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

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.



Medicare Mix-up
Ms. M, a retiree, solicited the help of Assemblywoman Weinstein when she was refused medical care. Following the expiration of Cobra insurance, Medicare was supposed to be switched from secondary to her primary insurance. The problem was compounded by the fact that Medicare did not have a Russian translator. The Assemblywoman’s Russian speaking staff member called Medicare to investigate and Medicare coverage was established.

Billing Blunder
Mr. A received an exorbitant bill for blood work he hadn’t authorized and after having informed the doctor that he was uninsured and had limited resources. Assemblywoman Weinstein reached out to the lab, and after conversations with several representatives, they waived the entire balance.

Here for You
During the monthly Half-Fare Metrocard Program, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein informed a constituent about the other programs and services available through her community office.
Helps Constituent
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein assists a constituent fill out an application for senior benefits at her community office.

Housing Repairs
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to have repairs done to his cold, mold-ridden, and storm-damaged apartment, Mr. B, a senior and public housing resident, reached out to Assemblywoman Weinstein. The Assemblywoman contacted the New York City Housing Authority and she was able to coordinate the different contractors and much-needed repairs were completed.

Correcting Dangerous Conditions
Following a thunderstorm, Con Edison cut down a tree top touching one of their power lines, leaving the bottom half untouched and branches strewn all over Mrs. G’s sidewalk. She called Assemblywoman Weinstein who reached out to both Con Ed and the NYC Parks Department who working together cut down the rest of the tree, removed debris and eliminated the hazard to residents.

Helping Feed the Hungry
Masbiah, the first Kosher soup kitchen network in New York, welcomed Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein who stopped in to help dish out delicious menu items at their Coney Island Avenue branch. The location serves as the central kitchen to all the recently inaugurated Kosher community kitchens.
Community Concerns
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein discussed various neighborhood quality of life and safety concerns with constituents at her district office.

Safer Streets
When the Department of Transportation installed a much-needed traffic signal only to leave a large groove spanning the width of the asphalt, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein reached out to the DOT Borough Commissioner, notified him of the unfinished work and danger it posed to vehicles. Within days the road was repaired to grade.

Solving Water Bill Problems
Mr. L came to Assemblywoman Weinstein’s office after receiving erroneous and exorbitant charges on his quarterly water bill. He specified that the charge followed a recent meter change, the second meter replacement in just over a year. Assemblywoman Weinstein asked the Department of Environmental Protection to initiate an investigation, which uncovered an error made during meter replacement and the bill was corrected from the over $750 billed to $143.

Ballroom Dancing
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 P.S.119 as well as Public Schools 208 and 251 through funding provided by the Assemblywoman.

Over the years, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein has secured capital funding for senior citizens, emergency and social services, school and youth programs to provide recreational, educational, cultural, emergency, and social services in our community. If you want additional information on any of these programs, please call the Community Office.

Major Capital Projects – Recently Completed

Major Capital Projects in the Pipeline

Park Security Lighting
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined Four-In-One-Block Association President Hazel Martinez and members to discuss quality-of-life issues. The Assemblywoman has allocated capital funding to install security lighting at Harry Maze Playground on East 56th Street. The lighting is expected to be installed early next year.

Keeping Health Insurance Premiums Down

It is vital we make certain that Health Insurance premiums are set according to the true cost of doing business, not to pad insurance companies’ bottom lines. In an effort to curb this abuse, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein supported a new law that takes effect October 1st, requiring the State Insurance Department to approve health insurance premium rate changes before they can take effect.

“Bringing back regulation of this industry will ensure greater accountability to families and businesses that can’t afford ever-increasing health insurance premiums.”

Memorial Day Parade
As part of the annual Memorial Day parade, a new sign was unveiled at a ceremony on Whitney Avenue at the corner of Burnett Street, co-naming the avenue “Veterans Memorial Way.” Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein presided over the Street Sign Dedication joined by WWII veterans and Gerritsen Beach VFW - Post 107 Commander Gary Lewis. Councilman Lewis Fidler passed the street name change in the City Council following the suggestion of local Veterans organization.
Law Day
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and Senator John Sampson congratulated Sheldon Charles, a Kings County Supreme Court Officer, and the 2010 Merit Performance Award recipient during the NYS Court of Appeals Law Day 2010 ceremony.

Helping You Save on Water Bills

Over the years Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein has helped hundreds of individuals fight and correct erroneous charges on their water bills. With rate hikes and the current economic downturn, even paying correct bills is more difficult. Assemblywoman Weinstein is supporting two bills to prevent future sharp increases in water charges.

Currently, all seven members of the New York City Water Board, which sets the annual rates for water and sewer fees charged to home owners, are Mayoral appointments, offering little in checks and balances. To provide better accountability Assemblywoman Weinstein sponsored legislation (A11060), which passed the Assembly, limiting the Mayor to three members of the Water Board and splitting the remaining 4 appointments between the New York City Council and the Comptroller.

Additionally, the Assemblywoman is sponsoring legislation (A11167) to protect rate payers/home owners from excessive rate increases by limiting Water Board hikes to no more than five percent annually or the current rate of inflation, depending on which is higher.

CB 17 Honors Assemblywoman Weinstein
At Community Board 17's 2nd Annual Block Association Recognition Ceremony, Morgan Gabriel the Block Association Committee Chair joined by Cyril James, the Master of Ceremonies and President, East 59th Street Block Association thanked Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein for all of her efforts on behalf of the community and presented her with an award “Honoring Pioneers in Community Services...In Appreciation for Your Outstanding Contribution to Your Community.”
Agudath Israel Dinner
At this year’s Annual Agudath Israel of America Dinner, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein spoke with Raphael Treitel, 63rd Precinct Clergy Liaison, Chaskel Bennett and Leon Goldenberg both Trustees and Members of the Board.

Helping Volunteer Ambulance Corps

Assemblywoman Weinstein has long been supportive of local volunteer Ambulance companies and their volunteer EMT’s who provide life-saving services, saving not only lives, but also saving New York millions of dollars a year.

Assemblywoman Weinstein has secured $125,000 to enable the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corp to purchase a new ambulance in 2011. The company already benefits from the Assemblywoman’s annual operating expense funding and boasts another ambulance, purchased in 2006 with funds she had secured.

Most recently the Assemblywoman secured a capital grant of $445,000 for Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Corp to cover a complete overhaul of the communications system at their new central command center in Flatbush. Command central receives 50,000 calls a year which are routed to their numerous local divisions. The new communications system will route calls faster and more efficiently, helping the dedicated network of volunteers respond to emergencies as fast as they can.

Assemblywoman Secures Major Funding for Hatzalah
Pictured (l. to r.) Chaskel Bennett, local Hatzalah volunteer, Rabbi David Cohen, CEO of Chevra Hatzalah, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, Mr. Heshy Jacobs, President of Chevra Hatzalah, Isaac Unger, Coordinator for Flatbush Volunteers of Hatzalah, and Raphael Treitel, local Hatzalah volunteer.
Flatlands Ambulance Dedication
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and Councilman Lewis Fidler listen to an invocation during the dedication of a new Ambulance for the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corp. The invocation was followed by an Emergency Vehicle procession through several neighborhoods.

West Indian American Day in Albany
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and Assemblyman Nick Perry joined Yolanda Lezama-Clark, President of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, and daughter of the late Carlos Lezama, founder of Brooklyn’s West Indian American Day Carnival Labor Day Parade, during a celebration of West Indian culture in Albany.
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.


Traffic Concerns
At a recent Kings County South Civic Association meeting, Assemblywoman Weinstein updated residents on ongoing efforts to improve traffic safety and on her funding the installation of Bus Pads to make the bus stops safer for riders at Avenue D and Utica Avenue.
Lev Bais Yaakov Dinner
Assemblywoman Weinstein recently attended Yeshiva Lev Bais Yaakov’s 13th Anniversary Dinner where she presented Executive Director, Rabbi Shmiel Deutsch and Dinner Honorees Mr. and Mrs. Laze Tarlow Congratulatory Proclamations for their service to the community.

Helene Weinstein Helps You Obtain Senior MetroCard

Helene Weinstein Brings the Senior Half-Fare MetroCard Bus to the Community Office on the third Thursday of every month.

November 21st, 2010
December 16th, 2010
January 20th, 2011
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon
at 3520 Nostrand Avenue

Apply for the Senior Half-Fare MetroCard and Receive One on the Spot

Proper age, (65 plus) and photo identification is required

Nottingham Brunch
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined members of the Nottingham Civic Association at their annual Brunch. During her visit, Board members thanked the Assemblywoman for her recent successful efforts to have unsightly illegally dumped construction garbage along Olean Street removed by NYC Sanitation.
Kings Bay Youth
At the Kings Bay Youth Organization’s Football Awards Ceremony, Assemblywoman Weinstein, a longtime supporter, honored the young athletes with congratulatory Assembly Certificates for their participation and dedication during the season.

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.
Help with Heating Bills
To date, Assemblywoman Weinstein has secured over $59,062 in grants for 300 area residents with fixed incomes to help them stay warm in the winter. Weinstein’s office is designated as a local Neighborhood Heating Fund application site for the Heartshare Program. Grants of up to $200 are available to National Grid customers who can not afford to pay their winter residential heating bills. Contact the Community Office to see if you are eligible.

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.