Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein
A special report to
the Residents of the 41st Assembly District
Summer 2014
Helene E. Weinstein

Making a Difference in Brooklyn and Albany

The 2014 legislative session saw passage of new laws that will no doubt help thousands of hardworking New Yorkers. I’ve highlighted some of the most important achievements in this newsletter. I’ve also included information on important community office programs I am sponsoring.

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.


Protecting Neighborhoods & Homeowners by Strengthening Foreclosure Laws

A recent investigation co-authored by Assemblywoman Weinstein found that the foreclosure crisis continues in New York State, with nearly 30,000 homes currently facing possible foreclosures.

Assemblywoman Weinstein advanced legislation to help homeowners and their neighbors and insist on fairer practices by lenders.

Keeping Our Neighborhoods Clean and Safe

Assemblywoman Weinstein, in conjunction with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is working to pass legislation that would force banks and lenders to upkeep properties before and during the foreclosure process.

Abandoned or vacant homes, often called “zombies,” can pose serious safety risks to residents living nearby, and often become havens for drug dealers or targets of vandalism. Worse yet, the market value of neighboring homes - and the entire neighborhood - decreases as these properties deteriorate. An estimated 15 percent of foreclosed homes in New York State are “zombie” properties.

Forcing Lenders to Play by the Rules

Assemblywoman Weinstein sponsored legislation, recently signed into law (Ch. 29), extending for another 4 years her law to protect homeowners facing foreclosure. An extension of the mandatory pre-foreclosure settlement conference puts the lender and homeowner in the same room in hopes they can come to an agreement.

Previously, homeowners were falling victim to lenders exploiting loopholes and evading New York State foreclosure filing laws, prolonging the foreclosure process and stranding these residents with fees and interest racking up and little hope of modifying their loans.

Special Education Victory
At a press conference celebrating an agreement on much-needed special education reform along the lines of her previously authored bills, Assemblywoman Weinstein thanked Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Mayor Bill de Blasio, and expressed joy at being able to help parents of children with special needs ensure their children receive an appropriate education.

Half Fare Metrocard
Assemblywoman Weinstein explained the process of obtaining, using and refilling the half-fare MetroCard to constituents during the MTA’s monthly visit to her office. The MTA visits the office the third Thursday of every month from 10am-12pm. Their next visits are August 21st and September 18th.


Assemblywoman Weinstein is Here for You

Celebrate Israel Day Parade
At the Annual Celebrate Israel Day Parade, Assemblywoman Weinstein marched, supporting Israel, with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and City, State and Federal Government colleagues.
Bay Improvement Group
Assemblywoman Weinstein joined Steve Barrison of the Bay Improvement Group and local elected officials at the Annual BIG Oscars Dinner for Distinguished Community Service. The 2014 roster of honorees included the NYPD 61st Precinct Auxiliary Unit, Lt. Richard Eggstein of FDNY Ladder Company 246, Public School 52, the Kings Bay Y, and Sheepshead Bites Editor, Ned Berke.

Community Board 18
During a recent visit to Community Board 18, the Assemblywoman informed members of the expansion of school zone speed cameras to protect children and pedestrians.
New Auxiliary Patrol Van
Tony Christo, Chief of the NYPD Patrol Brooklyn Borough South Auxiliary unit and officers of the 63rd Precinct Auxiliary Patrol, thanked the Assemblywoman for providing the funds towards the new 63rd Precinct Auxiliary Patrol van.

Take advantage of the popular SCRIE and DRIE programs

The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs provide rent relief for seniors and disabled individuals by freezing their rent and exempting them from future increases. This year, Assemblywoman Weinstein and her colleagues in the Assembly made it a top priority to expand eligibility for these programs giving many the ability to afford to stay in their homes. As of July 1, 2014, the income threshold for the programs increased from $29,000 to $50,000.

For more information about SCRIE and DRIE, visit, call 311 or visit the SCRIE walk-in office located at 66 John St. in Manhattan. As always, if you have questions about this or any other community issue, please feel free to contact Assemblywoman Weinstein’s community office.

Sheepshead Bay Plumb Beach Civic Association
The Sheepshead Bay Plumb Beach Civic Association and Assemblywoman Weinstein commemorated those fallen, those who have served and continue to serve at a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Veteran’s Monument on Emmons Avenue.
Derech Hatorah Dinner
At the 33rd Annual Derech Hatorah Journal Dinner, Assemblywoman Weinstein presented school Executive Director Joel Weisblum, and honoree, Mitchell Kaplan, with Congratulatory NYS Assembly Citations.

Derech Hatorah Dinner
At the 33rd Annual Derech Hatorah Journal Dinner, Assemblywoman Weinstein joined Rabbi Moshe Rottenberg of Congregation Bais Moshe Shmiel in presenting elementary school Principal Elimelech Chaneles, and honoree, Rabbi Moshe Monczuk, with NYS Assembly Proclamations.
Holocaust Survivors Speak
Assemblywoman Weinstein arranged for members of the New York Association of Holocaust Survivors to speak to children at a local school about their experiences and surviving during the holocaust.

Graduation Award
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein presented Community Service Awards to deserving graduates at Middle School 381.
MetCouncil Breakfast
At the annual MetCouncil Legislative Breakfast Assemblywoman Weinstein joined CEO David Frankel in congratulating COJO of Flatbush Executive Director, Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus, and JCC of Marine Park Executive Vice President, Shea Rubenstein, on their selection as honorees at this year’s legislative breakfast.

Select Bus Service Concerns
After local residents voiced the need for an additional Select Bus Services stop at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R, Assemblywoman Weinstein, Councilman Chaim Deutsch and Councilman Alan Maisel had representatives from the MTA meet with and listen to their concerns and consider an expansion.

Assemblywoman Weinstein read ‘The Giving Tree’ to UPK students at PS 197 to publicize the expansion of Universal Pre-K in NYC.

Kings Bay Y Israel Day Fair
Hundreds of families attended the Kings Bay YM-YWHA’s Celebrate Israel Street Fair. The Assemblywoman joined Councilman Alan Maisel and Y Executive Director, Leonard Petlakh in enjoying the festivities.
Graduation Award
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein presented her Community Service Award to a deserving graduate at Public School 206.

Masbia Soup Kitchen BBQ
Masbia Soup Kitchen held a Lag Ba’omer BBQ at Brooklyn College’s Hillel House. The Assemblywoman joined Director Alex Rappaport and Chef Ruben Diaz at the grill.
Graduation Award
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein presented her Community Service Award to a deserving graduate at Public School 255.

Major Eugene T. McCarthy Triangle Memorial
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein joined the Fraser Civic Association and veterans during the Annual Memorial at the Major Eugene T. McCarthy Triangle (Avenue N & East 31st Street), Major McCarthy, a local resident, was tragically killed while fighting for our country in the Gulf War.

Lowering Utility Bills and Protecting Customers

Assemblywoman Weinstein and her colleagues are taking major steps to save utility customers millions of dollars and putting measures into place that will protect New Yorkers during economic downturns.

A new law (Ch. 59) will save residential and commercial customers $600 million over the next 3 years by accelerating the phase-out of an existing 18-a utility surcharge rate by $200 million annually for both residential and commercial customers.

Additionally, the Assembly passed legislation calling for a Utility Consumer Advocate. The advocate would be granted power to take utility providers to court to challenge unfair rate hikes that place undue burdens on consumers during these tough economic times. The bill is currently before the NYS Senate.

Giving New York Kids Something to Cheer About

Assemblywoman Weinstein successfully fought for the 2014 State Budget, which included tremendous wins for children in public and private schools; a major investment in education to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed:

Honoring Maestro Irwin Meyer
The Kings County American Legion Headquarters Band held a special concert to commemorate the 95th Birthday of it’s conductor, Maestro Irwin Meyer. Assemblywoman Weinstein was on hand to present Mr. Meyer with an official New York State Assembly Resolution passed in his honor.
Strivright Carnival
Hundreds of families attended the Spectacular Carnival sponsored by Strivright Auditory Oral School of NY located on Kings Highway and Avenue M. The Assemblywoman joined constituent and 63rd Precinct Clergy Liaison, Raphael Treitel and NYPD Community Affairs Sergeant, Ira Jablonsky, in enjoying the festivities.

Grandparents Appreciation Day
Members of the Carmine Carro Community Center Senior Day Program were treated to a special performance by a local middle school orchestra during Grandparents Appreciation Day. Assemblywoman Weinstein was on hand to congratulate the active seniors and publicized upcoming changes to the SCRIE program.
Free Shredding Truck to Our Neighborhood

Free Flu Shots at Weinstein’s Office this October
& PHA Community Room 1655 Flatbush Avenue (near Avenue I)
Call Weinstein’s Office to schedule an appointment at (718) 648-4700
Sponsored by Beth Israel and Coney Island Hospitals

Protecting Our Natural Resources

A recent court of appeals ruling allows local municipalities to adopt special zoning regulations to prevent horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing – known as hydrofracking. Earlier this year Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein supported the passage of legislation to suspend the Department of Environmental Conservation’s issuance of new natural gas drilling permits in New York until 2017 (A.5424-B).

The adverse effects of hydrofracking - a method of extracting natural gas from underground rock formations through the injection of a chemical cocktail and highly pressurized water - are largely unstudied and therefore can pose a high risk to people and communities surrounding these sites. This moratorium will allow more investigations to be conducted regarding the health impacts and how to proceed without harming the ecosystem.

Assemblywoman Weinstein will continue working with her colleagues to pursue statewide legislation to delay this environmentally dangerous procedure.

Assemblywoman Weinstein’s Community Office