Michael Gianaris, the second most powerful leader in the New York Senate, said he will no longer accept campaign contributions from police unions and law enforcement groups following the death of George Floyd and tense interactions between protesters and police.
“I am donating all contributions received from police PACs for my re-election to bail funds and mutual aid organizations, and I will not accept them going forward,” Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris tweeted Sunday.
In tweets Saturday, he had said: “We need to call out injustice, but most of all we must act. This is the scene at the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights, Queens, where people are fed up. No more violence. We deserve a police force that acts with empathy.
“And we deserve a police force that is held accountable for racist behavior.”
Gianaris’s 12th senatorial district includes Astoria, Long Island City and Woodside.
A review of campaign filings show that law enforcement unions have contributed at least $11,000 to Gianari’s re-election kitty for the 2020 election cycle — including donations from the NYC PBA, NYS Troopers PAC, Detectives Endowment Association and unions representing MTA and Port Authority police officers.
The Astoria area until recently had been represented by pro-police Democratic lawmakers — notably former Council Speaker Peter Vallone and his son, ex-Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.
But the district appears to be shifting left — with democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s toppling of ex-Congressman Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary two years ago. Following his defeat, Crowley also stepped down as the Queens Democratic Party chairman.
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