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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 22

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week will see a new member of the New York City Council elected; further debate over the de Blasio administration's housing plans; a return to Albany for state legislators in the midst of budget season; a number of interesting conferences and panel events; and much more. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will continue his push for paid family leave in New York, he participates in another rally on the policy on Monday in Rockland County.

City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito will continue efforts to get her 2016 agenda out to the public with at least one public speech, on Thursday. Part of Mark-Viverito's agenda, announced during her State of the City address earlier this month, is exploring a path toward reducing the population at Riker's Island jails and closing the jail complex. That conversation will also continue this week when a panel including correction union head Norman Seabrook and new Bronx District Attorney discusses Rikers reform - details below.

The City Council and State Legislature are back in action this week after last week's annual break that coincides with school vacation. There are session days in Albany, a City Council Stated Meeting in the city, and a variety of legislative hearings in both places. As always, there are many other events to be aware of, see 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:

At 9 a.m. Monday, schools chancellor Carmen Farina will visit The Bronx Charter School for Better Learning.

At 10 a.m. Monday in West Haverstraw, Gov. Cuomo will participate in another in a series of paid family leave rallies.

At 11 a.m. Monday in the Bronx, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will speak at a HELP USA veterans housing groundbreaking ceremony.

On Monday at 12:30 p.m. in Brooklyn, “Mayor de Blasio will host a press conference to make an announcement on applying for Pre-K for All,” at “Bishop Ford School Site – Pre-K Center.”

At the City Council on Monday

  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet to discuss repealing licensure of operators of motion picture projecting machines.
  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet to discuss the implementation of laws that would residential buildings, housing portals, and building permits for residential buildings with violations.
  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services will meet to discuss laws that would improve accessibility for people living in New York City with disabilities.
  • At 1 p.m., The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet to discuss laws that would ban the use of wastewater and natural gas waste, amend the code affecting the installation of photovoltaic systems on city buildings. They will also address issues raised by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and affected communities.

Public Advocates Letitia James will participate in the aforementioned hearing of the Council Committee on Housing and Buildings, where a bill she is sponsoring is being heard. Later Monday, James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and others will co-sponsor and delivers remarks at Rep. Jose Serrano and Sen. Jose Serrano's Black History Month celebration at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. Then, James and Stringer both deliver Remarks at the Dominican Heritage Concert being co-sponsored by State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.

At 1:00 p.m. Monday, “NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton and NYS Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo will launch state legislation that provides a critical link between New York youth and better mental health at a press conference” at 250 Broadway in Manhattan. They will be joined by City Council Member Andrew Cohen, advocates, and other stakeholders. The bill “creates a continuing education requirement for teachers relating to mental health issues.”

At 6 p.m Monday, Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, Norman Seabrook, head of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, and Darcel Clark, Bronx District Attorney, will participate in a town hall to discuss reforming Rikers Island.

At 6 p.m. Monday, Walter T. Mosley, Assembly Member of the 57th Assembly District, will give his  State of the District address at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn.

On Tuesday, voters in City Council District 17 in the Bronx will elect a new Council member to fill a vacant seat in a special election. [Read: Voters to Fill Vacant Bronx Council Seat in Special Election]

On Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo will deliver remarks at the Drive for $15 Send-Off, 9 a.m. at 1199 SEIU Headquarters in Manhattan. At 10:45 a.m., the governor will deliver remarks at a Drive for $15 stop at Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx; and at 12:30 p.m., Gov. Cuomo will speak at a Drive for $15 stop at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury.

At 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and New York University's Rudin Center will join to host a breakfast forum where they will discuss “The Rebirth of Downtown Brooklyn.” Moderator Mitchell Moss will lead a discussion among Joseph Chan, EVP, Empire State Development Corporation; Regina Myer, President, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation; Hugh O'Neill, President, Appleseed Inc.; and Tucker Reed, President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, City & State will host its fifth annual “On Technology: New York City’s Smart Initiatives” forum at the New York Institute of Technology. Maya Wiley, Counsel to Mayor de Blasio, will give keynote remarks. Then, several panels and interviews will include Jeff Merritt, Director of Innovation, Mayor's Office of Tech and Innovation, City of New York; Jessica Singleton, NYC Chief Digital Officer; Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President; and Kevin Parker, New York State Senator; among others.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday in Ridgewood, Queens: ""Council Member Antonio Reynoso will join residents of 1708 Summerfield Street in Ridgewood to call on Silvershore Management to make immediate repairs to the building so that tenants can remain in their homes."

On Tuesday at 9:45 a.m., Public Advocate Letitia James will delivers remarks at the Queens Tribune Black History Month Awards Breakfast & Panel Discussion, Greater Allen AME in Jamaica. At 11 a.m., James will speak at a press conference "announcing "Pride Night" at Citi Field with LGBT Network, NY Mets, and Major League Baseball," at Queens Borough Hall.

At the City Council on Tuesday:

  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Recovery and Resiliency and the Committee on Health will discuss the recovery of city hospitals from Superstorm Sandy.
  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Contracts will meet to discuss software purchasing and amend the code affecting free and open source software.
  • At 1 p.m., The Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services will meet for an oversight hearing on emergency response times.

Ahead of the 1 p.m. hearing on emergency response times, there will be a noon rally at City Hall led by City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, chair of the fire and criminal justice services committee; Vincent Variale, President of the Uniformed EMS Officers Union; FDNY Members of the Uniformed EMS Officers Union; and FDNY, to "call on the administration to provide EMS personnel with greater resources and better technology, and implement civil service standards and promotional opportunities."

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the "Affordable for Who?" march will take place at City Hall Park to protest Mayor de Blasio's Housing Plan. It is organized by the Real Affordability for All campaign.

“The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will hold a Public Meeting on Tuesday to take actions on its 95 backlog properties. These properties were calendared by the Commission over the past 50 years for consideration for designation, but were never acted upon.“

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, "Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton will host a press conference to make an announcement on CompStat 2.0...After, the Mayor will meet with the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of International Trade...In the evening, the Mayor will participate in a tele-town hall with New York City AARP members on the topic of senior housing."

On Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Tweed, "Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen and the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop will announce the launch of the WE Connect Mentorship program, a first-of-its-kind initiative to support the need for mentorship among underserved women entrepreneurs throughout New York City. The 17 WE Connect Mentors represent successful New York City women business owners who will provide tailored advice through in-person meetings, online chats and blog posts."

On Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., "Speaker Mark-Viverito and the African Burial Ground Task Force will host a meet up to learn more about the newly discovered African burial ground in East Harlem."

On Tuesday, the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction will hold two public hearings to “examine the issues facing communities in the wake of increased heroin abuse” - at noon in Oneonta and at 6:30 p.m. in Penn Yan.

At 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, the New York League of Conservative Voters will host a Young Professionals Happy Hour. The event “will feature guest speaker Margaret Chin of the City Council to discuss her work to place a fee on single-use plastic bags in New York City.”

Both houses of the New York State Legislature are in session on Wednesday in Albany.

On Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will vote on the de Blasio administration's East New York Community Plan. East New York is the first neighborhood that the administration is seeking to rezone as part of its larger housing plan.

At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Association for a Better New York will host a panel discussing potential reforms to prevent crises in the nonprofit human services sector. “Panelists will discuss the recently released report: New York Nonprofits in the Aftermath of FEGS: A Call to Action. The report calls for urgent reforms to prevent a looming crisis in the nonprofit human services sector, which is responsible for delivering essential government services to 2.5 million New Yorkers each year. The report will be presented by Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council. The discussion will be moderated by Gordon J. Campbell, Chair of the Non-Profit Closure Commission and Professor of Practice at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Panelists will include: Steven Banks, Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration; Paul Francis, New York State Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services; Christine Quinn, President and CEO of Win; David Rivel, CEO of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services; and Pat Swann, Senior Program Officer at the New York Community Trust.

At the City Council on Wednesday:

  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Finance will meet to discuss the Fulton Street Business Improvement District.
  • At 1:30 p.m., the Council will hold a full-body Stated Meeting. As usual, it is expected to be prefaced by a press conference led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, The Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, Commission on Solid Waste Management, Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes, and Assembly Subcommittee on Oversight of the Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a Public Hearing to discuss Electronic Waste.

At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs will hold a public meeting to examine various proposals and current programs aimed at assisting our veteran population in achieving employment opportunities.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will join with mental health professionals to host the Brooklyn Mental Health Summit. The event aims to raise awareness about the importance of mental wellness within communities.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Panel for Education Policy will hold a public meeting to vote on “proposals for significant changes in school utilization” and approve contacts.

Both houses of the New York State Legislature are in session on Wednesday in Albany.

At 8 :30 a.m. Thursday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will speak about “the council’s relationship with the de Blasio administration, how new council rules have changed the legislative process, and her agenda for 2016” at a Crain’s Business Breakfast Forum at the New York Athletic Club. Event moderators will be Crain’s editor Erik Engquist and NY1 anchor Errol Louis.

At the City Council on Thursday:

  • At 9:30 a.m., The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet.
  • At 10 a.m., the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations will meet to discuss the results of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Diversity Survey.
  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Health will meet to discuss laws that would regulate the use and selling of non-tobacco smoking products.
  • At 11 a.m., The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet.
  • At 1 p.m., the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will meet.

At noon Thursday, City & State NY will hold its NYC Power 100 Luncheon The event will recognize City & State’s 100 most powerful people in New York City.

Friday and the weekend
At the City Council on Friday:

  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Aging and The Committee on Immigration will meet to discuss serving immigrant seniors through NORCs.
  • At 10 a.m., The Committee on Civil Service and Labor and The Committee on Finance will meet to discuss health care savings under the city's collective bargaining agreements.
  • At 1 p.m., The Committee on Higher Education will meet to discuss the status of initiatives and academic opportunities for Black men at CUNY Colleges.

At 2 p.m. Friday, the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction will hold a meeting in Brooklyn “to examine the issues facing communities in the wake of increased heroin abuse.”

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 Leanna Carroll and Ben Max

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