reports to
the people

May 2004

Inside This Issue:


Assemblyman Colton continues his fight to ensure that every child gets a sound education to prepare them for the future. Our children do not get a second chance at success, which is why Assemblyman Colton has led the fight every year for better funding for New York City schools.

Fighting For Equitable Funding

Assemblyman Colton applauded the Court of Appeals decision mandating the State to provide an equitable funding formula for NYC schools. When Colton took office in 1997, NYC had 38% of the state’s school children but only received 34% of the state’s aid to education. Colton led the charge to close the gap, organizing district-wide parent association meetings and leading petition drives to fight for better funding.

Closing the Funding Gap

Assemblymember Colton and his Assembly colleagues contributed to closing the gap by steadfastly fighting to maintain the LADDER program, which the Governor constantly seeks to eliminate. This historic program, initiated in 1997, has provided funding for full day Kindergarten, Universal Pre-K, smaller class sizes, computer technology and minor building maintenance. In last year’s budget, the gap, which meant the loss of millions of dollars to NYC schools, was nearly closed. Although progress has been made, the effects of years of neglect still must be overcome.

With the Court of Appeals decision the State has until July 30th to revamp it’s education funding formula to permanently provide equitable funding for NYC schools. “This is a major victory for the children of NYC”, said Colton. “With the fixing of the funding formula, parents and legislators will be able to concentrate on fighting for successful, proven programs, such as the LADDER program, instead of having to fight to restore funding cuts back to a minimum level.”


Assemblymember Colton has been hard at work, fighting to create new jobs, protecting existing jobs and ensuring companies which receive tax incentives to create and keep jobs, actually do just that.

Creating new jobs

With the impending crisis in what to do with New York City’s garbage, Assemblyman Colton, Chair of the NY State Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management, has promoted the expansion of recycling to lower transporting costs and the fostering of “hubs of recycling industries” in underutilized industrial areas. Colton’s idea for “recycling hubs” taps into a developing market creating new jobs, saving the environment and will lower costs for transporting the city’s solid waste out of state.

Protecting Jobs

Colton is fighting to ensure that the state’s tax policies do not encourage the loss of jobs and that taxpayer money, used to help businesses create jobs, actually accomplishes that.

The Empire Zone program is an important economic development tool that offers businesses in designated areas tax incentives to create new jobs. However some companies have found loopholes to abuse the program.

Colton introduced legislation which prohibits the outsourcing of jobs by businesses receiving such funds or tax incentives. It requires such companies to show what new jobs were created in return for the tax benefits it receives. “A company that applies for and accepts state aid for economic development should not be allowed to profit from that aid while at the same time moving its jobs out of the state or country”, stated Colton.


Assemblyman Colton has issued his annual Summer Reading Challenge to all neighborhood children in grades K-5 and their parents. This very successful program encourages parents and children to read together for at least 15 minutes a day during the summer vacation. To help with the challenge, Assemblyman Colton has been distributing brochures to local schools and from his community office. The brochure lists suggested books with appropriate grade levels and a calendar to keep track of the days you read together with your child. Children and parents who read together for at least forty days over the summer can return the marked calendar to Assemblyman Colton. The Assemblyman will award your child with an “Excellence in Reading” Certificate. If you need a brochure, stop by Assemblyman Colton’s Community Office at 211 Kings Highway or call 236-1598 and one will be sent to you.


Serving Seniors

Seniors are vital to our neighborhoods. They provide the values, tradition and hard work which have made our neighborhood a good place to live and raise a family. Assemblyman Colton’s Community Office is available to help seniors with a wide variety of issues.

Seniors can come to the office for assistance with the following programs as well as many more:

  • Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption (SCHE)
  • Veterans Property Tax Exemption
  • Real Property Tax Credit (IT214)
  • Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)
  • Heartshare & HEAP
  • Food Stamps
  • STAR
  • EPIC
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Access A Ride

Promoting Small Business

Assemblyman Colton recognized that small business is an important source of neighborhood jobs. Therefore he works to help small businesses in all ways possible.

Recently the Assemblyman learned that a number of businesses on 20th Avenue and Bay Parkway were being harassed and suffering from shoplifting by groups of youths. Even though the Assemblyman was in Albany, he and his staff quickly went to work, contacting the 62nd Precinct. Officers from the 62nd precinct were dispatched to the area to stop the harassment.

Colton has also organized a seminar with COJO of Flatbush for those interested in starting businesses in the area. “Small businesses employ a substantial number of people in the community. These businesses are vital to our neighborhood”, said Colton.


Assemblyman Colton pictured here with his staff, Charles Ragusa, Jeanette Givant, Paul Lipton, Michael Andronico, Stephanie Wong, Ann Paciaffi, Svetlana Perelmuter and Mark Treyger. Not pictured here is Ginger Bivona.

Protecting the Health of the Community

Assemblyman Colton is constantly working to improve health care for all residents of our community. Among his many achievements, Colton secured State funding for Coney Island Hospital to purchase and equip a mobile medical van. This van has served numerous locations around the district, providing care and information to residents. For the last two years the van has visited Colton’s Community Office to provide flu shots.

Colton also supported and fought for passage of three historic programs to provide health and/or prescription drug coverage for those needing it. These programs, Child Health Plus, which offers coverage for every child in New York State, Family Health Plus, which provides coverage for low-income adults and families, and EPIC, which provides prescription drug coverage for low to middle-income seniors, are a major step towards ensuring that everyone can get the medical care they need. Information and help with applying for these programs is available at Assemblyman Colton’s Community Office.

Here For Everyone

Young and old, single or married, resident or business owner, Assemblyman Colton’s Community Office is the place to get answers and help on a wide variety of issues. Colton’s Community Office is staffed by capable and caring members of the community.

Quality of life issues such as potholes, traffic safety, tree pruning, water and sewer blockages, housing problems, consumer concerns, senior issues, immigration problems and many other concerns are handled by Assemblyman Colton’s dedicated staff.

Recently, a local resident, trying to do the right thing by donating a car to charity, was surprised to receive numerous parking violations for the donated vehicle. The resident came to the Community Office where the matter was resolved by Jeanette Givant.

Stephanie Wong recently helped a senior citizen with a telephone bill of over $500 for calls made illegally by someone outside their home. Stephanie contacted the phone company and the senior was given a credit for the calls.

Coordinating community activities and overseeing community outreach is the work of Charles Ragusa.

Svetlana Perelmuter, who assists with housing and immigration problems, among others, has helped low-income seniors who are enrolled in the SCRIE program reduce their rent after the loss of a household member.

Michael Andronico helped a constituent with a shockingly high water bill. With Mike’s help it was determined that DEP had improperly installed the water meter and the constituent was credited for the overcharges.

Ginger Bivona has helped residents with child support problems, from those not receiving entitled child support, to a constituent being overcharged for child support.


211 Kings Highway
Between W 10th and W 11th Streets
(718) 236-1598

Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10:00am to 3:00pm
Thursday LATE Noon to 8:00pm
Friday 10:00am to Noon