Michael Gianaris

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Mike Gianaris
Mike Gianaris.jpg
Member of the New York Senate
from the 12th district
Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Preceded byGeorge Onorato
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 36th district
In office
January 1, 2001 – December 31, 2010
Preceded byDenis Butler
Succeeded byAravella Simotas
Personal details
Born (1970-04-23) April 23, 1970 (age 49)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Clare Cusack (Divorced)
EducationFordham University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
WebsiteState Senate website

Michael N. Gianaris (born April 23, 1970)[1] is an American politician from Queens, New York. He represents New York's 12th State Senate district, which includes the Queens neighborhoods of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and parts of Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Woodhaven. He is the second Greek-American to be elected to the New York State Legislature after Dean Skelos.

Early life and education[edit]

Gianaris was born in Astoria and is the son of Nicholas and Magdalene Gianaris. He graduated from New York City public schools P.S. 84, Junior High School 141 and Long Island City High School. He received a B.A. summa cum laude in economics and political science from Fordham University and earned a law degree from Harvard Law School.[2]

In 2000, he was elected to the New York State Assembly. Gianaris had previously served as Associate Counsel to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, Governmental Operations, Veterans Affairs, and Agriculture and Markets of the Assembly, and also served as an aide to former Queens Congressman Thomas Manton, an aide to former Governor Mario Cuomo's Queens County Regional Representative, and as a member of Queens Community Planning Board 1 and Legal Counsel to the United Community Civic Association.

In September 2007, he was named one of City Hall's "40 under 40" for being a young influential member of New York City politics.[3] He is divorced and resides in Astoria.[1]

New York State Senate[edit]

In 2010, Senator George Onorato decided not to seek re-election, and Gianaris was nominated to replace him.[4] In a strongly Democratic district, Gianaris was elected easily, and has never faced a serious re-election.

In 2018, Gianaris was seen[by whom?] as the architect in helping to eliminate the Independent Democratic Conference and in creating a roadmap for Democrats to take the majority in the state Senate, which was successful. Following their ascent to the majority, Gianaris was named Deputy Majority Leader.[5]

Gianaris supports bail reform and elimination of cash bail.[6] He has introduced a bill which would give judges three options in lieu of cash bail: release on recognizance, conditional monitored release, or remand to a correctional facility.[7]

Gianaris introduced legislation to automatically register eligible voters otherwise interacting with state government, something which is already implemented in 14 states and Washington, D.C., including in states such as California, Alaska, and West Virginia. He also has proposed allowing "eligible voters to register and cast a ballot on Election Day". It would require amending the state constitution.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Legislative Preview: Meet The New Members". The Capitol. Manhattan Media. January 6, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Michael Gianaris: Biography". New York State Senate. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  3. ^ Rising Stars 40 Under 40: Michael Gianaris Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine, City & State, September 17, 2007.
  4. ^ "Our Campaigns - NY State Senate 12 Race - Nov 02, 2010". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  5. ^ d_evers (2019-01-08). "State Sen. Michael Gianaris has big plans for 2019". CSNY. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  6. ^ "Momentum Builds For Ending Cash Bail System That Punishes The Poor". Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Senator Gianaris Calls to End Cash Bail Following Pedro Hernandez Case - NY State Senate". www.nysenate.gov. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  8. ^ Wilson, Reid. "New York's election laws come under attack by Dems". The Hill. Retrieved 21 November 2018.

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Denis J. Butler
New York State Assembly, 36th District
Succeeded by
Aravella Simotas
New York State Senate
Preceded by
George Onorato
New York State Senate, 12th District