reports to
the people

Summer 2004

Dear Friends,

As the 2004 Legislative Session comes to a close, I am truly proud of the accomplishments attained for the 31st Assembly District. To the many graduates throughout the district—Congratulations! You may not know what lies around the corner but with faith, perseverance, and preparation you will be able to rise to any occasion. In addition, to the parents and family members who supported these fine students, I applaud you for a job well done.

Last year, the Legislative session was historic. The Assembly and the Senate took a stand for the people of this great state and restored billions in our state budget. In a bipartisan manner, we overrode the Governor’s wrong choices. Education, health care, and economic development faced huge cuts that I am proud to report were staved off. This year was no different.

I truly believe that good government is measured by how well it takes care of its citizens in the dawn of life - our children and our most vulnerable citizens - the poor, elderly and the disabled.

To be an effective legislator, you must be able to build coalitions in order to change, propose, or eliminate state policies. Working with my governmental colleagues and community leaders, I have increased the voice of the people in the 31st Assembly District.

Having strong coalitions allows me to serve my constituents in the most effective manner. Community empowerment is essential for the survival of our community. The legislation I have introduced and sponsored this legislative session are to that end. I have introduced legislation that would require after school programs in every school, moratoriums on the over-saturation of shelters and group homes, accountability of our police department in executing search warrants, increased services for foster families, and job opportunities at the airports.

As your Assemblywoman, I report to you that we are still moving forward, constantly improving services and expanding our commitment of bringing together a broad cross section of our community. We have accomplished so much in the past year, and together, 2005 will be no different. Our commitment to strive for excellence will not falter.

I am honored to have been a member of a Legislative Body that has made such unprecedented accomplishments. It is with your continued support and dedication that we will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

My staff and I are here to serve your needs, as we already have for so many of our neighbors. Whatever your concern, we stand ready to assist you and your family. We are just a phone call away.


Upcoming Events

Diabetes Awareness Week August 15-21

In an effort to bring awareness to a growing epidemic, Assemblywoman Titus is dedicating the week of August 15-21, Diabetes Awareness Week. This is an opportunity for residents and their loved ones to visit neighborhood clinics for free screenings. Many of our neighbors are walking around with the symptoms of this silent killer and are unaware of its dangers. Other chronic diseases linked to diabetes include heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Often diabetes goes undetected because many of its symptoms may appear harmless such as frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, increased fatigue, blurry vision, weight loss. Early detection of diabetes and treatment will decrease the chance of developing further complications.

Senior Appreciation Week September 13-19

Assemblywoman Michele Titus, in collaboration with the other elected officials of Southeast Queens, will host an array of events to show appreciation to those that are the pillars in our community. The week will include luncheons, seminars, fitness day, talent shows, and the availability of volunteers to assist seniors with errands. Last year we had record community participation and this year will be even bigger.

Southeast Queens Junior Olympics August 7-14

Assemblywoman Titus is co-chairing the second bi-annual Southeast Queens Junior Olympics. This is an opportunity for youth ages 6 to 18 to compete in various sports from baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, and basketball to boxing, martial arts, track and field, swimming, stepping and double dutch. The Southeast Queens Olympic Committee, Inc., is a collaboration between sports clubs, coaches, cultural and community organizations, businesses, and faith-based organizations. Over 2,000 young people are expected to participate in this worthwhile exhibition of athletic skill. If you would like further information or an application for your child, contact Martha Taylor Butler in my District Office at 718-327-1845.

Titus Announces Scholarship Essay Contest

Calling all 2005 graduating high school seniors residing in the 31st Assembly District. You are invited to submit a 500 word essay for a chance of being awarded one of four $500 scholarships. The essay topic is “Southeastern Queens: City of Neighborhoods.” In the essay, you are required to discuss the interrelationship of government and your educational experience. How does government affect your education and what should or should not be the role of government? The monetary awards are to be used to assist our graduating seniors prepare to go on to higher education. At this time in a graduating senior’s life, there are additional expenses a family incurs, such as college prep courses, application fees, trips to visit the prospective colleges, and admission acceptance deposits. These awards will help alleviate such concerns and allow the student to concentrate on obtaining their dreams. The deadline for submission is October 1, 2004. Winners will be announced October 15, 2004. Please include your name, address and phone number and forward all entries to the Office of Assemblywoman Michele R. Titus, 19-31 Mott Avenue, Room 301, Far Rockaway, New York 11691.

Assemblywoman Michele R. Titus
Sponsored Legislation

I introduced and sponsored many legislative bills this session.
Here are a few bills that will empower and improve the quality of life in our community.

Youth Centers

A07115 - Directs commissioner of education to create youth centers with a curriculum for pre-school and after-school students demonstrating educational opportunities and emphasizing good mentoring; provides that the regional youth centers shall be established in each of the five boroughs of the city of New York, in the counties of Albany and Erie and in five other counties to be selected by the commissioner of education.

State Facilities Moratorium

A07064 - Establishes a moratorium on the site selection of state facilities (defined) in cities of one million or more until the governor completes a comprehensive review of all existing and proposed state facilities; provides such report shall include an assessment of the over saturation of state facilities

Tenant Protection Act

A09763 -Establishes an innocent tenant protection act applicable to tenants of public and federally assisted housing.

Limiting Transfer of Elderly in Public Housing

A4699- Limits the right of the Housing Authority to transfer elderly and longtime residents to smaller apartments when their family size is reduced.

Search Warrants

A08385 -Provides that applicant for a search warrant must disclose all prior denials of the same or similar application, as well as any prior failure to issue such a warrant by a different judge, if known to the applicant.

Airport Employment Opportunities and Contracts

A7114 - Provides for employment and bid-awarding by Port Authority at JFK and LaGuardia Airports to go to persons and businesses within the immediate area of the respective airport.

Juvenile Delinquency Restitution

A07063 -Directs victim impact statements in investigative reports prepared for juvenile delinquency disposition hearings shall include the amount of unreimbursed medical expenses, if any.


The Assembly Majority proposal will phase in an additional $6.1 billion more in operating aid for schools over the next five years - with New York City schools receiving 63.9 percent of that funding and more than 86 percent going to high-need districts across the state. Under the plan, the Assembly would increase school aid for the 2004-05 school year by $1.223 billion - restoring the governor’s cuts to BOCES Aid, Transportation Aid, Teacher Support Aid, and programs for disabled children.

Dangerous Drivers

The 17-bill package includes measures that address the behavior of negligent drivers with legislation that would raise the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident at which a death occurred from a Class E to a Class D felony; create a new crime of “Aggravated DWI” with tougher penalties, longer license revocation periods and other criminal sanctions for drivers who are convicted of driving with a 0.20 percent or higher blood alcohol content level; and establish the crime of “vehicular homicide,” a class E felony for drivers who have a history of unsafe and dangerous driving and kill someone while behind the wheel.

The Telemarketing ‘Do Not Call’ Law

Under the bill, the maximum fine imposed by the state would be increased from $5,000 to $11,000 for each violation. When combined with the maximum federal penalty of $11,000 for ignoring the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rules, violators could be required to pay up to $22,000 in total fines for every infraction against state and federal laws.

Emergency Investigations of Adult Home Industry Bill

A.8689A- To ensure the health and safety of adult-home residents, this bill would strengthen the authority of state agencies to address problems at adult homes immediately. The bill would grant the attorney general prosecutorial and investigative powers for any crime at an adult home. It also would authorize the commissioner of the Health Department to appoint a temporary facility administrator in cases where there is a dangerous and immediate threat to adult home residents.


I have secured the establishment of a million dollar state of the art technology center to be located in Far Rockaway. This center entitled ATTAIN (Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking) will provide free workforce development skills that are specific to an individual’s career training program and goals. The ATTAIN Lab will be interactive with other ATTAIN Labs across New York State housed at other Educational Opportunity Centers and at partnering community based organizations. There will be an array of computer courses that will allow one to become proficient on different software applications, upgrade skills and licenses, perform job searches, assessments, design of appropriate systems and adaptation of assistant technology needed for work completion. There will be professional teachers and staff available from the State University at the ATTAIN Center to assist participants. Residents must be aware there is absolutely no cost for the service. I have teamed up with the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation, (RDRC), to serve as the community agency in this worthy project. The ATTAIN Lab will be one of many educational services I am working on with RDRC.

South Ozone Park Community Development Corporation (SOPCDC)
It is with great expectations that we welcome the revitalization of a community organization that has served the community for over 20 years. The organization began in 1984 as the Rockaway Boulevard West Local Development Corporation, originally supported by Former Congressman Addabbo and former Assemblyman Meeks. South Ozone Park Community Development Corporation, (SOPCDC), brings together a wealth of expertise, diverse cultural and religious backgrounds and intergenerational groups. The Board is a reflection of the various community groups in the area including senior centers, block associations and youth groups. Services to be provided include summer youth employment and application assistance, student internships, job readiness and referrals for youth and adults. Additionally, SOPCDC will provide voter education and registration and immigration assistance. This organization will be the neighborhood’s advocate for community needs, services and complaints; assisting homeowners in accessing HEAP, home repair and mortgage information; and numerous other services to seniors and parents of school aged children. SOPCDC will provide technical assistance to the small businesses along the commercial strip and to prospective entrepreneurs. To have such an organization with firsthand knowledge of every aspect of the community and in delivering necessary services is paramount to our community’s empowerment.

Community Spotlight

As a society, we take so much for granted. However, I feel compelled to recognize individuals in our community who have dedicated a lifetime of service to improving our quality of life. There are individuals like former Councilwoman Juanita Watkins, Honorable Robert Simmons, Judge Daniel Joy, the late Goldie Maple, Ernest Brown, Sarah Colson, Barbara Smith, and Maxine Askew who have stood the line for our community. We applaud each and every one of them. I have chosen to recognize such an individual in the 31st Assembly District on a regular basis in my newsletter. I am honored to recognize in our first community spotlight an individual who has our community at heart and who has led me into a rewarding life of public service -

J. Clifford Gadsden

Mr. Gadsden, a long time resident of Springfield Gardens, Community Board Member, former elected official, community activist, father, husband, and owner of Gadsden Locksmith, has been married for 47 years to Helen Gadsden and they have three children and a host of grandchildren. Mr. Gadsden , who many refer to as the Mayor of Springfield Gardens, has led the fight of protecting his residential community from turning into a commercialized community. Mr. Gadsden organized with other community residents in keeping the sewer project, which was so needed in the area, on the table for decades. For many years, Mr. Gadsden met on a bi-monthly basis with the Queens Borough President to secure funding for this project. Because of his resilient work, the sewer project in Springfield Gardens is currently being transformed from its antiquated state. The Sewer project will leave the area with new streets, new water lines, new sidewalks, and gas and sewer lines. More importantly, the street grading will be leveled and catch basins added that will alleviate the flooding in the area. Mr. Gadsden was also instrumental in successfully organizing the community against the expansion of the Saratoga Shelter. For over two decades, Mr. Gadsden and his wife have monitored the over- saturation of facilities in their neighborhood. “From initiating court cases to town hall meetings and rallies, Mr. Gadsden has, and will continue to have, the voice of his neighborhood heard. He has never been afraid to stand up for his community. Mr. Gadsden is truly a remarkable individual. His tireless commitment to our community is a proven testament to what one man can do. On behalf of all the residents of the 31st Assembly District- we thank you.” said Assemblywoman Titus. “I hope that someday someone will see the good we have produced and will carry on”, said Mr. Gadsden.

Assemblywoman Michele Titus welcomes Senator Hillary Clinton to the State Capitol.

Assemblywoman Michele Titus and Senator Chuck Schumer greet Ms. Connie Taylor during Caucus Weekend.

Assemblywoman Michele Titus congratulates our graduates.

Cliff Gadsden pictured with Assemblywoman Michele Titus and Borough President Helen Marshall.

Assemblywoman Michele Titus with Director Chan Jamoona celebrating a birthday at the Hindu Senior Center.

Assemblywoman Titus enjoyed the recent dance recital of the Askew Daners held at Springfield Gardens H.S.. Assemblywoman Titus pictured with Robin Askew Martin.

Assemblywoman Michele Titus joins hands with fellow legislators of the New York State Black and Hispanic Legislative Caucus, including Senator David Paterson, Senate Minority Leader, in the Assembly Chambers.

Assemblywoman Michele Titus pictured with Councilman Leroy Comrie and Senator Malcolm Smith at the kick off for Senior Appreciation Week.

Assemblywoman Michele Titus, who served as Principal for the Day at P.S. 181, joins the members of the student government to discuss her career as a Legislator.

**Click Here for a Printable Calendar**

Assemblywoman Titus’ Summer Reading Challenge

“We pledge to read together for at least 15 minutes each day during the months of July and August. For each day we read together, we will mark the attached calendar with a checkmark ().”

When you have marked 30 days on this calendar, you have earned an Excellence in Reading Certificate. Fill out the back of this brochure and return it to Assemblywoman Michele R. Titus.


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25 26 27 28 29 30 31

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8 9 10 11 12 13 14
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**Click Here for a Printable Reading List**

Suggested Reading List

Early Readers
(Preschool - Grade 2)

1-2-3 to the Zoo (Carle)
Go Away Big Green Monster (Emberley)
Danny and the Dinosaur (Hoff)
Days with Frog and Toad (Lobel)
Green Eggs and Ham (Dr. Seuss)
What Game Shall We Play? (Hutchins)
Space Case (Marshall)
Little Bear’s Friend (Minarik)
Mummies Made in Egypt (Aliki)
Why a Disguise? (Numeroff)
Piggie Pie (Palatini)
Arthur’s Pen Pal (Hoban)
Teach Us Amelia Bedelia (Parish)
Wizard Next Door (Glassman)
Not in the House, Newton! (Heide)
Amazing Felix (McCully)

Picture Books

The Spider and the Fly (DiTerlizzi)
Hondo & Fabian (McCarty)
Ben’s Trumpet (Isadora)
Blueberries for Sal (McCloskey)
The Carrot Seed (Krauss)
A Chair for My Mother (Williams)
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Martin)
Corduroy (Freeman)
Curious George (Rey)
Doctor DeSoto (Steig)
Freight Train (Crews)
George and Martha (Marshall)
Goodnight Moon (Brown)
Harold and the Purple Crayon (Johnson)
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Numeroff)
Ira Sleeps Over (Waber)
Julius (Johnson)
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (Waber)
Madeline (Bemelmans)
Miss Nelson is Missing! (Allard)
Rosie’s Walk (Hutchins)
Ten, Nine, Eight (Bang)
The Mitten (Brett)
There’s a Nightmare in My Closet (Mayer)
Stone Soup (Brown)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Carle)
Where The Wild Things Are (Sendak)
Whistle For Willie (Keats)
Very Busy Spider (Carle)

Caldecott Medal Winning Picture Books (Illustrator)

2004 - The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Gerstein)
2003 - My Friend Rabbit (Rohmann)
2002 - The Three Pigs (Wiesner)
2001 - So You Want to Be President? (Small)
2000 - Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Taback)
1999 - Snowflake Bentley (Azarian)
1998 - Rapunzel (Zelinsky)
1997 - Golem (Wisniewski)
1996 - Officer Buckle and Gloria (Rathmann)
1995 - Smoky Night (Diaz)
1994 - Grandfather’s Journey (Say)
1993 - Mirette on the High Wire (McCully)
1992 - Tuesday (Wiesner)
1991 - Black and White (Macaulay)
1990 - Lon Po Po (Young)
1989 - Song and Dance Man (Gammell)


The Cay (Taylor; 4 - 6)
The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural (McKissack; 4 - 6)
Hatchet (Paulsen; 4 - 6)
Shiloh (Naylor; 4 - 6)
Snow Treasure (McSwigan; 3 - 6)
Stone Fox (Gardiner; 3 - 6)
Trouble River (Byars; 3 - 6)

Fantasy & Mystery

Marvin Redpost: A Flying Birthday Cake? (Sachar; 3 - 4)
The BFG (Dahl; 4 - 5)
The Book of Three (Alexander; 4 - 5)
The Borrowers (Norton; 4 - 6)
Cricket in Times Square (Selden; 3 - 6)
The Dark is Rising (Cooper; 3 - 6)
The Giver (Lowry; 3 - 6)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling; 3 - 6)
The Indian in the Cupboard (Banks; 4 - 5)
James and the Giant Peach (Dahl; 4 - 5)
Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher (Coville; 3 - 5)
The Littles (Peterson; 3 - 4)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (O’Brien; 4 - 5)
Phantom Tollbooth (Juster; 3 - 6)
Stuart Little (White; 4 - 5)
Tom’s Midnight Garden (Pearce; 5 - 6)
The Secret Garden (Burnett; 3 - 6)
The Wish Giver (Brittain; 4 - 5)
A Wrinkle in Time (L’Engle; 4 - 6)


Afternoon of the Elves (Lisle; 5 - 6)
Babe – The Gallant Pig (King-Smith; 3 - 6)
Best Friend Insurance (Gormley; 3 - 4)
Bridge to Terabithia (Paterson; 5 - 6)
Crow Boy (Yashima; 3 - 5)
Cute is a Four-Letter Word (Pevsner; 4 - 5)
The Cybil War (Byars; 4 - 5)
Dear Mr. Henshaw (Cleary; 4 - 6)
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (Lord; 3 - 5)
Law of Gravity (Hurwitz; 4 - 6)
Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade (DeClements; 4 - 5)
Number the Stars (Lowry; 4 - 6)
On My Honor (Bauer; 4 - 6)
Pickle Puss (Giff; 3 - 4)
The Pinballs (Byars; 4 - 5)
Stay Away From Simon (Carrick; 4 - 6)
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Blume; 3 - 5)


Aliens for Breakfast (Etra; 3 - 6)
Anastasia Krupnik (Lowrey; 3 - 6)
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery (Howe; 3 - 6)
Chocolate Fever (Smith; 2 - 4)
Fat Men From Space (Pinkwater; 3 - 4)
The Fortune Tellers (Alexander; 2 - 3)
The Goof that Won the Pennant (Kalb; 2 - 3)
Homer Price (McCloskey; 4 - 5)
How to Eat Fried Worms (Rockwell; 4 - 6)
Isabelle Shows Her Stuff (Greene; 4 - 5)
Jelly Belly (Smith; 3 - 4)
Kevin Corbett Eats Flies (Hermes; 4 - 5)
Owls in the Family (Mowat; 3 - 4)
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Cleary; 3 - 4)
The Ransom of Red Chief (O’Henry; 5 - 6)
Yours Till Niagara Falls, Abby (O’Connor; 4 - 6)


Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy (Reit; 3 - 6)
Bound for Oregon (Van Leeuwen; 3 - 6)
Caddie Woodlawn (Brink; 4 - 6)
The Door in the Wall (de Angeli; 3 - 6)
Johnny Tremain (Forbes; 3 - 6)
Little House in the Big Woods (Wilder; 3 - 6)
Sarah, Plain and Tall (MacLachlan; 3 - 6)
My Sister’s Keeper (Butler; 3 - 6)


Dragons, Dragons (Carle)
For Laughing Out Loud: Poems To Tickle Your Funnybone (Prelutsky)
Mice are Nice (Larrick)
Something Big Has Been Here (Prelutsky)


Me, Mop and the Moondance Kid (Myers; 4 - 6)
Baseball Fever (Hurwitz; 3 - 5)
Guinness Sports Record Book (4 - 6)
Hang Tough, Paul Mather (Slote; 4 - 5)
No Arm in Left Field (Christopher; 4 - 6)
S.O.R. Losers (Avi; 4 - 6)
The Meat in the Sandwich (Bach; 3 - 4)
The Trading Game (Slote; 4 - 6)

**Click Here for a Printable Information Form**

New York State Assembly
Excellence in Reading
Information Form
Name of Child
Parent’s Name
City or Town
Number of days completed
Favorite Books

To receive your certificate, please complete the above form and send it with the attached calendar to:
Michele R. Titus

19-31 Mott Avenue, Room 301
Far Rockaway, New York 11691
(718) 327-1845