Helene E. Weinstein
Making a Difference in Brooklyn and Albany
FALL 2012

A Report to the Residents of the 41st Assembly District

I strongly believe that one of my most important responsibilities is to listen carefully, answer questions and help solve your problems. Along with my experienced community office staff, I can assist you with a variety of important services and help to resolve community problems.


Veteran Gets His Medals
Mr. R, a veteran who had been honorably discharged but never received medals, saw an article that Assemblywoman Weinstein had helped another veteran get his medals and contacted her. The Assemblywoman reached out to the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who assisted this decorated veteran receive among others, the World War II Victory Medal and several Bronze Stars. He returned to the office to thank the Assemblywoman for her help and show the medals he had received.
Fallen Branch
Mrs. K called on behalf of her 97-year-old neighbor who had been virtually trapped in his home by a fallen branch that was blocking the stairs to his home. The Assemblywoman reached out immediately to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the large branch was expediently removed later that same day.

Medical Insurance
Mr. J, a 56-year-old retired city worker, had gone for testing at a medical facility after they informed him that they accepted his insurance. Following the visit, he received an exorbitant bill of $1,000. After making numerous attempts at correcting the situation, he turned to the Assemblywoman for help. The Assemblywoman reached out to the facility and it was revealed that they had begun accepting Mr. J’s insurance shortly after his visit; after discussions with the Assemblywoman, they agreed to accept his $32 co-pay as full payment.

Workers’ Compensation
Mrs. G visited the Assemblywoman’s office after numerous attempts to recover her late husband’s monthly workers’ compensation check, after the payments stopped abruptly. When the insurance company was contacted, the Assemblywoman learned that the case had been transferred to a new carrier. They were contacted and within one week, Mrs. G. received the check including funds for the time unpaid.

Food Stamps
Ms. F, a beneficiary of food stamps for some years, asked the Assemblywoman for help when she had not received recertification papers. When contacted, the Food Stamps representative showed the case as closed in their system, but after realizing a mistake had been made, the case was reopened and Mrs. F was reimbursed for the month missed.

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption
Mrs. D was a longtime recipient of a Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE). After moving from one apartment to another in the same building, her SCRIE eligibility was cancelled. A quick call to SCRIE by the Assemblywoman revealed an incorrect entry in her record. Once her file was corrected, she was allowed back into the SCRIE program.

Community Board 17 Youth Happen’n
At Community Board 17 Youth Happen’n, Assemblywoman Weinstein thanked Community Board 17 Chairperson Sherif Fraser, NYPD 63rd Precinct Community Affairs Officer Robert Thybulle, 63rd Precinct Community Council President Patricia Reddock, and Doctor Reverend Cannon Howard K. Williams of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. The Assemblywoman helps sponsor this yearly event which hosts over 3,000 community children.
Assemblywoman Weinstein Meets with Constituents
Assemblywoman Weinstein often meets with constituents in the community office to discuss and help resolve issues they’re facing. Most recently, Ms. K came to thank the Assemblywoman for helping her recover monies owed to her by the Department of Finance.

Electronic Equipment Etching Program
Following a rise in the theft of personal electronic items, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, along with the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol and NYPD, held an Electronic Equipment Etching Program so items could be traced to the owner, if stolen and found. Attending the event were: District Manager Sherif Fraser; Safety Committee Chair Terrence Joseph; Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol Executive Coordinator, Bob Moskowitz; NYPD Sergeant, Richard Taylor; and Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol Founder, Chaim Deutsch.


Ambulance Company Bill
Mr. S. received an exorbitant bill from an ambulance company which had shuttled his father to the hospital shortly before his death. They had ruled the ride to be non-emergency and the bill was submitted to the executor of the estate instead of the insurance company. After Assemblywoman Weinstein’s office reached out to the ambulance company, clarifying that the father died during the hospital stay they provided transportation to, they agreed to send the bill to the insurance company for payment.

Medicare Savings Program
Ms. C, a senior, was having a hard time paying her monthly expenses and asked if any help was available. After Weinstein’s office reviewed her income sources, she was found to be eligible for the Medicare Savings Program and for an additional $161 in Social Security bringing her total income to $800.

Health Insurance
Ms. G paid a hospital bill for services provided to her husband that were covered by and had already been paid for by his health insurance company. After Weinstein’s office intervened, the hospital issued her a refund of overpayment in the amount $740.

Philip Howard Senior Association
At a recent meeting with members of the Philip Howard Senior Association, Assemblywoman Weinstein discussed the latest news affecting seniors throughout the city.
Helps a Homebound Senior
Assemblywoman Weinstein responded to a call from a distressed homebound senior who had little food for Passover. With the help of the wonderful staff at the Bnai Rafael Food Pantry she was able to personally deliver a last-minute package on the eve of the holiday.

Self-Checkout Kiosks
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein watches as Ninel Razran, manager at the Brooklyn Public Library Kings Bay branch, demonstrates use of the new self-checkout kiosks to a library patron. The Assemblywoman was instrumental in securing $2 million dollars in funding technology to help library customers check out easier and faster.

Ballroom Dancing Program
During P.S. 119’s final ballroom class performance, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined parents and teachers as the students showcased their newly learned skills. This special ballroom dancing program, taught by the Brooklyn Arts Council, was made possible at a number of public schools through funding provided by the Assemblywoman.
Summer Reading Program
Each summer, Assemblywoman Weinstein sponsors an annual Summer Reading Program, which encourages students to read at least 15 minutes a day during the summer, and receive a certificate from the Assemblywoman upon completion. PS 206 students were eager to participate and had their questions answered by the Assemblywoman.

Good Shepherd Sports Program
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein throws out a first pitch to a young Little Leaguer at the Opening Ceremony of the Good Shepherd Sports Program season.
Yeshiva Lev Bais Yaakov
Assemblywoman Weinstein is a strong supporter of all public and private schools in her district, securing additional funding for the many needs these schools experience. Recently, the Assemblywoman spoke to 4th graders at Yeshiva Lev Bais Yaakov discussing civic responsibility, the electoral process and answered questions from the students about the job of an Assemblywoman both in Albany and in Brooklyn.

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein often works with the NYC Department of Transportation on issues reported by constituents, to repair and improve dangerous and hazardous street conditions that negatively impact the quality of life and safety (of you and your neighbors). Some examples of the improvements made after intervention from the Assemblywoman are:

Types of conditions we can help with include:

You can report hazardous conditions by contacting Assemblywoman Weinstein’s community office.

Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps
The Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps (FVAC) thanked Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein for securing $125,000 in state funds for the purchase of a brand new ambulance during the ambulance’s dedication.
Honoring Bergen County Law Enforcement
Assemblywoman Weinstein joined elected officials, community leaders and members of law enforcement in honoring Bergen County law enforcement officials for their quick apprehension of a suspect in the recent anti-Semitic firebombing of Congregation Beth El in Rutherford, New Jersey.

Paying Tribute to Barbara McCord
Family, friends, Assemblywoman Weinstein, Assemblyman Alan Maisel and Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo paid tribute to the life and accomplishments of Barbara McCord, renaming Gunnison Ct. in her honor. Barbara had been a longtime member of the Sheepshead Bay Plumb Beach Civic Group, one of the prime sponsors of the initiative to rename the Court.

Kings County South Civic Association
During a Kings County South Civic Association meeting, Assemblywoman Weinstein addressed the negative impact on neighborhoods when properties go into foreclosure.
Fraser Civic Association
After speaking at a recent meeting of the Fraser Civic Association, Assemblywoman Weinstein raised district safety concerns with 63rd Precinct Captain John Rowell, Community Affairs Officer Thomas Podd, and Ezra Max, Chief Coordinator for the East Midwood Volunteer Ambulance Corp.

Homeland Security Concerns
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Assemblywoman Weinstein spoke at a community event regarding homeland security concerns.
Legislative Visit
Leah Zagelbaum, Greater NYC Director of Communications for Agudath Israel of America, and Agudath Israel of America Board Trustees, Chaskel Bennett and Leon Goldenberg, met with Assemblywoman Weinstein during the Agudah’s mission to Albany in support of various legislative issues.

Haitian Family Reunification Program

The Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program resolution introduced by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein passed the New York State Assembly overwhelmingly. It calls upon the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a parole program that would benefit and improve the lives of Haitians recovering from the January 12, 2010 earthquake, by allowing Haitians with approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions to wait in the United States, rather than in Haiti, for the visa priority dates to become current.

“New York State is home to one of the largest Haitian populations in the nation and I am happy to announce the passage of this important resolution which I hope will encourage the DHS to establish a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, similar to the DHS’s Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program. At present, thousands of Haitian American US citizens have immediate family members (siblings, parents, children and spouses) who have already been approved by USCIS living in Haiti,” said Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein.

Broad support exists for the creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein personally raised the need for this program with Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Helped Reunite a Family
Working with U.S. Senator Gillibrand’s office, Assemblywoman Weinstein helped reunite a family separated by the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010.

East 48th Block Association Block Party Celebration
Each summer, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein attends block association events and festivals throughout the district. The East 48th Block Association welcomed Assemblywoman Weinstein to their Block Party celebration and offered her a taste of the delicacies being served to the community.
Celebrate Israel Day Parade
Assemblywoman Weinstein marched in the Celebrate Israel Day Parade alongside Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director of the Kings Bay Y and the hundreds of members, young and old, who came out to demonstrate their love and support for the State of Israel. Assemblywoman Weinstein has been a proud supporter of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA, securing funding for programs and capital improvements to their Nostrand Avenue and Emmons Avenue facilities.

Minute of Silence Commemorating a Tragedy
Avraham Melamed, a member of the 1972 Israeli Olympic Swim Team, and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein reflect upon the poster picturing the 11 athletes and coaches killed at the Munich Olympics. The protest, calling for a minute of silence commemorating the tragedy held across from The Israeli Consulate, was organized by the JCRC of NY, to coincide with the opening of the Olympics in London. Mr. Melamed presented a haunting firsthand account of the tragedy.

Assemblywoman Weinstein
Testifies Against Proposed Water Rate Hike

Assemblywoman Weinstein testified at a public hearing held by the NYC Water Board in protest of a proposed 7% increase in water and sewer charges. In her statement, she proposed a stay, or severe limits, on increases, and urged support for two bills pending in Albany that she is sponsoring to protect middle class homeowners from the water board’s often unjust rate hikes.

Bill A.3725a recently passed in the Assembly and is awaiting action by the State Senate. It requires changes to the composition of the water board, which now consists entirely of Mayoral appointees. Moving ahead, the board would be more diverse with three of its members appointed by the City Council Speaker, Public Advocate and Comptroller respectively.

Yeshiva Derech Hatorah
Assemblywoman Weinstein is a strong supporter of all public and private schools in her district, fighting for additional funding for the many needs these schools experience. Recently, the Assemblywoman spoke to 6th graders at Yeshiva Derech Hatorah discussing civic responsibility, the electoral process and answering questions from the students.
Strivright Auditory/Oral School of New York
Assemblywoman Weinstein is a leading advocate for special education, drafting legislation to protect children with special needs and securing funding to allow schools to provide these crucial services. Recently, the Assemblywoman was able to tour the modern facilities at the Strivright Auditory/Oral School of New York. During her visit, Executive Director Pnina Bravmann demonstrated how children with hearing, speech, and processing issues are taught to speak, hear, play, and ultimately integrate completely into mainstream schools.

Congregation Beth Sholom of Kings Bay
At Congregation Beth Sholom of Kings Bay’s Annual Dinner and Reception, Assemblywoman Weinstein joined Rabbi Shlomo Segal and members as they honored David Tauzowicz, President of the Congregation.
Community Board 15
At a recent meeting of Community Board 15, Assemblywoman Weinstein voiced concerns over the impact on pedestrians, motorists and local businesses by the proposed Rapid Bus Transit service along a portion of Nostrand Avenue.


Protecting Homeowners from Foreclosure Fraud

Foreclosure Prevention Programs
Assemblywoman Weinstein spoke in support of restoring funding for foreclosure prevention programs at a Capitol rally. Providing mortgage foreclosure prevention services is essential to keeping people in their homes and ensuring stability in the communities that they live in. The 2012 budget included substantial funds to protect neighborhoods from negative impacts of foreclosed homes.
This session, Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Helene Weinstein sponsored the passage of the Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012 which will protect New York’s working families from fraudulent business practices perpetrated during the foreclosure process, by instituting misdemeanor and felony-level penalties for those who intentionally engage in or tolerate such conduct.

This legislation would criminalize robo-signing and make it a crime to authorize, prepare, execute or offer to file false documents in a residential foreclosure action. Employees who engage in, or employers who tolerate, multiple acts of foreclosure fraud would be guilty of a Felony.

“We will hold criminals accountable for their abusive foreclosure practices and deter them from unlawfully removing New Yorkers from their homes,” said Weinstein. “This measure puts in place new criminal sanctions against lenders and their agents who intentionally submit fraudulent documents in foreclosure actions. It sends a clear message: going forward, fraud will no longer be tolerated in foreclosure actions in New York.”

Assemblywoman Weinstein Bill Requires Sanitation Agents to
Photograph Property When Tickets are Issued

One of the most frustrating situations that homeowners and businesses are confronted with is receiving a sanitation summons. These tickets are hard to fight successfully, as it comes down to their word against the ticketing agent’s. In fiscal year 2011, the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) issued 262,426 tickets for premises violations.

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein co-sponsored legislation that passed the Assembly requiring Department of Sanitation agents to photograph and document the condition of a property at the time the ticket is issued. Agents would be provided with a mobile device that would date and time stamp the photos and upload them to a central database. This legislation would protect home and business owners in cases of unjustified tickets and reduce paperwork and the cost of adjudication proceedings.

“With photographic evidence there can be no dispute as to the guilt or innocence of a property owner. It’s a win-win for the City and for its residents,” Assemblywoman Weinstein said.

The bill was approved overwhelmingly on June 19th but the Senate ended regular session without taking the bill up for a vote.

Fighting Aggressive Consumer Affairs Summonses

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein is very concerned about the aggressive issuance of summonses to small businesses by the NYC Consumer Affairs and Sanitation Departments. “Mom and pop stores are the backbone of our community and provide jobs and help our local economy,” she said.

This year, when the NYC Consumer Affairs Commissioner came to Albany seeking support for new legislation that would provide them with the authority to automatically turn unresponded summonses issued by their agency into judgments against the businesses, Assemblywoman Weinstein blocked it.

Brigham Park Co-Op #1 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting
At Brigham Park Co-op #1 annual shareholders’ meeting, Assemblywoman Weinstein spoke to shareholders about traffic-related concerns.
MTA’s MetroCard Van Monthly Visit
Assemblywoman Weinstein sponsors numerous service and health-related programs at her community office. The MTA’s MetroCard Van comes to the community office the third Thursday of every month.

Helene Weinstein’s Community Office
3520 Nostrand Avenue • Brooklyn, NY 11229 • (718) 648-4700
Monday–Thursday: 9:30 – 5:00 • Friday: 9:30 – 4:30
Call or stop in if you have a problem or a question!
We speak English, Chinese, Creole, Russian & Yiddish