Photo Courtesy of the Assembly
Simanowitz represented the 27th Assembly District for the past six years.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz, a Democrat who represented the Queens communities of the 27th District for the past six years, died on Saturday after a long clash with cancer. He was 46.
Simanowitz was born and raised in Forest Hills, but settled in Electchester in Flushing to raise his family. After Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn announced her retirement in 2011, Simanowitz, who had served as chief of staff for 15 of her 28 years in the Assembly, won the special election for the D27 seat. He took office in September 2011, immediately representing the interests of residents and entrepreneurs of parts of Richmond Hill, Forest Hills, Flushing, College Point, Whitestone, Kew Gardens, and Briarwood.
Upon his election, Simanowitz stepped down from his position in the City Police Department’s Auxiliary Division. He volunteered in the 107th Precinct from 1995 to 2011, the last nine years as commanding officer.
Tributes to Simanowitz have poured into The Forum over the past five days.
“Mike Simanowitz dedicated the majority of his professional life to public service and helping others,” said State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach). “I understand that his name Mike or Meir in Hebrew means “light” and he truly was the light for so many of his constituents, helping them find answers to their concerns. As a husband, father, and community leader, he will be missed. My prayers are with his family during their difficult time.”
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz’s passing,” added City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). “Mike was a selfless public servant, a leader and a good friend. He dedicated his life to helping others, and was a remarkable person who loved his family, and the people he so proudly represented.”
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng said, “I am shocked and devastated over the sudden passing of Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz who was taken from us at such a young age. Mike was a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to improve his community, both as an elected official and as a staff member to his predecessor. He was also a constituent and a great friend. But more importantly, Mike was a wonderful human being. He had a heart of gold and was among the warmest, friendliest and most down-to-earth individuals I have known. His passing is a terrible loss for me personally as well as for our borough, city and state. I will miss him enormously. But his service and advocacy will never be forgotten, and I will always cherish the times we spent together.
“At this difficult time, I send my deepest condolences to Mike’s wife and children, his parents, and all of his friends, colleagues and constituents. I ask all New Yorkers to keep Mike’s family in their thoughts and prayers.”
Simanowitz is survived by his wife, Jen, and their four children.