Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
Reports to the People

Dear Neighbor,

As I write this newsletter, the Assembly is currently wrapping up work on the 2005 legislative session in our state capital in Albany. It has been a busy, and I believe a productive legislative session. For the first time in a long time, both houses of the legislature and the governor were able to come together and pass an on-time state budget, one that does not place increased burdens on our working families. Once again, I was able to direct state tax dollars back into our communities to benefit seniors, working families and local business improvement groups. I am currently working on legislative proposals to increase subway safety; create paid family medical leave for families and promote financial literacy programs. I will keep you informed.

As your representative, I rely on your input on issues. As you may know, the state’s highest court struck down New York’s death penalty law. The back page of this newsletter contains a questionnaire on this important public policy issue. I hope that you will take a few minutes to write down your thoughts and return it to my office. Your input is invaluable to me.

As always, my offices are here to serve you. Please do not hesitate to call, write, drop by or even e-mail me. I look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable summer.

Catherine Nolan

It is always an honor to march in Sunnyside’s Flag Day Parade. I joined the 108th Precinct’s Commanding Officer Captain Matthew Whelan and the New York City Police Department’s marching band (who were wonderful!)

On Time State Budget Returns Tax Dollars to the Residents of the 37th Assembly District

For the first time in recent memory, the Assembly, Senate and governor came together to pass an on-time, responsible state budget that protects working families, senior citizens and our young people. Meeting in open conference committees, the Legislature reached a bipartisan budget agreement to secure funding that the governor had proposed cutting in his original budget proposal. As a member of one of the budget subcommittees, I fought to protect health care, education funding and made sure that tax dollars were returned to our communities. Among the highlights of the final budget are:

  • The budget provides $327 million more for New York City schools. The budget adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the city’s education budget, increasing the city’s building aid formula. The budget addresses inequities in the state’s building aid formula that have shortchanged the city, leaving our schools with far less aid than they are entitled to for ensuring that students have an opportunity to learn and achieve greater academic success. To better ensure that schools are spending tax dollars wisely, an additional $2.9 million was added to the state comptroller’s office for additional school audits.

  • The bipartisan budget rejected the governor’s proposed $500 SUNY and $250 CUNY tuition increase and his plan for automatic hikes each year. The budget also rejected the governor’s proposed cut of 50 percent of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). TAP has helped countless students from working families achieve their goal of a college education. The Assembly fought successfully to prevent these proposed tuition increases and program cuts from becoming a reality.

  • The final budget agreement also helps ensure New Yorkers access to quality, affordable health care while easing the burden on taxpayers. The agreement continues the Assembly’s efforts to collect $20 million in rebates owed to the state by pharmaceutical companies.

In addition to these larger budget issues, I was able to direct tax dollars back into our communities. I am pleased that I was able to direct state dollars from the budget to numerous community groups in our district, from tenants associations to senior and youth centers and to business development and financial literacy efforts. Look for more details in my next newsletter.

One of the highlights of the year is the Ridgewood Glendale Allied War Veterans Memorial Day Parade. It becomes more important every year to pause and remember the sacrifices that our veterans have made for us. Pictured to the right with me is Chris Muller.


In response to the recent horrific rape of a young woman at the 21st Street/Van Alst “G” station, I joined forces with the Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU) and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) to stress the need for more train conductors and token booth clerks as well as additional transit police officers. Human presence at our subway stops should not be underestimated as a valuable safety measure. Among those pictured above with me are Diane Ballek, President of the 108th Precinct Community Council, Patrick Lynch, President PBA and Ed Watt, Secretary-Treasurer of TWU Local 100.

I was thrilled to be able to bring an Olympian to PS 111 in Long Island City as part of NYC 2012’s “Olympians in the Schools” program. The program is designed to introduce sports as well as athletes’ inspirational stories to students across New York City. Pictured above with me and the PS 111 students is Queens resident and Paralympics medalist Tahl Liebovitz. Tahl is considered to be one of the top table tennis players in the United States. He spoke to the students about what it takes to achieve your goals.

Tress Census Underway

photo Sunnyside Gardens is home to some of our district’s most beautiful trees. Unfortunately, many of them are getting on in years and need to be inspected for safety issues. One such aged tree collapsed on a home on 46th Street this past winter. Sunnyside Gardens resident Jimmy Van Bramer and I checked out the damage. The Parks Department’s ongoing tree census will hopefully help us avoid such collapses in the future.

The communities that make up the 37th Assembly District are fortunate to have an abundance of street trees. From the relatively new trees in Ridgewood to the very old trees of Sunnyside Gardens, our trees make our communities cleaner, healthier and better places to live. Street trees make up 20 percent of all trees on public land. They absorb pollutants, cool summer temperatures and soften the landscape.

Ten years ago, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, with the help of volunteers, counted all of the trees growing along New York City streets. This comprehensive survey of 498,470 trees provided the Parks Department with indispensable information on not only the number of trees, but their condition as well. This year Parks hopes to recruit even more volunteers to complete the census by the end of September. More importantly, tree census volunteers will record the condition of the trees. This is especially helpful for our older trees. Beginning in May and continuing throughout the summer, training sessions are being offered in the evenings and on weekends. To register as a volunteer for this important project, please call 311 or go to The tree census is a great opportunity for New Yorkers to learn about trees, meet their neighbors and participate in a citywide community project.


I participated in the important public hearings the Assembly convened on the death penalty. The public hearings were vital to obtain information and viewpoints from our state’s residents.
In 2004 New York’s death penalty law was invalidated by the State Court of Appeals. The state’s highest court struck down the decade-old law as unconstitutional because a provision required judges to give jurors coercive instructions. Following the court’s decision, there were calls to study the law’s effects. In response, the Assembly held a series of public hearings to gather citizen input on this important public policy issue. The many issues surrounding the death penalty are very complex. The Assembly is currently undertaking a comprehensive examination of all of the important arguments regarding the capital punishment statute. As your Assembly representative I rely on your opinions and suggestions. I would greatly appreciate it if you would share your thoughts with me on this important issue. Thank you.

**Click here for a printable view**

Do you think that New York should reinstitute the death penalty? box YES box NO

Thoughts & Comments




Please return to
Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan
61-08 Linden Street
Ridgewood, NY 11385

District Office Addresses

My district offices are here to serve you. They are open Monday – Friday from 9am-5pm. If you have a question, a complaint or an idea, please do not hesitate to contact us.

61-08 Linden Street
Ridgewood, NY 11385
(718) 456-9492
45-25 47th Street
Woodside, NY 11377
(718) 784-3194