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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell

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October 2016 Monthly Update

A Message from Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell

Dear Neighbor,
With primary season behind us, I wanted to give our community a sincere thank you for being so involved in the democratic process. This was an unusual election year with a congressional primary, presidential primary and state primary all within a few months of each other. One of the many things that make me proud to represent our community is the unprecedented level of engagement throughout the district. I am humbled to work with you in making our neighborhood the best it can be.

I share your concerns that this year's numerous primaries impacted constituents' ability to vote. Consolidating all primaries to one day would not only make it easier for folks to vote and possibly increase voter turnout, but would also save the state $25 million. That is why I co-sponsored Assembly Member Michael Cusick's bill, A09108, which would designate a single day for primary elections in New York
As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am pleased to host no-cost mammogram screenings on Thursday, October 20th at The Frederick Douglass Houses' Children's Aid Society. From 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm the American-Italian Cancer Foundation will provide no-cost digital mammograms and clinical breast exams through their mobile care clinic. Also available at the event will be free on-site paper shredding services! More details are featured below.

And 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 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 and
Very truly yours,
Daniel O'Donnell

Assembly Member O'Donnell's No-Cost Mammogram Screenings and Shredding Event
Assembly Member O'Donnell is pleased to announce no-cost mammogram screenings and on-site shredding services on Thursday, October 20th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at The Children's Aid Society Frederick Douglass Center (885 Columbus Avenue at 104th Street.)
The American-Italian Cancer Foundation will be generously bringing their Mobile Care Clinic to provide no-cost digital mammograms and clinical breast exams. To qualify, women must be aged 40 years or older, be currently living in New York City, and must not have had a mammogram exam in the past 12 months. The Foundation's services are at zero cost to patients, no co-pays are required, and deductibles are waived.Uninsured patients are absolutely welcome. To make an appointment, contact Liznel Aybar-Ventura at O'Donnell's Community Office at 212-866-3970 or send an email to
Free on-site shredding services will also be available at the event. We encourage community members to take this opportunity to effectively and securely destroy sensitive confidential documents. 

Assembly Member O'Donnell News Features
 In case you missed it, check out these news features of Assembly Member O'Donnell in September 2016.
        Police Accountability & Transparency
    • Politico covers Assembly Member O'Donnell's legislative push to allow public access to police disciplinary information. 
    • WNYC covers Assembly Member O'Donnell's push to repeal the state law that shields police officers' disciplinary records. 
Education / LGBT
    • Capital Tonight interviews Assembly Member O'Donnell on proposed improvements to help educators support LGBT students and to uphold the Dignity for All Students Act. 
    • The Legislative Gazette discusses Assembly Member O'Donnell's proposed changes to teacher training and HIV/AIDS curriculum in light of his push to fully implement the Dignity for all Students Act.
Community Issues
    • DNA Info and Curbed cover Assembly Member O'Donnell's 20-year push to create a Morningside Heights Historic District , which was calendared by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on September 13, 2016. 
    • The West Side Rag covers Assembly Member O'Donnell's news regarding the CitiBank building on 111th street.
    • The West Side Rag covers Assembly Member O'Donnell's news regarding the former D'Agostino's site on 110th street.

This is a big election year for New York!
As this is a big election year for New York, here is some important information to share with your friends and family.
The General Election is on November 8, 2016 and the last day to register to vote in this election will be on October 14, 2016.
You can register, re-register, and make address changes at many state and local offices, including the departments of Labor, Social Services, Motor Vehicles, and state and city universities. Voter registration applications are available at Please note:
  1. 17-year-olds can register if they will reach their 18th birthday by the end of the calendar year.
  2. If you need to change your name/address, use the voter registration form to submit these changes.
  3. If you need an absentee ballot, go to your county Board of Elections or download the online application here: ballot applications must be postmarked by November 1, 2016
  4. You can also register as an organ and tissue donor on the form.
If you have any questions or concerns about your polling site location, voter registrations, or general inquiries on voting, contact my Community Office at (212) 866-3970. You can also call the NYC Board of Elections' Manhattan office at (212) 866-2100, or visit their website at

West 108th Street Parking Garages
New York City, owner of the parking garages on West 108th Street, has proposed selling the site to the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSSH) for conversion into senior housing. This means that hundreds of parking spaces that our constituents depend on may no longer be available. 

To clarify, New York City's sale of the West 108th Street garages is not complete. In order for the sale to go through, the city must follow the  Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). At this time, the city has not submitted an application to begin the ULURP process. Should the city submit an application, the application would undergo a review by the Department of City Planning (DCP) and the City Planning Commission (CPC), the local Community Board, the Borough President, the Borough Board, the City Council and the Mayor.

Unfortunately, as a state legislator I am not involved in the review process of the sale of this property. However, I will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed. I encourage you all to participate in the ULURP process at the Community Board level. This proposed application, if submitted, would undergo a public review through Community Board 7

Citi Bike Expansion

As you may know, Citi Bike recently expanded to West 110th Street. Generally, I appreciate how such expansion projects connect our diverse communities and was thus pleased to welcome Citi Bike to the neighborhood. However, a few weeks post-implementation, I began to have a few concerns regarding placement of the stations and community involvement. 

I wrote to the NYC Department of Transportation asking Commissioner Forgione to address two primary issues regarding Citi Bike's Upper West Side expansion. First, the placement of Citi Bike's docking stations on the street rather than the sidewalk, resulting in a loss of parking spaces. Secondly, the need for more community input as to the best place to put the stations.  

It is my hope that we can explore solutions to restore critical parking spaces, while maintaining the community's access to this important bike-sharing program. I expect that an increased dialogue with the community will be a part of the exploratory process, and that both bike riders and car owners alike will be represented.

Morningside Heights Community Coalition
The newly-formed Morningside Heights Community Coalition (MHCC) met on September 19th to discuss strategies and share information regarding the effects and impacts of new large-scale developments in Morningside Heights. Due to recent property sales by Jewish Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary to private developers, four large scale buildings are due for construction between 120th street and 122nd street. The meeting welcomed over 200 people, which has begun to initiate rezoning talks with the City Planning Commission.

To get involved, I encourage you to visit the MHCC's advocacy page, where you can sign up for a committee and add your name to petitions addressed to the City Planning Commission and the developers. You may also visit, like, and comment on the MHCC's facebook page. 

D'Agostino's on 110th and Broadway
In April 2016 we lost a valuable establishment when D'Agostino Supermarkets vacated their space on the corner of 110th and Broadway. Fearing another vacant storefront on Broadway, as well as the loss of a fresh food resource, Assembly Member O'Donnell wrote a letter to Columbia University urging them to seek prospective grocers to serve our community. He also asked that the future grocer use union labor as other local supermarkets do.
Assembly Member O'Donnell is pleased to announce that Columbia University has secured a grocer for the D'Agostino space on Broadway. They anticipate that the grocer will open towards the beginning of 2017 after renovation. Please do not hesitate to contact our office at 212-866-3970 for more information as we will continue to monitor developments regarding the space.

The Citibank Site on 111th Street and Broadway
For over a year, Assembly Member O'Donnell has had regular communications with Citibank, neighbors, and local business owners about the construction delay, conditions surrounding the building, and general safety of the area. We are pleased to share that Citibank intends to reopen a bank to the same dimensions as the existing structure.
 Demolition of the existing structure will begin on October 20th. A tentative reconstruction schedule is now available:
Phase I: Shell restoration - October 2016 through December 2016
* Demolition
* Building scaffolding
* Restoration of façade
Phase II: Core construction - December 2016 thought July 2017
* Restoration of roof top
* Infrastructure construction, i.e. stairs, elevator and MEP installation:
Phase III: Branch construction - July 2017 through December 2017
* Build out of new branch

Assembly Member O'Donnell's Community Office continues to monitor the situation and will continue to ensure that conditions in the area are improved. If you would like to be kept up to date on developments, or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the office by calling 212-866-3970 or emailing

Life After Life in Prison: Sara Bennett's Art Exhibit
In January, Assembly Member O'Donnell hosted a photo exhibit of photographer Sara Bennett's work titled "Life After Life in Prison" in Albany's Legislative Office Building. The exhibit featured photos of women who are formerly incarcerated and captured the wide diversity of formerly incarcerated women including the struggles and joys they face after completing life sentences. Assembly Member O'Donnell sought to raise awareness among his colleagues in Albany about these challenges and move them to make legislative changes so that reintegration into society is easier.
Now, Bennett's "Life After Life in Prison" is coming to the community! Assembly Member O'Donnell is pleased to announce that his Community Office will serve as an exhibit space to showcase Bennett's work. Dates will be announced soon, stay tuned!

Funding for Public Schools & Community Organizations
Assembly Member O'Donnell is pleased to announce that he was able to secure funding to support our schools and local community organizations including: 
Active Citizens Project, Project EATS・Bloomingdale School of Music ・The Center School・The Community Action School・Manhattan School for Children・Morningside Heights Historic District Committee・MS 54 Booker T. Washington・MS 247 Dual Language・MS 256 Academic Athletic Excellence・MS 421 West Prep Academy・MS 862 Mott Hall II・PS9・PS75・PS84・PS125・PS145・PS163・PS165・PS166

Donate your old cellphones at Assembly Member O'Donnell's Office
Throughout the month of September, stop by Assembly Member O'Donnell's office to donate your old cellphones to Secure the Call. Secure the Call is a program designed to collect old cell phones and redistribute them for free to those who need one - for the purpose of calling 911 in the event of an emergency.
Secure the Call collects cellphones and wipes them clean of any service, numbers, and address books, and then gives them to their coalition partners who distribute them for free to the community. Secure the Call's coalition partners include police and sheriffs offices, battered women's shelters, domestic violence support groups, senior citizen centers and any other organization that demonstrates a need for emergency 911-only phones.

*Secure the Call will only accept cellphones that are in working condition and that are accompanied by their functioning chargers.*

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 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.

Morningside Village: helping seniors, free of charge!
Morningside Village is a program of Lifeforce in Later Years/LiLY, a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization that helps seniors live comfortably at home, free of charge.
LiLY, Lifeforce in Later Years, was founded in 2009 by a group of concerned community members whose experiences with their elder parents or other relatives were eye-opening. They found that families are often caught off guard in meeting the challenges that they face when an elderly member is no longer able to function independently. They also found that in our culture, individuals generally do not know about the hardships that can befall an aging loved one.
Assembly Member O'Donnell encourages the community to get involved and consider becoming a volunteer. Volunteers can pay a friendly visit, run errands, help solve practical household issues, teach an elder to learn to text and/or use email, accompany an elder on a walk or on an excursion, and more.
To volunteer, contact Jan at (914) 393-0345.

Columbia University Survey:
The Role of Historic Districts in Urban Life
Researchers want to better understand how New Yorkers value the social, environmental, and economic aims of historic districts. Recent scholarship and media coverage have examined how the designation of historic districts influences real estate development, economic vitality, property values, affordable housing, diversity, social justice, environmental sustainability, and more.  To better understand these outcomes and preservation's contribution to them, this survey is soliciting New Yorkers' views on the societal aims of historic district-ing.  By exploring how preservation success is defined through both public policy and the public eye, this research seeks to identify factors that are driving preservation decision-making and contributing to current debates. The anonymous survey takes about 5 minutes, and it can be accessed online here: 
The survey is being conducted by a team of researchers at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.


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. 

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, October 27**

La oficina comunitaria del Asambleísta Daniel O'Donnell tiene empleados que hablan español para asistir al público, tiempo completo, de  lunes a viernes desde 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. La oficina de la comunidad está localizada en el 245 West 104th St., cercana a la calle Broadway. También se puede contactar la oficina en horario de trabajo al (212) 866-3970.
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
during business hours.

Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell
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Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell, 245 West 104th Street, Suite 1D, New York, NY 10025