Today, Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell announced his decision not to seek re-election for New York’s 69th Assembly District.
After serving with distinction and dedication, he reflects on a career filled with significant legislative achievements and expresses immense gratitude for the opportunity to represent Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, and the Upper West Side.
O’Donnell said, “Today, as I joyfully mark another year of life, I am filled with gratitude for the journey we’ve traversed and the remarkable impact we’ve made in the 69th District. The collective triumphs we’ve made fill me with immense pride and optimism for the future. As I look to the horizon, I see a generation filled with promise, potential, and passion. And so, with a heart full of hope and excitement, I share with you that I will not be seeking re-election. As I pass the torch forward to the next generation of leaders, I am thrilled beyond words at the thought of the innovative leaps, breakthroughs, and transformative changes they are destined to achieve. Today marks not an end, but a continuation of progress and a stirring reminder that the future is bright and full of endless possibilities.”
“… the first openly gay man elected to the NY State Assembly.”
O’Donnell made history in 2002 as the first openly gay man elected to the New York State Assembly. An advocate for progressive change and equality, his legislative contributions have significantly impacted New York law and improved countless lives.
Among his notable accomplishments, O’Donnell championed the Marriage Equality Act, a bill he passed through the Assembly on five separate occasions since 2007 before it was eventually enacted into law in 2011, marking a substantial advancement for equality rights in New York. He also led the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), requiring New York public schools to actively combat bias-based bullying and harassment, thereby fostering safer, more inclusive educational spaces.
In addition, O’Donnell passed key laws such as the Gender Recognition Act, which ensures all New Yorkers can access a state ID that accurately reflects their gender identity. He also successfully repealed statute 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law, promoting greater transparency and accountability in law enforcement.
Finally, as Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts, and Sports Development, O’Donnell worked to reverse a decades-long decline in the state’s art funding by securing a historic $127 million for New York’s arts sector, more than tripling the baseline funding from only a decade ago. O’Donnell’s leadership represented a significant recommitment to the arts and cultural organizations, which have always defined our state as a cultural capital.
“…new ways to contribute positively to our community…”
While O’Donnell is stepping down as an Assembly Member, his impactful contributions to New York and commitment to progress and equality will endure. “Though this chapter is closing, my dedication to public service and the pursuit of justice remains unwavering,” O’Donnell said. “I am excited to explore new ways to contribute positively to our community and state.”
O’Donnell extends his sincere appreciation for the support received throughout his tenure and looks forward to seeing the continued growth and progress of New York’s 69th District.
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