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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 22


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Tuesday will mark two weeks until Election Day, November 6. As the week beings, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and Republican nominee Marc Molinaro have agreed to a Tuesday one-on-one debate, which will be broadcast live on CBS radio during the afternoon and aired at 7 p.m. on CBS TV. The agreement came after much jockeying, name-calling, and negotiations among the two campaigns and others, including The New York Post and CBS radio, which appeared to have significant influence in getting Cuomo to agree to a debate.

Molinaro and the other candidates for governor -- Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins, Libertarian Party nominee Larry Sharpe, and independent Stephanie Miner -- have also agreed to a debate being hosted by the League of Women Voters of New York State later this week (details to-be-finalized) that all parties are also trying to convince Cuomo to attend.

We're also awaiting more news about other debates for statewide positions of Comptroller, Attorney General, and U.S. Senator. The only debate for the four statewide positions on the ballot that has occurred thus far is one among the four candidates for state Comptroller (watch it here).

Multiple debates scheduled to air on NY1 were either canceled or thrown into limbo after Democratic candidates Letitia James, running for Attorney General, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said they would not participate due to ongoing labor issues between Spectrum, which owns NY1, and IBEW Local 3, wherein IBEW members have been on strike for well over a year. James' debate with Republican Keith Wofford is tentatively scheduled for later this month (Tuesday, October 30), but James said she would not participate if it means breaking a picket line. A Comptroller debate on NY1 is also still on the books for next week (Monday, October 29), with incumbent Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a Democrat, not yet indicating any change in plans. Gillibrand and her Republican challenger, Chele Farley, have now agreed on a 30-minute debate to air on ABC TV on Sunday, October 28 at 11 a.m.

As the campaigning and debate negotiations in the statewide campaigns continue, there is much attention on the battles to determine control of the New York State Senate and in key House races that will figure into which party controls the lower house of Congress. New York Democrats are optimistic on both fronts, with State Senator Michael Gianaris, who chairs the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, outlining roughly 10 seats he believes are in play as his party attempts to net at least one seat and take control of the chamber.

Meanwhile, there is also government happening. The City Council has a very busy week of hearings, including one on Monday to discuss one of the most controversial city bills over decades: the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which, in its current iteration, would institute new rules for small business lease negotiations with landlords in an attempt to help more small businesses stay afloat and avoid immense increases in their rents. The hearing is among a variety of oversight and other hearings scheduled this week -- see details below.

Also, it’s Queens week for Mayor de Blasio’s City Hall in Your Borough initiative, which includes announcements, a town hall, and a resource fair, among other events and programs. Details on that and much more -- see the day-by-day rundown below.

As always, there's a great deal happening all over the city, with many 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?
Email 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
This week, the de Blasio administration will host its third “City Hall in Your Borough” of 2018, this time in Queens.

At 3 p.m. Monday at the Ridgewood YMCA in Queens, “Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner O’Neill will host a press conference to make an announcement on neighborhood policing.” “In the evening, the Mayor will appear live on NY1’s Inside City Hall. This appearance will be cancelled if a labor picket line is active outside of NY1’s studio.”

On Monday, First Lady Chirlane McCray will hold two public events that are closed to the press: she and Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson will visit Interfaith Medical Center and she will attend the Bring Change to Mind Gala.

At the City Council on Monday:
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “resiliency in the face of sea level rise,” as well as to discuss a resolution “calling on the United States Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider the proposals made in the New York - New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to consider sea rise in addition to storm surge.”
--The Committee on Small Business will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a proposed law “creating a small business lease program for establishing an environment for fair negotiations in the commercial lease renewal process in order to determine reasonable lease terms.”

At 9 a.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will host “International Corporate Governance Network New York Conference” at Convene Conference Centre in Manhattan.

At 11 a.m. Monday, “Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., will head to Mercy College to urge cyclists from all over the world to participate in the 24th annual Tour de Bronx, which takes place on Sunday, October 28.”

At 1 p.m. Monday, WAMC Northeast Public Radio will host a debate for candidates in the 19th Congressional District at the Linda WAMC Performing Arts Studio in Albany. Incumbent Republican John Faso, Democrat Antonio Delgado, Green nominee Steve Greenfield, and independent Diane Neal will participate.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission will hold a “public education forum” at Brooklyn College’s Ingersoll Hall to provide information on and explain the commission’s three proposals on the November ballot to Brooklyn residents.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, TransitCenter will host “Time to Take it Back? Can New York City re-take control of its subways and buses?” at One Whitehall Street, discussing whether control over the city’s subways should return to local control and the positives and negatives associated with both state and local control. TransitCenter Executive Director David Bragdon will moderate a panel consisting of venture capitalist Bradley Tusk, Rachael Fauss of Reinvent Albany, and consultant Peter Peyser.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Association for a Better New York will host City Council Member Carlina Rivera at its “What’s On Tap” happy hour at District Social NYC in Midtown.

Tuesday
At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committees on Housing & Buildings and Health will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “NYC’s cooling towers,” as well as to discuss several proposed laws relating to cooling towers, including to require “an assessment of potential determinants of Legionnaires’ Disease in the city.”
--The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet at noon.
--The Committee on Juvenile Justice will tour the Horizon Juvenile Center in the South Bronx at 1 p.m.
--The Committee on Aging will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “repairs and upgrades at NYC senior centers.”
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 2 p.m.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Education will meet in Albany for a public hearing regarding “school health, mental health, and physical education.”

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Board of Standards and Appeals will hold a public hearing at Spector Hall.

At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold a city resource fair at Elmcor Youth & Adult Activity in Corona.

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting.

Governor Cuomo and Republican challenger Marc Molinaro will debate on CBS radio Tuesday afternoon, with the debate televised on CBS in the 7 p.m. hour.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Spectrum News will host a debate for candidates in the 19th Congressional District at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock. Incumbent Republican John Faso and Democratic challenger Antonio Delgado will participate. The debate will be moderated by Spectrum’s Liz Benjamin and Jeevan Vital.

Wednesday
At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Committee on Women will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence,” as well as several proposed laws relating to services for survivors of domestic violence.
--The Committee on Sanitation will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the city’s “2018-2019 Snow Plan,” as well as to discuss a law relating to “increasing penalties on chain businesses for failure to remove snow, ice and dirt from sidewalks.”
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m.
--The Committee on Public Housing will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “preparing for the winter: heat and hot water at NYCHA developments.”
--The Committee on General Welfare will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “ACS preventive services and family enrichment centers.”

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the MTA will hold its monthly full board meeting.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Donovan Richards will hold a town hall meeting at PS 42 in Rockaway.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Brooklyn Historical Society will host “The Path to a Post-Rikers NYC,” discussing “questions on accountability, bail reform, borough-based jails, inmate release, and the persistent inability to operate a humane criminal justice system” that come with the plan to close the facility. The New York Times’ Ashley Southall will moderate a panel consisting of Akeem Browder, an activist and the brother of the late Kalief Browder; Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance; Dana Kaplan, Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice; and Vera Institute Program Director Insha Rahman.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Agora and Rebuild Penn Station will host “The Future of Penn Station” at the W83 Ministry Center on the Upper West Side, discussing proposals to alleviate the litany of issues plaguing Penn Station. Justin Shubow of the National Civic Art Society will moderate a panel consisting of writer Kevin Baker, architect Richard Cameron, Community Board 5 District Manager Wally Rubin, Dani Simons of the Regional Plan Association, and Samuel Turvey of the Rebuild Penn Station Steering Committee.

Thursday
At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law “banning companies that charge a fee for ‘student debt relief’ already provided by the federal government.”
--The Committee on Justice System will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “pay parity and retention rates for ADAs and public defenders,” as well as to discuss a proposed law relating to “establishing a temporary task force on pay parity for public defenders and assistant district attorneys with city agency attorneys.”
--The Committees on Immigration and Governmental Operations will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “Local Law 30 of 2017: language access implementation plans.”
--The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “ensuring the short and long term preservation of the city’s natural forest.”

At noon Thursday, the State Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting in Albany.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the New York City Bar Association will host a discussion on the topic of criminal discovery reform in New York State. Sergio de la Peva, of New York County Legal Services, will moderate a panel consisting of Administrative Judge Joseph Zayas, John Schoeffel of the Legal Aid Society, and Manhattan Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m. Friday.

At 11 a.m. Sunday, the debate between Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her Republican challenger, Chele Farley, will air on ABC-7.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez will deliver his 2018 State of the District speech at George Washington High School in Washington Heights.

***
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 Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max
@GothamGazette



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