Dear Friends:

Happy Hanukkah to everyone beginning their celebrations tonight. May the Festival of Lights bring you and your family with hope, happiness and health. I understand how challenging it is to be hosting small celebrations this year with only those in our household. I miss my children and grandchildren dearly, and I look forward to hosting them for a big family dinner when the pandemic is over. I encourage those doing their holiday shopping to shop local. Small businesses need our support more than ever, and I have gathered some helpful information below to make that a little easier. Check out the Shop Local for the Holidays section below to support a small business in your area for holiday shopping. 

Over the past week, I was glad to join my Senate Conference for a virtual retreat where we unanimously re-elected my colleague and friend Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins as our Majority Leader. I am immensely proud to work with her. She has been an extraordinary leader during this challenging time and has a unique gift of bringing people together, making them feel heard, and leading us to move NY forward. You can read more about Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in a recent profile about her time in leadership here. After the retreat, the Majority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly released the Legislative Calendar for 2021. For those unfamiliar with the legislative session, in reading the calendar, session days are days we work in Albany, discussing and passing legislation. While the 2021 legislative session will be very different, we have much work to do and we are ready to address our communities’ many pressing issues. The calendar is available here.  

My colleagues and I continue to focus on the upsurge in positive COVID-19 cases in Port Chester and elsewhere in Westchester. On Thursday, we hosted an event in Spanish to disseminate important information about curbing the spread of the virus. We have continued to meet with small businesses in Port Chester who are struggling especially while the area is an Orange Zone. I am hopeful we can get them some relief soon! In addition, there are two scheduled days for free COVID-19 testing in Port Chester on December 13th & December 16th. More details below.
Port Chester COVID-19 Virtual Summits
& Mobile Testing Site
On Thursday, December 3rd, I co-hosted an event with County Executive George Latimer, Assemblyman Steve Otis, Port Chester Mayor Fritz Falanka and County Legislator Nancy Barr for an important meeting with NYS and Westchester County officials to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in Port Chester. We are doing all we can to spread information and ensure the public knows about all of the resources available to help them through this upsurge in new COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday, December 10th, we hosted the same event in Spanish. Click here to watch the event in Spanish. Thank you to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office for coordinating these events and ensuring all hands are on deck to help Port Chester beat back COVID-19.

I know this is incredibly difficult for residents, as well as small businesses that are struggling to survive. My colleagues and I are doing all we can to help control the spread of the virus, identify sources of support for small businesses, and rely on the best and evolving science in business closures.  

Free COVID-19 Mobile Testing Site in Port Chester
A new mobile testing site will be available in Port Chester to help residents get tested. To make an appointment, fill out the form in English here or the form in Spanish here.

Sunday, December 13th
10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Port Chester, Municipal Parking Lot behind Neri Bakery

Wednesday, December 16th:
10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Port Chester Municipal Parking Lot behind Neri Bakery

Insurance is not required. There is no co-pay for the COVID-19 test and individuals will not be billed for the test if they do not have insurance.
Westchester County Association Roundtable
On Wednesday, December 9th, I participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Westchester County Association. We discussed the need for a federal stimulus package for state & local governments and public schools. State revenues have been decimated due to the pandemic, and we need federal support to avoid devastating cuts to education and essential services & programs. The roundtable also discussed taming the upsurge in COVID-19 cases, infrastructure investments, and healthcare funding.
Ribbons of Remembrance Ceremony
Ribbons of Remembrance Memorial at Lenoir Nature Preserve in Yonkers.
On Thursday, December 3, I was honored to join Westchester County Executive George Latimer for Westchester County's Ribbons of Remembrance memorial paying tribute to those we lost to COVID-19. My heart goes out to all of the families who are celebrating the holidays with an empty seat at the table. With heavy hearts, we will get through this together. Learn more about the Ribbons of Remembrance here.

Managing Mental Health During the Pandemic
Thank you to those of you who emailed me your favorite activities for managing anxiety and loneliness during the pandemic. Here are a few suggestions I received:
  • Free yoga videos on YouTube,
  • Meditation/mobile applications for guided meditation,
  • Buying a bird feeder for watching birds (and the inevitable squirrels),
  • Raking leaves, and
  • Baking.

If you have suggestions for activities you've found helpful during this difficult time, let me know here or email me at, and I'll share your suggestions in a future e-newsletter. Click here for COVID-19 Resources offered by the NYS Office of Mental Health.
NYSED My Brother's Keeper Family and Community Engagement Program (FCEP) Grants Available

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced this week that school districts may begin applying for grants from the My Brother's Keeper Family and Community Engagement Program. I was glad to support the $6 million in grants for the Family and Community Engagement Program in the state budget, and I will continue to advocate for additional resources that support boys and young men of color on their path to college and career readiness.

To be eligible for the FCEP Grant, public school districts must meet one of the following criteria:
  • School districts must have a Free & Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) eligibility rate greater than 55% of district enrollment, an English Language Learner (ELL) enrollment rate greater than 1%, and a four-year August graduation rate of less than 90% at least once during the 2015-16 through 2018-19 school years. OR
  • School districts must have a FRPL eligibility rate greater than 60% of district enrollment and a four-year August graduation rate of less than 85% at least once during the 2015-16 through 2018-19 school years. OR
  • School districts must have an ELL enrollment rate greater than 3% and a four-year August graduation rate of less than 90% at least once during the 2015-16 through 2018-19 school years.

Click here for more information about the program and how to apply.

If there is anything my office can assist you with, please don't hesitate to call us at (914) 934-5250 or email me at
Kind regards,
Shelley B. Mayer
State Senator
37th District

Shop Local for the Holidays
Small businesses need our support now more than ever. If you can, I encourage you to shop local for the holidays. Chambers of Commerce throughout the district have been working hard to promote their downtowns with Holiday Shopping events and providing resources online. There are charming shops in our downtowns that have perfect gifts for your loved ones. Check out their websites below to be guided to online or in person small business shopping in your area.

Chambers of Commerce in the 37th District: 

Armonk Chamber of Commerce

Bronxville Chamber of Commerce 

Eastchester-Tuckahoe Chamber of Commerce

Harrison Chamber of Commerce

Katonah Chamber of Commerce

Larchmont Chamber of Commerce 

Mamaroneck Chamber of Commerce 

New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce 

New Rochelle BID 

Port Chester - Rye Brook Chamber of Commerce 

Rye Chamber of Commerce 

White Plains BID

Yonkers Chamber of Commerce 

Yonkers Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 
222 Grace Church Street, Suite 300
Port Chester, NY 10573
Phone: (914) 934-5250 --- Email: