Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan

Reports to the
Fall 2007

Dear Neighbor,

Now that Summer is over and children are back in school we are gearing up for a busy Fall with much to accomplish.

It was good to hear you express your concerns in response to our Community Survey Questions and Energy Alert. I will continue to monitor the actions of the Public Service Commission toward Con Ed.

I am thankful to all the community residents who attended the Annual Night Out Against Crime in August. It was wonderful to see so many of you support this important event.

In September we hosted a community outreach State Fair at the Long Island City branch of the Queens Library to allow people in our community to come face to face with helpful state government representatives. The day was a tremendous success, hopefully giving people crucial information about STAR tax rebates and the Access-A-Ride program as well as many other services provided by the state.

As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education I have scheduled hearings for the Fall on subjects important to our community such as English Language Learners, Middle School Education and Physical Education.

We will continue to keep you informed on our progress in the coming months.

Catherine Nolan

photo Above: Assemblywoman Nolan with members of the Astoria Tenants Association and President Carmen Wynder.
Nolan Host’s Community Outreach State Fair at Queen’s Library

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan hosted a community outreach State Fair for residents of Queens. The State Fair was held Saturday, September 29, 2007 at the Long Island City branch of the Queens Public Library.

The State Fair offered a convenient alternative for busy people who may not have the time to go to a state office when they have an issue or need information. The format allows various state departments to offer outreach and help people navigate paperwork, programs and services.

Representatives from various state departments including, Aging, Labor, Motor Vehicles and the Comptroller’s office attended. Highlights for Saturday’s event included information and applications for Access-a-Ride and the STAR program. Assemblywoman Nolan’s office staff was also available to give advice to constituents.

photo Above: Representatives from Laguardia Community College. photo
Above: Members of the Dutchkill Civic Association who volunteer as Emergency Responders.

Our Community

Nolan Attends the Annual
Citywide Night Out Against Crime

The 108th Precinct and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan along with other civic organizations and businesses sponsored a successful Night Out Against Crime on August 7, 2007. The event which was held in parks throughout the city encourages people to stay safe and be aware on the streets, and to always report suspicious activities.

photo Left: She is shown here with community members including, Gertrude McDonald, Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley, Chief Joanne Jaffe, 108th Precinct Captain Thomas Kavanaugh, Jimmy VanBramer of the Queens Library and Community Affairs Officer Juan Toro.
photo Above: Assemblywoman Nolan with members of the Sunnyside Drum Corp. photo Above: Assemblywoman Nolan enjoyed some fun with Ravenswood Tenants Association President Carol Wilkins and other families at the PSA 9 event.

Nolan Brings Together Support for Banking Development District and Amalgamated Bank in Long Island City

The newest branch of the Amalgamated Bank opened in Long Island City, Queens on Friday, June 29, 2007. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan sponsored the legislation that helped seal the decision to locate the branch in the special Banking Development District bounded by Broadway to the north, 31st street to the east, Queens Plaza North to the south and Vernon Boulevard to the west.


“I am pleased to see the culmination of our efforts to establish a Banking Development District in Long Island City, and to have played a part in choosing Amalgamated Bank to lead the way,” said Assemblywoman Nolan.

“As former Chairwoman of the New York State Assembly Committee on Banking I collaborated with other key Queens’s community members, including Borough President Helen Marshall, Councilman Eric Gioia, Bishop Mitchell Taylor and Debra Ellen Glickstein of East River Development Corporation, to make this dream a reality. I want to congratulate Amalgamated Bank’s president and chief executive officer, Derrick D. Cephas, for believing in our dreams for Long Island City. This banking district will increase commerce and benefit our community tremendously,” said Nolan.


Assemblywoman Nolan Supports Bill to Extend Timothy’s Law to Public Health Programs

The Assembly passed legislation requiring public health insurance programs to provide coverage that includes treatment for mental illnesses, emotional disorders, alcoholism and substance abuse comparable to that provided for physical ailments (A.8617).

“Timothy’s Law was enacted to help ensure that individuals who need mental health care receive it,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “But the program must be expanded to include state programs – providing comparable coverage for mental-health and substance-abuse services for all children and adults in the Child Health Insurance Plan and Family Health Plus Program.”



As Chair of the Assembly Education Committee Assemblywoman Nolan secured passage of the burden of proof bill. It was signed by the Governor in August.

The new law states that when a parent disagrees with a school regarding services and requests an Individual Education Plan (IEP) hearing the school must prove that its services provide an adequate education for the child.

Nolan’s Burden of Proof bill was drafted in response to the 2005 Supreme Court case of Shaffer v. Weast which placed the burden of proof on parents. The case overruled a New York State policy that was in place for more than 30 years which had given school districts the legal and financial responsibility for providing proof. Advocates for parents of students with disabilities claimed that shifting the burden of proof discouraged families from requesting IEP hearings because they lacked the information, skills or financial resources to hire an attorney.

“Thanks to this law parents and students will now have protection from the repercussions of the Shaffer v. Weast case. Parents must have the power to advocate on their child’s behalf for the best education possible. We need to ensure they have the tools, regardless of financial resources,” said Assemblywoman Nolan.


photo Teamsters Strike – Fresh Direct

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan to give workers affected by a strike immediate access to unemployment benefits became law. The bill exempts striking workers and their co-workers from the waiting period otherwise required for unemployment benefits when their employers hire temporary or permanent replacement workers.

Until now, there was a standard waiting period of seven weeks for striking workers and innocent bystanders who have been displaced due to hiring of replacement workers to receive unemployment benefits.

“The current system was unfair to employees on strike and their co-workers who are not on strike. An employer can replace these workers during a strike and, because they must wait seven weeks before they can apply for unemployment benefits, they are left without any income during a labor dispute. Innocent bystanders such as ticket takers and hot dog salesman during the recent baseball strike, have no recourse. This new law will level the playing field during negotiations and improve resolution of labor disputes,” said Assemblywoman Nolan.


Assemblywoman Nolan Accepts Award from the United Teachers Federation


UFT President, Randi Weingarten presented the award to Ms. Nolan at the UFT’s Spring Education Conference and Gala Luncheon held at the New York Hilton Hotel in May, 2007.

“One lawmaker stands above the rest in the help she gave us on the class size issue. Way before others were ready to grapple with the hard question of how to use the CFE money, the chair of the Assembly Education Committee, Cathy Nolan, who also happens to be a proud NYC public school parent, sponsored a bill to use a chunk of that money to reduce class size,” said Ms. Weingarten in her speech.

Nolan Achieves Results for Queen’s Class Size Problem

A decision last year by the New York Court of Appeals required the state to spend more money to reduce overcrowding in New York City schools. That ruling was welcomed by the NYS Assembly, which had fought for years to increase school funding for the city. This year’s budget legislation increased the funding by more than $700 million, and also required the city’s Department of Education to present a “Contract for Excellence” showing how it would reduce class sizes in the most overcrowded schools.

photo Assemblywoman Nolan confers with Governor Eliot Spitzer in the Assembly Chamber in Albany.

“As the Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, I wanted to ensure that parents and teachers had an opportunity to comment on the Department’s plan before it was approved. Although public hearings were not required by the legislation, I urged the Department to hold hearings throughout the city before finalizing its plan. In each borough, residents filled hearing rooms to complain that the Department’s original proposal failed to identify which schools would be targeted for class size reduction. In Queens, where our growing immigrant population is the highest of all five boroughs and schools are filled to capacity, the plan’s omission needed to be corrected,” said Assemblywoman Nolan.

Following the hearings, the Department revised its plan and agreed to provide class size reduction targets on a school-by-school basis. I am proud that so many residents joined me to make sure that reducing overcrowding in our schools becomes a reality, and not just a goal.


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