Daniel J. O'Donnell

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Daniel J. O'Donnell
ODonnellHeadshot.png
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 69th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 2003
Preceded by Edward C. Sullivan
Personal details
Born (1960-11-17) November 17, 1960 (age 53)
Queens, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) John Banta
Residence Morningside Heights, New York City
Alma mater George Washington University
CUNY School of Law
Profession lawyer, politician
Website Official website

Daniel J. O'Donnell (born November 17, 1960) is a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly, representing the 69th district in Manhattan, made up of the neighborhoods of Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, and portions of the Upper West Side and West Harlem. He is also the older brother of entertainer Rosie O'Donnell.

In 2008 he was considered by New York Governor David Paterson to fill the Senate vacancy created by the appointment of Hillary Rodham Clinton as President Obama's Secretary of State.[1] Paterson ultimately appointed upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to the seat.[2]

O'Donnell was the legislative sponsor of the Marriage Equality Act during its successful passage and signature into law on June 24, 2011.[3]

Early life[edit]

Born in Queens, New York, O'Donnell is one of five siblings; American entertainer Rosie O'Donnell is his younger sister. Raised in Commack, New York on Long Island, he attended The Catholic University of America before transferring to George Washington University for his B.A. and received a J.D. degree from CUNY School of Law at Queens College.

Career[edit]

He first ran for the legislature in 1998, making an unsuccessful bid for the New York State Senate in the 30th district, losing the Democratic primary to Eric Schneiderman. When Assemblyman Edward C. Sullivan announced his retirement in 2002, O'Donnell was one of eight Democrats who entered the race to succeed him. In the crowded primary election held on September 10, 2002, O'Donnell won 34 percent of the vote, twice as much as his nearest competitor. In the general election that followed, he prevailed with 82 percent of the vote.[4]

O'Donnell was the first openly gay man elected to the New York State Assembly and currently serves as one of six LGBT members of the New York Legislature, alongside Assemblymembers Deborah Glick, Micah Kellner, Matthew Titone and Harry Bronson, as well as Senator Brad Hoylman.[5][6] His campaigns have frequently won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

He ran uncontested in the 2008 and 2010 general elections.[7][8][9]

Committees[edit]

In the 2011 legislative session, O'Donnell serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Ethics and Guidance, as well as Chair of the Subcommittee on Criminal Procedure of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. He also serves on a number of full committees, namely:

  • Committee on Codes
  • Committee on Education
  • Committee on Environmental Conservation
  • Committee on Judiciary
  • Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation
  • Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports

Legislation[edit]

On June 19, 2007 O'Donnell ushered the Marriage Equality Act, a bill that would have legalized gay marriage in New York State, to passage by a vote of 85–61. Although the bill passed the Assembly and had the support of then-Governor Eliot Spitzer, the Republican-controlled State Senate did not take up the measure. O'Donnell once again led the fight for a same-sex marriage bill in 2009,[10] shepherding it to passage twice more, by a vote of 89–52 in May,[11] and by a vote of 88–51 in December. O'Donnell introduced the Marriage Equality bill in the Assembly for the 2011-2012 legislative session on May 10, 2011. The Marriage Equality Act was passed by the NYS Assembly on June 15, 2011, and passed the NYS Senate and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo slightly before midnight on Friday, June 24, 2011.[12]

O'Donnell was also the prime sponsor of the Dignity for All Students Act, New York's anti-bullying law.[13] The law was signed into law by Governor Paterson on September 8, 2010, and was one of the first laws in New York history to explicitly include protections based on gender identity and expression.[14]

Personal life[edit]

O'Donnell has lived in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan with his partner, John Banta, for over 20 years. Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, they married on January 29, 2012.

In 2011, O'Donnell was featured in Out Magazine's "Out 100," the magazine's list of the year's 100 most inspiring individuals.[15]

On Sunday, January 29, 2012, O'Donnell married his partner of 31 years, John Banta. The ceremony and reception were attended by over 400 people including NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, NY State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, many of his colleagues from the Assembly and State Senate, family, and friends. The couple were married by Judith Kaye, the former chief justice of the state Court of Appeals, New York's top court.

He has been interviewed in periodicals for the "Bear" community.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (December 30, 2008). "Interviewing for the Job of U.S. Senator". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Hakim, Danny; Confessore, Nicholas (January 23, 2009). "Paterson Picks Gillibrand for Senate Seat". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Assembly Bill A08354". New York State Assembly. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  4. ^ "Election results". Board of Elections in the City of New York. 2002. 
  5. ^ Shapiro, Julie (2012-06-11). "New York Elections 2012" (–). Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  6. ^ "Brad Hoylman Wins Handily in Senate Primary" (–). Gay City News. 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  7. ^ "Election Results 2008: New York State Legislature". The New York Times. 2008. 
  8. ^ "Election Results 2010: New York State Legislature". The New York Times. 2010. 
  9. ^ "Assembly Election Returns: November 2, 2010" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2010. 
  10. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (May 12, 2009). "Assemblyman Makes Gay Marriage Bill Personal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  11. ^ Peters, Jeremy W. (May 13, 2009). "N.Y. Assembly Passes Gay Marriage Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  12. ^ Blain, Glenn (June 24, 2011, edited June 25, 2011). "Gay marriage legal in New York State after Senate passes historic bill 33-29". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  13. ^ Raferty, Isolde (June 23, 2010). "Antibullying Bill Goes to the Governor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  14. ^ Schindler, Paul (October 6, 2010). "Paterson Signs Anti-bullying Law". Gay City News. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  15. ^ "17th Annual Out100". Out Magazine. November 11, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  16. ^ Michael Goldberg, "Danny O'Donell: Attorney, Assemblyman ... Bear!" A Bear's Life Autumn 2005, Cover, 18-19.

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Edward C. Sullivan
New York State Assembly, 69th District
2003–present
Incumbent