Biography

Aravella Simotas
Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas represents the 36th District in New York City. In office since 2011, Assemblywoman Simotas has worked extensively both as a legislator and staunch community advocate, committed to supporting women and families, students, seniors, small businesses and the environment.

During her time in the New York State Assembly, she has focused on keeping the economy strong, protecting survivors of violent crime, making quality education more accessible and affordable for students, and promoting common-sense policies to protect New York’s natural resources. Assemblywoman Simotas Chairs the Assembly’s Ethics and Guidance Committee and is Co-Chair of the NYS Legislative Ethics Commission. She also serves as a member of the Assembly’s Committees for Banks, Energy, Judiciary and Ways and Means.

Specifically, she has passed legislation to provide pre-natal healthcare services to all pregnant women, aid seniors and disabled residents in lowering housing costs, increase transparency in the liquor license application process, ensure the timely testing of rape kits, strengthen the definition of a persistent sexual offender, increase penalties for sex crimes committed on public transportation, expand clean energy options and support small businesses. She has also authored or sponsored legislation to alleviate student loan debt, define state rape laws to respond more effectively to survivors and to protect patients and consumers in the marketplace.

As a lifelong resident of Astoria, Queens, Assemblywoman Simotas is a graduate of the New York City public school system, having attended Public School 17, Intermediate School 126, and William C. Bryant High School before receiving her undergraduate degree in economics and philosophy, summa cum laude, from Fordham University in 1999. In 2002, she went on to receive her law degree (also from Fordham) where she served as the managing editor of the Environmental Law Journal.

Upon graduating from law school, Assemblywoman Simotas served as a federal law clerk and as a commercial litigator. She was also active in local government prior to her election to the Assembly, working as a district representative for New York City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone, Sr. and Councilman Peter F. Vallone, Jr. In addition, she served on the Queens Community Board 1, and was a member of the United Community Civic Association.

Assemblywoman Simotas and her husband, the Honorable John Katsanos, live in Astoria with their daughter, Eleni Evangeline.