Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz

Reports to
the people
of the
81st Assembly District



Winter 2002-2003

District Office:
3107 Kingsbridge Avenue, Bronx, New York 10463
(718) 796-5345

Norwood Satellite Office:
3450 Dekalb Avenue, Bronx, New York 10467
(718) 882-4000, Ext. 353

Dear Neighbor:

We are about to begin a new legislative session at a time when the State and City face their toughest fiscal crisis in memory. The aftermath of September 11, 2001 combined with President Bushís recession and reckless tax cuts on all levels of government have left us in a huge fiscal hole that we must dig out of.

Many tough decisions will have to be made in the coming months. Service cuts and tax increases are now on the table. While no one likes to see taxes go up or services cut back, both of these will undoubtedly take place. My highest priority in Albany in the coming year will be to fight to preserve funding for education, health care and other important needs. In addition, rent protection laws expire on June 30, 2003. Saving and strengthening these laws will also be at the top of my agenda.

As always, I will continue to focus on the important community issues facing each of the neighborhoods in my district, which includes Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Van Cortlandt Village, Norwood, Woodlawn and Wakefield. My staff, including Judith Sonett, Joel Ramos, Randi Martos, and Ryan Miday, are all experts in dealing with every imaginable constituent problem and question, as well as all being notaries. My district office at 3107 Kingsbridge Avenue and my Norwood satellite office at 3450 Dekalb Avenue (Mosholu Montefiore Community Center) are there to serve you.

I wish everyone happy holidays and a healthy New Year.


Jeffrey Dinowitz
Member of Assembly

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, Congressman Eliot Engel and members of the 52nd Precinct are shown at the launching of the Program for Pediatric Preparedness at the Childrenís Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center. It will focus on the treatment of children in case of bioterrorism or other monumental disaster.

Economic Development A Must In Kingsbridge

It is more important than ever that carefully planned growth and renewal take place in the Kingsbridge shopping district, especially now that a new shopping mall is being built on West 225th Street. The centerpiece of such a rebirth could be a large tract of land, currently a city-owned parking lot, just north of West 230th Street and east of Broadway.

While no plans have been put forth, the potential of this site is huge. I envision a mixed use, consisting of an office building with significant commercial space and a parking garage. The potential of bringing a large number of jobs, especially professional jobs, could have a dramatic effect in improving and uplifting the Kingsbridge and Marble Hill areas. This location, sandwiched between the West 231st Street/Broadway shopping area (which is covered by the Kingsbridge Business Improvement District) and the soon-to-be-constructed shopping mall in Marble Hill, would actually be the heart of a newly revitalized commercial district that runs from West 225th Street to West 238th Street.

It is my hope and intention that through thoughtful planning we can use this site for the long-term benefit of the entire community. We should not underutilize this land by building facilities here which could be located elsewhere. We should not squander a once-in-a-generation opportunity. We must think big!

I am pleased that Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr. has appointed a task force, which will include local elected officials and various community groups and city agencies. They will be charged with addressing how to best develop the West 230th Street site as well as examining alternative locations for a much-needed EMS garage. We need this EMS garage, we need the Bailey Avenue Firehouse to be rehabilitated, and we need major commercial development to take place on West 230th Street and Broadway.

Assemblyman Dinowitz to Mayor Bloomberg: "Donít take away our buses!"

The express buses are a lifeline for many people in our community. Thatís why over 600 people turned out to a Town Hall Meeting and Rally that I sponsored, along with our other elected officials and the Association of Riverdale Cooperatives, to demand that weekend express bus service not be eliminated. The community spoke out loudly and clearly in opposition to this ill-advised decision by the City. Yet, the Cityís recent budget modification removes the Cityís subsidy that makes possible weekend express bus service on Liberty Lines. The ending of weekend express bus service would be a disaster for our community and seriously impact our quality of life. Over 7,000 riders use the express buses on weekends.

The City would save very little money as a result of this action. Many, many people use the express buses on weekends to go to work, medical appointments, shopping and the theatre. Most of these people will not or cannot drive. Most of them will not or cannot take the subway to get downtown. I have asked Mayor Bloomberg to change his mind and help us keep this vital service. I am hopeful that by the time you receive this newsletter the Mayor will have changed his mind.

We Must Keep Our Express Buses.

Filtration Plant Update

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection still wants to build a water filtration plant in the Bronx. The community forced them to abandon efforts to build in the Jerome Park Reservoir. I blocked State legislation that would have allowed them to build in Van Cortlandt Park. They are now focusing on two sites, one in Westchester and the other north of Fordham Road next to the Major Deegan Expressway. I still believe that the best way to ensure clean water from the Croton Watershed is to take steps that will enable us to avoid filtration.

Meanwhile, the DEP abandoned its efforts to construct several diesel-fueled pumps at the Jerome Park Reservoir, across from the Bronx High School of Science. I objected to this construction, as did many community leaders. DEPís claim that it was necessary because of the drought didnít make sense. Fortunately, community pressure forced DEP to back down again.

Environmental leaders joined with Assemblyman Dinowitz, Councilman Oliver Koppell and Congressmen Eliot Engel and Jerald Nadler in support of filtration avoidance and in opposition to construction of a huge water filtration plant for water from the Croton Watershed.

Dinowitz Law Will Help Fight Rare Genetic Disease

Governor Pataki signed into law a bill I wrote that would include Familial Dysautonomia (FD) within the legal definition of developmental disability. The new law will raise awareness of the disease and make it easier for families to receive needed services from government entities and service providers.

FD is a very rare genetic disease that afflicts only Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews. Its symptoms include lack of tears while crying, decreased ability to feel pain or temperature sensation, inappropriate fluctuations of blood pressure and body temperature, difficulty with feeding and swallowing and developmental delays. I am gratified that this important legislation is becoming law. I am hopeful that those who suffer from FD will now be in a better position to receive every service available to them.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is joined by State Senator Eric Schneiderman, Councilman Oliver Koppell, William Weitz for Congressman Eliot Engel, M.S. 141 P.A. co-President Randi Martos and school board members and 141 officials at the ribbon cutting for the new high school wing at 141. The creation of this middle school/high school is the product of a massive and successful effort by parents, elected officials and community leaders.

Victory Over Koo Koos

In another victory for our community, the owners of Koo Koos abandoned their efforts to reopen their nightclub on Broadway, across from Van Cortlandt Park. Senator Velella and I contacted the State Liquor Authority to ask them to revoke Koo Koos Liquor License. Councilman Koppell and I, along with several community leaders, testified at the hearing of the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals that Koo Koos is a threat to the quality of life of the community. Several violent incidents took place there during the spring. We asked the Board to deny Koo Koos application for a variance that would have allowed them to have a cabaret license.

Our victory over Koo Koos is largely a result of our elected officials and concerned community members working closely together on an issue that could have had a major impact on our community.

State Budget

As we approach 2003 it is clear that New York State will face a gargantuan budget gap. I have consistently advocated for the return of the commuter tax. I voted against eliminating this tax in 1999. Unfortunately, my concerns then proved to be well-founded. We need this important source of revenue.

The size of the deficit we are facing will mean that tough choices will have to be made in the coming months. I will fight against some of the counterproductive cuts that the administration has supported in the past. We must balance the budget, but we must not allow essential services, such as education and health care, be decimated.


Assemblyman Dinowitz presented a new American flag for P.S. 207 to Interim Acting Principal Caterina Ditillio and P.S. 207 students.

Flu Shots

Once again my flu shot program was a major success. My office arranged for over 2,500 flu shots at ten sites with New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Visiting Nurse Service. Councilman Oliver Koppell and State Senator Eric Schneiderman co-sponsored these events with me. I would like to thank Helen Morik, Director of Government and Community Affairs at New York Presbyterian Hospital; Julio Batista of the Office of External Relations; Andres Nieto, Director of Community Health Outreach and Marketing; Lorelei Fredheim and the staff of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York; and many volunteers from the community. This collaborative effort was a huge success and will keep thousands of people healthy in the coming months.

Assemblyman Dinowitz addresses residents of Woodlawn at its memorial honoring the victims of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Behind him are many of the leaders of the Woodlawn community, including Chris Higgins, President of the Woodlawn Taxpayer and Community Association.

Free Notary Service:

My office provides free notary service during our regular office hours: 10 am to 4 pm.

Please bring two forms of identification, at least one with your photo and signature, if you would like to have your signature notarized.

Dinowitz Child Safety Legislation Becomes Law

The Governor has signed into law a piece of legislation I had pushed for several years. The new law bans the sale of certain dangerous articles of clothing for young children. Clothing for small children that contains drawstrings can no longer be sold in New York. I wrote the "drawstring bill" in response to reports that a number of small children were accidentally strangled when wearing clothing with drawstrings. This law will save lives.

Food Drive a Huge Success

My 2002 food drive was a huge success. Hundreds and hundreds of cans and packages of food were donated by people throughout the community. The students of PS 24, PS 7, PS 81 and MS 141 brought in so much food it could hardly all fit in my office. Many other people from the community helped as well. All of the food was donated to two food pantries in my district: St. Johnís in Kingsbridge and St. Francis of Rome in Wakefield. Thank you to everyone who generously donated.


Assemblyman Dinowitz recognized the accomplishments of the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center at its 60th anniversary dinner. He is shown here with Andrew Berkman, President; Arline Rubel, Associate Board Chairperson; and Donald Bluestone, Executive Director, presenting an Assembly resolution honoring the center.

Assemblyman Dinowitz presented an Assembly resolution honoring Arnold Hyman for his many years of service to the New York Public Library. Pictured here are Assemblyman Dinowitz, Mr. Hyman and many of his co-workers at the Kingsbridge Library.
Assemblyman Dinowitz and State Senator Schneiderman visited the Riverdale Yís Senior Center to discuss what they are doing in Albany on behalf of seniors. They are pictured here with Ruth Kawer.

Heat and Hot Water Rules
By law, tenants in multiple dwellings must be provided with heat and hot water as follows:
From October 1 through May 31

  • between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. heat must register 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees.
  • between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. heat must register 55 degrees when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees.
24 hours a day
- every day of the year

  • Hot water must register at or above a constant temperature of 120 degrees at the tap.

The NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal is authorized to reduce the rent of any rent stabilized or rent controlled apartment when these required heat and hot water rules are not maintained. Tenants should file the appropriate form, which is available in my office, if heat or hot water is not provided by the landlord.

NYC HPD Central Complaint Bureau: (212) 824-HEAT.

Serving the communities of Kingsbridge, Norwood, Riverdale, Van Cortlandt Village, Wakefield and Woodlawn.