Putting my experiences of Life In NYC in a more personal perspective, and checking in with international/national, tech and some other news
Translation from English
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell
November 2016 Monthly Update
A Message from Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell
Happy November! I hope everyone in the community had a warm, safe, and happy Halloween. I write to share important information, to provide updates on on-going issues, and to address topics of interest to residents of Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, and the Upper West Side.
With the cold months ahead of New York City it is important to remember that tenants have the right to essential services. This is true for all tenants, regardless of the type of lease you hold. Heat and hot water are among the most important essential services. The law requires that hot water be maintained at 120 degrees throughout the year and twenty-four hours a day. Beginning on October 1st, landlords are required to heat their buildings at no less than 68 degrees during the day (from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.) if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees. In the night time hours, (from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) apartments must be 55 degrees or warmer if the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees. If services are not maintained, my office staff are available to assist you. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants should first call (718) 707-7777 to register the complaint, and contact my Community Office at 212-866-3970 with the ticket number.
In early October, Haiti was devastated by the catastrophic Hurricane Matthew. It is important to remember that despite the loss of media attention on their plight, the nation is still in need of aid that will directly improve their quality of life. The following organizations would greatly benefit from your support, as they continue to serve devastated communities long after the media headlines dissipate. Since 2010, Haiti Communitere has proven to be an effective local relief and renewal organization committed to aiding disaster recovery. Madre provides aid to women and children in Haiti who are often at a greater risk of abuse and violence during devastating times. Finally, Doctors without Borders has an exceptional history of treating patients suffering from storm-related injuries, and the organization also continues to address the on-going cholera epidemic which has been exasperated in Haiti by lack of potable water and electricity.
I am pleased to announce that I will convene a Corrections Committee hearing regarding the status of women in prison during the first week of December. As the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Correction, my goal is to bring together experts in the field and testimony from stakeholders to determine how to best address the needs of incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated women in New York State. To that end, I will continue touring correctional facilities to open a dialogue with staff and incarcerated people, in order to assess how policy can effectuate meaningful change in our correctional system.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone that participated in, or contributed to, my Health and Community Services Day on October 20, 2016. Co-hosted with the Children's Aid Society at Frederick Douglass, scores of community members were able to receive no-cost mammogram screenings, on-site shredding services,and the opportunity to safely recycle or dispose of electronic waste. I appreciate the efforts of the Italian-American Cancer Foundation, Data-Struction Shredding Services, Ombligo Inc. e-waste services, the collaboration of the Children's Aid Society, and the support of community businesses and organizations in advertising the event.
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 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 twitter.com/dannyodonnellny and facebook.com/dannyodonnellny.
Very truly yours,
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.
The last day to postmark an absentee ballot is November 7 2016.
For information regarding your polling site location, whether or not you're registered to vote, and who is on your ballot, visit www.whosontheballot.org or 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 www.vote.nyc.ny.us.
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 & Criminal Justice
NPR discusses Assembly Member O'Donnell's corrections committee hearing on the Clinton escape of two inmates.
The Daily News covers Assembly Member O'Donnell's push to repeal the state law that shields police officers' disciplinary records.
Assembly Member O'Donnell's Office Hosts "Life After Life in Prison" Photo Exhibit
In January 2016, Assembly Member O'Donnell hosted a photo exhibit titled "Life After Life in Prison" by photographer Sara Bennett in Albany's Legislative Office BuildÂing. 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 in our community!
Assembly Member O'Donnell is pleased to announce that his Community Office is currently serving as a gallery space to showcase Bennett's work until December 12 2016.
Save the date! December 12 2016 will culminate our showcasing of the exhibit. For more information and visiting opportunities, contact our office at 212-866-3970.
Assembly Member O'Donnell's Toy Drive
Starting now until December 12 2016
Where: 245 West 104th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue
Assembly Member O'Donnell is happy to announce that unused and unwrapped toys donated to his office between now and December 12 2016 will be donated to Angel Tree Christmas. Founded in 1982 by an ex-prisoner who witnessed firsthand the strained relationship between incarcerated people and their children, Angel Tree has grown to become the largest national outreach specifically for the children of the incarcerated. Angel Tree volunteers will wrap your holiday gifts on behalf of incarcerated parents and deliver it to their children.
Columbia University Shuttle Bus Service for the Elderly and Disabled
Columbia University has implemented the Shuttle Bus Service for the Elderly and Disabled! Known as the Columbia Community Shuttle, this initiative provides free shuttle bus service for seniors and the disabled in the community, Monday- Friday 9am-5pm. This shuttle service connects the Manhattanville Project site to key subway stations and Medical Centers in the area.
The shuttle is wheelchair accessible and free for people with disabilities, the elderly and a companion, or individuals with a service animal. Along with the Senior and Disabled Persons MetroCard, the Columbia Community Shuttle also accepts the Medicare Card and Access-A-Ride as acceptable forms of identification to use this service.
Community Office seeks Winter/Spring Interns and Semester Fellow
Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell's New York City community office is seeking Winter/Spring Interns & a Semester Fellow. Students interested in public service will have the opportunity to get real-life experience in an active, fast-paced, New York City government office. The program offers interns the chance to engage in legislative research, offer administrative support, and help with constituent services. Successful candidates are personable and have strong research and writing skills. We aim to create an experience that is tailored to individual interests while exposing students to the dynamic day-to-day work of elected officials. Spanish-speaking a plus. To learn more about Assembly Member O'Donnell, please visit his Assembly webpage at:
Constituent services, conducting policy and legislative research, drafting correspondence, outreach, and press materials, special events planning assistance, and office management tasks.
Semester fellow should complete one individualized research or policy project (to be determined in conjunction with the Internship Coordinator)*
Strong research, writing and analytical skills, excellent interpersonal skills and attention to detail, proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Drive, interest in public and community service, highly organized, proactive, and able to multi-task. Bilingual (Spanish) preferred.
New York City's favorite winter activity returns for another year! Rinks in Central Park, Bryant Park and across the city have re-opened for the winter season.
The ice skating rinks listed below offer a safe way to celebrate the cold weather. Please call rinks before your visit to confirm hours, as outdoor skating rink schedules can change due to weather conditions. Feel free to visit http://on.nyc.gov/2f7icXZ for more information.
Lasker Rink at Central Park
Entrance just south of park entrance at 110th Street and Lenox Avenue
The Rink at Bryant Park
Between 40th and 42nd Street
Wollman Rink at Central Park
Central Park at 63rd Street
Donate your old cellphones at Assembly Member O'Donnell's Office
Throughout the month of November, stop by Assembly Member O'Donnell's office to donate your old cellphones to Secure the Call, which seeks to provide those in need a direct line to help in case 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.*
Beware of Telephone Scams & Robo Callers
Warning! Assembly Member O'Donnell has seen an increase in telephone scams reported to his office. Telephone scams may be in the form of pre-recorded messages, or "robo-calls," or a live caller. Unfortunately, scammers tend to target older adults and seniors. Please review these common telephone scams:
IRS scam: Scammers will allege to be an IRS agent or the police, demanding payment for overdue taxes. The caller may claim that if you do not pay, you will be arrested. Please note: The IRS will never contact you by telephone. If the IRS attempts to contact you, they will do it via postal mail.
Lottery scam: Scammers will allege that you have won a lottery, either within or outside of the United States. The scammer will often use an official sounding name, such as that of a government representative, or say they are from "Washington DC." They will ask that you pay upfront fees, taxes or interest, in order to collect the winnings. If you do not remember entering a lottery, do not divulge any personal information.
PC Cleaner scam: Scammers will claim that your personal computer is sending them a message that it has a virus or is being hacked. Often, the scammers purport to be from Microsoft or an official sounding technology company. They will offer to fix the problem for a fee. If your computer indeed has a virus or is being hacked, it will not send any type of notification. Often, the services that they are offering actually cost much less than the quoted price.
Never give out any personal information, including your name, age, address, social security number, credit card or banking information over the phone to an unknown caller. If you believe you are the victim of a scam or have been approached by a scammer, you may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
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 people 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 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.
The Bloomingdale School of Music's Free November Events
On Friday, November 4th join Bloomingdale School of Music (323 West 108th Street) at 7:00pm for a concert entitled "Around the World." Join Kaoru Hinata as she celebrates her 20th season teaching at BSM with a program of flute music from around the world including composers Francis Poulenc and Ravi Shankar. Free and open to the public. Call 212-663-6021ext. 0 for more info.
On Friday, November 11th join Bloomingdale School of Music at Broadway Presbyterian Church (601 W 114th Street) at 7:00pm for an event entitled "Bloomingdale Birthday Bash" in celebration of BSM's 52nd birthday, with performances by two faculty led ensembles! Free and open to the public. Call 212-663-6021ext. 0 for more info.
On Friday, November 18th join Bloomingdale School of Music (323 West 108th Street) at 7:00pm for a concert entitled "Voice of the Violin: Myths and Fantasms, Colorful Creatures and Characters." Tales of far-away lands and people have traveled over centuries to our ears through the voice of the violin. Claudia Schaer takes us on a musical journey into these fantastical worlds. Free and open to the public. Free and open to the public. Call 212-663-6021ext. 0 for more info.
On Sunday, November 20th join Bloomingdale School of Music (323 West 108th Street) at 3:00pm for a concert entitled "16 Silver Keys: Music for the traditional (and not so traditional) flute." BSM flute faculty member Tia Roper showcases the flute through its versatility and captivating style with selections in the classical, contemporary, and popular modes. Free and open to the public. Call 212-663-6021ext. 0 for more info.
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.
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 UPCOMING
FREE LEGAL CLINIC
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.
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