Issues: Ethics

Schumer, Gianaris Calling For TSA Passenger Advocates

The Queens Gazette wrote an article about the announcement made by Senator Gianaris and Senator Schumer, which called on the TSA to designate on-duty passenger advocates at airports in order to resolve disputes between passengers and agents over screening issues. 

“While the safety and security of our flights must be a top priority, we need to make sure that flying does not become a fear-inducing, degrading, and potentially humiliating experience,” Schumer said. “Right now, passengers who feel that their rights are about to be violated have nowhere to turn, but by training passenger advocates at each of our airports, the TSA can finally give passengers a voice.”

January 13, 2012
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Senator Gianaris speaks at a rally opposing the granting of a liquor license to the Gypsy Rose gentlemen's club

Senator Gianaris speaking at a rally opposing the granting of a liquor license to the Gypsy Rose strip club in LIC, a flourishing, family-oriented neighborhood where a strip club does not belong.

January 13, 2012
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Senator Kennedy Calls Senate Republicans’ Plan to Increase the Size of the Senate ‘Government Waste’, ‘Political Ploy’

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, D-58th District, called Senate Republicans’ proposal to increase the size of the Senate a clear example of “government waste” and a “hypocritical political ploy” intended to serve the Republican Majority politicians at the expense of New York taxpayers.

January 10, 2012
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Independent Democratic Conference Releases 2012 Legislative Agenda

 

NEW YORK, NY - The Independent Democratic Conference  released its 2012 legislative agenda Thursday aimed at strengthening this state's economy, improving the lives of New York residents, and preserving New York's progressive tradition.

The agenda was released on the anniversary of the IDC's formation and after a successful year that saw many of the conference's 2011 priorities made into law.

January 8, 2012
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Statement From Senator Patrick M. Gallivan on the Governor’s State of the State Address

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I - 59th District) was selected by his Senate colleagues today to give official notification to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo that the Senate is standing at ready to conduct its business for 2012. Gallivan notified the Governor prior to the annual State of the State address this afternoon, which Gallivan applauded for “its strong vision for New York State’s future” while stressing the importance of building upon the cooperation and collegiality that enabled last year’s progress.

January 4, 2012
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SENATOR SQUADRON STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF GOVERNOR'S CALL FOR FOOD STAMP ACCESS AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

In his State of the State address, the Governor laid out a vision to build on the progress of the past year and continue to move New York forward. Two priorities in particular that he laid out - an end to the practice of fingerprinting food stamp recipients and reforming our campaign finance system - are ready for immediate passage.

January 4, 2012
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OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL UNVEILS YEAR-END REVIEW

Review Cites Progress For New York On Taxpayer Protection, Public Safety, Economic Justice, Public Integrity, Civil Rights & Environmental Protection

The Office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued an end-of-the-year review detailing many of its accomplishments in areas including public safety, economic justice, taxpayer protection, public integrity, civil rights and environmental protection.

December 29, 2011
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GOVERNOR CUOMO AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE JOINT COMMISSION ON PUBLIC ETHICS

Independent Commission Has Broad New Enforcement Powers to Investigate Legislative and Executive Branches

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders today announced their appointments to the new Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).  JCOPE is an independent enforcement unit with broad oversight of New York State government. The Commission has robust enforcement powers to investigate violations of law and financial disclosure requirements for all elected officials and their employees in both the executive and legislative branches. JCOPE also has expanded powers to oversee lobbyists due to newly expanded disclosure rules and a broader definition of lobbying.

December 13, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on the Creation of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics

"Today's creation of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is another step forward in restoring the public's trust in state government. While the vast majority of people enter public service for all the right reasons, this bipartisan commission will ensure that every legislator continues to be accountable to the people they work for. I am confident that former Senator Rath, Justice Covello and George Weismann will do outstanding work alongside Chairwoman DiFiore and the other representatives of this commission."

December 12, 2011
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TSA Denies Grandmother Was Strip Searched at JFK

FOX News reported on the recent string of controversies surrounding TSA's strip searches of elderly women and their later denial of such happenings. Senator Gianaris was interviewed byLisa Evers of Fox 5about the need for an investigation into what actually happened.

An 85-year-old grandmother says Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York humiliated her by strip searching her earlier this week and she plans to sue, the New York Daily News reported.

But the TSA denies that ever happened.

Lenore Zimmerman, from Long Beach, N.Y., says she was pulled into a private screening room by security Tuesday who then proceeded to take off her clothes, the newspaper reported.

December 6, 2011
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Senator Gianaris on WOR's The John Gambling Show

Senator Gianaris was featured on WOR 710's The John Gambling Show in light of the recent strip searches on elderly women at Kennedy airport.He discussed his letter to the TSA requesting a much more in-depth investigation of the JFK strip searches.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

December 6, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Fights for Air Travelers' Rights

Asks TSA officials to investigate strip-searching of elderly women at JFK Airport.

Queens, NY – A staunch advocate for air passengers’ and senior citizens’ rights, Senator Michael Gianaris continues to fight for the dignity of air travelers and seniors by calling on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to investigate search procedures at JFK Airport in New York City.

Following reports of alleged unnecessary strip-searches of two elderly women at Kennedy Airport, Senator Gianaris sent a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole requesting an immediate and comprehensive investigation of both incidents.

December 6, 2011
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Crime wave in Astoria sparks call for new civilian patrols and block watchers

NY Daily News wrote on the recent efforts by Senator Gianaris and other elected officials to resond to the string of crime in Astoria. Senator Gianaris' bills to protect children from predators in addition to expanding the Good Samaritan Law to small businesses will combat these crimes and reduce the amount of danger in our streets.

A recent spate of gropings, car break-ins and purse snatchings is sparking calls for expanded civilian patrols and block watchers in Astoria.

[...]

Vallone, along with state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), rallied with local residents last week and unveiled a anti-crime plan that includes both legislation and civic activism.

November 29, 2011
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Astoria Community Says Enough Is Enough

The Queens Gazette reported on the efforts by Senator Gianaris and other elected officials to address the recent crimes in Western Queens. In addition to addressing questions and concerns from the community, Senator Gianaris has also introduced the expansion of the Good Samaritan laws that will protect our local businesses and non-profits from lawsuits so that they can be havens for victims who feel at risk in their surroundings.

Fed up with incidents of groping, car vandalism and even attempted rape, community leaders and activists met to discuss new crime fighting initiatives to create a safer environment in Astoria.

November 29, 2011
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Politicians Push For Expansion Of Good Samaritan Law At Queens Anti-Crime Rally

NY1 reported on the Queens anti-crime rally, where elected officials encouraged citizens to come together to reduce crime. In light of recent robberies and an attack on a young girl in Queens, Senator Gianaris spoke on the positive impact of the Good Samaritan law when expanded into businesses.

"We had an incident where someone who was the victim of the crime was seeking to run into a local deli for shelter and the store owner, for whatever reason, was very apprehensive about getting involved and didn't open the door to let the person in,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “What we're trying to do is to change the law to provide the same kind of Good Samaritan protections that individuals have to small businesses."

November 22, 2011
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Inside the Albany gerrymandering machine: How N.Y. pols rig the game

The Daily News wrote about how Senate GOP is trying to manipulate the redistricting process for its own political benefit. This is simply politics at its worst and must not be tolerated.

Here is how Republicans in the state Senate talk about redrawing district lines when they think no one is paying attention:

They loosely refer to black and Latino communities on Long Island as "politically undesirable areas."

They strategize about the best way to "strengthen the Long Island delegation" of nine Republicans.

They angle to create low-population or "light" districts upstate to maximize the number of GOP senators.

And their decision about creating a particular district comes down to a judgment about whether it will be "a Republican pickup."

September 27, 2011
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Avella, Gianaris call for state independent redistricting

Queens Campaigner wrote about the Queens LATFOR meeting and the need for an independent commission to redraw district lines.

If any teacher wanted to instruct students about gerrymandering, a field trip to state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) district might be a good place to start.

The lawmaker represents an unpopulated, rocky stretch of sand that forms a border around — but does not encroach upon — the neighborhood of Bay Terrace. It connects the neighborhood of Whitestone to the rest of his district by winding around the coast of Little Bay near the Throngs Neck Bridge — but only during low tide.?

September 15, 2011
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Marshall Calls For In-Borough Congressional Districts

Queens Gazette wrote about the redistricting hearing that took place in Queens, in which Senator Gianaris participated:

[...]

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he would veto any plan that does not meet his criteria for fairness. Cuomo proposed the creation of an independent commission, but legislation introduced in the Assembly was not approved in the senate. LATFOR consists of six members, four from the state legislature and two non-legislators.

September 14, 2011
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Senator Squadron Discusses Ethics Reform, Marriage Equality on Capital Tonight

Senator Squadron joined Liz Benjamin on Capital Tonight to discuss "After 'I Do': What's Next for LGBT New Yorkers," a forum he hosted on remaining challenges for the LGBT community. He also discussed Albany ethics reform, which was recently signed into law.

September 13, 2011
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