Michael Gianaris

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Gianaris: Not Voting On Health Exchange ‘Foolish’

State of Politics wrote about Senator Gianaris' comments regarding the healthcare exchange from his interview on "The Capitol Pressroom." Senator Gianaris believes that we should not refuse large amounts of federal aid that would benefit New Yorkers simply for political reasons.

Not voting on a measure that would create a health-insurance exchange in New York is “foolish” Sen. Michael Gianaris told Susan Arbetter earlier today.

Gianaris, who has increasingly become the public face of the Senate Democratic Conference, blamed Senate Republicans for obstructing the bill.

September 13, 2011
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Senator Gianaris shakes hands with a veteran at the Woodside Civic Association's 9/11 Candlelighting Ceremony.

The ceremony took place in Doughboy Park in Woodside on the tenth anniversary of September 11th.

September 12, 2011
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Woodside Mural Pays Tribute To 9/11 Victims

NY1 did a story on the commemoration ceremony of a mural in Woodside to the tenth anniversary of September 11. Senator Gianaris participated in the ceremony, hosted by Woodside on the Move and Councilmember Van Bramer.

Watch the video here.

September 11, 2011
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS ON TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

“September 11, 2001 is an experience that will remain engrained in our psyche forever. The emotional scars of that day will never leave us as we remember those who were lost, and my condolences continue to go out to their families and friends. May their memories be eternal.

While New York City will never be the same, it is gratifying to see the unity that developed among New Yorkers and the work that was done in the last decade to increase our preparedness and help prevent another attack.”

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September 11, 2011
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SENATOR GIANARIS SEEKS TO ENHANCE VOTING PROCESS THROUGH SPONSORED LEGISLATION

Reminds New Yorkers of the importance of voting in upcoming September 13 elections.

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris has introduced four bills in the Senate that would strengthen the voting process and make ballot-casting more convenient. These measures would result in increased voter participation and a more efficient Board of Elections.

Senator Gianaris said, “The upcoming special elections remind us of the importance of voting. As we quickly approach 2012, it is vital that we make voting an accessible and convenient process in order to maximize turnout. Every ballot counts, and New Yorkers must be able to exercise this valuable right as easily as possible.”

The four bills amend New York State law in the following ways:

September 9, 2011
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Senator Gianaris speaks at UCCA's 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony.

The ceremony took place in McManus Park.

September 9, 2011
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New districts cannot divide immigrant neighborhoods in Queens, advocates say

The Daily News wrote about how redistricting could affect various immigrant groups in Queens.

State officials must draw new district lines that give growing Queens immigrant groups a stronger voice, advocates demanded this week during a nearly six-hour public hearing.

A joint Senate-Assembly body that oversees redistricting has held public sessions throughout New York since July - and the meeting Wednesday in Queens drew one of the largest crowds in the state.

September 9, 2011
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Bedbugs found in Astoria school

Queens Chronicle wrote about Senator Gianaris'  Bed Bug Notification Bill, passed last year, a measure to prevent incidents such as the one that occurred at P.S. 70.

Bedbugs have infested PS 70, an elementary school in Astoria, according to reports published last week, which said the school has the worst bedbug problem in the city.

The Department of Education discovered the infestation last December, including evidence the bugs were breeding, but never told anyone at the school about it.

For the first time, the DOE has admitted the problem came from within the school itself. In the past, the department has claimed bedbugs were brought into schools by students.

Residents and area politicians are incensed with the agency’s oversight.

September 8, 2011
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State Sen. Gianaris criticizes NY's redistricting system

Queens Times Ledger wrote about Senator Gianaris' fight for an independent redistricting process:

The state agency responsible for redrawing legislative district boundaries was set to hold a forum this week to solicit input from the public.

The boundaries for districts of the state Legislature and Congress will be redrawn in 2012 in response to the 2010 U.S. Census. The boundaries of the City Council will be redrawn in 2013.

Since the populations in each district have either risen or fallen, the boundaries need to be adjusted so each legislator represents a similar number of people.

September 8, 2011
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Astoria leaders fuming over bedbug find

Queens Times Ledger wrote about Senator Gianaris' demand that DOE investigation the bed bug incident at P.S. 70.

Elected officials from Astoria were furious after the news broke that PS 70 on 42nd Street had the worst bedbug problems in the city and did not inform administrators or students.

“This type of negligence puts students and teachers at risk, and prevents families from taking necessary steps to protect their children,” state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) said in a statement.

September 8, 2011
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Queens Residents Fear Divided Neighborhoods Through Gerrymandering

NY1 reported on the redistricting public hearing that took place in Queens.

Every 10 years, a task force draws new district lines for state politicians based on census results, and at a Wednesday hearing today in Kew Gardens, Queens, critics alleged that lawmakers do it first and foremost with keeping their seat in mind.

Watch the video here.

September 8, 2011
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Pols remember 9/11: SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS

Queens Courier asked Senator Gianaris about his memories of September 11th:

Where were you when you heard that planes had struck the World Trade Center?

September 11th was an Election Day for municipal offices. I was campaigning with Peter Vallone Jr., who was a candidate for the City Council that day. After the attacks, we went to the rooftop of our polling place and saw the Towers burning with our own eyes. It is an experience I will never forget.

What was your initial reaction to the attack?

September 7, 2011
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GIANARIS LAUDS FILM/TV PROGRAM JOBS

Queens Gazette wrote about the thousands of jobs the film industry, aided by the film tax credit which was championed  by Senator Gianaris, has brought to New York. 

State Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) had high praise and satisfaction for a program he supported which has created many jobs in his district and elsewhere in New York state.

Gianaris pointed out that the New York State Film Production Credit, which rewards companies that produce films and TV shows in the state with a tax credit, also creates jobs. Gianaris was a lead supporter when the legislation was created and later expanded.

September 7, 2011
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Bedbugs Ignored In Local School

Queens Gazette wrote about the bed bug infestation in P.S. 70.Children must be able to learn in an environment that is not hindered by bedbug infestations.

Parents and elected officials are furious at Astoria’s P.S. 70 for failing to notify them of a bedbug infestation that has been ignored since last winter.

An inspection was performed at the school in December, in which several bedbugs were found in one of the school’s closets with signs of breeding. No notification was given to the parents, students or teachers. Even Principal Donna Gellar was left in the dark; she was unaware an investigation took place to begin with.

September 7, 2011
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September 7, 2011
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Prison count numbers show big shifts in upstate districts

Politics on the Hudson wrote about the data found by the Assembly study on how to count New York State prisoners. Senator Gianaris believes that the use of these numbers to redraw district lines would allow New Yorkers to be represented fairly.

With a court battle still pending, Assembly Democrats have released updated population figures for use during the redistricting process, counting prisoners at their last-known address rather than where they are incarcerated.

September 6, 2011
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Prisoner-adjusted Senate/Assembly districts (UPDATED)

Capitol Confidential wrote about the Assemly's study on counting prisoners. This data will help clear the air around the redistricting process.

I have an article in today’s paper about Assembly Democrats releasing new population figures for state legislative districts, showing which ones increased and decreased when inmates (per a 2010 law) are counted at their last known address — not in their jail cells.

As we all expected, the biggest losers are rural, upstate Republicans. Only one Senate Democrat — Suzi Oppenheimer of Westchester County — had a significant population loss as a result of the recounting. As Ken Lovett noted today, districts in New York City pick up the gains.

September 6, 2011
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Law counting prisoners towards population in home community could redraw districts in Dems favor

LATFOR should use the results of the Assembly's study as they continue the redistricting process. The Daily News wrote about the study on how to count prisoners for purposes of redistricting.

ALBANY - Prisoners in New York can't vote, but they may decide which party controls the state Senate next year.

A new law now requiring prisoners to be counted toward the population of their home community - rather than where they are serving time - could dramatically alter the political landscape of more than a dozen upstate districts.

That's because state officials will redraw legislative and congressional districts based on 2010 Census Bureau population figures in time for the 2012 elections.

September 6, 2011
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