2011-01-26 / Front Page

Triple Swearing In

BY JASON D. ANTOS


(L. to. r.); Assemblymember Catherine Nolan holds the Bible as Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney is sworn into office by state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. 
Photos Vinny DuPre (L. to. r.); Assemblymember Catherine Nolan holds the Bible as Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney is sworn into office by state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Photos Vinny DuPre A triple swearing in ceremony was conducted on January 20, at the newly revamped Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney, state Senator Michael N. Gianaris and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas took the Oath of Office before a capacity crowd of more than 300 people that included City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., Councilmembers Peter Vallone Jr. and Jimmy Van Bramer, former state Senator George Onorato and many friends and family members.

The ceremony began with opening remarks by Assemblymember Catherine Nolan and state Senator Jose Peralta.

Tristan Buettel sang the National Anthem followed by the invocation given by Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor. In between the swearing in of each official, the Center of Hope Gospel Choir entertained the audience with inspirational Gospel music.


(L. to r.); Brother Bill and parents Magda and Nicholas Gianaris watch as their son Michael is sworn into office by the Honorable Nicholas Garaufis. (L. to r.); Brother Bill and parents Magda and Nicholas Gianaris watch as their son Michael is sworn into office by the Honorable Nicholas Garaufis. Maloney was sworn in by state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

“It’s an honor to be sworn in here in Astoria with my good friends Mike Gianaris and Aravella Simotas, and to offer my ten point plan to make Western Queens an even better place to live. I look forward to working with Senator Gianaris, Assemblywoman Simotas, and all our colleagues in government to make this plan a reality. I am humbled and profoundly grateful that the voters of the 14th District returned me to office, and I pledge to repay their trust each and every day of this Congress,” Maloney said.

Maloney recently won a victory with the signing of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act into law by President Barack Obama. The bill, which Maloney introduced in 2009, will amend the Public Health Service Act to extend and improve protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001.


(L. to r.); Aristidis and Helen Simotas and husband John Katsanos watch as Aravella Simotas is sworn in by the Honorable Nicholas Tsoucalas. (L. to r.); Aristidis and Helen Simotas and husband John Katsanos watch as Aravella Simotas is sworn in by the Honorable Nicholas Tsoucalas. The Honorable Nicholas Garaufis swore in Gianaris.

“As New York continues to face a difficult economy, we will work together to create more jobs, keep taxes from further burdening New Yorkers and make the necessary changes to reform Albany. I look forward to working with my colleagues so our government can better serve the people of New York,” Gianaris said.

During his career as Assemblymember, Gianaris helped with job growth in Western Queens and wrote the first Airline Passenger Bill of Rights in the nation, as well as New York’s Energy Consumer Bill of Rights. Gianaris was instrumental in helping to close the Poletti power plant in Astoria. He is also the first Greek-American to be elected to legislative office in New York.

“I am proud of what we’ve done together to help Queens,” Gianaris said.

He was joined on stage with his parents Magda and Nicholas and brother Bill.

And finally came Simotas who was sworn in by the Honorable Nicholas Tsoucalas.

“Aravella will help make Astoria and the rest of Queens more vibrant and more prosperous,”

Tsoucalas said.

Simotas acknowledged the significant challenges facing New York and the skepticism towards state government among its residents. She cited her Greek immigrant parents’ hard work and sacrifice and Astoria’s rich civic and cultural heritage as her inspiration for entering public service.

“For me, serving our community is a natural calling and fighting for this district is a privilege,” she said. “While it’s true that politics is too often driven by bitter partisanship and gridlock, I still believe that government can work for working people again.”

She was joined on stage by her husband John Katsanos and her parents Aristidis and Helen.

The Reverend Father John Anotonopoulos gave the closing prayer.

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