News

Is the ‘Golden Era’ coming to an end?

April 12, 2018
 – 
Bob Capano

Throwing his hat in the ring for a second time, Andrew Gounardes, who received 42 percent of the vote when he ran against Golden in 2012, is the strongest Democratic challenger. Gounardes has raised more than $114,000 according to the last financial filing, is the Brooklyn Borough President’s counsel, has a respected civic record, and is a son of Bay Ridge’s large Greek-American community.

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Why The Roadblock On Life-Saving Speed Cameras?

April 11, 2018
 – 
Andrew Gounardes

As a member of the Pedestrian Safety subcommittee of Community Board 10 and an active member of Bay Ridge Advocates for Keeping Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.), I’ve long studied this issue and advocated for Senator Golden to change his position. Golden has been hostile to the use of speed cameras since they were first proposed in New York. In 2012, Golden blocked funding in the Senate for a pilot program that would have installed cameras near just 40 city schools. A year later, funding for the first cameras was finally approved, though Golden was able to and chose to limit the program to just 20 schools. Last month, Golden suggested he’d be open to a proposal to double the number of speed cameras in school zones. However, he opposed lifting the restrictions that limit their operation to school days and hours, even though most traffic deaths happen outside of those parameters.

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Video: The State Senate, Cynthia Nixon and the IDC

April 4, 2018
 – 
Jarrett Murphy

But it certainly won’t tie up every election 2018 storyline with a neat bow. Democrat Ross Barkan, whom I interviewed on the BRIC-TV daily news and culture show 112BK that aired today, is still challenging Martin Golden, who is still the Republican incumbent in the 22nd Senate district; Andrew Gounardes is still the other Democrat in the race. And the questions that political journalist Dave Colon asked when we talked on Tuesday are still relevant despite Wednesday’s news: What was the real reason the IDC came to be? What was the cost or gain of its having existed?

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Golden nixes tarnished staffer

March 29, 2018
 – 
Julianne Cuba

Both of Golden’s Democratic challengers, Bay Ridge journalist Ross Barkan and Bay Ridge Democrats member Andrew Gounardes, called Testaverde’s posts disgusting and demanded Golden boot him from his staff immediately —claiming it wasn’t the first time Testaverde sympathized with the neo-Nazis. During the Charlottesville riots last summer, the Golden staffer stood up for the President, who claimed both neo-nazis and their protesters were to blame for the riots, posting on Facebook he was “So proud that Donald Trump is President of the United States always two sides of the story.”

“His comments are beyond disgusting — they are morally reprehensi­ble,” said Gounardes, who also challenged Golden in 2012. “No one who espouses such despicable hatred and idiocy deserves one dime of taxpayer money.”

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Senate Candidate Proposes Tax Plan To Benefit Small Businesses

March 13, 2018
 – 
Zainab Iqbal

In an effort to improve on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Internet Fairness Conformity Tax” proposal, which would make sites like Amazon collect sales tax when facilitating purchases from third-party sellers, Andrew Gounardes, a Democratic candidate running against Senator Marty Golden, is proposing a further tax proposal to benefit small business.

Gounardes’ plan would lower the statewide sales tax for items purchased at small businesses, but raise it correspondingly for items bought at larger stores. He believes this will boost small businesses in Brooklyn, many of which are suffering because of large retail stores. But that’s not to say small businesses will suddenly win out over big businesses. According to Gournades, there will merely be more competition among the small, privately owned businesses.

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Council’s women aim to multiply

March 8, 2018
 – 
Julianne Cuba

A Democratic Bay Ridge state Senate candidate is putting the kibosh on rumors that he plans to jump ship to run for what could become a vacant Assembly seat if the disgraced Assemblywoman Pamela Harris (D–Coney Island) steps down from her post.

A handful of local activists are reportedly eyeing Harris’s Ridge-to-Coney seat after the feds charged her with stealing money from city and federal storm-recovery agencies.

Among the eager field are former Republican opponent Lucretia Regina-Potter, who had predicted Harris’s downfall, as well as Coney Island-based professor Mathylde Frontus, according to Kings County Politics, and Andrew Gounardes, a Bay Ridge Democrats member and attorney for Borough President Adams, who already declared his candidacy to oust state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) and has $299,599 in his war chest.

Brooklyn’s Democratic Party Boss Frank Seddio said the Borough Hall lawyer would make a good candidate to replace Harris, but Gounardes said he only has eyes for Golden’s seat.

“My plans to run for the state senate have not changed,” Gounardes said. “Our neighborhood is ready for change and I’m running to bring that change.”

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Legendary Coney Island eatery cancels NRA-linked event

March 1, 2018
 – 
Joe Tacopino & Carl Campanile

The decision came after a slew of city politicians criticized the century-old restaurant and the gun group over the April 12 event.

State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes, who was critical of the decision to hold the event, celebrated the decision.

“This is a more than just a victory for Brooklyn, it’s a victory for common sense. The NRA is totally out of touch with the values of our community,” Gounardes told The Post.

“But, thankfully, Gargiulo’s and the entire Russo family are good neighbors who made the right decision.”

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Gounardes Pushes Golden For Gun Control Bill

February 16, 2018
 – 
Nick Reisman

Democratic state Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes on Friday pushed Republican incumbent Martin Golden to take up a package of gun control measures in the wake of a Florida school shooting earlier this week.

The measures would extend background check times from three days to 10, create a gun violence research institute and block anyone from purchasing a gun who has been convicted of a hate crime.

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Gounardes Meets Voters And Fields Questions At The Owl’s Head Bar

February 13, 2018
 – 
Megan McGibney

About 30 people turned up last night at The Owl’s Head Bar in Bay Ridge to meet Andrew Gounardes, who is running to unseat longtime state Senator Martin Golden this year, hear him speak, and answer questions.

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Bay Ridge activists band together to call for the passing of a clean Dream Act

February 8, 2018
 – 
Meaghan McGoldrick

“It was incredible to see local residents from Bay Ridge – a neighborhood of immigrants – come together and rally in support of protecting our Dreamers,” said Andrew Gounardes, a Bay Ridge resident and candidate for the Democratic nomination to square off against State Senator Marty Golden in November. “Although the Dream Act is being debated down in Washington, the front lines of the fight to make sure that children raised in this country can stay in this country are right here in our local community. We need a clean Dream Act and we need it now.”

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Golden faces backlash as Democratic opponents help mount protest over “divisive” opioid comments

January 29, 2018
 – 
Victoria Merlino

Gounardes said he was “offended” and “kind of shocked” by Golden’s comments, calling them “offensive and divisive,” representing “racist and classist tropes.

“To suggest that some people’s lives are worth saving and not others, really does a disservice to those who need to believe not just that they can get better, but that their lives are worth saving in the first place,” he said.

Gounardes also called for the New York State Senate’s Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction to diversify its membership, as all 31 members are white. Golden is a member of the task force.

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Subways, schools, and property taxes on Gounardes' agenda

November 30, 2017
 – 
Paula Katinas

Gounardes has served as chief counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for four years. Working for Adams has given him the opportunity to see what is going on around Brooklyn, Gounardes said. He has seen neighborhoods all over the borough grow and prosper, he said.

“South Brooklyn is primed for a great renaissance. It has great potential. We need new leadership to take us over that line,” Gounardes said.

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HOW A 2018 STATE SENATE RACE IN BROOKLYN IS ALREADY TAKING SHAPE

November 22, 2017
 – 
Zack Fink

Although the election is almost a full year away, already the State Senate race in Southern Brooklyn is taking shape.

This week, Attorney Andrew Gounardes announced that he is entering the race to unseat 15-year Republican incumbent Marty Golden. Gounardes already ran once in 2012 and lost to Golden by 15 percentage points.

But this time around, he thinks things will be different.

"I definitely think we will have a big Democratic year. I think we are just going to have people coming out in general who frustrated with how politics have failed them," Gounardes said. "They see corrupt deals, they see shady backroom things happening, they see failed political dysfunction, and people are frustrated regardless of the party."

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Gounardes Throws Hat In Ring For State Senate Seat

November 21, 2017
 – 
Kadia Goba

Long after rumors circled the political courtyard, Democratic operative Andrew Gounardes finally announced yesterday his candidacy to unseat State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Gravesend, as well as portions of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, Manhattan Beach, Midwood).

“For far too long, politics in our state has valued big-money interests over working-class families, leaving us with underfunded schools, a failing transit system, and worse,” Gounardes said. “Our current senator thrives in this culture of corruption. It’s time we put a stop to that.”

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Gounardes says he’ll run against Golden for State Senate seat

November 20, 2017
 – 
Paula Katinas

A Democrat who ran against Republican state Sen. Marty Golden in 2012 and shocked the political establishment by earning more votes than Golden in the incumbent’s backyard in Bay Ridge, announced on Monday that he will run against Golden again in 2018.

Andrew Gounardes, a lawyer and a Bay Ridge civic activist, declared his candidacy for the state senate’s 22nd District in an email to supporters in which he attacked “fraudulent politicians” who he said “have repeatedly failed the people of southern Brooklyn.”

The 22nd State Senate District includes parts of several Southwest Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach.

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Andrew Gounardes for State Senate, Take Two

November 20, 2017
 – 
Zack Fink

This morning, Andrew Gounardes will send an email to supporters informing them that he intends to run for Senate in the 22nd District representing Southern Brooklyn. This is the seat held by Republican incumbent Martin Golden who was first elected in 2002. Gounardes Challenged Golden back in 2012 and garnered 42% of the vote to Golden’s 57%, losing by slightly more than 10,000 votes. But according to Gounardes, this time around is different because the district has changed.

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New & Improved Bay Ridge Subway Station Still Excludes Disabled New Yorkers

October 14, 2017
 – 
Sarah Amar

Andrew Gounardes, 32, a Bay Ridge resident, said he and others advocated for increased bus service when the Bay Ridge Ave station closed.

“Our petition, surprise, surprise, fell on deaf ears,” he told Gothamist.

“They spent $24 million dollars on a cosmetic renovation for the station. It’s nice, but USB chargers and leaning benches don’t do anything if you’re in a wheelchair and you can’t get into the station in the first place.

Gounardes called the MTA's inaction "inexcusable, and inexplicable, and flat out just outrageous."

"This is 2017. We’ve had more than enough time to comply with the ADA, more than enough time to make the investments necessary to make sure that the subways are accessible to everybody."

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I am HALC: Andrew Gounardes

September 21, 2017
 – 
Georgia Logothetis

Nearly six months ago, Andrew Gounardes stood in front of a room full of Brooklyn’s most prominent Greek-Americans and in a passionate speech, called for more action from the Greek-American community on the issue of refugees and immigration.

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Riders like renovated Bay Ridge Ave. subway station, But disability advocates decry lack of elevator

October 17, 2017
 – 
Paula Katina

"Less than a quarter of all subway stations in New York City are accessible for people who use wheelchairs, mobility devices, or are otherwise unable to use stairs, said Andrew Gounardes, a Bay Ridge resident and R-train rider. “This is inexplicable and inexcusable. With all the focus on fixing the subways and making sure the trains run on time, we absolutely must prioritize making the subway system work for everyone."

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MTA to ‘wait and see’ on plea to up bus service after Bay Ridge Avenue station shutdown

May 3, 2017
 – 
Meaghan McGoldrick

Gounardes received the same response.

“The MTA’s wait-and-see approach is just their way of telling Bay Ridge riders that the burden now placed on their commutes is not important enough to justify supplemental transit services,” he told this paper. “R train riders in Bay Ridge pay the same fare as R train riders on Broadway — we are entitled and we deserve the same level of service as any other neighborhood in the city.”

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Gounardes raises more than $9,500 in marathon

November 10, 2016
 – 
Paula Katinas

Bay Ridge runner Andrew Gounardes was a man on a mission when it came to the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.

Gounardes set two goals: one, to finish the race and two, to use the 26.2-mile run to raise money for St. Basil Academy, a private boarding school for Greek Orthodox children in upstate New York.

He accomplished both of his goals.

Gounardes, who was running in his first marathon that day, completed the five-borough course in 4 hours and 18 minutes. And he also proved to be a successful fundraiser.

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Adams picks Bay Ridge man to be his chief lawyer

February 12, 2014
 – 
Paula Katinas

As counsel to the borough president, Gounardes, who started his new job on Monday, will handle all legal matters for Adams, everything from providing legal analysis to reviewing contracts and licensing agreements. Gounardes is also the head of the borough president’s policy unit, leading a team of four staff members in developing policy initiatives for Adams.

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Bay Ridge Historical Society Has Big Plans for 2014

December 16, 2013
 – 
Paula Katinas

Andrew Gounardes, who has been the society’s president since September, said the group has re-structured its leadership and is making other changes in an effort to excite Bay Ridge residents about the history of their community.

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Op-Ed: Luxury Buildings or Honest Government?

December 11, 2013
 – 
Andrew Gounardes

Currently, the campaign finance system rewards big donors and the politicians they donate to. If we lower the amount of money someone can donate to a campaign, incentivize small-dollar donations through a public matching system, and limit how those campaign dollars are spent, we can break the corruption cycle of wealthy donors buying off politicians and politicians using campaign funds to pay for vacation homes and luxury cars.

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