Newsletter

Rising to the Occasion!

74624191_10157251489050783_2020534623867502592_n
Dear Neighbor,
For many of us, this week is the beginning of an unprecedented scenario that just a few weeks ago seemed impossible. However, the next few weeks presents an opportunity for all of us to rise to the occasion. As your Councilman, and more importantly as your Pine Hills neighbor, I have faith in the ability of all of us as a community to work together to get through this.

There are many businesses in our community, particularly our restaurants and bars, that face a great deal of uncertainty with the new regulations that are now in effect. I urge everyone with means to continue to support our small businesses that remain open as much as they can. If you order takeout or delivery, don’t hesitate to tip generously – the folks who work at these establishments will definitely appreciate it.

Our seniors and those of our neighbors who are immuno-compromised are most vulnerable in this situation and need our help. As neighbors we need to make sure that they are looked after. If you know a senior or other individual who is struggling in this new environment, be a good neighbor and help them out if you can. If not, let me know if any individuals are in need of assistance and I will do my best to make sure they have what they need.

Finally, I urge everyone to listen to the authorities throughout this situation. The reason for these new rules and regulations is to try and reduce the anticipated strain this virus will have on our healthcare system. I know these are sacrifices to make, but ultimately our neighborhood and our city will come out stronger.

As your Councilman, despite this unprecedented situation, I am still here to assist with anything 10th Ward residents or businesses will need. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is an issue or concern you have.

Thank you and together we will get through this.

Owusu,

About Owusu

Owusu Anane is a grade school teacher and basketball coach at Woodland Hill Montessori School, in Rensselaer, and is an Assistant Varsity Football Coach at Albany High School.

Owusu moved to Albany for college and graduated from the University at Albany with a BA in History. As a student he was involved in politics, interning at the New York State Legislature and volunteering for numerous campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. He worked for Senator Kevin Parker, Senator Cecelia Tkaczyk and served as a Session Assistant for current United States Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY8), when Mr. Jeffries was a member of the NYS Assembly.

Motivated by his desire to serve the community and to empower everyday people through participating in the political process, Owusu was elected to the Albany Common Council to represent the 10th Ward (consisting of Albany’s Pine Hills Neighborhood) in 2017. Owusu is the first Ghanaian-American elected to office in the city of Albany and the first person of color to represent an Albany city council district that is not minority-majority.

As Councilman, Owusu has sponsored legislation to waive civil service exam fees for veterans and co-sponsored legislation banning “conversion therapy” in the City of Albany. More recently, Councilman Anane has been increasing his accessibility to his constituents by organizing a series of community meetings around the Pine Hills neighborhood known as “Council on the Corner” on Saturdays throughout the Summer. Councilman Anane has been instrumental in promoting efforts to save taxpayer money, helping small businesses, repairing neighborhood infrastructure and improving local parks.

He is also a member of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association; the Elks Lodge Fraternity; and a Minister of Hospitality for St. Vincent de Paul Church.

FAIR SHARE 4 ALBANY

51943283_10156887471156664_7143508774869794816_n
Dear Neighbor,
Winter is here, and it came with a bang.
Last month we faced record sub-zero temperatures and more than 12 inches of snow, which is an unusual weather combination, even for Albany, and yet we persevered. When the snowfall ended, we had to face the negative windchill to shovel our sidewalks. So many of us helped seniors and disabled neighbors shovel out and it was great to see these acts of kindness.
I want to thank our city’s DGS workers for braving the elements to make sure our city’s streets were plowed and for removing snow from city sidewalks. And Albany’s first responders assisted with this effort to assure that our roads are safe.
An update from City Hall:
I will introduce legislation which will require the City of Albany to place visual markers 15 feet on either side of the city’s fire hydrants to properly designate “no parking” areas. This new legislation, if passed, will eliminate the uncertainty for drivers and more importantly ensure that our firefighters and first responders have sufficient access to the hydrants. This legislation is co-sponsored by my colleague 6th Ward Councilman Richard Conti.
A few weeks ago, I joined the overwhelming majority of Councilmembers in voting against a $1.5 million bond to pay for initial costs for the proposed Albany Skyway. While, I am not opposed to this project, I don’t believe that the city should focus a substantial portion of its financial resources on this project, when there are more pressing infrastructure needs such as street and sidewalk repairs, making investments in our playgrounds, and improving our water and sewage system. These other projects are more of a priority to our city. I hope that city officials can work with the Council to come up with a better alternative to securing funds for this project.
The city’s 2019 budget includes $12.5 million in Capital City Funding, and so far New York State has not committed to providing this funding. If our city is to continue moving forward, without making painful cuts to vital services, it is important that this funding is secured. As the New York State Legislative session is already underway, I will work with city leaders to assist with the efforts to secure this vital funding from the state.
You can get your taxes prepared for free, if you are an Albany County resident and made less than $54,000 last year. Call 2-1-1 or visit GetFreeTaxPrep.org for more info or to make an appointment. You can also prepare and efile your taxes for free through the NYS Dept. of Tax and Finance website, provided you meet certain income and eligibility requirements: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/efile/default.htm.
Local Community Events in or around the 10th Ward:
  1. Pine Hills Neighborhood Association Meeting on Thursday, February 21st at 7pm at the La Salle School, Hanner Cultural Center, 391 Western Ave. Guest speaker is Jordan Carleo-Evangelist. UAlbany Community Outreach Coordinator. Presentation will include the current status of the Schuyler Building project.
  2. Just a reminder that the Public Meeting for Neighbors with the Developers of the proposed building at 237 Western Ave will take place THIS FRIDAY, February 15th at 7pm in the Hanner Center at the LaSalle School (391 Western Ave). Come and learn more about the plans and ask questions.
  3. Albany Common Council Black History Month recognition on Wednesday, February 20- 5 pm at Albany City Hall. Each year, the Common Council celebrates Black History Month by honoring neighbors from each ward in the city. Join me in congratulating this year’s 10th Ward honoree and Pine Hills Neighborhood association member Maxine Smalling
  4. Free Laundry Service at Dirty Harry’s. St. Andrew’s church is expanding its free laundry nights at Dirty Harry’s Laundromat on Madison to two nights per month, the second and fourth Wednesdays. The next laundry event will be this coming Wednesday night, February 13. All are welcome to come and wash their laundry courtesy of St. Andrew’s and Dirty Harry’s.
To address your concerns, discuss any issues, or if you need assistance, feel free to contact me at Anane4Albany@gmail.com or (518) 763-7083.
Best Regards,
Owusu

Happy Holidays !!

Dear Neighbors

I hope this email finds you well. Can you believe it’s December already and that we’re less than a month away from 2019? I can hardly believe it.With all that has happened in the 10th Ward and the City of Albany this year, I’m happy to report that our community and our city continues to progress and move forward. As your Councilman, I will work to continue that momentum.        

Here’s a recap of some of the positive developments in our community and city:

  • Legislation I sponsored to waive civil service exam fees for our city’s veterans, was approved by the Albany Civil Service Commission and passed by the Common Council.
  • I voted to pass legislation that revised our city’s policies to better address the issue of vacant buildings throughout Albany.
  • I joined Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Recreation Commissioner Jonathan Jones in announcing new playground equipment to be installed in the Madison Avenue Park, thanks to an $100,000 donation from KOMPAN, a playground equipment manufacturer. (You can read more about this exciting development here: https://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2018/09/15/UN08632)
  • I initiated the “Council on the Corner” series of meetings in the summer as a way to provide a new option to reach out to 10th Ward constituents directly.
  • I voted to pass a city-wide ban on the inhumane practice of so-called “conversion therapy” in Albany. Conversion therapy has been proven to have lasting psychological harm on LGBTQ individuals subjected to it.
  • I oversaw the rehabilitation and repair of sidewalks on Morris Street and South Lake Avenue.
  • I gladly co-sponsored a number of events in our community including the last September’s “Meet, Munch & More” gathering at Madison Park, and the summer outdoor movie series “Movies Under the Stars”.
  • I introduced a  resolution supporting Assemblymember John McDonald’s bill to cut the vacant building time frame down.
  • I hosted our first annual July fourth picnic at three senior homes in the ward.
  • I welcomed new restaurants in the 10th ward – Kismet Mediterranean Restaurant, Cuckoo’s Nest, and, last week, Moliendo Cafe .

47194405_1974313089271719_2044808864196460544_n

While I am proud of the progress in the 10th Ward and the City of Albany, we still have have work to do. From now and into the new year, I look forward to working with my Common Council colleagues and the Mayor’s office to:

 

  • Waive civil service exam fees for recent high school graduates in the City of Albany.
  • Continue efforts to invest in our city’s parks and infrastructure.
  • Work to secure additional bike racks for our ward’s Midtown Neighborhood, which includes Madison Ave, Quail St., Western Ave., and Ontario St.
  • Finalize  the purchase of our city’s streetlights from National Grid and instal new LED street lighting with smart node capabilities that will allow our city to develop a municipal internet service.
  • Pass  legislation to implement an equity agenda for the City of Albany.
  • Work with the city to get sidewalks on Woodlawn to protect neighbors and children who enjoy walking to Little League games.
  • Establish the 10th Ward’s first ever “Restaurant Week” to highlight the great restaurants in our area.

 

My vision for the 10th Ward is to ensure the 10th Ward remains a great place to live, work, and raise a family. That means making sure our streets are maintained and designed for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle owners alike; promoting economic development in our community; proactively addressing quality of life issues in our community; and ensuring that our children have every opportunity to learn, grow, and flourish in our neighborhood.

Internships –If your son or daughter is looking for an internship, or needs a letter of recommendation please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and look forward to working with you all to continue making the Pine Hills neighborhood the pride and joy of the City of Albany. Moving forward in the coming months, I wish you and your families a very happy and healthy holiday.

To address your concerns, discuss any issues, or if you need assistance, feel free to contact me via email at Anane4Albany@gmail.com or by cell phone at (518) 763-7083.

 

Local Community Events in or around the 10th Ward:

 

  1. Pine Hills Elementary in conjunction with the New Albany Neighborhood Association, Pine Hills Neighborhood Association, and Police Station, is hosting an evening of caroling on Friday, December 14th. From 6:15-7:00 we will have refreshments in the cafeteria, as well as student readings of their own seasonsonal writing pieces and student artwork on display. At 7:00 we will all walk to the police station together to enjoy the Tree Lighting and caroling until 7:30. We invite the community to please join us!

*Save the Date* Join Councilman Owusu Anane‘s friends and family for a Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 22nd at 5:00pm at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall at 375 Ontario Street, Albany NY 12208. A relaxed evening of fun and connecting! Free of charge.Light refreshments will served

 

                  Phone: 518-763-7083         Email: Anane4Albany@gmail.com

 

  • Quality of Life concerns — Use “See, Click Fix” to report quality of life concerns including unshoveled sidewalks, illegal trash, issues with buildings (issues with buildings will be directed to the Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance — the direct number to that department is 518 -434-5995), and more. You can also call DGS directly at 518 434-CITY to report quality of life issues.
  • Loud student parties on your block? Reach out to Luke Rumsey at UAlbany’s Neighborhood Life.  Luke’s email: lrumsey@albany.edu / Committee on University and Community Relations Off-Campus hotline: 518 442-5888.
    • 10th ward beat cops:
      • If you live in the 10th ward on Partridge Street or west, your beat cop is Joe Acquaviva. His email address is: jacquaviva@albany-ny.org  If you live in the 10th ward between Partridge St and S Lake, your beat cops are Sheila Couch (days) and Nate Ensel (nights). Their email addresses are scouch@albany-ny.org and nensel@albany-ny.org.
      • If you live in the 10th ward east of S Lake (e.g. the Thurlow Terrace building), your beat cop is Joe Lynch — his email address is: jlynch@albany-ny.org.

 

  • Animal Control (518) 462-7107. Reach out to animal control to report issues like dead squirrels or skunks in the road or issues with domestic animals.

                                   Working hard to represent you.

Best Regards,

Owusu Anane

 

City of Albany’s 2019 Budget

budget-2

Dear Neighbor,

November is a busy month for many of us. Families are coordinating plans for the holiday season, neighbors are cleaning up the leaves in their yards, and local businesses are gearing up for the the winter shopping season.

This month is also a busy month on the Council, as we  are reviewing and deliberating on the City of Albany’s 2019 Budget. These decisions are crucial as it determines how the city will spend its money, and it helps guide city policy for the new year. With this in mind, I am working to make sure that the final budget that passes is one that is fair and beneficial to the residents and businesses of the 10th Ward.

Here’s an update on what I’ve been doing in City Hall:

The Common Council’s Finance Committee voted to move legislation to adopt the 2019 budget out of committee for consideration by the full Council , which will occur during the November 19th meeting.  The city’s trash fee no longer exempts single family homes from paying the fee. Property owners will now be charged $90 per housing unit, each year, for curbside trash collection. This revised fee is a more equitable means of providing a stable stream of income. The Albany landfill is expected to close in 2026, which will eliminate a source of revenue that has effectively subsidized our cost of trash collection. The City is exploring other financing alternatives including a “pay as you throw” system. I discuss this and the budget in greater detail in this article  –https://blog.timesunion.com/pinehills/the-people-speak-albany-residents-talk-to-the-common-council/11615/

At the Council’s November 5th meeting we voted to pass a resolution that authorized the Mayor to enter into an agreement to purchase the street lights in Albany from National Grid. Additionally, the Council is considering a bonding ordinance to finance the purchase. The Finance Committee will meet at some point later this month to consider the proposed financing plan. This transaction, if completed, will allow the city to switch from traditional light bulbs to energy efficient LED lighting that has the potential to save the city millions of dollars in energy costs. The city will then have the option to provide high-speed wireless internet service, by installing 5G antennas on the poles, which will make the possibility of implementing of municipal internet system a real possibility in the City of Albany.

As you shop during the holiday season, please remember that November 24th is Small Business Saturday and support local businesses, especially those in the Pine Hills Neighborhood. Dollars spent in the community are dollars that stay in the community and grow the local economy.

Owusu Anane

10thward Councilman

Don’t “Boo.” VOTE!

45541240_1940335569336138_3391090268915630080_n

Are you upset about the direction our country seems to be going? Are you concerned about today’s political climate? Well, today is the time to speak up.

This year, all Members of Congress and a third of the US Senate, every member of the New York State Senate and Assembly, as well as a number of statewide and local public officials are up for re-election.

This year’s Election Day is the most important in recent political history, so if you want a say in the political direction of our country and our community, make sure that you come out and vote. I will be doing so and voting for the whole Democratic ticket, and I encourage everyone to do the same, if you want our communities and our country to begin moving in the right direction.

And when you vote, make sure you vote down the line for the local positions too. For my friends in the 10th Ward and Albany County, that includes two very important judicial races. I urge you to cast your ballots for Judge Peter A. Lynch and Judge Margaret Walsh for NYS Supreme Court. These two individuals are highly qualified and are committed to integrity and basic fairness of our local judicial process.

If we want to see improvement in our communities and our country, we can’t just complain. We must do our part in electing the right people to office. As President Obama said, “Don’t boo! VOTE!”