Dear Friends:

Many of you have reached out to my office to receive clarification and share your concerns regarding the Vaccine Distribution Program. My office & I are in daily communication with Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office and Westchester County government about improving the process. Approximately 300,000 doses of the approved vaccines are allocated to NYS weekly from the federal government, and we do not currently have enough doses to meet the demand. As of Monday, January 11th, New York entered Phase 1B of the Vaccine Distribution Program which includes New Yorkers 65 years and older. Many are experiencing challenges with scheduling an appointment. There are more people eligible to receive the vaccine than there are appointments or doses of the vaccine currently available.

I am pushing the state to improve its distribution and communication protocols so that eligible constituents get their questions answered. To date, I am dissatisfied with the progress of the rollout. The incoming federal administration has made vaccine distribution a top priority, and they promise to increase the pace of vaccine production once they are in control of the federal plan. We must continue to be patient until the number of doses we receive increases to meet eligibility. I am including information below that allows New Yorkers to determine if they are currently eligible to receive the vaccine and where to make an appointment. I urge you to check these resources daily as new locations are expected to open for appointments.

On Monday, January 11th, my Senate colleagues and I adopted a package of election reforms to enhance the state's absentee ballot laws. The 2020 Primaries and General Election reaffirmed the critical benefit of allowing all voters the safe and easily accessible option of voting by mail. The package of reforms we adopted this week includes expediting review and canvassing of ballots, establishing absentee ballot drop boxes, and requiring absentee ballot tracking, among other reforms. Read more below about the full package of reforms to further empower New York voters.

In addition to this week's Legislative Session, I was glad to participate in a series of meetings and events in the district, including: hosting an event regarding residential tenants' rights during the COVID-19 crisis; speaking at the North Castle Town Board meeting; speaking at the swearing-in celebration for my new colleague, Assemblymember Chris Burdick; and attending the 4th Anniversary of the Yonkers MBK (My Brother’s Keeper) program. 

I am also hosting two upcoming events: On Thursday, January 21st, I am co-hosting a tribute to Assemblyman David Buchwald for his many years of service and dedication to our communities; and on Saturday, January 30th, my Youth Advisory Council is sponsoring a Coat & Toiletries Drive in commemoration of the MLK Day of Service. More details about both of these events are included below.

As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, please don't hesitate to email me at [email protected] or call (914) 934-5250.

Warm regards,
Shelley B. Mayer
State Senator
37th District
Am I Eligible to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine? 
New Yorkers should use the Am I Eligible tool to determine if they are eligible and make an appointment at a New York State-run vaccination site. Alternatively, they can call the hotline number: 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). Pharmacies, hospitals, and county health departments are part of the vaccine distribution network. Please contact your preferred provider to schedule your vaccine appointment. I recognize that most of these locations are currently full. I urge you to check back daily as new locations open with appointments.

After making an appointment for your first dose, you must fill out the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form, available here, and bring it with you to your appointment.

As of this week, there are over 7 million New Yorkers who are eligible to receive the first dose of the vaccine, but there are not enough appointments available to accommodate all who are eligible. The State of New York receives only 300,000 doses per week from the federal government, and this limits the state's ability to supply the distribution network to meet eligibility. To learn more about the Vaccine Distribution Plan, eligibility, and more visit
Election Reforms
On Monday, January 11th, together with my colleagues in the Senate Majority, we adopted a package of voting reforms to enable greater access to using absentee ballots and ensuring they are counted in a timely manner.

Package of Election Reforms to Strengthen Absentee Ballot Laws:
  • Speeding Up the Absentee Ballot Counting Process (Gianaris, S.1027): Amends various provisions of the Election Law in order to allow for expedited review and canvassing of absentee ballots without compromising the integrity of elections.
  • Preventing Disenfranchisement of Absentee Voters (Myrie, S.253): Prohibits voiding absentee ballots on technicalities where intent of voters is clear and the law has been substantially complied with, including where there are stray marks or the ballot is undated but is time stamped by the Board of Elections.
  • Permanently Authorizing Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes (Hoylman, S.492): Authorizes the Board of Elections to establish absentee ballot drop-off locations or drop-boxes to provide voters with a convenient and secure option for delivering their absentee ballots.
  • Increasing Transparency and Information about Absentee Ballots through a Tracking System (Comrie, S.1028): ensures that all voters in the state have access to absentee ballot tracking by requiring the New York State Board of Elections to create a statewide absentee ballot tracking system for absentee voters ensure that their vote is counted in the election while allowing counties and the New York City Board of Elections to also maintain their own absentee tracking systems.
  • Implementing Permanent Authorization for Applying for Absentee Ballots Online (Jackson, S.632): Permanently allows voters to apply for absentee ballots online and allows absentee ballots postmarked through Election Day by making permanent Chapter 91 of the Laws of 2020, which sunset on December 31, 2020. Under current Election Law, applications may only be made by mail or fax.
  • Creating Accountability for Timely Receipt of Absentee Ballots (Gianaris, S.516): Establishes a mandatory timeframes for processing of absentee ballot applications and ballots by Boards of Elections based on when the application was received.
  • Enabling Earlier Applications for Absentee Ballots (Salazar, S.631): Permits Boards of Elections to receive absentee ballot applications earlier than thirty days before the applicable Election Day by making permanent Chapter 138 of the Laws of 2020, which sunset on December 31, 2020.
  • No-Excuse Absentee Voting Constitutional Amendment (Comrie, S.360): Amends the State Constitution to allow for any voter to vote by absentee without an excuse.
  • Ensuring Voters Timely Receipt of Absentee Ballots (Myrie, S.264): Sets deadline for absentee ballot applications sent by mail to 15 days before the election, up from 7 days, to better allow for voters timely receiving their absentee ballots.
I am proud to be a part of the Senate Majority Conference which is dedicated to empowering voters and breaking down barriers to civic participation.
Port Chester Restaurants Allowed to Open Indoor Dining Subject to Yellow Zone Restrictions
On Thursday, January 14th, the NYS Department of Health announced that restrictions on indoor dining in Orange Zone-designated areas were lifted. For over 8 weeks, 100-plus restaurants in Port Chester were decimated by Orange Zone restrictions banning indoor dining. Restaurants in Port Chester and in other Orange Zone-designated areas can now resume indoor dining under the rules governing a Yellow Zone because NYS agreed to extend a ruling of the Erie County Supreme Court to all Orange Zones in the state. Along with Assembymember Steve Otis, I have been pushing the Governor’s office to allow safe indoor dining in Port Chester, and I am pleased with this decision. These small businesses are committed to the health and safety of their patrons and their employees, and I am glad they can resume serving the community. Click here to learn more about this announcement.
January 30: Coat & Toiletries Drive
Sponsored by Senator Shelley Mayer's Youth Advisory Council
In honor of the MLK Day of Service, my Youth Advisory Council is organizing a Coat & Toiletries Drive on Saturday, January 30th from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, 515 North Street, White Plains, NY 10605.

Suggested Donations:
Coats (adult sized, new or gently used)
Soap, Toothpaste, & Toothbrushes
Socks, Gloves, & Cloth Face Masks

Collection will take place in the rear parking lot of the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester. Volunteers wearing face masks and gloves will collect donations from the car. No need for donors to step out of their vehicles. All donations will benefit people in need working with the Westchester Labor Alliance (WLA), a coalition of 5 community-based worker centers. WLA is committed to defending workers and fighting wage theft. Click here for a flyer to share with interested friends and family. If you have any questions about this event or are interested in joining the Youth Advisory Council, please email my staff member Perla Arellano at [email protected] or call (914) 934-5250.
January 21: Tribute to Assemblyman David Buchwald
Assemblyman David Buchwald served in the NY State Assembly for 8 years where he championed integrity in government and fought tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. Please join State Senator Pete Harckham and me, as well as local elected officials and constituents, for a tribute to Assemblyman David Buchwald.
Tribute to Assemblyman David Buchwald
Thursday, January 21, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
The event will be livestreamed on my Facebook page:
(A Facebook account is not required to watch).
Tenants' Rights During the COVID-19 Crisis
On Wednesday, January 13th, I hosted a panel on residential tenants' rights during the COVID-19 crisis. Attendees heard from Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) & Hudson Valley Justice Center (HVJC) attorneys and Westchester County about:

  • COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020
  • Current state of eviction moratoriums
  • Westchester County Housing Court procedures
  • Tenants’ rights and defenses in eviction proceedings
  • Tenants’ right to heat, hot water, repairs
  • How to get help with paying rent arrears and ongoing rent
  • Help for undocumented immigrants
  • Westchester Right to Counsel (R2C) Coalition

To watch a recording of the presentation click here (unfortunately, the recording is only available in English). The LSHV & HVJC slide deck presentation is available here in English, and Westchester County's slide deck presentation is available here in English. I will make both presentations available in English & Spanish on my website in the next few days.
222 Grace Church Street, Suite 300
Port Chester, NY 10573
Phone: (914) 934-5250 --- Email: [email protected]