Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, Councilman Peter Vallone and Councilman-elect Costa Constantinides joined community leaders, parents, teachers and students from PS 85Q at a rally to demand the MTA and DOE address noise problems created by passing trains.
“No one else should have to die before the city realizes that this exit ramp is fundamentally unsafe. We stood here two years ago asking for a complete redesign of the off ramp, and instead we got new signs and a couple barriers. The time for half measures is gone. We need a safer exit ramp before another tragedy occurs,” said Senator Gianaris.
Senator Michael Gianaris was proud to lend a hand as Urban Upbound and local donors, including the Greek-American Homeowners Association, provided hundreds of turkeys for residents of Astoria Houses. For years, Urban Upbound and Senator Gianaris have celebrated Thanksgiving by making it easier for those in need to enjoy the holidays with their families.
“There is no better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than by giving those in need the ability to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones. I thank Urban Upbound for making this event possible and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving,” said Senator Gianaris.
Senator Michael Gianaris joined Principal Louis Pavone and students at PS/IS 78 in Long Island City for Student Council elections, offering advice and sharing his experiences regarding the democratic process. Senator Gianaris attended the elections last year as well, and is excited about making the event an annual tradition.
(Woodside, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris joined the American Red Cross, the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and Senator Toby Ann Stavisky at a community forum at the Bayanihan Filipino Community Center in Woodside. Woodside is home to a large Filipino neighborhood affectionately known as Little Manila.
Since the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, Senator Gianaris has worked to aid the Filipino community in finding loved ones back home and organizing relief efforts. At the forum, Senator Gianaris, the Red Cross and NAFCON shared information on how all New Yorkers can help those affected by this catastrophic typhoon.
“As New Yorkers, we take pride in the diversity of our neighborhoods, and we take pride in the thriving Filipino community in Woodside,” said Senator Gianaris. “In times of disaster we come together to recover and I am proud to see the recovery efforts already underway here in Queens. I will continue to work with NAFCON and the Red Cross to spearhead recovery efforts in our neighborhood, and I urge everyone to do what they can to help.”
Senator Michael Gianaris, a proud graduate of Long Island City High School, joined Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, fellow elected officials, students, parents and teachers to fight a DOE plan that would hurt the school. After attempting to close down the school altogether just last year, the DOE now wants to co-locate a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) school within LICHS. Senator Gianaris wrote a letter to the DOE opposing the plan earlier this month, and he spoke at LICHS during a public hearing on the plan and at a rally beforehand to give a voice to the community’s opposition to this ill-conceived idea.
(Queens, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris, a leading environmentalist throughout his career in the State Legislature, earned high marks on an environmental scorecard published by EPL/Environmental Advocates. Senator Gianaris, along with several of his fellow Senate Democrats, was rated highest among all members of the New York State Senate.
State Senator Michael Gianaris made commuting easier for Astoria Houses residents by arranging for a visit from an MTA Mobile Sales Unit. Astoria Houses residents recently contacted Gianaris to explain the challenges they face living far from the subway. “Too often the residents of Astoria Houses are overlooked by the MTA, which is why I set up an event like this,” said Gianaris. “Today the MTA met the community first-hand and made it easier to access public transit.”
(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.