Reports to
the People

Summer 2004

Dear Constituent:

Over the past months, I have worked with enthusiasm and commitment to respond to the needs of you, my constituency. Along with my colleagues I have worked very actively to develop legislation and programs that are meaningful and important.

Most notably, responding in a responsible and comprehensive manner to the moral and legal obligation to reform the education funding system here in New York State. In addition, I fought for minimum wage increase, public authority, the Rockefeller drug law, election, procurement, lobbying reforms, anti-terrorism package, Power for Jobs renewal, Timothy’s Law, an MTA bus plan, Article X siting legislation and regulation of the State’s assisted living facilities.

I am committed to doing the work of my constituency and the people of New York and urge the Senate to work with us in a bi-partisan way and produce the type of results that New Yorkers expect and deserve.

Presently, I am in the process of developing an Advisory Council that will keep me informed of local concerns and will represent me at community meetings and events. If you are available and willing to serve on the 56th Assembly District Advisory Council, please complete the questionnaire contained in this publication and indicate the area of expertise that you would like to provide with your participation.


Annette M. Robinson


Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson is presented with the Harriet Tubman Award.
When the legendary Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913, she received worldwide acclaim for her lifelong dedication to greatly improving upon the quality of life available to the poor, the powerless, and the persecuted.

Last year, Assemblywoman Robinson introduced legislation that designated March 10th as “Harriet Tubman Day” a day of commemoration. This legislation was signed into Chapter 402 of the Laws of 2003 on August 26, 2003.

Earlier this year on March 13, 2004, Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson was honored by The Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Awards Jubilee, Inc. with the 2004 Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Award.

The Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Awards Jubilee, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation. The purpose of this corporation is to establish the tradition of holding an annual event in March to honor women who, in emulation of the life of Harriet Tubman, have lived their lives in service to the “The Poor, The Powerless, and, The Persecuted".

Whereas this is a very important achievement in the quest to establish the first official state holiday in honor of a woman in the name of Harriet Tubman there remains much work to be done.


Fighting to ensure a quality education for our children

P.S. 3 students visit the State Capitol to let Assemblywoman Robinson know that more money is needed for schools.
The Assembly’s plan to help ensure that every school district in the state receives the resources it needs to provide a sound basic education is the only one to meet the mandates set by the court ruling.

For this year, the Assembly’s plan increases school aid by $1.22 billion – with all school districts receiving an increase – including:

  • Increasing operating aid by $784 million using a newly reformed operating aid formula
  • Increasing aid for programs for students with limited English proficiency by $95 million
  • Restoring the governor’s cuts to BOCES, Transportation, Building and Teacher Support Aid
  • Restoring the governor’s cuts to programs for children with disabilities

Additionally, the Assembly’s plan establishes in the next school year a $2.2 billion program for school repairs and new construction, helping to ensure that NYC schools can address the needs identified in their five-year plan and targeting funding to needy districts across the state.

The plan also calls for New York City to strengthen its own educational investment with an additional $1.2 billion over the next five years. These city funds should be targeted to directly impact student achievement, such as professional development and creative approaches to attract teachers to high-need schools.

The Assembly plan strengthens accountability measures instituted by the Board of Regents and the state Education Department, by helping schools that are having trouble meeting standards, identify and resolve those issues, and providing the necessary resources for training, technical assistance and staff.

Once again our youth are shortchanged
(Summer Jobs Program)

The Governor has threatened summer youth employment programs throughout the state cutting $10 million in funding from the program, The loss in funding has resulted in over 10,000 fewer jobs statewide than last year, and 11,593 lost jobs locally.

Last year, the Legislature successfully fought the governor’s cut to this program and helped provide over 26,000 summer jobs.

“Summer jobs provide our teens with the chance to learn responsibility, teamwork, and appropriate work conduct – while also allowing them to contribute to their families, communities, and local economies,” Robinson said. “We need to invest in their futures not cut funding that offers them a chance to succeed.”

Students from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus lobbied the Assemblywoman about their concerns for Summer Youth Programs as well as TAP and HEOP programs cuts.

Making the right decisions for New York’s children

The Assembly’s plan will provide nearly $6.1 billion more in aid for schools statewide over five years – with over 86 percent going to high need schools across the state – ensuring them more resources than either the governor’s or Senate’s proposals.

The plan provides a transparent, predictable school aid formula – which, along with two-year school aid budgeting, will allow districts to better plan their programs and budgets. The formula reflects student need and regional cost, and is based on enrollment, not attendance. It establishes a foundation formula, similar to the state Board of Regents’ plan, to help stabilize education funding from year to year.


On Mother’s Day, May 9th a Mother’s Rally sponsored by myself, Senator Velmannette Montgomery, Hon. Diane Gordon, Hon. Letitia James, and Hon. Freddie Hamilton - Brooklyn Women United to fight Against Youth with five hundred or more women – mothers, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, cousins, sisters, guardians and friends came together to rally with us and to take part in the procession to help us expose, protest, and sound a call for action to reform policing policies and the systematic injustices that fail to keep our youth safe and prevent them from realizing their potential.

Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson speaks out against violence against our youth.

New York’s Workers deserve better pay – Increase the minimum wage to $7.25

“People should make decent, livable wages and shouldn’t have to worry about putting food on the table after working 40 hours a week,” Assemblymember Robinson said. “Hard-working New Yorkers should be fairly rewarded for their labor.”

The Assembly introduced legislation which would increase the state minimum wage to $6.00 per hour on October 1, 2004; $6.75 an hour on June 1, 2005; and $7.25 on January 1, 2006. Food service workers receiving tips would also receive yearly wage increases –climbing to $4.75 an hour on January 1, 2006.

Other provisions of the bill allow an employee advocate to bring a wage and hour complaint, and establish the state labor commissioners access to wage and hour records in investigating alleged violations.

Currently our state’s antiquated minimum wage of $5.15 an hour is an insult to the New Yorkers who work in some of the toughest jobs. Our families need an increased minimum wage to help make ends meet. This marks our second push this year to increase minimum wage and I urge the Senate and the governor to join the Assembly in improving the lives of hard-working New Yorkers. This legislation overwhelmingly passed the Assembly on June 22nd (A.11698).

Budget cuts to health care programs

Last year, the governor tried to cut health care by $2M before a bipartisan legislative coalition beat him back. For our health and the health of our loved ones, myself and my colleagues will make the right choices that provide the care our families need.

The Governor opposed the Family Health Plus Program when it was proposed by the Assembly. He wants to cut Medicaid by $1.1 billion, costing New York 34,600 jobs and taking away quality health care coverage from those who need it.

The Governor’s Budget:

  • Cuts $60M from the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Program (EPIC) – resulting in loss of pharmacy access and hardship to our seniors
  • Increase to out-of-pocket cost to our working families – reduces coverage for about 77,000 low-income children
  • Eliminates coverage of dental and vision
  • Cuts $8M from Community Based Organizations that assist the uninsured
  • Cuts $53 million in funding from Early Intervention programs which helps disabled children from birth to 3yrs.

These cuts proposed by the Governor could result in the loss of 34,600 jobs and further exacerbate the state’s nursing shortage, not to mention jeopardize patient care.

On May 4th members from District Council 37 discuss Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Health & Hospital Corp. and Medicaid cuts issues.

Legislation you should know about

A.421-B: Designed to protect the health and well-being of seniors by requiring state oversight of assisted living facilities. (Passed Assembly)

More and more seniors are turning to assisted living facilities as a place to get the care they need while maintaining their independence. Currently, these facilities are unlicensed and unregulated. This legislation will provide the important consumer protections and ensure that assisted living facilities are inspected by the state.

A. 4754-D: Will regulate the use of credit information for personal lines insurance policies (home, auto, renters) (Passed both houses)

A. 7927: Requiring individual insurance providers to cover annual mammograms for women starting at age 40. This legislation expands current law that requires group insurance providers to carry this coverage (Passed Assembly).

Breast cancer is a disease that strikes down too many women in the prime of their lives. Early detection and screening are the keys to defeating breast cancer. Since the chances of survival from this disease depend upon early detection, it is important that all health insurance policies provide adequate mammography coverage. It will save lives.

A.10559-A: Would increase from 11 to 13 the age at which certain child witnesses can testify by live, two-way closed-circuit television in sexual offense or incest proceedings (Passed both houses)

A.11557: Which imposes mandatory life sentences without parole for people convicted of murdering a child in the course of committing a sex crime. (Joan’s Law – passed Assembly)


The Brooklyn Public Library came to Albany on March 16th to address issues of importance for libraries, including a proposed 5% reduction in funding to the State Department of Education for libraries.
Take the 2004 Summer Reading Challenge – When you’ve read just 15 minutes per day for 40 days or more send in your marked off calendar to Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson and receive your New York State Assembly Excellence in Reading Certificate. Check your local library for more details .


Assemblywoman Robinson had the honor to present scholarships to (5) students on behalf of the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc.

Congratulations go out to Ms. Stephanie Bryant (Boys & Girls High); Ms. Flor Mena (Paul Robeson High); Kevin Bodie (Brooklyn EOC); Toni Davis (College of New Rochelle/Brooklyn Campus); and Jessica Wilkes Mobley (Catherine McAuley) .


Last year the New York State “Do Not Call” merged with the Registry data into the National list. The National DNC program allows the Registry and complaint database to be shared by both state and federal agencies for enforcement of alleged Do Not Call violations.

To register for the state and federal DNC protection, please contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) directly either online at or by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone number that you wish to register on the list. Registration will be valid for five years.


You can hire the Doe Fund - This non-profit organization assists people going through financial difficulty by giving them a job and a chance to get back on their feet. Property owners, local leaders, businesses and associations can hire the Doe Fund to sweep sidewalks and the 18 inches into the street and “adopt” baskets. The Doe Fund is a non-profit organization and is affordable for local groups to hire cleaners.

Local groups are encouraged to engage in the neighborhood clean up. The Department of Sanitation offers short-term loans of the necessary cleaning tools.


For more information on other clean up programs and how you can help keep our community clean, call 311 or visit the Sanitation’s website at

**Click Here for a Printable Form**


I would like to serve on your 56th Assembly District Advisory Council in the following area(s):

Areas of Interest:

____ Health ____ Education
____ Senior Affairs ____ Job/Economic Development
____ Cultural Affairs ____ Police Community Relations/Public Safety
____ Housing ____ Youth Development

Phone: (h)

Mon – Fri: 10:00-6:00pm
1360 Fulton Street, Room 417
Brooklyn, New York 11216
Mon – Fri: 9:00-5:00pm
Legislative Office Building
Room 430, Albany, New York 12248