Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics as well as news on public safety, transportation, education, finance and more. http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/committee-on-standards-and-ethics 2017-10-22T13:37:59+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com City Council Rushes Through Campaign Finance Bills 2016-12-13T05:00:00+00:00 2016-12-13T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6668:city-council-rushes-through-campaign-finance-bills Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/27656184936_e65a162f5d_z.jpg" alt="city council chambers balcony" width="600" height="416" /></p> <p>City Council chambers (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>The City Council is rushing through a package of bills to reform the city’s campaign finance system. About a dozen bills driven by Council members’ frustrations with the Campaign Finance Board and its rigorous reporting system are being moved through the Council at an almost unseen pace, raising eyebrows.</p> <p>There are actually two packages of bills that will be passed through the Council this week: one that has been sitting idle for months after a hearing, which will go through the governmental operations committee, and the second, which only had a hearing on November 21, and is moving through the standards and ethics committee.</p> <p>The <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=519420&amp;GUID=639321F1-1E59-4F4B-98B6-F8A2E64300F8&amp;Options=info&amp;Search=" target="_blank">first group of bills</a> was the result of the independent Campaign Finance Board’s most recent post-election report; <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=521316&amp;GUID=3D0059E1-EDA2-443F-BCBE-FE945BAFF89D&amp;Options=info&amp;Search=" target="_blank">the second group</a> from Council members.</p> <p>Many of the bills make technical changes to the workings of the city’s public-matching campaign finance system, which is seen as a national model for limiting big money in politics, and the operation of the Campaign Finance Board itself. These include items related to documenting campaign contributions and the Campaign Finance Board’s review of filings by candidates. One bill allows elected officials to use their campaign funds to pay for a wider range of governmental activity, such as supplying food at a public meeting.</p> <p>Another bill driven by members’ frustrations disallows campaign finance board staff from being “present during an executive session of the Board when an adjudication is being discussed.”</p> <p>There are also more attention-grabbing measures, like the elimination of public matching funds for money bundled by individuals with city business. There are currently strict limits, just $400 to a campaign, on those with city business who want to donate to a candidate. Bundling involves collecting donations from others. This bill was part of the initial package, per the Campaign Finance Board’s recommendations, as another way to limit the potential for conflicts of interest and undue influence of money on politicians.</p> <p>On Wednesday, each committee voted through its respective package of bills with little discussion. There will be a full Council vote on all the bills Thursday -- all of them are expected to pass either unanimously or nearly so. Still, there are several outstanding questions about the bills and the process by which they are moving, including the speed and the committee choice for the second package.</p> <p>One of the newer bills, which alters requirements for how donor information is collected and submitted, has been adjusted after it raised significant ire from the Campaign Finance Board, good government groups, and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. The alarm bells rang over a perceived increase in opportunities for fraud in filings and the bill was adjusted, seemingly satisfactorily to the critics.</p> <p>The Campaign Finance Board says the second package, which has been moving on an extraordinarily fast timeline for city legislation, is moving too fast and has elements that still need tweaks.</p> <p>“The Board continues to believe it would be better to defer action on these bills rather than move forward at this time,” said a CFB spokesperson in an emailed statement. “Some of these bills could be improved further, however we recognize and appreciate the Council’s efforts to take our feedback into account.”</p> <p>“Specifically, the revised version of Int. No. 1355 makes substantive changes that reflect our concerns and maintains the CFB’s ability to protect the public funds invested in the Campaign Finance Program,” the statement concluded, referring to the aforementioned bill that was adjusted.</p> <p>It is unusual for the Council’s standards and ethics committee to hear legislation, especially campaign finance bills that typically go through the government operations committee. A spokesperson for the City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, previously told Gotham Gazette that the package introduced through standards and ethics was placed there because it was grouped with another bill that deals directly with the Conflicts of Interest Board. That bill, sponsored by Mark-Viverito, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6666-de-blasio-fails-to-explain-his-support-for-limits-on-groups-like-campaign-for-one-new-york" target="_blank">will put new limits on nonprofit organizations that are affiliated with elected officials</a> -- such as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York. The bill was also passed through committee on Wednesday and will be passed through the full Council on Thursday. Mark-Viverito will speak about it on Thursday at City Hall.</p> <p>The governmental operations committee is headed by Council Member Ben Kallos, who is more knowledgeable about the campaign finance system than Council Member Alan Maisel, the chair of the standards and ethics committee -- something Maisel acknowledged in a prior interview with Gotham Gazette. Kallos has expressed concerns about some of the second package of bills, including bill details and process.</p> <p>A spokesperson for Mark-Viverito did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this article about the rushed timeline of the second package of bills.</p> <p>Maisel <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6647-22-campaign-finance-bills-to-move-through-city-council-soon-speaker-says" target="_blank">previously told Gotham Gazette</a> that he is not familiar with campaign finance legislation, but that he is also confident that the CFB is not being weakened by the bills his committee will quickly pass.</p> <p>At his committee's vote on Wednesday, Maisel introduced the package with a few words. He first focused on Mark-Viverito's bill that would limit contributions that can be made to nonprofit groups aligned with elected officials.&nbsp;"This bill directly addresses the concern that organizations affiliated with elected officials can raise unlimited funds even from persons doing business with the city and even when the ultimate use of these funds is for the promotion of that elected official," Maisel said. "The city’s campaign finance laws limit contributions by persons doing business with the city to protect against the potential influence of that money and to prevent the appearance of corruption.&nbsp;But under current law, those limitations could not be applied to the contributions received by the affiliated organization like the Campaign for One New York.&nbsp;That is why today we are voting on the law with the same goal: to protect against potential attempts to influence one’s elected official and to prevent even the appearance of corruption with unlimited donations to an affiliated organization that promotes that elected official."</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Note: this article has been updated to reflect Wednesday's committee votes and new comment from Maisel.</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/27656184936_e65a162f5d_z.jpg" alt="city council chambers balcony" width="600" height="416" /></p> <p>City Council chambers (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>The City Council is rushing through a package of bills to reform the city’s campaign finance system. About a dozen bills driven by Council members’ frustrations with the Campaign Finance Board and its rigorous reporting system are being moved through the Council at an almost unseen pace, raising eyebrows.</p> <p>There are actually two packages of bills that will be passed through the Council this week: one that has been sitting idle for months after a hearing, which will go through the governmental operations committee, and the second, which only had a hearing on November 21, and is moving through the standards and ethics committee.</p> <p>The <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=519420&amp;GUID=639321F1-1E59-4F4B-98B6-F8A2E64300F8&amp;Options=info&amp;Search=" target="_blank">first group of bills</a> was the result of the independent Campaign Finance Board’s most recent post-election report; <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=521316&amp;GUID=3D0059E1-EDA2-443F-BCBE-FE945BAFF89D&amp;Options=info&amp;Search=" target="_blank">the second group</a> from Council members.</p> <p>Many of the bills make technical changes to the workings of the city’s public-matching campaign finance system, which is seen as a national model for limiting big money in politics, and the operation of the Campaign Finance Board itself. These include items related to documenting campaign contributions and the Campaign Finance Board’s review of filings by candidates. One bill allows elected officials to use their campaign funds to pay for a wider range of governmental activity, such as supplying food at a public meeting.</p> <p>Another bill driven by members’ frustrations disallows campaign finance board staff from being “present during an executive session of the Board when an adjudication is being discussed.”</p> <p>There are also more attention-grabbing measures, like the elimination of public matching funds for money bundled by individuals with city business. There are currently strict limits, just $400 to a campaign, on those with city business who want to donate to a candidate. Bundling involves collecting donations from others. This bill was part of the initial package, per the Campaign Finance Board’s recommendations, as another way to limit the potential for conflicts of interest and undue influence of money on politicians.</p> <p>On Wednesday, each committee voted through its respective package of bills with little discussion. There will be a full Council vote on all the bills Thursday -- all of them are expected to pass either unanimously or nearly so. Still, there are several outstanding questions about the bills and the process by which they are moving, including the speed and the committee choice for the second package.</p> <p>One of the newer bills, which alters requirements for how donor information is collected and submitted, has been adjusted after it raised significant ire from the Campaign Finance Board, good government groups, and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. The alarm bells rang over a perceived increase in opportunities for fraud in filings and the bill was adjusted, seemingly satisfactorily to the critics.</p> <p>The Campaign Finance Board says the second package, which has been moving on an extraordinarily fast timeline for city legislation, is moving too fast and has elements that still need tweaks.</p> <p>“The Board continues to believe it would be better to defer action on these bills rather than move forward at this time,” said a CFB spokesperson in an emailed statement. “Some of these bills could be improved further, however we recognize and appreciate the Council’s efforts to take our feedback into account.”</p> <p>“Specifically, the revised version of Int. No. 1355 makes substantive changes that reflect our concerns and maintains the CFB’s ability to protect the public funds invested in the Campaign Finance Program,” the statement concluded, referring to the aforementioned bill that was adjusted.</p> <p>It is unusual for the Council’s standards and ethics committee to hear legislation, especially campaign finance bills that typically go through the government operations committee. A spokesperson for the City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, previously told Gotham Gazette that the package introduced through standards and ethics was placed there because it was grouped with another bill that deals directly with the Conflicts of Interest Board. That bill, sponsored by Mark-Viverito, <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6666-de-blasio-fails-to-explain-his-support-for-limits-on-groups-like-campaign-for-one-new-york" target="_blank">will put new limits on nonprofit organizations that are affiliated with elected officials</a> -- such as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York. The bill was also passed through committee on Wednesday and will be passed through the full Council on Thursday. Mark-Viverito will speak about it on Thursday at City Hall.</p> <p>The governmental operations committee is headed by Council Member Ben Kallos, who is more knowledgeable about the campaign finance system than Council Member Alan Maisel, the chair of the standards and ethics committee -- something Maisel acknowledged in a prior interview with Gotham Gazette. Kallos has expressed concerns about some of the second package of bills, including bill details and process.</p> <p>A spokesperson for Mark-Viverito did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this article about the rushed timeline of the second package of bills.</p> <p>Maisel <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6647-22-campaign-finance-bills-to-move-through-city-council-soon-speaker-says" target="_blank">previously told Gotham Gazette</a> that he is not familiar with campaign finance legislation, but that he is also confident that the CFB is not being weakened by the bills his committee will quickly pass.</p> <p>At his committee's vote on Wednesday, Maisel introduced the package with a few words. He first focused on Mark-Viverito's bill that would limit contributions that can be made to nonprofit groups aligned with elected officials.&nbsp;"This bill directly addresses the concern that organizations affiliated with elected officials can raise unlimited funds even from persons doing business with the city and even when the ultimate use of these funds is for the promotion of that elected official," Maisel said. "The city’s campaign finance laws limit contributions by persons doing business with the city to protect against the potential influence of that money and to prevent the appearance of corruption.&nbsp;But under current law, those limitations could not be applied to the contributions received by the affiliated organization like the Campaign for One New York.&nbsp;That is why today we are voting on the law with the same goal: to protect against potential attempts to influence one’s elected official and to prevent even the appearance of corruption with unlimited donations to an affiliated organization that promotes that elected official."</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Note: this article has been updated to reflect Wednesday's committee votes and new comment from Maisel.</p>
Next Steps for City Council Member's Alleged Ticket Fix 2016-08-17T04:00:00+00:00 2016-08-17T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6484:next-steps-for-city-council-member-s-alleged-ticket-fix Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/gibson_nypd.jpg" alt="gibson nypd" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>Council Member Gibson (photo: William Alatriste)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">In trying to avoid a traffic ticket more than two years ago, City Council Member Vanessa Gibson might have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.</p> <p dir="ltr">The <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-claims-ordered-nix-ticket-city-pol-article-1.2751162" target="_blank">New York Daily News</a> reported on Monday that Gibson, chair of the Council&rsquo;s public safety committee, used her influence to get out of trouble when she was pulled over in March 2014 for talking on her cell phone while driving. The details emerged from an unrelated lawsuit filed last week by an NYPD officer, Michele Hernandez, against the city for $75 million.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the report, when Gibson was pulled over, she called Hernandez&rsquo;s superiors, who then asked Hernandez to void the ticket. Gibson has not denied that the incident took place although she told the Daily News that she could not recollect it. If she had received the ticket, she could have been subject to a $200 fine or received five points on her license. Instead, she now faces the prospect of an official investigation and possibly greater monetary penalties.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In trying to avoid a penalty, she&rsquo;s made a minor infraction that much worse, that has now called into question her integrity,&rdquo; said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a government watchdog group.</p> <p dir="ltr">At a Tuesday news conference, in response to reporters&rsquo; questions, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said that the incident involving Gibson would have to be probed by the relevant authorities. &ldquo;There are agencies and entities that exist to deal with those issues,&rdquo; she said, citing the Conflicts of Interest Board when pressed for examples.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mark-Viverito also stressed that Gibson would not face any immediate action. "Vanessa has been a great public safety chair, and she has the respect of a lot, of all her colleagues in that role she has played in that position,&rdquo; Mark-Viverito said. &ldquo;Overall, she's a respected Council member. So any kind of concerns about having used her position, that has to be taken up by the proper entities in order to look at that. But right now, she's a respected individual and a respected member of this body, and she will continue to serve as public safety chair at the moment."</p> <p dir="ltr">Gibson was not made available to comment for this article. The next steps around the incident are not immediately clear, but it is unlikely to go away without an investigation.</p> <p dir="ltr">The city&rsquo;s Conflicts of Interest Board usually begins a probe based on a complaint but in the absence of one it can initiate an investigation based on other sources such as news reports, and it has done so in the past.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t confirm or deny whether we did, are doing or might do anything on this matter because the law requires confidentiality,&rdquo; said Wayne Hawley, COIB deputy executive director and general counsel, in a phone interview with Gotham Gazette. Hawley did not comment at all on the Gibson incident and would not say how the possible violation would be characterized or the potential penalties.</p> <p dir="ltr">The city&rsquo;s Conflicts of Interest Law prohibits a public servant from using his or her position &ldquo;to obtain any financial gain, contract, license, privilege or other private or personal advantage, direct or indirect, for the public servant or any person or firm associated with the public servant.&rdquo; A violation can lead to a civil fine of up to $25,000. Typically, instances which are probed by the COIB lead to negotiated settlements if a violation is found. This holds true for City Council members as well. However, COIB cannot enforce a fine on a City Council member even if it finds a violation. It can inform the Speaker&rsquo;s office and the Council, which would then refer the case to the Council&rsquo;s Committee on Standards and Ethics.</p> <p dir="ltr">Council Member Alan Maisel, chair of Standards and Ethics, said that the committee could &ldquo;conceivably&rdquo; look into the Gibson incident, &ldquo;but it has to be presented to me.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The Speaker&rsquo;s office or the Council would have to refer it,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m assuming that it&rsquo;s being investigated as we speak.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">On a report by the standards and ethics committee, the City Council can impose a number of sanctions against an erring member including removal from the position of chair or membership of a committee, a reprimand, a censure, fine or expulsion. Any sanction would require a majority of the ethics committee and then a two-thirds vote of the full 51-member Council.</p> <p>Maisel said this incident could be &ldquo;the first potential case&rdquo; to come before his committee since he took office in 2014, though the committee did examine a case involving Council Member Ruben Wills, who is under indictment, and decided not to proceed until the criminal case is through. &ldquo;I haven&rsquo;t been very busy with this kind of issue,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>

***
by Samar Khurshid, City government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Note: Gotham Gazette is an independent publication of Citizens Union Foundation, sister organization of Citizens Union.</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/gibson_nypd.jpg" alt="gibson nypd" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>Council Member Gibson (photo: William Alatriste)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">In trying to avoid a traffic ticket more than two years ago, City Council Member Vanessa Gibson might have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.</p> <p dir="ltr">The <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-claims-ordered-nix-ticket-city-pol-article-1.2751162" target="_blank">New York Daily News</a> reported on Monday that Gibson, chair of the Council&rsquo;s public safety committee, used her influence to get out of trouble when she was pulled over in March 2014 for talking on her cell phone while driving. The details emerged from an unrelated lawsuit filed last week by an NYPD officer, Michele Hernandez, against the city for $75 million.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the report, when Gibson was pulled over, she called Hernandez&rsquo;s superiors, who then asked Hernandez to void the ticket. Gibson has not denied that the incident took place although she told the Daily News that she could not recollect it. If she had received the ticket, she could have been subject to a $200 fine or received five points on her license. Instead, she now faces the prospect of an official investigation and possibly greater monetary penalties.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In trying to avoid a penalty, she&rsquo;s made a minor infraction that much worse, that has now called into question her integrity,&rdquo; said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a government watchdog group.</p> <p dir="ltr">At a Tuesday news conference, in response to reporters&rsquo; questions, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said that the incident involving Gibson would have to be probed by the relevant authorities. &ldquo;There are agencies and entities that exist to deal with those issues,&rdquo; she said, citing the Conflicts of Interest Board when pressed for examples.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mark-Viverito also stressed that Gibson would not face any immediate action. "Vanessa has been a great public safety chair, and she has the respect of a lot, of all her colleagues in that role she has played in that position,&rdquo; Mark-Viverito said. &ldquo;Overall, she's a respected Council member. So any kind of concerns about having used her position, that has to be taken up by the proper entities in order to look at that. But right now, she's a respected individual and a respected member of this body, and she will continue to serve as public safety chair at the moment."</p> <p dir="ltr">Gibson was not made available to comment for this article. The next steps around the incident are not immediately clear, but it is unlikely to go away without an investigation.</p> <p dir="ltr">The city&rsquo;s Conflicts of Interest Board usually begins a probe based on a complaint but in the absence of one it can initiate an investigation based on other sources such as news reports, and it has done so in the past.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t confirm or deny whether we did, are doing or might do anything on this matter because the law requires confidentiality,&rdquo; said Wayne Hawley, COIB deputy executive director and general counsel, in a phone interview with Gotham Gazette. Hawley did not comment at all on the Gibson incident and would not say how the possible violation would be characterized or the potential penalties.</p> <p dir="ltr">The city&rsquo;s Conflicts of Interest Law prohibits a public servant from using his or her position &ldquo;to obtain any financial gain, contract, license, privilege or other private or personal advantage, direct or indirect, for the public servant or any person or firm associated with the public servant.&rdquo; A violation can lead to a civil fine of up to $25,000. Typically, instances which are probed by the COIB lead to negotiated settlements if a violation is found. This holds true for City Council members as well. However, COIB cannot enforce a fine on a City Council member even if it finds a violation. It can inform the Speaker&rsquo;s office and the Council, which would then refer the case to the Council&rsquo;s Committee on Standards and Ethics.</p> <p dir="ltr">Council Member Alan Maisel, chair of Standards and Ethics, said that the committee could &ldquo;conceivably&rdquo; look into the Gibson incident, &ldquo;but it has to be presented to me.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The Speaker&rsquo;s office or the Council would have to refer it,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m assuming that it&rsquo;s being investigated as we speak.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">On a report by the standards and ethics committee, the City Council can impose a number of sanctions against an erring member including removal from the position of chair or membership of a committee, a reprimand, a censure, fine or expulsion. Any sanction would require a majority of the ethics committee and then a two-thirds vote of the full 51-member Council.</p> <p>Maisel said this incident could be &ldquo;the first potential case&rdquo; to come before his committee since he took office in 2014, though the committee did examine a case involving Council Member Ruben Wills, who is under indictment, and decided not to proceed until the criminal case is through. &ldquo;I haven&rsquo;t been very busy with this kind of issue,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>

***
by Samar Khurshid, City government reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Note: Gotham Gazette is an independent publication of Citizens Union Foundation, sister organization of Citizens Union.</p>
Bharara Visits Capital He Upended 2016-02-07T21:57:03+00:00 2016-02-07T21:57:03+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6154:bharara-visits-capital-he-upended kfan <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/bharara_mortgage.jpg" alt="bharara mortgage" height="600" width="600" /></p> <p>U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (<a href="https://twitter.com/SDNYnews/status/533361770761838593" target="_blank">photo</a>: @SDNYnews)</p> <hr /> <p>For the last year a siege mentality has dominated the New York state capitol. And in some respect, Albany, or at least the political denizens who dwell within the capitol, does appear to be very much in the cross hairs of a conquering army headed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The main roads into town feature digital billboards flashing entreaties from the FBI urging New Yorkers to "REPORT CORRUPTION," along with a number for the New York State Public Corruption Task Force.</p> <p>On Monday, Bharara may drive by those very signs as he makes his way to Albany for a series of events, including two speaking engagements. The crusading prosecutor's presence may be enough to make already-nervous Albany lawmakers break into a cold sweat.</p> <p>The most powerful people in Albany - lobbyists, legislators, and even Gov. Andrew Cuomo - have watched as Bharara has gone from prosecuting rank-and-file legislators to decapitating both houses of the legislature by securing the convictions of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on multiple counts of corruption. All the while Bharara has maintained investigations into Cuomo's dealings, with the prosecutor's mantra of "Stay tuned" casting a larger-than-life shadow.</p> <p>Although he promised major reforms during his recent State of the State address, Cuomo has since avoided the press in Albany, continuing his streak of not holding a press conference at the capitol, now at over 200 days. The current majority leaders have also remained largely mum on ethics since the start of the year. Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie voiced support for various reforms early in January, but has said little since. His working group on Assembly rules and transparency continues to delay the release of proposals to make the body more open and democratic.</p> <p>Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has pushed back against the very idea that there is any need for reforms, pointing to changes made over the last several years and asserting the need for individuals to act of high moral character.</p> <p>Bharara has made it clear that he continues watching.</p> <p>On Monday, Bharara will take something of an up-close look, as he heads to Albany for several events and speaks publicly twice. The first speaking event will take place a short walk from the capitol building when Bharara addresses the New York State Conference of Mayors; the other hosted by good government groups and WAMC public radio--a veritable public radio empire that reaches across upstate New York and into Vermont and Connecticut. The topic for both events will, of course, be fighting public corruption. Bharara is also set to appear, along with Gov. Cuomo, at the swearing in of new Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.</p> <p>Bharara will not be addressing the state legislature, even though he recently made the trip to Frankfort, Kentucky to discuss public corruption and the type of culture that allows it to fester in New York. Throughout his examination of New York state government, Bharara has not only found several examples of illegal activity, but he has also decried legally corrupt practices, such as the infamous "three men in a room" method of deciding virtually all important state policy.</p> <p>Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, a Republican, invited Bharara to address his conference, but Bharara's office prefered to address a bipartisan gathering. Kolb, in turn, wrote to the majority leaders of each conference in both houses, asking them to jointly invite Bharara to address the legislature as a whole. "They haven't even bothered to respond to my letter," Kolb told Gotham Gazette. "What are they so afraid of?"</p> <p>Kolb, who will be speaking before Bharara on Monday at the mayors conference, said he hopes to hear more from Bharara on how the "three men in a room" power structure in Albany defeats transparency and allows corruption to fester.</p> <p>"Mr. Bharara has asked 'Since when has it become acceptable for three men to decide everything?,' And I expect he will focus on that again. It's not about getting our way, but about asking questions about how things are structured, about payments, pots of money. Making sure our constituents are represented. I mean there was even that Skelos quote where he said, 'I control everything.' These guys have too much power," Kolb said.</p> <p>John Kaehny of good government group Reinvent Albany is also interested in hearing Bharara attack the culture in Albany that might not necessarily be prosecutable.</p> <p>"Hopefully he says: 'The real scandal is what's legal.'" said Kaehny, referring to what many, including Bharara, have said about Albany's usual ways of doing business.</p> <p>"In Albany," Kaehny said, "the governor can give a bag full of taxpayer money to a big business and that business can give him a bag of money back, or a bag full via unlimited LLC contributions. All legal. Yet in New York City, it is a crime for people doing business with the city to contribute more than $400" to a campaign.</p> <p>Among Kaehny's concerns are that law firms that represent state agencies and authorities can also lobby on behalf of private clients.</p> <p>"It goes on and on," said Kaehny. "The conflict of interest is so baked into how Albany works that Silver tried to use it as a defense."</p> <p>Bharara has addressed how Albany's culture has played into many of the cases he prosecuted.</p> <p>"If you're one of the three men in a room, and you have all the power and you always have and everyone knows it," Bharara told an audience at New York Law School last January following Silver's arrest. "You don't tolerate dissent because you don't have to. You don't allow debate because you don't have to, and because the status quo always benefits you."</p> <p>The three men in the room are the governor, Assembly speaker, and Senate president. For several years running, those men were Andrew Cuomo, Sheldon Silver, and Dean Skelos. Thanks to Bharara, both Silver and Skelos are awaiting sentencing on federal charges.</p> <p>In his New York Law School speech, Bharara mocked "three men in a room," joking about what happens behind closed doors, asking whether women are allowed and wondering if perhaps it gets "a little gamey in that room."</p> <p>But he quickly returned to the serious, saying that the elected officials end up getting "swept up in the power and the trappings, because you were never challenged, and because you can easily forget who put you there in the first place. And so I ask again, what kind of a system is that?"</p> <p>Bharara also took the time to recognize the legislators in attendance--he didn't exactly honor them. "I see there are a number of elected officials here. And after yesterday I guess I have two theories as to why that might be. One might be that you knew I was taking attendance. And the other is that there are a lot of folks now looking for immunity," he said, in his typical wry manner.</p> <p>That fear that Bharara is watching, that he is still working on unearthing new misdeeds, has paralyzed legislative leaders on a number of issues over the last year. Some have confided to aides and others that they aren't sure what Bharara is after, or who he has flipped to his side. Many note that there are clear connections between legislative action and campaign donations that are ripe for investigation. Legislators have also been put on notice regarding their abuse of per diem reimbursements, use of campaign cash for personal expenses, and other misdeeds.</p> <p>It appears to many that Bharara started this year by giving Cuomo and legislators an opportunity to reflect on the gravity of the Silver and Skelos convictions and actually get to work on real reforms. A number of insiders see Bharara's announcement in January that he did not have enough evidence to indict anyone on the untimely end of The Moreland Commission on Public Corruption as a way to take some pressure off of Cuomo to allow him to take the initiative on ethics in his State of the State address. Those same insiders see Bharara's visit as a nudge to Cuomo and legislative leaders to actually deliver on reforms this year.</p> <p>In his State of the State platform, Cuomo <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6087-cuomo-unveils-ethics-plan-to-questions-of-follow-through" target="_blank">announced his intentions</a> to see the LLC loophole closed, strict limits set on legislators' outside income, a public campaign finance system established, and <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6087-cuomo-unveils-ethics-plan-to-questions-of-follow-through" target="_blank">other changes</a> made to prevent corruption. Whether Bharara wades into any of those specifics is to be seen.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">[Related: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6087-cuomo-unveils-ethics-plan-to-questions-of-follow-through" target="_blank">Cuomo Announces Ethics Plan to Questions of Follow Through</a>]</p> <p>

***
by David King, Albany editor, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/bharara_mortgage.jpg" alt="bharara mortgage" height="600" width="600" /></p> <p>U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (<a href="https://twitter.com/SDNYnews/status/533361770761838593" target="_blank">photo</a>: @SDNYnews)</p> <hr /> <p>For the last year a siege mentality has dominated the New York state capitol. And in some respect, Albany, or at least the political denizens who dwell within the capitol, does appear to be very much in the cross hairs of a conquering army headed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The main roads into town feature digital billboards flashing entreaties from the FBI urging New Yorkers to "REPORT CORRUPTION," along with a number for the New York State Public Corruption Task Force.</p> <p>On Monday, Bharara may drive by those very signs as he makes his way to Albany for a series of events, including two speaking engagements. The crusading prosecutor's presence may be enough to make already-nervous Albany lawmakers break into a cold sweat.</p> <p>The most powerful people in Albany - lobbyists, legislators, and even Gov. Andrew Cuomo - have watched as Bharara has gone from prosecuting rank-and-file legislators to decapitating both houses of the legislature by securing the convictions of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on multiple counts of corruption. All the while Bharara has maintained investigations into Cuomo's dealings, with the prosecutor's mantra of "Stay tuned" casting a larger-than-life shadow.</p> <p>Although he promised major reforms during his recent State of the State address, Cuomo has since avoided the press in Albany, continuing his streak of not holding a press conference at the capitol, now at over 200 days. The current majority leaders have also remained largely mum on ethics since the start of the year. Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie voiced support for various reforms early in January, but has said little since. His working group on Assembly rules and transparency continues to delay the release of proposals to make the body more open and democratic.</p> <p>Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has pushed back against the very idea that there is any need for reforms, pointing to changes made over the last several years and asserting the need for individuals to act of high moral character.</p> <p>Bharara has made it clear that he continues watching.</p> <p>On Monday, Bharara will take something of an up-close look, as he heads to Albany for several events and speaks publicly twice. The first speaking event will take place a short walk from the capitol building when Bharara addresses the New York State Conference of Mayors; the other hosted by good government groups and WAMC public radio--a veritable public radio empire that reaches across upstate New York and into Vermont and Connecticut. The topic for both events will, of course, be fighting public corruption. Bharara is also set to appear, along with Gov. Cuomo, at the swearing in of new Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.</p> <p>Bharara will not be addressing the state legislature, even though he recently made the trip to Frankfort, Kentucky to discuss public corruption and the type of culture that allows it to fester in New York. Throughout his examination of New York state government, Bharara has not only found several examples of illegal activity, but he has also decried legally corrupt practices, such as the infamous "three men in a room" method of deciding virtually all important state policy.</p> <p>Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, a Republican, invited Bharara to address his conference, but Bharara's office prefered to address a bipartisan gathering. Kolb, in turn, wrote to the majority leaders of each conference in both houses, asking them to jointly invite Bharara to address the legislature as a whole. "They haven't even bothered to respond to my letter," Kolb told Gotham Gazette. "What are they so afraid of?"</p> <p>Kolb, who will be speaking before Bharara on Monday at the mayors conference, said he hopes to hear more from Bharara on how the "three men in a room" power structure in Albany defeats transparency and allows corruption to fester.</p> <p>"Mr. Bharara has asked 'Since when has it become acceptable for three men to decide everything?,' And I expect he will focus on that again. It's not about getting our way, but about asking questions about how things are structured, about payments, pots of money. Making sure our constituents are represented. I mean there was even that Skelos quote where he said, 'I control everything.' These guys have too much power," Kolb said.</p> <p>John Kaehny of good government group Reinvent Albany is also interested in hearing Bharara attack the culture in Albany that might not necessarily be prosecutable.</p> <p>"Hopefully he says: 'The real scandal is what's legal.'" said Kaehny, referring to what many, including Bharara, have said about Albany's usual ways of doing business.</p> <p>"In Albany," Kaehny said, "the governor can give a bag full of taxpayer money to a big business and that business can give him a bag of money back, or a bag full via unlimited LLC contributions. All legal. Yet in New York City, it is a crime for people doing business with the city to contribute more than $400" to a campaign.</p> <p>Among Kaehny's concerns are that law firms that represent state agencies and authorities can also lobby on behalf of private clients.</p> <p>"It goes on and on," said Kaehny. "The conflict of interest is so baked into how Albany works that Silver tried to use it as a defense."</p> <p>Bharara has addressed how Albany's culture has played into many of the cases he prosecuted.</p> <p>"If you're one of the three men in a room, and you have all the power and you always have and everyone knows it," Bharara told an audience at New York Law School last January following Silver's arrest. "You don't tolerate dissent because you don't have to. You don't allow debate because you don't have to, and because the status quo always benefits you."</p> <p>The three men in the room are the governor, Assembly speaker, and Senate president. For several years running, those men were Andrew Cuomo, Sheldon Silver, and Dean Skelos. Thanks to Bharara, both Silver and Skelos are awaiting sentencing on federal charges.</p> <p>In his New York Law School speech, Bharara mocked "three men in a room," joking about what happens behind closed doors, asking whether women are allowed and wondering if perhaps it gets "a little gamey in that room."</p> <p>But he quickly returned to the serious, saying that the elected officials end up getting "swept up in the power and the trappings, because you were never challenged, and because you can easily forget who put you there in the first place. And so I ask again, what kind of a system is that?"</p> <p>Bharara also took the time to recognize the legislators in attendance--he didn't exactly honor them. "I see there are a number of elected officials here. And after yesterday I guess I have two theories as to why that might be. One might be that you knew I was taking attendance. And the other is that there are a lot of folks now looking for immunity," he said, in his typical wry manner.</p> <p>That fear that Bharara is watching, that he is still working on unearthing new misdeeds, has paralyzed legislative leaders on a number of issues over the last year. Some have confided to aides and others that they aren't sure what Bharara is after, or who he has flipped to his side. Many note that there are clear connections between legislative action and campaign donations that are ripe for investigation. Legislators have also been put on notice regarding their abuse of per diem reimbursements, use of campaign cash for personal expenses, and other misdeeds.</p> <p>It appears to many that Bharara started this year by giving Cuomo and legislators an opportunity to reflect on the gravity of the Silver and Skelos convictions and actually get to work on real reforms. A number of insiders see Bharara's announcement in January that he did not have enough evidence to indict anyone on the untimely end of The Moreland Commission on Public Corruption as a way to take some pressure off of Cuomo to allow him to take the initiative on ethics in his State of the State address. Those same insiders see Bharara's visit as a nudge to Cuomo and legislative leaders to actually deliver on reforms this year.</p> <p>In his State of the State platform, Cuomo <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6087-cuomo-unveils-ethics-plan-to-questions-of-follow-through" target="_blank">announced his intentions</a> to see the LLC loophole closed, strict limits set on legislators' outside income, a public campaign finance system established, and <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6087-cuomo-unveils-ethics-plan-to-questions-of-follow-through" target="_blank">other changes</a> made to prevent corruption. Whether Bharara wades into any of those specifics is to be seen.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">[Related: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6087-cuomo-unveils-ethics-plan-to-questions-of-follow-through" target="_blank">Cuomo Announces Ethics Plan to Questions of Follow Through</a>]</p> <p>

***
by David King, Albany editor, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 16 2015-11-15T01:38:42+00:00 2015-11-15T01:38:42+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5989:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-november-16 Super User <p><img alt="New York City Hall" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/640px-New_York_City_Hall.jpg" width="600" height="450" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">New York City Hall</span></p> <hr /> <p><strong>What to watch for this week in New York politics:</strong></p> <p>While former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's corruption trial continues this week, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' gets started. Albany ethics and pay-to-play culture will continue to loom over and be laced throughout the day-to-day news out of the two trials. Just last week, leading good government groups <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5983-good-government-groups-point-to-new-evidence-of-need-for-major-ethics-reform" target="_blank">seized on the timing</a> of the two trials and news that New York received a "D-" on a national scorecard of states' efforts to create government transparency and prevent corruption <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5983-good-government-groups-point-to-new-evidence-of-need-for-major-ethics-reform" target="_blank">to call for sweeping ethics reforms in Albany</a>.</p> <p>Meanwhile, people in New York City and elsewhere are on high alert and in mourning after the attacks that occurred in Paris on Friday. Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, and other elected officials responded over the weekend with shows of solidarity and by taking measures to enhance law enforcement presence.</p> <p>After participating in a Paris vigil in Manhattan Saturday, on Sunday de Blasio spoke at a ceremony commemorating World Day of Rememberance for Road Traffic Victims at City Hall. De Blasio has a busy Monday:</p> <ul> <li>In the morning, he delivers remarks at the Ford Foundation's ConnectHome Broadband Initiative Roundtable.</li> <li>At 11:30 a.m. at the Queens Museum, de Blasio and Council Member Julissa Ferraras-Copeland will host a press conference to make an announcement at</li> <li>At 2 p.m. on Randall's Island, the mayor and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton will host a press conference to announce the first deployment of the NYPD's new Critical Response Command of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau.</li> <li>Later, the Mayor will deliver remarks at the 20th Annual Met Museum Real Estate Council Benefit Dinner.</li> </ul> <p>We're watching this week for any news about a NY/NY IV deal between the city and the state. NY/NY deals have created thousands of units of supportive housing, a homelessness prevention and reduction tool that provides housing and support services for people battling substance abuse, mental illness, and other problems. A City Council hearing had been scheduled for Monday in order to check the status of those negotiations and to pass a resolution calling on the city and state to come to a new agreement to provide new supportive housing units. But, the hearing was canceled on Friday - not long after Gotham Gazette had published a preview, which is still relevant and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5984-council-hearing-will-amplify-calls-for-more-supportive-housing" target="_blank">can be read here</a>.</p> <p>We're also looking for the launch of First Lady Chirlane McCray's "mental health roadmap." The roadmap, which has been delayed and the administration prefaced by releasing last week new data on mental illness and mental health challenges faced by New Yorkers. McCray is set to make one related announcement on Tuesday. Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5877-mccray-set-to-unveil-mental-health-roadmap-signature-de-blasio-plan" target="_blank">our extensive preview of the mental health roadmap here</a>.</p> <p>As always, there's a great deal happening&nbsp;all over the city, with many events to be aware of - read our day-by-day rundown below.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?</em><br /><em>E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>***</em></p> <p><strong>The run of the week in detail:</strong></p> <p><strong>Monday<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank"> New York State Legislature</a> on Monday: at 10:30 a.m. at 250 Broadway, the Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development will meet for oversight on the 2015-2016 budget.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday, at 8:30 a.m.: “<a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/media/events.page" target="_blank">K2 in NYC: Promoting Public Health and Safety,”</a> a summit co-hosted by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, the NYPD, and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to discuss the best ways to address the K2 synthetic drug crisis in New York City. Participants will include City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Council Member Vanessa Gibson; DCA Commissioner Julie Menin; DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett; State Senator Jeff Klein; Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; and individuals who have used and been impacted by K2.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will deliver morning remarks at the Hispanic Federation's Annual Hispanic Education Summit; 9:30 a.m. at the CUNY Grad Center. In the evening, Fariña will deliver remarks at an event celebrating LiteracyINC's parent volunteers; 6:15 p.m. in Manhattan.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver&nbsp;remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Executive Economic Summit, in Manhattan.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. at her office, Public Advocate Letitia James will host&nbsp;a meeting of the Public Advocate's LGBTQ Task Force.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. The Internet Association, consisting of a large number of internet based companies, will launch the “New Yorkers for Ride Sharing” coalition in an attempt to motivate legislators to bring back app-based ridesharing services - like Uber and Lyft - in upstate New York.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. the Queens Borough Board, led by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, will <a href="http://queensbp.org/event/queens-borough-board-meeting-2-4-3-2-3-3/?instance_id=1356" target="_blank">vote</a> on the “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” and “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” proposals by the de Blasio administration.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will hold a <a href="http://manhattanbp.nyc.gov/html/home/home.shtml" target="_blank">public hearing</a> regarding those “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” and “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” proposals made by the Department of City Planning (Clinton School, 10 East 15th Street). [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5988-de-blasio-housing-chief-looks-to-allay-fears-build-support-for-rezonings" target="_blank">our look at the de Blasio administration's defense of their proposals and some of the pushback</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Monday, the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) will hold a discussion in Harlem on police quotas: “<a href="https://twitter.com/PROPNYC/status/661916388550819840" target="_blank">NYPD Quotas: The Damage Done to our Cops, to Our Communities, to Our Cities</a>.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. as well, the New York League of Conservation Voters will host <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1671238586451166/" target="_blank">an event</a> to honor the Food Bank of New York City and celebrate the momentum gained by greener buildings, renewable energy, well-funded neighborhood parks, and cleaner waterways initiatives. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is expected to make remarks at the event.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another event at 6 p.m., at Baruch College, “<a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/177740722569383/" target="_blank">The Counterattack: The Media, The War on Women and How to Fight Back</a>” is hosted by state Senator Liz Krueger and will focus on anti-women statements and positions taken by presidential candidates and other prominent politicians. The event is co-sponsored by a wide variety of women’s rights groups and city-based elected officials at all levels.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. the Civilian Complaint Board will hold a <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/ccrb/html/about/meetings.shtml" target="_blank">public meeting</a> at the City College of New York.</p> <p><strong>Tuesday<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank"> New York State Legislature</a> on Tuesday, at 11 a.m. in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the Assembly Standing Committee on Health, and the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes will meet to address the “Heroin and Synthetic Drug Crisis.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet to discuss a land use application and at 10 a.m. the Committee on Juvenile Justice will meet for a tour of the Crossroads Juvenile Center.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 8 a.m. Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton will discuss his priorities and challenges facing the police at the Citizens Budget Commission breakfast meeting. [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5977-peace-dividend-approach-continues-bratton-and-de-blasio-say" target="_blank">our recent look at Bratton’s commitment to his “peace dividend” approach to policing New York City</a>.]</p> <p dir="ltr">At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, a public forum “<a href="http://www.cssny.org/page/event/detail/communityservicesociety/wrtb" target="_blank">Paid Family Leave for the Health of Working Families</a>” will host several speakers including state Senator Joseph Addabbo and a slew of medical professionals, scholars, and insurers supporting Addabbo’s push for paid family leave in New York. The event is sponsored by the Community Service Society, Scholars Strategy Network-NYC Chapter, The Murphy Institute at CUNY, and the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 9 a.m. the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College will continue with its Food Policy for Breakfast Seminar Series with <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-policy-for-breakfast-zoning-and-the-citys-food-system-opportunities-to-shape-healthier-food-registration-19018776673?utm_source=You're+Invited!+Food+Policy+for+Breakfast:+Zoning+and+the+City's+Food+System&amp;utm_campaign=Food+Policy+for+Breakfast+Zoning&amp;utm_medium=email" target="_blank">“Zoning and the City’s Food System: Opportunities to Shape Healthier Food Environments in NYC</a>.” The panelists will be Daniel Hernandez, Deputy Commissioner for Neighborhood Strategies of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development; Shai Lauros, Director of Community Development for Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation; Javier Lopez, Deputy Director of the Center for Health Equity, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 9:30 a.m. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold a Queens Borough Cabinet <a href="http://queensbp.org/event/queens-borough-cabinet-meeting-2-2-3-2-2-2-3/?instance_id=1354" target="_blank">meeting</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday at 10 a.m. at his Harlem office, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, along with various elected officials, NYPD representatives,&nbsp;Hon. Tamiko A. Amaker, and Irwin Shaw, Attorney-in-Charge of the Legal Aid Society's Manhattan Office, will announce the "Clean Slate" warrant forgiveness program, which is scheduled for Saturday.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. Tuesday, there will be a press conference on preventing wage theft, at Tweed Courthouse, at which Comptroller Scott Stringer will speak.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Cornell Tech will offer its first official tour of the Roosevelt Island campus construction on Tuesday. “Development of the first phase of the campus is currently underway and due to open in 2017. Cornell Tech is opening the construction site to press to see the visible transformation of the site,” at 11 a.m. Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday,&nbsp;"First Lady Chirlane McCray will lead an announcement about a new initiative related to mothers and mental health in the upcoming mental health roadmap, ThriveNYC."</p> <p dir="ltr">At 2 p.m. state Assembly Democrats will meet in Albany for an off-session meeting, according to<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/11/8581887/assembly-democrats-plan-nov-17-return-albany" target="_blank"> Politico New York</a>. This is happening right after Senate Republicans met on November 10.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Contracts Committee of the Panel for Educational Policy will meet. The full PEP meets Wednesday evening.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday evening, state Senator&nbsp;Adriano Espaillat hosts an Inwood housing forum at Washington Heights Academy; MBP Gale Brewer will be among the other elected officials to speak.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. Senator Daniel Squadron will host an MTA Bus <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/initiatives/daniel-l-squadron/1117-mta-bus-town-hall" target="_blank">Town Hall</a>, looking at issues raised by constituents at his Community Convention. Representatives from the MTA will hear suggestions on how to improve services. The event is co-sponsored by a variety of other elected officials from Manhattan, local community boards, and Riders Alliance.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will host a <a href="http://brooklyn-usa.org/event/verizon-fios-in-brooklyn-a-public-forum-to-discuss-the-fios-rollout/" target="_blank">public forum</a> on Verizon FiOS in Brooklyn, allowing residents and businesses to comment on the service.</p> <p><strong>Wednesday<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank"> New York State Legislature</a> on Wednesday: a 10 a.m. hearing on “Examining Issues Relating to Poverty among our Senior Citizens” by several committees, and, at 10:30 a.m., a hearing of the Assembly Standing Committee on elections to discuss “enhancing voter accessibility.” Both hearings are in Albany.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Wednesday: at 10 a.m. the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections will meet to listen to the Mayor’s Message as delivered by Janet Alvarez of the New York City Tax Commission; and at 1 p.m. the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will convene to discuss a number of land use applications.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance will host the 6th annual Financial Crimes and CyberSecurity Symposium, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Along with Vance, the conference will be headlined by FBI Director James Comey; Federal Reserve Bank of N.Y. General Counsel and Executive V.P. Thomas Baxter; and City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall,&nbsp;The rally will be led by "New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL), a citywide coalition of leading community based organizations, CUNY programs, libraries and union training programs. In addition to affected students, teachers and other allies, City Council Immigration Chair Carlos Menchaca will speak out in support of adult literacy programs...Nearly 100 adult learners, educators and their supporters will rally...to call attention to an action taken by the City in the most recent budget they believe has been swept under the rug: the elimination of adult literacy classes for over 6,000 individuals. The coalition will call on the Mayor and City Council to restore the classes and expand the City's limited adult literacy infrastructure."</p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday at 2 p.m., the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School will hold “<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rikers-island-reform-it-or-shut-it-down-tickets-19210250376" target="_blank">Rikers Island: Reform it - or Shut It Down</a>?” The event will feature an extensive panel of experts and stakeholders moderated by Errol Louis of NY1. Speakers will include, among others, Elizabeth Glazer, director, Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice; Martin Horn, executive director, NYS Sentencing Commission; Glenn E. Martin, founder and president, JustLeadershipUSA; Carmen Perez, executive director, The Gathering for Justice and co-founder of Justice League NYC; Jeff Smith, assistant professor of politics and advocacy, Milano School; and Scott Stringer, city comptroller.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. state Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will give keynote remarks at “<a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/event/who-represents-us-status-black-women-elected-office" target="_blank">Who Represents Us? The Status of Black Women in Elected Office</a>,” hosted by The Brennan Center for Justice.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also at 6 p.m. Wednesday, The Murphy Institute will host a <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/participatory-budgeting-in-new-york-city-tickets-19401736115" target="_blank">discussion</a> about the role of participatory budgeting in the democratization of urban planning and asses the merits of the practice so far. Speakers include, among others: Celina Su, Political Science, CUNY; City Council Member Jumaane Williams, District 45; and Josh Lerner, Director Participatory Budgeting Project. [Read our recent look at the topic: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5946-participatory-budgeting-grows-in-nyc-why-isnt-every-council-member-doing-it" target="_blank">Participatory Budgeting Grows in NYC: Why Isn’t Every Council Member Doing It?</a>]</p> <p>At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, City &amp; State NY will hold its <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-state-staten-island-special-issue-launch-reception-tickets-18962809273" target="_blank">Staten Island Special Issue Launch Reception</a> at the Staten Island Museum. The event will feature Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.</p> <p><strong>Thursday<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank"> New York State Legislature</a> on Thursday: at 11 a.m. the Assembly Standing Committee on Education and the Assembly Subcommittee on Students with Special Needs will hold a hearing in White Plains to discuss New York schools for deaf and blind students.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Thursday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. the Committee on Civil Service and Labor will meet for oversight on private sector workers and problems with worker rights, organizing and unionization.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. the Committee on Land Use will meet.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m. the Committee on Governmental Operation and the Committee on Finance will meet to discuss a number of bills related to the Environmental Control Board. The bills seek to clarify and reform procedures that occur among city agencies, businesses, and the Environmental Control Board (ECB) in the event of an ECB violation.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m. the Committee on Higher Education will meet for oversight of student unions and non-academic spaces in CUNY universities, discussing whether they are a luxury or a necessity.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, MBP Gale Brewer hosts a Borough Board meeting.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday at noon, the Manhattan Institute’s “The Beat MI” program will host a discussion, &nbsp;“<a href="http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/nyc-quality-life-issues-7990.html" target="_blank">NYC Quality Of Life Issues: Are We Thriving Or Just Surviving?</a>” featuring NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton; Phil Walzak, senior advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellows Jason L. Riley and Fred Siegel.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Council Members Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Fernando Cabrera, Rosie Mendez, I. Daneek Miller, Annabel Palma, and Richie Torres will host a <a href="https://twitter.com/NYCCouncil/status/664840853270106112" target="_blank">Puerto Rican Heritage</a> celebration at the Council Chambers in City Hall.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Thursday the <a href="http://www.learndoe.org/pep/upcoming-pep-11192015/" target="_blank">Panel for Educational Policy</a> will meet in Manhattan.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. the New School, in preparation of the United Nations Conference of the Parties, will host a seminar to examine the role of young people in affecting environmental policy and promoting sustainable urban environments: “<a href="http://www.equityforchildren.org/climate-change-cities-and-youth-engagement-november-19-at-the-new-school-new-york-city/" target="_blank">Climate Change, Cities and Youth Engagement</a>.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7 p.m. Thursday, “The NYC Young Republican <a href="http://www.meetup.com/NYYRCInc/events/225562689/" target="_blank">Monthly Meetup</a>,” with guest speakers TBA as of Sunday.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Daily News <a href="http://m.nydailynews.com/news/politics/lovett-cuomo-clinton-seek-tougher-gun-laws-gala-article-1.2435852" target="_blank">is reporting</a> that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will introduce Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Thursday evening&nbsp;"when she receives a "leadership" award named after his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, at a Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence dinner at Cipriani on Broadway."</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Friday and the weekend<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">&nbsp;New York State Legislature</a>&nbsp;on Friday: at 10:30 a.m. the Assembly Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, the Assembly Standing Committee on Energy, and the Assembly Subcommittee on Infrastructure will meet to evaluate “Natural Gas Safety Efforts by Utilities.”</p> <p dir="ltr">On Friday at 10 a.m. at Civic Hall, the state Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board will host a&nbsp;<a href="http://civichall.org/events/following-the-money/" target="_blank">session</a>&nbsp;to preview new state campaign finance data reporting and to discuss how campaign finance data can be made more useful for the general public.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Friday evening at the LGBT Center in Manhattan,&nbsp;"Advocates, allies, and researchers will gather to release and discuss "Transgender Health and Economic Insecurity: A report from the 2015 NYS LGBT Health and Human Services Needs Assessment." The event is being co-sponsored by the Empire State Pride Agenda, The LGBT Community Center, and Strength in Numbers Consulting Group, with research funding provided by the AIDS Institute of the NYS Department of Health."</p> <p dir="ltr">On Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance will offer New York citizens with outstanding summons warrants a chance for a “<a href="https://twitter.com/NYPD23Pct/status/654712896329375744" target="_blank">Clean Slate</a>” by resolving their minor offenses on site, without the threat of arrest.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Saturday at 10 a.m., the first of many&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hmi.org/BrklynLGBTQyouthsummit" target="_blank">LGBTQ Youth Summits</a>&nbsp;in New York City will be taking place in Brooklyn. The&nbsp;Hetrick-Martin Institute in collaboration with New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the New York City Council LGBTQ Caucus, and community partners will conduct an LGBTQ Youth Summit in each of New York City’s five boroughs in order to empower LGBTQ youth in NYC.</p> <p>***<br />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:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>&nbsp;(please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).</p> <p>***<br />by Colin O'Connor, Konstantine Beridze, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> <p><img alt="New York City Hall" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/640px-New_York_City_Hall.jpg" width="600" height="450" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">New York City Hall</span></p> <hr /> <p><strong>What to watch for this week in New York politics:</strong></p> <p>While former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's corruption trial continues this week, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' gets started. Albany ethics and pay-to-play culture will continue to loom over and be laced throughout the day-to-day news out of the two trials. Just last week, leading good government groups <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5983-good-government-groups-point-to-new-evidence-of-need-for-major-ethics-reform" target="_blank">seized on the timing</a> of the two trials and news that New York received a "D-" on a national scorecard of states' efforts to create government transparency and prevent corruption <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5983-good-government-groups-point-to-new-evidence-of-need-for-major-ethics-reform" target="_blank">to call for sweeping ethics reforms in Albany</a>.</p> <p>Meanwhile, people in New York City and elsewhere are on high alert and in mourning after the attacks that occurred in Paris on Friday. Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, and other elected officials responded over the weekend with shows of solidarity and by taking measures to enhance law enforcement presence.</p> <p>After participating in a Paris vigil in Manhattan Saturday, on Sunday de Blasio spoke at a ceremony commemorating World Day of Rememberance for Road Traffic Victims at City Hall. De Blasio has a busy Monday:</p> <ul> <li>In the morning, he delivers remarks at the Ford Foundation's ConnectHome Broadband Initiative Roundtable.</li> <li>At 11:30 a.m. at the Queens Museum, de Blasio and Council Member Julissa Ferraras-Copeland will host a press conference to make an announcement at</li> <li>At 2 p.m. on Randall's Island, the mayor and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton will host a press conference to announce the first deployment of the NYPD's new Critical Response Command of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau.</li> <li>Later, the Mayor will deliver remarks at the 20th Annual Met Museum Real Estate Council Benefit Dinner.</li> </ul> <p>We're watching this week for any news about a NY/NY IV deal between the city and the state. NY/NY deals have created thousands of units of supportive housing, a homelessness prevention and reduction tool that provides housing and support services for people battling substance abuse, mental illness, and other problems. A City Council hearing had been scheduled for Monday in order to check the status of those negotiations and to pass a resolution calling on the city and state to come to a new agreement to provide new supportive housing units. But, the hearing was canceled on Friday - not long after Gotham Gazette had published a preview, which is still relevant and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5984-council-hearing-will-amplify-calls-for-more-supportive-housing" target="_blank">can be read here</a>.</p> <p>We're also looking for the launch of First Lady Chirlane McCray's "mental health roadmap." The roadmap, which has been delayed and the administration prefaced by releasing last week new data on mental illness and mental health challenges faced by New Yorkers. McCray is set to make one related announcement on Tuesday. Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5877-mccray-set-to-unveil-mental-health-roadmap-signature-de-blasio-plan" target="_blank">our extensive preview of the mental health roadmap here</a>.</p> <p>As always, there's a great deal happening&nbsp;all over the city, with many events to be aware of - read our day-by-day rundown below.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?</em><br /><em>E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>***</em></p> <p><strong>The run of the week in detail:</strong></p> <p><strong>Monday<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank"> New York State Legislature</a> on Monday: at 10:30 a.m. at 250 Broadway, the Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development will meet for oversight on the 2015-2016 budget.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday, at 8:30 a.m.: “<a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/media/events.page" target="_blank">K2 in NYC: Promoting Public Health and Safety,”</a> a summit co-hosted by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, the NYPD, and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to discuss the best ways to address the K2 synthetic drug crisis in New York City. Participants will include City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Council Member Vanessa Gibson; DCA Commissioner Julie Menin; DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett; State Senator Jeff Klein; Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; and individuals who have used and been impacted by K2.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will deliver morning remarks at the Hispanic Federation's Annual Hispanic Education Summit; 9:30 a.m. at the CUNY Grad Center. In the evening, Fariña will deliver remarks at an event celebrating LiteracyINC's parent volunteers; 6:15 p.m. in Manhattan.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver&nbsp;remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Executive Economic Summit, in Manhattan.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. at her office, Public Advocate Letitia James will host&nbsp;a meeting of the Public Advocate's LGBTQ Task Force.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. The Internet Association, consisting of a large number of internet based companies, will launch the “New Yorkers for Ride Sharing” coalition in an attempt to motivate legislators to bring back app-based ridesharing services - like Uber and Lyft - in upstate New York.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. the Queens Borough Board, led by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, will <a href="http://queensbp.org/event/queens-borough-board-meeting-2-4-3-2-3-3/?instance_id=1356" target="_blank">vote</a> on the “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” and “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” proposals by the de Blasio administration.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will hold a <a href="http://manhattanbp.nyc.gov/html/home/home.shtml" target="_blank">public hearing</a> regarding those “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” and “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” proposals made by the Department of City Planning (Clinton School, 10 East 15th Street). [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5988-de-blasio-housing-chief-looks-to-allay-fears-build-support-for-rezonings" target="_blank">our look at the de Blasio administration's defense of their proposals and some of the pushback</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Monday, the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) will hold a discussion in Harlem on police quotas: “<a href="https://twitter.com/PROPNYC/status/661916388550819840" target="_blank">NYPD Quotas: The Damage Done to our Cops, to Our Communities, to Our Cities</a>.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. as well, the New York League of Conservation Voters will host <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1671238586451166/" target="_blank">an event</a> to honor the Food Bank of New York City and celebrate the momentum gained by greener buildings, renewable energy, well-funded neighborhood parks, and cleaner waterways initiatives. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is expected to make remarks at the event.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another event at 6 p.m., at Baruch College, “<a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/177740722569383/" target="_blank">The Counterattack: The Media, The War on Women and How to Fight Back</a>” is hosted by state Senator Liz Krueger and will focus on anti-women statements and positions taken by presidential candidates and other prominent politicians. The event is co-sponsored by a wide variety of women’s rights groups and city-based elected officials at all levels.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. the Civilian Complaint Board will hold a <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/ccrb/html/about/meetings.shtml" target="_blank">public meeting</a> at the City College of New York.</p> <p><strong>Tuesday<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank"> New York State Legislature</a> on Tuesday, at 11 a.m. in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the Assembly Standing Committee on Health, and the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes will meet to address the “Heroin and Synthetic Drug Crisis.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet to discuss a land use application and at 10 a.m. the Committee on Juvenile Justice will meet for a tour of the Crossroads Juvenile Center.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 8 a.m. Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton will discuss his priorities and challenges facing the police at the Citizens Budget Commission breakfast meeting. [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5977-peace-dividend-approach-continues-bratton-and-de-blasio-say" target="_blank">our recent look at Bratton’s commitment to his “peace dividend” approach to policing New York City</a>.]</p> <p dir="ltr">At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, a public forum “<a href="http://www.cssny.org/page/event/detail/communityservicesociety/wrtb" target="_blank">Paid Family Leave for the Health of Working Families</a>” will host several speakers including state Senator Joseph Addabbo and a slew of medical professionals, scholars, and insurers supporting Addabbo’s push for paid family leave in New York. The event is sponsored by the Community Service Society, Scholars Strategy Network-NYC Chapter, The Murphy Institute at CUNY, and the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 9 a.m. the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College will continue with its Food Policy for Breakfast Seminar Series with <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-policy-for-breakfast-zoning-and-the-citys-food-system-opportunities-to-shape-healthier-food-registration-19018776673?utm_source=You're+Invited!+Food+Policy+for+Breakfast:+Zoning+and+the+City's+Food+System&amp;utm_campaign=Food+Policy+for+Breakfast+Zoning&amp;utm_medium=email" target="_blank">“Zoning and the City’s Food System: Opportunities to Shape Healthier Food Environments in NYC</a>.” The panelists will be Daniel Hernandez, Deputy Commissioner for Neighborhood Strategies of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development; Shai Lauros, Director of Community Development for Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation; Javier Lopez, Deputy Director of the Center for Health Equity, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 9:30 a.m. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold a Queens Borough Cabinet <a href="http://queensbp.org/event/queens-borough-cabinet-meeting-2-2-3-2-2-2-3/?instance_id=1354" target="_blank">meeting</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday at 10 a.m. at his Harlem office, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, along with various elected officials, NYPD representatives,&nbsp;Hon. Tamiko A. Amaker, and Irwin Shaw, Attorney-in-Charge of the Legal Aid Society's Manhattan Office, will announce the "Clean Slate" warrant forgiveness program, which is scheduled for Saturday.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. Tuesday, there will be a press conference on preventing wage theft, at Tweed Courthouse, at which Comptroller Scott Stringer will speak.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Cornell Tech will offer its first official tour of the Roosevelt Island campus construction on Tuesday. “Development of the first phase of the campus is currently underway and due to open in 2017. Cornell Tech is opening the construction site to press to see the visible transformation of the site,” at 11 a.m. Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday,&nbsp;"First Lady Chirlane McCray will lead an announcement about a new initiative related to mothers and mental health in the upcoming mental health roadmap, ThriveNYC."</p> <p dir="ltr">At 2 p.m. state Assembly Democrats will meet in Albany for an off-session meeting, according to<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/11/8581887/assembly-democrats-plan-nov-17-return-albany" target="_blank"> Politico New York</a>. This is happening right after Senate Republicans met on November 10.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Contracts Committee of the Panel for Educational Policy will meet. The full PEP meets Wednesday evening.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday evening, state Senator&nbsp;Adriano Espaillat hosts an Inwood housing forum at Washington Heights Academy; MBP Gale Brewer will be among the other elected officials to speak.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. Senator Daniel Squadron will host an MTA Bus <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/initiatives/daniel-l-squadron/1117-mta-bus-town-hall" target="_blank">Town Hall</a>, looking at issues raised by constituents at his Community Convention. Representatives from the MTA will hear suggestions on how to improve services. The event is co-sponsored by a variety of other elected officials from Manhattan, local community boards, and Riders Alliance.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will host a <a href="http://brooklyn-usa.org/event/verizon-fios-in-brooklyn-a-public-forum-to-discuss-the-fios-rollout/" target="_blank">public forum</a> on Verizon FiOS in Brooklyn, allowing residents and businesses to comment on the service.</p> <p><strong>Wednesday<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank"> New York State Legislature</a> on Wednesday: a 10 a.m. hearing on “Examining Issues Relating to Poverty among our Senior Citizens” by several committees, and, at 10:30 a.m., a hearing of the Assembly Standing Committee on elections to discuss “enhancing voter accessibility.” Both hearings are in Albany.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Wednesday: at 10 a.m. the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections will meet to listen to the Mayor’s Message as delivered by Janet Alvarez of the New York City Tax Commission; and at 1 p.m. the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will convene to discuss a number of land use applications.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance will host the 6th annual Financial Crimes and CyberSecurity Symposium, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Along with Vance, the conference will be headlined by FBI Director James Comey; Federal Reserve Bank of N.Y. General Counsel and Executive V.P. Thomas Baxter; and City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. Wednesday at City Hall,&nbsp;The rally will be led by "New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL), a citywide coalition of leading community based organizations, CUNY programs, libraries and union training programs. In addition to affected students, teachers and other allies, City Council Immigration Chair Carlos Menchaca will speak out in support of adult literacy programs...Nearly 100 adult learners, educators and their supporters will rally...to call attention to an action taken by the City in the most recent budget they believe has been swept under the rug: the elimination of adult literacy classes for over 6,000 individuals. The coalition will call on the Mayor and City Council to restore the classes and expand the City's limited adult literacy infrastructure."</p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday at 2 p.m., the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School will hold “<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rikers-island-reform-it-or-shut-it-down-tickets-19210250376" target="_blank">Rikers Island: Reform it - or Shut It Down</a>?” The event will feature an extensive panel of experts and stakeholders moderated by Errol Louis of NY1. Speakers will include, among others, Elizabeth Glazer, director, Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice; Martin Horn, executive director, NYS Sentencing Commission; Glenn E. Martin, founder and president, JustLeadershipUSA; Carmen Perez, executive director, The Gathering for Justice and co-founder of Justice League NYC; Jeff Smith, assistant professor of politics and advocacy, Milano School; and Scott Stringer, city comptroller.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. state Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will give keynote remarks at “<a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/event/who-represents-us-status-black-women-elected-office" target="_blank">Who Represents Us? The Status of Black Women in Elected Office</a>,” hosted by The Brennan Center for Justice.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also at 6 p.m. Wednesday, The Murphy Institute will host a <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/participatory-budgeting-in-new-york-city-tickets-19401736115" target="_blank">discussion</a> about the role of participatory budgeting in the democratization of urban planning and asses the merits of the practice so far. Speakers include, among others: Celina Su, Political Science, CUNY; City Council Member Jumaane Williams, District 45; and Josh Lerner, Director Participatory Budgeting Project. [Read our recent look at the topic: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5946-participatory-budgeting-grows-in-nyc-why-isnt-every-council-member-doing-it" target="_blank">Participatory Budgeting Grows in NYC: Why Isn’t Every Council Member Doing It?</a>]</p> <p>At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, City &amp; State NY will hold its <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-state-staten-island-special-issue-launch-reception-tickets-18962809273" target="_blank">Staten Island Special Issue Launch Reception</a> at the Staten Island Museum. The event will feature Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.</p> <p><strong>Thursday<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank"> New York State Legislature</a> on Thursday: at 11 a.m. the Assembly Standing Committee on Education and the Assembly Subcommittee on Students with Special Needs will hold a hearing in White Plains to discuss New York schools for deaf and blind students.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Thursday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. the Committee on Civil Service and Labor will meet for oversight on private sector workers and problems with worker rights, organizing and unionization.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. the Committee on Land Use will meet.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m. the Committee on Governmental Operation and the Committee on Finance will meet to discuss a number of bills related to the Environmental Control Board. The bills seek to clarify and reform procedures that occur among city agencies, businesses, and the Environmental Control Board (ECB) in the event of an ECB violation.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m. the Committee on Higher Education will meet for oversight of student unions and non-academic spaces in CUNY universities, discussing whether they are a luxury or a necessity.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, MBP Gale Brewer hosts a Borough Board meeting.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday at noon, the Manhattan Institute’s “The Beat MI” program will host a discussion, &nbsp;“<a href="http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/nyc-quality-life-issues-7990.html" target="_blank">NYC Quality Of Life Issues: Are We Thriving Or Just Surviving?</a>” featuring NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton; Phil Walzak, senior advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellows Jason L. Riley and Fred Siegel.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Council Members Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Fernando Cabrera, Rosie Mendez, I. Daneek Miller, Annabel Palma, and Richie Torres will host a <a href="https://twitter.com/NYCCouncil/status/664840853270106112" target="_blank">Puerto Rican Heritage</a> celebration at the Council Chambers in City Hall.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Thursday the <a href="http://www.learndoe.org/pep/upcoming-pep-11192015/" target="_blank">Panel for Educational Policy</a> will meet in Manhattan.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. the New School, in preparation of the United Nations Conference of the Parties, will host a seminar to examine the role of young people in affecting environmental policy and promoting sustainable urban environments: “<a href="http://www.equityforchildren.org/climate-change-cities-and-youth-engagement-november-19-at-the-new-school-new-york-city/" target="_blank">Climate Change, Cities and Youth Engagement</a>.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7 p.m. Thursday, “The NYC Young Republican <a href="http://www.meetup.com/NYYRCInc/events/225562689/" target="_blank">Monthly Meetup</a>,” with guest speakers TBA as of Sunday.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Daily News <a href="http://m.nydailynews.com/news/politics/lovett-cuomo-clinton-seek-tougher-gun-laws-gala-article-1.2435852" target="_blank">is reporting</a> that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will introduce Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Thursday evening&nbsp;"when she receives a "leadership" award named after his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, at a Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence dinner at Cipriani on Broadway."</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Friday and the weekend<br /></strong>At the<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">&nbsp;New York State Legislature</a>&nbsp;on Friday: at 10:30 a.m. the Assembly Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, the Assembly Standing Committee on Energy, and the Assembly Subcommittee on Infrastructure will meet to evaluate “Natural Gas Safety Efforts by Utilities.”</p> <p dir="ltr">On Friday at 10 a.m. at Civic Hall, the state Board of Elections and the New York City Campaign Finance Board will host a&nbsp;<a href="http://civichall.org/events/following-the-money/" target="_blank">session</a>&nbsp;to preview new state campaign finance data reporting and to discuss how campaign finance data can be made more useful for the general public.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Friday evening at the LGBT Center in Manhattan,&nbsp;"Advocates, allies, and researchers will gather to release and discuss "Transgender Health and Economic Insecurity: A report from the 2015 NYS LGBT Health and Human Services Needs Assessment." The event is being co-sponsored by the Empire State Pride Agenda, The LGBT Community Center, and Strength in Numbers Consulting Group, with research funding provided by the AIDS Institute of the NYS Department of Health."</p> <p dir="ltr">On Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance will offer New York citizens with outstanding summons warrants a chance for a “<a href="https://twitter.com/NYPD23Pct/status/654712896329375744" target="_blank">Clean Slate</a>” by resolving their minor offenses on site, without the threat of arrest.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Saturday at 10 a.m., the first of many&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hmi.org/BrklynLGBTQyouthsummit" target="_blank">LGBTQ Youth Summits</a>&nbsp;in New York City will be taking place in Brooklyn. The&nbsp;Hetrick-Martin Institute in collaboration with New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the New York City Council LGBTQ Caucus, and community partners will conduct an LGBTQ Youth Summit in each of New York City’s five boroughs in order to empower LGBTQ youth in NYC.</p> <p>***<br />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:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>&nbsp;(please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).</p> <p>***<br />by Colin O'Connor, Konstantine Beridze, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p>