1999-11-06 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Informed Electorate Best Consumer

On Monday, October 25 our mainland club--the South Side Democratic
Club--had an excellent meeting. (Connie Grabowski is our president.) DA Richard Brown, who has served for eight years as the Queens District
Attorney, addressed the meeting. He informed us about the numerous activities of his office.

DA Brown spoke at length about his educational component. He has a
major outreach to the schools. In addition, he runs a mock court for
assistant DA's who are about to try felony cases. This procedure allows
the DA's to try the cases in front of their colleagues and to develop the
best arguments to defend the people of Queens County. DA Richard Brown has done an outstanding job and is well known as a leader by his colleagues across the country. Several attorneys, who are running for the Civil and Supreme Court, namely Duane Hart (Civil Court) and Jeremy Weinstein and Laura Blackburne (Supreme Court), joined him at the meeting. Jeremy Weinstein represented Joseph Dorsa. The judges discussed their expertise to serve on the bench.

On Tuesday night, our club in Rockaway--The Regular Democratic
Club of the Rockaways at 104-02 Rockaway Beach boulevard--had a standing room only crowd to hear our Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer educate us on how to avoid consumer fraud. (Sharon Gabriel is our president; Steve Cooper opened the meeting.) Audrey is the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Consumer Fraud and Protection. Her presentation was very informative and interesting. Today, it is vitally important for each of us to be aware
of the issues and to be alert to the various approaches used by con

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer discussed her concern over the issue
of privacy. She is apprehensive about the fact that some banks are sharing
our private information with health care firms or insurance companies.
This would give reams of private data including your occupation, Social
Security number, account balances and other sensitive material to agencies that you did not authorize to have this information. In general, bank customers are not well protected against banks sharing or selling data collected on individuals. The risk to the public would be that everything from bank balances to credit card purchases to medical expenses to shopping habits could be easily accessible. This information could negatively affect us because it could effect the banks setting rates or our insurance companies writing sensitive policies. A lending institution could be able to check a person's health status before they decide whether or not to approve a loan. As the chair of the Consumer Protection Committee, Audrey is directing her committee toward passing legislation to protect us in this area. She distributed several flyers with information that is designed to protect us.

Councilman Noach Dear informed us about his work as the chair of
the Transportation Committee of the City Council. Transportation is the
life-blood of our community. As he stated accessible, speedy and cost
effective transportation increases our economic viability.

Congressman Anthony Weiner was at a committee meeting in Washington. He sent his chief of staff Brian Gottlieb. Brian informed us
of congressional initiatives taken by Congressman Weiner which are helping our neighborhoods.

Several democratic candidates for judge of the Civil and Supreme Court came to the Rockaway meeting to advise us about their qualifications for the position: James Golia (Civil Court) Laura Blackburne, and Joseph Dorsa (Supreme Court). (Joseph Dorsa brought greetings from Jeremy Weinstein). The judges discussed their educational and experiential backgrounds.

Our state committeewoman, Maureen Ingram, and our state committeeman, Joseph Addabbo, were also at the meeting. In addition, Elmer Blackburne, a fellow Queens Democratic district leader, joined us.

Our Rockaway club at 104-02 Rockaway Beach boulevard is open every Monday night at 8:00 p.m. Please come in and join us.





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