With the winter season well underway, the 2017-2018 Assembly session has returned to Albany. I look forward to sharing important updates and aspirations for this session, and I am excited to share details about several events happening in our neighborhood.
I am pleased to announce that I have been named Chair of the Arts, Tourism, Parks and Sports Development Committee. I'm honored to chair this committee and I look forward to doing everything in my power to preserve and expand programs throughout the state, as well as the multitudes of organizations right here in my home district.
As I wrap up my tenure as the Chair of the Committee on Corrections and look back on the 4 years I served on that committee, I can confidently say we have had successes but that there is more left to accomplish. After completing 32 New York State prison visits during my chairmanship, I plan to remain active as an advocate for criminal justice reform. To that end, I have reintroduced bills that I believe are critical to criminal justice reform, including increasing transparency, establishing independent oversight of prisons, and banning solitary confinement of youth.
I know many of us are feeling concerned or worried that the incoming administration will not represent the values and protections we care about as New Yorkers. I want to assure you all that I will be vocal and active in opposing any measures undertaken by the administration that go against the safety and personal freedoms that we should all enjoy. Both New York State and New York City are known around the world as bastions of inclusion. Our successes as a city and state are testaments that progressive values have meaningful effects. I am proud to represent a community that holds such values, and I am determined to support New York's place as a leader and an example.
With that said, there is serious concern that some may feel emboldened by divisive or hateful rhetoric and act out on it. In order to combat instances of hate and violence, my office is coordinating a Bystander Intervention Training hosted by Hollaback! and the NYC Anti-Violence Project to teach de-escalation strategies in the event that you become witness to such situations. And as is tradition, I am pleased to announce the details of my Annual Community Reading Challenge with the New York Public Library, and my Annual Book Drive with Project Cicero. For more information on these events, skip to the next section of this publication.
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,
PS: The 2017 Parking Calendar is now available! If you would like a hard copy mailed to you, or would like to pick one up at my office, please contact my staff 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 December 2016 and January 2017.
New York Non-Profit Media discusses Assembly Member O'Donnell's push for legislation that would allow information about youthful offender cases to remain private until the final disposition of the case.
The New York Times features Assembly Member O'Donnell's Letter to the Editor regarding criminal justice reform
Curbed mentions Assembly Member O'Donnell's support for the creation of a Morningside Heights historic district designation, and discusses updates on the progress.
The New York Daily News discusses Assembly Member O'Donnell's position on Assembly Committee chairmanship assignments.
Assembly Member O'Donnell to host Bystander Intervention Training with Hollaback! and NYC Anti-Violence Project
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, many community members have voiced their concerns about how hateful rhetoric towards targeted groups has influenced a rise in harassment and violence across the country. Our office has received an overwhelming amount of emails, phone calls, and visits from residents who are strongly opposed to the language and policies implemented by the new administration and we are heartened to see that such opposition is being expressed through open dialogue and courageous dissent.
We welcome the community to join us on Tuesday, February 21st 2017 at the Bank Street College of Education (610 W 112th Street between Broadway & Riverside Drive) for a free Bystander Intervention Training hosted by Hollaback! and the NYC Anti-Violence Project. The event will take place from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Assembly Member O'Donnell has collaborated with Hollaback and the NYC Anti-Violence Project to provide tips, information, and advice on how to intervene if you witness instances of harassment or violence.
With so many members of the community eager to step up, we look forward to providing training on how to be an effective bystander. Join us at Bank Street College of Education (610 W 112th Street between Broadway & Riverside Drive) on Tuesday, February 21st starting at 6:30 pm to learn what is the right (and wrong) way to respond to harassment.
Assembly Member O'Donnell presents "Our Voices" The 14th Annual Community Reading Challenge
Take Assembly Member O'Donnell's 2017 Community Reading Challenge and engage with stories that celebrate the rich cultural fabric of our society! The theme for this year's challenge is Our Voices, which celebrates the diversity within our communities and rejects instances of hate and violence towards one another. Filled with adventures, biographies of great figures, and the history of our communities, Our Voices invites students to celebrate diversity through literature.
This year we want to hear from you! In a new twist to Assembly Member O'Donnell's traditional Reading Challenge, Our Voices asks that students draw inspiration from these stories and explore their own cultural heritage. All students are asked to submit stories about their own backgrounds and heritage as essays, short stories, poems, or artwork. The submissions will be featured in a printed compilation and each student will receive a copy of their collective work! Participating students will also be entered in a raffle for a chance to win special prizes.
In April, join us to celebrate completing the Our Voices challenge at one of our festivals. Festivals will be held in our district and feature copies of your published stories, prizes, treats, and many more surprises! To learn more, call or visit Assembly Member O'Donnell's Community Office at 245 West 104th Street | (212) 866-3970.
Donate your old cellphones at Assembly Member O'Donnell's Office
Throughout the month of February, 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.*
Apply to Pre-K by February 24th 2017!
All NYC families with a child born in 2013, including students with disabilities, can apply to pre-K from January 17-February 24, 2017. You can list up to 12 choices on your Pre-K Application-remember to include the program code and to consider many different program options.
All applications received by the February 24 deadline are treated the same- their application process is not first-come, first-served. You can update your application until the February 24 deadline, if you have already submitted.
Interpretation services are available in more than 200 languages for over-the-phone and in-person application submissions. Please request an interpreter if you speak a language other than English. And if you are interested in pre-K at a charter school or half-day and 5-hour NYCEEC pre-K programs, contact those programs directly to apply.
The Bloomingdale School of Music's February Events
On Friday, February 3rd join Bloomingdale School of Music (323 West 108th Street) at 7:00pm for a concert entitled "The British are Coming!" This concert highlights the intimate connection between poetry and music in music from Great Britain including composers Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughn Williams. Free and open to the public. Call 212-663-6021 ext. 0 for more info.
On Saturday, February 4rd join Bloomingdale School of Music at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway) at 5:00pm and 7:30 for a concert entitled "A4TY: Student New Music Project." These concerts feature an evening of world premiers composed by Bloomingdale students and performed by their peers and guest artists. Tickets available at: http://www.symphonyspace.org/home. Call 212-663-6021 ext. 0 for more info.
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.
** Thursday, February 23rd**
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