Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Roosevelt Island's New NY State Senator Mike Gianaris Talks With Residents During Community Board 8 RI Committee Meeting - He's Learning About Local Issues Including RIOC Governance And Looking Forward To Speaking With You At Saturday Farmers Market Soon

As reported February 1:

... How does the proposed NY State legislative redistricting impact Roosevelt Island representation? 

Roosevelt Island's long time Manhattan/Bronx State Senator Jose Serrano will no longer represent the neighborhood. Instead, Queens State Senator Michael Gianaris, Deputy Majority Leader of the State Senate, will represent Roosevelt Island in the proposed redistricting....

Senator Gianaris participated in the February 17 Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee virtual Zoom meeting chaired by Lynn Strong-Shinozaki and introduced himself to the community members attending.

According to Senator Gianaris: 

... I just wanted to start to get to know you all. As Lynn mentioned, the redistricting lines have changed and the district that I currently represent is taking on Roosevelt Island and parts of the Upper East Side up in the 90s and even though I won't officially be representing the area until January 1, I will be running for office for re-election... 

Roosevelt Island was a place I've been too many times in my life. As you're all very much aware, the only bridge connecting you all to the rest of the city comes right into  the historic Long Island City border so I've ridden my bike through your island many times.

I visited the park, I've been to events there and I will consider it an honor if I get the chance to represent the area and you can count on seeing me there often.

Lynn and I spoke a little bit earlier today and she mentioned the Saturday market is something I have to come to so we're gonna put that on my agenda. I don't think I can come this weekend but I will be there in short order and if any of you are there I will get to say hello in person ...

... I  really look forward to collaborating with all of you on issues of importance to Roosevelt Island. Most people in the City I think when they think of Roosevelt they think of the Tram and the Spider-Man movie and there's a lot more going on there than just that so it's up to the rest of us to educate everybody else...

I asked Senator Gianaris about his views on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors vacant seats, residents voting for RIOC Board members and the recently introduced legislation introduced by Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and current State Senator Jose Serrano about the RIOC Board governance. 

                                                               Screenshot From Feb 17 CB 8 Roosevelt Island Committee You Tube Video

Senator Gianaris replied:

... This is my first introduction to Roosevelt Island activists and community leaders. I know about RIOC. I've heard a lot about it but before I dive into that detailed question I'd love to talk to you and to the Board and Lynn and develop some more background and actually that's something  I'd like to ask Senator Serrano his views on as well.

But I'm just starting to get to learn about a lot of this stuff and I know enough to know that the whole RIOC administration question has been lingering for quite some time so I just want to get kind of educated up on it before I give you a specific answer to that but I'm happy to sit with you and hear you out on how you think it should be handled ... 

About the Seawright/Serrano RIOC legislation, Senator Gianaris said:

... It sounds like if the people who represent the Island want that change then it's likely something I'd be supporting as well but again i just don't want to get ahead of myself on the substance...


...One thing that I would ask you all to avail yourselves of as it relates to my role in the Senate is I happen to be the Deputy Leader. Senator Serrano is the Chairman of the Conference so he's kind of third or fourth in line too so he's no slouch but I do have probably more ability to be effective legislatively than the average Senator. So, if there's something as it relates to RIOC for example, I may have a greater ability to get that done, a new experience in the past so we should definitely put our heads together on that and see what we can do.

Ms Shinozaki adds:

That sounds very exciting. I know that the the community has chafed at different periods because they felt that who was participating in the Board didn't necessarily represent the community and there has been a lot of movement over the years to try to get more people on the Board that live in the community because they feel that they understand the issues intimately because they live here. I'm sure that's something that we can continue to discuss with you in terms of how to move forward on that.

Here's the Agenda

 and video of the February CB 8 Roosevelt Island committee.


Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright will continue to represent Roosevelt Island under the new redistricting.