Newsroom

Gianaris and Simotas Open New District Offices in Astoria

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and I have moved into new District Offices in the heart of Astoria. We will be hosting an open house later this summer and I invite all of you to join me and check out our new offices.

Read all about the move in the Queens TimesLedger

July 10, 2013
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Legislature Passes Gianaris Bill to Protect Children from Sun Overexposure

(Albany, NY) Both houses of the State Legislature  passed a bill authored by Senator Michael Gianaris to increase cancer prevention and reduce the dangers of sun poisoning for New York students. The bill will codify New York State Department of Education (NYSED) regulations regarding the application of sunscreen in schools and summer camps to ensure that children are able to apply sunscreen when spending time outside. Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas carried the bill in the State Assembly.

The NYSED and the Federal Food and Drug Administration include sunscreen on their list of over-the-counter drugs, previously requiring a note from a doctor before a child would be allowed to use it during school hours. Summer camps also follow these guidelines.

Understanding how important it is for children to protect themselves from sunburn and overexposure to the sun, Senator Gianaris’ bill would only require a note from a parent.

“Our schools should be protecting our kids, not putting them in danger,” Senator Gianaris said. “Prohibiting children from using sunscreen is senseless and harmful. I urge the Governor to sign this common sense measure into law immediately to ensure that our children are not at risk this summer.”

June 26, 2013
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Senate Passes Senator Gianaris’ Bill Getting Tough on Sexual Abusers

(Albany, NY) Senator Mike Gianaris’ bill to strengthen laws regarding persistent sexual abuse passed the New York State Senate by a vote of 59-0 this week. Senate Bill S.612 will amend existing law to exclude any spent in prison from the 10-year period during which penalties are increased for multiple crimes. Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, author of the legislation, has championed the legislation in the New York State Assembly.

“There should be no place in our society for criminals who repeatedly sexually abuse others in our community,” said Senator Gianaris. “This bill would crack down harder on these miscreants who commit multiple sex crimes in a 10-year period.”

June 26, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Honors Astoria WWII Hero as Veteran’s Hall of Fame Inductee

(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris honored lifelong Astoria resident and World War II hero Robert (Bob) Danke as an inductee into the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame. The Veteran’s 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. Mr. Danke was officially inducted into the Veteran’s Hall of Fame at a May 21st ceremony in Albany. Senator Gianaris presented the former Navy Seaman First Class with an official certificate and poster outside his home in Astoria.

“Bob Danke is a true American hero and I am grateful for the opportunity to commemorate the services he rendered his country and his community,” Senator Gianaris said. “He fought bravely to protect our country’s freedom and he is a neighbor of whom all of us in Astoria can be proud.”

June 26, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Attends Woodhaven Town Hall

(Woodhaven, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris addressed dozens of attendees at the Woodhaven Residents Block Association Town Hall meeting on Saturday. Woodhaven residents offered their opinions on topics ranging from broad  issues such as transportation and public cleanliness to more specific issues like the future of a recently collapsed building on Jamaica Avenue. Amplifying these Woodhaven worries is the concern that the most recent bout of redistricting has divided the neighborhood into multiple State Senate districts. Senator Gianaris reassured those present that his advocacy on their behalf would not be diminished by an imperfect redistricting process.

“Woodhaven is a one of a kind neighborhood with its own unique issues and concerns,” said Senator Gianaris. “I will ensure that the needs of Woodhaven residents are represented in the State Legislature as we work to preserve and improve this vibrant community.”

June 26, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Promotes Voter Empowerment

(Queens, New York) Senator Michael Gianaris, a long-time advocate of reforming the state’s electoral system, cheered a recent electoral reform package proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“I am thrilled to see Governor Cuomo is taking real steps to empower the voters of our state by making it easier to register to vote and encouraging voter participation,” said Senator Gianaris. “Reforming the voter registration process will allow more New Yorkers to participate in the most fundamental aspect of our democracy, and thereby improve government from the bottom up.”

June 26, 2013
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Senator Michael Gianaris Honors APAC’s Taryn Sacramone at Women of Distinction Ceremony In Albany

(Albany, NY) On Tuesday May 7th Senator Michael Gianaris honored Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center, at the 16th annual New York State Senate Women of Distinction Ceremony in Albany. The ceremony provides Senators across New York State with an opportunity to honor outstanding women whose contributions to their neighborhood have enriched the lives of those in the community.

“Through her work at APAC, Taryn Sacramone highlights the creative spirit of western Queens and embodies our prioritization of culture and the arts,” said Senator Gianaris.

June 26, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Touts Environmental Initiatives on Earth Day

(Queens, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris announced the passage of a bill which would establish incentives for investments in solar energy and applauded Mayor Michael Bloomberg for announcing the largest expansion of New York City’s Recycling Program in 25 years. Senator Gianaris noted that environmental activists had reason to cheer this week as the country celebrated Earth Day on Monday April 22nd and New York, on both the city and state levels, took real steps forward in going green.

June 26, 2013
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Senator Gianaris Honors Astoria Resident and WWII Hero

I presented lifelong Astoria resident and World War II hero Robert (Bob) Danke with his official plaque and poster signifying his induction into the New York State Senate Veteran's Hall of Fame. Bob is a true American hero and I was proud to join him and his family to commemorate the services he rendered his country.

Check out this Queens Tribune article for more details on Bob's heroic service.

June 11, 2013
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Woodhaven Shares Astoria's State Senator

Senator Michael Gianaris addressed dozens of attendees at the Woodhaven Residents Block Association Town Hall meeting on Saturday, May 18th. Woodhaven residents offered their opinions on topics ranging from broad  issues such as transportation and public cleanliness to more specific issues like the future of a recently collapsed building on Jamaica Avenue.

For more information, check out this article in the Queens Ledger.

 

June 3, 2013
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Robert Danke

Robert (Bob) Danke and his wife Loretta are lifelong residents of Astoria, Queens. World War II broke out when Bob was just 17 years old. Bob was too young to enlist in the service without his father’s signature on a form granting him permission, but that did not stop him from serving his country.  In fact, Bob’s dad would also enlist just a few months later, although he was 50 at the time. 

May 20, 2013
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Gianaris Honors Sacramone As Woman Of Distinction

Last week I was proud to honor Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center, at the New York Senate 2013 Women of Distinction Ceremony. Check out this Western Queens Gazette article for more details on Taryn's contributions to our community.

May 15, 2013
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Taryn Sacramone

Taryn Sacramone has been the executive director at the Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC), a nonprofit performing arts organization in Queens, since 2005. During her tenure, APAC has received 21 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations and four wins, as well as the 2012 IT Awards Caffe Cino Fellowship, given to an Off Off Broadway theater company that consistently produces outstanding work. 

May 13, 2013
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Senator Michael Gianaris Pushes Women’s Equality Agenda

Senator Michael Gianaris stood with the National Organization for Women and his Democratic colleagues to voice support for the Women’s Equality Agenda, a 10-point proposal offered by Governor Cuomo. The Women’s Equality Agenda aims to protect women’s rights and end discrimination based on gender. Senator Gianaris believes its passage is essential as New York continues to lead the way forward on the issue of women’s rights.

“New York has a great history as a progressive leader when it comes to women's rights and it is imperative that we continue to lead the nation on this critical issue,” said Senator Gianaris.

“Attempts to roll back hard-fought victories for women's equality are sweeping the country and have proven that this fight is far from over. Passing the Women's Equality Agenda would enshrine in law a woman's right to control her own health care decisions and would be a signal that the women's equality effort continues to move forward, with New York State leading the way.”

April 25, 2013
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Pols Call for Citi Bike Share to Expand to Astoria, Woodside and Sunnyside Read

Check out this story from DNAinfo on my work with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer urging the city's new bike sharing program to include all of western Queens. An active bike share presence would be the perfect way to build on recent developments that have helped make western Queens one of the most bike-friendly areas in the city.
Click here for the full story

April 25, 2013
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DOE Nixes Plan to Cut Gifted Program at Astoria's P.S. 122 After Backlash

I am thrilled that the exemplary academic program at P.S. 122 will be preserved moving forward. P.S. 122 is a gem in our community that should be allowed to continue improving the lives of the children and parents of Astoria for years to come. Rest assured that I will continue to fight to preserve this laudable educational model. For as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke don't fix it.

For more information on this new development for P.S. 122, please check out this article from DNAinfo on the subject.

April 18, 2013
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Celebration Of Greek Independence Day

On Friday March 22nd Senator Mike Gianaris, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall hosted a celebration of Greek Independence Day at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria. This is the 11th annual Greek Independence Day celebration of its kind. Click here to see what the Queens Gazette wrote about the celebration.

April 10, 2013
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Greek Independence Parade 2013

After marching in the 2013 Greek Independence Parade, Senator Gianaris issued the following statement.

"Like so many New Yorkers, Greek-Americans have brought the best of their heritage and culture to the United States and have contributed much to our nation's success. I am proud of the many contributions the Greek-American community has made to New York and was thrilled to celebrate them by participating in this year's parade up Fifth Avenue."

April 10, 2013
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Senator Michael 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.

“The Senate takes this opportunity to honor the brave men and women who serve our nation and protect our freedom as members of the military,” said Senator Gianaris. “The Veteran’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to all who serve, but singles out for special recognition those whose sacrifices and service helped make our nation and our community better places to live.”

April 5, 2013
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Senator Gianaris and PS 78 Student Council Work to Restore and Re-Beautify Shady Park after Hurricane Sandy

(Long Island City, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris vowed to continue working with the PS 78 Student Council students to repair, restore, and re-beautify Shady Park, also known as Andrews Grove, after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. In a letter to the Student Council, Senator Gianaris thanked the students for their ongoing participation in the restoration efforts regarding the park and assured students that repairing the park is a top priority.

“Shady Park is a gem in our community and beloved by neighborhood children, who were given a voice by the PS 78 Student Council. We cannot let Hurricane Sandy rob our neighborhood of this beautiful park in an area in need of more outdoor places for children and adults alike to enjoy,” said Senator Gianaris.

March 8, 2013
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