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."
August 2, 2017. I support the 1800 members of the IBEW Local 3, who are on strike. These deserve and need a fair contract from Charter/Spectrum now.
June 23, 2017. It was a pleasure to speak to the graduating 8th graders at Astoria's 30th Avenue School-Q300.
June 14, 2017. Teamed up with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and succeeded in getting Assembly passage of the Fair Access to Fertility Treatment Act. The bill would give people struggling with infertility better access to IVF, the best available treatment and would end discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation.
June 4, 2017. Showing off our Queens Pride, celebrating LGBT rights victories and recommitting to the fight for the NYS Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act.
May 30, 2017. These are the 8th graders in the Honors English class at I.S. 141 who participated in my Black History Essay Contest and wrote about black figures they admire the most. The winners, seated next to me in the front row are: Constantina Terzidi, Alexander Ram and Madison Moreno (from left to right).
May 30, 2017. This morning I had the pleasure of reading "The Talking Eggs" to a class of delightful third graders at Astoria's P.S. 70.
May 19, 2017. It was a pleasure to talk with these great kids who came for a visit to learn about elected office and government service. All of them are either President or VP of their class at I.S. 141 the Steinway School.
May 8, 2017. It was a pleasure to be a part of the first-ever Queens Day in Albany and meet with hundreds of business and civic leaders. These are the folks who everyday help our community to thrive.
April 25, 2017. Happy to address advocates from RESOLVE The National Infertility Association. They were in Albany to build support for passage of my bill, A2646, which will expand insurance coverage for infertility.
Simotas and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Hosted a Women's History Luncheon and Honored 3 local Women for their Outstanding Contributions to the Western Queens Community. Pictured from left to right: Honoree Ann Bruno; Honoree Claudia Coger; Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; Assemblymember Aravella Simotas; Honoree Mackenzi Farquer. April 21, 2017
We marched up 5th Avenue on a cold and windy day. But nothing could dampen the joy of celebrating the 196th year since Greece declared its independence form Ottoman rule. March 26, 2017
I had the honor of welcoming dignitaries and other guests to the reception in the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel, before the Greek Independence Day parade kicked off on 5th Avenue. March 26, 2017