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Former Sanitation Worker Seeks 12th District Senate Seat, Says Incumbent Mike Gianaris Failed Public on Amazon and Bail Reform

(Iggy Terranova Campaign Website)

Feb. 17, 2020 By Kristen Torres

A former sanitation employee who spent 20 years working for the city is putting his hat in the ring to challenge State Senator Michael Gianaris in this year’s Democratic primary.

Ignazio “Iggy” Terranova retired from the city’s Department of Sanitation after a decades-long career in 2019. His inspiration to run against the incumbent senator for Senate District 12, however, came last year after Gianaris opposed Amazon’s plan to open its HQ2 campus in Long Island City.

“The current senator has lost complete touch with the residents of his district,” Terranova said. “For someone to think it’s ok to throw away 25,000 good paying jobs for politics—that makes no sense.”

He also pointed to Gianaris’ work with bail reform as a major catalyst for his decision to run. The senator was the author of the controversial bail reform legislation that would end cash bail for most misdemeanors and low-level felony charges. Gianaris also helped usher it through as part of the state budget and hailed its passage.

“For a guy who’s letting people out [of jail] under a bail reform bill makes no sense,” he said. “I’m for reforming the bail system, but not the way they did it.”

Terranova, 45, was born in Italy and moved with his family to Astoria when he was just 2-years-old. He began his career as a garbage collector before eventually moving up the ranks to become the supervisor of the DSNY’s Community Affair Unit.

Terranova is running on a platform that is centered on supporting small business, preserving affordable housing and protecting labor unions.

He said his work as a liaison between DSNY, community members and elected officials has primed him for a role in the state senate.

“I spent the last few years of my career going to every corner of this city to help people with their problems,” he said. “I was the guy that all the elected officials came to when they needed something—including the senator [Gianaris].”

“I fixed their problems. I did the work. I got things done,” he added.

Gianaris, however, said he’s confident his track record in office will carry him through to another win.

“I am confident my record protecting our neighborhoods from further displacement and fighting for better subways and delivering justice for tens of thousands on New Yorkers will be recognized by the voters,” he said in a statement.

But despite the Senator’s seeming indifference toward a run by Terranova, it was just two years ago that Gianaris was praising the DSNY retiree on the Senate floor.

“New York City is full of distinguished characters that leave an impression, and Iggy Terranova is certainly one of them,” Gianaris said at the time.“I’ve been impressed by not only his skill and ability, but his outsized personality as well. He lives in Astoria, in my district, and I’m proud of that.”

Terranova was recently endorsed by Justin Potter—a newcomer to city politics who until this week had been waging his own campaign against Gianaris.

“When it comes to challenging an incumbent in an election, the most constructive approach is for all of us who want change to come together behind one candidate,” Potter wrote in a statement.

“We are excited to endorse Iggy, and are looking forward to joining him and countless others from across the spectrum in working together for a better Queens.”

The candidates will face off during the Democratic primary election on June 23.

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20 Comments

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Spyros Pappadimos

He is a big improvement worked his way up the ranks at the dsny. Good family man. He has my vote

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bb

Didn’t it just come out yesterday that Amazon has already added more jobs in NYC than it would have under the HQ2 plan, WITHOUT the tax breaks? Gianaris is going to sail on that.

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Gardens Watcher

bb—Building a second headquarters in LIC with 25,000 high-tech jobs would have had a much bigger economic impact for Queens, NYC and NYState than filling existing office space in Manhattan. Where is Gianaris’ plan for jobs in Queens?

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Carmelita Padua

I worked with the city, I know we are hard working emloyees, always work / serve for the People of New York City. Vote for candidates who always bring/ try fresh ideas for the improvement of the lives who they serve.

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Lina

Good luck Ignazio “Iggy” Terranova! Just remember that people show up to vote for someone that they like and not so much just to get someone out of office. Focus on bringing the diverse community together and give them many reasons to support you as a candidate. Make us proud!

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mac

Lol not a disaster. Amazon can’t handle any local criticism and refused to accept the prospect of unionized employees. NYC doesn’t need a surge of rich employees to further price out the remaining middle and lower class residents in LIC. Many New Yorkers are celebrating this my guy.

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Terry

He has put a HUGE campaign sign on the front of his house, making the entire street look trashy. Not getting my vote.

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Latina84

Yes, sir, our local politicians know little about how the world works and how to improve lives of people in their districts. All they know is how to spew impractical leftist rhetoric that has already cost Queens people jobs and safety.
You seem like a thoughtful, accomplished and humble individual and the type of representative we need.
Thank you for running!

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Gardens Watcher

The Amazon deal died just over a year ago, and it absolutely is a huge issue in this campaign. Gianaris lead the opposition.

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Harry Bingham IV

No way this former Republican beats Gianaris.
I’m no fan of Gianaris but there is no one out there right now that will beat him.

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Pavlos

I am open to learning more about Mr. Terranova and his campaign but as a voter the Amazon argument is getting tiresome from people running agaisnt officials already in office.

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Gary T

This “[t]hrow away 25,000 good-paying jobs for politics” is an overly simplistic view of a complex issue. Don’t get me wrong I leaned slightly in favor of the Amazon HQ2 plan. But I also completely understand the valid arguments made by Gianaris and others on the other side of this issue particularly given the substantial tax benefits, the fact that the vast majority of those jobs would not be going to local residents, and would have been placed a heavy burden on the already overburdened infrastructure of Western Queens.

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Democrats against Socialism

You are not considering the thousands of indirect jobs that Amazon would have created for the community: Construction, maintenance, restaurants, retail shop owners, etc. Gianaris and his radical left wing pals should have fought for tax breaks for all Queens residents. The problem was not Amazon, it was the politicians that provided those tax breaks and in order to make it fair, ALL QUEENS residents should have given tax breaks.

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rr

I understand where you are coming from. And its an argument that many candidates are using agaisnt public officials that opposed the Amazon Deal when running for office. The fact is that the majority of people will continue to order from Amazon, Target, Wallmart, etc. whether they build them here or not. They are growing yearly because they are sometimes cheaper, convenient and offer free delivery when you spend more. Its has turned into a way of life and many of average voters who are working hard to pay bills utilize it. IMO, people want to hear about healthcare, housing, education, wages, transit, etc. to get them to the polls.

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john Monthomer

One thing that people overlook with the Amazon deal was that they were, among other things, being given public land at no cost, free, as well as tax breaks. This is a billion dollar company and they weren’t offering to put out any money? As for the promise of jobs, that wasn’t written in stone either. Now compare that to old man Steinway who actually built housing for his workers, invested in local transportation, etc. He knew that this would make for a better quality of life for his workers. How times have changed. Now these rich owners expect the government to provide handouts to them and they won’t do anything.

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fuelgrannie

but these facts *are* straight: the 50k, then 40k, then 25k “promised” jobs were never fully defined, on purpose, in the vague and shady m.o.u. hq2lic agreement. an m.o.u. by its very nature is a breakable deal: amazon frequently uses m.o.u.’s with municipality land deals because they are so breakable. amazon hates commitment: it hates having to keep its word.

good riddance: it’s a cheap, greedy, lying monopoly. open your eyes

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