Metro Weekly

New York lawmakers’ offices vandalized with “Obama faggot” graffiti

Both lawmakers have been critical of President Trump's policies, particularly on immigration matters

New York State Sen. Michael Gianaris – Photo: Facebook.

The building that houses the offices of a New York state senator and an assemblywoman who have been vocal opponents of President Trump was vandalized with graffiti reading “Obama faggot” on Monday morning.

The graffiti was found in two different places on the outside of the building at 31-19 Newtown Ave., in Astoria, Queens, which houses the offices of State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Arevella Simotas of Queens. 

Gianaris issued a statement after the incident, saying: “It is shameful that someone is trying to divide our diverse neighborhood through hostility and bigotry. We can assure our community that these hateful actions will not silence our opposition towards policies we consider un-American, and we will continue to fight for those who need our help no matter the cost.”

But according to QNS.com, this is the second time the same words have been written on the building in the past week, with Councilman Costa Constantinides filing a report after the first incident. 

Gianaris’ spokeswoman tells Metro Weekly that the office is working closely with the New York Police Department’s 114th Precinct in the hope of finding the perpetrator.

Police with the 114th Precinct have documented both incidents and are reviewing security footage in order to try to identify the vandal.

“Writing hateful graffiti is a cowardly, criminal act that pollutes our neighborhood and makes people feel less safe,” Simotas said. “I am confident that the 114th Precinct will catch the perpetrator or perpetrators, whatever their sick motivation may be. These acts of hate will neither silence nor stop Astoria’s elected officials from working to fight discrimination and intolerance and to protect the beautiful diversity of our neighborhood.”

Both Gianaris and Simotas have been vocal in their opposition to President Trump’s policies, particularly with respect to immigration. Along with Constantinides, the two lawmakers held a rally to celebrate Astoria’s diversity shortly after Trump’s election.

Gianaris has proposed legislation that would prohibit the Port Authority from utilizing any of its resources to enforce Trump’s initial travel ban, which has since been revised after receiving backlash and being struck down by the courts. He has also proposed adding immigration status to the list of classes of people who should be protected under New York’s civil rights laws. Simotas has introduced a bill this session to prevent the intimidation of crime victims or witnesses who are undocumented by making it a felony to report their immigration status. The aim of that bill is to encourage undocumented people to cooperate with police by providing information that could be pertinent to any unsolved crimes.

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