtime resident of Hyattsville, MD, which is in the Fifth District, David had battled cancer for several years with tenacity, determination, and infectious optimism. Sadly, he lost that battle on December 11, 2014, when he passed away at the age of 78.

    David co-founded the National Council for Children's Rights--now called the Children's Rights Council--in 1985 and served as its CEO until 2008 and President of its Board until 2009. During that time, he fought for policies at the local, state, and federal level that promoted shared parenting with joint custody of children after divorce and encouraged courts to place the needs and well-being of children first. The title of a book David edited in 1994 summed up well the mission of the organization he had built: ``The Best Parent is Both Parents.'' He oversaw the creation of the Children's Rights Council's access and visitation centers--including its flagship center in Prince George's County--which provide neutral locations for separated parents to drop off and pick up their children and a place where supervised visitation can take place. In October 2009, David was named as one of the ``25 Most Influential People in our Children's Lives'' by Children's Health magazine, alongside Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Melinda Gates, and Taylor Swift.

    David was a native of New York and received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida before settling in Hyattsville, which is in Prince George's County. Early in his career, he spent several years working as a copyright lawyer at the Library of Congress. David was also an accomplished author, having published several works ranging from fiction novels to articles in the Washington Post and other papers. He served as President of the Beth Torah Congregation in Hyattsville and later was an active member of Tifereth Israel Congregation in Washington, DC., where family, friends, and local community leaders gathered on December 14 to pay tribute to David at his funeral service.

    David is survived by his wife Ellen, their daughter Diana and her husband Danny, his son Justin and his wife Ilana, and his granddaughter Corina. He also leaves behind many friends, neighbors, and extended family who will fondly remember David for his warmth, his sense of humor, and his enthusiasm for life. I join in offering my condolences to his family, in mourning this loss to our community and our country, and in celebrating his extraordinary life.

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