Deborah Glick's Neighborhood Update
Assemblymember Deborah Glick
66th District
New York City

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Deborah Glick's Neighborhood Update

Dear Neighbor,

Another busy and productive Legislative session has come to a close. I am proud of what the Assembly accomplished in Albany and outline some of these legislative successes for you below.

Back at home, I am thrilled that the West Side stadium proposal has now been relegated to the history books. Unfortunately, the stadium mania diverted the attention and energy of too many people for an obviously flawed proposal. In my view, the city has far more pressing concerns, such as creating and maintaining affordable housing, making prescription drugs more affordable, and maintaining residents’ quality of life. These critical needs were pushed off the front burner and now we must renew our commitment and focus to address them. In this newsletter, I describe my work in these areas and discuss resources that may be available to assist you in confronting these challenges. I hope that you find this information interesting and helpful.

Best wishes for a pleasant summer!



photo Assemblymember Glick and Councilmember Margarita Lopez with Emily Farris, Executive Director of the Federation to Preserve the Greenwich Village Waterfront and Great Port.
This session, the Assembly has passed a number of pieces of legislation that address issues important to New Yorkers. Below are some of the issues and related legislative initiatives that I have focused on this past year.

Increasing access to emergency contraception

The New York State Senate has finally joined the Assembly in passing a bill that will allow women to receive emergency contraception (EC) through a pharmacist or registered nurse without a prescription. A. 116, which I co-sponsored, provides access to EC in the critical hours after unprotected sex, when EC is most effective but doctors are often unavailable. I am hopeful this important legislation will be signed into law soon so New York women will have greater control over their reproductive health.

Providing Equal Rights to Domestic Partners

Public policy must not discriminate against individuals who are denied the right to marry or who choose not to do so. This year I have introduced and sponsored a number of bills that address some of the inequities faced by such individuals. I am proud to announce that my bill to ensure equitable application of state tax rules to all individuals who receive employer-provided benefits has passed the Assembly with just a few dissenting votes. Currently, while the cost of benefits for an individual’s spouse and dependents is not treated as compensation for federal tax purposes, the value of benefits provided to domestic partners is treated as compensation and is taxed accordingly. Since state income tax follows federal law, domestic partner benefits are also considered income for state tax purposes. A. 8850 would reverse this blatant inequity in state practice by allowing benefits for domestic partners to be deducted from gross income for state income tax purposes.

Another bill important to domestic partners passed on the final day of session. This legislation, A. 1238, would establish a formal mechanism to carry out a person’s wishes regarding the disposition of their remains by introducing a proxy form. This bill also establishes the rights of domestic partners/spouses and others to dispose of the remains of a deceased person if the decedent has not signed a proxy form expressing their wishes. This is a monumental leap forward and recognizes domestic partners as committed partners with the authority to carry out a loved one’s end-of-life plan. This bill has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits the Governor’s signature.

Facilitating the Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan

The Assembly, Senate, Governor’s office and Mayor’s office have agreed on a “Marshall Plan” to promote the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. The plan is set out in legislation, A. 9010, aimed to increase commercial space occupancy downtown. In addition to special rent reductions to provide incentives for commercial tenants to lease space on the World Trade Center site, the legislation eliminates the Commercial Rent Tax (CRT) for Ground Zero tenants and provides five-year CRT tax exemptions for all Lower Manhattan businesses. Additional tax benefits for businesses relocating to this neighborhood, as well as certain sales tax exemptions will also be offered to businesses downtown. Together, these benefits will give a needed boost to speed the pace of Lower Manhattan’s redevelopment.

Protecting Animals

I have, again this year, sponsored a number of bills to address the need for more stringent safeguards to protect vulnerable wildlife and domesticated animals. Some of this legislation aims to decrease the senseless killing of animals for research or entertainment, such as A.7032, which prohibits remote control hunting in New York State. I authored this bill in response to the creation of a web site in Texas that allows hunters to view an actual wildlife scene and offers them the ability to kill a live animal from the comfort of their desk chair. This legislation has been passed by both houses of the legislature and I am hopeful that the Governor will sign it into law so that a web site that makes killing an animal as easy as pressing a button will never exist in the state of New York.

To follow the success of this session, I will continue to press for passage of a number of bills to eliminate cruel practices. One bill, A. 1822, bans shooting contests that reward the slaughter of the greatest number of specified wildlife. In addition to causing an incredible loss of life solely for entertainment purposes, these games pose a serious risk to the community because they often involve the consumption of alcohol. Another piece of legislation I have sponsered, A. 1129, would prohibit the testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals and outlaw the sale of such products. Cosmetic testing results in excruciating pain and in some cases, loss of life. It is wrong to test on animals when far more accurate, cost-effective and humane alternatives to live animal testing exist.

Finally, I introduced legislation, A. 1824, aimed to end the practice of charging higher homeowner insurance premiums based solely on dog breed. Such a policy fails to take into account a dog’s training, temperament, or history of aggressive behavior. Such discriminatory practices must be corrected so that only dog owners who act irresponsibly are punished.


While creating affordable housing must be a top consideration in any new development, protecting the current stock of affordable housing is an important, but often overlooked mission. Housing must remain affordable and available to people with a wide range of incomes in order to maintain the character and diversity of New York City, as well as to ensure that residents are able to stay in their homes. Unfortunately, this has become an increasingly challenging task, especially in the neighborhoods of lower Manhattan, whose popularity continues to increase both real estate and rental prices.

Both in my district and in other parts of the city, many landlords have sought to maximize their profits by removing homes from affordable housing programs such as rent stabilization and rent control. I have even seen landlords try to clear buildings of all rent protected tenants by finding one loophole or another to remove each tenant. These attempts to empty entire buildings of middle-income and low-income tenants are particularly jarring examples of this trend and I continue my work to stop them.

For example, I have been working with tenants in one loft building whose owners have attempted to twist a provision within the Rent Stabilization Law that was created to allow landlords to demolish old, dilapidated housing and replace it with safer units. Instead of planning a true demolition as the law intended, the landlords are planning to convert the existing rent stabilized lofts, which are in excellent condition, into extended-stay luxury hotel units. The landlords’ attempt to force these artist tenants from their long-time homes and eliminate sorely-needed affordable live-work spaces from Lower Manhattan is particularly ironic since government went to great lengths to offer incentives to ensure residents of Lower Manhattan remain in the neighborhood. These early pioneers stayed and now face the loss of their homes to a nefarious manipulation.

I am also working to save the rent stabilized homes of the tenants in one East Village tenement building. Their landlord is claiming that he needs the sixty room, fifteen bathroom building for a private residence for himself and his family. Such a claim merits investigation and I have called for city and state agencies to explore the veracity of the landlord’s claims. Furthermore, it is poor public policy to allow individuals seeking to save money to purchase properties that are inexpensive because they contain rent stabilized tenants, then convert them to single-family homes. Such mass evictions not only push longtime tenants out of their homes and possibly their neighborhoods, they result in New York City forever losing these affordable housing units.

The city must not lose another unit of affordable housing, especially in increasingly costly neighborhoods like those in Lower Manhattan. Each time a unit is lost, the city’s affordable housing shortage grows more acute and some of the character that results from the mix of incomes in a neighborhood is forever lost.


As warmer weather arrives, film crews multiply. While I am glad that film crews, like so many visitors, find our neighborhoods attractive and interesting, their presence can also cause significant difficulties for residents and businesses. I have heard many instances in which vehicles are towed with little warning, residents are kept awake at night by noise and bright lights, and businesses suffer because blocked streets limit access by potential customers.

While there are guidelines which film crews are supposed to follow, they often fail to do so or to simply act thoughtfully toward neighborhood residents and businesses. If you experience such problems with a film shoot, it is important to report your complaints. Below are some ways that you may do so.

Call the Mayor’s Office of Film Theater and Broadcasting at (212) 489-6710. They are responsible for licensing and regulating filming in New York City and it is important that they know which film crews behave responsibly and which do not. They can also help you with immediate problems caused by film shoots during regular business hours.

For all external film shoots, a police officer is required to be on location to protect the interests of the public. If a film crew causes problems at night, you can contact your local police precinct or the Movie/TV unit of the NYPD at (718) 281-1235.


Due to the high cost of health insurance and the limited coverage it often provides, many New Yorkers have either no health insurance or no prescription drug coverage. This fact, combined with outrageous prices for prescription drugs, has forced many low- and middle-income New Yorkers to make the difficult choice between foregoing needed medications and paying for other necessities like food and rent. Although they are not numerous or expansive enough, there are some programs that help these individuals pay for costly prescriptions. Below are two of these programs.

  • The Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program has allowed many middle-income seniors to save an average of 80% on the cost of their prescription medications. The program may even be used to supplement partial prescription coverage. If you are 65 or older, I encourage you to contact EPIC to learn more about the program and what it may offer you. To enroll or receive more information about EPIC, call 1-800-332-3742. In recognition of the importance of the EPIC program and of the difficulties faced by many disabled New Yorkers in paying for their prescriptions, I have co-sponsored legislation, A. 3074, that would extend EPIC to individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This measure would help to ensure that prescriptions remain affordable and accessible to disabled New Yorkers in need of assistance. I am hopeful that this important legislation will be passed into law next session.

  • Recently, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) was formed to act as a directory for individuals of all ages and incomes who are in need of medications but do not have the means to afford them. Physicians, pharmacists, community organizations and foundations like the National Medical Association and the Lupus Foundation collaborated to create this useful resource for uninsured and underinsured Americans. The program serves as a clearinghouse by screening, then referring individuals to some of the more than 275 public and private patient assistance programs that can either provide free or reduced-cost medications. The directory will also match patient information with government programs, informing individuals of programs for which they may qualify, such as Healthy NY or Medicaid. In this way, PPA makes navigating through hundreds of programs an easy step-by-step process. The only prerequisite to using PPA programs is that patients have a doctor that will verify their prescriptions. To speak to a PPA representative, you may call 1-888-477-2669 or use their online screening and referral system at

Until the goal of providing comprehensive health insurance to all New Yorkers is met, programs like EPIC and PPA will serve as important resources to individuals who cannot otherwise afford their prescription medications. If you, or a loved one, struggle to pay the high cost of prescriptions, I hope you will take the time to explore these options.

photo Assemblymember Glick served as co-chair of the Human Services and Labor Conference Committee. Here the conference committee is discussing the budget in an open public session.


New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, a not-for-profit social service agency, is expanding its Volunteer Ombudsman Program, which is part of a national effort to improve the quality of life for the 53,000 residents in New York State’s long-term care facilities. Ombudsmen act as advocates for individuals living in nursing and adult homes, many of whom do not have family or friends to protect their rights and ensure that they receive high-quality care. For more information about volunteering, call (212) 962-2720.


We all saw the painful spectacle in which conservative politicians tried to take advantage of Terri Schiavo’s situation for political gain. Such an episode reminds us that we need to be prepared if something similar were to happen to ourselves or our loved ones. The best way to be prepared is to fill out a healthcare proxy form, otherwise known as a Living Will, and appoint somebody whom you trust to serve as your healthcare proxy in the event that you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions. You may also use your healthcare proxy form to indicate which actions you expect your healthcare proxy to take in certain situations. Note that although you do not need a lawyer to complete the form, you will need two adults other than your healthcare proxy to serve as witnesses.

Healthcare Proxy forms are available online from the New York State Department of Health at or, if you do not have internet access, you may call my office at (212) 674-5153 to have a form sent to you.


Since 2000, the state’s Do Not Call registry has protected millions of New Yorkers from unwelcome telemarketing calls. Now telemarketers have begun targeting cell phone numbers for sales calls, causing individuals to receive an increasing number of such calls. Fortunately, the Do Not Call phone registry has been expanded recently to include cell phones.

Signing up for the registry takes just a minute and is free. Once your number has been on the registry for 31 days, most telemarketing calls should cease. If you do get a telemarketing call, you may file a complaint with the registry. Please note, however, that calls on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors are still permitted under the registry, along with calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship. Phone numbers can be registered by calling 1-888-382-1222 or over the internet at


The defeat of the ill-advised Jets Stadium on the West Side of Manhattan was a moment to cherish, because the proposal failed on the weight of its own poor economics and questionable environmental impacts. In addition, this was to be a new stadium where none existed before.

The plans for new stadia for both the Yankees and the Mets are more reasonable in some aspects, but there remain troubling points to the entire enterprise. Wealthy sports teams provide some economic benefit to the community. This is particularly true of sports, like baseball, that involve many home games. What is less clear is the value of the investment in actually constructing the stadium. It is most appropriate for teams to pay for the buildings, especially in the current climate of multi-million dollar deals for players and expensive luxury boxes for corporate fans.

However, when there are existing facilities that are in poor condition, as Shea Stadium most certainly is, there may be a rationale for the government to provide some assistance to ensure that an established franchise remains in place and viable. The types of infrastructure improvements that make sense include mass transit upgrades, and improved pedestrian access to and from mass transit. In this case, the existing 7 line is extremely heavily used and improvements will benefit everyday riders. Furthermore, there may be some road improvements that would minimize traffic congestion or reduce dangerous intersections or merges. These, too, are not only game day benefits.

It is also true that for some communities there can be ancillary facilities created at the same time that a new stadium comes into being. That appears to be the situation with the new Yankee Stadium, which is notable because the historic Yankee Stadium is not being demolished, but will serve as a secondary facility for other sports, like soccer, as well as baseball. In addition, more parkland and recreational facilities are planned around the new stadium. These include tennis courts, handball courts and basketball courts. The most important aspect, however, is the support of the people in those respective communities for the plans, as opposed to the near universal opposition to the West Side stadium proposal.

In all of these endeavors, however, it is important to factor in the opportunity costs of any of these expenditures. What do we have to forgo in order to provide support to organizations that have the resources, or at least, ready access to private financing? Our priorities need to be classrooms for our school children, and gymnasium space that could then be made available for its intended purpose. We cannot wring our hands about childhood obesity and at the same time allow diminished recreational facilities in our schools.

We must reorder our priorities and renew our commitment to alleviating these problems. The initial word from City Hall was that the teams were paying for the full cost of construction and that the City and State were making limited contributions to infrastructure. That is as it should be. But it seems that there may be more wrinkles to this than first revealed. There may be tax breaks and rent forgiveness clauses that were not made clear at the outset. In the end, only a full financial review will provide all the details that should have been made available as the city announced agreement on these sports facilities.