Andrew Gounardes is a champion for the working class and middle class families that are the backbone of New York. Whether fighting to make landmark investments into CUNY, advocating new and innovative ways to improve street safety, combatting sexual harassment and corruption in the halls of power, or stepping up to support our state’s robust public workforce, Senator Gounardes has worked tirelessly for a better New York that is fair, safe, affordable, and gives everyone an opportunity to thrive.
Born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Andrew knows firsthand the value of putting communities first. Following Superstorm Sandy, Andrew co-founded Bay Ridge Cares, an organization that prepared 25,000 hot meals for victims after the storm. Today, it still supports community members facing extraordinary need by providing them with emergency assistance. As a member of the Riders Alliance, he organized and formed the Concerned R Train Riders to fight for better service and demand handicapped accessible subway stations in South Brooklyn. Andrew also worked with Bay Ridge Advocates for Keeping Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.) and successfully pressured lawmakers to allow speed cameras in school zones, a fight he continues to wage all the way to Albany.
In Albany, Andrew is fighting for policies that will have a direct, positive impact on our state’s working families. He’s a leading voice on improving street safety and reducing traffic deaths, securing an expansion of the life-saving school zone speed camera program and proposing a first-in-the-nation vehicle safety rating system to measure how severely vehicles injure pedestrians and cyclists when they crash. Andrew supports the need to reform NYC’s broken and outdated property tax system, working to institute a property tax circuit breaker to help families stay in their homes. He is the author of the New Deal for CUNY, a historic effort to invest billions of dollars into the City University of New York, which is the single greatest pathway into the middle class for New York students.
He’s passed more than 50 bills into law, including legislation to close a loophole in the state’s wage theft law, expand the life-saving school zone speed camera program, guarantee family death benefits for public workers who died from Covid-19, and help secure and expand benefits for 9/11 responders. He is working to expand the Tuition Assistance Program to help make college more affordable for New York students and to dismantle the legal protections that allow perpetrators of workplace harassment and discrimination to prey on vulnerable workers. He understands that every day quality of life issues affect the livability of our neighborhoods, which is why he’s fought to improve subway and bus service in the outer boroughs, make the MTA accessible for all riders, and to end the nuisance of modified car mufflers and exhausts with the SLEEP Act.
Across our community, Andrew and his staff are on the ground providing help to neighbors with any problem they have, big or small. His team speaks multiple languages to help serve the diverse communities of southern Brooklyn. Andrew’s office helped provide more than 150,000 hot meals to help keep people fed throughout the pandemic. He has secured millions of dollars in state funding to revitalize southern Brooklyn’s parks and millions more to fund community groups that provide crucial services throughout the district.
Andrew and his wife Melanie live in Bay Ridge, where they are raising their son Evan. Andrew is a graduate of local parochial and public schools, Hunter College - CUNY, and the George Washington University Law School. He is a founding member of the Hellenic-American Leadership Council.