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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 1


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Mayor Bill de Blasio is in Iowa, where he has been since Friday and remains until Tuesday, campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

In New York, the big weekend news was that Democratic Assembly Member Todd Kaminsky, of Long Island, officially declared his bid for state Senate. Kaminsky, who was immediately endorsed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is running for the seat vacated by former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was forced from office after he was convicted on federal corruption charges.

As the week begins, joint legislative budget hearings continue in Albany. In New York City, we're anticipating several key developments this week:

There will be a hearing Wednesday of the City Planning Commission, at which it is expected to pass Mayor de Blasio's two citywide zoning changes, with tweaks, and send them to the City Council. The Council will hold hearings on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) next week, on Feb. 9 and 10.

Also Wednesday, the Council will hold a hearing on its plan to raise pay for the city's elected officials and reform some Council rules, like making the position full-time and eliminating bonuses for chairing issue committees. There is some controversy involved, though, because the Council did not have a public hearing before drafting its plan, and its plan includes bigger raises than those recommended by an independent compensation commission.

On Thursday, Mayor de Blasio will deliver his State of the City address - in the evening this year, he recently announced, so that more members of the public are able to tune in.

And on Friday, the City Council is expected to vote through those pay raises for themselves and other elected officials, while also voting on the mayor's plan to limit the carriage horse industry.

It's going to be a busy week! As always, there's a great deal happening all over the city, with many events to be aware of - read our day-by-day rundown below.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
The New York State Legislature is in session on Monday, each house will hold session, and there will be a joint legislative budget hearing about housing at 10 a.m.

On Monday, members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will present his "Built to Lead" agenda at a variety of events around the state.

At the City Council on Monday:

  • At 11 a.m., the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections will meet “on the appointment of Shin-pei Tsay to the New York City Art Commission.”
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Finance will meet for an oversight hearing about “The City’s Efforts to Combat Real Property Deed Fraud.”
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Technology will meet on two bills related to information security and another related to city agencies disposal of electronics.

The New York Association of Counties will kick off its three-day 2016 Legislative Conference at Albany’s Desmond Hotel and Conference Center on Monday. At the conference, “matters ranging from the State budget and its impact on local government, renewable energy, the heroin epidemic, Uber and Airbnb” and other issues will be discussed. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and other officials are featured speakers.

At 9:30 a.m. Monday in Long Island City, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC DOT, and NYC DDC will announce the Long Island City/Hunters Point $30 Million Reconstruction Project as part of the City’s Vision Zero Initiative.

At 11 a.m. Monday at her Manhattan office, “Public Advocate Letitia James will announce a lawsuit against the NYC Department of Education (DOE) for failing to provide children with disabilities a free and appropriate public education. This is the second lawsuit Public Advocate James has filed against the DOE regarding students with disabilities.”

Also at 11 a.m. Monday, there will be a World Hijab Day press conference at City Hall, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will participate.

At noon Monday at City Hall, "Communities United for Police Reform, advocacy and community organizations, and community members and New Yorkers" will hold a press conference to announce a request for an official investigaiton into the NYPD.

At 6 p.m., the New York City Bar Association will host a program called “How to Get on the Ballot in NYC” with former state Senate Minority Leader and private election law practitioner Martin E. Connor; Sarah K. Steiner, Chair of City Bar Election Law Committee and private election law practitioner; Jerry Goldfeder, private election law practitioner and chair of City Bar NYC Affairs Committee; and Steven Richman, general counsel at the NYC Board of Elections.

At 6 p.m., the School of Visual Arts will host a symposium about “health inequalities in East Harlem” with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., Arnhold Global health Institute Director Dr. Prabhjot Singh, East Harlem tenants’ activist Carmen Quinones, Strive co-founder Rob Carmona and community leader Clyde Williams. It will be moderated by Cheryl Heller, Chair of Design for Social Innovation at SVA.

At 7 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Lunar New Year Celebration.

On Monday evening, several elected officials and many others will attend the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 50th Anniversary Gala.

Tuesday
The New York State Legislature is in session on Tuesday and will also have two joint legislative budget hearings: a 9:30 a.m. joint legislative budget hearing on taxes and a 1 p.m. joint legislative budget hearing on economic development.

At 8 a.m., de Blasio administration officials will give an information session about the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability zoning amendments at the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

At noon, City Council Member Dan Garodnick will discuss “Midtown East Rezoning: What’s Next?” at the Cornell Club for the B’nai B’rith Real Estate luncheon.

New York City charter school staff and parents will head to Albany on Tuesday for “Advocacy Day 2016.”

Wednesday
At the City Council on Wednesday: At 10 a.m., the Committees on Governmental Operations and Rules, Privileges and Elections will meet on four bills and two resolutions. The first bill will give pay raises to Council members, the mayor and other city elected officials. The other three bills and the resolutions are also related to compensation. [Read: City Council Announces Bill to Raise Pay, Reform Position]

The New York State Legislature will have joint legislative budget hearings on Wednesday: a 9:30 a.m. hearing on mental hygiene and a 1 p.m. hearing on workforce development.

At 8 a.m., a policy forum about “Green Preservation of Multi-Family Affordable Housing” will be hosted by the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, NYU Wagner and Enterprise Community Partners at 295 Lafayette Street.

The City Planning Commission will have a public meeting at 10 a.m. at 22 Reade Street in Manhattan, at which it is expected to pass the mayor’s zoning amendments, called Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability, with their tweaks, and send them to the City Council.

Thursday
The New York State Legislature will have a joint legislative budget hearing on “Public Protection” at 9:30 a.m.

At the City Council on Thursday:

  • At 10 a.m., the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management will have an oversight hearing: “Update Concerning Local Law 77 of 2013, Which Created a Curbside Organics Collection Pilot Program.”
  • At 1 p.m., the Committees on General Welfare and Education will have a joint oversight hearing on “DOE’s Support for Students who are Homeless or in Temporary Housing.”

At 6 p.m., the Center for New York City law is hosting “Police Use Of Force: A Discussion of NYPD’s New Policy”, which it is co-sponsoring with the Impact Center for Public Interest Law and the Criminal Justice Project. Representatives from the NYPD, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Civilian Complaint Review board will speak.

At 7 p.m., Mayor de Blasio will deliver his State of the City address at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx. The address was “moved to the evening to ensure that more New Yorkers will be able to watch and engage.”

Friday and the weekend
At the City Council on Friday: The Council will have a full-bodied Stated Meeting at noon.

At a gala on Saturday, the Human Rights Campaign will be honoring Gov. Cuomo and actress Sigourney Weaver at the Waldorf Astoria. Cuomo is receiving the organization’s National Equality Award.

[Read: Concerns of 'Voter Fatigue' as New York Schedules Four Election Days]

***
Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? E-mail Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max any time: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Ryan Brady and Ben Max
@GothamGazette



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