Message from Liz . . .

Because of my background working with anti–hunger programs and food policy, I am acutely aware of the importance of the federal SNAP nutrition program (aka Food Stamps). So while hardly surprised by a recent series of comments from Republican presidential candidates and House members criticizing the program both in terms of its economic impacts and its impacts on recipients, their attacks did get my dander up. In this time of economic hardship, attacks on programs that meet basic human needs are particularly egregious, and they need to be countered in the strongest terms. I stress all this because of things I see and hear around my district. People who never imagined finding themselves without enough money to pay for food are facing real hardship everywhere, particularly seniors, the disabled and the unemployed. Too many of these individuals are reluctant to take advantage of SNAP/Food Stamps and other programs that could help meet their needs. Attacks on these programs by Presidential candidates only increase this unjustified stigma, cause unneeded suffering and delay economic recovery by taking money out of the economy.

MESSAGE FROM LIZ 1 COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT 2 - Senior Resource Fair - Senior Roundtable - Avoid New Bank Fees - Using the Ballot Marking When Voting - NYC Bike Share - Library Fine Forgiveness for Kids - Mammogram Van Coming to the East Side - Upcoming Health Events - Love Your Block Grants - Sign Up To Be a Bone Marrow Donor - Homeless Helpline - Affordable Housing Opportunities in Manhattan - Heat Season Rules POLICY SPOTLIGHT 6 - Redistricting

Yes that’s right – SNAP/Food Stamps don’t just help the individuals using them, they also play a crucial role in our country’s economy. When eligible New Yorkers use Food Stamps they are increasing their nutrition which decreases their risk of illness and lowers health care costs. Plus, they are creating jobs in local food stores, on farms, at warehouses and at food processing plants. Since SNAP/Food Stamps are 100% federally funded, they bring our tax dollars back home. Heck, using SNAP/Food Stamps is downright patriotic! Studies have consistently found SNAP/Food Stamps to be the most effective way to stimulate the economy because of the “multiplier effect.” And no, this isn’t just some left-wing theory - it’s basic economics. A 2009 study by Moody’s Economics, an industry research firm, found that for every dollar spent on food stamps, $1.73 is generated throughout the economy. That’s more than what’s generated from tax rebates, business tax incentives or expanded unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits, by the way, were the next most effective stimulant, at $1.64.


More than 75% of households receiving SNAP/FS currently include children. Almost a third have disabled people or senior citizens. According to the U.S. census, in 2010, SNAP/FS lifted 3.9 million Americans out of poverty. Recent census data found that more than one in five NYC residents live in poverty. The USDA recently released a report showing a 56% increase in food insecurity among New Yorkers since the onset of the recession in 2008. At a time when we are seeing the highest poverty rates in decades, we can ill-afford to undermine one of the most effective social supports we have. At the national level, it is clear that politics are swirling around two issues –creating jobs and cutting the federal deficit. It is also clear that we can never fully address the deficit except through economic growth. So we cannot undermine programs like SNAP/FS that are so effective at stimulating the economy. That’s why supporting SNAP/FS and using this program isn’t just sound good economics, it’s patriotic. - Liz The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- the official name of the food stamp program -- helps people buy the food they need. The money is distributed through a plastic EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card, just like a debit card, which can be used at most grocery stores and farmers markets. SNAP/FS can be used to purchase food products, but not to buy alcohol, tobacco, vitamins, etc. The amount you can receive varies depending on your household's size and income, but the average allotment is $110 per person per month and $240 per household. To Find Out How To Apply for SNAP/FS in NYC visit: or by calling the New York City Food Bank at: (212)894-8060.

Community Spotlight Senator Liz Krueger’s

Fifth Annual Senior Resource Fair
Thursday, November 3, 2011 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Temple Emanu-El One East 65th Street (at Fifth Avenue) Over 50 Exhibitors Providing Information for Older Adults Free Admission ● Refreshments ● Wheelchair Accessible Senior Resource Guide Free NO RSVP NECESSARY For further information, contact, or call (212) 490-9535.


Senator Liz Krueger’s

Senior Roundtable
2011-12 Program Planning Ahead: Senior Living in the 21st Century A 5-Part Series for Boomers & Seniors Join Us for Part 1: The Graying of the American Workforce Thursday, November 17, 2011 8:00 am – 10:00 am Lenox Hill Neighborhood House 331 East 70th Street A light breakfast will be served. For further information or to RSVP, email Dore Mann,, or call (212) 490-9535. Avoid New Bank Fees: Bank of America has just implemented a new $5 monthly fee for using a debit card to make purchases, and Wells Fargo and Chase have started testing similar fees. I am deeply disturbed by this latest example of bank policies that negatively impact consumers. Making matters worse, banks complicate the process of moving accounts so that customers are less likely to switch banks. However, if you find these fees offensive, you can move your money. A good guide to doing so is available at This link is part of the Consumers Union sponsored site, which has lots of useful information on banking and credit issues. Senator Richard Durbin is also introducing legislation at the federal level which would make it easier to switch banks by automating the more difficult aspects of the process, such as shifting direct deposit and autopay arrangements. I strongly support this effort. Join me in using the Ballot Marking Device when you vote on November 8th: If you voted in the last year, you already know that you mark a paper ballot with a pen, which you then put into a scanner to be counted. What you may not know is that each polling site has a Ballot Marking Device (BMD) that can assist voters with this process. If you had trouble reading the small print on the paper ballot the last time you voted, the BMD will come in handy. When you put your paper ballot into the BMD, it enlarges the print and you can make your selections using a touch screen similar to the way you use an ATM machine. This is especially helpful to people who use Chinese or Korean ballots because the characters are extremely small on paper but can be significantly enlarged with the BMD. The BMD was designed to give voters with physical or visual disabilities the ability to mark a paper ballot without relying on anyone else. However, the BMD is not just for people with disabilities, other benefits of it are :


• The BMD protects you from invalidating your vote because it will not let you select more candidates than you are allowed for any particular race. • If you skip a race, the BMD will alert you and give you the option to go back and vote in the race you missed or allow you to choose to skip it. • The BMD presents the voter with one race at a time, which can be less confusing for some voters.

Some other features of the BMD include: headphones for listening to the ballot, which can help people who are blind or who have certain learning disabilities, such as dyslexia; a hand-held controller; a sip and puff device, which helps voters with mobility impairments make selections. Poll workers at your polling place are trained to show you how to use the BMD. I’ll be using the BMD on November 8th to help me vote; I hope will too. NYC Bike-Share Bike sharing is coming to Manhattan streets next summer. The program will make 10,000 bikes available for short term rental at 600 stations around Manhattan and Brooklyn. Where should these stations be located, if at all? Here's your chance to weigh in on the location of bike racks. You can suggest a site to the Department of Transportation by clicking Library Fine Forgiveness for Kids: New York City’s three library systems are teaming up to give children and teens across the five boroughs the opportunity to eliminate their prior fines and fees and regain their library privileges in the joint “New Chapter” program, which launches today and runs through Oct. 31. Patrons through the age of 17 will not be charged late penalties when returning overdue books. Currently, when patrons accrue $15 or more in fines, their library temporarily suspends their borrowing privileges until the fine is paid. The program is designed to encourage children and teens to return to their libraries and check out new materials without the fear of having to pay large, longstanding fines. With the new school year underway, giving students access to their public library is more important than ever. The goal of this program at Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library and Queens Library is to welcome children and teens back to their local libraries. Across the city, nearly 100,000 kids and teens will benefit from the New Chapter program. Mammogram Van Coming to the East Side: On Saturday, October 22nd, the Scan Van Mobile Mammogram Program will have a van on the north side of East 14th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A, from 9:30 am to Noon. This program provides free mammograms for all women. Medicaid, Medicare and other insurance plans are accepted and co-payments are waived. Mammograms are free for uninsured women. An appointment is necessary. Please call (800) 564-6868 to make an appointment. If you cannot make it to the van, you can locate an accredited mammogram facility by calling the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program at 800-877-8077. Callers can also get emotional support from the hotline’s specially trained volunteers most of whom are women who have had breast cancer.


Upcoming Health Events at Memorial Sloan Kettering: Health Fair on sexuality, intimacy, aging, and Cancer: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s 65+ Program presents a free health fair – Let’s Talk About It: Sexuality, Intimacy, Aging, and Cancer – on Tuesday, October 11, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, at 1275 York Avenue, Room M-107. Memorial Sloan-Kettering exhibitors include Geriatric Medicine, Social Work, Sexual Medicine Program, Psychiatry, Pharmacy, Sexual Health Program, Integrative Medicine, Rehabilitation Therapy and Dermatology. No reservations necessary. For more information, please call 646-888-4741. Knowledge is Power: Breast Cancer Awareness Fair In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Imaging Center is having a “Knowledge Is Power: Breast Cancer Awareness Fair” on Thursday, October 20, and Friday, October 21, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, at 300 East 66th Street (between First and Second Avenues). Participating Memorial Sloan-Kettering programs include the Integrative Medicine Service, the Tobacco Cessation Program, Nursing, Social Work, Nutrition, and the Clinical Genetics Service. Love Your Block Grants: The Citizens Committee for New York City is now accepring applications for the Love York Block 2012 grant awards. This program awards volunteer-led groups a block beautification grant of $500-$1000, in addition to project planning and community building assistance. Applications can be downloaded from For additional information, contact Saleen Shah at 212822-9566 or The application deadline is November 8, 2011. Sign Up to Be A Bone Marrow Donor: Interested in learning about bone marrow donation? A Bone marrow transplant is a life-saving treatment for people with leukemia, lymphoma and many other diseases. Chemotherapy and other treatments, like radiation, are used to destroy the diseased marrow. A donor's healthy "blood-forming cells" are then given directly into to the patients bloodstream in order to function and multiply. Seventy percent of patients do not have a donor in their family. As such, patients depend on "Be The Match Registry", which is operated by the National Marrow Donor program, to find an unrelated bone marrow donor or umbilical cord blood." Becoming a donor involves only six questions, a swab of your cheek and a registration form. You can register in person, or request a kit be sent to you. If you are interested in finding out how to join the registry, or for more information about what it takes to be a donor if you are a match, please visit the following website: Homeless Helpline If you know, or see, someone who is homeless and needs help, you can call the BRC homeless helpline. To speak to BRC homeless outreach team member please call: 212-533-5151. Affordable Housing Opportunities in Manhattan: 2081 Madison Avenue LP is now accepting applications for 34 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments under construction in 2081 Madison Avenue in East Harlem for low and moderate income individuals and families. Rents for these units will be $638 to $1089 depending on income and unit size. To be eligible, applicants must have incomes between $25,520 to $56,940, depending on unit and family size. Applications will be selected by lottery. Applicants who submit more than one application will be disqualified. Preference will be given to New York City residents. Applicants residing in Community Board 11 will receive priority for 50% of the units. In addition, visually/hearing impaired applicants will receive priority for 2% of the units, applicants with mobility impairment will receive priority for 5% of the units, and applicants who are New York City municipal employees will receive preference for 5% of the units. Qualified Applicants will be required to meet income guidelines and additional selection criteria. Applications may be requested by regular mail from: Legacy Apartments, PO Box 559, College Station, New York, NY 10030. Please include a self-addressed envelope with your request. 5

Completed applications must be returned by regular mail only (no priority, certified, express or overnight mail will be accepted) to a post office box listed on the application, and must be postmarked by October 27, 2011. East 112th Street Associates is now accepting applications for 47 studio and one-bedroom apartments under construction in 1663 Madison Ave., 169 East 111th St., 315 East 111th St. and 155 East 109th Street in East Harlem for low and moderate income individuals and families. Rents for these units will be $635 to $835 depending on income and unit size. To be eligible, applicants must have incomes between $23,554 to $39,300, depending on unit and family size. Applications will be selected by lottery. Applicants who submit more than one application will be disqualified. Preference will be given to New York City residents. Applicants residing in Community Board 11 will receive priority for 50% of the units. In addition, visually/hearing impaired applicants will receive priority for 2% of the units, applicants with mobility impairment will receive priority for 5% of the units, and applicants who are New York City municipal employees will receive preference for 5% of the units. Qualified Applicants will be required to meet income guidelines and additional selection criteria. Applications may be requested by email from or mail from East 112 Associates LLC, c/o CMP Consultants, PO Box 1420, Valley Stream, NY 11582 Please include a self-addressed envelope with your request. Completed applications must be returned by regular mail only (no priority, certified, express or overnight mail will be accepted) to a post office box listed on the application, and must be postmarked by November 21, 2011. Heat Season Rules: The City Housing Maintenance Code and Multiple Dwelling Law requires building owners to provide heat and hot water to all tenants. Building owners are required to provide hot water 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Between October 1st and May 31st, a period designated as "Heat Season," building owners are also required to provide tenants with heat under the following conditions: Between the hours of 6AM and 10PM, if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Between the hours of 10PM and 6AM, if the temperature outside falls below 40 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Tenants who are cold in their apartments should first attempt to notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent. If heat is not restored, the tenant should call the City's Citizen Service Center at 311. For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is (212) 504-4115. The Center is open 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.

Policy Spotlight
Redistricting Last month, I testified at the Manhattan hearing of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) on the importance of a transparent and open process for establishing new legislative districts, and for the creation of districts that meet basic standards of equity that ensure representation to the diverse communities that make up our state. Unfortunately, the failure of the legislature to establish an independent redistricting commission, as I and many of my colleagues have called for, will make it much more difficult for the kind of process and results we need. Given both past performance and the clear control of LATFOR by legislative leadership, I am extremely skeptical that it is prepared to act to establish fair district lines. Shortly after I was elected to the Senate in a Special Election in February 2002, I saw LATFOR offer a plan that served entrenched political interests by disenfranchising minority communities, creating districts with substantially different numbers of voters, drawing bizarrely shaped districts made up of disparate and unrelated neighborhoods and adding a new “surprise” 62nd Senate district at the very last minute.


Should this past history be repeated in the development of this years’ plan, I have confidence that Governor Cuomo will keep his promise and veto the plan, and I will strenuously urge him to do so. I was gratified that since the hearing Governor Cuomo has once again reiterated his promise to veto any plan that is not produced through an independent process There is plenty of evidence that LATFOR is again playing games. One issue of great concern to me is recent reports that LATFOR is considering expanding the size of the Senate by one or more additional seats. This action would repeat past history, replicating the last minute backroom deal that expanded the Senate from 61 to 62 seats in 2002. It would also be a slap in the face of the voters of New York State to expand the Senate at a time when so many other vital programs, from healthcare to education to social services, are facing cuts. While voters often disagree about what to cut and what to fund, I am quite sure that the vast majority would be outraged if their Senators were to tell them that what they really need from government is more State Senators. I know voters in my district would find such a claim outrageous, and I am sure the reaction in more conservative districts would be even stronger. Any expansion of the Senate would also be an attack on Governor Cuomo’s efforts to create a leaner, more efficient government, and therefore I fully expect he would veto such a plan. So what should be the principles on which district lines should be drawn? By now the standards for independent redistricting are well established. Such a plan should: • Keep communities of interest together. To the greatest extent possible, districts should be drawn that will allow communities of interest, whether these be racial, ethnic or neighborhood based, to elect representatives of their own choosing. LATFOR’s history on this issue is unfortunately not encouraging, particularly on Long Island, where in 2002 Senate districts were drawn that split minority communities between multiple districts, diluting the voting power of African American and Latino voters. • Create districts that have the same number of voters. In 2002 LATFOR pushed the limits of district variation, creating much smaller Senate districts upstate than downstate, with a variation as great as ten percent, meaning that some New York City districts had over 27,000 more people than some upstate districts. I have had to explain to voters in NYC that they get less representation than upstate voters because the NYC Senate districts were intentionally over-populated in 2002 to allow additional upstate under-populated districts. I urge LATFOR to create districts with a overall population variation of no more than two percent, as Governor Cuomo has called for. Such a standard would require that districts would not go over +1% or under -1% of the average district population based on the 2010 census. Since Congressional Districts are already required to be equal in size, there is no legitimate argument that State legislative districts should be permitted the large population variations we have seen in the past, unless required to meet requirements of the State Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act. • Create contiguous districts. Districts should not be drawn, as they have been in the past that pull together distant and unrelated communities for partisan reasons. This strategy has been used to build bizarrely shaped districts such as the 34th Senate District in the Bronx and Westchester (the lobster claw), or the 51st Senate District in Central New York (Lincoln riding a lawnmower) for the sole purpose of protecting incumbents. Legislators should not get to choose their voters – voters should get to choose their Legislators. • Count prisoners in the districts where they come from. This standard is now the law of the State, and LATFOR should not in any way delay or undermine the implementation of this law. Prisoners do not vote from prison, but they will be voters in the neighborhoods to which they return, and they are part of the community of interest of their permanent home. The new law requires LATFOR to develop a redistricting database in which prisoners in federal and state custody have been subtracted from their place of incarceration, and in which prisoners in state custody are, to the extent possible, reallocated to their prior residential addresses LATFOR should also provide opportunity for public comment and review of the allocation of prisoners to ensure that districts conform to the new law. 7

I firmly believe that as elected officials, none of us should be afraid to face the voters in fairly drawn districts. Then we can be judged on the merits of our records. In fact I would relish it, since the last redistricting plan in 2002 removed some neighborhoods from my district where I had performed particularly well. I will continue to call on Governor Cuomo to keep his promise to veto any plan that is not truly independent. This would throw the final result into the courts, which is hardly an ideal outcome, but is certainly better than continuing to allow legislators to draw their own districts, create more legislative offices, and undermine the voting power of New Yorkers.
____________________________________________________________________________________ District Office: 211 East 43rd Street, Suite 401, New York NY 10017 (212) 490-9535 Fax: (212) 490-2151 Albany Office: Legislative Office Building, Rm 617, Albany NY 12247 (518) 455-2297 Fax: (518) 426-6874 Email:; On the Web at