Michael Gianaris's Press releases

SENATOR GIANARIS AND ASSEMBLYMEMBER SIMOTAS WORK TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC AND SAFETY IN LIC

Sent letter to NYC DOT requesting side-angle and alternate side parking.

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas are working together to improve traffic and safety measures for local residents and workers in western Queens, specifically those located near 14th Street between 34th Avenue and 33rd Road in Long Island City. Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Simotas sent a letter to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) requesting the establishment of angled parking at these streets due to an inadequate amount of available parking spaces in the area.

July 7, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Praises Restoration of Ladder 128

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris lauded the saving of Ladder 128, in Long Island City. Ladder 128 was one of 20 fire companies throughout New York City that was marked for closure due to budget cuts. After sustained protests regarding these closures it was announced on Friday, June 24 that all fire companies, including Ladder 128 would remain open.

Ladder 128 serves the neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and Greenpoint.

“Ladder 128 is vital to our community and I am thankful it will remain open to ensure our neighborhood receives the fire protection it requires,” Senator Gianaris said. “It goes to show what can be accomplished when our community comes together to fight to protect our quality of life.”

June 28, 2011
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SENATOR GIANARIS APPLAUDS HISTORIC PASSAGE OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY ACT

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris was proud to be one of the 33 votes in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, which passed the New York State Senate on Friday, June 24 by a vote of 33-29 and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

New York is now the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, giving LGBT couples the same domestic and human rights as heterosexual couples.

“Today, New York reclaimed its mantle as the nation's human rights leader. I am proud to be one of the 'yes' votes that made marriage equality a reality in our state,” Senator Gianaris said. “May our example set the tone for the rest of the country so that all Americans can enjoy the same rights and privileges.”

June 25, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Applauds Increase In Film Production

New TV shows to be filmed this year due to film tax credit.

Queens, NY – A record number of new television series are scheduled to be filmed in New York State this year due to the New York State Film Production Credit championed by Senator Michael Gianaris. Eight new television series will be filmed in the state in 2011, creating more than 4,700 industry-related jobs.

The Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development announced that the film tax credit lured 70 new projects to New York since January. These projects are expected to spend a total of more than $1 billion.

June 13, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Stands Up For Energy Consumers

Senate Unveils Alternative Energy Package

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris continues his efforts to increase energy affordability for consumers while enhancing energy efficiency and protecting the environment in New York State. On Wednesday, May 25, 2011, he, along with various Senate colleagues including fellow Queens Senator Jose Perlata unveiled a package of alternative energy bills aimed at making energy affordable.

May 26, 2011
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SENATOR GIANARIS FIGHTS FIRE COMPANY CLOSURES

Demands Mayor Keep Ladder 128 Open

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is fighting against the closure of Ladder 128, a fire company located in Long Island City, Queens at 33-51 Greenpoint Avenue. This fire company recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary and serves the neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and Greenpoint.

Mayor Bloomberg has announced that he is planning on closing 20 fire companies across New York City. Ladder 128 is one of four fire companies in Queens marked for closure.

May 23, 2011
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Statement from Senator Gianaris on Reversed FERC Decision

Following the announcement that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has reversed its decision to allow power generating companies to massively increase their electric rates, Senator Gianaris said, "I'm glad this misguided rate hike has been reversed and proud that the State took swift action to save ratepayers millions of dollars. Governor Cuomo deserves thanks for working closely with those of us who were alarmed by the FERC decision to resolve the problem."

May 19, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Blasts Gop Tax Abatement Legislation Aiding Power Plants

Votes Against Bill Giving Windfall to Power-Generating Industry

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris continues to stand up for electricity ratepayers by voting against legislation that expands existing tax abatements for electric-generating companies. The legislation, S5367, permits tax abatements for all power-generating plants and does not offer provisions to offset electricity rate increases for ratepayers, such as the increase passed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in January.

May 18, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Blasts Bill Easing Regulations For Power Plants In Western Queens

Votes Against Bill To Fast-Track New Plant Construction

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris has voted against legislation that establishes a fast-track process for the siting of new electric generating facilities without providing enough safeguards for overburdened communities.

The bill, S191, allows for the placement of new power plants without properly considering the cumulative effect of new plant construction on neighborhoods that already house numerous power plants.

May 10, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Fights To Rid LIC Of Loud Trains

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is continuing his fight to improve western Queens’ quality of life by requesting that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) immediately cease the idling of Long Island Railroad (LIRR) trains at the Long Island City rail yard in Queens. These trains pollute the air with the excessive amount of fuel they waste while sitting idle and disturb the neighborhood with the loud noises of their running engines.

April 27, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Wants More Trees For Sunnyside And Woodside

Queens, NY – As part of Senator Michael Gianaris’ continued commitment to improving western Queens’ quality of life, he sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg requesting the planting of trees along various avenues in Sunnyside and Woodside. Senator Gianaris is requesting trees be planted along Queens Boulevard, 48th Avenue, 47th Avenue and 43rd Avenues between 38th Street and 48th Street.

“New trees would beautify our neighborhood and help rid the air of dangerous pollutants, allowing our community to breathe a little easier,” stated Senator Gianaris. "I am hopeful the Mayor will move swiftly to give Sunnyside and Woodside the benefits that scores of new trees would provide."

April 27, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Recognizes Earth Day

Pledges to Continue Fighting for Greener New York

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris celebrates Earth Day on April 22 by continuing his advocacy for stronger environmental laws to better protect and conserve our environment.

Senator Gianaris is a longtime leader in the effort to clean our environment. Recently, he introduced a series of legislative proposals to ensure better environmental policies in New York State.

“Earth Day serves as an important reminder of our responsibility to the planet,” Senator Gianaris said. “We cannot continue to take a reactive approach to environmental protection. My proposals would take proactive steps to safeguard our environment and prevent further damage.”

April 21, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Introduces Ratepayer Protection Act

Targets Companies That Unfairly Raise Electric Rates

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will be introducing legislation to safeguard New Yorkers against unfair increases to electricity bills. The proposal, dubbed “The Ratepayer Protection Act” eliminates property tax exemptions and abatements for power-generating corporations that unfairly raise their rates. The legislation was introduced in response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision to approve a rate hike by power generating companies in New York.

Recently, FERC approved the 12% increase in electricity rates for New York City residents and a 17.5% increase for New York City businesses, which would be implemented on May 28, 2011.

April 11, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Bill Protecting People from “Hidden Dangers”

Gianaris Bill Outlawing Hidden Compartments in Vehicles Passes Through Committee

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris’ legislation (S2510) making it illegal to install or possess a concealed compartment in a vehicle passed through the New York State Senate Codes Committee.

Law enforcement personnel nationwide as well as within New York State have witnessed a surge in the number of hidden compartments found in motor vehicles, which often aid drug and gun trafficking. With the advent of advanced electronics, concealed vehicular compartments have become even more difficult to find.

April 11, 2011
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Gianaris Fights for Traffic Safety at Queens Plaza in Long Island City

Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, along with local businesses and residents, held a rally demanding that the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) investigate the layout and design of the street grid around Queens Plaza.

In the last 10 days two major accidents have occurred in this area.

In both incidents, vehicles failed to acknowledge and negotiate the sharp turn at the end of the Long Island City side of the Queensboro Bridge as they exited, causing them to jump the curb and crash. This horrific oversight resulted in not only serious injuries to the vehicles’ drivers and passengers, but also in the fatality of a pedestrian and considerable damage to local businesses.

April 8, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Helps Keep Senior Centers Open

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris was proud to announce the restoration of state funds to keep senior centers open. The restoration of these funds allows for senior centers originally slated to close to remain open.

Senator Gianaris said, “Our seniors are important members of the community and have worked hard throughout their lives to ensure a pleasant and comfortable lifestyle later in life. They deserve to spend their days respectfully and in a place that they can enjoy.”

April 4, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Fights Electricity Rate Increase

Sends letter to the federal government requesting reconsideration

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris is fighting the passage of a drastic increase to electricity rates in New York City. He is calling for the federal government to reconsider its decision to increase electricity rates by 12 percent for residents and by 17.5 percent for businesses Such a rate hike would cause major increases to monthly electricity bills, which could hurt the ability of residents and businesses to pay their expenses. He has sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting that they re-evaluate the necessity of this increase.

April 4, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Introduces MTA Security Act In The Senate

Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) has introduced his MTA Security Act (S1968), an important proposal that would protect subway and bus riders. The legislation would grant the State Director of Homeland Security oversight of the security measures utilized by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) at its facilities. The State Department of Homeland Security would examine the security measures being used by the MTA and issue findings and recommendations regarding necessary enhancements. The Director would then be empowered to require the implementation of the recommendations.

March 1, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Calls For A Vote On Redistricting Reform Legislation

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), applauded Governor Cuomo for introducing legislation to create an independent commission to redraw the boundaries for Congressional and state legislative districts, promising to end the longstanding Albany practice of protecting incumbent lawmakers through gerrymandered districts. Mr. Cuomo’s proposal hews closely to legislation introduced and championed by Senator Gianaris since 2005.

Senator Gianaris is the legislature’s leading advocate of redistricting reform.

February 22, 2011
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Bed Bug Cases Drastically Increased During First Five Months Of School Year

Gianaris Pushes for Increased Notification and Education

QUEENS, NY – The number of confirmed cases of beg bugs in New York City public schools has severely increased in the first five months of the current academic year, according to recent statistics released by the New York City Department of Education. Public schools have reported 1,700 confirmed cases from September 2010 through January 2011, with 80% of the cases reported in November, December and January. Compared to last year’s total 1,019 cases, schools are on pace to triple the number of bed bug inflictions this academic year.

February 8, 2011
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