Helene E. Weinstein photo
Making a Difference in Brooklyn and Albany
Summer 2010

A Report to the Residents of the 41st Assembly District

This report highlights legislation and budget actions adopted during the 2010 legislative session as well as important community activities. Despite a very difficult and frustrating state budget process this year, I was able to fight successfully to save several programs critical to the people of our community. Highlights include: Student MetroCards, Senior Centers and Summer Youth Employment Program.

As your Assemblywoman, 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. Please contact my office if you think I can be of assistance to you.


Keeping the Community Safe - New Patrol Vans

Assemblywoman Weinstein has successfully secured funding to purchase two new patrol vans for the 63rd and the 67th Precinct Police Auxiliaries. The 63rd and 67th Police Precinct Auxiliaries, volunteer civilian patrol units, are some of the largest units in New York City. According to NYPD, these new patrol vans will significantly enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of these units in mobilizing and responding to community events. When the van is not being used by the auxiliary, it is available for the Precinct and helps improve police visibility. Additionally, the Assemblywoman was responsible for securing state funding for the purchase of patrol bicycles delivered to the 63rd, 67th and 69th Police Precinct Auxiliary Units last fall.

At a recent event, the Assemblywoman told 67th Precinct Community Affairs Officer, Detective Leroy Hutchinson and Patricia Reddock, President of the Precinct’s Community Council the good news.
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein met with Michael Deddo, the new Captain of the 63rd Precinct, to bring him up to date on quality of life and safety issues and informed him the new Auxiliary Van is on its way.

Protecting Our Children

Banning BPA in Baby Bottle Products
The toxin Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a known hormone disruptor used in the production of plastics for many child care products including pacifiers, baby bottles, sippy cups, cup lids, baby bottle liners and straws. BPA has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, early-onset puberty and polycystic ovary syndrome. In an effort to protect our children, Assemblywoman Weinstein sponsored a new law which bans the manufacture, distribution and sale of child care products containing BPA for children three years of age or under.

Keeping Sex Offenders Out of the Community
Families will be protected by greater oversight of registered sex offenders through a new law co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Weinstein requiring the state’s criminal justice agency to provide the New York City Housing Authority with access to the sex offender registry for level 2 or 3 sex offenders. This will help ensure that sex offenders are not allowed to move into public housing. Despite a federal law prohibiting most sex offenders from living in public housing, a report last year found 126 sex offenders living in New York City public housing facilities, up 12% from the year before. Weinstein’s legislation will provide NYCHA with the information to put an end to that practice.


Community Concerns
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein often meets with constituents to speak to them regarding the variety of services and programs available at her Community Office. During the Assemblywoman’s annual Free Flu Shots Program, the Assemblywoman discussed community concerns.

Assemblywoman Weinstein
Is Here For You

Health Insurance Coverage for Autism

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates the number of children with autism is 1 in 110 nation-wide. Current health insurance coverage requirements for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are unclear, leaving parents wondering whether their insurance provider will cover the medical care their child needs. Assemblywoman Weinstein sponsored legislation eliminating the guesswork and providing families with peace of mind in seeking essential treatment for their autistic child by requiring insurance companies to provide lifetime coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of ASD.

Honors Local Leader
At a recent Community Awards Dinner, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined Councilman Lewis Fidler in honoring Lucina Clarke, a Canarsie resident and Executive Director and Founder of My Time Inc., an organization to support, empower, educate, enlighten and uplift parents of children diagnosed with Autism.
Kings Bay Youth Little League
During the Kings Bay Youth Baseball Season Opening Ceremony, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein threw out the first pitch. Throughout the years, the Assemblywoman has provided funding for recreational equipment and renovations of their facilities.

Protecting Children from Sex Offenders
Enhancing Public Safety

Families will be protected by greater oversight of registered sex offenders through a new law co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Weinstein requiring the state’s criminal justice agency to provide the New York City Housing Authority with access to the sex offender registry for level 2 or 3 sex offenders. This will help ensure that sex offenders are not allowed to move into public housing. Despite a federal law prohibiting most sex offenders from living in public housing, a report last year found 126 sex offenders living in New York City public housing facilities, up 12% from the year before. Weinstein’s legislation will provide NYCHA with the information to put an end to that practice.

Helping Our Seniors
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein addressed a packed house at Midwood Senior Center’s Annual “Dancing Under The Stars” Party.
Girls Yeshiva Visits Albany
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined Speaker Silver in welcoming the young women of Beth Jacob School.

Shalom Task Force
Assemblywoman Weinstein met leaders of Shalom Task Force, an agency that assists in domestic violence and abuse prevention. The Assemblywoman provides funding for Shalom Task Force’s anonymous abuse support hotline. Pictured with the Assemblywoman are Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, Executive Director of Shalom Taskforce, staff, volunteers, and Assembly colleagues.
Hatzalah of Flatbush
Hatzalah CEO, Rabbi David Cohen, presented Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein with a Certificate of Appreciation which reads “In grateful recognition of your continuing service and support” and “for your legislative leadership in helping Hatzalah save lives throughout New York.”

Anti-Gang Legislation
Program Aims to Shut Down and
Prevent New Gangs From Forming

The incidence of gang violence in New York State remains very alarming, this measure, sponsored by Assemblywoman Weinstein, A11087, will give police and District Attorneys an important tool to investigate, prosecute and prevent gang activity by creating a gang assessment, intervention, prevention and suppression program in New York. This builds upon Assemblywoman Weinstein’s commitment to give law enforcement the tools they need to help keep our neighborhoods safe and protected.

Honors Young Athletes
At the 5th Annual Mill Basin Mariners Football Association Awards Ceremony, Assemblywoman Weinstein honored the young athletes with congratulatory Assembly Certificates for their participation and dedication during the season.
Addresses Community Concerns
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein speaks to local leaders about issues affecting their respective neighborhoods (l to r) CB#18 Board member and past President of the Flatlands Civic Association, Samuel Palmer, Fraser Civic Association President Tom Hernandez, and President of the Kings County South Civic Association, Kenrick Westcott.

Memorial Day Parade
On May 31st, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined local Elected Officials, leaders, members of the Gerritsen Beach VFW - Post 107, and Marine Park and Gerritsen residents for the annual Memorial Day Parade march down Whitney Avenue.
Congregation Beth Shaul U’Miriam - Sunday Funday Carnival
During Congregation Beth Shaul U’Miriam’s Eleventh Annual Sunday Funday Carnival, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein presented a donation to Ben Picciotto, Congregation President and other Synagogue members. Hundreds of families from the Madison and Midwood neighborhoods participated in the day’s festivities.

Protecting Consumers:
Consumer Credit Fairness Act

Assemblywoman Weinstein’s Consumer Credit Fairness Act (A7558) which passed the Assembly, ensures that persons who are sued in consumer credit transactions receive the benefit of fair procedures free from abusive practices by debt collectors.

Weinstein’s bill would stop companies from buying debts for pennies on the dollar and then engaging in abusive collection practices, filing lawsuits with flimsy or little information and obtaining default judgments often utilizing improper “sewer service.” When a consumer discovers a lawsuit in time to defend it, they almost always win.

Highlights include:

Honors Local Leader
At a recent community dinner, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined Councilman Lewis Fidler in honoring Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA.
Nursing Students Visit Albany
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein met with nurses and nursing students from our community who traveled to Albany to discuss the importance of adopting staffing ratio legislation to improve patient safety.

Meyer Levin JHS – Dance Program
When Meyer Levin JHS needed funding to expand their Music Department, they turned to Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, who was able to secure capital funds to purchase new music instruments. During this year’s Meyer Levin JHS’s “Community Day” celebration, Assemblywoman Weinstein was inducted into the Community Hall of Fame for her “dedication to the Meyer Levin Family.” During the event, the Assemblywoman met with students participating in NY City Center’s Young People Dance Program, which she sponsors.
Meets With Noted Activist
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny in welcoming to the Capitol, Yosef Begun, a former Refusnick who was arrested 3 times, sentenced to 7 years in a Soviet prison and 5 years in exile in Siberia for teaching Hebrew and Jewish Culture. The Assemblywoman discussed demonstrations she participated in during the 1980’s to protest the religious oppression in the former Soviet Union.

Budget Highlights

Student MetroCards Saved:

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein understands that both the state and the MTA face serious fiscal challenges, but she made it clear from the beginning that she would not allow our children to lose their transportation to school.

Funding in the state budget will ensure that:

Assemblywoman Weinstein fought hard to preserve student MetroCards, “A student’s job is going to school every day without worrying about how to afford getting there. We helped put a stop to the MTA’s ill-conceived plan to eliminate student MetroCards. In this difficult economy, the last thing we should do is make it more difficult for working families to send their children to school,” said Assemblywoman Weinstein.

Need for Late Dismissal School Buses:

Assemblywoman Weinstein is sponsoring legislation that will solve the problem faced by many families whose children’s dismissal time is past 5pm. Despite state law requiring the Department of Education to provide free bus service for young students that live beyond certain distances from their school, NYC refuses to do so beyond 4:30, forcing families to shoulder the full cost of transportation. The Assemblywoman’s bill A11040 would solve this inequity.

Senior Centers Saved:

The state budget restores vital Title XX funding to help keep our local senior centers open to serve community residents. Earlier this year, the Mayor had announced the likely closing of 50 senior centers around the city. The state funding that Assemblywoman Weinstein successfully fought to restore will ensure that centers will not have to close. Many seniors might live in isolation but for congregate meal and recreation programs provided by their local senior centers.

Summer Youth Employment Program Saved:

This summer 5,000 NYC youngsters will have meaningful employment due to the budget restoration of $8.7 million to save the NYC Summer Youth Employment program.

Supporting Crime Victims:

As the Chair of the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, Helene Weinstein led efforts to expand support for crime victims by replacing the outdated Crime Victims Board with the newly created State Office of Victims Services. This will streamline the claims process and provide victims with easier access to support services.


Consumer Protection

Rebate offers have become an increasingly popular method of attracting consumers into stores. Beginning January 1st, a new law requires any entity offering a rebate to conspicuously disclose to the consumer what form the rebate will be issued in, if it is not being offered in cash or check, and if any additional fees may apply.

Agudath Israel Visits Albany
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein welcomed the Agudath Israel delegation to the Capitol, where they discussed funding for mandated services in private schools and the Assemblywoman’s legislation to correct the inequity hat the City does not provide required school bus transportation for students after 5pm. Pictured with the Assemblywoman are (center) Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, Mr. Chaskel Bennett and Mr. Leon Goldenberg, both Agudath Israel Board of Trustee members and local community leaders.
Community Board Block Association Awards
At the 2nd Annual CB17 Block Association Committee Awards Ceremony, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein presented Evelyn Maxwell, President of the East 48th Street Block Association with a Congratulatory Certificate for his outstanding community service. Cyril James, East 59th Street Block Association President, and CB17 Board Member and Block Association Committee Chair, Morgan Gabriel joined in the presentation.

Increased Penalties for Illegally Parked Trucks

Commercial vehicle owners who illegally park their large trucks overnight on city streets create eyesores and take up residential parking space, largely because the current $50 fine is so low. This fine is not a deterrent when compared to the cost of private off-street parking lots. To eliminate this quality of life problem, Assemblywoman sponsored legislation, awaiting the Governor’s approval, increasing fines for parking large trucks overnight on residential streets to $250 for the first violation, and $500 for any others within six months.

Addressing Community Concerns
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein addressed concerns regarding the difficulty encountered by some area residents during the last election. She explained the new law she sponsored requiring the New York City Board of Elections to translate all election materials into Russian in addition to the current Chinese and Spanish. This ensures that no one is prevented from exercising their right to vote because of their lack of English fluency.

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