November 14, 2018. I stand with my neighbors and other lawmakers to oppose the city and state deal to bring Amazon HQ2 to Long Island City. This deal does not pass the smell test, in fact it stinks. Honesty and fair dealing demand that we do not secretly promise the richest man on earth massive public benefits.
October 26, 2018. For 25 years @AKTINA FM has been fighting for justice for Cyprus & bettering the Queens Greek community through its great bi-lingual radio programs and today it received the honor of having an Astoria street - 27 St. bet. 23 and 24 Aves - co-named "AKTINA FM Way. Congratulations to the founder and president, Elena Maroulleti.
October 23, 2018. Astoria Park really is the jewel of our community. It was a beautiful day for ground breaking on $30 million in projects to upgrade and renovate the park, with Councilmembers Costa Constantinides and Barry Grodenchik, Florence Koulouris, District Manager of Community Board 1, Queens and the NYC Department of Parks.
October 20, 2018. It was a pleasure to attend the gala dinner of Cretan Association Omonoia on the occasion of their 100th Anniversary and to present an Assembly Proclamation recognizing their service to the Greek community in New York City and their preservation of Cretan culture. (With Senator Michael Gianaris, Maria Koudellou and Panagiotis Rodamis.)
October 16, 2018. I know from personal experience that nurses are the backbone of healthcarehappy to speak at the NYS Nurses Association Inter-Regional Meeting on what the legislature is doing to provide nurses with the resources they need to continue their great work.
October 6, 2018. Its always an honor to join the Federation of Italian-American Organizations of Queens at their annual Columbus Day Parade in Astoria and recognize the many contributions of Italian-Americans to our community.
October 3, 2018. Greek homeowners are one of the reasons Astoria still retains its small town friendliness and charm. I was glad to be able to discuss community issues with their homeowners association.
October 2, 2018. Thank you to visionary Executive Director Sheila Lewandowski and the entire board of The Chocolate Factory Theater for giving artists a place to develop and showcase their talent. It was a privilege to tour their new space with my colleagues Assemblymembers Daniel J. O'Donnell and Catherine Nolan.
July 3, 2018. Glad I could greet Yeni Gonzalez, a Guatemalan immigrant who was separated from her children for 6 weeks after crossing the border in Arizona. Queens residents organized a fundraising drive and raised enough money to pay her bond and drive her to NYC where she’s now been able to see her children.
June 30, 2018. I hosted seven winners of my annual Women’s History Drawing Contest. The children, from PS 84, PS 122 and PS 70, were treated to cookies and juice and each received a NYS Assembly Certificate of Merit.
June 24, 2018. I had a blast visiting Astoria’s HANAC JVL Senior Center and talking about the summer, community issues and upcoming federal primary election.
June 22, 2018. It was my pleasure to congratulate the graduates at Queens PS 70 on reaching this milestone in their education and to applaud the families and teachers whose dedication helped them to succeed.
May 24, 2018. I had the pleasure of visiting I.S. 10 the Horace Greeley School in Astoria and conferring Assembly Citations on the four winners of the Black History Month Essay Contest that I sponsor every year. Seventeen other 8th graders who participated in the contest were given Certificates of Merit. Pictured with me from left to right are the school Principal, Clemente Lopes and the winners Andy Hernandez, Crystal Lozada, Rubaiah Hussain and Fahad Khan.
May 11, 2018. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and I held our annual celebration of women’s’ history and honored three extraordinary Queens women for their contributions to community service: Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, the founder and head of Hour Children, an organization that helps incarcerated women and their children; Marie Torniali who heads the Central Astoria LDC and Queens Community Board 1; and Sadete Mujovic, a dedicated educator who has developed innovative programs at the Muslim American Society of Queens to help families and children.
April 23, 2018. Standing in the Assembly chamber to debate my bill to strengthen the definition of rape to ensure justice for survivors. Grateful it passed the Assembly. Hoping the Senate will act.
April 22, 2018. It was a gorgeous day to march up 5th Avenue in Manhattan, celebrating Greek culture and 197 years of Greek Independence.
March 23, 2018. It was a pleasure to join fellow Astorians for our annual celebration of Greek Independence Day. I co-hosted the event with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, state Senator Michael Gianaris and city Councilmember Costa Constantinides and we honored 4 Greeks for their contributions to civic life. Pictured from left to right: Senator Gianaris, honoree Nassau County DA Madeline Singas, Assemblymember Simotas, honoree Despina Galatoulas, a public school teacher, honoree Olga Alexakos, the Founder of the Association of Greek American Professional Women (AGAPW), Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilmember Constantinides. Honoree Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece is not pictured.
March 19, 2018. I met with members of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) who were in Albany to discuss education issues and budget priorities with legislators. A good education can unlock countless doors and I'm glad we were able to increase education funding by 3.9% in the 2018-2019 state budget.
March 9, 2018. I announced new legislation to provide tax relief to any small business in New York that is hurt by state and local infrastructure projects, like the MTA's Enhanced Station Initiative.
March 3, 2018. It was a pleasure to attend the Pancyprian Women's Issues Network Dinner where we honored the District Attorney of Nassau County Madeline Singas.
February 26, 2018. I spoke with Rayvin Bleu from Spectrum/NY1 News about the MTA's illegal billboard hanging on the Astoria Boulevard elevation subway station. It is nearly 30% larger than allowed and it's a dangerous distraction for drivers.
February 15, 2018. Senator Kemp Hannon and I held a news conference highlighting our bill to advance the rights of sexual assault survivors and to preserve rape kits for 20 years.
February 8, 2018. Along with residents and other Astoria officials at a Ditmars Boulevard subway station rally. Calling on the MTA to fix the signals, improve service and make stations accessible.
February 6, 2018. I had a news conference in Albany, with Senator Brad Holyman, to urge passage of our bill to prevent child poisonings by mandating safer packaging of toxic laundry pods.
January 4, 2018. I secured a million dollars in funding to contribute to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital's expansion of three critical units: Cardiac and Critical Care, Pediatric Emergency Room and Interventional Radiology.
December 16, 2017. Once again people opened their hearts and donated over a hundred warm coats to the annual drive I'm happy to co-sponsor with fellow elected officials.
December 15, 2017. Announcing the happy news that the state Department of Transportation will no longer detour big trucks off the highway and onto Astoria Blvd, where they plague the neighborhood with noise and pollution.
December 4, 2017. Spreading holiday cheer at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in MacManus Memorial Park, with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, state Senator Michael Gianaris, Councilmember Costa Constantinides and the United Community Civic Association.
November 30, 2017. Look who visited my office -- a pack of Webelos Scouts from Astoria's Pack 90. They're preparing to move up to Boy Scouts next year and needed to meet with a public figure for a badge requirement. What a great bunch of kids!"
November 28, 2017. I taped the Hanac Helpline TV show to discuss community and legislative issues. It aired on New Greek TV on December 3rd.
October 16, 2017. With my Assembly colleague Nily Rozic, I was a guest speaker at a "Women Making It Work" breakfast hosted by attorney Alex Berke, founder of the Pregnancy Project. The attendees had some great questions about Albany politics and the intersection between advocacy and lawmaking.
September 25, 2017. Participating in the Assembly Taskforce on Women's Issues and Childcare Workgroup discussion on ensuring adequate funding and support for child care. Reliable child care is critical to keeping New York families employed. Reliable child care has been shown to promote positive child development and educational outcomes in later years.
September 14, 2017. I co-sponsored a free seminar in Astoria, with the Berke-Weiss law firm's Pregnancy Project on workplace rights for the modern parent, which provided vital information on paid family leave, how to enroll your baby in health insurance and more.
"September 9, 2017. I helped distribute over 400 free backpacks to school children at a community barbecue and family fun day at the Astoria Houses. The event was sponsored by Muslim American Society (MAS) of Queens and the Islamic Council of North America."
"September 9, 2017. Taking part in the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony at Astoria Park's WW I memorial, where we remembered and honored the brave souls who lost their lives in war and in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack."