Helene E. Weinstein photo
Making a Difference in Brooklyn and Albany
Summer 2011

A Report to the Residents of the 41st Assembly District

This report highlights the 2011 legislative session as well as important community activities. There is no doubt that this year’s budget is one of the most disappointing in a long time. With a deficit of $10 billion to be overcome, the budget was always going to include painful cuts. Those of us who felt that the continuation of the Millionaire’s Tax could help alleviate some of the deepest cuts were disappointed that the Governor and the Senate majority did not join us in enacting this common sense short-term revenue stream to mitigate devastating program cuts. Yet despite this year’s very difficult state budget, I was able to fight successfully to save several programs critical to our community including Keeping Senior Centers Open and the Summer Youth Employment Program.

Additionally, as your Assemblywoman, I strongly believe that my most important responsibility 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.


Pathmark Clean-up
After being notified by a constituent of dangerous amounts of debris, garbage, stagnant water and broken glass behind the now defunct Pathmark, Assemblywoman Weinstein reached out to the property owner and arranged for a thorough clean-up. The lot faces PS 811k, a school for children with special needs.

Security Lighting at Harry Maze Playground
Marty Maher of the NYC Department of Parks unveils plans for new security lighting in Harry Maze Playground, made possible with capital funding secured by Assemblywoman Weinstein. Community residents requested lighting to improve safety through increased visibility at night. Attending the presentation were Hazel Martinez, President of the Four-In-One Block Association and Morgan Gabriel, Chair of Community Board 17's Block Association Committee.

Snow Removal Response
Following a grossly inadequate response to the record snowfall this past winter in Southern Brooklyn, Assemblywoman Weinstein and Councilman Lew Fidler met with Sanitation officials and community representatives from the area most impacted, the East 30’s, to discuss the steps being implemented to ensure the debacle doesn’t reoccur. Joining in the meeting were Raphael Treitel, Chaskel Bennett and Tom Hernandez - community leaders - and Brooklyn Borough South Deputy Chief Jack Ryan, Director of Customer Relations, Henry Ehrhardt, and Brooklyn District 18 Superintendent Sal Cerulo.


Protecting Pedestrians

Beginning in January, a new law requires the installation of crossover (convex) mirrors on large trucks, eliminating a dangerous blind spot for truck drivers, and helping protect pedestrians on our city streets, particularly children, from being injured or killed when a truck first begins to move. The Assembly first introduced this legislation in 1994 following the deaths of two young boys in Brooklyn. Convex mirrors are a very effective tool to protect pedestrians from accidents caused by blind spots. This new law will allow truck operators to see pedestrians or objects directly in front of them and will provide new safety protections.

New Law Cracking Down on Texting While Driving

A new law cracks down on motorists using electronic devices while driving, allowing police officers to pull over and ticket a driver solely for committing this dangerous and distracting practice. Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein helped pass the new measure which defines electronic devices as including but not limited to cell phones, PDAs, laptops, pads and electronic games (Ch. 109 of 2011). This law puts us a step closer to having the safest streets possible.

Brennan Award
The distinguished Brennan Award named after Chief Patrick Brennan, former 70th Precinct commander is awarded annually to an outstanding Brooklyn South officer. Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein congratulated this year’s distinguished awardee Detective Dominic Scotto of the 70th Precinct.

Assemblywoman Weinstein and Richard Schrader, of the Natural Resources Defense Council discussed their concerns about hydrofracking at the Assembly’s press conference announcing passage of a moratorium of the controversial process.
Hydrofracking Moratorium – Protecting our Drinking Water

If the quality of our City’s drinking water is compromised, Brooklyn would need a filtration system that’s estimated to cost taxpayers as much as $30 billion and would increase our water bills.

Hydrofracking can impact the health of New Yorkers and the State. We cannot risk the safety of our drinking water and our environment. This legislation allows additional time to study the evidence and ensures the best possible decision is made for all New Yorkers. Assemblywoman Weinstein voted in support of legislation (A7400) suspending new hydrofracking in New York until June 2012.

TAP Expansion
Assemblywoman Weinstein met with Agudath Israel representatives to strategize support for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) expansion. The funds were ultimately secured with an additional $3.2 million made available in $5,000 increments for students attending secondary schools. Pictured are Chaskel Bennett, Agudath Trustee, Leah Zagelbaum, Director of Communications, Leon Goldenberg, Agudath Trustee, Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Vice President of Intergovernmental Relations, and Rabbi David Tanenbaum, from Agudath Israel’s Office of Educational Affairs.
First Lady of Jamaica
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and Assemblyman Nick Perry welcome Madame Lorna Golding, First Lady of Jamaica, upon her visit to the Capitol. Madame Golding champions the advancement of early childhood education in Jamaica.

Convicting the Guilty and Exonerating the Innocent

Legislation, sponsored by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, would realize the great promise of DNA evidence by maximizing the use of DNA both to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent. The bill provides for the establishment of statewide standards for the preservation and cataloguing of DNA evidence to ensure that such evidence will be available when needed for criminal justice purposes. This key legislation (A5886a) expands the DNA database to require all persons convicted of a crime to submit a DNA sample.


Assembly Certificate of Merit
Every year Assemblywoman Weinstein presents an Assembly Certificate of Merit and US Savings Bond to a deserving graduate at each local school.

Air Conditioning for Kings Bay Y
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined Kings Bay Y Executive Director, Leonard Petlakh as well as hundreds of thankful children who attend the Y’s exciting summer camp program to celebrate installation of air conditioning in the gym just in time for summer. The air conditioning was made possible through state funding provided by the Assemblywoman.
Summer Reading Challenge
Students at Public School 119 who successfully completed the Summer Reading Challenge, show off their Excellence in Reading certificates awarded by Assemblywoman Weinstein.

Senior Centers Saved
When the state’s $10 billion deficit threatened to close the doors to our senior centers, Assemblywoman Weinstein fought back. She knows that now, more than ever, older New Yorkers look to senior centers for nutritious meals, health and wellness. That’s why she voted in favor of restoring $25 million to New York City senior centers. The state funding keeps open the 3 neighborhood centers that were on the chopping block.

Summer Youth Employment Program Saved
Assemblywoman Weinstein sought to ensure summer youth employment placements to keep motivated youth working. The final budget restores $15.5 million to the Summer Youth Employment Program. In 2010, the program helped 35,725 young adults find jobs in 5,800 worksites throughout New York City.

Help for Struggling Families
Funding for vital social services to help struggling families make ends meet. The budget restores $9.4 million to various child care, education, and employment programs.

Providing a Living Wage for Homecare Workers
Also included in the budget is a three-year phase-in to provide homecare workers with a local living wage. Homecare workers provide an invaluable service to the sick and the elderly, yet many of them struggle just to pay their bills and put food on the table - they deserve to make a fair income.

Clothing Sales Tax Exemption Restored
As of April 1, the state sales tax exemption on clothing has been restored, so there is no state sales tax on clothing purchases under $55. After one year, it increases to $110.

Millionaire’s Tax
Assemblywoman Weinstein supported legislation to continue the millionaire’s tax at the current rates through 2012 and rejected the special millionaire tax cut putting New York’s richest in the same tax bracket as individuals making $20,000, or a family of four making $40,000. Unfortunately, the Senate Majority and Governor rejected these proposals.

Annual Chinese New Moon Ceremony
Assemblywoman Weinstein addressed attendees at the Annual Chinese New Moon Ceremony at the Kings Bay YM-YWHA. The joyous occasion included singing, dancing and sampling of traditional foods.

Haitian Independence &
Earthquake Commemoration
Assemblywoman Weinstein spoke to a packed house at the Fort Greene Action Senior Center located at Schenectady Ave, as they celebrated the 207th Anniversary of Haitian Independence and commemorated the 1 year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake disaster. Felix Augustin, Consul General of Haiti of New York was the featured guest speaker.
“Kosher for Passover”
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein assisted the dedicated staff and volunteers of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA as they prepared for Passover food distribution. The annual distribution is also sponsored by the JCC of Kings Bay and Met Council, providing “Kosher for Passover” foods to individuals who cannot otherwise afford them.

Strengthening Homeowners Rights During Foreclosure Proceedings

Assemblywoman Weinstein is sponsoring legislation (A7264) that would require judges to request banks/lenders to provide proof of ownership of a property in foreclosure during default judgment court proceedings. Presently, if a property owner fails to respond to a default judgment letter sent by a mortgage lender, even if it is not their lender, the homeowner loses the right to use this as a defense during the proceedings.

Ditmas Square Block Association
Ditmas Square Block Association welcomed Assemblywoman Weinstein to their Block Party celebration. The Assemblywoman presented President Dan Esquilin and several active members with Assembly Citations in honor of their outstanding service to the community.
Fraser Civic Association Service Award
Fraser Civic Association bestowed their Service Award on Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein for “her never ending hard work and service” to the members of the Fraser Community. On hand to congratulate the Assemblywoman were Tom Hernandez, President of Fraser Civic, and Councilmembers Lew Fidler and Jumaane Williams.

COJO Legislative Breakfast
At the annual COJO of Flatbush Legislative Breakfast, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein congratulated COJO for all their good work assisting people in need. Pictured with the Assemblywoman are Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus, Executive Director of COJO, and Leon Goldenberg, Breakfast Chairperson.
Youth Happen’n
The Community Board 17 Youth Services Planning Committee Chair Patricia Reddock and member Rodrick Daley presented Assemblywoman Weinstein with an award at their annual Youth Happen’n. Assemblywoman Weinstein helps sponsor this yearly event which hosts over 3,000 community children.


Protecting Tenants –
Strengthening Rent Regulations

In June, Assemblywoman Weinstein helped pass bipartisan legislation implementing the strongest, boldest improvements to New York’s rent-regulations laws in nearly 30 years (Ch. 97 of 2011). In doing so, we were able to give hardworking New Yorkers access to affordable housing with stronger rent protections for middle-class and low-income families. The law closed the loopholes that made raising rent and rent decontrol far too easy for landlords who priced families out of their homes.

Assemblywoman Weinstein says
"Protect Your Identity"
A Free Shredding Truck Will Be
Coming to Our Neighborhood

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Roosevelt Savings Bank
Parking Lot - Nostrand Ave at Avenue U

Identity theft victims can spend months or even years clearing their accounts of fraudulent charges and restoring their credit history.

Shredding documents containing personal information is one of the best defenses against identity theft. Since this State program was launched in 2008, more than 17 tons of documents have been shredded and later recycled.

Call Assemblywoman Weinstein's Community Office at (718) 648-4700 for more information and to sign up.


Last year dozens of residents protected themselves from identity theft by participating in the “Free Shredding Program.”

Helene Weinstein Helps You Obtain A Senior MetroCard

Senior Half-Fare MetroCard Bus Comes to the Community Office
September 15th, 2011 • November 17th, 2011
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Apply for the Senior Half-Fare MetroCard and Receive one on the spot
Proper age I.D. (65 years and older) and photo I.D. are required

Call to schedule your free flu shot

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.