Albany Office: 748 LOB, Albany, NY 12248, (518) 455-5426
District Office: 341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 246-4889
email: millmaj@assembly.state.ny.us
December 2011 Community Report

Holiday Giving

Park Slope Civic Council's Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Collection. My office will be a drop off point for this wonderful annual program. Please donate new and unwrapped toys, games and books for children aged 12 and under to my office at 341 Smith Street. All of the gifts collected will be given to local organizations that work with families in need. We will be collecting gifts from Monday, November 28th until January 6, 2012. If you are interested in offering your business as a gift collection center, please contact the Park Slope Civic Council at toys4tots@parkslopeciviccouncil.org.

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Just in time for Thanksgiving I partnered with Fairway Market to deliver 60 frozen turkeys to eight community organizations. Turkeys were brought to the Carroll Gardens Association, Christian Help in Park Slope (CHIPS), the Eileen C. Dugan Senior Center, the HOPE Program, the RAICES Gowanus Senior Center, the RAICES Times Plaza Senior Center, The Prospect Park YMCA and the YWCA. Here I am with Louise Franqui, who received a turkey through the Carroll Gardens Association. All of these organizations do tremendous work providing for those in need and I am proud to be here to lend a hand. I hope that throughout this holiday season we all find a way to pitch in.

Extend the Millionaire's Tax

Along with 72% of New Yorkers I support the extension of the "Millionaire's Tax." If this tax ends, New York State will lose nearly $4 billion - which will come out of jobs and education for our residents. Each New Yorker must pay a fair share for the services we all need. If you agree that this tax should be extended, you can sign an online petition at www.stopmillionairetaxcut.com.

Assembly Hearing on SCRIE
On November 22, 2011 I co-chaired an Assembly Hearing on the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program (SCRIE). Many advocates and city officials testified at the hearing, which examined the effects of changes in the program's administration and solutions to on-going problems. Until 2009, the SCRIE program was administered by the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA). That year the program was transferred to the Department of Finance (DOF), which many advocates and elected officials believe has lead to a less efficient and sensitive program for New York City's senior citizens. Though the stated reason for the transfer from DFTA to DOF was to streamline administration and make it easier to apply for the program, witnesses testified that just the opposite has happened.

Both elected officials, advocates and seniors reported long delays and increasing difficulties in applying for the program, recertifying, and getting resolutions to problems, and that there is no direct way to contact DOF staff when problems arise. Currently, applicants can only call 311 with questions about SCRIE and DOF is moving to require applications to be completed on-line. Advocates and elected officials alike agreed that this does not take into account the needs and comfort level of seniors both with language issues and technology. In the past, SCRIE was an example of a well run and valuable program - I will continue to push for resolutions for current program problems, that take into account the needs of seniors in our community.

Cyberbullying: What Every Parent Should Know

In November I spoke at the "No Bully Zone, Keeping Kids Safe from Bullying" forum sponsored by the Brooklyn Grandparents Coalition and Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus, Department of Social Work. This was a forum for relative caregivers. I spoke about warning signs of children being bullied, what you can do about it, and how to keep children safe.

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I recently spoke with members of the Retirees Association of DC 37 which works tirelessly to defend and improve health insurance, social security, pensions and Medicare. Members spoke about the difficulties their retirees are facing because the cost of living and healthcare are constantly rising in our city. On top of that, last year's state budget included numerous cuts to services. I also addressed programs and incentives members could take advantage of such as the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program and the Home Energy Assistance Program.




Office of Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 246-4889 • millmaj@assembly.state.ny.us
Facebook.com/AssemblywomanJoanMillman