Issues: Constituents Corner

Judges must fix redistricting mess

The Queens Chronicle wrote an article that further delves into the problems of the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal and how federal judges may need to step in.

Gov. Cuomo is reforming the state government in leaps and bounds, but many members of the Legislature haven’t gotten the memo yet. So the redrawing of lawmakers’ districts for the Assembly, Senate and U.S. Congress following the Census has been typical of the Albany of years past: behind schedule, nonsensical in many respects and, of course, utterly politicized.

February 22, 2012

New York Legal Assistance Group Mobile Help Center

The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is partnering with Senator Jack M. Martins to bring a mobile legal help center to the Westbury Memorial Library, located at 445 Jefferson Street, in Westbury on Friday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. NYLAG will be providing two services for the event:

Consumer protection legal counseling in the areas of creditor harrassment, identity theft, collection actions and debt management;
Financial counseling for those facing debt


Call Senator Martins' District Office for an appointment at (516) 746-5924.

March 2, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Senator Martins Tours Special Black History Month Art Exhibit

Senator Jack Martins was given a special tour of the Elmont Memorial Public Library’s “Black History Month” Art exhibit this past weekend where he viewed national artist Charles Winslow’s Black History Collection. Senator Martins toured the exhibit with Winslow whose showcase was part of the annual Black History Month Celebration. The internationally known “thread" artist developed his unique art style in the 1960’s. Mr. Winslow is a self taught artist and is a member of the Long Island Black Artist Association. “It was a real honor to be given this tour by Charles and to hear his story. He showed me each of his pieces and their unique historical backgrounds. I especially liked his thread pieces that have been displayed around the country.

February 22, 2012

Senator Martins Teaming With NYLAG to Bring Mobile Legal Help Center to Westbury March 2

Senator Jack M. Martins is teaming with New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) to bring a mobile legal help center to the Westbury Memorial Library, located at 455 Jefferson Street, in Westbury on Friday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NYLAG will be providing two services for this event:

- Consumer protection legal counseling in the areas of creditor harassment, identify theft, collection actions and debt management.

- Financial counseling for those facing debt.

NYLAG is a not-for-profit law office founded in 1990 to provide free civil legal services to New Yorkers who would otherwise be unable to afford or receive legal assistance. The mobile legal help center is a way to bring legal services to the community.

February 21, 2012


NEW YORK -- Today, Senators Tony Avella and Daniel Squadron cautiously applauded Time Warner Cable and MSG Networks for finally coming to a resolution that would end the months long blackout of MSG programming for Time Warner Cable subscribers, while warning that similar cable channel  versus provider battles will continue to occur in the future unless action is taken to force arbitration to resolve disputes. 

Avella and Squadron called for immediate passage of Avella’s legislation (S.6230), co-sponsored by Squadron, in the State Senate that would require all cable providers to negotiate fairly and, if necessary, submit to binding arbitration through the Public Service Commission to determine the terms and conditions under which independent cable channels will be carried by cable providers.

Senator Daniel Squadron, who co-sponsors S.6230, said, "As Linsanity has taken hold in the City, I'm glad that the insanity between Time Warner and MSG has come to an end.  Now, we need to pass this bill and prevent future impasses that benefit companies at the cost of fans.  Jeremy Lin is a once in a lifetime story. Let's ensure these cable standoffs are too."  

February 17, 2012


Letter to MTA Highlights Ideas To Protect North Brooklyn Small Businesses Following Meeting on Shutdowns’ Impact

Electeds: Commerce Along L Depends on Weekend Visitors

BROOKLYN – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblymember Joseph Lentol, and Councilmember Stephen Levin sent a letter (attached below) to the MTA urging action to mitigate the impact of weekend L train shutdowns on Williamsburg and Greenpoint small businesses.

Yesterday, Senator Squadron, his colleagues and the Northside Merchants Association hosted a meeting with over 30 North Brooklyn businesses who underscored the damaging impact of weekend L train shutdowns on their businesses and brainstormed suggestions that would protect their businesses while allowing necessary work along the line to continue.

February 17, 2012

Senator Martins Celebrates Black History Month

Roundtable Discussion and Awards Presention Highlight Program

State Senator Jack Martins celebrated the 8th annual “Black History Month Awards” this past weekend with an educational roundtable discussion and entertainment awards presentation at the Elmont Public Library. The program was sponsored by Senator Martins and Highlighting Success. The Black History Month Celebration is a program that entails a community roundtable discussion revolving around a specific issue series, entertainment, awards and spoken word.

February 17, 2012

Your Voice with Senator Ranzenhofer - February 14

An update from the State Capitol for residents of the 61st Senate District in another edition of Your Voice with Senator Ranzenhofer.

February 16, 2012

Williamsburg Small Businesses: Join Sen. Squadron, Northside Merchants & Elected Officials for a Discussion on Recent L Train Shutdowns

State Senator Daniel Squadron, Northside Merchants Association, 

Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, Councilmember Steve Levin, District Leader Lincoln Restler, District Leader Linda Minucci & Community Board 1 



to discuss 

L Train Shutdowns 

February 16, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Squadron, Kavanagh Testify on New Legislation to Crack Down on Careless Driving

State Legislators Praise Chairs Vacca and Vallone for Leadership on Road Safety

NEW YORK -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh testified at the New York City Council joint hearing on Transportation and Public Safety, where their new legislation to crack down on careless driving garnered committee support. The hearing examined the New York Police Department's response and enforcement of traffic laws relating to cars, bikes, and trucks.

February 15, 2012

Redistricting Plan Gets Scornful Reception

The Queens Gazette reported on a redistricting hearing in Queens, where elected officials and community leaders were given the opportunity to voice their disapproval of the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal. Senator Gianaris spoke at the hearing and gave several examples of how the new district lines are being used to break apart minority communities in order to control district representation.

February 15, 2012

The geography 
of a sham

The Times Union wrote an editorial that talks about redistricting and how it has recently become even clearer that the Senate Republicans are attempting to exploit the redistricting process as a means to promote their partisan agenda.

Our opinion: Yet again, we’re shown how blatantly partisan the redistricting process is. It’s not to late for the Legislature to do the right thing, but if it doesn’t, we’ll look to Governor Cuomo to stand firm.


Yes, we are writing again about redistricting, a topic that New York lawmakers are undoubtedly counting on people to get so tired of that we’ll all just shut up and let them rig elections for the next 10 years.


February 15, 2012

A reform Democrat welcomes the court-mandated outcome for redistricting, redraws a line for Cuomo

An editorial by Capital discusses Senator Gianaris' acceptance of court involvement in the redistricting process, stating that it would ensure New Yorkers get fair district lines drawn.

A Democratic state senator who has campaign for redistricting reforms and bitterly criticized the new congressional and legislative district lines produced by the legislature said he's glad a federal judge yesterday called for a court intervention.


"After Senate Republican broken promises and months of delay we have reached a point where the courts must take action," Senator Michael Gianaris said in a statement. "We agree with the Judge's request. The only way New Yorkers will have fair representation is if the courts not politicians draw the district lines."

February 14, 2012

Albany Redistricting Needs Court Master, Judge Rules

An editorial written by the New York Times discusses the possibility of courts intervening in the redistricting process, as a result of the Senate Republicans' inability to draw lines that are fair.

A federal judge, citing lawmakers’ “current state of inaction” in redrawing New York’s political map, recommended on Monday that the state’s redistricting process be turned over to a court-appointed special master.


Noting that Congressional primaries are scheduled for June, the judge, Dora L. Irizarry of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, said it was time for the federal courts to take charge of ensuring that New York has an election process that complies with state and federal law.


February 14, 2012

Republican Restricting Plan Angers Queens Neighborhoods

Greek News posted an article about the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal and the harsh criticism it has received from minority groups for being partisan and for ignoring the needs of minority communities.

This time the Republicans have really done it! Their redistricting plan for redistricting has angered all ethnic groups living in New York City and suburbs and received tons of criticism as partisan and racist. On Tuesday more than 100 people gathered in a disproportionately small room at the Queens Borough Hall, for a town hall meeting to discuss LATFOR’s (Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment) proposed redistricting lines.


February 14, 2012

Have more, get more

The Times Union editorial discusses the partisan nature of the redistricting process and how the Senate Republicans have manipulated the new district lines to gain unfair political advantages. According to Senator Gianaris, the Senate Republicans' proposal clearly demonstrates why redistricting needs reform.

"You can't put a good face on this," said Douglas Muzzio, a professor at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College and an expert in New York politics. "It gives real empirical weight to the argument that there is total partisanship in redistricting."

February 14, 2012

UCCA Holds Annual Breakfast

The Queens Gazette wrote an article about the United Community Civic Association's annual breakfast, where executives and elected officials gathered to discuss various regional issues.

The United Community Civic Association (UCCA) held its third annual Legislative/Executive Breakfast on February 3. Civic and community leaders, community board representatives, major commercial, industrial and hospital chief executive officers and administrators were invited to speak on various topics from the city budget, hydrofracking, garbage pick up, education and quality of life issues.


February 14, 2012

Sen. Gianaris on the Latest Redistricting Fights

Capital Tonight interviewed Senator Gianaris regarding the latest developments on redistricting.

LATFOR hearings on the proposed district lines have gotten heated lately. That’s partly because if the lines are passed as is, six Senate Democrats will be condensed into three districts. The Democrats have already filed a lawsuit. Senator Mike Gianaris gives us an update.

Watch the interview here

February 14, 2012

Residents Call For Changes To Lines

Queens Tribune reports on a Queens town hall meeting discussing redistricting, where members of the community gathered to protest against the proposed new lines.

Room 213 of Queens Borough Hall was not nearly big enough to contain the welcome the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) received when they came to Queens Tuesday afternoon. The room was reduced to standing room only 15 minutes before the Queens town hall meeting discussing LATFOR’s proposed redistricting lines was scheduled to begin.


February 14, 2012

Queens lawmakers and civic leaders rail against proposed legislative districts

The New York Daily News covers the redistricting hearing where Queens residents and lawmakers gathered to rally against the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal.

Queens residents and lawmakers packed into a public hearing Tuesday to rail against proposed legislative districts they claim fractures neighborhoods and dilutes their political voice.


“You have taken the 24th Assembly District and sliced and diced communities haphazardly along a narrow corridor that stretches across Queens,” Bob Friedrich of the civic group Eastern Queens United told members of the Legislative Task Force for Demographic Research and Reapportionment, which held the hearing at Queens Borough Hall.


February 13, 2012
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