(Astoria, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney hosted an Open House to celebrate their new District Offices in the heart of Astoria. Local residents and community leaders from Astoria, Long Island City, Ridgewood, Sunnyside, Woodside and Woodhaven were joined by elected officials from all over Queens at the new offices on Newtown Avenue.
“It was a pleasure to host so many friends and community leaders who share our dedication to improving Queens,” said Senator Gianaris. “My door is always open to the people of Queens and this Open House was the perfect way to welcome them to an office that is as much theirs as it is mine.”
Senator Michael Gianaris addressed a meeting of LIC Business Women and took the opportunity to discuss his work fighting for women’s rights in Albany and to help small businesses thrive in western Queens. Women’s issues took center stage this year as Senator Gianaris and his colleagues in the Senate Democratic Conference fought tirelessly to codify Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Agenda.
(Woodhaven, NY) Senator Gianaris hosted a mobile office on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven this week. Recently Senator Gianaris launched a districtwide series of mobile offices to celebrate the diverse array of Queens neighborhoods he represents, and to better understand the unique issues and concerns of each community.
“I had a great time talking to Woodhaven residents about the issues that matter most to this community,” said Senator Gianaris. “I am glad the issues at the forefront of my agenda are the same ones that are important to people here, and I look forward to working with everyone in Woodhaven to strengthen public safety and preserve the character of this neighborhood.”
(Queens, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will launch a series of mobile offices this week covering every corner of his district from Woodside to Woodhaven and also including the neighborhoods of Long Island City, Sunnyside and Ridgewood. Recognizing that each neighborhood he represents has unique issues and concerns, Senator Gianaris is eager to hear from Queens residents on the issues that matter most to their community. The mobile offices will take place over the next few weeks.
“I am proud to represent such a diverse array of Queens neighborhoods,” said Senator Gianaris. “These mobile offices will be a great opportunity for people from Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Ridgewood and Woodhaven to communicate their concerns to me so we can work together to improve our community. I look forward to hearing firsthand about the issues that matter most in all areas of my district.”
Senator Gianaris announced that the Department of Transportation has agreed to include Astoria in future plans for Citibike, the city’s new bike-sharing program. Since Citibike’s debut, Senator Gianaris has worked with DOT to ensure that Astoria and other western Queens neighborhoods will be included in the program. Senator Gianaris, a lifelong Astoria resident who regularly bikes around the neighborhood, is pleased that Citibike is on the horizon for Astoria.
The Daily News wrote about Senator Gianaris' work to bring Real Time Countdown Information to Subway stations in Astoria. In response to years of advocacy by Senator Michael Gianaris, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit will implement Real Time Information, an automated system that will announce how long riders have until the next train arrives, in five Astoria stations. Senator Michael Gianaris has advocated for Countdown Clocks in western Queens Subway stations since the fall of 2010.
(Albany, NY) Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill authored by Senator Michael Gianaris and carried in the State Assembly by Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, which will increase cancer prevention and reduce the dangers of sun poisoning for children. The law will strengthen existing regulations regarding the application of sunscreen in schools and summer camps to ensure that children are able to apply sunscreen when spending time outside.
The New York State Department of Education 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’ newly passed law will only require a note from a parent.
“Our first responsibility is to protect our kids, and we fail to do that when illogical regulations force schools to put our children in danger. Our schools should be encouraging sunscreen use, not preventing it,” said Senator Gianaris. “I am pleased Governor Cuomo signed this common sense measure into law, allowing us to rest assured that our children will not be at risk when they play outside at school or at summer camp.”
Senator Michael Gianaris attended a ceremony at Citi Field on Saturday honoring Luke Gasparre, a World War II veteran and an usher for the Mets. Gasparre lives in Astoria and has been working as an usher for the Mets for 50 years. The Mets organization took the opportunity to salute his service to the team. Gianaris, a lifelong Mets fan and Astoria resident, was proud to help honor his friend and fellow fan.
(Dutch Kills, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris, joined by City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, rallied local residents and community leaders at a particularly dangerous Dutch Kills intersection in Long Island City to demand traffic safety improvements for the area. Residents of Dutch Kills had grown concerned over increasingly unsafe traffic conditions in their neighborhood, citing a need for traffic control infrastructure and for enforcement of existing traffic laws. In a letter to the Department of Transportation, Senator Gianaris urged the DOT to take immediate action.
In a letter sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation, Senator Michael Gianaris formally requested that Western Queens be included in future plans for Citibike. Citing the area’s love of cycling and pressing transportation needs, and highlighting recent bike-friendly developments in western Queens, Senator Gianaris called for the DOT to include Astoria and Woodside in the next phase of Citibike expansion.
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.
(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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.