Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs recently met with the editorial board of The Jewish Press at the newspaper’s New York office. Jacobs, who is the Assembly member for New York State’s 42nd Assembly District, has been in the Assembly since 1979. Her district, which is very ethnically diverse, is primarily made of Flatbush neighborhoods and part of Midwood.
Jacobs, who is assistant speaker of the New York State Assembly, discussed her past accomplishments as well as her plans for the future in the Assembly. Currently, Jacobs is the senior member on several Assembly committees: health, insurance, ways and means and rules. She formerly chaired the social services committee with jurisdiction over all Medicaid legislation. She has an extensive legislative record including preventive health care and child care.
She said that she credits getting re-elected in a minority district because she’s able to provide extensive, compassionate constituent services to all individuals who walk through the doors of her office.
With roots in the Orthodox community and extended family here, Jacobs believes that her knowledge and sensitivity to the Jewish community’s needs are very important. “My staff in Brooklyn is very responsive to local concerns,” she said. “For example, Orthodox families were experiencing power surges causing outages, related to Shabbos usage. We contacted Con Edison and were able to get them to make the necessary adjustments that solved the problem.”
“Some constituents need to feel comfortable and understood, when trying to obtain assistance, for example, in getting help for a chronically ill child or any other problem that may come their way.”
In Albany, she said, she works with colleagues like Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senator Eric Adams to advance legislation to protect the rights and interests of the Jewish community and that she also works with her many other colleagues to get them to help them understand and support this legislation.
She also noted her accomplishments in getting budget increases for non public schools, expanding transportation for yeshiva students and more money in tax credits for yeshiva parents.
Jacobs had received a range of endorsements including from The Jewish Press, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Eric Adams, Councilman David Greenfield and many other community leaders.