I hope you had a relaxing Fourth of July weekend! With summer in full swing, I encourage you to explore everything the Upper West Side has to offer, from delicious restaurants to fun parks and museum exhibitions. I have included suggestions for family-fun exhibitions on the Upper West Side and their free hours in this Monthly Update, along with information about important meetings and announcements for adults and parents.
This year the New York State Legislative Session ended mid-June and I am proud to have voted for several important bills. Of those that passed the Assembly, I am proud of having voted for the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act, closing the LLC loophole, increasing voter access, Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, Single Payer Health Care, the DREAM Act, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, and the Office of the Correctional Ombudsman. Of those that passed both the Assembly and the Senate, I am most proud of voting for Paid Family Leave, $15 Minimum Wage, Equal Access to Quality Indigent Legal Services, and Eliminating the Tax on Feminine Hygiene Products -- bills that the Governor has signed, or will sign, into law.
For more local news, I ask that you save the date for my 12th Annual Summer Health Service Day co-sponsored by Carlton Davis Jr., President of the Grant Houses Tenant Association and Felecia Pullen, Program Director of S.A.F.E. in Harlem. On Saturday, August 20th, free services, products, and information will be available to the community. For more information, see the events section of this Monthly Update.
Finally, I thank everyone who attended this year's Pride March, which was the biggest in history! I am grateful to have felt the support of thousands of New Yorkers and hope that you will join us in next year's Pride too. In the meantime, you can stay involved with the call for LBGTQ equality and civil rights by engaging the #StopTheHate campaign in your social media communications and by calling on your elected officials to support #StopTheHate.
As always, should you need assistance or information, my Community Office is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM. Feel free to call my office at (212) 866-3970 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also encourage you to follow my official New York State Assembly Twitter & Facebook accounts to get exclusive insight into the work I'm doing in my district and for all New Yorkers by visiting www.twitter.com/dannyodonnellny and www.facebook.com/danieljodonnellny.
Very truly yours,
Assembly Member O'Donnell's 12th Annual Health Service Day
Save the date! Assembly Member O'Donnell will host his 12th Annual Summer Health Service Day co-sponsored by Carlton Davis Jr., President of the Grant Houses Tenant Association and Felecia Pullen, Program Director of S.A.F.E. in Harlem.
On Saturday, August 20th, join us at LaSalle Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues to enjoy services, products and information at no-cost to the community.
For more information, contact Assembly Member O'Donnell's
Community Office at (212) 866-3970.
Assembly Member O'Donnell News Features
In case you missed it, check out these news features of Assembly Member O'Donnell in June 2016.
Prison Reform & Criminal Justice
The Albany Times Union covers O'Donnell's bill to require that decisions on parole appeals be published on a publicly accessible website within 60 days, which passed both houses and awaits the Governor's signature.
The Gotham Gazette mentions Assembly Members O'Donnell and Sepulveda's public hearing on "Devising a Smart Supportive Housing Strategy for Ex-Offenders Upon Reentry"
The Long Island Exchange includes O'Donnell's comments regarding Attorney General Schneiderman's settlement against a Manhattan developer for the loss of two rent-controlled apartments in the Upper West Side.
Morningside Heights Historic District Designation
Morningside Heights is under extreme pressure from large scale, non-contextual, luxury development. Right now, there are proposals for 4 towers within blocks of each other between 120th St. and 122nd St. This means years of constant noise and dust, and additional pressure on neighborhood resources.
For the past 20 years Assembly Member O'Donnell has been working very closely with the Morningside Heights Historic District Committee to create a protected historic district in our neighborhood, and has called on the Mayor for rezoning above 96th St.
Upper West Side Greenmarkets are open for the summer season!
Pick up fresh, locally-grown vegetables, orchard fruit, potted plants and flowers, honey, fresh seafood, breads, pastries and more. Cash, EBT/Food Stamps and WIC & Senior FMNP checks are welcome at all Upper West Side farmers markets. EBT Users -- starting July 1st, spend $5 and receive $2 in Health Bucks to spend on fruits and vegetables. Looking forward to seeing you at the market!
As the Assembly Correction Committee Chair, O'Donnell is proud to announce significant victories with bills he introduced to reform our prison and criminal justice systems. O'Donnell's bill A1984/S6806, directs the Board of Parole to publish its appeal decisions on a public website and create an annual index of such decisions. This will create more transparency for the public, attorneys, and inmates. The bill unanimously passed the Senate and Assembly and will now be sent to the Governor to sign into law.
Assembly Member O'Donnell also co-sponsored A10067/S6430 with Assembly Member Simotas, which speeds up testing of rape kits in order to prevent backlogs. The bill mandates that when law enforcement agencies receive a rape kit, it must be sent to a forensic laboratory for testing within 10 days and reported back to the submitting police agency and local district attorney within 90 days. Assembly Member O'Donnell is proud that this common sense legislation will reinstate justice to victims, and looks forward to seeing Assembly Member Simotas' hard work in action. The bill passed the Senate and Assembly and will now be sent to the Governor to sign into law.
O'Donnell's legislation that passed the Assembly include: A9939, which would create an independent oversight office of the Correctional Ombudsman office to investigate complaints, grievances, and unusual incidents within the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; A7363, which would provide the equivalent rehabilitation programs for male and female inmates, making them better prepared to reenter society; and A10190, which would clarify roles and responsibilities of parole officers to prevent wasteful raids on parolees and their families. Finally, Assembly Member O'Donnell wrote the Domestic Violence Escalation Prevention Act, a bill to keep guns out of the hands of known abusers.
These legislative accomplishments reflect O'Donnell's commitment to achieving transparency, impartiality, and accountability in our state corrections and criminal justice system.
Attend a High School Admissions Family Workshop
The High School application process can be very stressful for parents and guardians of middle school students. By attending the Department of Education's (DOE) High School Admissions Family Workshops, you will be able to develop a better sense of what the process is like and what to expect.
Learn how to find NYC High Schools that fit your needs, become familiar with the High School Directory, and get important tips on developing your application:
Monday July 18th at 6:30 p.m. at Hunter College (Assembly Hall) 695 Park Avenue, 10065.
Learn about admissions to the nine specialized High Schools and the specialized High Schools Admissions Test, as well as hear from a panel of specialized High Schools representatives, parents, and students:
Wednesday, July 20th at 6:30 p.m. at Hunter College (Assembly Hall) 695 Park Avenue, 10065.
Reel Harlem Presents: The Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival
Reel Harlem welcomes New Yorkers to its free Historic Harlem Parks Film Festivalbeginning in July and ending at the beginning of August. Some of the films that Reel Harlem will show include PAN! Our Music Odyssey, Within Our Gates, and Purple Rain. Some films will not be appropriate for children.
All film screenings will begin at sundown, preceded by music at 6:00 p.m. As these are outdoor events, held at various parks in Harlem, attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair. Space is limited and the availability is first-come-first-serve.
To learn more information about these events, rain locations and more, please visit their website.
Explore Upper West Side Museums this July!
The American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79 Street) is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.. For General Admission, visitors can pay as they like. Suggested donation does not apply to special exhibits. Visit their website for more information about tickets and shows.
The Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) (The Tisch Building, 212 West 83 Street), offers two ongoing exhibits for young children. CMOM is open Sunday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Children under 12 months are free. On the first Friday of every month, CMOM hosts free evening programs. Visit their website for more information.
If you happen to pass by the New York Historical Society (170 Central Park West), at 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m., check out their free daily tours of some of their collections. To learn when the Society is open, please visit their website, or call (212) 873-3400.
NYC Department of Education to Host Annual Summer Meals Program
Summer Meals provides free, healthy breakfast and lunch to all children 18 and younger. Those interested in obtaining meals do not need to register or show any form of personal identification to receive a meal, nor do they have to have NYC residency.
If you are interested, you can pick up a meal at hundreds of public schools, NYCHA complexes, libraries, and other locations across all neighborhoods of the five boroughs.
In order to find specific participating locations, please visit www.schoolfoodnyc.org, text "NYCMEALS" to 877-877, or call 311.
The 2016 New York City Youth Guide to Summer Fun
The 2016 New York City Youth Guide to Summer Fun is a broad citywide calendar of family-oriented events and resources. Whether you're looking for the hottest concerts, film festivals and street fairs, or need to beat the heat at one of our many pools and beaches, there are thousands of attractions and events that are just a quick walk or subway or bus ride away.
This guide is a partnership between New York City agencies, museums, youth groups, libraries, arts organizations and cultural institutions.
The NYC Organics Collection Program
New York City runs one of the largest food waste recycling programs of its kind, collecting organic waste from residences, schools, city agencies, and institutions in all five boroughs. Every week, the Department of Sanitation collects food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste from participants in pilot areas. Sanitation transports this waste to local and regional processing facilities where it is recycled into compost or turned into renewable energy.
To request NYC Organics Collection in your apartment building, city agency, or non-profit organization, submit an online inquiry at
Single-Family homes and small apartment buildings in pilot areas automatically receive service, as well as select public schools. If you don't live in a pilot area or if your building does not qualify for NYC Organics Collection, you can still recycle your organic waste by composting at home or bringing your food waste to a drop-off site in our community. Visit http://nyc.gov/compostproject for food waste drop off locations and more information.
The office of Assembly Member O'Donnell urges the community to participate in this initiative, as the NYC Organics Collection Program is a proven way to combat rodent infestation on our streets and in our spaces.
CityParks Sports Summer Programs
CityParks Sports helps kids stay active through free instruction in New York City parks across the five boroughs. Register now for programs including Tennis, Golf, Track & Field, Soccer and Get Up & Go. All programs are free of charge, include the use of equipment and run from early July through mid-August.
Parents can register kids online at or on site during program hours with an instructor.
Students and all families are invited to attend the
Classical Theatre of Harlem's free production of William Shakespeare's
Macbeth this summer. The show will be presented July 8-31 in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park, the outdoor Richard Rogers amphitheater. All information is on the CTH website: www.cthnyc.org
If any summer school teachers or other educators want to reserve space for a group of people on a specific date, they can do so by contacting Kelly Burdick, CTH's director of development: email@example.com
Summer on the Hudson
Summer on the Hudson is the Parks Department's annual outdoor arts & culture festival that takes place in Riverside Park from 59th Street to 153rd Street. With a mix of music concerts, dance performances, movies under the stars, DJ dance parties, kids' shows, special events, wellness activities, and more there is something for everyone!
All programs and events are free to the public and registration is not requiredunless specifically stated in event information.
For constituents who need help with legal issues but are unable to come to Assembly Member O'Donnell's Community Office during the workday, Assembly Member O'Donnell hosts a monthly evening opportunity for constituents to consult with a volunteer attorney.
Call Joyce Goodman at (212) 866-3970 to make an appointment.
** Thursday, July 21st**
NEED A LARGE PRINT COPY OF THE MONTHLY UPDATE? CALL OR VISIT ASSEMBLY MEMBER O'DONNELL'S DISTRICT OFFICE FOR ONE!
If you are visually impaired or feel that you read better in large print, please do not hesitate to request a large print copy of Assembly Member O'Donnell's monthly update. Please call or stop by the Assembly Member's Community Office to request a copy.
Assembly Member O'Donnell's community office has full-time Spanish-speaking staff available to assist you, Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The office is located at 245 West 104th Street, just off Broadway. You can also call (212) 866-3970