Issues: Community Development

Veto the map, Gov. Cuomo

Former New York Mayor, Ed Koch, wrote an editorial for the New York Daily News that calls out the current redistricting proposal for being blatantly partisan and urges Governor Cuomo to veto any redistricting bill proposed by the legislature.

About two years ago, I felt the same way as most New Yorkers — our state government was dysfunctional, self-serving and an embarrassment. Along with a group of like-minded reformers, I decided to do something about it, forming New York Uprising, an advocacy effort to change the way legislative and congressional district lines are drawn.

 

Our goal, simply, was to return power to the people.

 

March 2, 2012
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Woodside awaits 440-seat school slated to open in ‘15

The Times Ledger wrote about the construction of a new public school in Woodside, which is scheduled to open in 2015.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) announced Friday the city Department of Education and city School Construction Authority had agreed to purchase four lots to build a 440-seat school in Woodside.

[...]

“The construction of additional classroom space is welcome news that will help the children of Woodside obtain a more productive learning environment,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said in a statement.

Read the full article here.

February 24, 2012
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Students Encouraged To Participate In Earth Day Competition

The Queens Gazette posted Senator Gianaris' announcement of the 2012 Earth Day Competition, which he encourages all students in his Western Queens district to participate in.

In celebration of Earth Day, state Senator Michael Gianaris is inviting elementary school students in his Western Queens district to participate in the Earth Day Competition 2012. This poster contest gives children the opportunity to illustrate the importance of improving the environment.

 

The theme for this year’s Earth Day contest is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.

 

February 22, 2012
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New school to go up in Woodside, to open in 2015

Sunnyside Post wrote about the announcement for construction of a new public school in Woodside. The construction of the school intends to address issues of school overcrowding, which Senator Gianaris says is a chronic problem.

The city is building a 400 seat elementary school in Woodside, officials from the School Construction Authority and the Department of Education announced today.

The school, which will be located on 39th Ave (between 57th and 58th street), is schedule to open in the fall of 2015. Its construction comes at a time when PS11 in Woodside, located at 54-25 Skillman Ave., is at 120% capacity.

February 22, 2012
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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
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Senator Gianaris speaks at announcement for the construction of a new public school in Woodside

Senator Gianaris speaking at a press conference announcing the School Construction Authority's purchase of space in Woodside to construct a new public school, which is welcome news for the neighborhood.

February 16, 2012
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

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February 14, 2012
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Senator Espaillat Leads 29 Senators in Calling for Restoration of Crucial Housing Funding

Senators express support for restoration of $25 million in foreclosure prevention and $22.35 million in funding for Neighborhood and Rural Preservation Programs

February 13, 2012
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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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NY redistricting plan gets an earful in Queens

Lohud.com wrote about a redistricting hearing where Senator Gianaris spoke out against the Senate Republicans' redistricting scheme, which he says has "brought shame to the state of New York."

Democratic Sen. Michael Gianaris told a packed redistricting hearing Tuesday that the Senate's Republican majority has brought "shame" to New York by proposing blatant gerrymandering in a continuing plot to protect its power.

 

February 13, 2012
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Muslims open Astoria center

The Times Ledger reports on the opening of the Muslim American Society's community center. Senator Gianaris spoke at the event and he believes these community centers are important for the future immigrant generations moving to the neighborhood.

Astoria has long been defined by its ethnic groups — first it was the Italians, then the Greeks — and last week the neighborhood’s Muslims took a large step toward establishing themselves with the grand opening of the Muslim American Society’s community center on Steinway Street.

 

MAS is a nationwide, nonprofit, religious, social and cultural organization, and for years the Queens chapter operated out of the Dar Al-Dawah mosque at 35-13 23rd Ave.

 

February 13, 2012
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The art of redistricting war: A guide to reading between the lines

An article by the New York World interprets the redistricting process and analyzes the methods in which the maps have been manipulated.

In late January, New York’s legislative redistricting task force released its proposed maps for the state Senate and Assembly. The plans have drawn widespread criticism from elected officials and reform organizations, with the New York Public Interest Research Group decrying “clearly the most gerrymandered lines in recent New York history.”

 

February 13, 2012
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Opponents Clash At Meeting On New Legislative Districts

NY1 discusses a public hearing where good government groups and activists criticized the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal for being partisan and for undermining leadership in minority communities.

Things got heated Thursday when members of the state's redistricting task force, known as LATFOR, clashed with good government groups and activists at a public hearing.

"Destroying leadership of minority communities is an abhorrent thing, and you're proud of it,” said Roman Hedges of LATFOR.

"You're making your pointed partisan, mapping drawing allegation based on what you believe other organizations have said," said State Senator Michael Nozzolio.

At issue were the task force's proposal for new district lines.

February 13, 2012
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