Issues: Community Development

Gianaris Bill Opposes Police Quotas

The Queens Gazette reports on a new bill proposed by Senator Gianaris, which opposes Police Department quota requirements.

Addressing a very sensitive area of police-public relations, state Senator Michael Gianaris has proposed a bill opposing Police Department quota requirements.

 

“The use of quotas puts undue pressure on our police force and results in too many unwarranted arrests and tickets,” Gianaris explained as he released the legislation.

 

“Raising the penalty for the imposition of quotas would deter the practice and ensure that police activity is conducted for public safety first and foremost,” the Astoria lawmaker added.

 

March 28, 2012
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Taking On Police Tactic, Critics Hit Racial Divide

An article by The New York Times talks about the stop-and-frisk police tactic, which has garnered significant criticism from minority lawmakers and citizens. Senator Gianaris introduced legislation with Assemblymember Camara that would make it illegal for police departments to impose quotas for a certain number of stops officers make.

ALBANY — Black and Latino lawmakers, fed up over the frequency with which New York City police officers are stopping and frisking minority men, are battling what they say is a racial divide as they push legislation to rein in the practice.

 

March 26, 2012
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Queens Celebrates Greek Independence

The Queens Gazette reports on the 10th annual Queens celebration of Greek Independence Day. Senator Gianaris and other elected officials attended the event, representing the proud Greek community of Queens.

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall presided at the 10th annual Queens celebration of Greek Independence Day on March 16 at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria.

 

Held one week before the 191st anniversary of Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, the evening’s event honored the civic achievements of four members of the Greek-American community.

 

Accompanying Marshall were state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and City Comptroller John Liu.

March 26, 2012
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Senator Gianaris celebrates the 2012 Greek Independence Day

Senator Gianaris marching up Fifth Avenue during the 2012 Greek Independence Day Parade.

 

March 24, 2012
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Senator Gianaris participates in the street renaming 43rd Street and 48th Avenue "Winged Fist Way"

Senator Gianaris at the street renaming 43rd Street and 48th Avenue "Winged Fist Way" in Sunnyside. Gianaris was one of the early supporters of this initiative.

March 22, 2012
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3/18/12 Ch.7 Up Close with Diana Williams

This is a YouTube video of Senator Gianaris' interview with Assemblymember Jeffries on Up Close with Diana Williams, which aired on Sunday.

Watch the video here.

March 22, 2012
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Senator Gianaris Speaks on Bill Establishing New District Lines

This is a YouTube video of Senator Gianaris speaking on the Senate floor on the bill establishing new district lines. 

Watch the video here

March 22, 2012
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Grading the Redistricting Amendment

Politicker wrote an editorial about Professor Gerry Benjamin, expert on the mechanisms of government, and the C- grade he gave to the new Redistricting Amendment.

Professor Gerry Benjamin, an expert on the mechanisms of government at State University of New York at New Paltz, was asked by Citizens’ Committee for an Effective Constitution to take a look at Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature’s much-touted redistricting amendment and grade it point-by-point against what a truly independent amendment would look like.

 

Unsurprisingly, he found it wanting. He gave the amendment a ‘C-’ overall on an ‘A’ through ‘F’ scale.

 

March 19, 2012
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Senator Gianaris Explains Vote Against S.2601

This video shows Senator Gianaris voting against a bill that does not allow residents from power plant-heavy areas, such as western Queens, to become trustees of the New York Power Authorities Board of Trustees.

Watch the video here.

March 19, 2012
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SENATE PASSES 2012-13 BUDGET RESOLUTION

Gallivan: “Senate Plan Cuts Taxes, Reforms Medicaid, Protects Seniors and Schools.”

The New York State Senate voted to approve its 2012-13 Senate Budget resolution, continuing its focus on state spending, job creation, and structural reform to government.

The Senate budget, at just under $132.5 billion, keeps the total state spending increase below two percent, and spends less than the Executive Budget. The budget closes a $2 billion budget deficit and builds on last year’s successes in putting the state’s fiscal house in order.

March 13, 2012
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Statement from Senator Valesky Regarding Syracuse Common Council Passage of Land Bank Legislation

I applaud the Common Council for moving legislation forward to create a city/county land bank. As the author of the state law, I am extremely encouraged that Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse will have the opportunity to be one of the first land banks in the state. Vacant and abandoned housing has been a problem in our communities for too long, and the application of this new strategy is a promising solution.

 

March 12, 2012
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Senator Adams Attends the Parkside Prize Award Ceremony and Reception

Senator Adams attended the Parkside Prize Award Ceremony and Reception and gave out awards to the winners of the Parkside Prize Competition.  The Parkside Prize competition invited contestants to propose a new design for Parkside Avenue between Ocean and Flatbush Avenues, the eastern gateway to Prospect Park.  The grand prize was awarded to In Cho, of the Brooklyn architecture studio ChoShields.  Senator Adams states: 

March 7, 2012
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Details emerge on possible redistricting amendment

An editorial by The Empire talks about the discussed ammendment to the constitution that would bring about change to the redistricting process. Michael Gianaris and other critics, however, point out that the proposed ammendment would still allow legislatures to have final say, which defeats the purpose of redistricting reform.

The Times-Union’s Casey Seiler has a piece up today about the emerging details of a possible deal between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature for a constitutional amendment to change the state’s redistricting process.

 

March 2, 2012
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Details emerge on possible constitutional change

Times Union reports on negotiations between the Governor, Assembly, and Senate for a possible constitutional ammendment that would create an independent redistricting body. Many believe the new ammendment will not keep legislatures from influencing the redistricting process, including Senator Gianaris, who believes that "if the final product still leaves the Legislature with the final say, we’ve achieved nothing.”

A possible constitutional change to New York’s redistricting process would create a 10-member independent panel to draw the state’s political lines beginning in 2021, but would allow the Legislature to make final tweaks to the plan if the Assembly and Senate fail to pass it after two tries.

[...]

March 2, 2012
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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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