Michael Gianaris's News items

Groups say governor’s redistricting bill is constitutional

Politics on the Hudson posted an article about Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform bill and how good government groups are saying that it is constitutional, despite what Senate Republicans are saying. It is time to pass redistricting reform to ensure and a fair and nonpartisan process.

A coalition of good-government groups pushing for non-partisan redistricting is refuting claims by Senate Republicans that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislation to set up this process is unconstitutional. ReShapeNY released a legal memo written by the international law firm Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP to back up its argument.

April 6, 2011
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Gianaris Demands that State Pull Permit for Long Island City Asphalt Plant--New York Daily News

Pull permit for Long Island City asphalt plant, Queens politician demands

By Lisa L. Colangelo

New York Daily New Staff Writer

Local leaders are calling on the state to revoke permits it issued to a new asphalt plant poised to open in Long Island City.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris and others said the community was never properly notified that Green Asphalt Co. LLC was applying for permits from the Department of Environmental Conservation to operate the plant on Railroad Ave.

"Not only is this plant ill-conceived based on its merits and location, but the process through which it came to fruition was utterly flawed," Gianaris (D-Astoria) wrote in a letter fired off to DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens on Friday.

April 6, 2011
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Mayor Koch Calls for Senate Republicans to Keep Their Word and Support Independent Redistricting

State of Politics wrote about the letter former Mayor Ed Koch sent to Senate Republicans who have gone back on their campaign promises for reform. He is calling on them to sign either my redistricting reform legislation or Senator Valesky's bill, otherwise they will be labeled "Enemies of Reform."

Senate Republicans should be receiving a letter this morning from former NYC Mayor Ed Koch. As you probably guessed, he is calling them out for failing to live up to the pledge they made to him to support a non-partisan redistricting commission.

April 5, 2011
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Bloomberg Rails Against Government’s Attempted ‘Power’ Play

CBS 2 posted on its website an article about the increased rates for electricty in New York City, which was passed by the federal government. The article includes my response to this hike.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s an electric bill shocker for New York City residents.

In a stunning move, the federal government granted a windfall $1.5 billion increase to the companies that produce electricity, sending bills soaring for the next three summers.

A furious Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday the hefty hike is unwarranted and that he is trying to appeal, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

April 1, 2011
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Andrew Cuomo, the press and the war on redistricting

Capital New York wrote about redistricting reform and supports Governor Cuomo's promise to create an independent redistricting commission and to veto any legislation creating a partisan redistricting panel.

Fresh off reaching an agreement on his first budget, Andrew Cuomo, flanked by legislative leaders, said, with deliberate exaggeration, "I hope this is the template for a new era of cooperation and productivity between the executive and the legislature. I'm hoping that this spirit of love and euphoria that I feel is infectious and grows and continues. Do you feel it, Dean? Do you feel it, Shelly?"

April 1, 2011
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Where Did We Go? Despite Surge In Housing, Other Factors Census Claims Miniscule Gains In Boro

Queens Tribune included an article on the census numbers in this week's publication.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its results of the 2010 Census last week for New York State and the numbers left officials in Queens baffled. Mayor Mike Bloomberg said the city would challenge the results that he said not only undercounted Queens, but Brooklyn as well.

Flat Growth Since 2000

March 31, 2011
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Astorians vanish according to Census

Queens Chronicle wrote about the inaccurate census numbers. We deserve answers on how this under-count happened. I, along with my colleagues from Queens, have called for a federal investigation into the US Census Bureau.

“I guess I spent five years rezoning Astoria to stop the overdevelopment of empty buildings,” said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), upon learning that Census data released last week showed the area had lost 10,329 people — the sharpest decline reported in any New York city neighborhood.

March 31, 2011
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Bloomberg, Senate Democrats Team Up To Challenge Census Figures

City Hall News wrote an article on the inaccurate census numbers that were released last week. We are calling on federal officials to investigate these overly low results.

Surprisingly low census numbers in New York City won’t endanger redistricting or end Democrats’ chances at retaking the State Senate, but the numbers are prompting State Sen. Michael Gianaris to partner with the mayor’s office in hope of demanding an audit.

Late Sunday, Bloomberg announced plans to challenge the Census results under the “Count Question Resolution" after having reviewed the numbers since their release on Thursday.

March 28, 2011
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Mayor Bloomberg says census figures shortchange New York City

The Daily News wrote about the results of the census and the inaccurate numbers released by the Census Bureau. The Queens population has greatly increased in the last 10 years and the numbers need to reflect that.

We wuz robbed!

New census figures claim there are fewer than 8.2 million New Yorkers in the city - but critics say the Census Bureau flubbed the count and missed hundreds of thousands more.

"It just doesn't make any sense at all," Mayor Bloomberg said Thursday. "When three boroughs go up dramatically, and the two most populous boroughs don't, something's wrong."

The Census Bureau claims 8,175,133 people were living in New York when it counted heads last spring.

March 25, 2011
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Gianaris Calls For Census Probe

State of Politics blogged about my statement regarding the Census results. We need to investigate these numbers as they cannot accurately reflect the population growth in western Queens and the rest of New York City.

Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, is one of many NYC officials questioning today’s Census numbers, which show significantly less population growth – particularly in the outer boroughs – than was predicted, potentially due to an undercount of the burgeoning immigrant community.

March 24, 2011
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Little consensus on redistricting

The Legislative Gazette writes about the various redistricting reform proposals that have been introduced in recent weeks and months, including my redistricting reform bill.

There are legislative redistricting proposals emanating from both parties in both houses, and from the executive branch, with little consensus on how reform should be accomplished.

March 24, 2011
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Our view: Don’t delay commission on redistricting

The Utica Observer-Dispatch editorialized on redistricting reform and the importance of passing Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform bill  as opposed to introducing the issue as a constitutional amendment, which requires a much lengthier process and would not get the much-needed reform done now.

A plan by state Senate Republicans to create an independent commission to redraw district lines through a constitutional amendment is little more than an attempt to derail real reform.

Contact state legislators and tell them to reject it.

March 24, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Rallies to Keep Senior Centers Open

Seniors rally to keep centers open

Van Bramer, Gianaris say facilities at Queensbridge, Ravenswood should stay

By Howard Koplowitz

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) joined senior citizens at the Jacob Riis Settlement House Friday in Queensbridge to rally against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to shutter the senior center and a similar facility in Ravenswood....

“I know how important the Queensbridge and Ravenswood center is to this community and we’re not going to let it close,”Senator Gianris said.

March 18, 2011
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Queens Pols Push Reform Agenda In Busy Start To Legislative Session --PATCH

Newly elected Sens. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria, hope to mix things up in Albany

By Paul Leonard

It's been an active three months for two newly elected Queens state senators.

Whether it was term limits, ethics reform or the push for non-partisan legislative redistricting, every week seemed to bring another bill introduced by Sens. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria — both elected last November as part of an injection of new blood into a chamber known as being resistant to change....

...Both Avella and Gianaris agreed that it was the Republican majority in the state Senate that was responsible for a lack of results on the reformist agenda that helped propel both of them into office.

March 16, 2011
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Critics: Senate Redistricting Bill Inadequate --WXXI March 14, 2011

Critics: Senate Redistricting Bill Inadequate

By Karen Dewitt 

ALBANY, NY (WXXI) - Senate Republicans and Democrats argued over the issue of redrawing new district lines Monday, as pressure mounts on the Senate GOP to adopt a plan for an independent commission soon.

Senate Republicans approved a plan that would change the state's constitution to require that new district lines be drawn by a non -partisan commission. Senate sponsor John Bonacic says he picked up the bill from previous sponsors in earlier decades because it's the most comprehensive solution.

March 15, 2011
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Bill Would Push MTA On Security

Queens Tribune wrote an article on my MTA Security Act that I have introduced in the Senate.

A bill introduced by State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) would give the state more authority over security on subways, buses, bridges and tunnels.

The legislation, which Gianaris first introduced in the Assembly in 2005, would grant the New York State Director of Homeland Security oversight of the security measures utilized by the MTA at its facilities. DHS would examine the security measures being used by the MTA, and then issue findings and recommendations regarding necessary enhancements.

March 10, 2011
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Seven Area Senior Centers May Close--Senator Gianaris Fights to Keep them Open (Queens Chronicle, March 10, 2011)

Seven area senior centers may close

by Elizabeth Daley, Editor

03/10/2011

...

Seven centers in western Queens are on the chopping block, according to a list released last week.

Astoria resident Josephine Forlano, 85, is not happy with the governor’s plans. “We were the backbone of the country. Here we did our part, and we are getting the dirty end of everything,” Forlano said.

She visits Catholic Charities’ Steinway Senior Center in Astoria, which is now in jeopardy. She used to organize trips for the center, and said the revenue produced by the tours and by the center’s other activities should be recognized as useful by the government.

March 10, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Questions Why Federal Goverment Sent a Constituent 32 US Government License Plates--New York Post, Feb. 24, 2011

Man gets fed plates in security botch

By Chuck Bennett

It's enough to drive someone mad.

In a stunning security lapse, the federal General Services Administration mistakenly shipped nearly three dozen license plates marked "U.S. Government -- For Official Use Only" to a humble Queens accountant, The Post has learned......

 

Unsure of what to do with the plates, he handed them over to state Sen. Michael Gianaris, whose district office is in the same building.

 

But, Gianaris said, the GSA didn't appear overly concerned.

"The reaction we got was that this was business as usual," he said.

March 10, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Honored At ANOROC Anniversary Celebration

Last week, I was given the Public Service Award by the ANOROC Democratic Club during their 82nd Anniversary Dinner Dance in Astoria, Queens. Public service has always been a gratifying experience for me, and to be honored in this capacity only deepens my appreciation for the members of my community and for the office I hold.

Queens Chronicle wrote a brief article on the award:

March 10, 2011
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Redistricting Debate Roils Senate--Albany Times Union

Today the Times Union reported on yesterday's session debate regarding the fight to bring redistrticting reform to the floor. 

ALBANY -- Senate Republicans on Tuesday rejected the Democratic minority's attempt to push for a public hearing on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's redistricting bill. But the Senate session that ensued seemed to provide at least a partial forum for Democrats' complaints that the GOP is attempting to smother the legislation.

March 9, 2011
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