Take a look at some of Andrew's press releases and statements:


Voters for Animal Rights Endorses Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

October 19, 2018 – BROOKLYN, NY: Voters for Animal Rights has officially endorsed Andrew Gounardes, Democratic Nominee for New York State Senate in District 22, citing his commitment to protecting animals and lobbying for strong laws to combat animal cruelty.


“Voters For Animal Rights is thrilled to endorse Andrew Gounardes for State Senate,” said Allie Taylor, founder and president. “Whether it’s companion animals, wildlife, or animals exploited for entertainment, Andrew has the back of his most vulnerable constituents, and that’s why we’ve got his. We raise a paw for Andrew and encourage every animal lover in Southern Brooklyn to get out and vote for him on November 6th."


“The way we care for animals speaks to how we care for those among us who we need to protect most,” said Gounardes. “I am grateful for the endorsement of Voters for Animal Rights and look forward to working with them in Albany to pass important legislation that roots out animal cruelty and makes New York a more humane place for all animals.”

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Statement by Andrew Gounardes Calling on Marty Golden to Fire Ian Reilly

October 16th, 2018 — Brooklyn, NY: Marty Golden should immediately fire his office manager Ian Reilly, who invited the Proud Boys leader to an event at the Upper East Side Metropolitan Republican clubhouse that led to violence over the weekend.

Ian Reilly’s presence on Marty Golden’s staff and in our community sends a dangerous message to those who perpetuate hate. Just two week ago there was a swastika found in Bay Ridge, and over the weekend a Jewish man was brutally beaten in a hate crime. You cannot simultaneously condemn those attacks while also employing Ian Reilly, a defender of white nationalist hate groups like the Proud Boys.

While my campaign has been busy hosting a bystander training and town hall meeting in response to hate crimes in our community, Marty Golden has been bankrolling and palling around with neo-nazis and those who would defend them. I have personally seen Mr. Reilly accompany Marty Golden to a local community debate. You would think after being forced to fire his staffer Anthony Testaverde for comparing Parkland survivors to nazis, and the community outcry he received for welcoming neo-nazi Sebastian Gorka to a Republican Party Fundraiser in Dyker Heights, Marty Golden would stop affiliating with supporters of known hate groups.  

Marty Golden should denounce Ian Reilly and fire him immediately if he truly believes that everyone, regardless of religion, race, or gender, is welcome in our community.  


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Testimony by Andrew Gounardes, Democratic Nominee for New York State Senate, District 22 To The New York City Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform

October 15, 2018 — Brooklyn: I am proud to offer testimony in support of the goals of the New York City Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform. It is critical that the City review our outdated and unfair property tax system. These archaic and overly complex tax laws, instituted in 1981, no longer reflect the landscape and needs of each of the five boroughs, and unfairly target hard-working men and women like those who live in State Senate District 22.

Property taxes are top of mind to residents of southern Brooklyn. It’s an issues I hear about everyday while knocking on doors and meeting with voters in District 22. It’s unacceptable that NYC property taxes have increased at a rate three times faster than income growth over the last decade.

A September 6th article in Bloomberg outlining the City Comptroller’s property tax analysis highlighted that households with less than $50,000 in income saw their property taxes increase by 98%. Furthermore, families with an income of $50,000 - $100,000 saw an increase of 67%. Adding insult to injury, the median income fell by 1% for those making less than $50,000 and increased by only 4.6% for those making between $50,000 - $100,000. This means that those with the lowest household income, hard working men and women--many of whom are trying to raise a family in this district—have been hit the hardest. It also means that not only are NYC property taxes high, they are also fundamentally unfair.

Rapidly rising taxes force longtime residents to move, small business to close, and scores of future residents to consider alternatives. As NYC examines what the future of the property tax code will be, our elected representatives in Albany and New York City have a responsibility to do the same. The Republican controlled State Senate have done nothing to address this issue and proudly support President Trump’s tax plan, which unfairly penalizes New Yorkers by getting rid of the State and Local Tax Deduction. We need leaders in every level of government who will address the vast and complex housing issues we face, including providing tax relief to working class families, legalizing basement apartments and improving existing conditions, enacting a first-time home buyer assistance program.

I look forward to the findings of the Commission on Property Tax Reform and working together with the City as a member of the State Senate. Together, I’m confident that we can help New York communities grow and thrive in a manner consistent with our State’s values.

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John Liu and Nancy Tong Endorse Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

BROOKLYN, NY; October 11, 2018 –Today, John Liu, Former NYC Comptroller and Democratic nominee for New York State Senate District 11, and Nancy Tong, 47th Assembly District New York State Democratic District Leader, endorsed Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22.  Their endorsements highlight the growing momentum of Gounardes’ campaign and his commitment to supporting issues critical to the community including improving public education and reforming the MTA.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of John Liu and Nancy Tong,” said Gounardes.  “Nancy and John are leading advocates for protecting and improving our public schools and expanding services for immigrant communities.  As a state Senator, I look forward to continuing to work with them to advance our shared values and ideas for a better New York.”

"Andrew Gounardes will be a great public servant and a voice for the people,” said Liu.  “He will benefit our community by fighting to keep the SHSAT and by supporting local family owned businesses.  This district, and our State, need leaders who believe in and advocate for the values we hold dear.”

"I have known Andrew Gounardes for many years and am proud to support his candidacy for State Senate in Southern Brooklyn,” noted Tong.  “Andrew is a true democrat who believes in the full potential of our City and State.  Together, I know that we will do great things.”

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Statement by Andrew Gounardes Following The Dyker Heights Civic Association Candidate Debate

October 10, 2018 — Brooklyn, NY: “Yesterday, we were reminded what we’re fighting for. We are fighting for the survivors of sexual assault who are suffering in silence; for the union workers who are watching as their pensions disappear amidst the fight for a livable wage; for the parents who worry every day about how they are going to send their children to college; for the residents of our community who live their Iives one illness away from bankruptcy.

For nearly two decades, Senator Golden has to tried to delude us into being satisfied by the status quo; but the Senator is wildly out of touch. Our transit system continues to be unreliable and inaccessible, families are struggling with rising healthcare costs, our public schools are overcrowded and underfunded, and most schools are still in need of speed cameras. Enough is enough. I believe we can be doing so much more to make life better for residents of southern Brooklyn and that Albany needs new ideas to solve these problems. Most of all, the debate tonight proved that our district needs new leadership.


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Andrew Gounardes for State Senate Holds Press Conference Outside Sen. Marty Golden’s Office in Support of Child Victims Act 

Local Survivors and Family Tell Their Stories   

October 9, 2018  – BROOKLYN, NY: Andrew Gounardes, Democratic Nominee for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, held a press conference outside Senator Marty Golden’s Bay Ridge office today at 1:30pm to call on Golden to support the Child Victims Act, which would make it easier for survivors of sexual abuse to seek justice against their predators.

Gounardes was joined by Gary Greenberg, the founder of Fighting for Children PAC/Protect NYKIDS, who announced their official endorsement, as well as district resident and sexual abuse survivor Toni Franco,  Connie Altamirano, and a family member of a survivor, Karen Tadross, all of whom shared their stories.

“Survivors of sexual abuse deserve justice,” said Gounardes. “Year after year, Marty has refused to even bring the Child Victims Act to the floor for a vote, denying thousands of survivors the chance to have their stories heard in court. The predators of these heinous crimes must be held accountable. We need a State Senator who will fight to protect our children and is unflinching in his support of justice for survivors. Marty Golden and Senate Republicans should do the right thing and pass the Child Victims Act.”  

“Andrew Gounardes will be a strong ally in our effort to seek justice for children who are victims of sexual abuse,” said Gary Greenberg, founder of Fighting for Children PAC/Protect NYKIDS. "For over a decade the Senate Majority has failed to put laws into place that protect children and make it easier for victims to confront their abusers in court. State Senator Marty Golden is part of the Republican majority that has repeatedly refused to bring the Child Victims Act to a vote. This must stop. We need a new generation of leaders like Andrew Gounardes."

“When I was thirteen I was sexually assaulted. Like most survivors, I never reported the attack to the police. This is the first time I’ve ever shared my story publicly,” said district resident Toni Franco. “For years I have been a registered Republican and have always supported Marty Golden, but the fact that my State Senator will not support the Child Victims Act is very disappointing and hurtful to me. By not supporting this bill he is putting the assaulters’ interest before the children who were assaulted. I am here today to demand that Marty Golden stop protecting predators because victims deserve justice.”

“New York State is among the worst in the country at protecting the rights of victims of child sex abuse. The time limits on reporting only serve to protect the perpetrators and institutions,” said district resident Karen Tadross. “Repeatedly since 2006, the Child Victims Act has been passed by the Assembly, only to go down without a vote by the State Senate. Marty Golden lives across the street from me. Standing here and speaking out, in front of his office, is extremely difficult. But I am past the point of keeping quiet for the sake of getting along. My cousin was sexually assaulted as a child and was denied justice because of the statute of limitations. I want my State Senator to be my voice and the conscience of my community. I want my State Senator to advance the Child Victims Act.”

“My abuser was my step-grandfather. Like most survivors I didn’t speak out about my abuse until decades later, when I was 41,” said Connie Altamirano. “We must pass laws that help survivors like me get justice, not protect the abusers. I want to ask Marty Golden, why does my predator have more rights than me? November is coming and I demand change. I demand that we finally pass the Child Victims Act.”

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Rally In Support of The Child Victims Act


October 9, 2018 – BROOKLYN, NY: On Tuesday, October 9, 2018, Children’s PAC and Andrew Gounardes, Democratic Candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, will gather in support of the Child Victims Act. The rally, to take place outside Senator Marty Golden’s district office, will highlight Andrew’s endorsement by Children’s PAC and feature stories from two local survivors, Toni Franco and Karen Tadross.

Marty Golden and his Republican colleagues in the Senate have been woefully negligent when it comes to justice for survivors of sexual abuse. Every year for the last 11 years, the New York State Assembly has passed the Child Victims Act, only to be voted down by the State Senate.

EVENT: Rally in Support of The Child Victims Act

DATE: Tuesday, October 9, 2018

TIME: 1:00 PM

WHO: Members from Children’s PAC, Local Survivors of Sexual Assault: Toni Franco and Karen Tadross

WHERE: 7408 5th Ave 1st Floor Brooklyn, NY 11209

RSVP: (347 ) 688-9924 / volunteer@andrewgounardes.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES: press@andrewgounardes.com

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Teamsters Local 814 Endorses Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate, Citing Commitment to Working Families

October 8, 2018 – BROOKLYN, NY: Amidst growing campaign momentum, Teamsters Local 814 has endorsed Andrew Gounardes, Democratic Nominee for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22. Teamsters Local 814 represents a broad swath of professional Movers, Art Handlers, Warehouse, and Race Track Workers. The union has also been a longtime member of the Building and Construction Trades Council.

"Local 814 is proud to endorse Andrew Gounardes,” said Julian Tysh, organizer and political coordinator for Local 814. “Andrew will fight for the things our union believes in and the things working class families in South Brooklyn need: affordable housing, healthcare, and good union jobs. We'll be pounding the pavement alongside Andrew until 22 Goes Blue!"

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Local 814,” said Gounardes. “We share a common vision for the future of our state and are part of a powerful movement to build a better future for our families through fairer wages, lower housing costs, and more affordable healthcare. These are not only ‘union values’ -- they’re human values. I look forward to the work we’ll do together in Albany.”

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STATEMENT BY ANDREW GOUNARDES ON SENATE CONFIRMATION OF JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

October 6, 2018 - BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Senate Republicans and Trump loyalists have chosen Party over people and are complicit in a national tragedy.

The confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh undermines our entire system of justice, signaling that ideological rhetoric rules the day and sending a dangerous message to the victims of sexual harassment and assault that they will not to be believed.

Now more than ever, we need elected representatives who speak for the people. Who are committed to truth and justice. Who embody the very best of what America represents. Those who cower in silence can no longer hide from these issues. I applaud the Senators and brave advocates who fought against this confirmation and look forward to the Republican reckoning that Election Day is sure to bring.

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Andrew Gounardes Releases Platform for Battling Opioid Addiction

October 1, 2018  – BROOKLYN, NY: Andrew Gounardes, Democratic Candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, officially released his platform for Battling Opioid Addiction today.

The platform centers on expanding access to medical-based treatment programs, providing supportive wrap-around services, expanding distribution of Narcan to stop fatal overdoses, and holding those who fraudulently and illegally distribute opioids criminally responsible.

“A recent fake social media photo of a needle purported to have been found in our area is part of an ugly, coordinated effort to instill fear in our community,” said Gounardes. “Even worse, it demonizes those who are struggling with the pains of addiction. Last year nearly 50,000 Americans needlessly died of opioid overdoses. This is an epidemic that has not spared the neighborhoods of Southern Brooklyn. To break the cycle of addiction and death that are decimating communities like ours across the country, we need to adopt a multi-pronged strategy.

Andrew’s plan to address the opioid epidemic includes:

  • Expanding access to medical-based treatment programs, including the use of methadone and buprenorphine, which are proven to help opioid patients stabilize their lives, thereby allowing them to address the root causes of their addiction. The research is overwhelmingly clear that abstinence only-treatment programs do nothing to break the chemical dependencies formed in the brain from opioid use and can lead to higher rates of relapses and overdoses.  

  • Providing supportive wrap-around services for all patients being treated for opioid addiction. Experts agree that in addition to medical care, supportive services including social and emotional support, as well as job training and placement, can significantly increase the likelihood of recovery and minimize the risk of relapse for patients battling addiction.

  • Expanding distribution of Narcan and educating caregivers on how to administer it. Narcan can help stop fatal overdoses. Everyone in our community should know how to use it, just like CPR. You never know when you can save a life.

  • Enacting comprehensive, age-appropriate drug education for all New York public school students. The research is clear that students who understand how and why opioids are dangerous to their health are less likely to experiment with opioids - and ultimately, heroin - than students who are taught avoidance only.

  • Passing harsher penalties holding anyone who fraudulently and illegally distributes opioids criminally responsible. We must crack down on "pill mills" where doctors are writing fraudulent prescriptions for painkillers as well as on big pharmaceutical companies that fraudulently induce doctors to prescribe opioids while ignoring the overwhelming medical science about the dangers of overuse.

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STATEMENT BY ANDREW GOUNARDES ON TESTIMONY OF JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH BEFORE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

September 28, 2018 – Brooklyn, NY: Andrew Gounardes, Democratic nominee for State Senate in District 22, today released the following statement regarding the testimony of Judge Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In continuing to support the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, President Trump and Senate Republicans are dismissing and silencing the brave women who have come forth to accuse Judge Kavanaugh of wrongdoing and are sending a dangerous message to all Americans and survivors of sexual assault who now may never feel safe to come forward. Republicans refusal to call additional witnesses or instruct a full investigation by the FBI wreaks of partisan politics.

Survivors of sexual assault must be believed.  As a candidate for the New York State Senate, I have released a comprehensive plan to support victims of sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, rape, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Now more than ever, we need leaders in the State Senate who will work to create a safe environment for survivors to come forward and receive justice.

I urge members of the United States Senate to put Country above Party, consider what is at stake, and vote against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Democrats Unite in Support of Andrew Gounardes for State Senate

Elected Officials, Community Leaders, Labor Unions, Progressive Organizations, and Hundreds of Supporters Rally Outside Gounardes’ Campaign Headquarters and Knock on 10,000 Doors in Two Days to Officially Kick Off His General Election Campaign

September 24, 2018  – BROOKLYN, NY: Andrew Gounardes, Democratic Nominee for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, celebrated a strong primary win with two huge rallies this weekend.

On Saturday, Andrew was joined by Congress Member Jerry Nadler, New York City Public Advocate and Democratic Nominee for New York State Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, State Senator and Chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Michael Gianaris, Assembly Members Peter Abbate, Jo Anne Simon and Danny O’Donnell, Assembly Candidates Mathylde Frontus and Adam Baumel,  Congressional Candidate Max Rose, and New York City Council Members Brannan, Powers, Rivera, Lander, and Rosenthal.  Also in attendance were Andrew’s primary opponent, Ross Barkan, and members from Independent Neighborhood Democrats, Streets PAC, the Communication Workers of America, the New York State United Teachers, the Local 814 Teamsters Unions and The National Organization for Women - NYC, along with hundreds of community members and leaders including President of Stars and Stripes Democratic Club Irene Chu, President of Bridging Cultures Group Debbie Almontaser, President of Lamda Independent Democrats Jared Arader, and District Leaders Tori Kelly, Nick Rizzo, Doug Schneider, and Lauren Trapanotto.

On Sunday, City Council Speak Corey Johnson organized a Day of Action in support of Andrew. Congress Member Nydia Velazquez, Councilmember Justin Brannan, Councilmember Andy Cohen, True Blue NY, Indivisible NY, Rise and Resist, and No IDC NY all joined in support.

The theme of the weekend was “22 Oughta Be Blue!” Over the course of the weekend nearly 200 volunteers knocked on more than 10,000 doors in a clear sign that the Democratic Party and grass roots activists throughout New York State are united in their support for Andrew Gounardes and are excited to join the growing movement to unseat Trump Ally Marty Golden and finally win back the State Senate.

“Andrew Gounardes and I have worked together on behalf of tenants, women’s rights, our environment, and so many other issues that are important to the borough and the hard-working people of Brooklyn,” said Letitia “Tish” James, New York City Public Advocate and Democratic nominee for New York State Attorney General. “That’s why it is so critically important that we make Andrew the next State Senator to represent District 22.  Andrew is someone who thinks about the interest of others before himself, and I urge everyone to get out and flip this district BLUE, BLUE, BLUE.”

“After months of campaigning and talking directly with voters, Andrew Gounardes has proven himself to be the strong, forward-thinking leader that residents of District 22 deserve to have fighting for them in Albany,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “The people of Brooklyn and across the state are fed up with the status quo and we are fired up and unified.  Andrew is the clear choice if we want to ensure a brighter future for all of this community’s residents and families. He will bring back something we’ve been desperately missing in Albany – a leader with a real agenda to move us forward.”

“Andrew is the right candidate for this moment. He is from this community, he knows this community, but he also represents the change we need in Albany,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “It takes flipping just one seat to gain a Democratic majority in the State Senate and that is why we are out here supporting Andrew Gounardes -- we know he’s the right person for the job.”

Max Rose, Democratic nominee for Congress in New York’s 11th Congressional District, added, “Andrew is a man of deep integrity, deep courage, and a public servant at heart.  That’s not the only reason why he is going to beat Marty Golden, but it’s how we know that he is going to bring the level of service, commitment, dedication, and honesty to this district it so deserves and hasn’t gotten in a long time.”  

“Democrats are organizing like we’ve never organized before. On November 6th, we’re going to send an unquestionable message,” said Gounardes.  “We are going to fight our tails off, we have 44 days until the election and we are going to make every single day count. Today, it is more important than ever that we have a state government that is standing up and fighting back to protect the dignity and rights of every single New Yorker.”

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*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

On Sunday, September 23, 2018, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will join Andrew Gounardes, Democratic nominee for State Senate in Brooklyn’s district 22, along with #NoIDC, Rise and Resist, Indivisible Brooklyn and others at the Gounardes campaign’s Bay Ridge headquarters for a Day of Action. This event marks the culmination of a busy weekend of activities as Democrats rally around Gounardes proclaiming “22 Oughta Be Blue.”

EVENT: General Election Day of Action

DATE: Sunday, September 23, 2018

TIME: 1:00 pm

WHO:  New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Democratic Nominee for State Senate Andrew Gounardes, Sen. Brad Hoylman, #NoIDC, Rise and Resist, Indivisible Brooklyn, Council Member Justin Brannan, and other local elected officials

WHERE: 311 86th Street Brooklyn, NY

RSVP: 347-688-9924 / volunteer@andrewgounardes.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES: press@andrewgounardes.com


StreetsPAC Endorses Andrew Gounardes for State Senate

September 20, 2018 — NEW YORK, NY: StreetsPAC today endorsed Andrew Gounardes in Brooklyn's 22nd State Senate District. Gounardes, who defeated Ross Barkan in a hotly contested Democratic Primary a week ago, is aiming to unseat eight-term Republican incumbent Marty Golden, who has distinguished himself primarily as an obstacle to safe streets.

Gounardes, born and raised in Bay Ridge, has served as Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams since 2014. He has long been an advocate for street safety, both as a former member of Community Board 10's Pedestrian Safety subcommittee and as an active member of Bay Ridge Advocates for Keeping Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.). His pedestrian safety platform is a focal point of his campaign.

Contrast that with Golden, who has repeatedly stood in the way of New York City's life-saving speed camera program, and whose own driving record boasts numerous speeding violations and a fatal crash.

In addition to Gounardes' strong support for Vision Zero policies, he's deeply committed to improving New York City's ailing public transit system. He supports congestion pricing, and will work to make our subway stations accessible to all New Yorkers.

As we've said before, the events of the past few months have made it clear that the New York State Senate is badly broken. The Senate’s failure to renew the city’s speed camera program, which made the streets around city schools demonstrably safer, was a new low. While safe streets and better transit shouldn't be a partisan issue, Republicans in the State Senate have made it one, so it's imperative that we flip the Senate to Democrats who will make these issues a priority. Electing Andrew Gounardes to the Senate is key to making that happen, and StreetsPAC will devote significant resources to achieving that goal.

Gounardes joins several other StreetsPAC-endorsed candidates on the ballot in November. Seven of the nine candidates StreetsPAC endorsed in last week’s primary won their races including Alessandra Biaggi, Catalina Cruz and Zellnor Myrie. StreetsPAC endorsees Robert Carroll and Jo Anne Simon did not face primary challenges. The outcome in the Democratic primary for the 46th Assembly District, in which StreetsPAC endorsed Ethan Lustig-Elgrably, has yet to be decided.

About StreetsPAC: StreetsPAC is a political action committee dedicated to electing public officials who are committed to improving the safety, mobility and livability of New York City’s streets. StreetsPAC is registered with the New York State Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board. To learn more about StreetsPAC and its mission, please visit www.streetspac.org.


Contact:
Eric McClure
Executive Director
StreetsPAC
17 Battery Place, Suite 204
New York, NY 10004
(646) 522-2589

www.streetspac.org

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STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES ON TONIGHT’S DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY WIN 

September 13th, 2018 — BROOKLYN, NY:Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in District 22, issued the following statement after his primary win:

“I'm honored to be the Democratic nominee for New York State Senate District 22. New Yorkers across the district went to the polls and cast their ballot in today’s primary. I am thrilled and humbled to have received their vote of confidence. This is the first big step toward turning this district blue and taking back the State Senate. ”

“We understand that we have an uphill climb to victory in November, but we look forward to the road ahead. Our grassroots campaign is the strongest and broadest ever assembled to defeat Marty Golden and we’re growing every day. We are tired of having our voices silenced, our concerns dismissed, and our values ignored.  Together, we can and will stand up for the diverse voices of this great community and make sure that they are finally reflected by their representative in Albany.”

I want to congratulate Ross Barkan on a hard fought campaign and I promise to continue the fight for the fundamental ideals that we both share. 


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UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION (UFCW) AND NEW YORK SOCIAL JUSTICE PAC ENDORSE ANDREW GOUNARDES FOR NEW YORK STATE SENATE

With Just 8 Hours Until the Polls Open, Endorsements for Andrew Gounardes Continue to Pour In

September 12, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 338 and New York Social Justice PAC have officially endorsed Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for New York State Senate in Southern Brooklyn’s district 22. In a busy night leading up to tomorrow’s primary, they follow just-announced endorsements by The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 814 and The Jewish Voice, all of whom join the long list of local unions, elected officials, political organizations, and voters who believe that Andrew’s is the right vision for Southern Brooklyn and New York State.

“It’s such an exciting night for our campaign,” said Andrew Gounardes. “With just eight hours until the polls open, we have just received four incredible endorsements. UFCW has led the way on many of the most pressing issues facing hard working people in our community, state, and country. They deserve a representative in Albany who shares their ideals and will fight against unjust policies that threaten organized labor. And New York Social Justice PAC has recognized us as the only campaign that can bring true progressive values to our community. I’m honored to have both of their endorsements.” 

“In Andrew Gounardes, we will have a State Senator who has the courage to stand up for the hard-working members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union,” said John Dorsa, President of Local 338 UFCW. “Union workers today face continued criticism from anti-union and anti-worker elected officials. Andrew Gounardes will defend our right to organize and represent us well in Albany. We are proud to support him and excited to be a part of his campaign.”

The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Their members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. UFCW Local 338 represents more than 15,000 individuals and has been at the forefront of some of today’s most progressive issues including passage of the Compassionate Care Act, living wage provisions, wage theft protections, and much more.

Since its inception, The New York Social Justice PAC has focused on supporting social justice candidates on the local and state level as a way to shape and create a truly progressive state legislature and build a pipeline of social justice champions. The movement's key social justice issues including criminal justice reform, fair pay for work, immigrant dignity, gender equality, and good healthcare for all.

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International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 814 and The Jewish Voice Endorse Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

September 12, 2018 – BROOKLYN, NY: In definitive statements that Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in District 22, is the candidate who will best defend their ideals, the Jewish Voice, a leading online news publication covering domestic and international affairs, Israeli news, and New York area news, and The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 814, today endorsed Gounardes’ campaign for State Senate. The two endorsements highlight the campaign’s momentum heading into tomorrow’s primary and echo continued support from a diverse coalition.

"To receive support from both The Jewish Voice and The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 814 is a tremendous honor for our campaign and reflects a clear mandate from our diverse community for a new champion in Albany,” said Gounardes. “Marty Golden has, for too long, ignored the needs of the many facets of Southern Brooklyn. The buck stops here.”

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Statement by Andrew Gounardes on the 17th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks

September 10, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for New York State Senate in Southern Brooklyn’s district 22, issued the following statement regarding the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks:

On this solemn day, our community comes together to remember those who were killed in the most brutal attack in our country's history and in thanks to the incredible first responders who risked and lost their lives serving on the front lines. As New Yorkers, we are especially reminded of the resilience and strength of this great city. September 11, 2001 was one of the darkest days in American history, but it was also a day that highlighted for the world what it means to be an American.

In reflection and honor, I will be suspending all campaign activities for the day.

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Emgage Action, Leading National Muslim American Organization, Endorses Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

September 10, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Emgage Action, a national organization that seeks to mobilize American Muslims to advocate for issues that affect the Muslim community, today endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate in Southern Brooklyn’s district 22.

Emgage Action’s issues of focus include Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice Reform, Income Inequality, Healthcare, Immigration Reform, National Security, and Climate Change. Emgage Action also has a connected Federal Political Action Committee, Emgage PAC, that supports and endorses state and federal candidates for political office who support the values of our organization. Emgage PAC works with candidates that support issues that are of importance to underrepresented communities, with a specific focus on American Muslims throughout the United States.

Local community leader Dr. Debbie Almontaser said, “As a board member of Emgage Action, we are very proud to endorse you! We believe you are the best candidate for Muslim New Yorkers!”

“I am incredibly proud to have the endorsement of Emgage Action, a leading national Muslim-American organization,” said Gounardes. “I’m honored they recognize my commitment to inclusivity, tolerance, and social justice. I look forward to working with them to elevate the voices of Muslims in our community.”

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THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN NEW YORK CITY (NOW) AND CONGRESSWOMAN CAROLYN B. MALONEY ENDORSE ANDREW GOUNARDES FOR NEW YORK STATE SENATE

Sept. 10, 2018 — Brooklyn, NY: Today, the National Organization for Women New York City (NOW) and leading progressive and women’s rights activist Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes for the NY Senate in District 22, citing Andrew’s strong commitment to women’s rights, reproductive health care, and equality for all.

“Andrew Gounardes is committed to making New York a leader on women's rights,” said NOW NYC president Sonia Ossorio. “When candidates talk about child care and gender inequality in the workplace and are unwavering supporters of a woman's right to comprehensive reproductive health care, NOW listens. We are proud to endorse him.”

NOW is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States fighting for equality for women and girls.

Also endorsing Andrew Gounardes is New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. Congresswoman Maloney is a national leader on women’s rights, financial services, healthcare, and gun safety. She is a pragmatic progressive and tireless legislator.

"I'm proud to endorse Andrew Gounardes for State Senate,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “With all that is happening on the federal level, it is pivotal that we elect progressive community leaders like Andrew. I've known Andrew for years and know that he will fight hard on the state level to pass a state equal rights amendment, close the pay gap, end pregnancy discrimination, combat sexual harassment, and protect a woman's right to choose. It's my pleasure to support a true champion for women and families. I look forward to helping him win."

"I'm honored to have the support of NOW NYC and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a leading organization and one of the most prolific legislators in the country,” said Gounardes. “For too long Southern Brooklyn has lacked a champion in Albany who will fight to achieve and protect the hard-fought rights of women and girls. I am humbled and honored that both NOW and Congresswoman Maloney recognize my commitment to advancing the rights of women and girls and look forward to working with them to ensure that we finally pass the Reproductive Health Act, support the MeToo Movement, and enact forward-thinking policies that promote social, political, economic, and bodily equality for all New Yorkers."

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STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES ON TONIGHT’S NY1 STATE SENATE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY DEBATE

Amidst growing momentum, Gounardes highlights grassroots support and forward-thinking policies that will propel him to victory on September 13

Sept. 6, 2018  – Brooklyn, NY: Tonight, Democratic candidate for State Senate Andrew Gounardes demonstrated how fiercely of a fighter he will be for Southern Brooklyn in a debate on NY1 just one week before the Thursday, September 13 primary election.

 

Following the debate, Gounardes released the following statement:

“With an expansive grassroots campaign comprised of support from hundreds of community members, progressive organizations, small business owners, local unions, and elected officials, we have amassed the strongest coalition ever assembled to unseat Marty Golden.

For far too long, the voice of district 22 has been suppressed by Marty Golden and the Republican-held State Senate. Our community deserves a representative who works for them and who will bring honor and dignity back to Albany. I’m more confident than ever that the people of Southern Brooklyn see ours as the campaign that’s leading a movement of true change for our district.

My opponent and I have many differences, but we agree that Marty Golden’s time is up. Since this campaign began, only one of us has laid out a forward-thinking policy agenda, supported by the community, that address critical issues such as sexual harassment, immigration reform, anti corruption and education. I’m looking forward to the voters of District 22 having their voices heard one week from today and carrying that momentum into the General Election. I want to thank NY1 for hosting us and Errol Louis for moderating tonight’s debate.”


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AS SCHOOLS OPEN, ANDREW GOUNARDES FOR STATE SENATE RELEASES VIDEO AND HIGHLIGHTS PLATFORM FOCUSED ON STRENGTHENING NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Gounardes’ plan includes making New York the first state to constitutionally guarantee free, quality education from pre-kindergarten through college

Sept. 5, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, released a video highlighting his education platform and his plan to strengthen New York City’s public schools.

"As over 1.1 million New York City students headed back to school today, it’s imperative that we make sure we are doing all we can to improve our schools,” said Gounardes. “Public education is the most important service that government can provide. It has made the American dream possible for generations of citizens and every student in New York is entitled to a chance to realize that dream.”

Andrew’s plan to strengthen and enrich New York’s education system includes:

  • Securing needed funding to reduce class size, secure and retain the best teachers, and stay abreast of an ever-changing technological landscape.

  • Opposing Mayor de Blasio’s plan to change the admissions process for Specialized High Schools, which serve only 5% of high school students and 1% of all students city-wide. This plan will disproportionately affect students in Districts 20, 21, and 22, many of whom are from first- and second-generation immigrant families, and is not a comprehensive solution to address the bigger issues facing our public schools.

  • Increasing after-school program availability, which has proven benefits to students and families including improved academic performance, reduced risk of bad behavior, additional exposure to extra curricular arts and physical education activities, all in a structured and supervised environment.

  • Making New York the first state in the nation to constitutionally guarantee free, quality education from pre-kindergarten through college for every student so that funding for these vital initiatives will always be available and not subject to the political whims of Albany.

 

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RETAIL WHOLESALE AND DEPARTMENT STORE UNION ENDORSES ANDREW GOUNARDES FOR NY STATE SENATE

With the endorsement of Retail Wholesale and Department Store (RWDSU), Gounardes touts his 34th endorsement as Democratic primary nears.

September 4th, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, the New York chapter of the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) officially endorsed Andrew Gounardes, Democrat for NY State Senate in District 22. RWDSU is one of the most progressive unions in the state and marks Gounardes’’ 30th endorsement from local unions, elected officials, and political organizations who all believe Andrew has the right vision for Southern Brooklyn and New York State.

“Now more than ever, we need progressive leaders like Andrew Gounardes in Albany fighting to protect and advance the rights of working people,” said Stuart Appelbaum, RWDSU President.  “We have the opportunity to turn one of the only Republican held districts in New York City blue this November and take back the State Senate. Andrew has built the strongest campaign with the clearest vision and we are excited to be a part of it.”

“RWDSU is comprised of members from all walks of life. They are our neighbors, our family members and community leaders.  Today, they are increasingly under attack by unjust policies and elected officials who don’t support organized labor,” said Gounardes. “I am humbled and honored to have received the endorsement of RWDSU and will continue to fight for our shared values and for all those who work hard to achieve the American dream.”

 

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STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES ON FIRST DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY DEBATE

Gounardes highlights strong background of leadership and vision for the future

Aug. 28, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY; Tonight, Andrew Gournardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s district 22, faced off against Ross Barkan at the first Democratic primary debate moderated by Kadia Goba, senior political reporter at the BKLYNER and hosted at the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn, allowing the community to hear directly from the candidates on top-of-mind issues.

"Tonight’s winner wasn’t either candidate, it was the community,” said Gounardes. “Attendees had the opportunity to ask pertinent questions about the issues affecting their daily lives. Southern Brooklyn sorely needs a representative fighting for us in Albany and I’m confident that our neighbors, business owners, and friends know that I’ve spent my life dedicated to this district and I’m ready to hit the ground running on day one.”

“Today’s debate highlighted the stark difference between my opponent and myself.  The 22nd district deserves a passionate representative who knows our community and understands the issues of today and tomorrow. We cannot afford another two years of inaction.  I want to thank everyone for putting on tonight’s debate especially the BKLYNER for moderating and the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn for hosting us.”

 

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Congressman Jerry Nadler Endorses Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

Aug. 28, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Congressman Jerry Nadler has endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22. Nadler’s endorsement is especially meaningful as his district includes a significant portion of District 22 including the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, and Gravesend.

Nadler is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee and one of the fiercest opponents to the Trump agenda. He has been an outspoken and staunch defender of voting rights, civil liberties, marriage equality, a free press, and a woman’s right to choose. Nadler was also a co-sponsor of the 9/11 Health Act and has consistently fought for healthcare for our first responders.

“Albany needs progressive leaders like Andrew Gounardes,” said Congressman Nadler. “Andrew has proven himself a leader in our community, speaking out against discrimination, hate and inequality, and standing up for women, immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. I’m proud to support him for New York State Senate and look forward to working with him to represent the people of Southern Brooklyn.”  

“Congressman Nadler is a hero of the progressive movement,” said Gounardes. “He has led the fight for marriage equality, voting reforms, and ending racial profiling. He’s a brilliant legislator and constitutional scholar who has tirelessly fought for social justice and equal rights for all. I am honored to have his support.”

 

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Andrew Gounardes for State Senate Announces Platform to Combat Climate Change

Proposes investment in research and adoption of alternative energy sources to combat catastrophic weather events that pose risk to all New Yorkers

August, 28, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s district 22, released his plan to combat climate change and protect future generations in our community and throughout our state.  

“For decades, scientists have warned us about the long-term effects of manmade pollution on our planet,” said Gounardes. “It’s becoming more and more common to experience catastrophic weather events, unpredictable agricultural growing seasons, droughts, floods, fires, and rising sea levels. Climate change is undeniably one of the biggest threats to society, wildlife, and the economy in New York and the world. As we watch oceans rise, beautiful shoreline communities such as Bath Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach are sitting ducks in the face of the next big superstorm. I believe we can and should lead the nation in protecting the planet. Unless we act now, future generations will pay for our negligence.”

Gounardes’ plan to combat climate change includes the following:

  • Invest in research and adoption of alternative energy sources like solar and wind. We must stop prolonging the state’s reliance on expensive and unsafe fossil fuels or biomass.

  • Support the Climate and Community Protection Act to transition to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050. Currently only 4% of our electricity comes from solar and wind. We can and should be much more aggressive in transforming to a renewable energy-based economy. This isn’t just good for the environment. This is good for our economy.

  • Ensure New York’s remaining coal-fired power plants are closed. I will make sure that New York’s dirtiest energy generation sources can responsibly and quickly retire. I’ll also provide resources and job training for workers and communities affected by the retiring power plants and require fair labor standards for any new clean energy jobs that receive funding from the state.

  • Support legislation to require the State’s annual Tax Expenditure Report to include an enumeration and evaluation of all fossil fuel related tax expenditures to allow us to identify and end counterproductive state fossil fuel subsidies that cost us money and harm the environment.  

  • Invest in flood barriers that protect against rising sea levels and storm surges. Everyday without protections we are at massive risk of expensive and life-threatening disaster.

  • Pass legislation that permanently bans Hydraulic-Fracturing or “Fracking” in NY. Although the Governor has banned this process, we need laws on the books to ensure no one can allow this kind of process to happen in NY no matter what.

  • Make corporate polluters pay for the damage they’ve caused to our communities and the environment. Whether it’s oils spills in the oceans, toxic chemicals in the drinking water, or carcinogens in the air, I will hold corporate polluters financially responsible for their actions.

 

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Andrew Gounardes for State Senate Releases Platform Aimed at Supporting and Promoting the Arts and Literacy

Aug. 27, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, released his Arts and Literacy platform, aimed at supporting and promoting local artists and cultural groups.

“Arts and culture have the power to unite, inspire, and transform,” said Gounardes. “Southern Brooklyn is home to a vibrant community of artists -- writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, actors, singers, dancers, poets, and more -- and we should celebrate and support them.”

“Art doesn’t just benefit the artist,” Gounardes continued. “It benefits the community. Our local craft stores, painting and pottery shops, and bookstores are among our most treasured small businesses. Our public libraries offer valuable programs and services for all residents, especially children and seniors. Our incredible community theaters and dance troupes delight visitors from across the city with exciting performances. And many of those who come for the show stay to patronize our local restaurants.”

Andrew’s plan to support the arts and literary community includes the following nine initiatives:

  • Leading the charge to establish Community Arts Spaces, where local artists of all different backgrounds and cultures can create, display, and perform their work

  • Supporting arts-in-education initiatives and arts programming in schools, because students who engage in the arts display improved academic performance, greater confidence, and stronger critical thinking skills

  • Fighting for better and equitable funding of local artists and cultural and artistic organizations through public and private grants

  • Protecting artists from unfair pay and royalty exploitation in the sale and resale of their works in secondary markets

  • Establishing The Neighborhood Reading Challenge, a new initiative to engage the entire community in reading a target number of books each year, promoting literacy and fostering a greater sense of community

  • Supporting local libraries with increased funding for community arts programming and foreign language resources for non-English speaking community members

  • Providing opportunities for the arts to be integrated into the fabric of community life by sponsoring neighborhood concerts, film screenings, art and photography exhibits, theatrical performances, poetry readings, dance presentations, and more

  • Supporting efforts to create partnerships between the arts and local businesses through storefront art displays

  • Highlighting southern Brooklyn’s rich architectural heritage through neighborhood walking tours and exhibits and showcasing local historical points of interest

 

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Statement by Andrew Gounardes on the Plan to Turn Speed Cameras Back On

Aug. 26, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Despite Marty Golden's repeated failures to prioritize the safety of our children, a plan is coming together to turn speed cameras back on in time for the start of the school year.

This is great news, but it doesn't go far enough. We've been fighting to expand the speed camera program to every school zone because the data is clear -- speed cameras save lives. Incredibly, more than 132,000 motorists were recorded speeding in school zones since the cameras were turned off a month ago. This is unconscionable. I remain fully committed to making pedestrian safety one of my highest priorities, I am hopeful that the proposed plan goes through, and I'm glad children will once again be protected from drivers like Marty Golden.

 

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Andrew Gounardes Slams Reports that Sens. Golden and Flanagan are Delaying Speed Camera Renewal Vote Until After Sept. 13th Primary

Flanagan reportedly waiting until after primary to give Golden an electoral boost before November election

BROOKLYN, NY; Aug. 20, 2018 -- Democratic State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes issued the following statement in response to reports that Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan is delaying a vote on renewing the speed camera program until after the September 13th primary in a bid to boost Marty Golden’s re-election chances:

“It is outrageous that Marty Golden and the Senate Republican leadership would delay a vote on renewing the speed camera program until after the September 13th primary. This is nothing but a cowardly, callous, and contemptible attempt to boost Golden’s reelection campaign at the expense of keeping children’s lives in jeopardy. Anyone who would play politics with children like this is not worthy to hold public office.”

“Marty Golden is not only a reckless driver, he’s feckless politician who will literally do anything to get re-elected, even if that means putting kids’ lives in danger. If Marty Golden thinks that he can swoop in after September 13th to vote for a speed camera bill and his constituents won’t see if for the manipulative, calculating, dirty dealing, political stunt that it is, he’s sorely mistaken. Since the cameras were turned off on July 25th, they have tracked more than 132,000 drivers speeding through school zones. With the school year set to start in just about two weeks, the time to act is NOW. Golden, Flanagan, and the entire Senate Republican leadership should reconvene the Senate immediately and pass a clean bill renewing this program. I urge all of my supporters to call Golden and Flanagan and demand the same.”

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Progressives Unite to Endorse Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, Assembly Members Jo Anne Simon and Robert C. Carroll, and Council Member Brad Lander Join Growing List of Supporters

Aug. 20, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Yesterday, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, Assembly Members Jo Anne Simon and Robert C. Carroll, and Council Member Brad Lander joined Andrew Gounardes for a special “Progressives for Andrew” Day of Action where in front of a crowd of fifty supporters, they officially endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes for the NY State Senate in District 22, citing Gounardes’ commitment to women, families, students, and working class New Yorkers.

Statement by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer

“Southern Brooklyn needs strong leadership in Albany,” said Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “It’s time to elect a State Senator who will fight for good schools, safer streets, and strong communities -- which is exactly why I’m proud to endorse Andrew Gounardes today. For years, I’ve seen Andrew advocate successfully for his neighbors and all New Yorkers. Now I’m excited to hit the campaign trail to elect the next State Senator in District 22!”

 

Statement by Assembly Member Simon

“Andrew believes that we need to clean up corruption in Albany and lead the way in policies that support women and families,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. “He supports getting big money out of politics by closing the LLC Loophole, legislation that I sponsor in the Assembly and that has repeatedly failed in the State Senate. His commitment to supporting women and families by ending the wage gap for women and communities of color, increasing funding for child care, combating sexual harassment in the workplace, and reforming our broken child support system will make New York a place where families can thrive.  Andrew is not afraid of tough battles -- that’s why he’s going to be our next State Senator.”

 

Statement by Assembly Member Carroll

“I have known Andrew for six years and I know he has the skill and intellect to inordinately impact the State Senate,” said Assembly Member Robert C. Carroll.  He will represent the 22nd Senate district well and will be a voice for common sense and progressive legislation like reforming our voting and campaign finance laws, protecting our environment and making sure our streets are safe. For too long Republicans in the senate have not attended to the needs of NYC and with Andrew that will come to an end.”

 

Statement by Council Member Lander

"It's this simple: Andrew Gounardes is the best candidate to stop Marty Golden. Golden and the GOP State Senate have long been the reason we can't fix the subways, fund our public schools, or pass common-sense gun laws,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “But by allowing our life-saving school-zone speed cameras to expire, they have truly reached a new level in dereliction of duty. Golden is a reckless driver himself, having killed a 74-year-woman who was crossing the street with his SUV, and still continuing to rack up speeding tickets -- while failing to renew NYC's speed camera program that has been proven to reduce speeding, prevent crashes, and save lives. Andrew Gounardes is a true champion of pedestrian safety. No one will fight harder to make our streets safe for our kids, and for all of us."  

 

Statement by Andrew Gounardes

“I am honored to receive the endorsements of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assembly Members Simon and Carroll, and Council Member Lander,” said Gounardes. “I am inspired by their records of public service and their commitment to finding progressive solutions for issues affecting so many. I will work tirelessly to champion women’s rights, workers’ rights, students’ rights, and the rights of all New Yorkers to make our state a stronger, fairer, and more inclusive place to live, work, and thrive.”

 

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Andrew Gounardes Slams Reports that Sens. Golden and Flanagan are Delaying Speed Camera Renewal Vote Until After Sept. 13th Primary

Flanagan reportedly waiting until after primary to give Golden an electoral boost before November election

Aug. 20, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Democratic State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes issued the following statement in response to reports that Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan is delaying a vote on renewing the speed camera program until after the September 13th primary in a bid to boost Marty Golden’s re-election chances:

“It is outrageous that Marty Golden and the Senate Republican leadership would delay a vote on renewing the speed camera program until after the September 13th primary. This is nothing but a cowardly, callous, and contemptible attempt to boost Golden’s reelection campaign at the expense of keeping children’s lives in jeopardy. Anyone who would play politics with children like this is not worthy to hold public office.”

“Marty Golden is not only a reckless driver, he’s feckless politician who will literally do anything to get re-elected, even if that means putting kids’ lives in danger. If Marty Golden thinks that he can swoop in after September 13th to vote for a speed camera bill and his constituents won’t see if for the manipulative, calculating, dirty dealing, political stunt that it is, he’s sorely mistaken. Since the cameras were turned off on July 25th, they have tracked more than 132,000 drivers speeding through school zones. With the school year set to start in just about two weeks, the time to act is NOW. Golden, Flanagan, and the entire Senate Republican leadership should reconvene the Senate immediately and pass a clean bill renewing this program. I urge all of my supporters to call Golden and Flanagan and demand the same.”

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Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams Endorses Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

Aug. 17, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams officially endorsed Andrew Gounardes for the NY Senate in District 22. A former captain in the NYPD and State Senator, Adams cited Andrew’s commitment to pedestrian safety, immigration, and gun reform.

"Andrew Gounardes exemplifies what public service should be," said Adams. "I know that because I've seen it firsthand at Brooklyn Borough Hall. He's committed to empowering his neighbors, passionate about grassroots advocacy, and personally engaged with addressing critical issues such as immigration, gun safety, and pedestrian safety. Southern Brooklyn needs a tireless fighter in Albany, and Andrew is ready to fight for us. I urge my fellow Brooklynites, from Bay Ridge to Marine Park and everywhere in between, to join Andrew's community-powered campaign for State Senate."

“Eric Adams has dedicated his life to serving New Yorkers,” said Gounardes. “As an NYPD officer and State Senator, he has always defended the rights of all New Yorkers. He’s been a leader on issues that matter most to the residents of the Southern Brooklyn, including pedestrian safety, common sense gun laws, defending immigrants, and protecting the rights of tenants. Working alongside Adams as his General Counsel, I have seen first hand the courage required of public servants to make hard choices and stand up for what it right. He has taught me a lot and I’m incredibly honored to have his support.”

Adams will also be leading a Day of Action in support of Andrew’s candidacy on August 25th at 1:00 PM at 311 86th St, Brooklyn NY 11209.

 

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GOUNARDES ANNOUNCES HISTORIC PLAN TO CREATE THE NARROWS WATERFRONT PARK

A CROWN JEWEL FOR SOUTHERN BROOKLYN

Aug. 14, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, released the following statement on his plan to create The Narrows Waterfront Park: A Crown Jewel for Southern Brooklyn, a bold initiative bringing together the neighborhoods of Coney Island, Gravesend, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, and Bay Ridge in one of the most comprehensive projects in Southern Brooklyn history.

Andrew’s Statement

In New York, the unquestioned popularity of urban spaces such as Riverside Park, the High Line, and Brooklyn Bridge Park has demonstrated the incredible drawing power and civic value these public areas can have. Southern Brooklyn doesn't currently possess such a space, and I want to change that.

My vision is to create a Narrows Waterfront Park that quickly becomes one of Southern Brooklyn's most beloved landmarks -- a destination for visitors, a gathering-place for residents, and a source of pride for all New Yorkers.

Right now, there is no "Narrows Waterfront Park." There is only a loose collection of public walkways, bike paths, and patches of grass and trees along the waterfront between Bay Ridge and Coney Island. In addition to the fact that the area is difficult to access, the waterfront-facing space is full of potholes, garbage, and eyesores. It is neither inspiring nor representative of Brooklyn in 2018.

My plan is to design a unified park which encompasses this entire area. Using a community-driven visioning process, we will expand and improve the existing elements, such as the Narrows Botanical Gardens, Shore Road Park, Bensonhurst Park, Calvert Vaux Park, the Belt Parkway Bike Path, and the grounds at Bay 8th Street. We will install new safety features and amenities, and we will use this new space to introduce exciting projects to bring the community together.

 

The Plan to Create The Narrows Waterfront Park

  • Building out the 13-acre Bay 8th Street expanse as a full park with pathways, benches, tables, comfort stations, trees, and other amenities, establishing it as the Narrows Waterfront Park's crown jewel.

  • Enhancing new and existing park spaces with exciting features such as exercise equipment for people of all ages, designated dog park areas, playgrounds for children, skate and rollerblade parks, food truck accommodations, water fountains, restrooms, and more.

  • Updating and augmenting the bike and pedestrian paths from the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge to Caesar's Bay in Gravesend. Continuous traffic barriers and flood protections will be added to all stretches of the Belt Parkway that abut the waterfront area. Small piers and docks will extend out from along the pathway to allow for fishing and recreation.

  • Improving waterfront-to-park connections with additional overpasses and bike ramps to create a unified park network between Shore Road Park, Dyker Beach Park, Bath Beach Park, Bensonhurst Park, and the waterfront.

  • Fostering community engagement and tourism with seasonal and holiday events such as outdoor movies, street festivals, and fireworks.

  • Adding a connection to Coney Island down Shore Parkway along the Belt Parkway.

  • Upgrading Caesar's Bay with beautified green spaces and a pier with ferry access for an area underserved by mass transit and creating a separate bike path from the Verrazano Bridge to Caesar's Bay.

  • Adopting safety and resiliency measures such as raised berms to help contain storm surges, similar to plans for NY Rising.

  • Spotlighting the Narrows Botanical Garden and adding botanical and community garden elements elsewhere in the park.

  • Showcasing local artists with both permanent and rotating public art installations by professional artists and art school students.

The new Narrows Waterfront Park will have a tremendous impact on Southern Brooklyn, and New York City as a whole. Much like the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park, it will be a park that is simultaneously a destination and an attraction.

 

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Andrew Gounardes for State Senate Announces Voting Reform and Anti-Corruption Platforms

Proposes “Golden Rule” to Bar Campaign Funds From Being Spent for Personal Use or at Family Businesses

BROOKLYN, NY, Aug. 10, 2018 -- Today, Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s district 22, announced his Voting Reform and Anti-Corruption platforms.

“The influence of big money from corporations and PACs in elections has corroded our political system and diluted the voices of voters,” said Gounardes. “Politicians like Marty Golden care more about pleasing their donors and special interests than meeting the needs of their constituents. They see government as a path to power, not service, using their positions to enrich themselves at the expense of the community. It’s ludicrous that Marty Golden has spent nearly $800,000 of his campaign funds at his family’s catering hall. He also used campaign funds to pay for his country club dues and car payments. I have a plan to clean up corruption in Albany. No legislator should be able to get rich off of morally bankrupt behavior.”

The campaign also released the following video announcing Andrew’s platform: 

Cleaning Up Corruption in Albany

“We need to reform our campaign finance laws to limit the influence of corporations and special interests and change the culture of Albany, restricting their reliance on backroom deals so voters -- not donors or political insiders -- matter most,” said Gounardes.

My plan to clean up corruption in Albany includes:

  • Passing the “Golden Rule” and stopping politicians from spending campaign funds for personal use or at family businesses, because politicians are in office to serve us, not themselves.

  • Eliminating the corrosive effect of money in politics by enacting public financing of our elections, so that our politicians stop catering to donors who donate tens of thousands of dollars, and focus on the people who elect them.

  • Strengthening and supporting independent investigations of corruption and campaign finance violations.

  • Ending backroom deals for special elections by changing how candidates are nominated to fill vacant seats, so that voters get to decide who runs and who doesn’t run for office.

  • Being accessible and transparent to all constituents by holding regular town halls and keeping my office open during nights and weekends so constituents can have their voices heard at their convenience.

 

Spearheading Voting Reform

“Every American has a constitutional right to vote,” said Gounardes. “It is one of the main ways constituents can make their voices heard. Making the voting process easier, more open, and more accessible is the first step toward ensuring that our voices are being heard. Legislation restricting voting disproportionally affects working-class communities and communities of color. This damages our democracy and silences voices that have a right to be heard.”

My plan to improve our weak voting system includes:

  • Increasing voter participation by allowing early voting, so that people aren't prevented from exercising their constitutional rights just because they work long hours.

  • Enacting automatic voter registration, because there shouldn’t be any barriers preventing people from registering to vote.

  • Increasing ballot access for naturalized citizens by making ballots available in multiple languages so no one feels disenfranchised because English is a second language.

  • Empowering young people by giving 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in local municipal elections.

 

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Andrew Gounardes for State Senate Announces Comprehensive “Economic Opportunity for All” Platform

12-Point Plan includes Property Tax Relief for Working Class New Yorkers, Sales Tax Relief for Small Businesses, First Time Home Buyer Assistance Program, Supporting a Living Wage and Closing the Wage Gap, and Advancing Technology to Improve the Economy.

Aug. 6, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for State Senate in district 22, released his Economic Opportunity For All platform.

The plan includes property tax relief for working class New Yorkers so rising property taxes don’t force our neighbors out of their homes, helping small businesses grow by lowering the sales tax on items sold at small businesses, enacting a first time home buyer assistance program, supporting a living wage so no one who works full-time has to live in poverty, closing the wage gap for women and communities of color, advancing New York City’s technology to improve the economy, and a series of other initiatives to ensure economic opportunity for all.

 

Fighting to Keep Housing Affordable for All

“Too many New Yorkers are just one or two paychecks away from losing the roof over their heads,” said Gounardes. “They are feeling the crush of rising property taxes which makes it harder and harder each year for them to stay in their homes. The Republican State Senate has neglected to take the necessary steps to improve the situation. This is unacceptable.”

My plan to keep housing affordable for all includes:

  • Providing tax relief to working class families, so that rising property taxes don’t force our neighbors out of their homes

  • Drafting legislation to legalize basement apartments and improve existing conditions, so families aren’t displaced and current tenement-like conditions can be eliminated

  • Enacting a first time home buyer assistance program that lets people save for their first down payment tax-free, just like we do for college savings plans

  • Repealing the Urstadt Law which allows upstate politicians who are in the pockets of the real estate lobby to have more control over our rent laws than NYC does

 

Supporting Small Businesses and Creating Good Paying Jobs

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, comprising ninety-eight percent of New York State businesses and employing more than half of New York’s private sector workforce,” said Gounardes. “Our government can and should do more to support entrepreneurs, help businesses grow, and create good paying jobs.” 

My plan to ensure economic opportunity for all includes:

  • Helping small businesses grow by lowering the sales tax on items sold at small businesses to encourage more shoppers to shop local

  • Supporting a living wage, so no one who works full-time has to live in poverty

  • Closing the wage gap for women and communities of color

  • Creating a local regional business council for Southern Brooklyn to support economic development, immigrant owned businesses, innovation, and bring 21st century jobs to Southern Brooklyn

  • Encouraging new startups and freelancers to grow and thrive in Southern Brooklyn by developing local co-working spaces

 

Advancing New York City’s Technology to Improve the Economy

“Technology opens up new ways to improve medicine, transportation, and quality of life,” said Gounardes. “At the forefront of many of these changes is the internet. An open and free internet is essential to a large majority of our daily functions. It’s how our children research and learn about the world, it’s how we communicate with family and friends, and it’s how many of us get our jobs done. These functions, along with the general advancement of technology in New York City, can’t be stifled by partisan special interests.”

My plan to support our technologically advancing city includes:

  • Supporting state legislation that ensures net neutrality so our communities don’t have to deal with internet providers selectively throttling service, deciding when, how, and how much we view content

  • Providing students with high speed and high quality in-school internet so children who don’t have internet at home can participate in our technology-centric school curriculum

  • Facilitating New York City’s transition into a smart city so we can bring our city into the 21st century

 

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Statement from Andrew Gounardes on Hate Crimes and Vandalism Against the Chinese Community

Aug. 5, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: This reprehensible act is deeply disturbing and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

We must not allow racist ideology and hatred to infiltrate our world. I pledge to do all I can to eliminate acts of bigotry and intolerance and make New York a safer and more welcoming place for all. Sadly events like this are becoming too common, but we will get through this together as a community forged in compassion, fidelity, and love.

 

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Andrew Gounardes for State Senate to Hold Public Rally and Day of Action This Saturday, August 4

Mark Treyger, Justin Brannan, Peter Abbate, and Other Local Leaders to Rally in Support of Gounardes

BROOKLYN, NY, Aug. 3, 2018 -- Andrew Gounardes for State Senate will hold a public rally at its campaign headquarters on Saturday, August 4, 2018 from 12:30 - 2:00pm. Everyone is invited to join #TeamGounardes, local elected officials, and community leaders at the event, which will be followed by a special Day of Action. City Council Members Mark Treyger and Justin Brannan, Assembly Member Peter Abbate, and other local leaders will take part in the event.

“Momentum for our campaign continues to grow and this Saturday is the perfect opportunity to bring together our supporters to rally as we move into the final stretch of the campaign,” said Gounardes. “Our grassroots campaign is powered by the incredible, diverse people who make up our community and I look forward to rallying with them this Saturday.”

The rally will be held at 351 87th Street in Brooklyn. Complimentary food and drinks will be served. Please RSVP to volunteer@andrewgounardes.com or (347) 688-9924.


A Trio of Community Leaders Endorse Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

July 31, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, NYC Council Member Alan Maisel, former Council Member, 41st AD District Leader, and longtime community activist Lew Fidler, and 41st AD State Committeewoman Lori Maslow officially endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes for the NY Senate in District 22, calling him the strongest candidate to defeat Marty Golden and flip the Senate back to Democratic control.

Andrew with Lew and Lori.png
Maisel.jpg

Statement from Alan Maisel

“By now, I have a pretty good idea of who is the real deal, and who’s a pretender,” Maisel said. “And there is nothing pretend about Andrew Gounardes. He is the state senator Southern Brooklyn deserves and needs. Andrew will bring a fresh, anti-establishment voice to Albany. I believe he will make a huge difference in the Senate — and that starts with flipping the chamber back to Democratic control.”

 

Statement from Lew Fidler

“I wish Andrew Gounardes could start a term in the Senate tomorrow,” Fidler said. “He would be such a huge upgrade for the district. Community initiatives that aren’t moving forward, tax breaks and kickbacks going to the rich, unsafe streets and underfunded education — Andrew would immediately change all that. We’re tired of Marty Golden. All this time he’s been in office, and what do we have to show for it?”

Statement from Lori Maslow

“Actions speak louder than words,” Maslow said. “I have seen Andrew Gounardes garner grassroots support by pounding the pavement. Andrew has made it his number one priority to be an inclusive candidate for Senator, by seeking out and knocking on doors to listen to the concerns of all the residents in his Senatorial District. Andrew would never have left Albany leaving speed cameras by schools to go dark. Andrew's concerns are my concerns, all of our concerns -- strong schools, safe streets, safe crossings, funded day care and senior centers, teen programs, job opportunities, and increasing the number of speed cameras by schools.

I urge you to vote for Andrew Gounardes on Primary Day, September 13th, and then again on Election Day. Remember, your fight is Andrew's fight!”

 

Statement from Andrew Gounardes:

“Today’s announcement of three endorsements by three respected community leaders demonstrates the strong momentum of our campaign,” said Gounardes. “I couldn’t be more grateful to Alan Maisel, Lew Fidler, and Lori Maslow, whose examples inspire me to work harder every day for my community. Alan, Lew, and Lori have made a positive impact on others. I want to make the same kind of difference for my fellow Brooklynites and Americans. I intend to do everything I can to honor their votes of confidence.”

 

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ANDREW GOUNARDES FOR STATE SENATE’S JULY 26, 2018 BYSTANDER WORKSHOP AT COCOA GRINDER IN RESPONSE TO RECENT BIAS ATTACKS

July 27, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY: On July 26, 2018 Andrew Gounardes for State Senate held a Bystander Workshop in response to recent bias attacks. The event, which was presented to a standing-room-only audience at Bay Ridge’s Cocoa Grinder, was sponsored by Andrew Gounardes for State Senate in association with The Accompany Project, an Initiative of The Arab American Association of New York. The co-sponsors were Bay Ridge Democrats, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Brooklyn Young Democrats, and the Stars and Stripes Democratic Club.  

To download photos from the event, visit: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/10KAHmJ_UXc1jvyZuC9DsOxBO8RwhmtH4?usp=sharing

Following the event, Gounardes released the following statement:

“With dangerous rhetoric coming from the Trump administration and local elected officials, it’s important that we empower people to stand up to hate in our community. I was touched that so many neighbors chose to spend a beautiful summer evening at Cocoa Grinder for an informative and engaging workshop by The Accompany Project. I look forward to the day when events like this are no longer necessary.”

 

About the Event, per The Accompany Project

Why this workshop?

Hate crimes are on the rise across the country, and in NYC there have been multiple incidents of harassment or aggression since the 2016 election. In times like these, it is important to know how to successfully and safely disrupt a hostile or aggressive situation you may witness, and to ensure your actions are more helpful than harmful. This introductory workshop will also explore the role of race and gender during an intervention, and will help provide a space for participants to evaluate their role in high risk situations.

 

More about bystander intervention:

Bystander intervention involves a series of tools that can be consciously employed to defuse volatile situations. In this interactive workshop, bystander intervention and de-escalation will be presented in the context of harm reduction and self-defense. Participants will identify verbal and non-verbal techniques and tactics to de-escalate conflict. Participants will also learn the four Ds of bystander intervention -- direct, distract, delay, and delegate. This is an introductory level workshop intended to be a survey of strategies and tactics.

 

What is the format of this training?

The training is a combination of instruction as well as participant interaction. Participants will be asked to act out scenarios of intervention, using the skills they have learned.

 

Who is welcome to participate?

The trainings are open to all - they are not intended exclusively for allies. The training will help us to understand how our race, gender, religion, and other elements of our identity inform how we intervene.

 

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Stonewall Democrats Endorse Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

 

July 27, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY: Today, the LGBTQ advocacy organization Stonewall Democrats of New York City officially endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes for the NY Senate in District 22, citing Andrew’s longstanding commitment to fighting homophobia and bigotry.

"The homophobic and misogynistic policies of the Trump administration put LGBTQ lives in danger, and tarnished Marty Golden is the face of this backwards bigotry in Bay Ridge,” said Rod Townsend, President of Stonewall Democrats. “Andrew Gounardes has stood up and fought back against Golden for years. As your Senator, he'll restore dignity and integrity to the office and inclusively bring together a better Bay Ridge and we're thrilled to endorse him."

“My parents taught me that love is love,” said Gounardes. “Even before I got into politics, I was a staunch supporter of LGBTQ equality. I held rallies in support of marriage equality in front of Marty Golden’s office back in 2011 in conjunction with Bay Ridge Democrats and Lamdba Independent Democrats. I am a member of LID and have hired LGBTQ staff to help lead my campaign. I continue to believe that we need additional services and protections for the LGBTQ community, as well as more representation from the LGBTQ community in politics. I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Stonewall Democrats.”

The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City was founded in 1986 as the first and only citywide LGBTQ Democratic organization in New York City. They continue to advocate for legislation that guarantees equality and fairness for the LGBTQ community in NYC, representing the political ideas, ideals, concerns, and priorities of the LGBTQ community of New York City and New York State.

The organization achieves these goals by supporting well qualified candidates for local, state, and national office, and by supporting and lobbying for civil rights, legislative agenda, healthcare, information and education, and for funding for our institutions and organizations.

 

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Council Member Justin Brannan Endorses Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

July 26, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY: Today, City Council Member Justin Brannan officially endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes for the NY Senate in District 22, citing Andrew’s record of service as a community leader and his strong commitment to working families, immigrants, safer streets, and stronger schools.

“In these uncertain times, we need Andrew Gounardes in the State Senate because not only is he ready to fight for us, he's already been doing it for a long time,” said Brannan. “I'm supporting Andrew because he does more than talk the talk. Andrew stands up for what's right, even when no one is looking -- and he's been doing this for our community for years, long before he was a candidate for office. Time and time again, I've seen him stand up for working families, immigrants, women, seniors, and students all while fighting for safer streets, stronger schools, and a community that welcomes all with open arms, no matter where you come from, what you believe, or who you love.”

Brannan’s endorsement is particularly significant because his district overlaps with the 22nd Senate district, including the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach.

“From organizing unions, fighting to recover unpaid wages for workers, and expanding universal pre-k, Justin has always been an advocate for working-class New Yorkers,” said Gounardes. “His commitment to making Southern Brooklyn a better, stronger, and more welcoming place reflects the kind of community-centric leadership I believe in. I am honored to receive Justin’s endorsement and look forward to working with him when I am elected.”

 

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With Speed Camera Program Set to Expire Today, 8-Year-Old Pedestrian Safety Advocate Preston Liao Endorses Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

July 25, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY: With the life-saving speed camera program set to expire today, pedestrian safety advocate Preston Liao has endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes for the NY Senate in District 22. Preston is an 8-year-old boy whose 3-year-old sister, Alison, was killed in 2013 when she was hit by a car while crossing the street with her grandmother in Flushing. In a video shared with the Gounardes campaign, Preston announces his own run for State Senate against Marty Golden, but then, acknowledging he is too young and doesn’t live in the district, endorses Gounardes for his record on pedestrian safety.

Preston’s emotional video can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/2uIOdM0

"Preston's endorsement is the highest compliment and of all the ones I've received, the most special to me,” said Gounardes. “Often times campaigns are measured by twitter followers, fundraising dollars, and political endorsements. But the real measures of success are the New Yorkers like Preston and the Liao family who believe in me and our vision. I have been fighting for speed cameras and pedestrian safety for years and Preston's support is a beautiful reminder of the real human stories of the people powering my campaign and the real issues at stake in this race."

 

Andrew’s Platform on Pedestrian Safety

Last year, 57 Brooklyn families lost loved ones to traffic crashes in Brooklyn, more than any other borough. While the rest of the City has seen pedestrian deaths decline, Brooklyn fatalities in 2017 were up nearly 12 percent. In March of this year, two toddlers were killed and a pregnant mother was badly injured when a driver (whose car had received eight tickets for speeding through school zones and blowing red lights) sped through a Park Slope crosswalk. Brooklyn is first in many things, but pedestrian deaths should not be one them. Parents, seniors and pedestrians of all ages should not have to live in fear of crossing the street in their own neighborhood.

In 2014, Mayor de Blasio introduced Vision Zero, a plan to reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities across the City. Part of that plan involved targeting our most dangerous intersections and corridors for redesign so that cars, pedestrians, and cyclists can all travel safely and efficiently. I recently inspected all 35 of these "priority" locations in our district (places where multiple pedestrians have been injured or killed) to get a first-hand look at their conditions. Unfortunately, much of the work that was slated has not been done. Transportation Alternatives estimates that if road redesign continues at its current speed, it will take 50 years before all dangerous roads in New York City are redesigned. This is unacceptable. We simply cannot wait while people's lives are on the line. Rather than reacting every time an injury or fatality occurs, we need to be proactive.

As a former 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 have long been focused on ways to help keep our streets safe for all. I have put pressure on government officials to increase the number of life-saving speed cameras in our community, and recently, after touring all of the Vision Zero priority zones in our district, I organized a community forum to improve pedestrian protections in our neighborhood.

By listening to the community, I gained a deep understanding of how much work we need to do to fix our pedestrian safety issues, and I identified a number of strategies we can implement to better protect our residents.

My vision to improve pedestrian safety includes:

  • Fighting for speed cameras in every school zone, because speed cameras save lives. Speeding is one of the leading causes of traffic deaths, and in areas with speed cameras, speeding has declined by 63 percent ... yet with 2,000 schools and 6,000 miles of street in New York City, Albany only allows the City to operate 140 speed cameras. I'll change that.

  • Accelerating road redesign so that pedestrians and bike riders have safe spaces to walk and ride. By forcefully advocating DOT to speed up the Vision Zero plan, I will make sure our neighborhood installs protective features at our most high-risk corridors and intersections.

  • Protecting our most vulnerable citizens by expediting pedestrian ramp construction. Raised curbs and broken sidewalk ramps put seniors and people with mobility issues at risk, and they limit the number of accessible pathways. It's been 28 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act passed. I'll make sure New York honors it.

  • Holding dangerous drivers accountable by suspending licenses for dangerous drivers with multiple violations so they can't get back behind the wheel.

  • Increasing traffic enforcement so that dangerous drivers are held accountable. Unpredictable driving behavior such as speeding, running red lights, pulling illegal U-turns, and double parking puts pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers at risk.

  • Requiring driving refreshers or defensive driving courses with every license renewal. By making these courses mandatory (they're currently optional), we can ensure that drivers stay educated -- and safe -- throughout their lives behind the wheel.

  • Creating a "Safe Routes to Parks" program. No one should stay away from parks because of pedestrian safety concerns. I'll work to enhance safety features on all roadways abutting parks so that people can get to and from them safely.

     

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Andrew Gounardes for State Senate is Hosting a Bystander Workshop in response to the July 11 bias attack against a Muslim woman on the S53 bus, as well as other incidents

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

July 24, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY

"Hate crimes are on the rise across the country, and sadly Southern Brooklyn is not immune. There have been multiple incidents of harassment or aggression in our neighborhood, as recently as this month. I’m proud to partner with the Accompany Project to provide a safe space for community members to learn how to be helpful in high risk situations. Times are scary, and it’s incredibly important for all of us to better understand how we can successfully and safely disrupt a hostile or aggressive situation and stand up for our neighbors.” - Andrew Gounardes

EVENT: Bay Ridge Bystander Workshop

SPONSORED BY: Andrew Gounardes for State Senate in association with The Accompany Project, an Initiative of The Arab American Association of New York

CO-SPONSORS: Bay Ridge Democrats, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Brooklyn Young Democrats  

DATE: Thursday, July 26, 2018

TIME: 7pm - 9pm

LOCATION: Cocoa Grinder, 8511 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209

MEDIA RSVP: John Capo, press@andrewgounardes.com / 212.729.7697 (Event coverage, photo opportunities, and interviews)

ATTENDEE RSVP (FREE ADMISSION): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bystander-workshop-stand-up-to-hate-in-our-neighborhood-tickets-48353183674

About the Event, per The Accompany Project

Why this workshop?

Hate crimes are on the rise across the country, and in NYC there have been multiple incidents of harassment or aggression since the 2016 election. In times like these, it is important to know how to successfully and safely disrupt a hostile or aggressive situation you may witness, and to ensure your actions are more helpful than harmful. This introductory workshop will also explore the role of race and gender during an intervention, and will help provide a space for participants to evaluate their role in high risk situations.

More about bystander intervention:

Bystander intervention involves a series of tools that can be consciously employed to defuse volatile situations. In this interactive workshop, bystander intervention and de-escalation will be presented in the context of harm reduction and self-defense. Participants will identify verbal and non-verbal techniques and tactics to de-escalate conflict. Participants will also learn the four Ds of bystander intervention -- direct, distract, delay, and delegate. This is an introductory level workshop intended to be a survey of strategies and tactics.

What is the format of this training?

The training is a combination of instruction as well as participant interaction. Participants will be asked to act out scenarios of intervention, using the skills they have learned.

Who is welcome to participate?

The trainings are open to all - they are not intended exclusively for allies. The training will help us to understand how our race, gender, religion, and other elements of our identity inform how we intervene.

###


Andrew Gounardes Announces Immigration Platform and Bay Ridge Bystander Training Session in Association with The Accompany Project, an Initiative of The Arab American Association of New York

July 23, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY: -- Today, Andrew Gounardes, Democratic candidate for the NY Senate in District 22, released his “Welcoming New Americans” immigration platform. In conjunction with the announcement, he will be holding a Bay Ridge Bystander Training Session in association with The Accompany Project, an initiative of the Arab American Association of New York.

The event, being held in response to the July 11 bias attack of a Muslim woman on the S53 bus and other related issues, will be held on Thursday, July 26 from 7-9pm at Cocoa Grinder (8511 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209.) Cocoa Grinder is owned by Brooklyn resident Abdul Elenani.

"Hate crimes are on the rise across the country, and sadly Southern Brooklyn is not immune, there have been multiple incidents of harassment or aggression in our neighborhood, as recently as this month. I’m proud to partner with the Accompany Project to provide a safe space for community members to learn how to be helpful in high risk situations” said Gounardes. “Times are scary, and it’s incredibly important for all of us to better understand how we can successfully and safely disrupt a hostile or aggressive situation and stand up for our neighbors.”

Reservations can be made by emailing volunteer@andrewgounardes.com or by calling (929) 269-6180.

 

Andrew’s “Welcoming New Americans” Platform

New York represents the very best of America because of our rich history of welcoming immigrants from around the world. Southern Brooklyn is and has always been powered by diversity, including growing immigrant communities of Arabic, Chinese, Hispanic, and Russian descent. Immigrants are important contributing members of our community, starting businesses, owning homes, and enriching our communities by sharing their culture and food.

However, strong anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies from Washington have contributed to growing feelings of isolation and fear among our neighbors. I have been outspoken in defense of refugees and was one of the first people in our neighborhood to condemn the NYPD's illegal surveillance at mosques. Now is not a time to stay silent -- we must do everything we can so that everyone feels like they belong in our community, regardless of where their family came from or when their family arrived here. As the grandson and great-grandson of immigrants, I will never forget that.

 

My plan to support immigrants in our community includes:

  • Increasing funding for the Office for New Americans to support the expansion of opportunity centers, which help new Americans find jobs and offer ESOL and citizenship classes, as well as community outreach and other important services.

  • Making driver's licenses accessible to all immigrants. We put everyone at risk by prohibiting foreign-born New Yorkers from learning the rules of the road and being able to legally drive.

  • Supporting immigrant-owned small businesses and workers by engaging Regional Economic Development Councils to provide low-cost loans, workforce development, and opportunities for government contracting

  • Keeping ICE agents out of our courthouses. Having ICE in our courthouses is a threat to justice and everyone's public safety. No one in our community should be afraid to report crimes or seek justice in criminal, family, or civil court.

  • Increasing funding for the Immigrant Legal Defense Project to ensure all immigrants have access to representation. It is a discredit to our justice system that children are being forced to represent themselves in court.

  • Expanding financial aid and offering in-state tuition to all students who attend New York high schools for at least four years and are eligible to graduate. It is common sense and a good investment in our future to encourage all New Yorkers to continue their education so they can go on to earn good-paying local jobs.

  • Making our communities safer by protecting the privacy of victims and witnesses of crime and violence by supporting the Liberty Act, which would limit the scope of local agencies' ability to engage in information collection and sharing with immigration enforcement.

 

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Gounardes Campaign Announces July Fundraising & Petitioning Totals

Raises Additional $124K; Collects Over 5,200 Signatures in Bid to Unseat Marty Golden

July 19, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY: Democratic State Senate candidate Andrew Gounardes announced today that his campaign has raised an additional $124,141 from 538 individual donors and has $181,419 cash on hand in the second fundraising period of the 2018 election cycle.

More than 40% (222) of Gounardes’ donations came from residents in the 22nd Senate District, more than all other candidates in the race combined. The average donation was $82, less than any other candidate in the race. The most common individual donation was $25. 92% of individual donations were $100 or less.

The campaign also submitted more than 5,200 signatures to qualify for the Democratic, Working Families, and Reform party lines. Nearly all petition signatures were collected by volunteers, more than 2/3 of whom live in the district.

"I am so proud of our grassroots, community-centered campaign,” said Gounardes. “We've raised an impressive $238,000 so far in our bid to unseat Marty Golden. What's more impressive is the fact that we're not funded by Albany special interests or Park Avenue millionaires. We're funded by individuals and small businesses in our community, because the only way we can build a movement for change is to start right here at home. More than 40% of our donors live in our district. That's more than all other candidates in this race combined. All of this points to the fact that we are clearly the community’s choice for state senate, and I’m so excited for what’s ahead.”

 

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ANDREW GOUNARDES RECEIVES ENDORSEMENT OF NYSUT

(NEW YORK STATE UNITED TEACHERS)
 

BROOKLYN, NY; July 12, 2018 -- Today, Democrat Andrew Gounardes, candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, received the endorsement of NYSUT (New York State United Teachers), a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services, and health care, and more than 6,000 members in the district. This is a significant endorsement, as NYSUT had previously endorsed incumbent Marty Golden.

"New York's public school students deserve a true champion, which is precisely what they have in Andrew Gounardes," said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. "His commitment to reducing class sizes, ensuring full funding of our schools, and increasing the availability of after-school programs will help families in his community and ensure opportunity for students in New York."

“As a champion of public education -- and a graduate of New York City’s public school system and CUNY Hunter College -- I am honored to receive the endorsement of NYSUT,” said Gounardes..” Public education is the most important service that government can provide. It has made the American dream possible for generations of citizens and every student in New York is entitled to a chance to realize that dream. I would not be where I am today without my public education.”

Gounardes’ plan to strengthen and enrich New York's education system includes securing needed funding to reduce class size, secure and retain the best teachers, and stay abreast of an ever-changing technological landscape; increasing after-school program availability, and making New York the first state in the nation to constitutionally guarantee free, quality public education from pre-kindergarten through college for every student so that funding for these vital initiatives will always be available and not subject to the political whims of Albany.

 

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ANDREW GOUNARDES RELEASES GUN SAFETY PLATFORM AND ANNOUNCES DISTINCTION AS A GUN SENSE CANDIDATE BY MOMS DEMAND ACTION

July 12, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY: Today, Andrew Gounardes, candidate for State Senate in Brooklyn’s District 22, released his Gun Safety Platform in conjunction with the announcement that he has been named a Gun Sense Candidate of Distinction by Moms Demand Action, the national organization founded to establish common-sense gun reform in response to the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“Gun violence is one of the leading causes of death in America,” said Gounardes. “Every single day in this country, dozens of children die from assault, suicide, gang-related violence, mass shootings, and unintentional injuries from improper gun use. Our state is not immune to this problem. In 2016 alone, New York State reported 900 deaths due to gun-related causes. The majority of those deaths were from people who took their own lives. It is crucial that we take practical action at the state level to address this deadly epidemic.”

“Andrew Gounardes has been on the front lines, fighting for common sense gun measures alongside me since Sandy Hook,” said Kristen Pettit, Gun Sense Advocate and district resident. “He knows the lives of our families and loved ones are at stake as the NRA attempts to erode what restrictions we have on the federal level. I trust that he will stop at nothing to safeguard our kids’ lives at the state level in Albany when he is our State Senator.”  

Gounardes’ plan to ensure that innocent lives are protected, and that guns are being kept out of the hands of criminals, includes the following:

1. Supporting the "Red Flag Bill," which has worked in other states to curb suicides and mass shootings. This bill empower educators, family members, and law enforcement officials to get a court-issued order of protection prohibiting individuals from purchasing, possessing, or attempting to purchase or possess a gun if they are perceived to be likely to harm themselves or others.

2. Supporting Nicholas's Law: The Child Access Prevention or Safe Weapon Storage Act, which would help keep guns out of reach of children by requiring gun owners to safely lock and store their guns. In states where similar laws have been enacted, suicides and unintentional gun deaths and injuries of children have fallen significantly.

3. Providing greater support for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, removing the stigma associated with recognizing and treating these conditions, and supporting efforts to curtail bullying at school and on the internet.

4. Supporting legislation prohibiting hate crime offenders from purchasing or owning firearms.

5. Closing the Out-of-State Gun Permit Background Check Loophole by requiring residents of other states applying for a New York gun licenses to sign a waiver allowing New York to access their mental health records.

6. Closing the "boyfriend loophole," to prohibit people with a restraining order, or convicted of stalking, from owning or purchasing a firearm.

7. Supporting local law enforcement in cracking down on the purchasing and trafficking of illegal guns.

 

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STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES ON SUPREME COURT NOMINEE BRETT KAVANAUGH

July 9th, 2018 -- Brooklyn, NY: Moments ago, President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to the Supreme Court, a decision that will have implications for decades to come. The President's decision should be viewed as a serious concern for anyone who believes, like I do, in protecting women and families.

In response, I am releasing the following Women and Families Platform, which highlights how important state government is to securing and advancing the legal protections women and families need in our state. I have also released this accompanying video:  http://bit.ly/ag4ny-women-families-platform

Now, more than ever, New York has to be willing to take the lead on this issue.  

The New York State Assembly passed the Reproductive Health Act, which would protect a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion, but Republican Senators -- led by my opponent, Marty Golden -- would not support it in the State Senate. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the only hope we have to protect a woman's right to choose in New York is to pass the Reproductive Health Act.  

 

My Women and Families Platform

New York should lead the way in policies that support women and families. Instead, New Yorkers pay for the most expensive child care in the country, confront gender inequality in the workplace on a daily basis, and face a renewed threat to their right to make safe and healthy reproductive choices.

I believe that all women are entitled to social, political, economic, and bodily equality, and no one should be penalized for choosing to have or care for a family. 

Here's my ten-point plan to support women and families in our community and state:

  1. Protect a woman's right to choose by supporting the Reproductive Health Act, ensuring contraceptive coverage for all group health plans in New York, comprehensive sex education in schools, and funding for Planned Parenthood and other family planning health centers.

  2. Close the wage gap for women and communities of color by requiring all publicly advertised job postings to include an expected salary rate or range, and requiring all public employers and large employers (initially, those with more than 500 employees) to track, report, and disclose compensation gaps based on gender, race and other prescribed diversity characteristics.

  3. Provide quality affordable child care for families by increasing funding in the New York State budget for child care, expanding the child care subsidy program, and increasing tax credits to truly help working - and middle-class families afford the high cost of child care. Additionally we must increase wages for child care workers, as 60% of them earn wages that put them below the poverty threshold.

  4. Support work life balance by giving workers the right to request a flexible work arrangement and forbidding employers from firing, threatening or discriminating against the employee for making such a request. Also prohibiting employers from discriminating against caregivers with respect to hiring, compensation, or the terms and conditions of employment. Eliminating the employee minimum to be eligible to take Family Medical Leave Act and supporting a statewide paid sick leave law.

  5. End pregnancy discrimination by creating a fund to help cover legal expenses for victims of pregnancy discrimination, expand who is entitled to reasonable accommodations to include women who need to pump breast milk at work, and women who have experienced postpartum depression, miscarriage, or terminated a pregnancy.

  6. Combat sexual harassment in the workplace by adding "sex and gender identity" to the list of classes protected from discrimination in the New York State Constitution and changing the current standard for behavior to qualify as sexual harassment to match that of New York City, so that all New Yorkers are equally protected from sexual harassment, currently the state definition is much narrower. Create a truly independent investigative body to receive complaints from State employees, require investigation and release the findings to the victims. Expand the definition of employees to include employees of elected officials.

  7. Eliminate the statute of limitations for all rape cases. Currently only first degree rape and sexual assault have no limitations, while second and third degree charges have a five year window to file charges. Fully fund efforts to eliminate the rape kit backlog and publish and distribute the sexual assault victim bill of rights.

  8. Prevent intimate partner abuse and support survivors by increasing state funding for domestic violence programs and for primary prevention programs that aim to stop domestic violence before it occurs, and by funding the development and implementation of a training curriculum for domestic violence program staff regarding the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs.

  9. Support victims of child abuse by championing the Child Victims Act to make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to seek justice as adults. And increase funding to ensure that child welfare standards, such as timely investigations of abuse, are being met.

  10. Reforming our courts to fix our broken child support system which places unfair burdens on custodial parents.

Please visit AndrewGounardes.com to help us beat Marty Golden, win back the State Senate, and safeguard a woman's right to choose.

 

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WORKING FAMILIES PARTY BACKS ANDREW GOUNARDES' STATE SENATE RUN

The progressive, grassroots third party is one of the most influential in the state

 

July 6, 2018 -- BROOKLYN: Today, Andrew Gounardes received the official endorsement of the Working Families Party (WFP) for his candidacy for New York State Senate, District 22. The WFP is one of the most influential political parties, comprised of a coalition of progressive community and civic organizations, unions, activists, and leaders of various social justice movements.

“The Working Families Party has led the charge for some of the most significant policy changes for working families including paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage, so it’s a tremendous honor to have their support,” said Gounardes. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to live the American Dream, not just the wealthy and well connected. Working families are the backbone of our economy and we need to be doing more to support them. When I get to Albany I will work to ensure every New York child has the opportunity to attend quality public school and to graduate from college debt-free, and that the voices of everyday voters count more than corporations.”

The race in District 22 is an incredibly important one, as it could mean the difference between a Republican or Democratic majority in the State Senate.

“Andrew can be trusted to fight hard to level the playing field for working families in New York. Marty Golden and the Republican-controlled Senate have stood in the way of the progressive policies that New York families are counting on,” said New York Working Families Party Director Bill Lipton. “Andrew understands the importance and urgency of supporting unions, expanding workers’ rights, reforming our election laws, fixing our broken subway system, and fully funding our public schools. When he wins, it will be a tremendous victory for all hard-working New Yorkers.”

Gounardes has already been endorsed by the local chapter of United Automobile Workers, SEIU 32BJ, the District 1 chapter of Communications Workers of America, Former Council Member Vincent Gentile, Assembly Member Peter Abbate, Council Member Mark Treyger, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Bay Ridge Democrats, the Brooklyn Young Democrats, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, the Southern Brooklyn Democrats, the Stars & Stripes Democratic Club, the Chairperson of the Kings County Democrats Frank Seddio and Run for Something.

 

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COUNCIL MEMBER MARK TREYGER ENDORSES ANDREW GOUNARDES FOR NEW YORK STATE SENATE

July 6, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, City Council Member Mark Treyger officially endorsed Andrew Gounardes for the NY Senate in District 22, citing Andrew’s record of service to the community, his focus on improving pedestrian safety, mass transit, and public schools, and his commitment to champion the full array of diverse voices and communities across Southern Brooklyn.   

“I’m proud to endorse Andrew Gounardes for State Senate, because his record of public service demonstrates that he is the advocate that Southern Brooklyn needs in Albany,” said Treyger. “As a former teacher and Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Education, I know that Andrew will fight to give our schools the resources they need to make sure that all kids can succeed. He’ll fight for pedestrian safety and speed cameras that keep our streets safe. Andrew has a long record of activism on behalf of our communities, and I am confident that he will serve Southern Brooklyn well in Albany.”

Treyger represents the 47th Council District, which overlaps considerably with the 22nd Senate district, including the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst and Gravesend.

For Gounardes, Treyger’s endorsement is significant. Treyger is also the Democratic District Leader and State Committeeman for the 46th Assembly District and, prior to being elected to the City Council, was a public school teacher and an active member of the United Federation of Teachers.

“Mark Treyger’s endorsement means an incredible amount.” Gounardes said. “He is someone who has dedicated his life to public service--first to the students of New Utrecht High School, and now to the residents of his district. He understands that people come before politics, and I look forward to working alongside him to make Southern Brooklyn better for all its residents.”

Gounardes has already been endorsed by SEIU 32BJ, the local chapter of United Automobile Workers, the District 1 chapter of Communications Workers of America, Former Council Member Vincent Gentile, Assembly Member Peter Abbate, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Bay Ridge Democrats, the Brooklyn Young Democrats, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, the Southern Brooklyn Democrats, the Stars & Stripes Democratic Club, the Chairperson of the Kings County Democrats Frank Seddio and Run for Something.

 

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SEIU 32BJ Backs Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate

July 2, 2018 — Brooklyn, NY :Today, SEIU 32BJ formally endorsed Andrew Gounardes for New York State Senate. 32BJ SEIU is one of the largest unions in New York, with 80,000 members in New York City and Long Island including office cleaners, apartment building workers, security officers, window cleaners, theater and stadium cleaners, and public school workers.

“I’m honored to have the support of 32BJ SEIU. While Marty Golden is busy giving tax breaks to luxury condo owners in Manhattan, I’m laser-focused on helping working- and middle-class families in our community,” Gounardes said. “No one should have to work two or three jobs just to put a roof over their heads, sell cupcakes to pay for their medical treatments, or suffer from the skyrocketing costs of childcare. For over a century unions have fought for the wages, benefits, and rights that paved the pathway out of poverty for millions of New Yorkers. I will do everything in my power to support unions and ensure that a better New York is in our future.”

SEIU pledged that their members will get involved in political action this year to remind voters, candidates and elected officials that New York needs unions to build the middle class.

“Right now, more than ever, New York State needs champions of that will fight for workers’ rights,” said Hector Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU.  “Union members are focused on electing progressive candidates to represent working New Yorkers in Albany. In the face of unprecedented attacks on working families, we are endorsing candidates who will fight for good jobs and help more New Yorkers join and form unions.  Together we will champion legislation to protect immigrant communities, defend voting rights and access, achieve bail reform, and stand up for policies to protect the environment.”

Gounardes has already been endorsed by the local chapter of United Automobile Workers, the District 1 chapter of Communications Workers of America, Former Council Member Vincent Gentile, Assembly Member Peter Abbate, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Bay Ridge Democrats, the Brooklyn Young Democrats, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, the Southern Brooklyn Democrats, the Stars & Stripes Democratic Club, the Chairperson of the Kings County Democrats Frank Seddio and Run for Something.

 

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VINCENT GENTILE ENDORSES ANDREW GOUNARDES FOR SENATE

Former NY City Council member and State Senator Gentile officially backs Gounardes

May 23rd, 2018 -- BROOKLYN, NY: Today, former City Council member and former State Senator Vincent Gentile officially endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes’ New York Senate campaign. Gentile’s endorsement lends Gounardes significant local political clout in his bid to unseat incumbent Marty Golden this November.

Gentile served Southern Brooklyn for two full decades — six years in the State Senate, then 14 years on the City Council — making him one of the most respected political figures in the borough. And he believes Gounardes can follow in his footsteps.   

“I have known Andrew since the start of his career,” Gentile said. “I have witnessed firsthand his passion, his dedication, his love for Brooklyn. I know from experience that it takes a special kind of person to make a difference in Albany, and Andrew is that kind of person. He is one of our bright future leaders who can make this city a better place for all.”Gentile added that Gounardes’ race carries extra importance because of the stakes. “If Andrew wins, the Democrats can finally regain control of the State Senate. That would be a huge deal — it would allow us to start making real progress again. And Andrew would be one of the driving forces behind it.”

For his part, Gounardes said how honored he was to have Gentile’s vote of confidence.

“I can’t say enough good things about Vincent Gentile,” Gounardes said. “For 20 years he has exemplified what it means to truly serve one’s community. His support is absolutely invaluable.”  

Including Gentile, Gounardes has now garnered six endorsements. Previously, Assemblyman Peter Abbate, the Brooklyn Young Democrats, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, the Chair of the Kings County Democrats and Run for Something all pledged their support to Gounardes’ campaign.

“To have such incredible advocates at this early stage of the campaign is humbling,” Gounardes said. “I can’t wait to see this list continue to grow as we build momentum this summer.”

 

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ASSEMBLYMAN PETER ABBATE ENDORSES ANDREW GOUNARDES FOR SENATE

Monday, May 14, 2018  

Abbate’s official support adds to the list of endorsements received by Gounardes in his NY State Senate campaign

BROOKLYN, NY: Today, New York Assemblyman Peter J. Abbate, Jr., officially endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes in his campaign for NY Senate District 22.

“I am proud to endorse Andrew Gounardes for State Senate because it’s clear he has a vision for change, and the know-how to get results up in Albany,” Abbate said.

Abbate has seen firsthand how Gounardes fights to make a difference in Brooklyn, and he believes Gounardes has earned the right to be District 22’s next senator.

“We need to elect more candidates like Andrew up in Albany who had the dedication to help all the diverse communities of South Brooklyn,” Abbate said. “From his last race up until now, I have witnessed Andrew exemplify the spirit of public service and continue to give back to his community. Now it’s time we all help him.”

For Gounardes, Abbate’s endorsement is an important one. Abbate has been the 49th District’s Assemblyman since 1986. He represents a large swath of Senate District 22, and he is the first elected official to endorse either Democratic candidate in the race. This, coupled with Abbate’s distinguished career service and credentials, add weight to his announcement.

“Peter Abbate is one of the most respected public officials in Brooklyn,” Gounardes said. “He’s served this community for over 30 years. I am honored not only to have his support, but also the strong example he provides of what a civil servant should be.”

Thus far, Gounardes garnered endorsements from Abbate, the Brooklyn Young Democrats, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, the Chair of the Kings County Democrats and Run for Something.

“This is a great start,” he said. “I’m excited to add more endorsements to my campaign and build the kind of grassroots momentum that can carry us to a truly significant victory for Brooklyn and New York.”

If Gounardes wins the District 22 seat, his victory will likely shift the balance of power in the NY State Senate back to the Democrats for the first time in years.

As Gounardes put it: “This election matters. I’m giving it everything I have.”


ANDREW GOUNARDES ROLLS OUT ROBUST PEDESTRIAN SAFETY PLATFORM

Monday, May 14, 2018   

Improving the safety and reliability of New York’s roadways and transit is one of Gounardes’ core campaign issues

Last year, 57 Brooklyn families lost loved ones to traffic crashes in Brooklyn, more than any other borough. While the rest of the City has seen pedestrian deaths decline, Brooklyn fatalities in 2017 were up nearly 12 percent. In March of this year, two toddlers were killed and a pregnant mother was badly injured when a driver (whose car had received eight tickets for speeding through school zones and blowing red lights) sped through a Park Slope crosswalk. Brooklyn is first in many things, but pedestrian deaths should not be one them. Parents, seniors and pedestrians of all ages should not have to live in fear of crossing the street in their own neighborhood.

In 2014, Mayor de Blasio introduced Vision Zero, a plan to reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities across the City. Part of that plan involved targeting our most dangerous intersections and corridors for redesign so that cars, pedestrians, and cyclists can all travel safely and efficiently. I recently inspected all 35 of these “priority” locations in our district (places where multiple pedestrians have been injured or killed) to get a first-hand look at their conditions. Unfortunately, much of the work that was slated has not been done. Transportation Alternatives estimates that if road redesign continues at its current speed, it will take 50 years before all dangerous roads in New York City are redesigned. This is unacceptable. We simply cannot wait while people’s lives are on the line. Rather than reacting every time an injury or fatality occurs, we need to be proactive.

As a former 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 have long been focused on ways to help keep our streets safe for all. I have put pressure on government officials to increase the number of life-saving speed cameras in our community, and recently, after touring all of the Vision Zero priority zones in our district, I organized a community forum to improve pedestrian protections in our neighborhood.

By listening to the community, I gained a deep understanding of how much work we need to do to fix our pedestrian safety issues, and I identified a number of strategies we can implement to better protect our residents. My vision to improve pedestrian safety includes:

  • Fighting for speed cameras in every school zone, because speed cameras save lives. Speeding is one of the leading causes of traffic deaths, and in areas with speed cameras, speeding has declined by 63 percent … yet with 2,000 schools and 6,000 miles of street in New York City, Albany only allows the City to operate 140 speed cameras. I’ll change that.

  • Accelerating road redesign so that pedestrians and bike riders have safe spaces to walk and ride. By forcefully advocating DOT to speed up the Vision Zero plan, I will make sure our neighborhood installs protective features at our most high-risk corridors and intersections.

  • Protecting our most vulnerable citizens by expediting pedestrian ramp construction. Raised curbs and broken sidewalk ramps put seniors and people with mobility issues at risk, and they limit the number of accessible pathways. It’s been 28 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act passed. I’ll make sure New York honors it.

  • Holding dangerous drivers accountable by suspending licenses for dangerous drivers with multiple violations so they can’t get back behind the wheel.

  • Increasing traffic enforcement so that dangerous drivers are held accountable. Unpredictable driving behavior such as speeding, running red lights, pulling illegal U-turns, and double parking puts pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers at risk.

  • Requiring driving refreshers or defensive driving courses with every license renewal. By making these courses mandatory (they’re currently optional), we can ensure that drivers stay educated — and safe — throughout their lives behind the wheel.

  • Creating a “Safe Routes to Parks” program. No one should stay away from parks because of pedestrian safety concerns. I’ll work to enhance safety features on all roadways abutting parks so that people can get to and from them safely.


STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES COMMENDING THE DYKER BEACH GOLF COURSE FOR REFUSING TO HOST SEBASTIAN GORKA AT REPUBLICAN GALA

Friday, April 27, 2018

Gorka has a neo-Nazi past and is a loud proponent of anti-Muslim rhetoric — and Brooklyn Republicans want him to headline their Spring Gala

(Brooklyn, NY) - Democratic candidate for State Senate Andrew Gounardes issued the following statement in response to the Dyker Beach Golf Course’s decision not to host the Republican event featuring Sebastian Gorka and Donald Trump, Jr.:

"This is unequivocally the right decision. Thank you to the Dyker Beach Golf Course for standing with the community and rejecting the inclusion of a divisive figure like Sebastian Gorka.

I can only hope that Marty Golden and the Brooklyn Republican Party wake up and recognize that their inclusion of Gorka was a slap in the face to every single person in our community. They should not try to reschedule the event for a different venue with the same guests. We’ll be watching to make sure they don’t — that’s for sure.

Thank you to everyone who signed our petition calling for immediate action on this. We showed that when we speak with one collective voice, we can push back against bigotry and hate.”


STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES CELEBRATING "FAIR STUDENT FUNDING" AND (AGAIN) CALLING ON ALBANY TO GIVE SCHOOLS THE BILLIONS IT OWES THEM

Friday, April 27, 2018    

27 Schools in the 22nd Senate District to Receive Funds

(Brooklyn, NY) - Democratic candidate for State Senate Andrew Gounardes issued the following statement in response to an increase of $125 million in fair student funding for New York public schools:

"As a public school graduate, I am excited to see that New York City will devote $125 million in 'Fair Student Funding' to help some of our most disadvantaged public schools. In my district, 27 schools will qualify for this critical funding that will help principals hire staff, purchase materials and finance school programs. The money will be an extremely valuable resource for the schools that need it most. This is what we should be doing to help our students.

What we should not be doing is preventing schools from receiving billions of dollars that the state owes them — and yet that's exactly what Marty Golden and his fellow Albany Republicans have done for years. Albany still owes New York City public schools $1.9 billion, and $63 million specifically for schools in our district.

Marty Golden has no problem giving away real estate tax breaks for Manhattan billionaires, but when it comes time to deliver for students in our community, he’s missing in action. Maybe he’d pay more attention if students could make hefty campaign contributions, like the luxury real estate developer who received a 95% real estate abatement thanks to Golden. Until then, they have no voice in Albany advocating for them and they suffer because of it. 

All our students deserve a top-quality education, and when I am elected State Senator, I will do everything in my power to see that happen."

A full list of the schools receiving funding in the 22nd district is below: 

  1. PS 52 SHEEPSHEAD BAY

  2. PS 222 KATHERINE R SNYDER

  3. JHS 278 MARINE PARK

  4. PS 195 MANHATTAN BEACH

  5. PS 127 MCKINLEY PARK

  6. PS 185 WALTER KASSENBROCK

  7. JHS 201 DYKER HEIGHTS (THE)

  8. JHS 259 WILLIAM MCKINLEY

  9. PS 101 VERRAZANO (THE)

  10. IS 228 DAVID A BOODY

  11. INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL AT LAFAYETTE

  12. HIGH SCHOOL OF SPORTS MANAGEMENT

  13. KINGSBOROUGH EARLY COLLEGE SCHOOL

  14. BROOKLYN STUDIO SECONDARY SCHOOL

  15. PS 112 LEFFERTS PARK

  16. PS 176 OVINGTON

  17. PS 186 DR IRVING A GLADSTONE

  18. PS 205 CLARION

  19. JHS 227 EDWARD B SHALLOW

  20. PS 247

  21. NEW UTRECHT HIGH SCHOOL

  22. HIGH SCHOOL OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY

  23. PS 207 ELIZABETH G LEARY

  24. PS 277 GERRITSEN BEACH

  25. PS 102 BAYVIEW (THE)

  26. RALPH A FABRIZIO SCHOOL

  27. FORT HAMILTON HIGH SCHOOL


STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES IN RESPONSE TO MARTY GOLDEN’S CONTINUED FAILURE TO REPUDIATE BROOKLYN GOP INVITATION TO SEBASTIAN GORKA

Saturday, April 24, 2018     

Marty Golden’s statement in response to community outcries for his handpicked Republican Party leadership inviting Sebastian Gorka to give the keynote address at their annual gala is shockingly ignorant of our community’s values.

Shame on him for ignoring the real issue here.

This is not a matter of simply disagreeing with a speaker who holds different views than you.  Golden’s failure to repudiate Gorka and his anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, neo-Nazi views is a slap in the face of every single person in our community.  

Also, if Marty Golden expects us to believe he is not a “party planner,” and has no control over the decisions of the Brooklyn Republican Party, I have a bridge to sell you:

https://www.kingscountypolitics.com/brooklyn-gop-battle-brews-ghorra-challenges-eaton-for-borough-chair/

https://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2015/41/all-new-brooklyn-gop-chief-2015-10-09-bk.html

https://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2015/47/br-republican-party-schism-2015-11-20-bk.html

http://brooklynreporter.com/story/gop-factions-battle-for-control-of-brooklyn-party/

https://cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/campaigns-and-elections/brooklyn-gop.html


STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES CONDEMNING THE INCLUSION OF SEBASTIAN GORKA AND DONALD TRUMP, JR. AT THE BROOKLYN GOP'S SPRING GALA

Saturday, April 21, 2018

“It is an insult to New York City that the Brooklyn GOP would even consider having alt-right hero Sebastian Gorka at their Spring Gala. But they're not just having him in attendance, they're celebrating Gorka and Donald Trump, Jr. as VIP special guests to help them sell tickets. The idea of Gorka and Don Junior as the VIP draws at a gala event on a golf course shows everything that is wrong with the Brooklyn GOP — and my campaign will be protesting this event in person.

I condemn Gorka's inclusion, specifically, in the strongest possible terms. I'm disgusted that this man would be welcome anywhere in the country, let alone in Brooklyn. My district proudly celebrates our beautiful diversity, including our vibrant Muslim community, and Gorka — along with his shady neo-Nazi past — has stoked Islamophobia and hatred of Muslims in this country. He was one of the loudest defenders of Trump's Muslim Ban, and he sees immigrants as enemies. His values are completely un-American.

My campaign will be loudly protesting this event on Wednesday, May 16 at the Dyker Beach Golf Course. If the Brooklyn GOP believes that men like Gorka and Don Junior make America great, we need to teach them a thing or two about who we are as a city, and what we stand for. Please join me in condemning the Brooklyn GOP for this disgraceful decision. Our community deserves so much better than this."


BROOKLYN YOUNG DEMOCRATS ENDORSE GOUNARDES IN STATE SENATE RACE

Friday, April 20, 2018

Gounardes has garnered the first two club endorsements in the Democratic primary race

BROOKLYN, NY: Yesterday evening, the Brooklyn Young Democrats (BYD) officially endorsed Andrew Gounardes' candidacy in the 2018 New York State Senate election. BYD is the Kings County Democratic Party's official youth arm, and its support gives Gounardes momentum as District 22's primary race begins to intensify.

Thus far, Gounardes is 2-for-2 in Democratic club endorsements. (The Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats endorsed him in March.)

"This is really exciting," Gounardes said after last night's club meeting at LIU Brooklyn. "The Brooklyn Young Democrats are emerging community leaders and a positive force for change. They have proven in past elections how valuable their support is, and I'm beyond thrilled to have them in my corner."

Representing Democrats ages 16-35, BYD prides itself on organizing for candidates, serving the community and fundraising to help elect Democratic candidates in important elections — like this fall's State Senate race. 

"We want to see the Senate returned to Democratic control," said John Wasserman, the club's president. "And we believe that Andrew has what it takes to make that a reality. He cares deeply about his community and is exactly the kind of leader Southern Brooklyn should have."

Gounardes said the endorsement will motivate him to fight even harder for Brooklyn residents. 

"When you get to speak to a room full of young, passionate, talented people like BYD's members, how can you not be motivated?" he said. "For me, this is not only a huge honor — it's an incentive to work even harder to win this election. I can't wait to interact more with the Young Democrats so we can build a better Brooklyn together."


ON COMMUNITY ZONING, GOLDEN SAYS ONE THING AND DOES ANOTHER

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Marty Golden says he doesn't support proposed Marine Park upzoning, but his record indicates that may not be true

BROOKLYN, NY: Democratic State Senate Candidate Andrew Gounardes is calling out Republican Marty Golden for again making empty promises to voters, this time in regards to neighborhood zoning protections which Golden once said he supported — and now is jeopardizing.

"Marty loves to be on both sides of an issue and hope his constituents don't notice," Gounardes said.

Last year, residents of Brooklyn's Marine Park stood up to local officials who wanted to remove zoning restrictions that would have allowed developers to build larger buildings. At the time, Marty Golden said he was on the side of the residents, who feared overdevelopment ... but if recent history is any indication, Golden's support was not sincere.

The New York State Senate, on which Golden serves, has included legislation in its recently-passed 2018-2019 budget that would enable the construction of far more tall residential buildings in New York City than are currently permitted. Specifically, the bill would remove restrictions on how tall buildings can be in relation to their lot size; in practice, this will mean more residential skyscrapers. And in Southern Brooklyn, it's a major cause for concern.

"Our communities are like ecosystems," Gounardes said. "Changing the zoning laws, or allowing the construction of giant residential buildings, can strain local infrastructure and alter neighborhood dynamics. It can be harmful."

In an article on the budget bill, the Municipal Arts Society of New York said that the changes would result in "dramatic citywide increases in bulk and density without sufficient public review," and that the repeal "would be one of the most significant changes in zoning in more than 50 years." 

According to Gounardes, Golden's support of the budget legislation shows that he will side with building developers if it's politically expedient.

"Marty Golden likes to pretend he's on the side of local residents," Gounardes said, "but his track record is clear — he and his Republican friends are in the pockets of real estate developers, and they'll sell Brooklyn out if given the chance."

Gounardes added that neighborhoods like Marine Park need leaders who are committed to preserving the vital balance of these communities.

"I was born and raised in Southern Brooklyn. This is my home," Gounardes said. "And I'm not about to let some building developers come in and ruin it."


GOUNARDES LEADS COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ON PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The conversation engaged community members to make their voices heard  

BAY RIDGE, BROOKLYN, NY: Last night, Southern Brooklyn residents gathered at the Bridgeview Diner for a Community Conversation on Pedestrian Safety, led by Democratic State Senate Candidate Andrew Gounardes. The two-hour forum involved a stimulating back-and-forth dialogue between Gounardes and passionate local residents, who voiced their concerns about pedestrian safety issues and shared ideas they thought could make things better.

"I was inspired to see such a great turnout, and how much people care about this issue," Gounardes said after the event. "We need to make a lot of changes in Brooklyn to protect not only our pedestrians, but cyclists and drivers as well. And there were some terrific suggestions for ways we can do that."

The conversation, which Gounardes streamed via Facebook Live, had a distinctly local feel. Earlier this month in Brooklyn, a driver ran a red light and struck two women and their young children as they crossed an intersection, killing both children. That tragedy, fresh in everyone's minds, was reinforced when one community member told the group that he was attending the event because his wife had also been struck by a car — a hit-and-run incident. And a number of attendees expressed their concerns about the borough's pedestrian safety policies, ranging from poor enforcement to dangerous intersections, a lack of regulations on electric bicycles, not enough speed cameras in school zones and many other topics.

"This was a real conversation, which was refreshing," said Mike DeCillis, a Bay Ridge resident. "It was a well-attended event where people felt they could really bring their issues to the table. People felt validated. It was constructive."

DeCillis said one of the things he liked best about the meeting were Gounardes' points about ways community members can get involved and make a difference in this area.

"It was something you could tell Andrew was genuinely passionate about," DeCillis said. "It's been a focus of his, and he's really following through on his commitments."

Leading up to the community conversation, Gounardes visited corridors and intersections across Southern Brooklyn identified by the Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero plan as priority areas. 

Toward the end of last night's discussion, Gounardes announced that he plans to reveal his official platform on this issue soon — and that his proposals will draw from the ideas attendees shared at the meeting.

"There's not enough proactive leadership on this issue, not just in our district but in our borough and our city," Gounardes told the community members. "We can do a lot better on pedestrian safety."


CENTRAL BROOKLYN INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATS ENDORSE GOUNARDES IN STATE SENATE RACE

Friday, March 23, 2018

CBID's support for Gounardes is the first club endorsement in the Democratic primary race

BROOKLYN, NY: Yesterday evening, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID) officially endorsed Andrew Gounardes' candidacy in the 2018 New York State Senate election. CBID is one of the biggest and strongest Democratic clubs in the country, and it is the first Democratic club to endorse a candidate in the race for Senate District 22.

"I'm deeply honored to have CBID's endorsement," Gounardes said after last night's club meeting at the Park Slope Methodist Church. "The Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats are a force for good in Brooklyn. Their support validates the work I've been doing to make a difference in our community. I'm excited."

Founded in 1968 with the motto "Oppose Corruption," CBID emphasizes a platform of progressive reform politics for Brooklyn. Its choice of Gounardes indicates that his integrity, ideals and core campaign issues align closely with the club's progressive values and mission.

"We are proud to work with Andrew in this critical election, which could flip the State Senate back to Democratic control," said Asher Novek, the club's president. "He has the right vision for Brooklyn, the right ideas for change, and the right leadership qualities to make it happen. We can't wait for him to be the next senator from Brooklyn."

In the weeks and months to come, Gounardes hopes to build on the momentum from this endorsement with votes of support from other community groups.

"I hope this is just the start," he said. "To win this election and bring about the type of change Brooklyn needs, we have to build a grassroots, community-based coalition. Having local organizations like CBID behind me is vital to that effort."


STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES SUPPORTING NYS FUNDING FOR EARLY VOTING IMPLEMENTATION

Thursday, March 22, 2018

“I fully support the #LetNYVote proposal to add Early Voting funding to New York State's 2018-2019 budget, and to implement Early Voting statewide so that all eligible New Yorkers can more freely exercise their constitutional right to vote.

New York's voting laws are beyond antiquated. Marty Golden wants to make it harder for people to vote — that's why he opposes Early Voting. If he actually cared about giving voters a voice, he would support this proposal. Instead, he and his Republican allies want to prevent millions of eligible voters from casting a ballot and instead be forced to choose between their jobs, their families and their civil rights.

It's the 21st century and it's beyond time for New York to join the 37 other states with Early Voting. A change is gonna' come to our voting laws — it has to."


ANDREW GOUNARDES LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR STATE SENATE IN SOUTHERN BROOKLYN

Monday, November 20, 2017

Attorney and community leader Andrew Gounardes today announced his candidacy for the New York State Senate, declaring “fraudulent politicians in Albany have repeatedly failed the people of southern Brooklyn.”

In an email sent to supporters, Gounardes stated the Brooklynites “remain frustrated by the unending dysfunction in Albany…We deserve better. We must do better. That’s why I’m running. “

“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. 

Gounardes currently serves as Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, where he helped write and pass legislation to combat dangerous home conversions. He organized and formed the “Concerned R Train Riders” to fight for better service and demand handicapped accessible subway stations in southern Brooklyn, and worked with local parents to successfully pressure Albany lawmakers to pass legislation for school zone speed cameras that protect children from dangerous drivers. As the Borough President’s representative to the Board of Trustees for the New York City Employee Retirement System, he works to protect the pensions of 350,000 active and retired city workers from the civilian and uniformed workforces.  He is also a co-founder of Bay Ridge Cares, which prepared 25,000 hot meals for Sandy survivors for weeks after the storm and today helps neighbors facing extraordinary need by providing them with emergency assistance.

The 22nd Senate District includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Gravesend, as well as portions of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, and Midwood. Gounardes, who challenged incumbent Republican Martin Golden in 2012, noted that there are nearly 49,000 more Democrats than Republicans in the district, a margin that has grown by more than 10% since 2012.

“Throughout Brooklyn, and across America, people are energized as never before because the stakes have never been higher,” Gounardes declared. “This energy will help the people of Brooklyn finally retire an incumbent who empowers the special interests corrupting our capitol.”

A graduate of Fort Hamilton High School, Gounardes earned his degrees from Hunter College and the George Washington University Law School. He is a former aide to Councilmember Vincent Gentile and served on Community Board 10. Prior to joining the Borough President’s office, he worked for the Citizens Committee for New York City, a non-profit that provides neighborhood improvements grants to community groups across the five boroughs.