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
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Daniel O' Donnell
April 2017 Monthly Update
A Message from Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell
I write to you from Albany where I have been working with my colleagues and the governor to craft a New York State Budget that adequately funds some of our most important programs and represents your concerns. At the same time, President Donald Trump has proposed his own budget that decimates funding for critical programs like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). These budgetary cuts to arts funding are an attack on our culture and values, and are a clear indicator of the skewed priorities and motivations of the current administration.
The NEA, NEH, and CPB account for less than .02 percent of the national budget. Clearly, the elimination of these programs will not drastically decrease government spending, yet the loss of these programs will have massive and destructive consequences. Fifty-four percent of NEA block grants are allocated to low-income neighborhoods to promote equal access to the arts in all communities. In 2016, the NEA provided $14.5 million to 419 organizations across New York City. As Chair of the Arts Committee, I am at the helm of ensuring that disastrous policies on the national level are mitigated to protect arts organizations and the much-needed cultural, educational, and economic services they provide throughout the state.
To date, we still lack a finalized New York State budget. This week we passed a temporary extender that will fund state services until May 31, 2017, to ensure the continuity of government and the essential services New Yorkers depend on. I plan to stay in Albany until a final and acceptable budget is proposed--one that Raises the Age of criminal responsibility, adequately funds our schools, and protects affordable housing.
After the budget is negotiated, I plan on meeting with small and large cultural institutions and organizations based in our district and all around the state to learn about their concerns and how I can more effectively advocate on their behalf. I am privileged to live in and represent a neighborhood that supports and defends the arts, humanities, and education.
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 email@example.com. 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,
P.S. Thanks to all that participated in my Annual Community Book Drive, to benefit NYC Public Schools. I'm happy to announce that we collected over 1,000 books- a true accomplishment!
I was honored to speak in Riverside Church along with a number of Irish leaders and activists on St. Patrick's Day against the fascism demonstrated by our current presidential administration. To watch a video of the speech, please click below.
Assembly Member O'Donnell News Features
In case you missed it, check out these March news features:
Assembly Member O'Donnell appears on Capital Tonight for an interview with Liz Benjamin about his legislation to make all single stall bathrooms gender neutral
Times Union covers Assembly Member O'Donnell's sponsorship of legislation to make all single stall bathrooms in NY State gender neutral
Corrections and Criminal Justice Reform
Times Union covers Assembly Member O'Donnell's bill to repeal or reform 50-a of the civil rights law, which would create greater transparency within the police force
Manhattan Express covers Assembly Member O'Donnell's advocacy against a dangerous condo development
Assembly Member O'Donnell's Newly Introduced Legislation
Please see below for Assembly Member O'Donnell's newly introduced bills this legislative session. To look up these bills, or to look up any bill in the NY State legislature, you may follow this link. Click here for a list of all of Assembly Member O'Donnell's bills.
A6500-Single occupancy bathrooms
The bill would require all publicly accessible single occupancy bathrooms to be gender neutral. This legislation applies to all public buildings, including restaurants, bars, shops, public and private elementary and secondary schools, along with SUNY and CUNY.
A6575-Radon testing in homes
The bill would require testing for radon and disclosure of test results before the sale of real property to protect prospective home owners from radon exposure, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US.
A6709-Legal Aid loan forgiveness (eligibility)
The bill would allow attorneys in public service to qualify for the NYS loan forgiveness program sooner than the current law allows, helping alleviate the burden from the increasing cost of law school.
A6712-Legal Aid loan forgiveness (monetary)
The bill would increase the loan forgiveness amount for attorneys performing legal services for indigent clients from $3,400 to $5,500.
The bill would create a city-wide council for district seventy-five in state law so it may continue to provide special education and other educational services to students and their families across New York City.
The bill would prohibit any building which has less than fifty percent of habitable units subject to rent stabilization or rent control from receiving MCIs in order to protect affordable housing in New York City.
The bill would better protect the public from possible individual or systemic abuse of so-called "no-knock" search warrants, while preserving the use of such warrants as a valuable tool of law enforcement.
Join our State Budget & Legislative Forum
On Wednesday, April 19th from 5:30- 8:30pm I will be hosting a State Budget & Legislative Forum in order to discuss the New York State budget.
Please join me to hear and discuss reports on what this year's budget covers, how New York State plans to address federal cuts, what legislative items are still under consideration, and where we have focused new spending. The forum will be held at Goddard Riverside Community Center at 593 Columbus Avenue and 88th Street.
Come to our Rent Freeze SCRIE/DRIE Information and Application Event
Our office will be hosting an information session and application event for those that want to apply to or learn more about NYC's rent freeze programs: SCRIE and DRIE.
SCRIE and DRIE are senior and disabled rental increase exemption programs. My office and the Department of Finance will be there to answer your questions about eligibility and qualifications for SCRIE and DRIE, and to help you apply.
The drop-in session will be held on Wednesday, April 19th from 5:30-8:30pm at Goddard Riverside Community Center at 593 Columbus Avenue and 88th Street.
Please RSVP with our Director of Community Affairs, Chris Chu at ChuC@nyassembly.gov or call my community office at (212) 866-3970.
Bloomingdale School of Music Presents
From House to School: The History of the Bloomingdale School of Music
Join our office in learning compression-only CPR under the training of the FDNY. The compression only method is proven to be 60% more effective at saving lives when implemented by non-medical bystanders.
We will have two sessions on April 27th, from 6:00-7:00pm and 7:00-8:00pm. The training will take place at the Grosvenor House YMCA at 176 West 105th Street and Amsterdam.
Limited spots are available, so please RSVP with our Director of Community Affairs, Chris Chu at ChuC@nyassembly.gov
Think about all the things that make you, "you". Maybe it is the food you eat, the languages you speak, your family, your religion, where you grew up, the things you like and don't like, or your future goals. Maybe it is a combination of all of these things? It is your voice and the collection of Our Voices that make our community unique and diverse. Where are you from and what makes you, "you"?
Our Voices asks that participants draw inspiration from their personal narratives to explore their own identities. Students who submit responses to the above prompt as short stories, poems, vignettes, or artwork by Friday, April 21st will be published in a booklet and receive their own copies of the booklet at one of our writing festivals! Additionally, festivals will have prizes, food, a book list, a guest speaker, and much more!
Please submit all stories and artwork to Chris Chu at firstname.lastname@example.org, drop by Assembly Member O'Donnell's Community Office at 245 West 104th Street, or call us at (212) 866-3970.
Festivals will be held at the following public libraries:
George Bruce Branch
518 West 125th Street
Tuesday, May 30th at 4pm
150 West 100th Street
Wednesday, May 31st at 4pm
Morningside Heights Branch
2900 Broadway at 113th Street
Thursday, June 1st at 4pm
If you earned $64,000 or less in 2016, you may qualify for free tax return preparation services!
You may file in person at your local NYC Free Tax Prep site. For most sites, your income for 2016 must be $54,000 or less.
There are more than 200 NYC Free Tax Prep sites in all five boroughs.
IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparers help you claim deductions and credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and NYC Child Care Tax Credit (NYC CCTC).
Some sites let you drop off your tax documents and pick up the completed return later.
Use this map to find your nearest NYC Free Tax Prep site.
You may file online if your income for 2016 is $64,000 or less.
The online service is quick, easy, and secure.
Step-by-step instructions help you claim deductions and credits like the EITC and NYC CCTC.
Experts are available by phone to answer questions.
Donate your old cellphones at Assembly Member O'Donnell's Office
Throughout the month of March, 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.*
You may have noticed that construction on the Citibank building on Broadway between 111th and 112th streets has stopped. Citibank has assured me that work is on schedule, and the momentary pause is due to Citibank waiting on permits required for the next phase of work on the core and shell. Work should resume this month.
For constituents who need help with housing issues, my office has a full-time housing specialist that can assist you.
Call Joyce Goodman at (212) 866-3970 to make an appointment.
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