New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
This week we're watching a few interesting City Council hearings, including oversight hearings about city bail reforms and the MTA Fast Forward plan -- see below for details on those and more. We're also watching for more on the deal to bring Amazon to Queens; what the commission tasked with recommending pay raises for state legislators and executive branch commissioners will put forward; and more.
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. It's also "Reform Week" in the Gotham Gazette-City Limits "Agenda 2019," so we'll be focused this week on issues like voting and campaign finance reform, government ethics reform, and other related topics that will (or at least should be) on the agenda for next year in Albany and at City Hall. The state pay raise commission fits into that picture, of course.
***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
The run of the week in detail:
On Monday evening, Mayor de Blasio will make his weekly appearance on NY1's Inside City Hall, during the 7 an 11 p.m. hours.
At 10 a.m. Monday, Governor Cuomo will be in Schenectady for the funeral for Trooper Jeremy VanNostrand.
At 7:40 a.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will appear live on AM 970's The Joe Piscopo Morning Show. At 9:30 a.m., Stringer will host the annual meeting of the "Advisory Council on Economic Growth Through Diversity and Inclusion" at his offices.
At 9 a.m. Monday, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will visit a computer science lesson and make an announcement at PS 25 Eubie Blake School in Brooklyn.
At 9 a.m. Monday, "New York City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr. will hold a press conference...with other elected officials, representatives from the Crown Heights North Association, Community Board 8, Friends of Brower Park, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and others...at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. They will unveil a maquette (scale model) of a statue of Shirley Chisholm to be installed in nearby Brower Park in the next year. Also in attendance will be renowned African American artist, Sterling Brown, who will design the statue in conjunction with the Crown Heights North Association."
At the City Council on Monday:
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Committees on Criminal Justice and Justice System will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing on the city’s bail system, as well as to discuss proposed laws requiring the city to inform inmates, defense attorneys, and court personnel when bail is set at $1, to remove fees associated with bail payments by credit card, and to allow “online bail payment to be made by direct deposit and electronic check.”
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m. to discuss sidewalk cafes.
--The Committee on Standards and Ethics will meet at 12:30 p.m. to discuss a proposed law “amending reporting and donor disclosure requirements for organizations affiliated with elected officials.”
--The Committee on Education will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding physical education in city public schools, to discuss a proposed law requiring the “Department of Education to report on funding for after school athletics,” and to discuss a resolution calling on DOE to “ensure that all students have equitable access to after-school athletic activities and associated funding.”
--The Committees on Public Safety and Mental Health will meet jointly at 1:30 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding how to address the opioid crisis in the Bronx.
At 10 a.m. Monday, the MTA’s Special Finance Committee will meet.
At 10:30 a.m. Monday, the Assembly Standing Committees on Codes, Health, Governmental Operations, and Alcoholism & Drug Abuse will meet jointly at Babylon Town Hall in Babylon, Suffolk County for a public hearing regarding the potential legalization of marijuana.
At noon Monday, Make the Road NY will rally on the steps of City Hall to demand the state Legislature pass the Dream Act and Drivers’ Licenses for All.
At 4:30 p.m. Monday, the CUNY Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing at LaGuardia Community College. Activists plan to pack the room and express concerns regarding Amazon HQ2, which CUNY has come out in support of.
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, the MTA will hold a public hearing on proposed fare and toll hikes at the College of Staten Island’s Springer Concert Hall.
At 6:30 p.m. Monday, Teens Take Charge will host “The Ones Left Behind: Testimony from NYC Students” at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Main Branch, allowing city public school students to give testimony about “how it feels to be left behind in the nation's largest and most segregated school system.” Also speaking will be Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times Magazine.
At 7 p.m. Monday, U.S. Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will join Senator Bernie Sanders and others for a national town hall on the topic of climate change. Ocasio-Cortez will discuss her “Green New Deal” proposal. The town hall will be streamed on Facebook Live.
At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to energy efficiency in buildings, including proposals to establish an “Office of Building Energy Performance” to oversee the development and implementation of energy efficiency policy for buildings, establish new limits on greenhouse gas emissions for existing buildings, establish a “sustainable energy loan program,” greatly expand retrofit requirements for large buildings, and update energy efficiency grades.
--The Committee on Transportation will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding New York City Transit’s Fast Forward plan.
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, before the aforementioned environmental protection committee hearing, there will be a rally outside City Hall in support of the bills being heard. Participants will include "bill prime sponsor Costa Constantinides and other Councilmembers and more than 100 New Yorkers from a wide range of organizations including ALIGN-NY, DSA-NYC, EDF, Make the Road, New York Communities for Change, People’s Climate Mobilization, Sunrise Movement, NY Working Families, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, 350NYC and 350Brooklyn." They will rally "for a #GreenNewDeal4NYC before a hearing on historic, globally-unprecedented city council legislation with banners and other dynamic visuals. The legislation would fight climate change and create good jobs by requiring all large buildings in the city, the top source of the city’s climate pollution, to slash their pollution by over 80% by upgrading to high energy efficiency standards."
At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the Center for an Urban Future will host “Rethinking CUNY for a Changing Economy” at the Greene Space in the West Village. The event will discuss CUNY’s role in a shifting economy defined by tech jobs, automation, and the need for postsecondary degrees, and how CUNY should shift to keep up with the changing economy. Speakers will include Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College; Tamar Jacoby, President of Opportunity America; Randy Moore of COOP; Eric Westphal of Cognizant; and Kenneth Adams, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Bronx Community College.
At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the New York Housing Conference will host its 45th Annual Awards Program at the Sheraton Hotel in Times Square. U.S. Representative and newly-elected House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries will deliver keynote remarks. Other speakers include prominent individuals in politics, real estate, and advocacy. Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max will moderate the first panel of the day, which will discuss what’s ahead with regard to housing policy in 2019 with REBNY’s John Banks, state Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblymember Steve Cymbrowitz, and Thomas McMahon of TLM Associates.
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, several advocacy groups, including WE ACT for Environmental Justice, the Sunrise Movement, 350 Brooklyn, the Democratic Socialists of America, and others will rally on the City Hall steps in support of the environmental bills being debated at the Council to establish limits on pollution from large buildings.
At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Assembly Standing Committees on Labor and Judiciary will meet at 250 Broadway for a public hearing regarding wage theft.
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and representatives of Empire State Development will hold a public open house at the Ingersoll Community Center in Fort Greene to solicit public input on how to spend a recent $10 million from the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
At the City Council on Wednesday: The Committees on Public Housing and Aging will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “senior services and centers in NYCHA.”
At 8 a.m. Wednesday, New York City Transit President Andy Byford will join Crain’s at the New York Athletic Club for a “Business Breakfast Forum” regarding the Fast Forward Plan and “its effect on commuters and contractors, transit funding, and reforming the culture of New York City Transit.”
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Higher Education will meet in Albany for a public hearing regarding “maintenance of effort” for SUNY and CUNY.
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting at 120 Broadway.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the MTA will hold a public hearing on proposed fare and toll hikes at the New York Power Authority Building in White Plains.
This week’s Max & Murphy on WBAI radio will air at 5 p.m Wednesday, and will focus on voting, ethics, and campaign finance reform. Tune in at 99.5FM or wbai.org, or find the show on your favorite podcast platform thereafter. Guests will include two leaders of the new “Fair Election for New York” campaign: Jessica Wisneski, Legislative and Campaigns Director for Citizen Action of New York and Alison Hirsh, Vice President and Political Director for 32BJ SEIU.
At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the New York City Campaign Finance Board will hold a meeting of its Voter Assistance Advisory Committee.
At the City Council on Thursday: The Committee on Health will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the New York Health Act, the proposed state-level single-payer health care program, and to discuss a resolution calling on the state to pass the bill.
At 9 a.m. Thursday, the Center for New York City Affairs will host a forum on the status of Raise the Age implementation, and whether it’s what reformers intended. Speakers will include Marcus Campbell, a member of the Raise the Age Implementation Board; Felipe Franco of the Administration for Children’s Services; Dana Kaplan of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice; Cincere Wilson of the Center for NYC Affairs; Antoinette Kennedy of Man Up Inc; and Shanduke McPhatter of Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes.
At 11 a.m. Thursday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health will meet in Albany for a public hearing regarding “access to mental health and developmental disability services and supports.”
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Museum of the City of New York and CityLab will host “Alternate Visions: Bold Proposals for Housing New Yorkers,” discussing out-of-the-box solutions for the housing affordability crisis. Speakers will include Deyanira Del Rio of the New Economy Project, Mo George of Picture The Homeless, Roseanne Haggery of Community Solutions, Howard Husock of the Manhattan Institute, and Will Spisak of Chhaya CDC.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance will host a “Brooklyn Climate Justice Forum” at El Puente in Williamsburg, discussing how “the climate crisis and environmental racism are impacting our lives” and potential solutions. Speakers will include Annel Hernandez of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Lourdes Perez-Medina of UPROSE, Leslie Velazquez of El Puente, and Anthonine Pierre of the Brooklyn Movement Center.
Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday at 10 a.m.
At 10:30 a.m. Friday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries will meet in Albany for a public hearing regarding the role of public libraries in their communities, and the challenges facing libraries.
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max