Gotham Gazette

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Michael Gianaris

Michael Gianaris

  • There's a Lot of Finger-Pointing Around New York Redistricting; What Actually Happened?

    Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders, 2013 (photo: Governor's Office)


    Democrats in New York are stinging from a rough 2022 election showing in which they lost several congressional seats to Republicans, potentially costing the party control of the U.S. House of Representatives. As they assign blame, many have pointed to a tumultuous redistricting precipitated by a broken state process, state legislative leaders who overreached in trying to draw overly partisan lines, a Court of Appeals that ruled in favor of Republicans, and former Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose

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  • Democrats Keep Wide State Senate Majority, with Two Races Undecided

    Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins & Deputy Leader Gianaris (photo: NYS Senate Photography)


    New York Democrats are poised to retain a comfortable majority in the State Senate but could lose the supermajority they have held since the 2020 elections.

    Senate Democrats headed into the general election with 42 members in the 63-seat legislative chamber, and needed to hold on to that number to keep their supermajority. Republicans held 20 seats, while one that was most recently held by a Democrat was vacant.

    On Wednesday, with most votes tallied, Democrats were victorious in at least 40

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Democratic Campaign Chair Michael Gianaris on State Senate Battlegrounds

    State Senate Deputy Leader & Campaign Chair Michael Gianaris (photo: Office of Senator Gianaris)


    November 7, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Democratic Campaign Chief Michael Gianaris on State Senate Races

    State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, the Chair of the New York Democratic Senate Committee, joined the show to discuss the State Senate battleground races and Democrats' hopes for keeping their supermajority.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You

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  • Bail Reform Remains at Center of New York Political Debate But State Legislature has Never Held a Hearing On It

    Outside Rikers Island (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    New York State’s sweeping bail reform law first went into effect in January 2020 and has been subsequently amended twice since then in response to widespread opposition from law enforcement, Republican officials, and some moderate and conservative Democrats. Since its first passage -- through three consecutive legislative sessions and into this statewide election year -- bail reform has been a highly contentious issue, with heated political rhetoric often outpacing facts.

    It is now among the top issues Republicans are focused on in

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  • After This Year’s Debacle, What’s Next for New York State Redistricting?

    In the State Legislature (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders did not intend to hand map-drawing power to the courts when, in 2012, they hashed out a state constitutional amendment that recast the decennial redistricting process. Nor did they envision, after months of contentious public debate and closed-door negotiations, that the first pass at the new system would result in a hastily-organized, bifurcated election season with two major primaries taking place separately in a single summer.

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  • 'State Government is More Important Than It's Ever Been': Senator Gianaris on Upheaval at New York's Top Court, Redistricting, Bail Reform, & More

    State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (photo: NYS Senate Photography)


    New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris has been a key figure in the Democratic takeover of the State Senate, and thus all of state government as of 2019, and in negotiating budget and legislative decisions on a wide variety of issues. That has included state action to counteract recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court on abortion rights and New York’s gun laws.

    Gianaris, a Queens Democrat who represents the 12th State Senate District, has also been taking on New York’s highest court, the Court of

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris on the Court of Appeals, Gun Control, & More

    Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (photo: NYS Senate Photography)


    July 12, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris on the Court of Appeals, Gun Control, & More

    State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, joined the show to discuss upheaval at the New York Court of Appeals, redistricting, bail reform, gun control, the upcoming State Senate elections, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the

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  • No Movement on Failed Voting Amendments After New York Democrats Vowed to Try Again

    Voters at the polls (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    After the stunning defeat of two voting-related state constitutional amendments on the ballot last fall, Democrats vowed to reinitiate the multi-year process this legislative session in Albany. But no state lawmaker appears to have introduced legislation this year to amend the New York constitution to allow for same-day voter registration and universal absentee voting, raising the possibility that they may not act at all.

    Barring a

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  • The Developing 2022 Race for New York Attorney General

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    NY AG Letitia James is vacating the position to run for Governor (photo: AG's office)


    UPDATE: On December 9, 2021 New York Attorney General Letitia James dropped out of the race for Governor and announced her intention to seek reelection as Attorney General in the 2022 election.

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    With current New York Attorney General Letitia James launching a campaign to be the next governor, the race to fill her seat is attracting a growing swell of candidates.

    James, a Democrat elected in 2018, was planning to run for reelection and would

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  • A 'Machiavellian Manipulator': Michael Gianaris on Andrew Cuomo's Downfall and What's Next

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    Senator Michael Gianaris (photo: NYS Senate)


    Last week, with New York’s executive branch embroiled in scandal and former Governor Andrew Cuomo set to resign, State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris appeared on Gotham Gazette’s Max Politics Podcast to reflect on Cuomo’s reign and resignation, the political dynamics of Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul taking over as the state’s first woman governor, and policy

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  • The Major Challenges and Decisions Facing Kathy Hochul as She Becomes Governor of New York

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    Incoming Governor Kathy Hochul (photo: governor's office)


    Kathy Hochul will become New York’s 57th governor on Tuesday, and the first woman ever to hold the position, as disgraced Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation goes into effect and he hands over the reins of state government. Hochul, who has been Cuomo’s lieutenant governor since 2015, will take over the complicated machinery and immense power of state government. She will face no shortage of challenges as she assumes authority over an executive chamber mired in scandal and a state

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Michael Gianaris on Andrew Cuomo's Resignation and What's Ahead in New York Politics

    Senator Michael Gianaris on Post-Cuomo New York Politics

    Senator Michael Gianaris (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)


    August 20, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Michael Gianaris on Post-Cuomo New York Politics

    State Senator Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat and deputy leader of the State Senate, joined the show to discuss Governor Andrew Cuomo's downfall and reign, what's next in New York state politics, legislative priorities and dynamics, his own political future, and much more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know

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  • Getting Back to Our Roots: End the Influence of Multinational Corporations in New York Elections

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    Wall Street (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    For the framers of our Constitution, the desire to free themselves from corruption by foreign powers was central to their debates at the hot summer in Philadelphia that gave structure to what became the oldest surviving democracy. But the threat of foreign influence, and corruption--the struggle for self-determination, self-representation, and freedom from outside influence--continues. 

    That struggle is epitomized by unlimited campaign spending by corporations and wealthy

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  • To Build Back Better, New York Should Build Public Renewables

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    (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    A state with the nation’s most ambitious climate justice goals and a White House and Congress promising historic investment in green infrastructure should be a match made in heaven. If we act quickly and pass the New York Build Public Renewables Act, we can make the most of this historic opportunity to rebuild our energy system and economy, and ensure the historic targets we set in 2019 on eradicating carbon emissions and environmental racism become reality.

    The New York Build Public

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  • Mass New York Voter Enfranchisement Awaits a Stroke of the Governor’s Pen

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    Voters would have less hassle registering under AVR (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Following the widespread problems in the execution of this year’s elections, it’s clear we need to transform New York’s voting systems from top to bottom. From restoring confidence in the Board of Elections to reducing long lines and wait times counting ballots, lawmakers must take action now to prevent another disaster the next time New Yorkers vote. Thankfully, there is one important fix that can be done immediately: enacting the Automatic Voter Registration legislation that passed the

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  • The State of Play in the State Senate as the 2020 Election Moves to Counting Absentee Ballots

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    The New York State Senate chambers (photo: NY Senate)


    Though hundreds of thousands of votes across New York are still to be counted and many races are not yet called, it appears certain that Democrats will retain the majority in the State Senate that they won two years ago, and by a fairly wide margin. But, Republicans seem poised to regain several seats in the chamber to narrow what has been an exceptionally wide 40-23 seat margin and keep Democrats from expanding it to ...

  • After Large Participation and Long Lines in 2020, What Changes Could Improve Early Voting in the Future?

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    A long early voting line (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City's first early voting period in a presidential general election saw 1.1 million in-person votes cast, hours of waiting across the city, and the threat of a court challenge to expand voting options. Experts and administrators didn't know exactly what to expect because of the unprecedented confluence of the coronavirus pandemic, universal absentee voting, and Trump-era political zeal.

    The results point to a number of potential changes that could improve the option in the

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  • Democrats Eye Supermajority, Republicans Look to Regain Seats: The 2020 New York State Senate Battle

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    Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (photo: NY Senate)


    Two years ago, Democrats won a majority in the New York State Senate for the first time in eight years, winning full control of the state Legislature and the governor’s office and allowing them to pursue a raft of progressive legislation that had stalled under Republican obstruction. As the New York GOP has continued to diminish since that election, including another wave of retirements among state senators, and as President Donald Trump remains unpopular in the state, Democrats now see an opportunity to

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Gianaris on Next Steps in New York's Recovery

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    State Senator Michael Gianaris (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris' office)


    September 23, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Gianaris on Next Steps in New York's Recovery

    State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens joined the show to discuss next steps in reopening the New York economy, how the State Senate Democratic majority is thinking about addressing the state and city fiscal crises, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter ...

  • A Peak Opportunity to Turn the Corner and Invest in Our Green New York Future

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    Pushing for a climate plan (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    From Superstorm Sandy to Tropical Storm Isaías, climate change threatens all New Yorkers. That policymakers have largely not acted on this threat in a meaningful way is a profound failure. Now is the time to rectify that lack of action.

    In New York at least, our new Democratic State Senate majority took power in 2019 and answered the call. Our Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) is a nation-leading effort to fight back, putting our state on track for net zero

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Michael Gianaris on 'Canceling Rent' & Other Responses to the Coronavirus Crisis

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    State Senator Michael Gianaris (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris/flickr)


    April 15, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Michael Gianaris on 'Canceling Rent' & State Senate Priorities

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    State Senator Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat who is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, joined the show to discuss his push to

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  • State Senate Set to Move Automatic Registration Amid Early 2020 Voting Package

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    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    State lawmakers are poised to make a second attempt at launching the process to legalize automatic voter registration for eligible New Yorkers who interact with certain government agencies.

    Mirroring the auspicious beginning of the 2019 session, which in the first weeks saw a historic spate of voting reforms passed by the new two-house Democratic majority, lawmakers say another package of election bills, including automatic voter registration (AVR), is likely to

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  • Legislature Evaluates Inaugural Early Voting Period in New York, Looks Ahead to Daunting 2020 Election Year

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    (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris)


    At post-election oversight hearings in New York, where voting is perennially plagued by episodes of malfunction and inefficiency, it is not common to hear politicians praise election administrators. But praise for both the city and state boards of elections was one of the overriding themes of a Wednesday hearing held by state legislators, convened to examine the inaugural implementation of early voting in New York State.

    As officials commended both bodies’ efforts to adjust to a slew of new voting reforms in a short 10-month

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris on Gun Control, Queens Politics & More

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    Senator Gianaris with activists (photo: @SenGianaris)


    August 7, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris on Gun Control, Queens Politics & More

    mike gianaris wbai inset pxState Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris of Queens joined the show to discuss gun control laws that have been passed in New York, what is ahead for state

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  • A Closer Look at Albany Democrats’ Compromise on Bail Reform

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    (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    At a Sunday press conference, following his overnight announcement of a $175.5 billion budget deal, Governor Andrew Cuomo heralded a criminal justice reform agreement with the Legislature, and thanked one member of the Assembly in

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