Onorato Fundraiser Is Campaign Highlight
Hundreds of well wishers and supporters crowded into
Wednesday night, September 6 to help public officials and family members give a boost to the re-election campaign of state Senator George Onorato.
Onorato has served as Executive Member and Democratic Leader of the 36th Assembly District since 1977. Since he won a highly contested three-candidate race for a senate seat in a special election in June 1983, Onorato has had a distinguished career as a public servant, selflessly advancing the needs and wishes of his constituents. He has served in Senate leadership since 1992. Currently, he is vice chair of the Minority Conference and so serves on the Policy Committee of the Senate Democratic Conference. He has also served a two-year term as treasurer and another as president of the Conference of Italian American Legislators.
During his first year in the Senate, Onorato was prime co-sponsor of the used car "lemon law". He has been actively involved in tenants' rights issues and landlord equity, sponsoring a package of legislation which includes limiting the length of major capital improvements costs passalongs, posting of the name and phone number of the landlord's contact person in
Onorato worked tirelessly toward implementation of the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program (EPIC), and has consistently cosponsored legislation that would make prescription medication affordable for most of this state's senior citizens. For several years, he sponsored legislation requiring physicians who accept Medicare patients to accept the Medicare-determined rate of payment, which became law during the 1990 legislative session.
A member of the Senate Minority Task Force on Waterfront Development, Onorato has been deeply involved in the redevelopment of the Hunters Point area and the proposed inclusion of public, senior citizen, and moderate-income housing for Queens West and similar projects
throughout New York state. He has been and continues to be supportive of numerous civic and community renewal groups and their projects. He has served with the Riker's Island Liaison Group that monitors conditions and takes unified action to respond to problems associated with community proximity to Riker's Island. He also serves as a member of the New York State Senate Democratic Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force.
A veteran of service in the Korean War, Onorato received a Presidential Citation while serving in the United States Army, 118th Medical Battalion from 1950 to 1952. He is Acting Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and a member of the Senate Minority Task Force on Vietnam Veterans. He was among the sponsors of legislation providing for graduate and undergraduate student aid to Vietnam veterans, and introduced legislation to increase the level of such funding. He sponsored and supported legislation requiring that handicapped children of Vietnam veterans be identified in order to assist in developing a database for research on dioxin-related birth defects. In 2003, he was a founding member of the bipartisan Senate-Assembly New York State Armed Forces Legislative Caucus, and currently serves as its co-chair.
In 2001, Onorato was appointed cochairman of the New York State Senate Democratic Task Force on Energy & Conservation. He is involved in negotiations and legislation that would help limit the emission of pollutants caused by power plants, involvement brought about by his great concern over air quality, especially in New York City and Queens County. He also serves on the Task Force on Legislative and Government Reform.
A lifelong resident of Astoria, Onorato graduated from Long Island City H.S. He is married to the former Athena Georgakakos and has three adult children, Joanne, George, and Janice, and six grandchildren. He was elected SecretaryTreasurer of Bricklayers' Local 41 in January 1968 and served the union for 15 years until his election to the state senate. Onorato, a member of the Taminent Regular Democratic Club since 1950, became chairman of its board of directors in 1972.