New York State Elected Officials Representing Brooklyn
20th Senate District
As a Captain in the NYPD, Eric Adams became well-known to New Yorkers as thoughtful, tireless advocate for the communities and people he served, and he earned widespread praise for creating innovative programs on issues ranging from conflict resolution to child abuse prevention. His more than two decades of experience and expertise in law enforcement and criminal justice issues led to his appointment as Ranking Minority Member on the Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee, as well as Ranking Minority Member on the Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee. Senator Adams also serves on the Aging, Codes and Civil Service Committees in the New York State Senate.
Eric Adams is perhaps best-known for his efforts to create a more symbiotic relationship between law enforcement and New York’s diverse neighborhoods. His highly-regarded instructional workshops, "What To Do When Stopped By The Police," have helped thousands of young people throughout New York learn to better interact with the police by using proven conflict resolution skills. These forums have since been replicated throughout the country and have provided a generation of youngsters with a better understanding of how to resolve difficult conflicts – not only with the police, but also with teachers, peers and others. He also created a series a free public safety seminars for New York City parents, which addressed issues including gang awareness, child abuse prevention and how to protect your children from abduction.
Throughout his years in public service, Eric Adams has joined forces with hundreds of community groups and civic organizations to assist them on issues such as public schools, urban economic development, fair and affordable housing, civil rights and political accountability. Always an outspoken advocate for the causes of justice, he has testified before the U.S. Federal Human Rights Commission, at numerous New York City Council hearings, and in United States Federal Court. He has contributed both his passion and his unique community-based, criminal justice perspective to numerous issues. Whether it was speaking out about the Louima and Diallo tragedies or fighting for after-school programs for at-risk teens, Eric Adams has spent his career advocating on behalf of hardworking, everyday New Yorkers. During his 20-year career, Eric Adams co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, a group of law enforcement personnel and supporters who provide funding and grants to community-based organizations making a difference in their neighborhoods. He also is a former Chairperson of the Grand Council for the Guardians, and serves on the board of the Eastern District Counseling Service, and organization that assists substance abusers to live productive lives without dependency on drugs and alcohol.
Eric Adams received his Masters Degree in Public Administration from Marist College, and is a graduate of New York City Technical College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is a proud product of New York City public schools and lives in Prospect Heights.
17th Senate District
Elected to the New York State Senate in November, 2002, Martin Malave Dilan is serving his third term in the 17th Senatorial District after representing the 37th Council District for ten years. In an unusual twist for a Senate freshman, Senator Dilan was appointed the Assistant Minority Leader of Conference Operations. In 2007, Senator Dilan was appointed Chairman of the Minority Conference and was also made a member of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment. As a Senator representing Brooklyn, Senator Dilan continues his extraordinary career in public service. The 17th District encompasses the North Brooklyn communities of Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills, City-Line, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Brownsville.
Prior to being elected to the State Senate, Senator Dilan served ten years as a member of the New York City Council. During his tenure in the City Council, Senator Dilan distinguished himself as a diligent legislator, while maintaining a strong constituent services operation through his district office. As a council member, Senator Dilan wrote the law to aggressively penalize anyone found guilty of illegal dumping. He also was the prime sponsor of legislation that gave oversight powers to the City Council as it relates to city contracts that jeopardized city jobs.
Senator Dilan has a long track record of being an advocate for youth and senior citizen issues. He is well known in his community for being a strong supporter of education. His basic philosophy on education is that students must have the basic tools to achieve and level the educational playing field. Having served 14 years as a member of Community School Board #32, (seven as Chair) Senator Dilan was instrumental in addressing overcrowding by advocating for new school construction. As a council member, he successfully obtained state of the art computers for every elementary school and middle school in his district, and was successful in obtaining $20 million in Capital Funding for Public School 89, the Cypress Hills Community School.
Senator Dilan has an impeccable reputation amongst his colleagues in all levels of government. As the City Council's Chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee, he advocated for greater access to information about conflict of interest issues among elected officials and government employees. As a former businessman, Senator Dilan understands the importance of economic development and business retention programs in New York. He is also a strong supporter of environmental causes, and the beautification and preservation of parks.
Senator Dilan grew up in the community of Bushwick where his parents, Esther and Gilberto, who migrated from Puerto Rico in 1947, instilled in him the importance of community service and cultural heritage. In 1965, the young and ambitious Martin first involved himself in electoral politics when he worked as a volunteer in a mayoral campaign before graduating from high school and going on to Brooklyn College where he participated in the Special Baccalaureate Degree Program.
Senator Dilan is a former legislative assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives and has served as a Democratic District Leader and Democratic State Committeeman from the 54th Assembly District. Senator Dilan has been elected 3 times as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1992, 1996 and 2000. He is married to Debra Hicks and they have three children: Erik (a Council Member from Brooklyn, NY), Melissa and Nicole.
Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee
Senator Martin J. Golden (R,C) was elected to represent Brooklyn's 22nd Senate District in 2002 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2006. The 22nd State Senate District includes the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend and parts of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park and Midwood.
During his first two terms in the State Legislature, Senator Marty Golden has quickly established himself as one of the most influential lawmakers in the City and State of New York. Senator Golden has authored over 75 laws most notably in the areas of public safety, tax cuts, economic development, and senior citizen issues.
Marty Golden’s distinguished career as a New York City Police Officer, provided him with the knowledge and experience to make our streets safer. Senator Marty Golden worked to strengthen the Megan’s Law sex offender registry and expand the DNA databank to include all persons convicted of a felony and certain misdemeanors. In December 2005, Senator Golden sponsored the laws to increase penalties against gun-runners and those that injure or kill police officers. In 2006, Senator Golden wrote a tough law that mandates prison for the possession of a single loaded illegal firearm. Senator Golden’s bills were a priority of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Working with a diverse group of parents, educators, clergy and school choice advocates, Senator Golden delivered a $330 child tax credit for public, private and parochial school students. Senator Golden’s diligent efforts secured $11.2 billion in funding to improve New York City Public Schools including a new high school in Sunset Park and many other classrooms improvements to ensure that our students receive a sound basic education.
As one of eight children born to Irish immigrants, Marty Golden knows that working families need tax breaks to help make ends meet. Senator Golden delivered the laws that eliminated the state sales tax on clothing and footwear; secured a $400 property tax cut for New York City residents; and eliminated the personal income tax marriage penalty.
As Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, Senator Golden is credited by nationally recognized advocacy groups for championing the rights of senior citizens through the Assisted Living Law of 2004. Under his leadership, a number of significant bills affecting older Americans have been enacted, including a new Elderlaw; the Senior Bill of Rights; Long Term Care Reform, internet posting of retail prescription drug prices and a single EPIC/Medicare prescription drug card. Senator Golden wrote the law that raised SCRIE income eligibility limits for seniors and the disabled.
Yet, what distinguishes Marty Golden's career in public service is his emphasis on community service and ability to bring back funding for important community programs including health care, education, transportation, law enforcement and senior citizen programs.
Senator Marty Golden sponsors popular neighborhood events like senior citizen days, Halloween walks, Christmas tree lightings, Menorah lightings, Easter egg hunts, summer concerts in the park, summer movie nights, women’s history month, Senator for the day, Asian Lunar New Year, environmental clean ups, district office open house, school trips to Albany, mammograms, prostate screenings, and flu shots for senior citizens.
From 1998 through 2002, Marty Golden represented the 43rd Councilmanic District in the New York City Council. As a member of the Council, Marty served on the Committees on Finance, Parks and Recreation, Public Safety and State and Federal Legislation, as well as on the Select Subcommittees on Senior Citizen Centers and the Waterfront. In the days immediately after 9/11, Councilman Golden's office coordinated the shipment of more than 200 truckloads of food, clothing, and materials to the volunteers working at "Ground Zero" and helped to establish the first Community Emergency Response Team (CERT 1 NYC) in New York State.
Marty Golden is a former New York City Police Officer who received numerous awards during his ten years with the Police Department. Marty was forced to retire in 1983, after suffering a serious injury while making a narcotics arrest.
Marty Golden attended St. Patrick's and Our Lady of Angels Grammar Schools, New York School of Printing, and John Jay College. He is a graduate of St. John’s University. Marty and his wife, Colleen, have two school-age children, Michael and P.J.
Standing Committee Assignments 2007: Aging (Chair); Senate Majority Task Force on Critical Choices (Chair); Banks; Codes; Crime Victims, Crime & Corrections; Education; Insurance; Investigations and Government Operations; Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.
27th Senate District
Senator Carl Kruger of Brooklyn, a lifelong and staunch independent Democrat, made history in early 2007 when he was appointed Chair of the Senate Committee on Social Services, Children and Families – the first time in the history of the Legislature that a member of the minority conference was named to head a standing committee.
Born in Brooklyn, where he has spent his entire life, Sen. Kruger was first elected to the State Senate in a special election on February 15, 1994. Prior to his election to the State Senate, Sen. Kruger served as an Assistant Director of Member Services for the New York State Assembly and for ten years was the Chairperson of Community Board # 18. A full-time legislator, Sen. Kruger maintains a District Office at 2201 Avenue U.
Sen. Kruger quickly built a reputation for being a legislator who is tough on crime. In his first term in the Senate, Sen. Kruger voted in support of restoration of the death penalty, and authored and introduced an anti-crime legislative agenda that was designed to eliminate youthful offender status for violent criminals and to increase penalties for reckless and drunk driving and crimes committed with firearms. He has introduced legislation to close a loophole in the state’s Megan’s Law and to make it a crime for a teacher to engage in improper relations with a student regardless of age.
Sen. Kruger has vigorously supported the interests of the business community and furthered commercial and residential development while also protecting the character of local neighborhoods. With his groundbreaking Consumer Advocate Program, he is a leader in tackling consumer-related issues and has untangled countless bureaucratic snafus involving medical insurers and large corporations.
Sen. Kruger is an outspoken advocate for high-quality education and has gained recognition for his efforts to improve the New York City public school system. In 2003, Sen. Kruger led a group of legislators in filing a lawsuit against the mayor and Department of Education to prevent the city from consolidating the 32 community school districts into 10 large regions. In 2007, Sen. Kruger hailed the elimination of the region system.
As the Senator who represents the largest Russian-speaking constituency in New York State and probably the nation, Sen. Kruger has heartily embraced the businesses, schools, culture and other sectors of this vibrant and growing community. He is the only elected official to regularly publish a Russian-language newsletter and also has full-time Russian-speaking staff to assist this constituency. Sen. Kruger also represents a portion of Borough Park and has worked in conjunction with the Jewish Community Council of Borough Park to bring a Department of Motor Vehicles mobile outreach program to the community.
A vocal education advocate, Sen. Kruger came out in strong support of education tax credits for families struggling to pay for a yeshiva or private school education, and for public school families who must pay for outside tutoring and other expenses.
The Senator is a member of many civic and service groups including the SUNY Health Science Center Advisory Board, Board of Trustees of the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corporation, Advisory Board of Visions - advocates for the blind and visually impaired, and Vice-President of the Georgetowne Civic Association. Senator Kruger is also a member of the Flatbush Park Jewish Center, The Knights of Pythias Excelsior Lodge, and a former board member of Temple Hillel.
Senator Kruger is the recipient of numerous awards including: The Ram Bam Lodge of B'nai B'rith and the Civic Associations of Georgetowne, Mill-Island, Mill Basin, Farragut- Redwood, Bergen Beach and Futurama, the Metropolitan Geriatric Jewish Center, and the Glenwood Jewish Center, Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO) of Flatbush. He was named Legislator of the year by the Jewish War Veterans, as well as Kingsborough Community College. He has also been honored with the Israel Solidarity Award.
18th Senate District
Velmanette Montgomery is recognized for her effective leadership and steadfast commitment to her constituents of north and central Brooklyn, as well as to New Yorkers statewide. Most recently, the Senator authored a law that prevents New Yorkers from being arbitrarily denied a license to barber or practice cosmetology just because they spent time in prison. Under another Montgomery bill signed into law this year, adopted children will be able to claim two parents of record. In addition, the Senator has sponsored a law that allows community boards throughout New York City to apply for and receive state funding through the Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program. She is also responsible for a law that enables consumers to receive from their utility provider "Time-of-Day" service, a cost-saving measure that redirects the use of electricity to off-peak, low-demand hours.
Senator Montgomery's other noteworthy legislative accomplishments include working aggressively to expand school-based health centers statewide and implement a comprehensive Teen Health Agenda that would, among other things, require the teaching of age appropriate, medically accurate sexuality education in kindergarten though 12th grade. She has also co-sponsored the law that enabled nurse practitioners to become certified, and headed the campaign to stem the spread of AIDS among intravenous drug users through legalized needle exchange programs. She is the sponsor of legislation to empower more public assistance recipients to move out of poverty and achieve economic security by requiring social service districts to transition people on welfare into meaningful, living-wage jobs. As a respected advocate for criminal justice reform, Senator Montgomery continues to lead efforts to improve and expand transitional services for men and women released from prison. To this end, she has proposed the creation of a temporary state commission to examine the re-entry needs of formerly incarcerated people. The Senator is also recommending a state funding stream to support community-based groups providing services for this population.
21st Senate District
Senator Kevin S. Parker is committed to restoring the overall quality of life for the constituents of the 21st Senatorial District in Brooklyn. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, Senator Parker has been a Flatbush resident for more than 27 years. Having been nurtured, schooled and employed in the district, Senator Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of this ethnically diverse community that consists of 311,000 constituents in several communities which include: Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington and Borough Park. A product of the New York City Public School system, Senator Parker attended P.S. 193, Andres Hudde J.H.S. 240 and Midwood High School.
Senator Parker's professional background reflects a wide range of public service and commitment to better New York. As the Special Assistant to former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, Senator Parker managed intergovernmental relations in New York City and was the liaison between the Comptroller and city, state and federal elected officials. He performed similar functions with unions, community-based organizations and constituents. In addition, he tracked city legislation and monitored City Council activities for the Comptroller.
As a New York City Urban Fellow, Senator Parker also has served as a Special Assistant to Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger. Additionally, he was Legislative Aide to former New York City Council Member Una Clarke and Special Assistant to Assemblyman Nick Perry. As Project Manager with the New York State Urban Development Corporation, Senator Parker financed women-and minority-owned businesses and promoted community business redevelopment. Senator Parker worked at UBS Painewebber on government affairs issues in the Chairman's office working on broad issues of importance to the financial service industry.
Senator Parker, at age 41, brings his leadership and legislative acumen to the Conference as the Democratic Whip and as the ranking member of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee. His standing committee assignments include: Finance, Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Higher Education, Insurance and Environmental Conservation. Senator Parker's commitment to his community is reflected in his leadership in civic organizations. His is the former 2nd Vice Chairman of the Board and chairperson of Community Board 17's Education Committee; a member of the Community Service Society's Associates program and the Children's Defense Fund's Community Crusade for Children. Most recently, Senator Parker was a member of the Coro Foundation's Leadership New York XI class where he examined public policy, budget and infrastructure, race relations, education and health care issues.
Senator Parker's commitment to education has taken him into the classroom as a professor of both African-American Studies and Political Science at several colleges including: Baruch College – CUNY, SUNY-Old Westbury, John Jay College-CUNY, Medgar Evers College – CUNY, City College and Long Island University Brooklyn Campus. Overall, Senator Parker has done most of his teaching at Brooklyn College – CUNY, where he also was a faculty advisor to student organizations and activities. Senator Parker also taught graduate courses at Brooklyn College's Center for Worker Education.
Senator Parker received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Service from Penn State University, where he organized students to fight racism and encourage diversity at the University. He holds a Master's of Science Degree from the New School for Social Research Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, and currently is pursuing a doctoral degree in Political Science at the City University of New York Graduate School and University Center. Senator Parker is committed to working with people of varied ethnic and religious backgrounds to realize his ultimate aim to ensure adequate representation for all New Yorkers.
19th Senate District
506 Legislative Office Building
Senator John Sampson (Democrat, Brooklyn) was elected to the New York State Senate in 1996. He represents the 19th Senatorial District which encompasses Canarsie, East Flatbush, Parts of Brownsville, Crown Heights, East New York, portions of Old Mill Basin, Spring Creek Towers, and parts of Midwood and Kensington. John Llewllyn Sampson was born on June 17, 1965, in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to American and Guyanese parents. At the age of two, he moved to the Brownsville/East Flatbush section of Brooklyn with his family, where he grew up. Senator Sampson was educated in New York City's Public School System, and in 1983 he graduated from Tilden High School in Brooklyn. Senator Sampson received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1987. While in college, he was employed as a paralegal for the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York.
Following his graduation from Brooklyn College, Senator Sampson worked for Proskauer, Rose, Goetz & Mendelsohn as a litigation assistant. In 1988, he enrolled at Albany Law School. During his studies there, he worked with the Department of Environmental Conservation until his graduation in 1991. In April 1992, John was admitted to the New York Bar, at which time he became a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of New York, representing clients in administrative and housing court proceedings. In 1993, he joined the firm of Alter and Barbaro, Esqs., where he currently represents clients in Real Estate, Criminal and Election matters. As an active participant in community affairs, the Senator has conducted free legal clinics and represented candidates in election matters before the New York Supreme Court. Senator Sampson is a member of several political organizations, including the New Era Community Democratic Club and the New Era PAC.
In acknowledgment of his many achievements, the Senator has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Humanitarian Award from the Mid-Bedford Lions; the Outstanding Young American Award; the New Yorkers Vision Award from the Greater New York Business League; and the Congressional Legal Service Award from Congressman Edolphus Towns. The Senator is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Albany Law School. He is a former member of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center Board of Trustees, and is currently a member of the Brooklyn Bar Association and other distinguished legal organizations. In addition to his committee assignments, Senator Sampson is also a member of the Administrative Regulations Review Commission.
23rd Senate District
Diane Savino has dedicated her entire professional career towards improving the lives of working people and the urban poor. She began her career in public service as a caseworker for New York City’s Child Welfare Administration, providing direct assistance to abused and neglected children. An active member of her local labor union, the Social Service Employees Union, Local 371, DC 37 of AFSCME, she quickly rose through the ranks to become the Vice President for Political Action & Legislative Affairs, where she became one of the most respected labor leaders in New York State.
As a labor activist, she actively and successfully campaigned for an increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.15—the first raise for New Yorkers in over a decade. In 2004, she was elected to represent the 23rd Senatorial District, encompassing the North Shore of Staten Island and portions of Brooklyn, including Borough Park, Coney Island, Bensonhurst, and Sunset Park. Senator Savino has introduced legislation in support of working families, including legislation requiring Big Box retailers, like Walmart, to provide basic health insurance for their employees, the Consumer and Worker Protection Act, which would end state taxpayer subsidies for moving American jobs overseas, and the Renter’s Tax Credit for middle and low-income tenants. She has also sponsored numerous bills addressing pay inequity for women and legislation requiring unpaid leave for victims of domestic violence.
As a strong supporter of health and safety initiatives, Senator Savino successfully passed a law increasing funding for cervical cancer and has been active in educating women about the HPV vaccine, which protects women from this easily preventable disease.In addition, she successfully championed the elimination of New York State’s five-year statute of limitations for the crime of sexual assault, making it easier to put violators behind bars before they move onto another victim. Local initiatives include a task force to fight Child Obesity, Small Business Town Halls, First Time Homeowner Workshops, a Women’s Health Fair, free mammograms, and a series of district-wide workshops for seniors on the new Medicare prescription drug plan. Senator Savino sponsors a wide array of programs in the 24th District, including the only Kosher soup kitchen in New York City, Staten Island’s Downtown Drive In Movies, a variety of youth programs, and funding for Senior Centers within the District.
25th Senate District
Elected to the New York State Senate in November, 2008, Daniel Squadron is serving his first term in the 25th Senatorial District. His district includes the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus, and the Manhattan neighborhoods of Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Little Italy, SoHo and the East Village.
Source: New York State Senate website
Peter J. Abbate, Jr., a lifelong resident of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, has been elected by the people of Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Borough Park to represent them in the New York State Assembly since 1986. Born on March 22, 1949, Mr. Abbate attended local schools, beginning at Regina Pacis Grammar School and on to Bishop Ford High School. He entered St. John’s University in 1967 where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.
While at St. John’s, Mr. Abbate became involved in civic and political activities. In 1973, he joined the staff of then Assemblyman Stephen J. Solarz as a Legislative Assistant. From 1974 through 1985, he moved to national politics serving as the District Representative for Congressman Stephen J. Solarz. Since his election in 1986, Mr. Abbate has served as a full-time Legislator, maintaining two district offices to assist his constituents. In Albany, Mr. Abbate has grown to become an influential member of the Assembly. He is currently the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees, a position he was elevated to in 2002 after serving as Chairman of the Committee on Real Property Taxation and the Committee on Cities. Additionally, he is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Safety in the Workplace, a member of the Assembly Workers’ Compensation Task Force and a member of the Distressed Cities Task Force. He is treasurer of the New York Conference of Italian American State Legislators. His standing committee assignments are Aging, Banks, Consumer Affairs and Protection and Labor. As a legislator, Mr. Abbate has sponsored numerous bills that have been signed into law. These laws cover a wide range of issues from consumer affairs to civil service issues to real property tax reforms.
Mr. Abbate has protected consumers with the passage of legislation that puts an end to unscrupulous prize award schemes by providing for mandatory disclosure, allowing consumers an informed choice on whether to claim a prize. He has safeguarded our children with legislation requiring that school bus lights be illuminated while students are being transported. He has provided protection for civil service employees by allowing them union representation during investigatory reviews and he has formally recognized our military past by making the National POW/MIA Recognition Day a date each year the flag shall be displayed. As Chairman of the Real Property Tax Committee, he passed legislation clarifying the state’s real property tax laws, providing for mandate relief, reforming the Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program (ICIP) to reflect changes in New York City’s economic climate and allowing for a real property tax exemption for improvements made to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
While in his first year as Chairman of the Governmental Employees Committee he had to contend with the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy. He passed legislation to help maintain veteran police and firefighters within the City of New York and sponsored legislation to establish a presumptive accidental disability retirement related to exposure to elements in connection with the World Trade Center tragedy for public employees who rendered rescue services in the wake of the attack. Additionally, in light of the State’s economic downturn he sponsored and passed into law an Early Retirement Incentive to stave off public sector layoffs on the state and local level. For the first time the incentive offered two components-the traditional targeted incentive and a new 25 years of service age 55 incentive.
In addition to his legislative duties, Mr. Abbate has been active in community groups such as Heartshare of Brooklyn and Queens; the Civitan Club of Brooklyn, the Boy Scouts of America, the Kiwanis Club of 18th Avenue, the Statewide Homeowners and Tenants Association, and the Guild for Exceptional Children. Mr. Abbate has received numerous awards for his service to the state, city and community. He was named one of our state’s Outstanding Legislators in 1989 by the New York State Association of Counties and was sworn in as an Honorary Fire Chief by the New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association.
Assemblyman William Frank Boyland, Jr. has been an active participant in public service since his early teens. His term in the New York Assembly has been distinguished by his commitment to improving the lives of New Yorkers in his Brooklyn home district as well as across the state. Since becoming elected to office in a special election in 2003, the Assemblyman has served on a number of committees reflecting the diverse needs of his constituents including the Committee on Aging, the Committee on Cities, the Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, the Committee on Local Governments and the Committee on Real Property Taxation.
Legislation he has authored includes a bill prohibiting credit card solicitation on State University of New York and City University of New York campuses unless credit education courses are provided. He has also co-sponsored legislation ensuring health care and medical supplies for the elderly and people with disabilities who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, establishing a scholarship to state and city universities for high achieving students, mandating health insurance coverage for prenatal ultrasounds, allowing personal income tax deductions for college textbooks purchased for dependents and providing public access to information on the release of potentially harmful substances into the environment.
Born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Assemblyman Boyland, Jr. was initiated into public service by his father, William F. Boyland, Sr., who occupied his district’s Assembly Member seat for 20 years, and his uncle, Thomas S. Boyland, an Assembly member from 1977 to 1982. His sister, Tracy L. Boyland, is a member of the New York City Council and Chair of the Women's Issues Committee. After graduating Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, he attended Virginia State University and worked for Governor Douglass Wilder, the first African American to hold that state’s office. Also while in college, he interned in several public offices including that of Congressman Major Owens and Congressman Edolphus "Ed" Towns.
Jim Brennan represents the 44th Assembly District in Brooklyn, which contains sections of Park Slope, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, and Windsor Terrace. Mr. Brennan serves as a member of four committees: Codes; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Education; and Real Property Taxation. He is also chairman of the Committee on Cities. From 1995 through 2000, Mr. Brennan chaired the Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Developmental Disabilities. He has received awards from several major disability groups for his role in protecting the mental health and developmental disabilities budgets from serious cuts during his tenure as chair of the committee. Among his many accomplishments, he was responsible for funding 5000 units of housing and allowing half-fare on the MTA system for those with mental illness.
During his years in the Legislature, Mr. Brennan has championed consumer protection, energy conservation, and social and economic justice. He is well known for his expertise on budget matters, school aid, and utility regulatory matters. He is the author of a major piece of budget reform legislation, the Tax Expenditure Report. This law, passed in 1991, requires that the Governor submit to the Legislature an itemized list of every special tax break that exists within the State Tax code as part of the budget. This gives the Legislature and the public the opportunity to scrutinize each tax break and determine if it benefits the public as well as the private parties involved. Mr. Brennan also authored the exemption from the vault tax for New York City homeowners and the exemption from the New York City personal income tax for poverty level taxpayers. In 1996, Mr. Brennan sponsored a change in the property tax law that advanced tax relief to moderate income senior citizens who owned cooperatives. Previously, this real property tax abatement was only available to income-eligible owners of houses or condominiums.
Mr. Brennan maintains an active presence in his district, participating in many civic, school, and community improvement efforts that benefit his constituents. He has two district offices, located at 416 Seventh Avenue and 1414 Cortelyou Road. He was first elected to the Assembly after working for his predecessor, Joseph Ferris.
Standing Committee Assignments 2001: Codes; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Education; Real Property Taxation.
Alec Brook-Krasny immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union in 1989. By 1996 he was a successful New York City business owner, transforming a dusty old warehouse into "Fun-O-Rama," a 14,000-square-foot cultural, educational and entertainment community center in Brooklyn. In 1997, Brook-Krasny was honored as "Entertainment Entrepreneur of the Year" by the nationwide magazine Leisure and Entertainment Management. The same year he received a New York City Council proclamation for business achievements and community dedication.
In 2000, Brook-Krasny became the first Russian-speaking American to run for political office. He ran for the New York State Assembly and set a city record for the most write-in votes. In 2001, Brook-Krasny ran for the New York City Council and received The New York Times’ endorsement. In October 2001, Brook-Krasny became the founding Executive Director of The Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations (COJECO), a central coordinating body for 42 community-based, Russian-speaking émigré organizations in New York.
During Brook-Krasny’s tenure, COJECO provided a range of services to member organizations and hundreds of Jewish émigrés. Some of the services included 9/11 case finding, grant writing assistance, management and reporting, advocacy on behalf of the community, coordination of program activities for member organizations, and assistance in community/city government relations. In 2005, COJECO was listed in Slingshot 05 as one of the 50 most innovative Jewish organizations in North America. Brook-Krasny holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and engineering from Moscow Technological Institute. He also graduated from the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
The Reverend Assemblyman Karim Camara, born and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is the son of a retired nurse and principal. He follows a long tradition of ministers who have been inspired by faith to engage the political process to speak for the marginalized. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Assemblyman Camara was the Director of Institutional Advancement (fundraising and organizational development) for the Cush Campus Schools, a pre-K - 8th grade independent school located in Crown Heights. He has also worked in the past with the American Red Cross of Greater New York in their Emergency Family Center, a transitional housing shelter for displaced and abused women.
Assemblyman Camara received his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English Literature and Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from the New York Theological Seminary. He has also studied at Alfred University, Fordham University and Wesley Theological Seminary. In 1999, as an intern with Uth Turn (a program that serves “at-risk” youth, ages 13-21), he was assigned to First Baptist Church of Crown Heights. When the program ended in May 2000, he was named Assistant Pastor and by 2002, he became the first Executive Pastor in the church’s 52 year history, a position he still holds. Assemblyman Camara has a long-time passion for public service and believes in government as a tool to help improve the lives of its citizens. As a student at Xavier University, he was both active in the political process and community service. In 1991, he joined a movement of college students across the state of Louisiana who rallied against David Duke’s campaign for governor. In 1992, Assemblyman Camara was a leader in Xavier University’s nationally recognized community service organization entitled M.A.X. (Mobilization at Xavier). As part of this organization, he started and led a program called Project R.I.S.E. (Reducing Illiteracy Scars through Education), a literacy program at a New Orleans public school with some of the lowest reading scores in the city. Because of the success of this program, he was invited to meet President Bill Clinton and his Special Assistant Eli Segal to discuss the president’s idea for Americorps, a national community service program.
He has been the recipient of several awards and distinctions. While a student at Xavier University, he participated in the Biomedical Science Scholars Program at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN. In 1997, he participated in the National Capital Seminarians for a Semester program where he studied legislation and ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and worked with the Children’s Defense Fund and as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Major R. Owens (D-NY). Assemblyman Camara is a frequent speaker at churches, schools, and community organizations. In addition, he still finds time for volunteer service in his community. He served for three years on the Community Advisory Board of the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center and continues to serve on the Faith Leader Advisory Committee of New Visions for Public Schools.
William Colton was elected to the New York State Assembly in November 1996, representing the 47th Assembly District, consisting of the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights and Midwood. He has been a lifelong resident of his district, where he married his wife, Mary, and has two stepchildren, Jennifer and Joseph. He was educated at St. Athanasius School and graduated from Cathedral Prep., the minor seminary of the Diocese of Brooklyn. In 1968, he received a B.A. degree in Urban Education from St. John's University. He also was awarded an M.S. degree in Urban Education from Brooklyn College. In 1978, he graduated from St. John's School of Law with a J.D. degree.
William Colton worked as a public school teacher for eleven years, serving as a UFT Chapter Chairperson for six of those years. While teaching, he attended law school in the evening and he was admitted as a lawyer in New York State in 1979. Long active in community and civic affairs, William Colton was co-founder and organizer of the Bensonhurst Tenants Council, an organization that was instrumental in preserving the neighborhood by saving dozens of apartment buildings from becoming slum buildings. He also was active in numerous community issues, including improving transit, as a founder of the Bensonhurst Straphangers Committee; fighting for more monies for schools in Districts 20 and 21; serving as the attorney in the successful lawsuit to stop the re-opening of the Southwest Brooklyn Incinerator; fighting for numerous community improvements, such as traffic lights, sewers, vermin and rodent extermination; and assisting in the organizing of community projects, such as Project Option to work for cleaning up of commercial shopping areas, among others.
Mr. Colton has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Verrazano Lodge of the Order of the Sons of Italy, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Cardinal Stritch Knights Corporation of the Cardinal Stritch Knights of Columbus Council. William Colton has been the recipient of numerous community awards, including Outstanding Teacher of the Year in PS 56, the United Federation of Teachers of District 13 Political Action Award, the Civic Service Award from the Building Maintenance Education Program of NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Meritorious Civic Service Certificate from the New York City Division of Preservation and Anti-Abandonment, the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Bensonhurst Tenants Council and the 1996 Man of the Year Award from the Bensonhurst West End Community Council.
Standing Committee Assignments 2003: Correction; Environmental Conservation; Governmental Employees; Labor; Ways and Means.
Steven H. Cymbrowitz represents the 45th Assembly District in Brooklyn as a full-time Assemblyman. He was first elected to the Assembly in November 2000. Mr. Cymbrowitz' district includes parts of the following communities: Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, Manhattan Beach, Gravesend and Brighton Beach. He holds a bachelor's degree from C.W. Post College, a Master’s Degree in social work from Adelphi University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz has worked to improve housing and protect neighborhoods throughout his professional career. He began his community work in Brighton Beach where he organized the businesses to assure the survival of the shopping strip and provided the technical assistance that led to the creation of neighborhood groups. After several years of grassroots community work, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz assumed leadership positions including Executive Director of the North Brooklyn Development Corporation, Director of Housing and Community Development for the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty, Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Homeless Housing Development for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Housing Production and Finance for HPD and Deputy Commissioner of Development at HPD. Most recently, Mr. Cymbrowitz has served as the New York City Housing Authority's Director of Intergovernmental Relations. In this capacity, he was responsible for developing the Housing Authority's legislative initiative and worked closely with elected officials in both Albany and New York City.
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, representing a shorefront community, is the Chairman of the Assembly’s Subcommittee on Shoreline Protection, which has prompted New York City to greatly improve its Evacuation Plan and also held hearings on protecting Sheepshead Bay. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz channels his concern for the health of New Yorkers into both his work on the Health Committee and activities in his own district including regular free health screenings, health seminars and health fairs. He was the catalyst responsible for Maimonides Medical Center opening Brooklyn’s first and only Cancer Center. Communicating with his constituents is high on Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ agenda.
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz and his wife, Vilma Huertas-Cymbrowitz reside in Brighton Beach. Assemblyman Cymbrowitz is Vice-Chair of the Assembly’s Majority Conference and Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee's Shoreline Protection Subcommittee.
54th Assembly District
A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, Rafael L. Espinal was born at Woodhull Hospital in Bedford Stuyvesant to Dominican Immigrants. The third of six children, he was raised in Cypress Hills / East New York attending and graduating from New York City public schools P.S. 108, I.S. 302, and Franklin K. Lane High School. Following his primary education, Rafael attended Queens College and graduated with a Bachelors degree in English.
Raised in a working class family, Rafael learned to value hard work at a very young age. Upon coming to America, both his father and mother found work in local sweatshops and were later fortunate to become unionized with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. His father would eventually retire as a maintenance worker at JFK Airport; his mother is currently a SEIU 1199, Home Care Attendant. His parents' sacrifice and dedication afforded Rafael the opportunity to learn and grow, and instilled in him the values and character that make him the New Yorker he is today.
At the age of 23, Rafael taught Adult Literacy and General Education Degree (GED) courses to the ethnically diverse communities of East New York, Cypress Hills and Bushwick. Unfortunately, the program soon came to a close due to the lack of funding, leaving over 200 adult students without an opportunity to continue their education.
Soon after the adult program closures, Rafael was informed by Monsignor Peyton of St. Rita's Church of an opening at New York City Councilman Erik Martin Dilan's office. Determined to make a difference in the community and to influence the Council Member to increase adult learning and GED programs in North and Central Brooklyn, Rafael applied for the position and was hired in November of 2007.
During his time as a community liaison, and eventually as the Councilman's Chief of Staff, Rafael assisted many constituents with city-related issues and played a vital role in saving senior centers, daycare centers and school programs from proposed budget cuts. In 2010, New York State Senator, Martin Malave Dilan and the Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus of the State of New York recognized Rafael's commitment and contribution to the community by honoring him with a Certificate of Achievement and a Resolution from the New York State Senate. In 2011 the Statewide Association of Minority Businesses presented him with a “Rising Star Award.”
In 2011 Rafael Espinal stepped up to the opportunity of serving the 54th Assembly district by running for the vacant NYS Assembly seat. As the new Assembly Member, Espinal is hoping to further his ability to help those less fortunate than he. He would like to see the 54th Assembly District receive all the benefits New York State has to offer, and to advocate for equal opportunities for all.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind has served the 48th Assembly District for more than two decades as an outspoken advocate for his constituency, battling discrimination, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and human rights violations. In the 25 years of his tenure, Dov has committed himself to the immediate concerns of his constituency and is proudest of mediating, facilitating, and advocating on their behalf. Elected in 1982, Mr. Hikind has run unopposed since, honorably pursuing justice for his constituencies in Borough Park, Dyker Heights, sections of Flatbush, and beyond, frequently receiving calls for his leadership on issues which involve the greater Jewish community.
His parents, Frieda and Mayer Hikind, both Holocaust survivors, whose families were decimated by the Nazis, rebuilt their lives in the U.S. In their home, Dov learned the true value of justice and honor, the dignity inherent in every human being regardless of their station or position, and the inalienable significance of freedom. In the early 1970s, Assemblyman Hikind was a leader in the movements to free Syrian and Soviet Jewry. Upon learning of President Ronald Reagan’s visit to the graves of Nazi war criminals, Mr. Hikind traveled to Bitburg, Germany to protest. When Kurt Waldheim’s Nazi affiliations were revealed, Mr. Hikind went to Austria to denounce his bid for the presidency. In the aftermath of the 1991 Crown Heights riots, Assemblyman Hikind joined with Jewish leaders and other elected officials to demand accountability for the riots and for an independent investigation into the murder of Australian-Jewish scholar Yankel Rosenbaum.
As the former chair of the Assembly's Subcommittee on Human Rights, Assemblyman Hikind published an in-depth study concerning the effects of the quota system and reverse discrimination on education, business and civil service. In response to the train bombings in Madrid and London, Assemblyman Hikind provided an allocation of $1.2 million of his MTA capital reserve funds for the purchase and installation of 120 closed-circuit TVs (CCTVs) in nine subway stations on the N, D, and F lines. He continues to monitor safety concerns in the area to ensure the safety of New Yorkers.
Assemblyman Hikind blocked Time Inc. from publicizing the exploits of “Prussian Blue,” a teen music duo which glorifies Hitler and Nazis. Hikind exposed the secret deal with Teen People© magazine which would have avoided the use of the words “Nazi”, “hate”, and “White power” and would have lended credibility to the group, diluting their hate-filled messages. He also successfully pushed for a change in the uniform policy of the United States Coast Guard, which now permits members and auxiliarists to wear a yarmulke when in uniform.
Continued reports of New York being a major terror target, prompted Assemblyman Hikind to introduce terror profiling legislation which would authorize law enforcement officers in New York to consider race and ethnicity as one of the many factors which could be used in identifying potential terror suspects, invoking a compelling governmental interest to detect terrorists before they can launch an attack. After discovering that Russian bookstores were stocked with virulently anti-Semitic tomes, some reiterating the infamous forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” Dov succeeded in having the books pulled from shelves. More than 25 titles, promulgating Zionist conspiracies, Messianic crimes, some dating back to the Czarist Russia when Jews were held liable for conspiracies to kill the monarchy, were summarily tossed by booksellers.
With anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment rising to historically dangerous levels globally, Dov’s position on the front lines of advocacy on behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people of Israel is even more vital. Mr. Hikind led four separate delegations of elected officials and constituents to Israel in a show of support and solidarity for the residents of Gaza, on the eve of disengagement. During the Second Lebanon War, the Assemblyman led another mission of 20 community and business leaders to survey the katyusha-ravaged northern region of Israel, offering messages of prayer, support, and comfort to the 1.5 million Israeli citizens who were within target site range of rockets and missiles. Hikind presented Zaka’s first responders with 50 bulletproof vests and helmets, and delivered food and other provisions to residents evacuated to bunkers and bomb shelters, and learned firsthand how families were dealing with being under direct fire.
On a fact-finding mission to Israel, Dov met with leading professors, intellectuals and activists including: Nobel Prize Winner Robert Aumann and a host of others to discuss the threats to Israel and world Jewry. The consensus was that Israel and the Jewish world face an existential threat from a nuclear Iran. Recently, Hikind denounced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as “the little Hitler” when the Iranian leader spoke at New York’s Columbia University. When reports of a dangerous surge in anti-Semitic violence emerged from Europe, Dov traveled to Germany, France, Belgium, and England to be briefed by Jewish leaders and security experts on the disturbing trends in these countries. Most would flee their native or adopted countries if they could.
In the face of burgeoning world threats against the most vulnerable, Assemblyman Hikind emerges as a vigilant defender, protector, and leader. Dov has been married to Shoshana for 30 years, and is the father of three grown children, Deena, Yoni and Shmuel.
Rhoda S. Jacobs is a native of Brooklyn and has been a lifelong resident of the Borough. She was first elected to the Assembly in 1978 and represents parts of Flatbush and Midwood. Assemblywoman Jacobs currently serves as part of Speaker Sheldon Silver’s leadership team as Assistant Speaker. Prior to this, Ms. Jacobs served as Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore and Chairperson of the Majority Program Committee for two years and the Social Services Committee for twelve years. In the past, she also chaired the Committee on Oversight, Analysis, and Investigation and the Task Force on Food, Farm, and Nutrition policy. Ms. Jacobs is currently a member of the
Assemblymember Jacobs operates a full-time Community Services Office that provides information and assistance to residents on a variety of matters including housing, social services, crime prevention, municipal services, youth services and quality of life. In addition to holding regular meetings to foster communication between constituents, community activists, neighborhood organizations, businesses and government officials, Ms. Jacobs has promoted and secured funding for the development of many community programs. Assemblymember Jacobs has served in an advisory capacity on the boards of several Brooklyn community development corporations and hospitals. A former officer of the National Association of State Legislators and elected delegate to national legislative bodies, Ms. Jacobs served as the treasurer of the National Association of Jewish Legislators and is currently still a member.
Hakeem Jeffries, 37, was born in Brooklyn Hospital, and raised by his parents in Crown Heights along with his younger brother. He is a product of the New York City public school system, graduating from Midwood High School in 1988. He is also an active member of the Cornerstone Baptist Church. Hakeem lives in Prospect Heights with his wife, Kennisandra, and their two young boys, ages six and three. In September 2006, Hakeem won the primary for State Assembly in the 57th District of Brooklyn. He was sworn in as a member of the New York State Legislature in January 2007. During his first year in the legislature, Assemblymember Jeffries has emerged as a champion of working families, the middle class and senior citizens. Assemblymember Jeffries introduced over 25 bills in his inaugural legislative session, including measures designed to assist residents in foreclosure, protect tenants from landlord harassment and reduce property taxes on homeowners. In response to the toy recall crisis that threatens the safety of our children, he recently introduced a bill that would penalize retailers and wholesalers who knowingly sell to the public hazardous or dangerous toys that have been the subject of a recall. He co-sponsored a groundbreaking 421-a reform bill that requires developers who receive tax breaks to build affordable housing in the Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhoods that he represents. At least fifty percent of the affordable housing must go to people who live in the community. Along with his colleagues in the legislature, Assemblyman Jeffries enacted a state budget that provides an additional one billion dollars in funding for public schools. He recently co-sponsored a bill that would make the public display of a noose with the intent to racially intimidate a felony hate crime.
Throughout his first term, Assemblyman Jeffries has held town hall meetings, forums on issues such as mass transportation and a free legal housing clinic in support of residents confronting displacement and harassment by landlords. During the summer, he took his office to street corners across the district on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, setting up a desk outside and meeting with his constituents as they returned home from work. Assemblymember Jeffries has worked closely with a number of high-ranking state commissioners, as part of his effort to deliver high quality government services to the district. Hakeem obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he graduated with honors for outstanding academic achievement in 1992. He received his master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University in 1994. Hakeem attended New York University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1997, served on the law review, finished in the top 10 percent of his class and delivered the commencement speech at graduation.
Following the completion of law school, he clerked for the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Hakeem practiced law for several years at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol has represented North Brooklyn in the New York State Legislature since 1972. He is a lifelong resident of New York City, whose father and grandfather both also served in the New York State Legislature.
An attorney by profession, Mr. Lentol was Assistant District Attorney in Kings County prior to holding elective office. Since 1992, Mr. Lentol has been Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Codes, which reviews and evaluates all criminal justice legislation in the State. He has been Chair of the Committee on Governmental Employees, which oversees the State’s pension and employee benefits. In that capacity, Mr. Lentol presided over the State’s divestiture of its pension fund’s investments in South Africa. He also chaired the Assembly’s Committee on Governmental Operations, which monitors the operations of State agencies and departments.
In 2000, Mr. Lentol was one of only two Assembly Members chosen by the Assembly Speaker and Governor Pataki to participate in the Election Modernization Task Force. The Task Force investigated and analyzed operations and equipment used in recent elections. He took part in public meetings and hearings throughout the State for two years. In 2001, the Task Force made hundreds of recommendations to improve the State’s ability to ensure that every voter is encouraged to register and cast a vote, and that every vote gets counted. In 2001, Mr. Lentol was elected by his colleagues to direct the Brooklyn Assembly Delegation, responsible for making decisions and advocating for funds and activities that will benefit all areas of the borough.
In the same year, Mr. Lentol was appointed to the City’s Community Action Board. This year, he became Chairman of the Board, which oversees the Community Action Program administered by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. Its funds assist low-income participants, including the elderly poor, in improving their economic circumstances by securing and retaining employment, obtaining access to adequate education and housing, as well as emergency assistance through loans and grants. In his community, Assemblyman Lentol has fought to preserve and enhance the waterfront and provide for public access. He has spearheaded efforts to improve tenants’ rights and affordable housing. He has initiated many programs to deter crime, help our youth, and revitalize the commercial corridors in each of the communities he represents. Respect for all people, their beliefs and customs is a defining principle of his public life.
Mr. Lentol’s North Brooklyn Assembly District is one of the most ethnically diverse in New York City. It has long been home to generations of Polish-Americans, Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, German-Americans, and Americans from the Island of Puerto Rico. North Brooklyn boasts a large population of Orthodox Jewish-Americans and Hasidic residents from many parts of Europe. It has recently become the new home of families and individuals from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Central and South America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean Islands. People from all over the world have found harmony and acceptance in this community.
Assemblyman Lentol considers it an honor to represent a diverse constituency. He is extremely well known in New York for his personal attention to solving problems and for his dedicated public service. For over three decades, he has worked to improve the State’s quality of life and the well-being of its residents.
Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez (D - Brooklyn) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from James Madison High School and Long Island University, Brooklyn, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He received his Master's Degree in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University in 1970. He served as a part-time Adjunct Professor of Human Services at LaGuardia College and was also an Instructor at Molloy College, Empire State College, and Yeshiva University. Mr. Lopez represents a very divergent community, boasting one of the largest Latino/Puerto Rican districts in the state. Assemblyman Lopez has done an outstanding job of addressing the serious needs of this diverse population. Not only has he shown his dedication through his many achievements, he has also committed himself to educating his constituency on issues such as health care, housing, education, and public assistance support programs.
In particular, Assemblyman Lopez has emerged as a leader on the issue of aging. He is the founder of the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Center, which provides services to area seniors and represents one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in New York State. He is also the founder of City-Wide Advocates for Seniors, the North Brooklyn Senior Citizens Coalition, and the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Inc. Assemblyman Lopez has also undertaken a number of other community-based initiatives. He established a community-based education program in Bushwick through Long Island University, giving district residents the opportunity to receive an affordable college education. He also helped establish Brooklyn Unidos, a coalition of over 400 Latino leaders, civic groups and community organizations. With the Assemblyman's assistance, Brooklyn Unidos has become one of the leading advocacy groups for Latinos in Brooklyn. The Assemblyman also created and continues to work with the local public housing tenants' coalition within his district. This coalition is responsible for greater access to the NYC Public Housing Authority as well as a forum for the resolutions of Public Housing tenants issues. Assemblyman Lopez's efforts have focused on the affordability and availability of adequate housing for all residents who need it.
Assemblyman Lopez is Chairman of the Housing Committee, and serves on the Rules, Commerce, Industry and Economic Development, and Social Services Committees. He is also the Co-Chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and a member of the Task Force for New Americans. Assemblyman Lopez was elected to the state Legislature in the 1984 general election and began his ninth term as Assemblyman in January 2001.
Standing Committee Assignments 2001: Housing (Chair), Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, Rules, Social Services.
Alan Maisel is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, having lived in the southern end of Brooklyn for most of the last 60 years. He attended local schools including P.S. 233, Meyer Levin JHS 285 and Tilden High School. He is a graduate of the Brooklyn Center of Long Island University with a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Urban Studies. Mr. Maisel is also a graduate of Brooklyn College, having been granted an Advanced Certificate of Administration and Supervision in Education.
Mr. Maisel has been involved in civic, community and political activities for 37 years. His background includes membership on the District #1 Regional Board of B’nai B’rith, Executive Vice President of the Brooklyn Staten Island Council of B’nai B’rith and Chairman of the New York City Anti-Defamation League - B’nai B’rith Coordinating Committee. On a local level he was a member of the District #22 Community School Board serving two terms as chairman. He is also a long-time member of Community Board #18 which encompasses most of the 59th Assembly District. Mr. Maisel has received awards and honors from many of the District’s civic and community organizations, including Brooklyn Israel Bonds, Rambam-Canarsie, B’nai B’rith, The Amersfort Flatlands Development Corporation, the Mill Island Civic Association, Friends United Block Association and the Parent Associations of PS 236, PS 251 and IS14. He is also a member of the Kings Plaza - Canarsie Kiwanis Club, the Canarsie Lions, Genesis Lodge of The Knights of Pythias, The advisory Board of Touro College, The Humane Society, and The World Wildlife Fund.
Alan Maisel is a retired Assistant Principal and former teacher. He served as Administrative Assistant to Congressman Charles Schumer and most recently he was Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Frank R. Seddio, his predecessor. Mr. Maisel also served as Assistant Director of the New York State Legislative Advisory Task Force on Reapportionment from 1979-1982.
60th Assembly District
Biography coming soon
Joan L. Millman
Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman was first elected to the Assembly on February 18, 1997 in a special election. Since then she has diligently served the 52nd Assembly District, now a unified "brownstone" district, which includes the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope, and Prospect Heights.
A life-long educator, Millman spent over three decades working on behalf of New York City’s children. From 1964 to 1984, she taught elementary school and served as the school librarian at P.S. 10 in Brooklyn. From 1985 to 1996, Millman served as an educational consultant to New York City Council President Carol Bellamy and State Senator Martin Connor and served as a facilitator for Comprehensive School Development and Planning. Millman also served as a member of the Citywide Advisory Committee on Middle School Initiatives from 1995 to 1996, where she assisted middle schools in District 15 in Brooklyn. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College, a Master’s in Library Science from Pratt Institute and a Professional Diploma from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus.
Since being elected to the Assembly, Millman has authored and sponsored legislation that has saved lives, protected consumers, and improved the quality of life for New Yorkers. Millman has been a leading advocate on senior and education issues and for consumer rights. She was recently appointed Chair of the Commission on Government Administration, where she continues to advocate for budget reform, and for greater oversight of government administered programs. Millman is also a sponsor of legislation to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the Women’s Health and Wellness Bill and the Safe Weapon Storage Act.
Assemblywoman Millman was an early advocate for the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge Park and has worked to revitalize all of Brooklyn’s waterfront. She has been on the forefront of the struggle to clean up the Gowanus Canal and adjacent properties, and leads the fight to re-open Engine Company 204. She has been a strong advocate for our schools and has worked to protect our senior centers. Every year, Assemblywoman Millman sponsors numerous initiatives to bring needed services to her constituents.
At a young age, Felix Ortiz was very concerned about the youth in his community. To address his concerns, he circulated a petition among parents and children, requesting that the Governor of Puerto Rico support the formation of a youth baseball league. His efforts were successful. Ortiz was invited to meet with Governor Luis A. Ferr who authorized the donation of sporting equipment and helped to establish the town of La Playa de Salinas’ first Little League program.
In 1980, Assemblyman Ortiz was the first member of his family to move from Puerto Rico to the United States. Although not yet fluent in English, he graduated from Boricua College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration three years later. He received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University (NYU) in 1986. Upon completing his schooling, Mr. Ortiz joined the United States Army and served our country from 1986 until he was honorably discharged in 1988.
In 2000, Assemblyman Ortiz achieved passage of the nation’s first law to ban the use of hand held cell phones while driving a motor vehicle. This law has saved the lives of hundreds of New Yorkers and has since been replicated by other states. Assemblyman Ortiz continues to respond to requests for help from families of accident victims and legislators in states that have not yet passed this law.
That same year, Assemblyman Ortiz passed New York’s first Statewide Child Obesity Education Program law which ensures that nutritionally based education programs be a part of every classroom. In 2004, he passed a law to create five eating disorder centers across the state to help those who suffer from illnesses such as anorexia and bulimia. He continues the fight to pass laws mandating that fast food restaurants post the nutritional value of foods they serve to help consumers make more informed choices.
He is a 2002 Toll Fellow Graduate and in 2003 he was selected to be part of the Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship Program.
After serving in the Assembly for two years, the New York Times said: "…Mr. Ortiz is well regarded in the Assembly for both his hard work and talent at coalition building. In a city where Latino neighborhoods are often shortchanges by the quality of their representatives, Mr. Ortiz could grow into an important leader…" (The New York Times, September 5, 1996).
Born in the parish of St. Andrew in the Caribbean island of Jamaica, Noah Nickolas Perry was the fourth son in a family of eleven children raised by the late Reynold and Elvie Perry. Assemblyman Perry completed his secondary education in Jamaica, graduating from Kingston College (H.S.), where he had attended on a full scholarship. Upon graduating, Assemblyman Perry found employment at the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union and worked there until he migrated to the United States in the summer of 1971.
In 1972, Assemblyman Perry was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served on active duty for two years and inactive reserve for four years. He was honorably discharged in 1978. Assemblyman Perry is a graduate of Brooklyn College, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science, and later studied for an M.A. in Public Policy and Administration. While at Brooklyn College, Assemblyman Perry co-founded the United Students League, and was the graduate student delegate to the University Student Senate. Assemblyman Perry is married to Joyce (nee Mahabeer) and they have two children, daughter Novalie, and son Nickolas Alexander.
The Assemblyman began active community involvement upon graduation from college in 1978, working as a volunteer in many election campaigns, including Percy Sutton for Mayor, Jimmy Carter for President, Jesse Jackson for President (1984 and 1988), and David Dinkins for Mayor in 1989. In 1983, Assemblyman Perry was appointed a member of Community Board 17, and in September 1984, he was on the ballot making his first run for elective office as a candidate for District Leader in the 42nd A.D. In 1986, Assemblyman Perry tried again for the District Leadership and was again unsuccessful, but he also continued to increase his participation in community problem solving. Assemblyman Perry served during this period as a member of the Executive Board of the 67th Police Precinct Community Council, and as a director of the Flatbush East Community Development Corporation. He gained full recognition as a community leader when he was elected as Chairman of Community Board 17 in 1988, also becoming a member of the Brooklyn Borough Board.
Prior to election as Chairman, Assemblyman Perry had served one elected term as 2nd Vice-Chairman. He also chaired the Board's Land Use, Planning, Zoning and Landmarks Committee, and developed expertise in N.Y. City's Land Use and Zoning laws and procedures. As Community Board Chairman, Assemblyman Perry participated in the development of the N.Y.C. budget, and gained a reputation as a strong advocate for the needs of the neighborhoods he represented. In 1988, Assemblyman Perry also ran for the Assembly, but lost a surprisingly close race, doing much better than expected. In 1991, Assemblyman Perry's election to the New York City Council seemed assured with the final districting plans adopted with a new open district in East Flatbush but destiny would not let it be. Perry lost again in a race crowded with seven candidates running against an entrenched and well financed incumbent. The 1992 reapportioned districts created the new 58 A.D., joining Perry's stronghold in East Flatbush with portions of Canarsie and Brownsville. He was able to quickly mobilize the support that resulted in a primary victory and an unchallenged general election.
Re-elected to a fifth consecutive term in November 2001, Assemblyman Perry was appointed by Speaker Silver as Vice-chair of the Assembly Majority Conference. This appointment elevated Assemblyman Perry to a leadership position in the Majority in the current term.
Assemblyman Perry is a life member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV); a former member of the Board of Directors of Nazareth Regional High School; Caribbean Action Lobby; and worships at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church.
Standing Committee Assignments 2001: Banks; Energy; Higher Education; Insurance; Labor; Transportation.
Annette M. Robinson was elected to the 56th Assembly District on February 12, 2002. Assemblywoman Robinson brings to Albany a deep concern for the well being of New York’s families and a strong commitment to economic development and community service. These principles are reflected not only in her political advocacy and legislative agenda – which centers on protecting children and families, creating jobs and helping lift New Yorkers out of poverty – but also in her personal life. Assemblywoman Robinson was born in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn. Growing up in Bedford Stuyvesant gave her a keen awareness of the potential of each human being – no matter their circumstances – to be successful, and the critical role that family structure, economic opportunity and good governance play in building strong communities. The hallmark of Assemblywoman Robinson’s public service has been her unrivaled attention to constituent service, her thoughtful and creative approach to public policy, and her workmanlike approach to the details of the legislative process.
Assemblywoman Robinson has devoted most of her adult life to public service and community affairs. She was elected as a member of the Community School Board of District 16 in 1977 and served three terms. Additionally, Assemblywoman Robinson is a District Leader/State Committeewoman in the 56th A.D. Assemblywoman Robinson served as Coordinator and Liaison for former N.Y.C. Comptroller Harrison J. Goldin, and after 6 years of service she became District Director for U.S. Congressman Major R. Owens. In both of these positions, Assemblywoman Robinson built a strong reputation of not being afraid to roll up her sleeves and do some good old-fashioned work. She was instrumental in obtaining much needed municipal, state and federal services for New York City constituents. Assemblywoman Robinson was elected to the New York City Council in 1991. As the representative of the 36th Council District, she served as chairperson of the Sub-committee on Juvenile Justice. Her other committee assignments included, Youth Services, Higher Education, Consumer Affairs, International Intergroup Relations, Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs, Civil Service, and Labor and Government Operations. Additionally, Assemblywoman Robinson was chosen by the City Council Speaker to chair the select Committee on Police Performance and Community Relations during the turbulent months in New York City after the death of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx.
As a member of the New York City Council, Assemblywoman Robinson was well known for her leadership on issues as diverse as civil rights, senior services, health, education, employment, economic development and the digital divide. She led a number of lobbying efforts to Albany, City Hall, and Washington, D.C. She also fought to open Woodhull Hospital and the Interfaith Medical Center, and helped organize the North Brooklyn Coalition of Senior Councils and the Bedford Stuyvesant Inter Agency Council on the Aging. During her tenure on the City Council, Assemblywoman Robinson also established international relationships between her Bedford Stuyvesant community, with Panama, Brazil, and South Africa.
Assemblywoman Robinson is also a national speaker on religious, cultural and political issues. Her television appearances include the Ricky Lake Show, numerous appearances on NYI, BCAT Cable Television, Radio Stations WBAI, WWRL WLIB and WINS. Married for over 40 years to William Robinson, the Assemblywoman is a mother of six and grandmother of ten. She served as the president of the Lay Ministers of Our Lady of Charity Roman Catholic Church for over 20 years. Assemblywoman Robinson received both her Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degrees from New Hampshire College. She is a member of the Brooklyn Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. Her Committee assignments with the NYS Assembly are Children and Families, Housing, Small Business, Oversight, Analysis and Investigation and Real Property Taxation. She is also Chair of Subcommittee on Retention of Homeownership and Stabilization of Affordable Housing.
Helene E. Weinstein was first elected to the Assembly in 1980. Ms. Weinstein was educated in the New York City public school system, received her Bachelor's degree in economics from American University and received a law degree from the New England School of Law. A full-time Assemblywoman, her district includes the Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, Flatlands, Canarsie and East Flatbush communities in Brooklyn. Ms. Weinstein chairs the Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary. She is the first woman in New York State's history to be appointed to this position. The Judiciary Committee presides over virtually all legislation affecting the state's judicial system, as well as civil practice in the courts. Ms. Weinstein has sponsored major reforms in the state's jury system and continues to be a leading proponent of ensuring civil legal services for low-income New Yorkers. Ms. Weinstein is also a member of the Court Facilities Capital Review Board.
Previously, Assemblywoman Weinstein chaired the Assembly Committees on Governmental Employees and Election Law. In addition, she acted as the state's leading advocate for women and children as Chair of the Assembly Task Force on Women's Issues for seven years. Ms. Weinstein served as an appointee (of Governor Cuomo) to the New York State Child Support Commission, and the Governor's Commission on Domestic Violence. She is the former Chairwoman of the Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition, as well as of the Legislative Women's Caucus. A longtime advocate for children and families, Ms. Weinstein is the sponsor of New York's landmark Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act, which has significantly changed the way police and courts deal with domestic violence. Her hard fought efforts to protect children also resulted in a law requiring judges to consider domestic violence in child custody cases. As the sponsor of our state's Child Support Standards Act, she was a leader in establishing statewide guidelines to ensure that our children receive fair and adequate support. In addition, she has fought to reclaim billions of past due child support.
During her tenure as Assemblywoman, Ms. Weinstein has sponsored many significant state laws, including: a law declaring surrogate parenting contracts void and against public policy; a law establishing a permanent funding source for domestic violence shelters and funding guidelines for batterers' programs; a law making discrimination in private clubs illegal; a law extending the right of agency fee deductions to all public employee organizations; a law allowing qualified public employees to take advantage of the improved benefits of the Tier I pension plan; a law mandating seat belts on school buses; and a law prohibiting junk food from being served in school before the end of lunch period. Assemblywoman Weinstein has been honored on numerous occasions for her efforts to protect the rights of senior citizens. She is the sponsor of a law that sets standards for nursing and adult homes and a author of a nationally-cited protective services law. She has been instrumental in enriching the lives of seniors who are stricken with Alzheimer's Disease by creating and funding Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Centers throughout the state.
Ms. Weinstein is a member of numerous civic and service groups, including: the Leadership Council of NYC Chapter of the New York State Alzheimer's Association; the New York State Labor Commissioner's Task Force on Displaced Homemakers; the Brooklyn Women's Political Caucus; the Holocaust Survivors Association - The Next Generation; the Jewish Women's Leadership Caucus; and the Brooklyn Bar Association. Ms. Weinstein is also renowned for her advocacy work on behalf of veterans, crime victims, and the disabled. Each year, she secures funding for various community, senior, youth, and school organizations to provide essential services to residents in the 41st Assembly District.
In honor of her outstanding achievements as a State Assemblywoman, Ms. Weinstein has received countless awards from local precinct councils, civic associations, tenant groups, and religious organizations, including: the Legislator of the Year Award from the NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association; the Peace at Home Award and the Legislator of the Year Award from the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence; the New York State Bar Association's Howard A. Levine Award for her work to protect and promote the rights of children in New York; an award from the Public Employees Federation for her outstanding contributions in protecting the interests of PEF members; the Legislative Leadership Award presented by the Kings County Council of Jewish War Veterans; and the Margaret Sanger Award presented by Family Planning Advocates.
Standing Committee Assignments 2007: Judiciary (Chair); Aging; Codes; Rules; Ways and Means.