(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.
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.
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."
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.”
(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.
(Queens, NY) In light of recent reports calling into question the preparedness of city public high school graduates who went on to enroll in CUNY community colleges, Senator Gianaris highlighted the need for a renewed commitment to ensure NYC public school graduates are prepared to take full advantage of the higher education opportunities the State seeks to provide. After meeting with Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College, Senator Gianaris called this an exciting time for college-bound New Yorkers, citing measures in the state’s proposed Executive Budget aiming to revitalize the CUNY system and strengthen CUNY community colleges. Keeping these proposals in the final State budget is a top priority for Senator Gianaris.
“This is an exciting time for college-bound New Yorkers. Increased funding for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and unprecedented State support for CUNY community colleges are giant steps toward making sure higher education is accessible and affordable for all New Yorkers. The institution of a CUNY 2020 capital program will provide CUNY with the resources needed to ensure a quality education, and to make the promise of employment opportunities after graduation a reality for CUNY graduates,” said Senator Gianaris.
(Long Island City, NY) Senator Michael Gianaris this morning joined a crowded room of Long Island City small business owners, entrepreneurs, and community leaders at the LIC Partnership Elected Officials Breakfast in Long Island City. Senator Gianaris provided attendees with an update on legislative happenings in Albany and spoke about the particular laws and developments that help make Long Island City the vibrant, expanding neighborhood it is today.
“The collection of business leaders here today is a demonstration of the continuing economic vitality of New York’s most exciting up and coming neighborhood”, said Senator Gianaris.
Τhe efforts of Senator Gianaris concerning restoration of the weekend service of B24, which connects Brooklyn and Queens, were finally paid off. As from January 6th, the B24 line will run on Saturdays and Sundays, from Williamsburg to Greenpoint, from 5 am to 12:41 am.
The B24 weekend bus service–which connects Brooklyn and Queens (via Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Sunnyside)–has been restored after more than 2 ½ years of being down
The restoration of “the B24’s weekend service is a step in the right direction,” Gianaris said. However, “I will continue to push the MTA to reinstate all western Queens mass transit cuts,” he added.
Michael Gianaris points out the importance of local businesses in the revitalization of the economy and the creation of new jobs, but also expresses his delight of being one of the advocates of initiatives such as state's film tax credit, that boosted the economy of Western Queens.
Western Queens is home to a growing number of large and small businesses that have aided in our neighborhood’s economic recovery. I am proud to be an advocate for job creation in western Queens, whose diversity makes us one of the most welcoming neighborhoods in the country, as well as a hub for economic development