Tony Avella

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Tony Avella
Tony Avella Official Headshot.jpg
Member of the New York Senate
from the 11th district
Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Preceded by Frank Padavan
Constituency Queens
Member of the New York City Council from the 19th District
In office
January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2009
Preceded by Michael Abel
Succeeded by Dan Halloran
Constituency Queens: Bayside, College Point, Auburndale, Beechhurst, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Robinwood; parts of Flushing, Douglaston, Little Neck, Glen Oaks
Personal details
Born (1951-10-27) October 27, 1951 (age 66)[1]
Astoria, Queens[1]
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Judith Cashman
Residence Whitestone, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Hunter College
Profession politician
Website Official website

Anthony Avella Jr. (born October 27, 1951)[1] is an American politician and Democratic State Senator from the 11th New York Senate district. Avella was a member of the New York City Council from the borough of Queens from 2002 to 2009. He represented the 19th Council District, which includes the mostly affluent neighborhoods of College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Floral Park, Beechhurst, Malba and Auburndale. Avella is a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, an alliance of politicians who run as Democrats, but support Republican leadership once elected.[2]

Avella served as the Chair of the Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee and was a member of five other Council committees: Higher Education, Housing and Buildings, Fire and Criminal Justice Services, Land Use, and Veterans. He was the founder and Chair of the first Italian-American Caucus of the Council. He opted not to run for a third term of the City Council (which was allowed by a bill passed in early 2009), in order to run in the 2009 Democratic primary for mayor of New York City. He received publicity for his stances in favor of animal rights[3] and against overdevelopment, but was defeated by Bill Thompson.[4]

He is a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York. A lifelong Queens resident, he currently resides in Whitestone with his wife, Judith Cashman.[5]

On November 2, 2010, Avella defeated incumbent district 11 New York State Senator Frank Padavan.[6] On November 26. 2012, Avella announced he would enter the race for Queens Borough President.[7] On August 14, 2013, he dropped out of the race.[8]

Senator Avella announced that he will run for Mayor of New York in 2017 for a second time. On May 4, 2017, Senator Avella announced that he was suspending his campaign for Mayor saying, "I will continue to be the State Senator from Queens and represent the interests of Queens in Albany where I was able to get 13 bills signed into law last year. I will not stop fighting against the current Mayor, or anyone who tries to slow the progress of our great borough and city. I will continue to pass progressive legislation, fight to make New York more affordable, and ensure that the government works for everyone." [9] [10]

Public service history[edit]

Avella's public service career began over 20 years ago as an aide to New York City Council member Peter Vallone, Sr. He served as an aide to Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins, and as Chief of Staff to the late State Senator Leonard Stavisky and his widow, Toby Stavisky, later a State Senator herself.

Legislative concerns on the City Council[edit]

Avella's historic "Demolition by Neglect" bill was signed into law by the mayor in February 2005. This legislation enables the Landmarks Preservation Commission to prevent the destruction of New York City's landmarks by property owners. The legislation was supported by 46 preservation and civic groups, including the Landmarks Conservancy, the Historic Districts Council, and the National Historic Trust.[citation needed]

In 2005 Avella forwarded a bill proposing that the Department of Transportation increase the operational duration of four public bus companies operating in his area. The bill would allow for the smooth integration of the private lines with the MTA, and was signed into law in May 2005.[11]

New York State Senate[edit]

First elected to the State Senate in 2010, Avella, as a freshman senator, was appointed ranking member of the Cities and Environmental Conservation Committees, and has served on the Education, Aging, Banking, and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committees.

He currently serves as the Chair of the Children and Families Committee, Vice Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, and is a member of the Banks, Cultural Affairs, Educations, Elections, Housing, Insurance, Judiciary, Transportation, NYC Education, Insurance, and Libraries Select Committees. He is also Chair of the Senate Task Force on the Delivery of Social Services to New York City, the first-ever task force of its kind.[1]

In 2014, Avella joined the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of Democrats who have a power sharing agreement with the New York State Senate Republican Conference.[12]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Abel
New York City Council, 19th District
Succeeded by
Dan Halloran
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Frank Padavan
New York State Senate, 11th District