New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
Although there is a lot happening in New York this week, a great deal of attention will also be paid to Washington, D.C., where Congress may pass a tax reform bill that would have major ramifications for New Yorkers, including by raising the overall city, state, and federal tax burden for many.
Other than the action in D.C., there will be a lot happening on Monday and Tuesday at the City Council, which is set to pass a long list of bills in its final committee and full-body hearings of the four-year session. Monday is full of committee hearings where bills must first pass, while Tuesday will feature the final full Council meeting of this Council and the tenure of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, as well as several other members who are leaving the body, either by choice or because of term limits.
At the same time, the city is awaiting more developments in the race to replace Mark-Viverito as Speaker. The vote for the next Speaker will occur on January 3, the first meeting of the next Council class.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio will be in Iowa on Tuesday for a speech at Progress Iowa's annual holiday party. That appearance, which has created more buzz around de Blasio's national ambitions and consideration of a 2020 presidential campaign, will be sandwiched in between two more local town halls for the mayor, with City Council Members Elizabeth Crowley and Laurie Cumbo. Both have had tricky relationships with the mayor -- de Blasio is unpopular in Crowley’s Queens district and she was surprisingly and narrowly defeated in her reelection bid, possibly because de Blasio dragged her down; and de Blasio’s support for the redevelopment of the Bedford-Union Armory in Cumbo’s district made him a complicated player in her contentious reelection campaign, which she won with support from de Blasio's associates, but not publicly the mayor himself.
[Listen to our recent podcast discussion with Crowley, where she discussed the mayor and her reelection loss.]
[Read our look at the Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment deal moving ahead and how it is emblematic of de Blasio’s larger, controversial approach to development.]
There's a lot happening the first few days of the week - see our day-by-day rundown below - before things quiet down ahead of the Christmas holiday.
***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:
At 11 a.m. Monday, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will be at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in Manhattan to announce aid for residents displaced by Hurricane Maria.
At the City Council on Monday, there will be a very busy final day of committee hearings, before the final stated meeting of the four-year session on Tuesday. Most of the committee hearings will see bills passed so that they can then move through the full Council the next day.
--The Committee on Transportation will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to street safety and bollards.
--The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “cleaning park playground equipment after the spraying of pesticides.”
--The Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “IBO’s evaluation of the Commercial Revitalization Program.”
--The Committee on Youth Services will meet at 10:30 a.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to access to homeless services for runaway and homeless youth.
--The Committee on Economic Development will meet at 10:30 a.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to the “creation of a subcontractor resource guide.”
--The Committee on Education will meet at 11 a.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “requiring the Department of Education to report on students in temporary housing” and to “the collection of gender pronoun information.”
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m.
--The Committee on Civil Rights will meet at 11:30 a.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to requiring “covered entities to engage in a cooperative dialogue with persons who are or may be entitled to reasonable accommodations” and to amend the administrative code and city charter regarding human rights law.
--The Committee on Immigration will meet at noon to discuss a resolution “denouncing the termination of the DACA program and calling on the state and federal government to extend protections for undocumented youth by passing the New York State DREAM Act of 2017, as well as the federal DREAM Act of 2017.”
--The Committee on General Welfare will meet at noon to discuss several proposed laws regarding a wide range of issues, such as exits from domestic violence shelters, homeless services posting census data for shelters, and “education continuity,” among other things.
--The Committee on Cultural Affairs will meet at 12:45 p.m. to discuss a resolution “establishing January 30 annually as Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.” Korematsu was the plaintiff in a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the legality of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
--The Committee on Cultural Affairs will also meet jointly with the Subcommittee on Libraries at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “library construction projects.”
--The Committee on Public Safety will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss the proposed Right to Know Act bills.
--The Committee on Aging will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “establishing a temporary task force on post-incarceration reentry for older adults” and to “providing certain information to users of life-sustaining equipment and individuals for whom a disruption in electrical service would create a medical emergency.”
--The Committee on Small Business will meet at 2 p.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “requiring the commissioners of sanitation and consumer affairs to study the feasibility of a penalty mitigation program.”
--The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet at 2 p.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to a wide range of subjects, including the use of alternative fuels in ferries and school buses, and to amending the energy code for certain buildings.
--The Committee on Civil Service and Labor will meet at 2:30 p.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “protecting employees who seek temporary changes to work schedules for personal events and certain other schedule changes.”
--The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 3 p.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to a wide range of subjects, including community land trusts, vacant land for affordable housing, and other subjects.
On Monday, NYCHA and NYC Health + Hospitals will begin offering free testing for lead levels in blood for certain children living in NYCHA apartments.
At 10 a.m. Monday, the Asian-American Federation, Transportation Alternatives, and the Biking Public Project will hold a rally at the City Hall steps urging Mayor de Blasio not to crackdown on the use of e-bikes, commonly used by low-wage workers, often immigrants, in the food service industry.
At 11 a.m. Monday, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Senior Advisor to the Mayor Gabrielle Fialkoff, Human Resources Administrator Grace Bonilla, and others will announce “funds raised to meet the immediate needs of Puerto Rico evacuees, including coats and clothing for the winter, bedding, and other home goods” at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in East Harlem.
On Monday, New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators will hold two press conferences at the offices of Long Island state legislators urging them to support the Child Victims Act, which allows survivors of child abuse to litigate their case up until age 50 for civil cases and 28 for felony cases, up from the current 23. The two legislators who will be lobbied are Elaine Phillips of Mineola, at 11 a.m., and Carl Marcellino of Oyster Bay, at 1 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, "Mayor de Blasio will hold a public hearing for Intros. 799-B, 1376-A, and 1783 a package to provide commercial rent tax relief for certain small business owners; Intro. 1210-A requiring diaper changing stations in new and renovated buildings with public restrooms, regardless of gender; Intro 1241-A to create a watch list of rent regulated buildings housing tenants at-risk for eviction."
At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the New York Times’ Ginia Bellafante will moderate a conversation with Erica Mateo and Deron Johnston of the Brownsville Community Justice Center, and David Burney, Design and Development Commissioner under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, regarding “placemaking -- the nexus of public space and public safety -- in Brownsville,” at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
At 7 p.m. Monday, Mayor de Blasio will hold a town hall meeting at IS 113 in Glendale, Queens, with City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
In the 7 and 10 p.m. hours, de Blasio is expected to make his weekly appearance on NY1’s Road to City Hall.
The full City Council will meet at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday for the final stated meeting of the year and of the current four-year session. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will host her final pre-Stated press conference as Speaker at 12:30 p.m.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Ford Foundation will host a debate on whether to end pretrial detention and cash bail in New York State. Several members of the State Legislature will participate as either speakers, debaters, or judges, including Senators Michael Gianaris, Jesse Hamilton, and Marisol Alcantara, and Assemblymember David Weprin. The debaters will include formerly incarcerated men and women, arguing on behalf of the Fortune Society.
Mayor de Blasio will be in Iowa on Tuesday. “New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will headline Progress Iowa’s fifth annual Holiday Party on December 19th. Mayor de Blasio will focus his remarks on the future of the progressive movement and the effort to resist the conservative agenda being enacted across the country.”
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will hold an “emergency teach-in” about the GOP tax plan. The event will take place at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio will hold a town hall meeting at University Settlement-Ingersoll Community Center in Downtown Brooklyn, with City Council Member Laurie Cumbo, U.S. Reps Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries, State Senators Velmanette Montgomery and Jesse Hamilton, and Assemblymember Walter Mosley.
At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Care for the Homeless will hold its annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service at LIU Brooklyn’s Luntey Commons, in Downtown Brooklyn.
Friday and the weekend
No events on our radar as of Sunday evening.
*Note: we won’t be publishing a Week Ahead for the week of December 25. We’ll be back for the shortened holiday week of Tuesday, January 2.
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max