About Michael Gianaris

Chair, Democratic Conference

Democrat Democrat

District 12


New York State Senator Michael Gianaris (D) was elected to the State Senate in 2010 after having served for 10 years in the State Assembly. The first Greek-American to be elected to office from New York City, Senator Gianaris serves as the Chair of the Democratic Conference and represents the Queens neighborhoods of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Woodhaven, Ridgewood, and Astoria where he was born and still resides.


As the son of parents who came to the U.S. from Greece, Senator Gianaris is a leader in efforts to protect immigrants including authorizing legislation to add immigration status to the list of protected classes in New York. Representing among the most diverse communities on the planet, he fought against Trump’s illegal travel ban and spoke out against the surge of hate crimes during and after the 2016 election.


Throughout his tenure in public service, Senator Gianaris has been a champion for social justice. He is a leading voice on many of today’s most pressing issues including criminal justice reform. Senator Gianaris is the author of legislation that would eliminate cash bail in the state of New York and wrote legislation to create an Innocence Commission to review wrongful convictions. He sponsored numerous laws protecting children against sexual predators and wrote many key provisions of the NY Safe Act, the strongest gun safety law in the country. Senator Gianaris was also instrumental in the state’s passage of marriage equality.


Senator Gianaris is a tireless government reformer. He has long been a champion for campaign finance reform, introducing bills to lower campaign contribution limits and prevent public reimbursements of campaign accounts for legislators accused of corruption. As a consumer advocate, Senator Gianaris led the effort to secure compensation from Con Edison for those harmed during severe blackouts, and drafted New York’s first-in-the-nation Airline Passenger Bill of Rights law.


Among his many accomplishments, Senator Gianaris authored New York’s first major anti-terror law after 9/11, which safeguarded New York’s power plants from possible attacks. Additionally, Senator Gianaris introduced the MTA Security Act to ensure the safety and security of our public transit system. 


Prior to taking his seat in the New York State Senate, Gianaris served the public as a member of the New York State Assembly, an aide to Congressman Thomas Manton, the Queens County Regional Representative to Governor Mario Cuomo, and as a Counsel to the Speaker of the NYS Assembly.


Senator Gianaris is a graduate of the New York City public school system. He graduated from Fordham University with a degree in Economics and Political Science and received his law degree from Harvard Law School. For several years, Senator Gianaris practiced law as a litigator in private practice.