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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 10


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

We’re watching this week for the next major step in the potential deal among city, NYCHA, and federal officials for a consent decree related to public housing that has to be presented to a federal judge who rejected an earlier version. That is due Friday.

It will be another busy week at the City Council and with the MTA as both bodies head toward wrapping up their work for the year. The City Council will hold a number of hearings this week, as well as a full-body Stated Meeting where new bills are introduced and bills that have passed committee are voted on by the full Council. Two highlights hearings of the week will be an oversight hearing on the deal to bring Amazon to Queens and a hearing on a package of bills aimed at fighting tenant harassment -- see details below.

The MTA continues its public hearings around a planned toll and fare hike, and the MTA Board will meet again as it works on its 2019 budget -- see below for details.

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?
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
"On Monday, Mayor de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s 25th Anniversary Ceremony," at 1 p.m. at City Hall.

At the City Council on Monday:
--The Committee on For-Hire Vehicles will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding TLC’s Critical Driver and Persistent Violator programs, and to discuss laws to repeal the Critical Driver program and amend the Persistent Violator program.
--The Committee on Public Safety will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding neighborhood policing.

On Monday and Tuesday, the New York State Board of Regents will meet.

At 5:50 a.m. Monday, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will appear on Ebro in the Morning on HOT 97 radio.

At 11 a.m. Monday, “Housing Justice For All” and several other advocacy groups will rally at the City Hall steps to call for stronger tenant protections, closing “the loopholes driving up rents in NYC,” and to “remove geographic restrictions from the Emergency Tenant Protection Act.”

At City Hall at 4:30 p.m. Monday, "First Lady Chirlane McCray will join the Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) and the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender Based Violence at a vigil to mark the end of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence."

At 5 p.m. Monday, the MTA will hold a public hearing on proposed fare and toll hikes at Long Island University’s Kumble Theater in Fort Greene. Before the hearing, at 4 p.m., the “Fix The Subway Coalition” will rally outside the theater to demand that no fare hike take effect, and instead that congestion pricing be included in the next state budget, among other measures to finance the MTA.

At 6 p.m. Monday, the 2019 Charter Revision Commission will hold a public meeting at City Hall.

At 6 p.m. Monday, the CUNY Tech Meetup will hold its fourth annual end of year gathering, sponsored by Microsoft Cities and its New York City-based director, John Paul Farmer, and hosted by partner institution John Jay College. "We'll explore technology's role in cities to address civic challenges. We’ll feature a lineup of dynamic speakers using and building technology solutions to improve citizen-centered city life." Speakers will include Farmer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and several others.

On Monday evening, Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer will be among those to deliver remarks at the Co-op City 50th Anniversary Gala in the Bronx.

And at 9 p.m., Stringer will deliver remarks at the West Side Federation of Neighborhood and Block Associations Holiday Party.

Tuesday
"On Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray will deliver remarks at the Gracie Mansion Conservancy Gala. This event is closed press."

The City Council will hold a Stated Meeting on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is expected to host the usual pre-Stated press conference at 12:30 p.m.

At the State Legislature on Tuesday:
--The Assembly Standing Committee on Racing and Wagering will meet at 10 a.m. in Albany for an oversight hearing on the State Gaming Commission’s 2018-19 budget “and its regulation of the gaming industry in New York State.”
--The Assembly Standing Committees on Children & Families and Mental Health will meet jointly at 11 a.m. in Albany for a public hearing regarding “access to mental health services in the juvenile justice system.”
--The Assembly Standing Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse will meet at 11 a.m. at 250 Broadway in Manhattan for a public hearing regarding “adequacy of funding for addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.”

On Tuesday, city public school students will rally on the City Hall steps to demand equity in school sports. They will be joined by City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, and the Fair Play Coalition.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will deliver remarks at Holiday Toy Donation Event with the Uniformed Fire Officers Association at FDNY Engine 1/Ladder 24 in Manhattan. At 7 p.m., Johnson will deliver remarks at the Human Services Council Benefit.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, "Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Tours Irving Tissue with State and Local Officials" in Fort Edward. At 1:15 p.m., "Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Visits National Purple Heart Hall of Honor" in New Windsor.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, OATH Commissioner Fidel Del Valle, City Council Member Peter Koo, and Queens Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Grech will host a “Building Bridges for Small Businesses” symposium at the Flushing branch of the Queens Library. Del Valle will give advice on how small businesses can challenge agency summonses through OATH.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, the MTA will hold a public hearing on proposed fare and toll hikes at York College’s Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center in Jamaica, Queens.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office will host a meeting at the Office of Assemblymember Tremaine Wright in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where individuals with previous misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions “will be able to meet with a defense lawyer at no cost and fill out a motion asking to erase that conviction.”

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will attend the "Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics and delivers brief remarks" at The Cooper Union.

Wednesday
At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Committee on Economic Development will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing on Amazon HQ2, specifically “exposing the closed-door process.”
--The Committee on Women will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “female genital mutilation/cutting and health care for women in New York City.”
--The Committees on Mental Health and Civil & Human Rights will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “negative mental health consequences of discrimination and bias incidents.”
--The Committee on Justice System will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “the future of bail.”
--The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “the state of the city’s recreation centers.”

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Veterans and the Subcommittee on Women Veterans will meet jointly in Albany for a public hearing regarding “veterans employment programs.”

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the MTA will hold a board meeting.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Civilian Complaint Review Board will meet at 100 Church Street.

This week’s Max & Murphy on WBAI radio will air at 5 p.m. on 99.5FM and wbai.org -- the episode will be part of the Gotham Gazette-City Limits Agenda 2019 project’s week focused on health and will include an interview with State Senator Gustavo Rivera, the Senate’s lead sponsor of the New York Health Act, which is the state’s single-payer health care bill, and Bill Hammond of the Empire Center, who is perhaps the leading critic of the New York Health Act and has written extensively on the bill and related issues.

Thursday
At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Committees on Higher Education and Veterans will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “veterans and access to higher education.”
--The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 10:30 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to tenant protections.
--The Subcommittee on Landmarks will meet at noon.
--The Committee on Technology will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss several proposed laws related to cybersecurity, including one to create an “Office of Cyber Command.”
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 2 p.m.

At 9 a.m. Thursday, City & State will host the “Ethics & Accountability Summit” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Speakers, including politicians, government officials, attorneys, and good government advocates, will “address the ethical challenges facing New York’s our public institutions.” Incoming City Investigations Commissioner Margaret Garnett will deliver keynote remarks. There will be several panels, including one on sexual harassment in state government and the next steps for laws passed earlier this year and one on government ethics and reform, which will be moderated by Gotham Gazette’s Ben Max.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, the Campaign Finance Board will meet at 100 Church Street.

The latest episode of the What’s The [Data] Point? podcast will be published Thursday afternoon and feature a conversation with the Manhattan Institute’s Stephen Eide on New York’s inpatient mental healthcare system and Eide’s recently published report on “deinstitutionalization in New York.”

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the MTA will hold a public hearing on proposed fare and toll hikes at the Palisades Mall Adler Community Room.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Arena will host a forum for candidates for Public Advocate at Wagner College on Staten Island. Attending candidates will be former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Council Members Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, Assemblymembers Mike Blake and Dan O’Donnell, attorney Dawn Smalls, and activists Nomiki Konst, Theo Chino, Ifeome Ike, and Ben Yee.

On Thursday at 6 p.m. in Brooklyn, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and City Council Member Laurie Cumbo will co-host a town hall for Cumbo's constituents in the 35th Council District, at Medgar Evers College Prep School.

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

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

At 6:30 p.m. Friday, VocalNY and the FreeNY Campaign will host “Bringing our People Home: A National Conversation on Bail Reform” at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. Activists from around the country will discuss measures to end mass incarceration. Speakers will include Rena Karefa-Johnson of FWD.US, Ivette Alé of JusticeLA, Sharlyn Grace of the Chicago Community Bond Fund, Reuben Jones of JustLeadershipUSA, and leaders of the FreeNY campaign.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, the Brooklyn DA’s office will host a meeting at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Flatbush, where individuals with previous misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions “will be able to meet with a defense lawyer at no cost and fill out a motion asking to erase that conviction.”

At 7 p.m. Saturday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will join NPR’s Nina Totenberg for a discussion of her tenure on the Court. The event will take place at the New York Academy of Medicine on the Upper East Side.

***
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

Max & Murphy Podcast: De Blasio Finishes Year 5 & The Push for 'Fair Elections for New York'


mxm logo

Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


December 5, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: De Blasio Finishes Year 5 & The Push for 'Fair Elections for New York'

wbai hirsh jw 400bMayor de Blasio is nearing the end of his fifth year in office, and in the first half of the show the hosts take stock of recent news surrounding the mayor and questions of his leadership.

In the second half of the show, Max & Murphy were joined by two leaders of the new "Fair Elections for New York" coalition that is made up of activist groups, labor unions, and other organizations seeking to pass a slate of reforms related to voting and campaign finance in New York: Jess Wisneski of Citizen Action New York and Alison Hirsh of 32BJ SEIU. Wisneski and Hirsh outline the planks of the policy push and the political dynamics at play as they seek to pass policies like early voting and a public-matching campaign finance system with Democrats fully in control of state government in 2019.

Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMax and @JarrettMurphy. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the episode wherever you get your podcasts, under "Max & Murphy," and listen to Max & Murphy live on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. on WBAI radio, 99.5FM or wbai.org

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 3


New York City Hall

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?
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
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.

Tuesday
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.

Wednesday
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.

Thursday
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.

***
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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