Newsroom

Statement from Senator Duane in Response to Senator Grisanti’s Comments on Marriage Equality

"It is truly sad and unfortunate that Senator Grisanti would publiclycompare Marriage Equality and my right to marry the person I love, withcats and dogs.

March 9, 2011
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Working Toward an On-Time Budget

It is now less than one month before the State Budget deadline of April 1.  The Senate and Assembly have just completed joint hearings on each subject matter related to the Executive Budget proposal.  The next step in the process is for each house to pass a budget resolution outlining its budget priorities.  Once this process is completed, Legislative Conference Committees will be convened to reconcile differences between the Senate and Assembly proposals.  Finally, the Senate and Assembly will vote on an agreed upon 2011-2012 fiscal year budget before the April 1 deadline.

March 9, 2011
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Calling for a Comprehensive Plan to Rid Our Schools of PCB Contamination

Nearly three years have passed since dangerous levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discovered in P.S 199 on West 70 Street and a number of other New York City public schools.  While much progress has been made in remediating contamination at a few select schools, it is unacceptable that there is still no City-wide plan to address this problem.  The Bloomberg administration’s intransigence is particularly disturbing in light of clear evidence of PCB leakage from light ballasts in schools built or substantially renovated between 1950 and 1978.

February 19, 2011
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Supporting Businesses Adversely Affected by the Closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital

On Saturday, February 12, 2011, I joined New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler and the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC) in kicking off “Love the Village,” a day-long shopping event that encouraged the public to shop and explore businesses hurt by the loss of St. Vincent’s Hospital.

February 14, 2011
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Supporting the Clinton Commons Affordable Housing Development

On January 26, 2011, I submitted testimony to the New York City Planning Commission in support of the proposed Clinton Commons development on West 52nd Street.  I applaud Manhattan Community Board 4's strong advocacy during the review process which compelled the developers to identify and adopt a mechanism that will preserve the development's affordability in the long-term.  Clinton Commons' progressive cooperative housing structure will open the door to home ownership for countless generations of moderate and middle-income New Yorkers for whom there are currently few adequate housing options, and will help keep Clinton/Hell's Kitchen a diverse, dynamic and vibrant neighborhood.

File: 
Duane Clinton Commons CPC Testimony.pdf

January 27, 2011
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Testifying Against the Co-Location of a Charter Elementary School at the Brandeis Campus

On January 25, I submitted testimony at a joint hearing of the New York City Department of Education (DOE), the Community School District 3 (D3) Community Education Council (CEC3) and school leadership teams strongly opposing the DOE's proposal to co-locate a new Success Academy Charter School (SACS) with five existing high schools within the Brandeis Educational Campus (145 West 84 Street).  I echoed the concerns of the D3 community that SACS would preclude the campus from accommodating much-needed additional high school seats; prove extremely disruptive to the building's existing schools; place elementary students at risk among older students; require costly retrofitting of the building for younger students, and reduce individual schools' flexibility in moving, exchangi

File: 
DuaneTestimony on Upper West Success.pdf

January 26, 2011
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Reiterating the Need for a Hospital on Manhattan's Lower West Side

In light of the decision by the judge handling the St. Vincent's Hospital bankruptcy case to approve St. Vincent's retention of a real estate advisor, I joined New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and our other local elected officials in sending a strongly-worded letter to St. Vincent's Chief Restructuring Officer Mark Toney regarding the disposition of the properties.  Since, regrettably, we have not heard from Mr. Toney, our primary contact with St. Vincent's, in quite some time, we reached out to him to reiterate the necessity of restoring a full acute care hospital and a 24-hour emergency room on Manhattan's Lower West Side.

January 20, 2011
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Serving on Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Task Force

On January 5, 2011, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order creating the Medicaid Redesign Team.  New York’s Medicaid program provides health insurance coverage to almost one in four New Yorkers, and costs over $52 billion per year.  The Medicaid Redesign Team is charged with conducting a comprehensive review of the State’s Medicaid program; making recommendations to the Governor by March 1, 2011 on potential Medicaid spending reductions in the State’s Fiscal Year 2011-12 budget; and issuing a final report at the end of Fiscal Year 2011-2012 on additional short-term reforms and systemic changes to improve quality of care at lower cost. 

January 13, 2011
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Seeking Cost-Efficient Solutions to School Overcrowding

In light of the decision by the judge handling the St. Vincent's Hospital bankruptcy case to approve St. Vincent's retention of a real estate advisor, I joined New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and our other local elected officials in sending a strongly-worded letter to St. Vincent's Chief Restructuring Officer Mark Toney regarding the disposition of the properties.  Since, regrettably, we have not heard from Mr. Toney, our primary contact with St. Vincent's, in quite some time, we reached out to him to reiterate the necessity of restoring a full acute care hospital and a 24-hour emergency room on Manhattan's Lower West Side.

January 12, 2011
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OUR TOWN: Seniors Voice Concerns on SBS and Bike Lanes

Excerpt from Laura Shin's December 22, 2010 Our Town story on the information session State Senator Duane and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) held for senior citizens regarding recent changes on First and Second Avenues.The implementation of Select Bus Service and new bike lanes along First and Second avenues has caused confusion and concern for some pedestrians. The office of State Senator Thomas K. Duane and the Department of Transportation (DOT) held an information session for senior citizens Dec. 21 on the issue.

December 22, 2010
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Submitting Testimony to Protect New York City’s Vulnerable Waterfronts

Comments by New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane andNew York State Assembly Member Richard N. GottfriedRegarding the New York State Sea Level Rise Task ForceDraft Report to the New York State Legislature

December 12, 2010

December 13, 2010
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Moving Forward in the Fight Against Fracking

On December 11, Governor David Paterson vetoed legislation which I co-sponsored that would have established a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in both vertical and horizontal wells throughout New York State until May of 2011.  He also signed an Executive Order requiring the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to reissue a draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on fracking in horizontal wells and subject it to a public comment period in early June.  The latter move effectively delays all fracking in horizontal wells until at least early summer, enabling the State Legislature to develop legislation to comprehensively address the threats fracking poses. 

December 12, 2010
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NYU Faces Opposition To Greenwich Village Expansion

Excerpt from 1010WINS/WCBS 880's December 5, 2010 story on a rally opposing New York University's plan to take more than two acres of City-owned land in  Greenwich Village for its own use.

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) -- About 100 people turned out for a Sunday afternoon rally in Greenwich Village to demand NYU withdraw its application to acquire public land south of Washington Square Park.NYU has asked the city to transfer ownership of the land — currently home to playgrounds, a dog run and community gardens — so they can be used for the university’s expansion plan.

December 6, 2010
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Opposing NYU's Bid to Acquire Public Land South of Washington Square

On December 5, I joined Manhattan Community Board 2 (CB2), the Community Action Alliance on NYU Plan 2031 (CAAN), other elected officials and hundreds of Greenwich Village residents in a rally calling on New York University (NYU) to withdraw its application to acquire more than two acres of City-owned land along Mercer, LaGuardia, Bleecker and West 3rd Streets between Washington Square South and Houston Street.

December 6, 2010
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DNAinfo:Chelsea Seminary Sells Off History to Pay Debts

Excerpt from Tara Kyle's December 2, 2010 DNAinfo story on the General Theological Seminary's sale of several of its historic properties to the Brodsky Organization.

December 3, 2010
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Raising Awareness on World AIDS Day

Every December 1 since 1988, World AIDS Day has been observed around the globe.  As New York State’s only openly-HIV-positive State legislator, and as the representative of a district that has one of the highest rates of known HIV infections in the country, HIV/AIDS is, for me, a daily concern.  However, I recognize the importance of World AIDS Day in helping to bring the HIV/AIDS pandemic – and what each individual can do to bring an end to it – into focus for the wider public.

December 1, 2010
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Advocating for Community Stewardship of Green Spaces Bordering Bike Lanes

After hearing reports that a small vegetable garden planted by a Chelsea resident in a Ninth Avenue bike lane median was removed by a landscaper commissioned by the New York City Parks Department, I and my staff took immediate action to ensure that such plantings not be removed again.  We have had continued dialogue and correspondence with the Parks Department seeking written affirmation of the constituent’s right to plant in that public space.  I am also in the process of organizing a meeting to discuss how the small but much-needed plots of green space created by protected bike lanes can be planted and maintained by community members across the city.  Please see the Chelsea Now story on the issue

November 23, 2010
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Moderating a Panel on Reducing Speeding

On November 19, I moderated a panel entitled “Slower Vehicle Speeds: Healthier New Yorkers” as part of Transportation Alternative’s Stop Speeding Summit, hosted at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.  The summit brought together elected officials and leaders in the fields of transportation policy, public health, medicine, traffic safety and enforcement to discuss innovative traffic safety measures.  The panel that I moderated focused on the use of hospital and 911 call center data to identify streets and intersections that are most dangerous to pedestrians, as well as efforts to synchronize healthy eating and fitness by providing Summer Play Streets near farmers’ markets.  I look forward to continuing to work closely with other elected officials and transpor

November 22, 2010
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Opposing DOE Proposal to Open a Charter Elementary School on Brandeis Campus

On November 19, 2010 I released the following statement in opposition to the New York City Department of Education’s proposal to co-locate a Success Charter Network elementary school with the five high schools currently occupying the Louis D. Brandeis High School campus (145 West 84th Street):

Statement of NYS Senator Thomas K. Duane Re: Proposal to Co-Locate Charter School at Brandeis Campus

November 20, 2010
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Celebrating Victories and Engaging in Civil Disobedience for New York’s Disadvantaged

On November 11, at Voices of Community Advocates and Leaders New York’s (VOCAL NY) 10th Anniversary Gala, I was honored to receive the inaugural Bob Kohler Award in recognition of my work on behalf of people who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, homelessness or incarceration.  This award was especially meaningful not only because of my close partnership with VOCAL NY in securing significant legislative victories but also because the award was named for my friend the late Bob Kohler, who was a legendary progressive activist and champion for New York's least advantaged.  I was also pleased to share the recognition with the organization's other honorees, U.S.

November 12, 2010
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