Matt will be a voice for the LGBTQ on the New York Surrogate Court
Matt is the son of the late Margaret and Hon. Vito J. Titone, Staten Island’s only New York State Court of Appeals Judge. A lifelong Staten Islander, he grew up in the Grymes Hill, Stapleton, and West Brighton communities and continues to live on the North Shore with his spouse, Giosue, and their dog Bari.
While attending St. John’s University School of Law in the evening, Matt worked full time at the law firm of Zachary & Zachary, Esq. Upon his admission to the New York State Bar in 1992, he immediately began doing pro bono work for the Staten Island AIDS Task Force and Project Hospitality. In late 1993, he was named the Senior Trial Associate for the prestigious Wall Street firm of Morgan, Melhuish, Monahan, Arvidson, Abrutyn & Lisowski, and managed the firm’s complex Labor Law litigation department, and litigated Insurance Law and Professional and Medical Malpractice Liability cases. He left the firm in 1998 to open his own general practice law firm on Staten Island.
Until his election, Matt consistently provided pro bono services to those who couldn’t afford legal representation. His efforts aided Project Hospitality in creating a full-time professionally staffed legal service department. Matt served on the Board of Directors of Community Health Action of Staten Island (f/k/a the Staten Island AIDS Task Force), and also on the Board of Trustees for Legal Services of New York, providing oversight on the Legal Aid Society, among others.
Matt’s civic participation also included his leadership at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, where he served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees as well as Interim President & C.E.O., overseeing and managing the legal details of the merger of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and the Staten Island Botanical Garden.
Until his election, Matt has been a member of the Richmond County Bar Association, Federal Club Member of the Human Rights Campaign, Wagner College’s DaVinci Society, the Loughlin Society of St. John’s University, and St. John’s University School of Law Alumni Society, among many others.
Matt was instrumental in enabling St. John’s University to endow a scholarship, the Hon. Vito J. Titone Scholarship, to benefit Staten Island residents attending the school.
Over the course of his career, Matt has been the recipient of: the Community Health Action of Staten Island’s Philanthropic Leadership Award, the Art Lab Patron of the Arts Award, the Snug Harbor Neptune Award for the Arts, the Staten Island Zoo Kiss the Alpaca Award, the Staten Island Zoo Carl F. Kauffeld Community Leadership Award, the Staten Island Democratic Association Paul O’Dwyer Humanitarian Award, the Gay/Straight Alliance of the New York State Justice System Award, the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation Verrazano Narrows Bridge Award, the Richmond County Medical Society Legislative Award, the Neighborhood Housing Services Mission Award, the National Lighthouse Museum Wind in Our Sails Award, the Eden II and Genesis Foundation Community Service Award, the African Refuge Community Concern and Compassion Award, the First United Christian Church Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award, New York State Trial Lawyers Association Champion of Justice, Families Together in New York State Legislator of the Year Award, and the Museum Association of New York 2016 Legislator of the Year Award, among many others.
Matt has made it his priority to help the underserved by creating bold programming. Matt was instrumental in establishing Staten Island’s first women’s health delivery clinic by securing the funding and location for Planned Parenthood.
Matt also provided funding to create a free legal
service clinic to help low-income parents of special needs students obtain appropriate services and placement for their child. This program is also a first of its kind on Staten Island and ensures every child has a legal advocate fighting on their behalf. After the terror attacks of September 11, Matthew took the slogan “Never Forget” to heart and created the advocacy initiative “Boycott Amnesia” which created a national network of advocates to ensure the passage of and continuation of the Zadroga Act, ensuring continued medical funding and support for 9/11 first responders.
Matt has recently been appointed as Chair of the Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, which has jurisdiction aimed at protecting consumers’ rights and ensuring the public’s ability to make informed choices in the marketplace. Prior to this appointment he served as Chair of the Committee of Oversight, Investigation and Analysis, and prior to that Chair of the Office ofState-Federal Relations. He presently sits on the Assembly Standing Committees on Environmental Conservation, Health, Tourism, Parks, Arts & Sports Development, and Judiciary, where he also sits on the Subcommittee on Trusts and Estates.
Since first becoming a legislator, Matt has authored over 150 pieces of legislation and has had over 35 signed into law, as of this writing. Some of his signature legislation includes expediting utilization review of prescription drugs (step therapy/fail first), creating the crime of luring a child, prohibiting the co-mingling of adolescent and adult patients in Office of Mental Health run residential facilities, requiring the state to review information technology systems used for
locating missing children, designating Vietnam Veterans’ Day in New York State, studying the creation of standards for therapy dogs, and designating working/service dogs as the official New York State dog.