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Senator Gianaris, Western Queens Leaders Urge MTA to Adopt Q103 Increase Plan

(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris, elected officials, and cultural institutions from Astoria and Long Island City urged the MTA to adopt a proposed plan under consideration at its Monday meeting that would institute increased service on the Q103 Bus line. Under this plan the Q103, which connects the two Queens waterfront neighborhoods along Vernon Boulevard, would see expanded weekday service hours and would finally run on weekends thanks to an MTA trial program that would begin in June. The plan, long advocated by local leaders, still requires final approval from the New York City Transit and Bus Committee of the MTA Board on Monday April 28th.  

“At long last, weekend service on the Q103 bus line is in sight,” said Senator Gianaris. “I urge the MTA to approve this service increase and recognize that our community’s need for better mass transit is pressing. The need for more public transportation in our area will only continue to grow, especially on weekends, as more people flock to our waterfront to visit our restaurants, parks, and cultural institutions. Astoria and Long Island City have become hubs for the arts, and New Yorkers should finally be able to travel between them on the Vernon Boulevard bus lines on Saturdays and Sundays.”

May 19, 2014
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MTA to Test Expanded Q103 Service Along Growing Corridor

Check out this NY1 story on Senator Gianaris' work to improve bus service on the Q103 line in Astoria and Long Island City. 

May 19, 2014
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John D. Smith

Mr. John D. Smith, Sr. is 86 years young and a long-time engaged and committed resident leader in the Queensbridge, Long Island City area. He is a veteran and a great-great-grand father who continues to serve as a role model for the generations that have followed him. He has been living in the New York City Housing Authority’s Queensbridge development for over 60 years.

May 16, 2014
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Judy Zangwill

Judy Zangwill started her career at Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) in 1986 as Associate Executive Director and became Executive Director in 1990. Integral to SCS’s growth and development, she now oversees three corporations providing community services and home care, serving constituents from toddlers to the elderly. SCS has more than 130 in-house staff , 2,000 home care workers and field staff , and more than 400 volunteers. Her vision for SCS is in line with that of the settlement house movement, which SCS joined in 1989 – a center where everyone in the diverse communities of Queens can feel welcome and find support and services to meet their families’ needs.

May 13, 2014
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EARTH DAY 2014 POSTER CONTEST: DISTRICT 12

Earth Day Poster Contest. This year we received many outstanding posters that exemplify the creativity of the young people in the 12th Senatorial District.

Each entry from my District displayed tremendous originality and vision as well as obvious concern for the ecological future of our communities and our state. I am proud of your work and that of your classmates, and encourage you to continue to study and learn more about the serious challenges that face our environment.

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Earth Day Poster Contest from my District is:

Peter FometescuGrade KindergartenP.S. 150Q

April 17, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Seeks Nominees for Veteran’s Hall of Fame

(Queens, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris invited local residents to nominate veterans from the community whose service on behalf of our nation warrants induction into the New York State Veteran’s Hall of Fame.

This online Hall of Fame is designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces is complemented by service to their communities.

“Each year one of the greatest privileges I have as a member of the New York State Senate is to honor a member of my community who has not only served our nation but returned home and worked to improve the lives of our neighbors,” said Senator Gianaris. “Though all of us are eternally grateful to our nation’s veterans, the Veteran’s Hall of Fame allows us to say a special thank you, and I urge anyone with a veteran in mind to come forward with a nomination.”

April 14, 2014
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Queens Library Scandal Spurs State Lawmakers to Push for System Reforms

Following recent revelations regarding questionable spending and a lack of effective oversight at the Queens Borough Public Library, Borough President Melinda Katz, Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry today announced they have crafted and introduced legislation to reform the operations of the Library’s Board of Trustees and improve the Library’s overall governance (A.9217/S.6893).

April 7, 2014
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Queens Leaders Push to Find Driver in Fatal Northern Blvd. Hit-and-Run

Senator Gianaris joined transit safety advocates and local leaders to enlist the public's help in tracking down a hit-and-run driver who took the life of Kumar Ragunath and fled the scene. Senator Gianaris also doubled down on his calls to improve traffic safety on Northern Boulevard and bring reckless drivers to justice. 

Read more at DNAinfo

March 26, 2014
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Op-ed: No. 7 Train closures can’t close Long Island City

Each year the residents of western Queens, and Long Island City in particular, wonder anxiously how many weekends the MTA will shut down the No. 7 train. In past years, the MTA did not even provide advance warning, adding insult to injury. All the prior notice in the world, however, cannot ease the pain of the 22 weekend closures we face in 2014.

Western Queens is home to the fastest-growing, most exciting neighborhoods in the five boroughs, and Long Island City continues to set the pace. People from all over flock here to live and raise their families, visit our wonderful cultural attractions, sample our world-class restaurants and enjoy our beautiful green spaces. Long Island City, and all of western Queens, deserves increased mass transit options, not ones that are being slashed.

March 26, 2014
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Senator Gianaris and Mayor De Blasio Celebrate St. Pat's For All Parade in Sunnyside and Woodside

Senator Gianaris was thrilled to see Mayor Bill De Blasio at this year's St. Pat's For All Parade in Sunnyside and Woodside. “One of the great joys of representing Sunnyside/Woodside is watching this grow each year. And I don’t think I have seen a crowd this big before,” said Senator Gianaris. 

Read more about the parade over at the Sunnyside Post

 

March 26, 2014
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Gianaris Celebrates Long Island City HS Victory

State Senator Michael Gianaris, a proud graduate of Long Island City H.S. (LICHS), joined students, teachers and parents in celebrating the reversal of a Department of Education (DOE) colocation plan that would have negatively affected his alma mater. The plan would have co-located a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) school within LICHS, adding to the problem of classroom overcrowding and sapping resources from current students. This plan followed successive attempts by the DOE to close down the school altogether, plans against which Gianaris also fought tirelessly.

March 26, 2014
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Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios coming in May

Senator Michael Gianaris, a strong supporter of LIC Flea, celebrated the planned backdoor market Astoria Flea & Food that will be coming in May.

“LIC Flea is a very successful part of the Long Island City Community and its expansion to Kaufman Astoria Studios is a welcome addition to our neighborhood,” said Senator Gianaris. “Astoria Flea & Food will bring together the great food and artistic flair that put Astoria on the map and made it a destination for people all over the world. This new weekend attraction will embody the mix of history and modern influence that helps our community grow more vibrant each day.”

March 26, 2014
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Local leaders urge city to change plans to move Woodside students to Astoria

Senator Gianaris stood with parents, students and his fellow elected officials to urge the DOE not to change a plan that would negatively affect the PS 11 community.

“The planned expansion for PS 11 is a giant step in the fight against school overcrowding, but the DOE seems intent on making the worst out of a great situation by ignoring the concerns of students and parents,” said Senator Gianaris. “All of us here today are ready to work together to find a solution without making parents’ lives harder, but the DOE does not seem interested in listening.”

Read more about the situation at PS 11 in the New York Daily News

March 26, 2014
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Gianaris, Constantinides, Nolan Host Black History Celebration

State Senator Michael Gianaris, Councilmember Costa Constantinides and Assemblymember Cathy Nolan hosted a celebration of Black History Month in collaboration with the Astoria Houses Tenants Association (TA) at Reality House in Astoria. The event celebrated community leaders TA President Claudia Coger, Bishop Mitchell Taylor, TA Vice President Renee Edwards, Pastor Dwayne Jackson, Detective Darryl Johnson, Minor Miracles Vice President Eric Mathews and Minor Miracles Executive Director of Public Programs Aiysha Mayfield.

March 26, 2014
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Mayor de Blasio Takes Up Senator Gianaris’ Call to Crack Down on Suspended License Drivers

Following the release of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero Report, Senator Michael Gianaris issued the following statement in support of the Mayor’s Vision Zero efforts.

“I am pleased Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Report includes support for my bill to increase penalties on suspended and unlicensed drivers,” said Senator Gianaris. “Too many lives are needlessly lost at the hands of reckless drivers who should not be on our streets. I look forward to working with the Mayor to make our streets safer for all New Yorkers.”

March 26, 2014
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MTA hosts 7 train discussion with elected officials

As Senator Gianaris continued to fight for better 7 train service in western Queens, he attended a meeting with the MTA about upcoming 7 train weekend closures. Senator Gianaris discussed the meeting with the LIC/Astoria Journal; read the full story here

March 26, 2014
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Queens pols hold coat drive with nonprofit New York Cares

Senator Gianaris joined Councilman Costa Constantinides, Assemblymembers Aravella Simotas and Mike Dendekker and New York Cares to host a coat drive to help those in need this winter. Read about how the coat drive helped New Yorkers in need stay warm in the Queens Courier

March 26, 2014
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Senator Gianaris, Senate Dems Demand Action on Minimum Wage

(Albany, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris joined Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the Senate Democratic Conference in announcing a legislative package that would ensure better pay for hardworking New Yorkers. Senator Gianaris, Deputy Leader of the Senate Democrats, co-sponsored three bills that would enable local governments to raise the minimum wage in their localities and expedite an increase of the state’s minimum wage.

“Hard working New Yorkers deserve a wage that allows them to provide for their families,” said Senator Gianaris. “Last year’s minimum wage increase was too low and too slow. There is no reason to delay these measures and I call for immediate action to ensure that New Yorkers earn a fair wage as soon as possible.”

March 26, 2014
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Pols call for Northern Boulevard to be included in mayor’s Vision Zero initiative

Senator Gianaris joined his fellow elected officials, transit safety groups, and local residents to call for Mayor Bill de Blasio to focus his Vision Zero efforts on Northern Boulevard after four pedestrians were injured in an accident at a Woodside bus stop.  “Here we go again,” said Senator Michael Gianaris, who introduced a bill in the Senate, which would charge drivers who continue to drive without a valid license and are in an accident that causes serious injury or death with vehicular assault. “Until we begin taking pedestrian safety seriously, we are going to keep standing at more and more press conferences

March 26, 2014
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Aluminaire House Won't Be Moving to Sunnyside Gardens

Senator Gianaris joined neighborhood residents in celebrating a decision by the Landmarks Preservation Commission keeping the Aluminaire House out of Sunnyside Gardens, saying “today we stand as a united community to express our satisfaction that our voices were heard. I joined my neighbors in opposing the Aluminaire House from the start and testified against it before the Landmarks Preservation Commission because it would be inconsistent with the unique beauty of this part of our neighborhood. Victories like this one cannot be understated as we seek to preserve the character of our neighborhoods as more and more people flock to western Queens.”

March 26, 2014
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