By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Doctors don’t make house calls anymore, but apparently state Sen. Simcha Felder does.
Felder (D-Borough Park-Midwood) has launched a “Senator On Site” program, which he is calling “SOS,” to tackle quality-of-life issues in his senate district. As the program’s name implies, Felder pops up at various sites all over the district to solve problems onsite.
Felder introduced the “SOS” last month in a newsletter he sent to constituents. Felder said that since then, nearly 100 people have contacted his office for help with problems with potholes, broken street lights, tree stumps or broken sidewalks outside their homes or in their neighborhoods.
“My goal in starting the ‘SOS program’ was to bring personal service back into politics,” Felder said. “I want to ensure that I am accessible to all of my constituents regardless of where they’re located, and to make certain that everyone has an opportunity to have their concerns heard and addressed.”
Many of the calls to the office involved hazardous street conditions, the senator said. A large number of constituents have also expressed frustration about the lack of response they have received from 311 or other government agencies, Felder said. “I see it as my responsibility to use my elected office to resolve these issues,” he said.
The idea for “Senator On Site” came about after one small business owner called Felder’s office for help. The sidewalk in front of his discount store was obstructed by a tree encased with a metal fence, a bike rack, and a Muni Meter. Delivery trucks could not off-load new merchandise, and vendors told the store owner they would cease deliveries until there was adequate space available. The business owner was steadily losing business, according to Felder, who said his “SOS Team” contacted the Department of Transportation (DOT) and had the bike rack moved.
Felder urged his constituents to call the “SOS Team” at 718-253-2015 for assistance.