2006-09-27 / Political Page

Gianaris, Liu, Gioia Selected As 'Rising Stars'

Assemblymember Michael Gianaris and Queens Councilmembers Eric Gioia and John Liu are among 35 elected officials to make a "rising stars" list compiled by a Manhattan newspaper based on nominations from readers, political observers, and the publication's editorial board, which made the final selections.

Others on the list include City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Kevin Shecky, deputy mayor in the Bloomberg administration and the mayor's top political strategist; another deputy mayor, Ed Skylar, and Michael Murphy, former public information officer for Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

City Hall, a monthly newspaper which covers city and state politics and as part of the Manhattan Media group of weekly newspapers, is the publication that did the study.

Brief profiles of all those selected were included. Gianaris' political roots were sketched out and he was described as "a central player in standing up for the neighborhoods."

Gianaris (D-Astoria), it was also noted, raised $2 million in an abortive run for state attorney general earlier this year. He is letting the funds grow for a future race, possibly another try for state attorney general.

Gianaris said the most important thing he has accomplished was authoring the state's major anti-terrorism Energy Security Act.

Gioia's profile noted that he won election for the first time in 2001 as an anti-organization candidate who has quickly become known in his own right as "the mini mayor of the 175,000 people in his district," or so he says.

Gioia said many people suggest to him that he should run for New York City Public Advocate. Although he's thinking about it, he hasn't made any decision as yet.

Gioia (D-Long Island City) said the most important thing he's accomplished thus far is "the work I've done to expand opportunities for the kids in my neighborhood."

By two years from now, he hopes to have accomplished: "To do all I can to end child hunger in New York."

Councilmember John Liu (D-Flushing), his profile said, has sponsored more than 80 pieces of legislation in his almost six years in the council and has also become a political force, building and leading an Asian-American power base around the city.

Liu, council Transportation Committee chair, said his greatest accomplishment thus far has been, forcing more accountability on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "The most memorable day was Jan. 17, 2003, when the head of the MTA at my committee hearing admitted that the MTA was keeping different sets of financial books."

Two years from now, he hopes he will have made the City Council a true resource for New Yorkers, an institution that continually generates creative initiatives and innovative solutions."

KATZ FUNDRAISER: A huge collection of New York City movers and shakers are expected to attend Councilmember Melinda Katz fundraiser tonight at the posh Water Club in Manhattan.

From the look of the announcement notice, the event should produce quite a large sum for the Forest Hills lawmaker's war chest, whatever she might intend to use the money for. Katz, chair of the powerful Land Use Committee, which deals with major zoning issues, faces term limits and the end of her City Council career in a little more than two years, if the present law isn't changed, and will likely wind up running for some citywide office or other, according to the current buzz.

The announcement lists over 100 contributors who have donated anywhere from $500 (friend), $1,000 (host) and $2,500 (sponsor) to $4,450 (benefactor). As best we can figure, it adds up to over $300,000 even before the doors open early tonight at 5:30 p.m. The Water Club is at East 30th Street and the East River.

Among the contributors listed are former Councilmember Walter McCaffrey, George Kaufman of Kaufman Astoria Studios, Stuart Match Suna of Silvercup Studios, realtor Nasrullah Misk and assorted labor unions, real estate developers, lawyers and political consultants.

DA BROWN HONOREE: Transitional Services for New York Inc. (TSI), a not-for-profit multifaceted mental health recovery organization, will honor

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown with its Distinguished Public Service Award on October 19 at its 2006 Dinner Dance Gala at the Floral Terrace in Floral Park.

State Senator Frank Padavan (R-C, Bellerose) will be the evening's emcee. Padavan serves on the TSI Honorary Advisory Board, along with Estelle Cooper, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park director, and Councilmember David Weprin (D-Hollis).

MALTESE HOLDS HEALTH FAIR: State Senator Serphin Maltese (R-C, Middle Village) will be joined by Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio (D-R, Richmond Hill) tomorrow at a senior health fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Richmond Hill Block Association, 110-08 Jamaica Ave., Richmond Hill.

The event will feature health tests and screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and arterial disease as well as chiropractic screening, Maltese said.

"Simple health screenings can make a major difference in diagnosing potential problems early and maintaining your health," Maltese said. "I urge local seniors to take advantage of this opportunity to get checked out."

Maltese is opposed in his bid for re-election by Democratic candidate Albert Baldeo, an attorney from Jamaica.

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