Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas was born in Rhodesia. She immigrated to the United States from Greece and settled in Astoria with her parents and brother when she was an infant.
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, Immigration, and the environment. As a state representative in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City, the Assemblywoman’s office is involved in a large amount of Immigration-related cases.
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, 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 Queens Community Board 1 and was a member of the United Community Civic Association.
Assemblywoman Simotas and her husband, the Honorable Judge John Katsanos, live in Astoria with their daughter, Eleni Evangeline.