Gotham Gazette http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/172 Tue, 24 Oct 2017 07:42:47 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Webmaster) As New Yorkers Go to the Polls, Activists Launch 'Vote Better' Campaign http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5963:as-new-yorkers-go-to-the-polls-activists-launch-vote-better-campaign http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5963:as-new-yorkers-go-to-the-polls-activists-launch-vote-better-campaign voter registration via NYC Votes

Voter registration efforts (photo: @NYCVotes)


On Tuesday morning - Election Day - in Manhattan's Foley Square, a large group of New Yorkers will hold a rally, kicking off a campaign to address two of New York's enduring problems: voting access and voter turnout.

While New York City voters go to the polls Tuesday to fill vacant City Council, District Attorney, and state legislative seats, as well as to vote for judges, a coalition of advocates and activists, including good government and community groups, will launch a petition drive toward passing legislation it says will "modernize elections in New York."

The "Vote Better NY" coalition is led by NYC Votes, the voter outreach arm of the city Campaign Finance Board; and also includes Dominicanos USA; Generation Citizen; New York Immigration Coalition, and other advocacy groups, along with good government organizations Citizens Union, League of Women Voters, and NYPIRG. The push is to garner popular support and "show lawmakers" that "New Yorkers from across the state want election reform to be a priority in Albany."

The petition calls for three key reforms to make voting easier in New York:
-The Voter Empowerment Act (A5972/S2538A) to upgrade our voter registration system
-The Voter Friendly Ballot Act (A3389) to establish better ballot design
-Early voting so New Yorkers have more than one day to cast their ballots

The hope is that Albany lawmakers will pass these measures during their 2016 legislative session.

Speaking of 2016, New Yorkers will go to the polls several times next year as they vote in presidential, congressional, and state-level elections on a variety of dates. Then, come 2017, there will be another round of New York City elections featuring a mayoral race as well as other citywide and City Council seats.

First, though, there's this Tuesday's Election Day. There aren't a lot of high-profile races on the ballot, but New York City will soon have two new members of the City Council (one in Queens, one on Staten Island), two new District Attorneys (Staten Island and the Bronx), two new Assembly members (Queens and Brooklyn), a new state Senator (Brooklyn), and perhaps a few new judges.

Judicial elections can often be the most mysterious, as City Limits recently pointed out, along with its discussion of how the election for Bronx District Attorney has transpired in a fashion that good government groups and other watchers have called an insult to democracy.

On Staten Island, the district attorney race has been far different as two candidates seek to replace Congressional Rep. Dan Donovan. It's unclear who has the edge heading into Tuesday's vote as former Rep. Michael McMahon, the Democrat, faces Republican Joan Illuzzi, a longtime prosecutor.

Along with its voter guide for Tuesday's city elections, the New York City Campaign Finance Board offers, "To learn more about judicial candidates running in your district, visit the online Judicial Voter Guide published by the New York State Unified Court." Still, there's limited information to be found on the candidates, as City Limits has shown.

The CFB outlines candidates for several special elections taking place on Tuesday to fill vacant seats in the City Council or the state Legislature.

The two Council vacancies are due to members who resigned to take other jobs. There are three vacancies in the state Legislature that are being filled. One, a Brooklyn Assembly seat (District 46), is due to a resignation for another job opportunity. Two others are due to corruption, where the former members were forced to resign. Those two seats include one Queens Assembly seat (District 29) and one Brooklyn Senate seat (District 19).

In District 23 in Queens there is a City Council vacancy created by the resignation of Mark Weprin, who took a job in Governor Cuomo's administration. The Democratic candidate, Barry Grodenchik, faces Republican candidate Joseph Concannon. Grodenchik, a former Assembly member, came out of a crowded Democratic primary.

In District 51 on Staten Island, there is another vacancy being filled - it is an uncontested race for City Council, where Assemblymember Joseph Borelli will be elected to the Council to fill the seat vacated by former Minority Leader Vinny Ignizio, who resigned to take a job as a nonprofit leader. Like Ignizio, Borelli is a Republican.

Borelli and the winner of the Grodenchik-Concannon race will have to run for re-election in 2017, when the entirety of the City Council and the citywide officials will be on the ballot.

First, a year from now, there will be elections for all the seats in the New York State Assembly and Senate. Just ten months from now, there will be primaries in those races.

As both former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and form Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos head to trial this month on corruption charges (Silver's trial starts Monday), speculation continues to swirl around whether either will still be in office come next year's elections, and if they are, whether they will see significant challenges.

While there is more intrigue ahead in 2016 and 2017, don't forget to go out and vote on Tuesday in the 2015 elections, if you have races to vote in - check your poll site here, via the City Board of Elections. Turnout is expected to be quite low this year, even lower than it has been in other recent years with more high-profile offices on the ballot, part of why 'Vote Better' activists are launching their campaign Tuesday.

***
by Ben Max, editor, Gotham Gazette
@TweetBenMax

Note: Gotham Gazette is an independent publication of Citizens Union Foundation, sister organization of Citizens Union.

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As New Yorkers Go to the Polls, Activists Launch 'Vote Better' Campaign Mon, 02 Nov 2015 02:19:48 +0000
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 27 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5698:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-april-27 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5698:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-april-27 New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

  • Movement toward Mayor de Blasio's Executive Budget, due out May 7, according to the mayor
    • the mayor has promised additional detail on a number of fronts, and the city's updated 10-year capital plan is due along with the updated FY16 budget
    • what will happen regarding NYPD staffing - will there be money for the 1,000 new officers the Council has asked for? a compromise at 500, perhaps?
    • other key issues on the table include funding for libraries, seniors, farmland, and more
  • Tuesday marks one week until the special elections in New York's 11th Congressional District and 43rd Assembly District
    • does Democrat Vinnie Gentile have a chance to defeat Republican Dan Donovan to rep Staten Island and a small chunk of Brooklyn in Congress?
    • could we have the first Working Families Party-only candidate elected to the state Assembly?

As always, there's a great deal happening all over the city, with many events to be aware of, see below for our day-by-day rundown.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: bmax@gothamgazette.com***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
After another trip out of town - this time he was in Wisconsin talking about the inequality crisis and bashing WI Republican Governor and presidential candidate Scott Walker - Mayor Bill de Blasio starts the new week with a limited public schedule, he "will travel to Connecticut and return to New York City in the afternoon. Later, the Mayor will swear in 28 judges to Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court."

Governor Cuomo starts his Monday in New York City with a 9:30 a.m. appearance at the "Daily News Citizenship NOW! Phonebank Event" at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. The governor will then travel to Albany later in the day.

On Monday morning at 10 a.m., City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will appear on "HuffPost Live"; then at 11:15 she will attend CUNY Citizenship Now Call-In; and at 4 p.m. she will speak at Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adam's Community Affairs Recognition Ceremonial at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

On Monday at 11 a.m., it is reported that Vice President Joe Biden will swear in Loretta E. Lynch as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States.

At 11:30 Monday morning, the State Senate Democrats will renew their push to close the infamous LLC loophole, preceeding a vote in senate committee. The push is being led by Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and bill sponsor Daniel Squadron. They will be joined at the press conference by other legislators from both houses and advocates. [Read about the pending Monday vote on the LLC loophole and the larger campaign finance reform push in our recent article on the subject]

On Monday morning, WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show will welcome City Council Member Brad Lander, who will discuss, among other city news, "the "Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act" he sponsored that was approved by the City Council. It would prohibit credit checks for hiring for many jobs."

On Monday morning, ahead of the City Council's hearing on a resolution declaring the city a "TPP-free zone" there will be a 9:30 a.m. press conference at City Hall: "Leaders from New York City's labor, environmental, social justice and faith communities will rally and testify in support of City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal's resolution urging Congress to reject "Fast Track" legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and declaring the city a "TPP-free zone." The rally will include "City Council members, Communications Workers of America, Working Families Party, Sierra Club NYC Group, New York City Central Labor Council, New York State AFL-CIO, Food & Water Watch, MoveOn.org, Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY), United Steel Workers, Alliance for Retired Americans and WE ACT for Environmental Justice." Speakers will include Zephyr Teachout and Josh Fox, director of Gasland.

Just after that rally, also outside City Hall, Council Members Margaret Chin and Paul Vallone will hold a "press conference calling on Mayor de Blasio to add new funding for vital senior services in his forthcoming Fiscal Year 2016 executive budget."

Human Services Council will lead a "COLA Rally" at City Hall at noon on Monday: "Join HSC, social service providers, and friends of the sector in urging the City to increase [cost of living adjustments in city contracts] for the social service sector."

Monday’s City Council schedule includes a meeting of the Committee on Women’s Issues to consider a resolution regarding “Prohibition of differential pay based on gender”;  a meeting of the Committee on State and Federal Legislation to consider a resolution declaring the City of New York a ‘TPP-Free Zone’; a meeting of the Committee on Land Use; a meeting of the Committee on Health to consider a resolution “recognizing this and every April as Organ Donation Awareness Month in the City of NY” and to discuss a new bill which would “require the department of health and mental hygiene to issue an annual report regarding hepatitis B and hepatitis C”; and a meeting of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations to discuss a “comprehensive cultural plan.”

At 1:30 p.m. on Monday in Albany, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will hold a "news conference regarding equal pay. He will be joined by Labor Chair Michele Titus, members of the Assembly Majority and advocates."

Monday afternoon: City College of New York competition expo and Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs Prize awards.

At 5:30 p.m Monday, the Contracts Committee of the Panel for Educational Policy will hold a public meeting at Tweed Courthouse.

On Monday evening, City Council Member Helen Rosenthal will hold a town hall with representatives of several city agencies there to answer constituent questions and at which she'll announce the winners of her district's participatory budgeting process.

Also Monday evening, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and special guests Lin-Manuel Miranda and Arturo O’Farril will host An Evening of Arts and Culture at Pregones Theater, in the Bronx.

Comptroller Scott Stringer starts his week with one public event: at 6:30 p.m., Financial Women's Association will host him for an open conversation at TIAA-CREF in Manhattan.

At 8 p.m. on Monday, New York City "First Lady Chirlane McCray will introduce author Toni Morrison at a reading and discussion of Morrison's new book, God Help the Child, at the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center."

And, there is another scheduled debate in the NY-11 congressional race scheduled for Monday evening. Republican Dan Donovan has skipped several opportunities to appear alongside Democrat Vinnie Gentile and Green James Lane and it was reported that he will not be debating again, though it is unclear if he will attend Monday evening's event at 7 p.m. at the College of Staten Island.

Tuesday
Tuesday is one week until the special elections in New York’s 11th Congressional District (Staten Island, Brooklyn) and 43rd Assembly District (Brooklyn).

Tuesday morning in Albany, the New York League of Conservation Voters will host a Capital Region Eco-Breakfast at Fort Orange Club: “Every year, our Capital Region Eco-Breakfast brings together environmental leaders from across the state. We are excited to welcome all three Environmental Conservation Committee chairs in the State Legislature as our featured guest speakers. We will also honor The Nature Conservancy for their tireless work on the Community Risk and Climate Resiliency Act, which was signed into law last year. State Senator Diane Savino will join us to give remarks on this achievement and to present them with their award.”

Tuesday afternoon in Albany, Empire State Pride Agenda will host New York LGBT Equality & Justice Day 2015, "the largest statewide annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy day." 

Tuesday at noon at City Hall, there will be a rally led by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence with Council Member Jumaane Williams, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and others calling on the state Legislature to pass 'Nicholas' Law.' [Read this recent op-ed explaining and promoting passage of the law]

Tuesday’s City Council schedule includes a meeting of the Committee on Finance to consider the following resolutions including one “Establishing a property tax credit for commercial landlords who voluntarily limit the amount of rent increases to small business owner tenants upon lease renewal”; and one “Establishing a real property tax credit for small business owners who own their properties and for commercial landlords who retain tenants”; another meeting of the Committee on State and Federal Legislation on the resolution “Declaring the City of New York a “TPP-Free Zone”; and a full-body Stated meeting of the City Council starting at 1:30 p.m., with the usual pre-stated press conference at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Tuesday evening, the New York City Bar Association will host The Evolving City Council: “The Committee on New York City Affairs is presenting a panel discussion addressing the governance of the City Council. What impact do the recent amendments to the Council's Rules have upon the Speaker's powers, independence of Council Members and Committee Chairs, and the effectiveness of the Council in performing its obligations under the Charter? Is a strong Speaker necessary for the Council to act as a check and balance to the Mayor? What further amendments to the Rules are necessary, or should any of the recent amendments be reconsidered? What additional powers, if any, does the Council need to perform its duties effectively and to act as a check and balance to the Mayor?” Participants will include Public Advocate Letitia James Advocate, several current and former City Council members, Manhattan BP Gale Brewer and Queens BP Melinda Katz, Common Cause New York's Susan Lerner, and several law experts.

Also Tuesday evening, the African Leadership Project will hold a panel discussion on access to quality education titled: "Our Children Matter: Is Access to Quality Education a Civil Rights Issue?" at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building on West 125th Street.

Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will hold three fundraisers in New York City, followed by a Wednesday morning speech at former Mayor David Dinkins' annual forum at Columbia University.

Wednesday
Wednesday morning, Hillary Clinton will give the keynote address at the 18th Annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University.

Wednesday is #DenimDayNYC, and there will be a rally at City Hall led by City Council Women's Issues Committee Chair Laurie Cumbo and others to raise awareness about domestic violence and continue the push against it: "Sexual Violence must end. Join the #DENIMDAYNYC rally on Wed. April 29, 11AM, City Hall."

All day Wednesday, Capgemini and Thomson Reuters hosts its Chief Digital Officer Summit New York City. Amen Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, will attend and speak at one of the panels.

Wednesday’s City Council schedule includes a joint meeting of the Committees on Consumer Affairs and Housing and Buildings on new bills regarding “Licensing tenant relocation specialists”; “Required notifications by persons negotiating tenant buyout offers”; and “Amending the definition of harassment to include repeated buyout offers”; a meeting of the Committee on Sanitation Solid Waste Management for an oversight hearing regarding “Sustainability in the Commercial Waste Industry”; a meeting of the Committee on Technology, jointly with the Committee on Higher Education for an oversight hearing regarding “Diversity at CUNY TV”; a meeting of the Committee on Environmental Protection on “limiting nighttime illumination for certain buildings”; and a meeting of the Committee on Veterans for an oversight hearing on “Veterans Liaisons at City Agencies.”

Wednesday afternoon, the Rockefeller Institute of Government will host a forum on state government immigrant policy with New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales: “This forum engages key policymakers from both the executive and legislative branches to discuss achievements and new initiatives to help new immigrants and refugees, as well as assist permanent residents become U.S. citizens. As comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level has stalled, the states are increasingly passing legislation and implementing initiatives to further immigrant integration. New York is among the handful of states with an Office for New Americans. Working together with a taskforce in the legislature, the Office for New Americans has developed innovative programs that are increasingly referenced across the country, most recently in the “Federal Strategic Action Plan on Immigrant and Refugee Integration” issued on April 14th by the White House Task Force on New Americans.” Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, chair of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and chair of the Task Force on New Americans will attend.

Wednesday at 6 p.m., there will be a Panel for Educational Policy meeting at M.S. 131, 100 Hester Street, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, The Center for New York City Affairs at The New School will host Affordable Housing: Rent and Reality. “Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious affordable housing agenda is at the heart of his administration’s pledge to start a new chapter in “a tale of two cities.” In 2015, Albany serves as the rent-regulation battleground but the true impact of this fight will be felt in the five boroughs where more than 2.3 million people live in rent-regulated housing. While proposals to construct new affordable housing continue to garner the most media attention, the mayor’s State of the City address revealed just how dependent his strategy is on preserving the affordability of existing units. What does the battle over rent regulation in the state capital portend for turning de Blasio’s vision into reality? Join a forum with leading officials, experts, and practitioners who will shed light on this question and more.”

Thursday
On Thursday, Public Advocate Letitia James will hold a "Forum on Housing Crisis and Rent Reform" at 10 a.m. at the 1199 SEIU Auditorium: "a forum to discuss New York City's housing crisis, landlord abuses of tenants, and the need to strengthen the rent laws that protect the affordable housing of over 2 million New Yorkers. The forum will consist of two panels followed by an intimate roundtable between the Public Advocate and four tenants. The forum is being hosted by the Real Rent Reform Coalition, The Alliance for Tenant Power, and 1199 SEIU." [Read our recent profile of Public Advocate James]

Thursday’s City Council schedule includes a meeting of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, jointly with the Committee on Public Housing for an oversight hearing regarding “Monitoring FEMA’s $3 Billion Dollar Grant to NYCHA for Sandy-Damaged Developments”; a meeting of the Committee on Governmental Operations to discuss new bills relating to “Establishing term limits for community board members”; and “Making urban planning professionals available to community boards.” [Read our recent report on the bill to establish terms limits for community board members and read our recent report on the bill to require a city planner for community boards]

On Thursday evening, City & State NY hosts its "inaugural 'On Queens' cocktail reception featuring Queens Borough President Melinda Katz...City & State's first-ever Queens Special Issue, which will be officially released at the event, will focus on the landscape of Queens' politics, feature spotlights specific to the borough, and have perspectives from Queens leaders." 6:30 p.m. in Long Island City.

Friday and the weekend
Friday morning, NYU Steinhardt hosts another in its Education Policy Breakfast Series. The topic will be affordability and sustainability in early childhood education: “As New York prepares to expand pre-K, what can we learn from other cities and countries that have undergone similar efforts?  In particular, what are the different models for funding early childhood education?  How have countries with less wealth succeeded in implementing pre-K?  Our guest speakers will include an economist who focuses on early childhood development and poverty alleviation issues internationally, and a former appointee in the Obama Administration who oversaw pre-K programs in Washington, DC.”

Also Friday morning, the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School will celebrate its 20-year anniversary with a breakfast event featuring NYC Law Department Corporation Counsels past and present, including current corp counsel Zachary Carter, and formers Michael Cardozo and Paul Crotty.

At 10 a.m. Friday, the City Council Committees on Health and Consumer Affairs will meet jointly for a hearing on a variety of business and regulatory policies and practices. Also at 10 a.m., the City Council Committee on Immigration will meet for an oversight hearing on “Implementation of IDNYC - New York City’s Municipal Identification Program.” 

On Saturday, the FDNY celebrates its 150th anniversary with open houses at fire houses and EMS stations all over the city.

***
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: bmax@gothamgazette.com (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Rati Mukhuradze, Marco Poggio, and Ben Max
@GothamGazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 27 Sun, 26 Apr 2015 05:00:00 +0000
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 30 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5659:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-march-30 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5659:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-march-30 New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

March madness in Albany has been quite a ride, and word Sunday night is that a fiscal year 2016 budget agreement is in place. At about 9:30 p.m., the governor's office announced that Cuomo is now five for five in on-time budgets as governor - not a small feat: "The Budget agreement includes landmark education reforms and investment, an ethics package with the nation's strongest disclosure laws for legislators with outside income, and new investments in rebuilding and growing the state's economy, including $1.5 billion for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and $500 million to make New York the first in the nation to have statewide broadband. The Budget agreement holds spending growth below two percent for the fifth consecutive year, continuing a record of fiscal discipline that has reversed decades of state budgets where spending grew at a higher rate than inflation or personal income growth." Full details will be released on Monday.

As negotiations continued the governor has admitted that more and more of the policies that he attempted to include in the budget were being pushed to the legislative session to follow - which has frustrated some fellow Democrats. Policies the governor has said he included in his budget but will be taken up in the legislative session (which runs until mid-June) include the Dream Act, an education tax credit, and 'Raise the Age' juvenile justice reform. Also likely: minimum wage. Education policy and ethics reforms continue to be the big ticket items that the governor has said he is committed to movement on. Over the weekend many rallied outside the governor's New York City office in protest of his education policy reforms; while others rallied at City Hall in support.

In quite the well-timed release, a new unauthorized biography of Cuomo is due out on Tuesday: Michael Shnayerson's "The Contender."

Meanwhile, in New York City, the City Council has just wrapped its month of preliminary budget hearings, calling in city agencies to discuss expenditures, policies, and needs. Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council members are eagerly awaiting a final deal in Albany, of course, to see how state policy and funding decisions will impact the city. A city budget is due by July 1. [Read our new look at how the City Council defines "women's issues" when it comes ot the budget and otherwise]

Mayor de Blasio begins his week with a 3 p.m. event: "On Monday, Mayor de Blasio will hold public hearings for and sign Intro. 685, in relation to extending rent stabilization laws; Intro. 435-A, in relation to reporting of special education services provided by the Department of Education; and Intro. 485-A, in relation to requiring the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide outreach and education for young adults."

May 5 is not so far away. It is the date of the special election for New York's 11th Congressional District (and the 43rd State Assembly District). The race in NY-11 between Democrat Vincent Gentile and Republican Dan Donovan is heating up, and the two will meet Tuesday night for a debate in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, along with Green Party candidate James Lane. See below for details.

There's a great deal happening at the City Council this week, including a full-body Stated meeting on Tuesday; and plenty of events all over the city, see our day-by-day run below.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: bmax@gothamgazette.com***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's public schedule on Monday includes preparing and distributing kosher for Passover meals with other Council Members, Masbia Soup Kitchen, Queens; and remarks at the Council's Women's History Month celebration.

At 8:15 Monday morning, City Comptroller Scott Stringer will appear live on 91.1 FM's "JM in the AM."

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be a guest on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show this morning, discussing help for small business owners.

Monday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor calling upon the United States Congress to pass, and the President to sign the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act; a meeting of the Committee on Civil Rights to discuss the powers and duties of the Commission on Human Rights, as well as establishing a housing discrimination testing program and an employment discrimination testing program; a meeting of the Committee on Education on a resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to reject any attempt to raise the cap on the number of charter schools, a resolution calling upon the Department of Education to amend its Parent’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to include information about opting out of high-stakes testing and distribute this document at the beginning of every school year, to every family, in every grade, and a resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to fully implement the education funding requirements for New York City resulting from the Campaign for Fiscal Equity v State of New York case.

At 11 a.m., Attorney General Eric Schneiderman "will detail his agreement with retail giant GNC to implement landmark reforms in the authentication, testing and public information and transparency of herbal supplements," from his Manhattan office.

Also Monday morning at 11 a.m., "as part of the city's unprecedented tax season outreach cmapaign," an event in Flushing "to promote free tax filing" is being put on by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Rep. Grace Meng, Community Tax Aid, and the Flushing YMCA. DCA Commissioner Julie Menin, Meng and others "are hosting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Awareness Day to promote free tax preparation services available in Flushing."

On Monday at noon, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña "launches literacy program in 20 Family Shelters with DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor" from HELP Bronx Crotona Park North.

Monday afternoon at 2 p.m., U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries will speak at New York Law School: “Jeffries will speak about innovation in New York and his work in Washington developing policies to further innovation nationally.”

Also at 2 p.m. Monday, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen and city Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball announce two major initiatives to further New York City’s life sciences sector, at Rockefeller University - according to City & State NY.

At 3 p.m. Mayor de Blasio will hold his aforementioned bill-signing event.

On Monday at 4:30, "Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer will host a Technology & Education Mixer at Civic Hall, the newly-opened community for civic technology...bringing public school principals seeking partnerships with technology organizations..." Brewer: "With passage of the New York State Smart Schools Bond Act, as well as recent changes to E-Rate funding streams at the federal level, New York City schools stand to receive significant capital funds to invest in education technology. Our event will help both tech organizations and schools prepare." Present will be Hal Friedlander, Chief Information Officer, NYC Dept of Education; over 40 Manhattan Public School principals and staff; Civic & Educational Technology organizations, including Citizen Schools, The LAMP, and others.

Monday afternoon, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Public Advocate Letitia James; Council Women’s Issues Committee Chair Laurie Cumbo; and the City Council Women’s Caucus will host The Second Annual Women’s Herstory Month Celebration at the Council Chambers in City Hall: “This year we recognize Women With Vision, trail blazers who embody the entrepreneurial spirit in pursuit of greatness in the public, political, or private sectors by harnessing opportunities through their vision that transform all of our lives for the better.”

At Brooklyn Borough Hall there will be a Women's History Month celebration hosted by Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Laurie Cumbo. It will feature an expo of women-owned businesses and then an awards ceremony. Rikki Klieman is the highlighted guest speaker.

Council Member Andy King will hold a “Town Hall” meeting in Eastchester Heights: “New York City Council Member Andy King will be speaking at the meeting as a part of an ongoing series to bring constituent services directly to 12th Council District residents, listen to concerns and answer questions from members of the community.”

Also Monday evening, the Queens Library will host an open budget hearing in Flushing: “The public is invited to find out what the library's funding priorities are, and to give the library their input.”

Tuesday
On Tuesday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will attend the Council of Institutional Investors 2015 Spring Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration in Washington D.C.

As mentioned, Michael Shnayerson’s Andrew Cuomo biography “The Contender,” is slated for release Tuesday.

Tuesday is the last day of the state's 2015 fiscal year. A new fiscal year 2016 budget is due by midnight.

Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., City & State will host Real Estate, Construction & Housing Awards Breakfast to “honor outstanding professionals from New York’s Real Estate, Construction and Housing Industries.” Attendees will include Adolfo Carrion, Executive VP of Stagg Group, former Bronx Borough President; Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development; and others.

Also Tuesday morning, there will be a Crain's New York Business breakfast forum with New York City Council Members Julissa Ferreras, Brad Lander, Mark Levine, and Jumaane Williams. The council members will discuss how the Council is changing the playing field for businesses, land-use priorities in their districts and citywide, and what they would like from the de Blasio and Cuomo administrations.

Tuesday at 9 a.m., Chalkbeat will present a community schools conversation with Nancy Zimpher and Jeff Edmondson, moderated by Motoko Rich of the New York Times: “SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Jeff Edmunson, co-authors of "Strive Together" about their work in developing community schools in Cincinnati, discuss early lessons for other cities hoping to replicate the model.”

Tuesday’s City Council schedule will include a 10 a.m. meeting of the Committee on Finance to review a resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass a law that would provide a property tax exemption for privately-owned vacant land while such property is being used for the public benefit; and a City Council Stated Meeting at 1:30 p.m. It's the Council's second full-budy Stated meeting of the month. Bills will be introduced and others previously introduced will be voted on - one that will be introduced is from Council Member Dan Garodnick and would require the NYPD to publish its patrol guide.

Tuesday evening, Educators for Excellence will host Manhattan Policy Roundtable: Teacher Evaluation and Tenure.

Also Tuesday evening, Queens College will host Women in Leadership: Economic Justice in ‘UnBankable’ Communities: “Shared Interest, a non-profit social investment fund, provides access to credit and mentorship for microenterprise and small business owners, farmers and cooperative members. The majority of these business owners are women, who would otherwise be considered ‘unbankable.’Donna Katzin, Executive Director of Shared Interest, will highlight themes related to community and international development, impact investing, women’s leadership, and strategies to promote social and economic justice.”

Tuesday at 5 p.m., NYU Wagner and NYU’s Leadership Initiative will host All Things Being Equal: Reflections of a Social Justice Leader: “Join us for a fascinating discussion with one of America’s most influential public service leaders, Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. Melody Barnes, NYU’s Vice Provost for Global Student Leadership Initiatives and Senior Fellow at NYU Wagner, will engage him in discussion about his journey in leadership - from his birth in a charity hospital in Louisiana to becoming President of the second largest philanthropy in the United States.”

Tuesday evening, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence will host its spring meeting: “You’ll get an update from Executive Director Leah Gunn Barrett and others about pending state and federal legislation and other NYAGV activities and find out how you can help advocate to reduce gun violence.” [Read a recent op-ed by Barrett on the need to pass Nicholas' Law]

Tuesday at 6 p.m., The Center For New York City Affairs at New School will host Low-Down on Pre-K from Insideschools: “If your child turns 4 this year, he or she is eligible for free pre-kindergarten, either in a public school or at a site run by a community organization. The de Blasio administration gets an A for effort in its rapid expansion of pre-kindergarten, with more than 30,000 new seats last fall and another 20,000 planned for this coming fall. But what is the quality of these new programs?”

There will be a meeting of the National Women's Political Caucus New York City chapter, at which Manhattan BP Brewer will speak.

And also Tuesday evening, a debate in the 11th Congressional District race: 8:15 PM at Guild for Exceptional Children's headquarters in Brooklyn. Staten Island Advance: "Republican District Attorney Daniel Donovan, Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile and Green Party candidate James Lane will debate on March 31 at an event held by the Bay Ridge Community Council. The three men are facing off in a special election on May 5 for the vacant seat in Congress, left empty by Michael Grimm's resignation in January."

[Read the latest reporting from Gotham Gazette on New York City and State politics and policy]

Wednesday
Wednesday is the first day of the New York State 2016 fiscal year.

Wednesday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Housing and Buildings; a meeting of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor jointly with the Committee on Finance for an oversight hearing regarding examining health care savings under recent collective bargaining agreements; a meeting of the Committee on General Welfare jointly with the Committee on Health for an oversight hearing on examining health and safety at ACS-funded Head Start Programs; a meeting of the Committee on Waterfronts jointly with the Committee on Environmental Protection to discuss a resolution calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto the application by Liberty Natural Gas, LLC to construct the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of New York.

Wednesday at 1 p.m., School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University will present Dean’s Seminar Series On Race and Policy: At the Intersection of Tech and Social Impact: “Benjamin Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP and current partner at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, will discuss technology and its relevance to social policy.”

Also at Columbia University mid-day Wednesday, Manhattan BP Brewer will speak at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs "One Billion Rising" event raising awareness to end violence against women.

Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., BetaNYC will present NYC Department of Transportation Open Data Forum: “We're joining up with our friends at NYC's Department of Transportation for the third open data forum. Join NYC DOT staff for a town hall-style meeting to discuss open data formatting and access. Bring your questions about DOT's data!!”

Also Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., City Council Members Costa Constantinides and Paul Vallone, in conjunction with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, will celebrate the anniversary of Greek Independence: “The celebration will honor Greek-Americans who have dedicated themselves to serving their communities.”

Thursday
Thursday evening, Big Apple Coffee Party, Common Cause/NY, Public Citizen and Occupy Wall Street Special Projects Affinity Group  will hold a Rally to Shine a Light on Corruption in Our Democracy: “Join a national campaign to encourage President Obama to sign an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to disclose their campaign activities and contributions.”

Also Thursday evening, the Digital NYC Five Borough Tour will return to Manhattan for a session in partnership with General Assembly and Flatiron BID. Panelists will include Jake Schwartz, Co-Founder & CEO of General Assembly, Hagos Mehreteab, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition at AppNexus, Madison (“Maddy”) Maxie, Creative Technologist, and Kristen Titus, Founding Director at NYC Tech Talent Pipeline.

Friday and the weekend
Friday is Good Friday and Passover begins at sundown on Friday, so things will be quiet at the end of the week and into the weekend - we think, at least.

***Read some of the latest original content from Gotham Gazette - explore our stories or recent op-eds***

***
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: bmax@gothamgazette.com (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Rati Mukhuradze, Marco Poggio, and Ben Max
@GothamGazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 30 Sun, 29 Mar 2015 05:00:00 +0000
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 9 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5619:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-march-9 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5619:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-march-9 New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week will be another dominated by budget negotiations and hearings, both in New York City and Albany. In the city, the City Council began its preliminary budget hearings last week and continues them this week and throughout March, evaluating Mayor Bill de Blasio's spending plans agency by agency. In Albany, discussions swirl around how the Legislature might attempt to move Governor Andrew Cuomo on some of the hard stances he's taking with respect to education and ethics policies and the ways in which he is budgeting them. Both the State Senate and the State Assembly are expected to introduce and vote on their respective one-house budgets this week, which will further intensify negotiations with the governor. Of course, there are key aspects of what de Blasio and other city officials want from the State that are at stake in Albany negotiations. An Albany budget is due by April 1; a New York City budget by July 1.

Mayor de Blasio and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner are reportedly set to push the governor and the State Legislature for increased education funding on Monday  - apart from Cuomo's education reform plan, which he has tied to funding increases in order to force the Legislature's hand.

Other highlights to watch this week include the race in New York's 11th Congressional District heating up as there is limited time before the May 5 special election between Dan Donovan and Vincent Gentile to replace former Congressman Michael Grimm; Public Advocate Letitia James continues her "mayoral control forums;" and various celebrations of Women's History Month.

As always, there are many events to be aware of this week. See our day-by-day rundown below.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: bmax@gothamgazette.com***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray start the week hosting "the Beijing +20 Reception at Gracie Mansion" Monday evening.

On Monday morning, Rep. Joe Crowley and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will hold a press conference to celebrate Women’s History Month in the Bronx, according to City & State NY.

At 10 a.m., on steps of City Hall, there will be a news conference condemning Fast Track legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the so-called "free" trade deal that has been described as "NAFTA on steroids." Attendees will  include Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (8th District, Brooklyn and Queens), Rep. Grace Meng (6th District, Queens), Mario Cilento, President of NYS AFL-CIO, Vincent Alvarez, President of NYC Central Labor Council, James Conigliaro, Business Representative of Machinists Union District 15, George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, Carmen Charles, President of AFSCME Local 420m, Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer at Food and Water Watch, and Thelma Fellows, Executive Committee at Sierra Club NYC.

Also 10 a.m. Monday, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball will present a $1 billion plan to redevelop property in the Sunset Park area, according to City & State NY.

Monday at 11:30 a.m., on the steps of City Hall, “Council Member Mark S. Weprin, along with his colleagues in the City Council, announces the introduction of a bill to allow and regulate youth hostels in New York City.”

Monday, at 11:30 a.m., schools Chancellor Carmen Farina will be a guest on WNYC’s the Brian Lehrer show discussing why 7th grade is such a pivotal year in a child’s life.

Also Monday morning, "three of the largest New York City faith-based institutions on Monday March 9th to unveil a historic study about poverty reduction in New York City. The three faith-based organizations releasing the study are: The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, and UJA-Federation of New York. Together they will release the results of a major new research study that demonstrates the effects anti-poverty policy combinations can have on reducing poverty in New York.

Monday at noon, at Governor Cuomo’s Office in New York City, faith and labor leaders, voters, and community members will take part in a rally organized by Common Cause “to demand morality, fairness and honesty from our elected officials.”

At 1 p.m. Monday, members of Gov. Cuomo’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice will hold a panel discussion on raising the age of criminal prosecution at The New York Bar Association in Albany, according to City & State NY.

"Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman will announce a groundbreaking settlement with the nation's three leading national credit reporting agencies to implement critical reforms to protect consumers" on Monday at 1:30, joined by Julie Menin, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and Susan Shin, senior staff attorney at the New Economy Project.

Monday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises to review land use in the Soho Cast-Iron Historic District in Manhattan; a meeting of the Committee on Higher Education to consider resolution “calling upon Congress to pass and the President to sign legislation to implement President Barack Obama’s ‘America’s College Promise’ plan to make two years of community college free to anyone who maintains a 2.5 GPA and calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation funding the State’s obligation under the plan”; a meeting of the Committee on Parks and Recreation for preliminary budget oversight; and a meeting of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions to review submitted Land Use Applications.

Monday’s State Senate Committee Hearings will include a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Labor to discuss a variety of acts to amend the labor law; a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions to discuss a variety of legislation, including an act to amend the New York State Urban Development Corporation Act in relation to creating the New York State innovative energy and environmental technology program; and several in relation to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Monday at 5:30 p.m., the Queens Borough Board, as led by Queens BP Melinda Katz, will meet and vote on FY2016 Budget Priorities

On Monday evening, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will make a “special presentation at Women’s History Month reception, Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

And on Monday evening, schools Chancellor Farina will deliver remarks at the Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival at the Imperial Theatre in Manhattan.

Tuesday
Tuesday is the funeral for Cardinal Edward Egan, which will be attended by many, including Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and other elected officials.

That will be part of a busy Tuesday for de Blasio, who before the funeral will visit a classroom at the Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant and then host a press conference to make an education announcement. Then, after the funeral, the mayor will deliver remarks at a Mayor's Fund reception and then deliver remarks at the Beijing+20 Opening Reception.

Tuesday’s State Senate Committee Hearing schedule will include a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Education to consider a variety of legislation, including to amend chapter 91 of the laws of 2002, amending the education law and other laws relating to the reorganization of the New York city school construction authority, board of education, and community boards, in relation to the effectiveness thereof; and to repeal section 4 of chapter 91 of the laws of 2002, amending the education law and other laws relating to the reorganization of the New York city school construction authority, board of education, and community boards; a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation to consider a variety of legislation; a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Codes to consider a variety of legislation, including in relation to providing that an elementary or secondary school student shall be incapable of consenting to sexual conduct with a school employee; an act to amend the penal law, in relation to forged instruments and the sale thereof; an act to amend the penal law, in relation to the theft of controlled substances.

Tuesday morning, YWCA will present: “Women’s History Month Breakfast Panel Series: Leadership and Generosity: A Call to Action” featuring local leaders Sheelah A. Feinberg, Jennifer Jones Austin, Cecilia Clarke, Maya Wiley, Akiba Solomon and Anne Williams-Isom.

Tuesday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Housing and Buildings to consider the extension of rent stabilization laws, a resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to approve, A.1865, in relation to repealing vacancy decontrol, a resolution determining that a public emergency requiring rent control in the City of New York continues to exist and will continue to exist on and after April 1, 2015; a resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation that would end deregulation of rent regulated apartments and several others; a meeting of the Committee on Education to discuss introduction of a new bill relating to: “Requiring the Department of Education to report information regarding students receiving special education services” ; a meeting of the Committee on Consumer Affairs to discuss making of a new bill regarding: “Dept of consumer affairs to provide young adults with outreach and education regarding consumer protection issues”;

And preliminary budget hearings in response to Mayor de Blasio’s initial fiscal year 2016 budget outline: the Committee on Land Use; the Committee on Technology jointly with the Committee on Land Use; and the Committee on Housing and Buildings.

Tuesday, at 12 p.m., the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research will present “The Truth About Campus Sexual Assault: Is there really an epidemic of campus rape? If so, is government leading a constructive path forward?”

Tuesday evening, Public Advocate Letitia James will host one in her series of Mayoral Control Forums at P.S. 69, in Queens: “New Yorkers are encourage to come and share their thoughts about mayoral control and how modifications to the law can help to improve our education system. This is an opportunity to discuss what real community and parent engagement should look like moving forward.”

Also Tuesday evening, at 6 p.m., Wix Lounge will host NYC Lean In: Women’s History Month Event.

Tuesday at 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer will host an Immigrant Small Business Town Hall: “My office’s African Immigrant Task Force is sponsoring a Town Hall jointly with the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, Dept. of Small Business Services, and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Please join us for a presentation on how to obtain city resources to help manage your small business better, moderated by Lloyd Williams of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. Panelists include myself; Julie Menin, Commissioner, Dept. of Consumer Affairs; Alejandro Alvarez, Director of Community Affairs, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner, Dept. of Small Business Services.”

Also Tuesday at 6 p.m., Council Member Annabel Palma will host a Scam Prevention Forum at New York Public Library’s Parkchester Branch.

Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m., the NYC Charter School Center and the NYC Special Education Collaborative will host the 5th annual NYC Charter School Career Fair at Harlem Children's Zone Gymnasium and Cafeteria: “Last year’s fair hosted over 1,000 teachers, counselors, related service providers, and administrators with over 85% of NYC charter schools participating. This year, we’re looking forward to an even larger turnout.”

Wednesday
Wednesday morning in Albany the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, will hold a joint meeting with the Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary to “examine the need for reforms to the criminal justice system to ensure fairness, improve community/police relations, and protect the safety of law enforcement officers.”

Also Wednesday morning, the Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction, will hold a joint meeting with the Senate Standing Committee on Civil Service and Pensions, and Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, for an oversight hearing “Examining police safety and public protection throughout New York State.”

Wednesday’s State Senate Committee Hearing schedule will include a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities to consider a variety of bills; a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Higher Education to consider a variety of legislation, including an act to amend the education law, in relation to changing the eligibility dates for a military service recognition scholarship to include the conflicts that occurred after June 1, 1982; and an act to amend the education law, in relation to providing scholarships for surviving dependent family members of New York state military personnel who have died while performing official military duties.

Also Wednesday, Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action of New York will hold "Parade for Public Education and Lobby: Rally to Save Public Education in New York: We will meet with parents, students, teachers, and community leaders from across the state at the Armory and then we will parade down to the Capitol to demand $2.2 billion in new school aid, $150 billion in pre-K outside of NYC, and that we maintain current cap on charter schools to stop school privatization, as well as a resolution to the 20-year Campaign for Fiscal Equity.”

Wednesday morning, at 10 a.m., there will be a rally for preserving housing and for permanent affordable housing in East New York.

Wednesday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Finance to review submitted land use applications and to go over: “Meatpacking Area business improvement district, Manhattan” and a Stated meeting of City Council at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Wednesday evening, Public Advocate Letitia James will host the Manhattan episode of her Mayoral Control Forum series, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice - co-hosted by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. According to Brewer: “I am co-sponsoring with Public Advocate Tish James a Manhattan Forum on Mayoral Control of schools, one in a series of forums taking place in all five boroughs. The forum will focus on one aspect of mayoral control -- community and parent engagement -- and provide a platform for educators, parents, guardians, and elected officials to discuss what real community and parent engagement should look like under mayoral control, which is set to expire this June.”

Comptroller Scott Stringer is hosting a Women’s History Month celebration Wednesday evening in Manhattan.

Also Wednesday evening, at 6:30 p.m., City Council Member Corey Johnson will host "Let’s Talk!: Reforming the Rent Guidelines Board" at P.S. 3, in Manhattan: “Join Council Member Corey Johnson, housing policy experts and tenant organizers for a discussion about reforming the Rent Guideline Board and confronting New York City’s affordability crisis.”

Wednesday evening, at 6:30 p.m., Manhattan Neighborhood Network will host The State of Women in New York City, a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Christina Greer, and including Ashley Emerole, Alexis Grenell, Erica Ford, and Karina Aybar-Jacob.

Wednesday evening, there will be a fundraiser for Vincent Gentile’s congressional campaign, on Staten Island.

Thursday
At 8:30 Thursday morning, Manhattan Institute will host a breakfast forum discussion titled “Are NYC Charter Schools Doing All They Can to Serve the Neediest Students?” Panelists will include Seth Andrew, Founder and Democracy Prep Public Schools and Democracy Builders; James Merriman, President of New York City Charter School Center; Ian Rowe, Chief Executive Officer of Public Prep; and Marcus Winters, Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute: “At this breakfast forum, Winters will unveil the findings from his latest study on low-performers. Then, a panel will discuss the broader issue of whether New York City charters are doing all they can to serve the neediest students.”

Also Thursday, Association for a Better New York “cordially invites you to be our guest at a lunch meeting featuring Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Secretary Foxx will discuss his priorities for the federal Department of Transportation.”

Thursday will be the next public meeting of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, at 10:00 a.m.

"Brooklyn Parents, Students, and Teachers will take to the streets in Carroll Gardens to protest Governor Cuomo's proposed education policies on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 3:15 p.m. The march is led by the Community Alliance for Student Education (CASE), a group formed to support public school students, teachers, and the community. CASE and the parents and students of PS 58 will join parents, students, and teachers from PS 261 in a march to voice their opposition to Gov. Cuomo's plans, which include placing more of an emphasis on the testing of young children, budgeting that reflects less than HALF the increase recommended for public school success, and putting teacher's ratings in the hands of outside "professional" consultants hired by Albany."

The Joint Legislative Budget schedule is to include "Senate and Assembly budget actions," and "joint Senate and Assembly budget conference committees commence."

Thursday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Public Safety and a meeting of the Committee on Standards and Ethics for preliminary budget oversight hearings.

Thursday at 6:30 p.m., PROP Public Forum: "The Whole System Is Guilty: the panel will feature speakers presenting critiques on the key agencies of our so-called system of justice that, in effect, join forces everyday to inflict harm and hardship on low-income New Yorkers of color: the NYPD, prosecutors, judges, the defense bar, jails and prisons, and the New York City Council.”

Also Thursday, at 7 p.m., "How Would the TPP Affect Our Community?: Join us for a community meeting to learn about the threats posed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership and how efforts to fast track this dangerous trade agreement can be stopped. We'll highlight how the TPP risks our jobs, health, communities, and environment. Fortunately, Congressman Charles Rangel can play a key role in stopping the fast tracking of the TPP! Sponsors include Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Food & Water Watch, Communications Workers of America, Working Families Party, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Three Parks Independent Democrats, Sierra Club New York City Group, Broadway Democrats, MoveOn NYC Councils, 350NYC, Franciscan Earth Corps, United for Action, Health GAP, ALIGN-NY, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, Show Up! America, Environmental Action,, NY4Whales, Polo Democratico NY, Terraza 7, New York Environmental Law and Justice Project, OWS Special Projects Affinity Group, OWS Outreach Working Group, TradeJustice New York Metro, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, Sane Energy Project.”

Thursday evening, City Council Member Andy King will host the State of the 12th District: “The address will highlight the district’s finances, accomplishments over the past year, challenges facing the district, and future planning. All community members are invited to attend the State of the District Address, as well as stay for a birthday celebration for Council Member King.”

Friday
Friday morning, the State Senate Standing Committee on Social Services will meet to discuss “Policies to Assist Working Families in New York.”

On Friday, Public Advocate James' mayoral control forum series sees its big finale with an event featuring Diane Ravitch, Assemby Member Cathy Nolan, and others.

Also Friday morning, the Murphy Institute at CUNY, in collaboration with 1199SEIU and Cornell University’s Worker Institute, will present Identity Politics: A Foundation for Coalition Building: “Barbara Smith argues that “identity politics” rather than presenting an obstacle to forming coalitions for social and economic justice – offer an essential foundation for such coalitions. Drawing on forty years of work with civil rights, feminist, LGBTQ and other movements, Smith’s new book, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, edited by Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, poses an urgent set of related questions that she and forum panelists will consider.”

Friday at 11 a.m., the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Financial Empowerment, the DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) at Parsons The New School for Design, the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity, and Citi Community Development will host Designing for Financial Empowerment: Improving Tax-Time Services for New Yorkers: “There are about 950,000 New York City families who are eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which averages approximately $2,500, and, combined with other credits, can translate to a refund of as much as $10,000. But one in every five eligible households do not claim this vital tax credit; and of those who do, too many pay an average of $250 to file their taxes instead of using the free tax preparation services available at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites around the city. How can we enable more of our fellow New Yorkers who have low incomes to file for free, claim their money and get access to other financial empowerment services? To answer that challenge, we are re-imagining how free tax preparation is provided in New York City and want your input.” Attendees will include Commissioner of DCA Julie Menin and Darren Bloch, Executive Director at The Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC.

Friday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services and a meeting of the Committee on Environmental Protection for preliminary budget oversight hearings.

***
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: bmax@gothamgazette.com (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Rati Mukhuradze, Marco Poggio, and Ben Max
@GothamGazette

Note: this article has been updated.

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 9 Sun, 08 Mar 2015 17:56:50 +0000
Money to Run: Past Fundraising of Donovan & Gentile http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5610:money-to-run-past-fundraising-of-donovan-gentile http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5610:money-to-run-past-fundraising-of-donovan-gentile donovan and gentile

Donovan, left (photo: Staten Island Advance/Rachel Shapiro) and Gentile (@VGentile43)


The May 5 special election for NY's 11th Congressional District approaches, and two seasoned New York politicians face off for the privilege of filling the seat vacated in January by Michael Grimm. The candidates to represent the district, which includes Staten Island and a small portion of Southern Brooklyn, are Democrat Vincent Gentile and Republican Daniel Donovan.

A sitting New York City Council Member representing Bay Ridge, Gentile was first elected as a New York State Senator in the 1990s, representing a district that included part of Staten Island. Gentile was defeated by City Council Member Marty Golden for the Senate seat in 2002 and then won Golden's vacant Council seat in the special election held in early 2003. Gentile was re-elected to the Council in 2005, 2009, and 2013. He will be term-limited out at the end of 2017, unless he vacates the seat beforehand.

Daniel Donovan, the Republican of Staten Island, has been District Attorney for Richmond County, New York, since 2004, after winning the open seat in 2003. He was re-elected in 2007 and 2011, with an unsuccessful 2010 run for Attorney General in between.

The geography of this congressional district is already known to be unfriendly to any Brooklyn contender, and also to Democrats; Staten Island contains the lion's share of the district, and Democrats tend to find it tough going in this well-known Republican enclave of New York City even though there are actually more registered Democrats on the island. Golden has held onto his state Senate seat against numerous spirited challengers after taking it away from Gentile, so Bay Ridge, in Brooklyn, has similar political qualities.

With Election Day just two months off, each is surely scrambling to raise the funds needed to run an effective campaign. With that in mind, an examination of their past fundraising is instructive.

Both Gentile and Donovan are new to federal fundraising, but they have thick campaign finance files with New York State. Analyzing their New York campaign finance data, the biggest contrast that can be drawn between Donovan and Gentile, is that Donovan is a county-wide official, who received spirited support for a state-wide run in 2010.

Vincent Gentile's campaign finance operation, on the other hand, has not required the same kind of "portability." He's been asking for support in Bay Ridge and surrounding communities in his council district, mostly.

To produce the charts below, Gotham Gazette examined donorship transactions filed by the following committees: DONOVAN FOR NEW YORK, DONOVAN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL, DONOVAN FOR D. A., DONOVAN 2010, GENTILE FOR NEW YORK, GENTILE FOR THE FUTURE, GENTILE NYC.

DG daily

The chart above includes 3,287 days, from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2014. With the graph scaled for Donovan's Attorney General campaign in 2010, Gentile's activity becomes nearly invisible. Because he did have this statewide run, Donovan's fundraising history skews any direct overall comparison.

Gentile, whose expenditures were capped during this time period by city campaign finance law, was able to rely on public matching funds for his races. Those matching disbursements are not counted here, just what the candidate received from donors. The council member has been fundraising on an ongoing basis, his most recent activity peeking out near the very end of the chart, a year after his election to a third and final full council term. In the past, the NYC Campaign Finance Board has issued penalties to Gentile's campaigns for a variety of filing issues.

DG schedule

The bar chart above demonstrates the comparative difference in scale of Donovan's and Gentile's fundraising, while also segmenting the cumulative sum by donor type.

Other Contributors (Schedule C) is where contributions from labor organizations tend to be recorded. While filers do not all behave the same way in discerning Schedule C from Schedule B (Corporations), Gentile's reliance on Schedule C is 37.28% of his haul, while Donovan's is 22.85%.

DG DT10

With the chart above, Donovan's top ten zip codes from which he receives funds, representing 34.97% of his overall haul, are shown. In addition to including three Staten Island ZIP codes in his top ten, he has tapped Manhattan extensively.

DG GT10

Gentile's top ten ZIP codes (above), meanwhile, reflect much more locality - again, likely a function of Donovan's run for a statewide seat. Gentile has also relied more on his own top ten to make up the whole than Donovan.

While seven of Donovan's top ten ZIPs are actually in Manhattan and three are on Staten Island, six of Gentile's top ten are in Brooklyn. Five are local to his council district while one is in Downtown Brooklyn. Three of Gentile's top ten ZIPs are in Manhattan and one is on Staten Island.

When looking at the top 20 donors to each candidate (seen in the two charts below), both individual and institutional, the fact that Donovan has campaigned under a different set of rules further emerges. For this reason, these charts are not meant to be compared side-by-side. They are simply meant to show who these two candidates have relied on to fund their campaigns. Gentile has been able to make substantial personal contributions to his own campaign, and he has done so. Gentile's top 20 individual and institutional donors, 2006-2014:

DG GT20 

Something to look for when the federal fundraising picture begins to emerge is whether Gentile is reaching outside of his neighborhood, into more of the NY-11 turf, as well as whether he is beginning to tap major capital sources. Put another way, to what extent has the city campaign finance system limited Gentile's measurable fundraising prowess? In what ways does a Congressional race open up new fundraising opportunities? We might also ask how much of Bay Ridge is coming along with him and donating. Do his labor backers take the same level of interest in the U.S. Congress as they have in his local bids? Is he out-performing his city record? (Gentile's lists go to 19 rather than 20 because there are multi-way ties for individual donations at $2,000 and institutional donations at $3,000.)

Donovan's top 20 individual and institutional donors, 2006-2014:

DG DT20

Similarly to with Gentile, there's a long list of major players and institutions who may reflect growing or shrinking enthusiasm for Donovan as this race develops. For many of those who have given to Donovan in the past, the stakes are very different with a district attorney or an attorney general than with a member of Congress. Are the usual stakeholders still interested in Donovan? Do they invest in Congressional races? Stay tuned!

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by Jon Reznick for Gotham Gazette
Data analysis performed using FTMSQL2 by Competitive Advantage Research, LLC

Note: this article has been updated - a previous version mentioned that Gentile's fundraising was capped by the CFB, but it is in fact his expenditures that were capped.

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Money to Run: Past Fundraising of Donovan & Gentile Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:00:57 +0000