A New Era

It's been a difficult few weeks for many of us. As we enter this new uncertain political climate, it's more important than ever to stay active and engaged. To that end, I'm committing myself to keeping all of you informed on a more regular basis. Starting today, I'll be sending out regular email newsletters every two weeks. These emails will include information about upcoming neighborhood events, political actions and important local and national news. I hope you'll find it interesting and inspiring.

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Tropical Storm Hermine - Be Prepared!

As you head out for Labor Day weekend, please take a few moments to make sure you're prepared for Tropical Storm Hermine, which is predicted to hit our area late Saturday night. According to the National Weather Service, the storm is expected to bring strong rip currents, high surf, coastal flooding, heavy rain, and strong winds.

The city has already announced that all NYC beaches will definitely be closed for swimming on Sunday, and possibly on Monday and Tuesday as well. The city is also considering bridge restrictions depending on wind conditions.

You can find storm preparation tips and forecast updates at the Office of Emergency Management's website: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/index.page

While this storm is not expected to be as severe as Super Storm Sandy, these types of weather systems can be unpredictable, and it's important to be prepared.

Please stay safe, and have a happy Labor Day weekend!

Let's Dump Trump!

In just 84 days Americans will go to the polls to elect our next President. While we've been watching news reports of Donald Trump's imploding campaign, we can't take anything for granted. Please join me in ensuring a safe and prosperous future for our country by helping to elect Hillary Clinton, as well as a Democratic Congress. We don't want to wake up on November 9th wishing we'd done more - the time to get involved is now!

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Cold Weather - What to Do

As temperatures drop well below freezing tonight, it's important that we take care of ourselves and our neighbors. Here are some helpful tips from the New York City Office of Emergency Management:

  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors who may need assistance to ensure they are adequately protected from the cold.

  • Community members that identify someone on the street they believe needs assistance should contact 311 and ask for the Mobile Outreach Response Team. The Department of Homeless Services will send an outreach team to the location to assess the individual's condition and take appropriate action.

  • If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, bring him or her someplace warm and seek medical help immediately or call 911.

Also remember, in New York City, the law requires that your landlord provide heat at the following levels from October 1through May 31:

From 6 am to 10 pm: If the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature must be at least 68 degrees everywhere in your apartment.

From 10 pm to 6 am: If the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees, the inside temperature must be at least 55 degrees everywhere in your apartment. (source: Met Council on Housing)

If your landlord is not providing with you with heat, call 311 for assistance.

Stay safe and warm,


NYC Marathon - What You Need to Know

Like thousands of other New Yorkers, I plan to spend some time this Sunday lined up along First Avenue cheering on the NYC Marathon runners! But as with all big events, there will be some inconveniences to folks trying to get around Manhattan. Below you'll find a list of street closures here on the Upper East Side. You can also click HERE for a full list of changes throughout Manhattan.

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Ain't No Party Like a Democratic Party!

 Photo: Josh Clennon

Last night I attended the biennial NY County Democratic Committee Meeting.

The meeting got off to a slightly late start due to a lack of quorum (according to Party rules, there must be at least 250 County Committee members in attendance, and at least 25 CC members from 7 different Assembly districts.)

Once quorum was reached, Jeanine Johnson was elected temporary chair of the meeting, and proceeded to read the names of all the County Committee members being nominated to fill vacancies on the County Committee.

To give some background on this, every 2 years Democrats are elected to fill spots on the County Committee. This year each Election District was allotted two County Committee members apiece. Many clubs petition these people on the ballot - if the races are contested, then the top two vote-getters become members of the County Committee. If the races are uncontested, then the nominees are automatically elected. But there are inevitably vacancies, either because clubs do not run people in every ED, or because ties occur and no one wins. In those cases, the District Leaders for a particular Assembly District Part can submit names to the County Committee which can then vote to appoint those members to the Committee.

So, back to the meeting. Jeanine read many, many names of nominees and when the list was done being read, the Committee voted to appoint everyone to the County Committee. Here in the 76th Part B, Adam Roberts and I appointed 9 members to the County Committee: Frank Wilkinson, Abraham Salcedo, Ahmed Tigani, Monica Atiya, Linda Howes, Stephen Phebus, Dan Wald, Justin Kelton and John Wagner.

Once the vacancies were filled, Nico Minerva was elected Chair of the County Committee and Ben Yee was elected Secretary. The Committee then voted to approve the Party rules, unchanged from 2013.

Nico then proceeded to chair the elections for the remaining Party officers: 1st Vice Chair - Louise Dankberg, 2nd Vice Chair - Maria Luna, 3rd Vice Chair - Ernestine Bell Temple, Treasurer - Darrell Pastor, Vice Treasurer - Milagros Garcia, Sgt at Arms - Earl Scott.

Keith Wright gave a brief County Leader report. He reminded people that Democratic judicial delegates are allotted based on how many votes the Democratic line receives in the gubernatorial race, and encouraged folks to vote on the Dem line.

(I'll editorialize here for a moment to say that "help us get more judicial delegates!" is not a particularly inspiring campaign slogan. If we want more people to vote the Dem line, we should do a better job of putting out good Democratic candidates and making it clear why the Democratic Party deserves your vote.)

So that was it! A few more County Committee vacancies were filled before the meeting was adjourned, and Scott Stringer stopped by to congratulate the newly elected County Committee. But all in all it was a very smooth meeting and we adjourned before 8pm.

Wanna learn more about the Manhattan Democratic Party? There's a website! www.manhattandemocrats.org 

Judicial Convention

Last night I attended the 2015 NY County Judicial Convention. Four judges were nominated to fill upcoming vacancies on the NY Supreme Court: Hon. Ray Bruce, Hon. Tanya Kennedy, Hon. Arthur Engoren, and Hon. Arlene Bluth.

So what happens now?

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One Week Left!

Election Day is one week away! On Thursday, Sept. 10th voters will go to the polls, and if we're going to win this, we need your help.

1. If you live in the 76th Assembly District Part B, make sure you vote! You can find your poll site here: http://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/
Polls are open from 6am to 9pm. This election is expected to have extremely low turnout, so every vote will matter!

2. Come out and volunteer! To sign up for a shift on Election Day, click HERE. Even an hour of your time can make a huge difference.

3. Remind your friends to vote! Do you know anyone who lives on the Upper East Side? (More specifically, from 78th Street to 92nd Street, between 3rd Ave and East End?) If so, encourage them to vote.

See you on the campaign trail!

Make Sure Your Vote Will Count!

In just over 6 weeks, voters will be heading to the polls for the 2015 Primary elections. Make sure your vote will count!

First, check to make sure your voter registration is up to date here: http://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/

If you've recently moved or need to update your registration, you can do so here: http://vote.nyc.ny.us/html/voters/voters.shtml

Remember, the deadline to register for the Sept. 10th Primary is August 14th. You can click HERE for the full list of voting deadlines in New York.

Finally, if you are a registered voter, but you will not be in New York onSeptember 10th, you MUST apply for an absentee ballot by mail by September 3rd, or in person by September 9th. You can find absentee ballot applications here: http://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingAbsentee.html

In local races like ours, even one vote can make a difference, so make sure your vote will be counted!

My Letter to the DEC

Below is a copy of the letter I have sent to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation urging them to revoke the operating permits for the 91st Street Marine Transfer Station. To send your own letter to the DEC, click HERE.


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