Michael Gianaris

Deputy Majority Leader at New York State Senate

Michael Gianaris

Michael Gianaris

Deputy Majority Leader at New York State Senate

Biography

Senator Michael Gianaris was elected to the State Senate in 2010 with over 81% of the vote after a decade of dedicated public service in the State Assembly. He is the first Greek-American to be elected to office from New York City and has served his community and state with unique effectiveness.

Since joining the Senate, Senator Gianaris has maintained his reputation as a leading reformer in the effort to combat dysfunction in state government, particularly the need for redistricting reform, which the New York Times has called “the real key to reform” in Albany. He led this effort by introducing legislation creating an independent commission to redraw legislative and congressional district lines. His advocacy laid the foundation for other elected officials, including Governor Cuomo, to introduce their own bills supporting redistricting reform.

When State government was brought to a halt due to political gridlock in 2009, Senator Gianaris helped end the stalemate by proposing that it was within the Governor’s constitutional power to appoint a lieutenant governor in case of a vacancy. Senator Gianaris paved the way to end the logjam and refocus the Senate on working on behalf of New Yorkers.

Among his many triumphs in the Legislature, Senator Gianaris’ long-standing supporting of same-sex marriage was key to the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, which took place on June 24, 2011. Senator Gianaris has been a supporter of same-sex marriage throughout his time in both houses of the Legislature.

Senator Gianaris authored important public safety measures, including the state's first major anti-terror law after the September 11th attacks. His Energy Security Act, which has become a national model, strengthens security at New York’s power plants and transmission centers. Senator Gianaris has also been a staunch advocate for consumers, authoring the first-in-the-nation Airline Passenger Bill of Rights law which inspired federal rules that now ensure travelers are treated with respect and dignity while on commercial airplanes.

Senator Gianaris is also an advocate for enhanced environmental protections and the need to reshape New York's energy policy. He wrote the Clean Energy Law, which encouraged the private sector to utilize modern technologies in order to dramatically reduce pollution while increasing productivity. He also held Con Edison accountable for the serious, lengthy blackouts that took place throughout western Queens in 2006, which damaged local businesses and community members’ homes. Thanks to Senator Gianaris’ efforts, Con Ed was forced to pay restitution to all those hurt by the blackouts.

Senator Gianaris’ career in public service began as an aide to Congressman Thomas Manton, and he later served as Governor Mario Cuomo’s Queens County Regional Representative. Until his election to the Assembly in 2000, he served as a Counsel to the Speaker of the Assembly. He also practiced law as a litigator in private practice for several years.

Born in Astoria, Queens, Senator Gianaris is a graduate of the New York City public school system, having attended Public School 84, Junior High School 141 and Long Island City High School. He then attended Fordham University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Economics and Political Science and went on to receive his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Overview
RelSci Relationships

402

Number of Boards

1

Birthday

1970 - Queens, New York

Age

49

Number of Awards

1

Relationships
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Senator from the 45th District at New York State Senate

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Senator from the 54th District at New York State Senate

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Senator from the 4th District at New York State Senate

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Majority Leader at New York State Senate

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Representative from the 52nd District at New York State Assembly

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Director at Cornell University - New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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Former State Senator from 42nd District at New York State Senate

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Partner at Klein, Calderoni & Santucci, LLP

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Representative at Office of the Representative from New York's 13th District, Adriano Espaillat

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Michael Gianaris
Deputy Majority Leader at New York State Senate
Education
J.D.

Harvard Law School offers an energetic and creative learning environment, a diverse and dedicated faculty—whose expertise spans a broad array of legal subjects—and a student body that comes from every state in the U.S. and more than 70 countries around the world. Approximately 1,900 students attend HLS each year: 1,680 J.D. students, 160 LL.M. students, and 50 S.J.D. candidates. The faculty includes more than 100 full-time professors and more than 150 visiting professors, lecturers on law, and instructors. The curriculum features more than 260 courses and seminars that cover a broad range of traditional and emerging legal fields. A Harvard Law education prepares students for success in law practice, business, public service, teaching, and more. Most HLS students are pursuing a J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree, while many others are earning an LL.M. (Master of Laws) or the S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science). Harvard Law School also offers many joint degree programs, coordinated programs, and concurrent degree opportunities with other schools within Harvard University. The Law School community is also home to numerous research programs and engaging publications, including books, scholarly periodicals, newsletters, and a weekly student newspaper.

Bachelor's Degree in Economics & Political Science, summa cum laude

Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university based in New York City, United States. It was founded by the Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841 as St. John's College, placed in the care of the Society of Jesus shortly thereafter, and has since become an independent institution under a lay board of trustees, which describes the University as "in the Jesuit tradition." Fordham is composed of ten constituent colleges, four of which are for undergraduates and six of which are for postgraduates. It enrolls approximately 15,000 students across three campuses in New York State: Rose Hill in the Bronx, Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and Westchester in West Harrison. In addition to these campuses, the University maintains a study abroad center in the United Kingdom and field offices in Spain and South Africa. Fordham awards the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, as well as various master's and doctoral degrees.

Career History
Deputy Majority Leader
2011 - Current

The New York State Senate, under the State's first Constitution which was adopted in 1777, consisted of 24 members, elected from and by the freeholders of the state possessing one hundred pounds over and above all indebtedness. The members were apportioned among four great districts and were chosen for four-year terms, the length of the first term to be decided after the election, by lot, with the terms of six members expiring each year. An additional Senator was to be added to each district whenever it was shown, by a septennial census, that the number of electors within the district had increased one twenty-fourth. The maximum number to which the Senate could be increased was placed at 100. When, after the census of 1795, the number of Senators had been increased to 43, the rule was found to be unequal in its operation and, in 1801, the Constitution was amended fixing the number at 32.

State Assemblyman
2001 - 2011

The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of New York. The Assembly is composed of 150 members representing an equal amount of districts, with each district having an average population of 127,000. Assembly members serve two-year terms without term limits.

Boards & Committees
Political Donations
$2,000
2006

Senior Policy Adviser at Squire Sanders LLP

Political Donations Received
Awards & Honors
Rank #87
2012
City & State - New York City Power 100
Other Affiliations
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