December 18th, 2013
District 22 Councilmember-Elect Costa Constantinides is raring to go, with a list of priorities ready for when he is sworn in in January.
In a statement Constantinides released he said, “My priorities are many, taking office in January. Our community is an amazing collection of neighborhoods and I will work hard everyday to ensure that our district continues to move forward to the benefit of all. I plan on working on many issues coming into office, but here are some that we will get to work on immediately:
• We are committed to improving air quality and implementing our plan for a better environment. That includes ensuring that dirty power plants are either retrofitted with cleaner burning technology or closed down; reducing traffic congestion; tackling the challenges posed to our community by climate change; and protecting our drinking water. We also plan on exploring our options for adding green space and prioritizing our local parks, keeping them clean.
December 11th, 2013
Councilmember Costa Constantinides, who represents District 22, was sworn into the City Council on Tuesday, December 10.
Councilmember Costa Constantinides was officially sworn into the City Council Tuesday by City Clerk Michael McSweeney. He will begin his term Jan. 1
Constantinides, who represents District 22, was joined by Councilmember James Gennaro.
The date for his inauguration ceremony in Astoria is still to be determined.
December 11th, 2013
(L. to r.); State Committeemember Laura Jean Hawkins, Councilmember-Elect Costa Constantinides, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and President of Powhatan Regular Democratic Club Dirk McCall.
Councilmember-Elect Costa Constantinides, joined by Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, thanked volunteers and supporters for their work during his campaign for City Council.
“As the holiday season approaches, we wanted to give thanks to everyone for all their hard work over the past few months,” said Constantinides. “Our volunteers, friends, and supporters’ help means a lot to us and we enjoyed thanking everyone as we spread some holiday cheer.”
December 11th, 2013
The United Community Civic Association (UCCA) held its 21st annual holiday brunch at the LaGuardia Marriott, where several elected officials and community members were honored.
Also present were state Senators Michael Gianaris and Jose Peralta, Councilmembers Peter Vallone Jr. and Daniel Dromm and Asssemblymembers Aravella Simotas and Michael DenDekker, as well as Councilmember-Elect Costa Constantinides and City Comptroller John Liu.
December 5th, 2013
Employees of contractors serving Queens’ two airports staged a protest last week at LaGuardia Airport.
The workers, employed by cleaning, maintenance and security companies, say their pay, insurance benefits and other working conditions are substandard compared to people employed directly by the airlines or the Port Authority, which operates LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports.
Councilman-Elect Costa Costantinides (D-Astoria), whose district includes LaGuardia and who attended the rally said improving working pay and conditions do not help just the workers.
“Earning a fair living wage also helps drive economic development, a benefit to the entire community,” he said in a statement issued by the union.
November 26th, 2013
Workers at New York’s three major airports continued Tuesday their holiday-week rally for better wages and working conditions.
Protesters say that the problem is airlines subcontracting out security, cleaning and other functions at the airports to low bidders.
They say that those sub-contractors pay significantly less than those directly employed by the airlines and the Port Authority.
“Millions of dollars of commerce come from this airport every single day, and the workers are not sharing in that success,” said City Councilman-elect Costa Constantinides of Queens. “They’re not getting a living wage. They’re not getting health benefits. They’re not getting sick time when they need it.”
Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_1qOAp5NYI
Read the entire article here: http://queens.ny1.com/content/news/199405/airport-workers-continue-rally-for-better-wages-and-working-conditions
November 26th, 2013
New York Airport Workers Organize to End Two-Tier Wage System
Passenger service workers earn significantly lower wages than the largely unionized airline employees with whom they work. Now they’re organizing to change that.
Shareeka Elliott arrives to work in the dark and returns home in the dark. At 6 am, when she finishes her eight-hour shift as a cleaner at John F. Kennedy International Airport, she takes two buses, the B15 and B83, for an hour-and-a-half commute to the house in East New York that she shares with seven family members. The commute is grueling; the work, more so. Her hourly wage of $7.90 provides barely enough to cover basic living expenses for her and her two young daughters, and she receives no healthcare or benefits. If she misses a day, she is expected to provide documentation of her whereabouts. At 26 years old, she is locked into a job that offers no prospect of its becoming a career.
On a blustery November morning, as the sky over JFK began to lighten, Elliott waited for the B15. With her were Diana Smith and Omar Dunkley, her colleagues at Airway LLC, one of the many contractors hired to provide “passenger service” positions at the airport. They were commiserating over the imposition of a new rule: the elimination of the fifteen-minute grace period at the start of a shift that allowed workers some flexibility in their travel time. Now, an arrival of five minutes past the hour results in a written reprimand.
Addressing the ebullient crowd of 200, Costa Constantinides, a newly elected City Council representative from Astoria whose district encompasses LaGuardia airport, said, “That’s what this election was about—standing with labor, standing with working men and women.”
November 16th, 2013
Costa sat down this week with NY1′s Queens anchor, Rocco Vertuccio, for a one-on-one interview where they discussed the campaign and several major issues impacting our community, ranging from the environment to transportation.
November 11th, 2013
Watch coverage of Costa’s victory on New Greek TV
November 7th, 2013
The Road to City Hall’s Josh Robin spoke with four of the newest members of the city council: Andrew Cohen from the Bronx, Chaim Deutsh from Brooklyn and from Queens, Costa Constantinides and Paul Vallone.
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBgz3_0apsU
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjYCKPa_NUI