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Read Pete’s Interview

Please take a few moments to read Pete Buttigieg’s interview with the New York Times editorial board, because it is a great illustration of why I am so proud to support Pete for President.  There are very few public officials, even at the highest levels, capable of discussing issues with anything close to Pete’s fluidity, depth, and thoughtfulness, evident across the full spectrum of topics, from highly-specific policy matters to broad questions of philosophy.  (And all this shines through despite the Times’ weird fixation on McKinsey.)  Pete Buttigieg will be an uplifting, transformative President and is exactly the right antidote for the toxicity of the Trump years.

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New Rochelle Farms Opens Next Week

Almost ready to open. (I snuck in to get this photo.)

The long wait is just about over.  A new supermarket — New Rochelle Farms — will open next week at the corner of Manor Place and North Avenue, ready to serve the surrounding area, including the Historic District, the Lincoln Avenue corridor, and our burgeoning downtown.  Convenient access to fresh foods is important to every neighborhood, and this addition to New Rochelle takes on added significance with the departure of Stop and Shop from New Roc City.  Read more in this press release.

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Honor MLK Through Service

Starting Saturday, January 18th, Volunteer New York! will host its 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service.  The Volunteer New York! website lists local and regional service opportunities, including:

•  A donation hub at Iona College collecting supplies for those experiencing homelessness, such as baby wipes, bar and liquid soap, body wash, deodorant, shaving cream, tampons, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, tissues, and diapers, underwear and socks (in all sizes for men and women). Bring them by Iona College, Spellman Hall from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

•  A NRPD/NRFD Blood Drive. On the MLK Day Holiday itself — Monday, January 20th — New Rochelle’s Fire and Police Departments are joining forces at Fire Station #1 on Harrison Street from 11:30am to 4:30pm to organize a community blood drive. Donors are encouraged to schedule appointments to donate blood at www.redcrossblood.org; be sure to enter sponsor keyword “NewRochelle.”  Walk-ins are also welcome.

These aren’t the only opportunities to volunteer. New Rochelle teams up with Volunteer New York! throughout the year.  Be sure to visit their website or subscribe to their newsletter for the latest information.

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New Rochelle Urges Census Participation

A thorough and accurate Census count is critically important to ensuring that New Rochelle enjoys full representation at the county, state, and federal level, and to delivering vital financial resources for housing, transportation, and other essential priorities.  That’s why the City has established a “Complete Count Committee” to work with community partners and encourage maximum participation and inclusion.  Every New Rochelle resident deserves to be counted.

Learn more in this press release or on the City website.

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Can You Do Me A Favor?

Can you do me a favor?  Would you please sign my petition to become a delegate to this year’s Democratic National Convention?  I’m on a slate of eight delegates, who are pledged to Pete Buttigieg, and we need to collect at least 500 signatures from our area this month in order to qualify for the ballot.  (A little more on that below.)  If you are willing to sign, please meet me this weekend at either of these times and locations:

Saturday, January 11th from 2:00pm to 3:00pm at the Starbucks near Iona (726 North Avenue)

Sunday, January 12th from 11:00am to 12:00pm at the Starbucks in Wykagyl (1278 North Avenue)

As another option, you can drop by Alvin & Friends Restaurant (14 Memorial Highway) any time, where our same petition will be available.

In order to be eligible to sign, you must (a) live in the 16th Congressional District of New York, meaning that Eliot Engel is your Congressman, and (b) be registered to vote as a Democrat.

Signing the petition does not obligate you to vote for Pete Buttigieg or for anyone else.  It simply allows delegates like myself to qualify for the ballot, so that the democratic primary process can occur.  The New York primary will take place on April 28th — that’s when you have to choose a candidate.

Although our local delegate slate covers the whole Congressional District, I am proud to say that New Rochelle is very well-represented.  In addition to myself, the delegate slate includes New Rochelle residents Fabiola Brito-Briseno, Sharad Khemani, and Gwen Clayton (the co-owner of Alvin & Friends.)  The slate also includes Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who represents half of New Rochelle, and Michael Clain, the former Mayor of Pelham.

I’ve never before tried to collect signatures on a petition this way, so it’s a bit of an experiment, and I am counting on my friends to show up!  If you have a couple of minutes this weekend, I would really be grateful to see you.  Coffee’s on me.

Thank you!

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Food (and Drink) Blog: Diner Brew Co

My first four samples. Eight more on the way.

A terrific addition to our downtown, Diner Brew Co at 40 Division Street is New Rochelle’s first taproom, featuring “innovative ciders and award-winning beers.”

Our party of four sampled twelve different ciders and beers during a visit last week.  (Well, in truth, I sampled all twelve myself — we took a cab home.)  A really fun way to experience craft brews, most of which are produced locally by the Diner Brew Co team, founded by New Rochelle’s own Chris Sheldon.

There’s no kitchen at Diner Brew Co, but it’s super-easy to order a delivery from several nearby restaurants.  We ordered dinner from the Wooden Spoon down the street and happily ate our takeout at the bar, while also helping ourselves to multiple servings of the complimentary fresh popcorn.

There was a lively crowd when we visited, which is no surprise given the positive attention Diner Brew Co is receiving around the region, including this recent write-up in Westchester Magazine.

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City and County Team Up to Address Homelessness

City, County, and NRPD officials at today’s announcement

This afternoon, I joined regional and local colleagues to announce a partnership that embeds County mental health professionals with New Rochelle Police officers to address the difficult challenge of homelessness. Through this collaboration, City and County officials are better able to connect vulnerable individuals to support services in an effective, humane fashion — helping more people to overcome obstacles and enjoy stable, rewarding lives, even as we make New Rochelle as a whole more vibrant, attractive, and equitable.  This press release has more information.

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New Year, New Term, New Council

The newly-inaugurated City Council. Left to right: Martha Lopez, Al Tarantino, Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Noam Bramson, Ivar Hyden, Sara Kaye, Liz Fried

Congratulations to the new and returning members of the New Rochelle City Council, who were inaugurated together in a ceremony yesterday afternoon.  It is a pleasure and privilege to work alongside such talented and dedicated colleagues.  Looking forward to an exciting and productive 2020!

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Lou, Jared, and Barry — Thank You

A bittersweet final City Council meeting of the year (and term) last night, as we said good-bye to three long-serving colleagues.

I offer sincere thanks to Lou Trangucci, Jared Rice, and Barry Fertel for their partnership, friendship, and dedicated service to the people of New Rochelle.  We are a better, stronger community because of their efforts.  And I hope each will find joy and satisfaction in the next chapters of their lives.

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