Michael Gianaris

Top News

Senator Gianaris: State Owes LIC High School Almost $7 Million

Senator Michael Gianaris is working to see that New York State provides Long Island City High School with the nearly $7 million the school is owed as determined by a 2006 Court of Appeals decision in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) case. Senator Gianaris, who graduated from LICHS, noted that his alma mater was owed more than all but two other schools at $6,709,960.29 in total. This astronomical figure averages out to more than $2,660 per pupil. Senator Gianaris has a long history of fighting for LICHS in the face of threatened co-locations and closures.

“Starving our public schools of the resources they need has led us to a crisis. It is unacceptable that this school, which has beaten back attack after attack in recent years, remains nearly $7 million dollars short of what it needs,” said Senator Gianaris. “We should be giving our kids every opportunity to succeed but instead the students at Long Island City High School have been forced to deal with bureaucratic distractions, and now we find out it's not getting millions of dollars to which it is legally entitled. I will do all I can to make sure this is rectified.”

April 30, 2015
Read more...

EARTH DAY 2015 POSTER CONTEST: DISTRICT 12

Dear Students,Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the New York State Senate’s 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 2015 Earth Day Poster Contest from my District is: Kyle Rea, And Johnathan Cauchi5th GradeSt. Joseph Catholic Academy

April 10, 2015
Read more...

Senator Gianaris Statement on Addition of Eid Holy Days to Public School Holiday Calendar

(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris praised Mayor Bill de Blasio for adding the Muslim holy days of  Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha to the public school holiday calendar, issuing the following statement.

"I commend Mayor de Blasio for adding these two holy days to our public school calendar, something many of us sought for years through state legislation that I sponsored,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “Allowing time off for Eid is a recognition of the diversity in our schools, and a celebration of the contributions our Muslim neighbors make to our city. Muslim parents no longer need to choose between their child's education and the celebration of an important religious holiday."

#   #   #

March 4, 2015
Read more...

Senator Michael Gianaris Leads Elected Officials and Transit Advocates in Renewed Call to Increase Penalties for Drivers Without Valid Licenses Following Queens Hit-And-Run Death

(Elmhurst, NY) State Senators Michael Gianaris and Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblymember Francisco Moya, Councilman Danny Dromm, Transportation Alternatives and Make Queens Safer renewed calls for passage of Senator Gianaris's legislation to crack down on drivers who kill or seriously injure others while driving with revoked, suspended or otherwise invalid licenses. This proposal (under Senate bills S2539 and S2484), which is included in Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero agenda, would make such an event a felony and would provide for the immediate impoundment of a vehicle in an accident like the one that took the life of a pedestrian on Woodside Avenue this Sunday. Assemblywoman Marge Markey carries both bills in the State Assembly.

Senator Gianaris first introduced the legislation after a truck driver without a valid license struck and killed Noshat Nahian, a 3rd-grader at PS 152 in Woodside on his way to school on Northern Boulevard in December 2013. Senator Gianaris renewed his call for these measures after Angela Hurtado was killed by a driver with a suspended license in Maspeth in January 2014. This latest incident makes three deaths in similar circumstances in just over a year.

“How many deaths at the hands of unauthorized drivers will it take before we make sure the punishment fits the crime in these cases?” said Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens). “It is heartbreaking to see one family after another suffer the loss of a loved one because irresponsible drivers get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t. My proposals would create a serious deterrent so that anyone thinking about getting behind the wheel without a license will think twice or face real jail time if they do so and kill or seriously injure someone. I call on my fellow legislators to pass these bills immediately before we face yet another tragedy.”

March 4, 2015
Read more...

Senator Gianaris, Assemblywoman Simotas, Councilman Constantinides Remember Senator George Onorato

(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas issued the following statements on the passing of former Senator George Onorato.

"George Onorato will always be part of the fabric of western Queens,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “He dedicated his long and happy life to serving others and making the communities he represented better places to live. George Onorato served our country, our state and our neighborhoods in a way that made a positive difference in people's lives. I will miss him. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. May his memory be eternal."

March 4, 2015
Read more...

Gianaris, Constantinides, Nolan, Community Members Celebrate Black History Month

(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris, Councilman Costa Constantinides and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan celebrated Black History Month at Astoria Houses in conjunction with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, The Floating Hospital, Urban Upbound, HANAC, Astoria Cornerstone, and Minor Miracles. The event celebrated the contributions of African-Americans throughout our country’s history and honored several local leaders.

“I am honored to celebrate Black History Month with so many people who have done so much for our community,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “As we celebrate the many contributions of this important community throughout the history of our country, we also honor those who have given their time and effort to improve the lives of their neighbors here in Astoria. To our honorees tonight I say thank you.”

March 4, 2015
Read more...

Senator Gianaris Rolls Out Ethics Reform Legislation

(Albany, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris joined Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and several Democratic Conference members to introduce a package of common sense ethics reform legislation. Among the proposals are bills that would effectively ban outside income for legislators, take away pensions from elected officials convicted of felonies, create a public financing system for elections and strengthen financial disclosure laws. In addition, Senator Gianaris authored two bills that would lower contribution limits for campaigns and prevent campaign committees from being reimbursed for legal defense fees.

March 4, 2015
Read more...

Gianaris on Sunnyside Yards: Community First

Senator Gianaris adressed Community Board 2 on the subject of Sunnyside Yards, reassuring the community that their voices would be heard on the matter.

"I will not support any proposal for Sunnyside Yards that is not supported by our existing community,” Senator Gianaris assured those assembled. “Any talk of thousands of new housing units at Sunnyside Yards should be secondary to meeting our significant existing infrastructure needs. Western Queens is already in need of many more schools, parks and open spaces, and vastly improved mass transit, particularly on the 7 line. As this process unfolds, I look forward to working with the community to ensure our voices are heard loud and clear when it comes to Sunnyside Yards."

March 4, 2015
Read more...

LIC Celebrates New Library at Hunters Point

Senator Gianaris joined local elected officials, students, parents, and officials from the Queens Library to celebrate the announcement that construction would begin on the long awaited Hunters Point LIbrary in Long Island City. 

For more on what Senator Gianaris had to say about this good news, read this story in the LIC/Astoria Journal.

March 4, 2015
Read more...

Pols on ConEd Rate Hikes: Why Now?

Senator Gianaris spoke to AM New York about  proposed ConEd rate hikes, lamenting that as the cost of living in NYC continues to rise, ConEd wants to make it harder to keep the lights on. 

Check out the full story here

March 4, 2015
Read more...

Senator Gianaris Decries DHS Placement of Sex Offender at Westway Hotel

Following recent reports of a convicted sex offender being housed at the Westway hotel, Senator Michael Gianaris expressed alarm and demanded the Department of Homeless Services do better by the surrounding community.

February 4, 2015
Read more...

Senator Gianaris Statement on Future of Sunnyside Yards

(Queens, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris issued the following statement regarding any possible development at Sunnyside Yards.

“Mayor de Blasio is right that western Queens needs more affordable middle class housing so we can maintain the character of our growing neighborhoods,” said Senator Gianaris. “It is critical that the discussion regarding Sunnyside Yards includes the community and focuses on providing the additional infrastructure we desperately need. Any future development must bring with it more and better schools, new parks and open spaces, and vastly improved mass transit, particularly on the 7 line. I look forward to working with the Mayor to ensure our existing community is consulted and protected as this process unfolds.”

February 3, 2015
Read more...

Gianaris, Simotas, Constantinides Send Letter in Support of Most Precious Blood School

- Ask Diocese to Reconsider Shutting Down School -

(Astoria, NY) Following the Diocese of Brooklyn’s announcement that the Most Precious Blood School in Astoria would close at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, and Council Member Costa Constantinides wrote a letter to the Diocese to express concern over the immediacy of the impending closure and request that the Diocese explore any and all options to keep the school open.

“The outpouring of support from the community and the fear parents are now experiencing over the planned closure of the Most Precious Blood School demonstrate just how much this institution means to our neighbors,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “I sincerely hope that the Diocese listens to the voices of our community and recommits itself to trying to find a way to keep this beloved school open.”

January 14, 2015
Read more...

Senator Gianaris Introduces Legislation Preventing Public Reimbursement to Campaign Committees for Legal Defense

(Albany, NY) Outraged that New York State must use public monies to reimburse a campaign committee for more than $1.5 million in legal defense fees and upwards of $560,000 more to a legal defense fund, Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will introduce legislation to prevent any such payouts in the future. Senator Gianaris’ legislation will amend Section 19 of the Public Officers Law to prevent state reimbursement to legal defense funds and campaign committees for legal defense in criminal proceedings. Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh will sponsor the bill in the New York State Assembly. 

“It is sadly typical in the upside-down world of Albany that public financing for campaign committees only exists for those accused of crimes,” said Senator Gianaris. “This multi-million dollar payout is a glaring example of the desperate need to reform New York State election law, and we need to close this loophole immediately.”

December 30, 2014
Read more...

Senator Gianaris Introduces Legislation Preventing Public Reimbursement to Campaign Committees for Legal Defense

(Albany, NY) Outraged that New York State must use public monies to reimburse a campaign committee for more than $1.5 million in legal defense fees and upwards of $560,000 more to a legal defense fund, Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will introduce legislation to prevent any such payouts in the future. Senator Gianaris’ legislation will amend Section 19 of the Public Officers Law to prevent state reimbursement to legal defense funds and campaign committees for legal defense in criminal proceedings. Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh will sponsor the bill in the New York State Assembly. 

“It is sadly typical in the upside-down world of Albany that public financing for campaign committees only exists for those accused of crimes,” said Senator Gianaris. “This multi-million dollar payout is a glaring example of the desperate need to reform New York State election law, and we need to close this loophole immediately.”

December 30, 2014
Read more...

Senator Gianaris Statement on Queens Library Board of Trustees Removal of Thomas Galante

Senator Michael Gianaris issued the following statement regarding the news that the Queens Library Board of Trustees voted to terminate Thomas Galante as President and CEO of the Queens Library system.

"The Board's removal of Mr. Galante is an important step towards righting the ship of the Queens Library system and moving it towards a brighter future. I am proud to have sponsored the new law that made this progress possible for a treasured institution that temporarily lost its way. I look forward to the day when Queens residents can again be proud of our libraries, and today we are one step closer," said Senator Gianaris.

December 18, 2014
Read more...

Lonely Planet guidebooks call Queens the best travel destination in the United States

Senator Gianaris celebrated the Lonely Planet naming Queens its top travel destination in the United States, touting our borough's cuisine, parks, arts scene and more. 

Check out the Daily News story on Queens as a destination hotspot. 

December 17, 2014
Read more...

Restaurant Serving Thanksgiving Meals for NYCHA Tenants With No Gas

Senator Gianaris was part of a collaboration that provided Thanksgiving meals for NYCHA tenants without gas in their apartments.

Check out DNAinfo for more info on this feel good holiday story. 

December 17, 2014
Read more...

Senator Gianaris Joins PS/IS 78 Students for Class Elections in Long Island City

Senator Michael Gianaris joined PS/IS 78 students at their new state-of-the-art school building in Long Island City for the school’s annual class council elections. Senator Gianaris, who has attended PS/IS 78’s school elections for three years running, spoke to a packed auditorium of students about the value of democratic participation, and answered dozens of questions about what he does to improve the lives of western Queens residents.

December 17, 2014
Read more...

Greek of the Week Features Senator Michael Gianaris

New Greek TV selected Senator Gianaris as Greek of the Week, and the Senator sat down for an extended interview about his heritage and his work for the community. 

Read the full story at New Greek TV. 

December 17, 2014
Read more...