I stayed home yesterday to watch the inauguration with my family. Possibly a mistake, as I found myself repeatedly breaking down in tears, much to the kids’ displeasure and disgust. At first, they made fun of me, but eventually that got old, and their teasing tapered off into exasperated eye-rolling. Still, I stand by my emotion!
Beyond the positive new policy direction on climate change, immigration, international engagement, racial justice, and more, and beyond the long-overdue prospect of a competent national COVID strategy, yesterday’s changing of the guard felt more fundamental. An assertion of decency and kindness and truth — a reaffirmation of faith in democracy — after a dark period in which these core American values were under siege.
Nothing is permanent in politics, and if the last few years have demonstrated anything, it is that liberal democracy is fragile, but perhaps that very knowledge will impel us all to be better custodians of the Republic and better examples to the world.
One notable local connection. I was delighted to learn that Rev. Leo Jeremiah O’Donovan III, who delivered a beautiful invocation at the beginning of the inaugural ceremony, is a graduate of Iona Prep. Glad that New Rochelle was represented in this small way at such an important occasion.
It’s a new day for America, with the hope that every new day brings. Let’s make the most of it. Good luck, President Biden and Vice President Harris, and thank you.
Following the issuance of new federal guidelines, Governor Cuomo announced today an expansion of COVID eligibility to include New Yorkers 65 and older. All other eligible categories remain unchanged from those included in the State’s 1b roll-out yesterday.
Reservations are required. To schedule your vaccine, visit ny.gov/vaccine or call the State hotline at 833-697-4829.
Vaccinating millions of New Yorkers is an overwhelming logistical challenge, and many residents have experienced obstacles and delays. State authorities have committed to expanding the number of vaccination sites, and we expect that the process will become more efficient over time. But, for now, patience and persistence may be necessary.
Please remember also that this phase of vaccination will extend over several months, so while you should try to make your appointment as soon as possible, the scheduled date of your vaccination might still be a ways off.
The vaccine is safe and effective — and essential to the recovery of our community and nation. Everyone who is eligible should sign up to receive it. Please spread the word.
Educators, First Responders, and seniors 75 and over are now eligible for the COVID vaccine. A moment ago, I sent the following message citywide, encouraging eligible residents to schedule their vaccination. It’s vitally important that we all do our part.
(Today’s expansion of vaccine eligibility follows a rocky vaccine roll-out in New Rochelle last week, which I explained more fully in this post from yesterday.)
This is the City of New Rochelle with important information about the COVID vaccine.
Para espanol, oprima numero uno.
Effective today, New York State has authorized the COVID vaccine for all educators and first responders, and for all people over the age of 75. If you are eligible, please register and schedule your vaccine through the State website at ny.gov/vaccine.
The vaccination process will take many weeks, so while you can and should sign up immediately, please understand that your scheduled date to receive the vaccine might still be a ways off.
The COVID vaccine is safe and effective. It’s been studied rigorously by scientific and medical experts, and has already been safely administered to millions of people. Vaccination is the only way for our community and nation to overcome the COVID crisis and recover fully. If you’re eligible, please get your vaccine.
In the meantime, with nearly 900 active cases of COVID in New Rochelle, we all need to continue acting responsibly: wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and avoid large crowds.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re not there yet, and each of us must do the right thing to get to the other side.
Again, visit the State website at ny.gov/vaccine for vaccine information, and you can always visit newrochelleny.com/coronavirus for comprehensive local resources.
This has been Mayor Noam Bramson. Thank you for listening, and stay safe.
UPDATE: As an alternative to online scheduling, beginning at 4:00pm on Monday, January 11, the State will maintain a COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
Catie, Jeremy, Owen and I extend best wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday season. May 2021 be a year of hope, peace, joy, and health.
It’s over, and when all the votes are counted, Joe Biden’s margin of victory in the national popular vote will be in the range of four to five percentage points — slightly more than Obama’s margin over Romney and considerably more than Bush’s over Kerry. I get that we choose our Presidents through the electoral college (although we shouldn’t), but let’s not fall into the trap of confusing the tabulation of electoral votes for an accurate measure of national will. The choice of the American people is clear and unambiguous.
Like many Democrats, I eagerly wanted an even more sweeping repudiation of Donald Trump and a decisive Senate majority. The outcome fell short of that standard and leaves me — just as in 2016 — disoriented by the political preferences of so many millions of my fellow citizens.
But for those of us who have spent the last four years fearing for our democracy, astonished by the normalization of hatred, self-absorption, and corruption, and perpetually wearied by anxiety, disbelief, and despair, it is an overwhelming relief today to take a full, clean breath, express pride once again in the next leader of our country, and feel a greater measure of hope for the future.
Hope is not naivete. The conditions and attitudes that brought Donald Trump to the White House will not simply vanish, our democratic institutions remain fundamentally flawed, the President’s likely refusal to concede graciously (or concede at all) will complicate the peaceful transfer of power, and the intensity of feeling on both sides presages a difficult struggle to heal divisions and bring our nation together. Hard work ahead. Time to begin. God bless America.
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 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
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.
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
- It is not too late to register to vote for the November general election. For Westchester County residents, voter registration forms must be submitted to the Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas St, White Plains, NY, 10601. To be eligible to vote in the November 3rd election, the voter registration form must be postmarked or delivered in person by Friday, October 9th. New York state residents with a valid drivers license may also register online at https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application.
- If you have moved within Westchester County and would like to update your registration, the Board of Elections must receive your change of address by Wednesday, October 14th. You can update your address by submitting a new voter registration form by mail, in person at the Board of Elections, or, if you have a valid New York State drivers license, through the DMV portal.
- Download the Voter Registration form: