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Mystery Photo

Question:  What is this object?  If you can identify it successfully, then you deserve some sort of special prize.  I had no clue.  The answer follows below.

 

Answer:  It’s part of the pool on the roof deck at 14 Lecount, being lowered into place at the construction site.  The photo below makes things a little clearer.  A neat image!

Register to Vote

 

Today is National Voter Registration Day — an important reminder to be sure you are prepared to vote in this year’s election.  You can find links to voter registration forms and also information about different ways to cast your ballot safely, with deadlines for each, by visiting newrochelleny.com/elections. You can also visit vote411.org for helpful, non-partisan tips from the League of Women Voters. The last day to register is October 9, so don’t delay.

Our Democracy is Broken

This article from Ron Brownstein points out an important and disturbing fact.  If Republicans succeed this year in seating a new Justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then a majority of the Supreme Court will have been nominated by Presidents who lost the popular vote and confirmed by Senators representing less than half the country.  Decades of Supreme Court decisions — not to mention countless other laws and executive actions — will flow from the flawed, deeply undemocratic nature of the U.S. Senate and the Electoral College, which now routinely permit the few to rule over the many.

That’s not how things are supposed to work. Democratic institutions are supposed to provide for the orderly conversion of majority will into public policy, while also protecting minority rights. The stability and success of democracy depends on all sides perceiving this process as just; the winners demonstrating restraint in the knowledge that power is impermanent, the losers accepting government action as legitimate, even when they disagree with the specifics.

By contrast, America is suffering today from something like a national auto-immune disorder, with the core principle of majority rule coming under assault from the very electoral and legislative institutions that are supposed to protect it.  Our democracy is broken.

What’s more, it’s broken in ways that warp the character of our two major parties. In a healthy system, parties would work symmetrically to change minds and win votes within a democratic framework to which they are equally committed.  Instead, one party is frighteningly open to authoritarianism and voter suppression, perceiving its partisan interests to be in conflict with democratic norms. The other is increasingly disillusioned and desperate, as its voters become functionally disenfranchised.

What’s the answer?  Here are some possibilities:

•  Popular Election of the President

•  Ranked-Choice Voting

•  Election of the Senate by National Party List

•  Fixed Terms for the Supreme Court

Fundamental Constitutional reforms like these are sometimes thought to be radical solutions, but, given the present crisis, defense of the status quo strikes me as more radical and dangerous by far.  Our democracy will not survive a persistent and widening gap between popular will and the exercise of power.

Get Your Flu Shot!

Mayor Noam Bramson gets his flu shot

This morning, I joined the pharmacy team at New Rochelle’s Stop and Shop to get my flu shot.  There’s more information in this press release.  Getting your annual flu vaccine is always a smart thing to do, and this simple step takes on special urgency right now, as we all work to avert a potentially dangerous interaction between the flu and COVID-19 and ensure that our health care system doesn’t get overwhelmed this fall.  Having taken aggressive measures to confront COVID since March, New Rochelle understands the high stakes better than almost any community in America, so let’s once again act responsibly by getting ourselves vaccinated.

Update: Here’s coverage on WCBS-TV.

Please Take This Survey

Please take this survey.  We are asking New Rochelle residents to give us their personal impressions of the City’s planning and development process.  Your answers will help establish a baseline that we can use to track progress, as we roll out an innovative virtual reality app in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.  This press release has all the details.

New Rochelle is committed to innovative, inclusive community planning.  Through this initiative, we can expand participation in the development process, while also making engagement more constructive and fun.

“Outside the Box” this Fall

New Rochelle’s “Outside the Box” recreational activities for youngsters were very well-received this summer, so we are keeping a good thing going, with new park programming from September 22nd through October 16th.  Activities include kayaking, zumba, yoga, and fitplay.  Call 914-654-2087 for information.  The registration deadline is September 17th.  Here’s more information and an application form.

How to Vote

This year, we have the choice of voting in-person on Election Day, voting in-person at an early voting site, or voting by mail/absentee.  I had planned to write a post describing these options in greater detail, but because Assemblywoman Amy Paulin did exactly that in a recent email, I have the luxury of simply copying and pasting her words.  Many thanks to Amy for her excellent and comprehensive round-up.  Whichever option you choose, be absolutely certain to cast a ballot!  Take it away, Amy . . .

 


Mail-In (Absentee Ballot) Voting

How to Request an Absentee Ballot

  • To receive an Absentee Ballot, a voter must submit a request/application. Voters can begin requesting Absentee Ballots immediately. Voters requesting an Absentee Ballot due to risk of contraction of COVID-19 should check the box for “temporary illness or physical disability.”
  • In most cases, if you submitted an Absentee Ballot application for the June 23rd Primary, you will need to submit a new application, even if you checked the “general election” box on your original application.
  • You can download the Absentee Ballot Application from the Board of Elections
  • For Westchester County voters, the Absentee Ballot application may be submitted
    • By email to BOE-WestAbsentee@westchestergov.com by Tuesday, October 27th;
    • By fax to (914) 995-7753 or (914) 995-3190 by Tuesday, October 27th;
    • By mail to the Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601, postmarked no later than Tuesday, October 27th; or
    • In person at the Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601 by Monday, November 2nd.
  • Additionally, New York State has launched an online Absentee Ballot Application Portal. Since the portal has never been used before, I cannot vouch for its effectiveness, but those wishing to use the portal can find it at https://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/.
  • Do not wait to apply for an Absentee Ballot! Despite the posted deadlines, the County Board of Elections will have many ballots to process, and the post office has advised that they cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before the election (Monday, October 19th).
  • After an application is received and processed, ballots will be mailed out beginning September 18th.

How to Return a Completed Absentee Ballot

  • Completed Absentee Ballots must be returned by mail or in person using one of the following methods.
    • By mail, either with a postmark dated no later than Tuesday, November 3rd or without a postmark and received by the Board of Elections no later than Wednesday, November 4th.
    • In person at the Westchester County Board of Elections no later than Tuesday, November 3rd at the close of polls (9:00 pm).
    • In person at any Westchester County Early Voting poll site during voting hours between Saturday, October 24th and Sunday, November 1st. Dates and times for Early Voting poll sites are listed below. If you drop off your Absentee Ballot at an Early Voting poll site, you will not be required to wait in line.
    • In person at any Westchester County Election Day poll site on Tuesday, November 3rd. If you drop off your Absentee Ballot at an Election Day poll site, you will not be required to wait in line.

Note on In-Person Voting After Requesting an Absentee Ballot

  • All voters who request an Absentee Ballot are still eligible to vote in person, either using Early Voting or on Election Day. This includes voters who never receive their Absentee Ballot or voters who are worried that their returned Absentee Ballot will not arrive in time at the Board of Elections. If a voter does mail a completed Absentee Ballot and also votes in person, only the in-person vote will count. That voter’s Absentee Ballot would be set aside during the counting process.

In-Person Voting

Election Day – Tuesday, November 3rd

  • In-Person Voting will occur on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. On Election Day, voters must vote at their assigned poll site.

Early Voting – Saturday, October 24th through Sunday, November 1st

  • All registered voters may choose to vote Early instead of on Election Day. Registered voters in Westchester County may vote at ANY of the 17 Early Voting poll sites listed below during any of the following days and hours.
  • Early Voting Hours
    • Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 from noon until 5 p.m.
    • Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 from noon until 5 p.m.
    • Monday, Oct. 26, 2020 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 from noon until 8 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
    • Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 from noon until 8 p.m.
    • Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
    • Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020 from noon until 5 p.m.
    • Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 from noon until 5 p.m.
  • Early Voting Poll Sites – voters may vote at ANY site
    • Eastchester Public Library, 11 Oakridge Place, Eastchester, NY 10709
    • New Rochelle City Hall Annex – 90 Beaufort Place, New Rochelle, NY 10801
    • Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601
    • Dobbs Ferry Village Hall, 112 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
    • Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Avenue, White Plains, NY 10607
    • Veterans Memorial Building, 210 Halstead Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528
    • Pound Ridge Town House, 179 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY 10576
    • Mamaroneck Town Center, 740 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
    • Mt. Kisco Memorial Complex at Leonard Park, 1 Wallace Drive, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
    • Mt. Pleasant Community Center, 125 Lozza Drive, Valhalla, NY 10595
    • Mt. Vernon City Hall, 1 Roosevelt Square, Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
    • Joseph G. Caputo Community Center, 95 Broadway, Ossining, NY 10562
    • Peekskill Nutrition Center – Neighborhood Center, 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, NY 10566
    • Somers Town House, 335 Route 202, Somers, NY 10589
    • Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10710
    • Riverfront Library, One Larkin Center, Yonkers, NY 10701
    • Yorktown Cultural Center, 1974 Commerce Street, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Register to Vote

Policing Review Committee Invites Public Input

New Rochelle’s Policing Review Committee is inviting public input at three virtual meetings next week.  This page contains more detail, as well as information about how to register to speak or submit comments online.  These initial public sessions are an opportunity to voice perspectives on Policing in an open-ended fashion, while future public sessions will invite reaction to specific proposals and recommendations.

The Committee has structured the meetings by neighborhood to ensure input from different parts of our city, but if you are not free for the session designated for your neighborhood, it’s fine to sign up on a different night.

 

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