Tony Avella's News items

Legislative Gazette: Senator Avella worried about lobbyists in consultants' clothing

According to the new chair of the state Senate's Ethics Committee, Tony Avella, and a recent news report, public relations firms are playing two positions in the field of government influence.

The Queens Democrat says the dual-role these firms are fulfilling is an ethical issue that needs to be addressed.

A member of the breakaway Democrats in the Senate, Avella, is drafting legislation that would hold public relations firms to the same disclosure standards as lobbyists.

Avella released a statement April 2 expressing concern about the possibility that some PR firms may have extra pull over elected officials.

April 14, 2015
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Capital NY: Avella proposes lobbying ban for political consultants

ALBANY—In light of a report that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has met with a political consultant and campaign strategist who also represents organizations that lobby City Hall, State Senator Tony Avella has introduced a bill that would bar lobbyists from also being political consultants.

“If you're a lobbyist, you can't be a campaign consultant because there's an inherent conflict of interest when you have people who are running elected officials' campaigns and then representing clients who are lobbying that same legislator,” Avella, a Queens Democrat, told Capital.

April 10, 2015
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CBS New York: Proposed Bill Would Ban Import, Sale of Five Endangered African Species in NY

Legislation has been introduced in New York that would ban the import, possession, sale or transportation of the remains of five endangered species native to Africa.

State Sen. Tony Avella was joined Wednesday by animal rights advocates on the steps of City Hall to announce the bill, which covers elephants, leopards, lions, black rhinoceroses and white rhinoceroses.

All five species are currently facing extinction and are further threatened by illegal poaching and sport hunting, advocates said.

“We’re supposed to be the stewards of these species and shame on us if we allow them to become extinct because of sport hunting,” Sen. Avella told 1010 WINS.

April 10, 2015
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New York Observer: Senator Says He Will Push Bill to Require More Disclosure From Political Consultants

State Senator Tony Avella, a Queens Democrat, said today he will push legislation that would require disclosure for all political consulting firms that have “substantial contact” with both elected officials and other clients.

April 3, 2015
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TimesLedger: City seeks to modernize rules to bolster affordable housing

Community leaders are up in arms about the city’s plans to update existing zoning regulations to accommodate its affordable housing goals, which they say will undo more than a decade of progress in zoning.

In May, the city released the Housing New York plan, which identified the need for 200,000 affordable housing units over the next decade.

Among the issues identified in the plan is the need to upgrade outdated zoning regulations that impede the production of affordable housing, according to the city Department of City Planning.

“Certain units may be too large at the moment,” said city planner Stephen Everett.

March 31, 2015
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NY1: Queens State Senator Proposes Bill Heightening Charges for Resisting Arrest

A State Senator from Queens wants those who repeatedly resist arrest to face harsher punishment. 

Resisting arrest is, right now, just a misdemeanor.

State Senator Tony Avella has introduced a bill that would allow people who've been charged with resisting arrest twice before to face felony charges the third time, however. 

The felony would be known as "aggravated resisting arrest." 

The previous two charges would have to have happened within the last decade. 

Whether a person is actually charged with the new proposed felony charge would be up to the prosecutor. Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz is introducing the bill in the other chamber.

 

March 23, 2015
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New York Post: State senator proposes harsher penalties for resisting arrest

Resisting arrest will lead to harsher penalties under legislation proposed by a Queens Democrat.

State Sen. Tony Avella is behind a bill that would create a felony charge — “aggravated resisting arrest” — for people who have been convicted of resisting arrest twice in a 10-year period.

The legislation is in response to protests last December following a Staten Island grand jury decision not to charge a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

The bill is based off a letter the Lieutenants Benevolent Association sent to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton in January requesting an “aggravated resisting” charge.

“This helps everybody,” LBA President Louis Turco told The Post. “Civilians don’t get hurt and officers don’t get hurt.”

March 23, 2015
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CBS New York: State Lawmaker Calls For Signage Instructing People Who See Someone On Subway Tracks

A state lawmaker on Monday launched a plan to get the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to put up new subway signage, in an effort to help save lives.

Commuters know the subways can be dangerous – riders can fall or get pushed onto the tracks for waiting a train.

March 17, 2015
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Times Ledger: Senator Avella heads up NYC social services task force

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (D-Nassau) announced last week the new Task Force on the Delivery of Social Services in New York City.

March 16, 2015
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Times Ledger: Senator Avella calls on DEC for probe into Lumber Liquidators

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) called on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation last week to launch an investigation into levels of formaldehyde found in some Chinese-made laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators.

March 13, 2015
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Avella hopes to stop plans of overdevelopment on massive Whitestone vacant sites

Winter may be coming to an end, but state Sen. Tony Avella isn’t planning a warm welcome for anyone who purchases a controversial site in Whitestone if they plan on overdeveloping the property or building something that doesn’t comply with zoning.

The large property, which comprises six acres of vacant land near the intersection of 150th Street and Fifth Avenue, will be up for sale on April 10 in an auction. The site was part of the former Cresthaven Country Club and then was owned by real estate firm Whitestone Jewels LLC, but has been in foreclosure since 2007.

March 11, 2015
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Times Ledger: Flushing Common developers take steps to reduce traffic

Traffic agents, along with a temporary pedestrian walkway, will now surround the Flushing Commons construction site in downtown to Flushing to address pedestrian safety and congestion issues.

January 8, 2015
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Times Ledger - Avella calls for better benefits for non-uniform 9/11 respondents

Glen Oaks resident Arthur Syken was one of the thousands of first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The New York State Division of Housing employee did not hesitate when the agency needed volunteers “to go downtown.” The very next day, he was working at Battery Park City, not far from the epicenter of the attacks. He was there until mid-winter helping displaced people find a place to stay and giving out information from other city and state agencies.

“I saw a lot of sad things,” he said “Unfortunately, I got sick.”

He is suffering from thyroid cancer and has lost 40 percent of his lung capacity.

December 8, 2014
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Queens Chronicle - College Pt. street cleared

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) reports improved conditions on a College Point street that was littered with industrial parts and construction material.

Since bringing it to the public’s attentiion last month, the area around 124th Street and 28th Avenue has been cleared.

December 8, 2014
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Times Ledger - Avella calls on state to reject tax incentives for Willets Point developers

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has called on the state Department of Conservation to reject an application by the developers of Willets Point for millions of dollars in tax credits.

December 8, 2014
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Times Ledger - Homeowners want to put end to unsolicited real estate offers

They want the phone calls, the mail and the notes at the door to stop.

Homeowners in Queens are tired of receiving unsolicited offers to sell their homes from real estate agents, a headache that started in 2009 when the borough was no longer designated a “cease and desist” area, which allowed residents to be included in an “opt-out” list from getting these solicitations.

“We must have this protection and opt out,” said Ken Winslow, who lived in Jamaica Estates for the past 47 years. “This is just not proper.”

To tackle this problem, property owners reached out to state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who promised to introduce legislation next January to put an end to the unwanted real estate solicitations.

December 8, 2014
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State Senate Resolutions Honor Six War Veterans

NY1 VIDEO: State Senator Tony Avella held a ceremony Monday honoring six Vietnam and Korean War veterans with New York State Senate resolutions. - See more at: http://queens.ny1.com/content/news/218719/state-senate-resolutions-honor...

November 25, 2014
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CBS 2 News: Flushing Commons Construction Causes Traffic, Pedestrian Pains

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Flushing Commons will eventually bring open space, housing and retail to downtown Flushing, but right now, construction is creating a problem for pedestrians and drivers alike.

November 25, 2014
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Queens Chronicle: Avella honors veterans

 

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) commemorated Veterans Day by honoring six Queens residents for their service during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

“We must never forget the courage and sacrifice of those who have served our great country. It is through their dedication that the ideals of democracy are protected at home throughout the world,” Avella said. “Their commitment and valor is the embodiment of patriotism, and these veterans have each earned our highest respect.”

November 14, 2014
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Queens Chronicle: Avella decries DEC plan

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) is calling on the state Department of Environmental Conservation to deny the Queens Development Group’s application for Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credits on its Willets Point Phase One property.About a year ago, the QDG entered a contract with the city Economic Development Corp., which requires the QDG to clean up the property. As part of the plan, the developer received a capital grant commitment of taxpayer funds for $99 million, of which $40 million is intended to pay the cleanup costs.

November 14, 2014
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