Tony Avella

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Release: Avella Marks Earth Day by Introducing Battery Recycling Bill

(ALBANY, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella was joined by Eliot Seol, an 11-year-old student from Queens, to introduce a bill (S.4522) that would require New York State to establish a recycling stewardship program for all “single use” batteries. The bill was drafted by Senator Avella, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, after Eliot brought the idea to the Senator’s attention.

April 22, 2015
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Release: Senate Passes Avella's Mute Swan Bill

On Earth Day, State Senator Tony Avella announced that the New York State Senate passed his bill aimed at protecting mute swans.

For the second year in a row, the Senate passed Senator Avella’s bill (S.1555) that would place a two year moratorium on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) plan to completely eradicate New York State’s entire mute swan population. Since DEC announced the controversial plan in 2013, declaring the species “invasive,” it has been met with criticism from animal rights activists and various lawmakers. Senator Avella has led the fight by calling on DEC to rethink their eradication plan and instead implement a non-lethal method for controlling the mute swan population, which currently amounts to 2,200 birds throughout the state.

April 22, 2015
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Release: Avella Denounces Plans for Vacant Whitestone Lot

(QUEENS, NY) State Senator Tony Avella today called on the developer of a vacant lot in Whitestone to immediately abandon recently-announced plans to construct more than 100 townhomes on the property.

Edgestone Group, LLC, which owns the 15-acre lot located at 151-45 6th Road, announced at a meeting Tuesday night that the company plans to build 107 townhouses on the empty site, formerly known as the Bayrock property. This plan would bring a total of 203 new residential units to the neighborhood, nearly four times the number of units that was agreed upon in 2008 when the community board and City Council negotiated a plan for 52 single-family homes to be constructed at the site.

April 22, 2015
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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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EARTH DAY 2015 POSTER CONTEST: DISTRICT 11

Dear Students,Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the New York State Senate’s Earth Day Poster Contest.  This year we received many outstanding posters that exemplify the creativity of the young people in the 11th Senatorial District. Each entry from my District displayed tremendous originality and vision as well as obvious concern for the ecological future of our communities and our state.  I am proud of your work and that of your classmates, and encourage you to continue to study and learn more about the serious challenges that face our environment.I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 Earth Day Poster Contest from my District is: Jiayu Yan3rd GradeP.S. 94Q School

April 10, 2015
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Release: Avella Introduces Bill Prohibiting Import, Possession, Sale or Transport of "Big Five African Species"

(NEW YORK, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella was joined by activists from Friends of Animals, League of Human Voters, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other animal rights groups as he announced the introduction of a bill (S.4686) that would ban the import, possession, sale or transportation in New York of the “Big Five African Species.”

April 8, 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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Photo release: Avella donates matzos for Passover

(FLUSHING, NY) Today, ahead of the Passover holiday beginning, State Senator Tony Avella donated matzos to Temple Beth Sholom in Flushing.

April 2, 2015
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Statement by Senator Tony Avella in Response to NY1 Report Highlighting Lack of Transparency in Public Relations and Strategic Communications Firms’ Dealings with Government Officials

“As Chair of the Ethics Committee, I was shocked to learn that public relations and strategic communications firms are not subject to the same registration and disclosure requirements as lobbyists. The fact of the matter is that these firms are meeting with government officials, all the while advocating their outside clients’ interests.

April 2, 2015
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Release: Avella Applauds Queens Library Budget Meeting

(QUEENS, NY) State Senator Tony Avella today applauded the Queens Public Library for holding its first-ever public budget hearing, cementing a major step in library reform.

March 31, 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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Release: Avella Announces Collegiate Scholarships

(QUEENS, NY) Today, State Senator Tony Avella announced that applications are now being accepted by the New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators for four available 2015 scholarships.

March 27, 2015
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Statement from Senator Tony Avella on DCP's Proposed Zoning Changes

“As the former Chair of Zoning and Franchises, I worked hard, along with my colleagues, community boards and civic groups throughout the city, to rezone as well as create new zoning laws to preserve the residential character of our many unique neighborhoods. 

The changes proposed by the Department of City Planning now pose a serious threat to those efforts which took years, and in some cases decades, to achieve. It is outrageous that the City now wants to undo all of those efforts and destroy the quality of life in these communities.

It is no secret that there is an ever-increasing need for senior and affordable housing in New York City, but weakening the zoning protections citywide is not the solution to this problem.

March 26, 2015
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Release: Avella Calls on MTA to Reopen 3rd Avenue Exit on Whitestone Expressway

(QUEENS, NY) Today, in a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) State Senator Tony Avella criticized the agency for continuing to delay the opening of the 3rd Avenue exit of the Whitestone Expressway.

March 25, 2015
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Release: Avella Obtains Pre-K Information Booklets

(QUEENS, NY) With Pre-K signups now underway across the City, State Senator Tony Avella announced today that  his District Office has a limited number of information booklets containing details about the enrollment process as well as a directory of schools in Queens.

The directories, provided by the New York City Department of Education, contain more than 100 pages of important information about how and where to enroll your child in Pre-K. The booklets include details – such as location, contact information, school features and number of available seats – for every Pre-K site in Queens, broken down by education district. Each pamphlet also contains one application along with instructions on how to properly complete it.

March 23, 2015
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Release: Avella Introduces Bill to Establish State Nursing Scholarship

(QUEENS, NY) State Senator Tony Avella announced today he has introduced a bill (S.4431) in the Senate, authored by Assembly Member Aileen Gunther, that would create a New York State scholarship for nurses looking to pursue an advanced degree in their field and become a teacher.

March 23, 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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