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/manhattan-borough-president 2017-10-22T04:39:57+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com Five Borough Presidents Advise, Critique De Blasio 2017-01-24T05:00:00+00:00 2017-01-24T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6727:five-borough-presidents-advise-critique-de-blasio Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/5_borough_presidents_crains_forum_via_bpericadams_1.jpg" alt="5 borough presidents crains forum via bpericadams 1" width="600" height="301" /></p> <p>The five BPs at Crain's forum (photo: @BPEricAdams)</p> <hr /> <p>Communicate better. Build more affordable housing, and faster. Streamline small business regulations. Improve transit offerings in the outer boroughs. Bust the bureaucracy to get city agencies moving more quickly.</p> <p>These tips and pleas were among the guidance that the five New York City borough presidents offered Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday morning. At a forum convened by Crain’s New York Business, moderator Erik Engquist, a Crain’s editor, asked Manhattan’s Gale Brewer, Brooklyn’s Eric Adams, the Bronx’s Ruben Diaz Jr., Staten Island’s James Oddo, and Queens’ Melinda Katz a series of questions, including what advice they would give de Blasio, who has just entered his fourth year in office, which is his re-election year.</p> <p>When Engquist posed the question -- if he asked you for a piece of advice, what would you offer Mayor de Blasio? -- about 20 minutes into the discussion, he got a laugh from the roughly 125 audience members by calling on Diaz Jr. first. The Bronx Borough President has been one of the most outspoken critics of the mayor and is considering whether to challenge de Blasio this year.</p> <p>Once the laughter subsided, Diaz Jr. reiterated a point: that he wants the city to “hand over the keys” to the developers of the Kingsbridge Armory, a project that has been caught in limbo for some time and has been a flashpoint in the tension between Diaz Jr. and de Blasio, with some involvement from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is much closer to Diaz Jr. than to de Blasio.</p> <p>Of advice for de Blasio, Diaz Jr. then said, “Obviously homelessness is a big issue, not only in my borough, but throughout the city of New York.” He the mayor and his administration “haven’t been able to wrap their hands around” the crisis and called for more permanent affordable housing, supportive housing, and development in the Bronx, saying that the administration takes too long to make decisions.</p> <p>Diaz Jr. also called for improvements to gifted and talented school program offerings and transportation expansion.</p> <p>“He could do a whole lot better, in my opinion, in his messaging and communication to the people of the city of New York,” Diaz Jr. added.</p> <p>Asked by Gotham Gazette after the event to expand on the communication critique, Diaz Jr. said the mayor and his team should be more proactively communicative with local communities about all kinds of issues. It is a common refrain from de Blasio critics -- and some allies -- that was echoed by Queens Borough President Katz and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as well.</p> <p>Among the borough presidents, both Eric Adams and Gale Brewer are strong de Blasio allies. Adams has already endorsed de Blasio for reelection (he plans to run for Mayor himself, he said again at the Crain’s event, but not this year) and Brewer told Gotham Gazette afterward that she is supportive of de Blasio’s bid for a second term.</p> <p>Still, Adams and Brewer had ‘constructive criticism’ for the mayor. Citing “quality of life” issues, Brewer said she wants the mayor to focus on noise mitigation, improving city schools, investing even more in NYCHA and affordable housing, and expanding free WiFi. Brewer credited de Blasio for crime being down and improving relationships between community members and the police, as well as the IDNYC program.</p> <p>Adams also cited communication, saying that the mayor could do better showing people the improvements that have been made in the city. The Brooklyn BP then cited issues with “middle management,” saying that “the permanent bureaucracy” in city government shows a “lack of innovation, a lack of creativity.”</p> <p>Adams wants the city to stop holding back businesses by continuing to reduce unnecessary fines, an area where de Blasio has made a great deal of progress, and acting more quickly at the Department of Buildings and elsewhere. “The slowest walking human being I’ve seen in my life was at the Department of Buildings,” Adams said, drawing a laugh from the crowd.</p> <p>A former NYPD officer and captain, Adams gave de Blasio significant praise for improvements at the police department, especially in terms of interactions with New Yorkers. “Police are now doing something that is revolutionary,” he said, “they are saying ‘good morning.’” Adams said cops are walking the beat and talking with people, having positive interactions.</p> <p>Speaking after Adams, Queens Borough President Katz said she agreed with several points made by her colleagues before her. She noted that all five borough presidents have known and worked with de Blasio for years, since all six have held other positions in government.</p> <p>“As beneficial as he has been on a lot of topics, the communication part has been ineffective to a certain extent,” Katz said. She credited the mayor for universal pre-kindergarten and general progress. But, she called the “homeless crisis” “a very serious topic,” and cited issues in Queens related to use of hotels for housing homeless people and the protests that Queens residents have staged against the administration on the topic.</p> <p>Katz said she wants the city to better help people stay in their homes and their communities and to enhance “economic services to help get folks back on their feet.” Communities need to be involved in decision-making, she said, at which point Engquist aptly pointed out that communities often reject homeless shelters. Katz responded that “the worst thing you can do with a community is not tell them things” and that there are ways of being more upfront and negotiating better.</p> <p>Speaking last on the topic of advice for the mayor, Staten Island’s Oddo, the lone Republican among the borough presidents, said that a “sea change at the top of city government” with the election of de Blasio has not led to much change at all when it comes to the city bureaucracy that he often does battle with.</p> <p>It is consistently frustrating, Oddo explained, “to have a great idea, to have the mayor of the city of New York and the mayor’s office say ‘that is a good idea,’ and then run headlong into the brick wall of city agencies, time and time again.”</p> <p>“It’s the same jerks that were there in the Bloomberg years that are here now,” Oddo said, speaking of agency officials and local agency workers, especially at agencies like the Department of Transportation, Department of Buildings, and the Department of Design and Construction. “Unless you have an administration with strong deputy mayors pushing down on commissioners and making commissioners change the culture of these agencies, I hate to say it guys, I’m not sure if it really matters who’s up at the top.”</p> <p>“You want to have a legacy,” Oddo said to this mayor or any, “you have to change the culture of these agencies, and I don’t believe that’s happening.” Instead of commissioners changing their agencies, Oddo said, he sees agencies changing the commissioners for the worse.</p> <p>“The sea change that was promised, whether you believe in it or not, hasn’t happened,” Oddo said. At which point, Adams -- a vocal de Blasio supporter -- jumped in to echo the point, lamenting the permanent culture of “no” among civil servants who “wait out mayors...wait out commissioners and...get in the way of change.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for de Blasio declined to comment on the critiques provided by the borough presidents.</p> <p>Other than critiquing the mayor, at the Crain’s event the five borough presidents also discussed specific development projects in their respective boroughs, their takes on Uber and Airbnb, and broader political dynamics.</p> <p>There were half-jokes about the fact that Diaz Jr. is very close with Gov. Cuomo, while Adams enjoys a closer relationship with de Blasio. Yet there were more direct words between Diaz Jr. and Adams over whether Cuomo has been strong enough in backing fellow Democrats, specifically with respect to the state Senate, which remains in Republican control. Brewer said the governor has not been enough of a Democratic champion, which Adams agreed with and Diaz Jr. denied. Adams and Diaz Jr. debated the issue for a couple of minutes.</p> <p>Engquist also asked the borough presidents whether they plan to seek higher office. All five are eligible for another term in their current positions, and the four other than Diaz Jr. are definitively seeking re-election.</p> <p>As for later aspirations, Adams said he wants to be Mayor eventually. Diaz Jr. said he plans to seek higher office someday, but “I don’t know when.” Brewer said she doesn’t plan to seek a higher office; Katz demurred, saying she is focused on running for re-election; and Oddo said, “No, because First Deputy Mayor is not an elected position.”</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/5_borough_presidents_crains_forum_via_bpericadams_1.jpg" alt="5 borough presidents crains forum via bpericadams 1" width="600" height="301" /></p> <p>The five BPs at Crain's forum (photo: @BPEricAdams)</p> <hr /> <p>Communicate better. Build more affordable housing, and faster. Streamline small business regulations. Improve transit offerings in the outer boroughs. Bust the bureaucracy to get city agencies moving more quickly.</p> <p>These tips and pleas were among the guidance that the five New York City borough presidents offered Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday morning. At a forum convened by Crain’s New York Business, moderator Erik Engquist, a Crain’s editor, asked Manhattan’s Gale Brewer, Brooklyn’s Eric Adams, the Bronx’s Ruben Diaz Jr., Staten Island’s James Oddo, and Queens’ Melinda Katz a series of questions, including what advice they would give de Blasio, who has just entered his fourth year in office, which is his re-election year.</p> <p>When Engquist posed the question -- if he asked you for a piece of advice, what would you offer Mayor de Blasio? -- about 20 minutes into the discussion, he got a laugh from the roughly 125 audience members by calling on Diaz Jr. first. The Bronx Borough President has been one of the most outspoken critics of the mayor and is considering whether to challenge de Blasio this year.</p> <p>Once the laughter subsided, Diaz Jr. reiterated a point: that he wants the city to “hand over the keys” to the developers of the Kingsbridge Armory, a project that has been caught in limbo for some time and has been a flashpoint in the tension between Diaz Jr. and de Blasio, with some involvement from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is much closer to Diaz Jr. than to de Blasio.</p> <p>Of advice for de Blasio, Diaz Jr. then said, “Obviously homelessness is a big issue, not only in my borough, but throughout the city of New York.” He the mayor and his administration “haven’t been able to wrap their hands around” the crisis and called for more permanent affordable housing, supportive housing, and development in the Bronx, saying that the administration takes too long to make decisions.</p> <p>Diaz Jr. also called for improvements to gifted and talented school program offerings and transportation expansion.</p> <p>“He could do a whole lot better, in my opinion, in his messaging and communication to the people of the city of New York,” Diaz Jr. added.</p> <p>Asked by Gotham Gazette after the event to expand on the communication critique, Diaz Jr. said the mayor and his team should be more proactively communicative with local communities about all kinds of issues. It is a common refrain from de Blasio critics -- and some allies -- that was echoed by Queens Borough President Katz and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as well.</p> <p>Among the borough presidents, both Eric Adams and Gale Brewer are strong de Blasio allies. Adams has already endorsed de Blasio for reelection (he plans to run for Mayor himself, he said again at the Crain’s event, but not this year) and Brewer told Gotham Gazette afterward that she is supportive of de Blasio’s bid for a second term.</p> <p>Still, Adams and Brewer had ‘constructive criticism’ for the mayor. Citing “quality of life” issues, Brewer said she wants the mayor to focus on noise mitigation, improving city schools, investing even more in NYCHA and affordable housing, and expanding free WiFi. Brewer credited de Blasio for crime being down and improving relationships between community members and the police, as well as the IDNYC program.</p> <p>Adams also cited communication, saying that the mayor could do better showing people the improvements that have been made in the city. The Brooklyn BP then cited issues with “middle management,” saying that “the permanent bureaucracy” in city government shows a “lack of innovation, a lack of creativity.”</p> <p>Adams wants the city to stop holding back businesses by continuing to reduce unnecessary fines, an area where de Blasio has made a great deal of progress, and acting more quickly at the Department of Buildings and elsewhere. “The slowest walking human being I’ve seen in my life was at the Department of Buildings,” Adams said, drawing a laugh from the crowd.</p> <p>A former NYPD officer and captain, Adams gave de Blasio significant praise for improvements at the police department, especially in terms of interactions with New Yorkers. “Police are now doing something that is revolutionary,” he said, “they are saying ‘good morning.’” Adams said cops are walking the beat and talking with people, having positive interactions.</p> <p>Speaking after Adams, Queens Borough President Katz said she agreed with several points made by her colleagues before her. She noted that all five borough presidents have known and worked with de Blasio for years, since all six have held other positions in government.</p> <p>“As beneficial as he has been on a lot of topics, the communication part has been ineffective to a certain extent,” Katz said. She credited the mayor for universal pre-kindergarten and general progress. But, she called the “homeless crisis” “a very serious topic,” and cited issues in Queens related to use of hotels for housing homeless people and the protests that Queens residents have staged against the administration on the topic.</p> <p>Katz said she wants the city to better help people stay in their homes and their communities and to enhance “economic services to help get folks back on their feet.” Communities need to be involved in decision-making, she said, at which point Engquist aptly pointed out that communities often reject homeless shelters. Katz responded that “the worst thing you can do with a community is not tell them things” and that there are ways of being more upfront and negotiating better.</p> <p>Speaking last on the topic of advice for the mayor, Staten Island’s Oddo, the lone Republican among the borough presidents, said that a “sea change at the top of city government” with the election of de Blasio has not led to much change at all when it comes to the city bureaucracy that he often does battle with.</p> <p>It is consistently frustrating, Oddo explained, “to have a great idea, to have the mayor of the city of New York and the mayor’s office say ‘that is a good idea,’ and then run headlong into the brick wall of city agencies, time and time again.”</p> <p>“It’s the same jerks that were there in the Bloomberg years that are here now,” Oddo said, speaking of agency officials and local agency workers, especially at agencies like the Department of Transportation, Department of Buildings, and the Department of Design and Construction. “Unless you have an administration with strong deputy mayors pushing down on commissioners and making commissioners change the culture of these agencies, I hate to say it guys, I’m not sure if it really matters who’s up at the top.”</p> <p>“You want to have a legacy,” Oddo said to this mayor or any, “you have to change the culture of these agencies, and I don’t believe that’s happening.” Instead of commissioners changing their agencies, Oddo said, he sees agencies changing the commissioners for the worse.</p> <p>“The sea change that was promised, whether you believe in it or not, hasn’t happened,” Oddo said. At which point, Adams -- a vocal de Blasio supporter -- jumped in to echo the point, lamenting the permanent culture of “no” among civil servants who “wait out mayors...wait out commissioners and...get in the way of change.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for de Blasio declined to comment on the critiques provided by the borough presidents.</p> <p>Other than critiquing the mayor, at the Crain’s event the five borough presidents also discussed specific development projects in their respective boroughs, their takes on Uber and Airbnb, and broader political dynamics.</p> <p>There were half-jokes about the fact that Diaz Jr. is very close with Gov. Cuomo, while Adams enjoys a closer relationship with de Blasio. Yet there were more direct words between Diaz Jr. and Adams over whether Cuomo has been strong enough in backing fellow Democrats, specifically with respect to the state Senate, which remains in Republican control. Brewer said the governor has not been enough of a Democratic champion, which Adams agreed with and Diaz Jr. denied. Adams and Diaz Jr. debated the issue for a couple of minutes.</p> <p>Engquist also asked the borough presidents whether they plan to seek higher office. All five are eligible for another term in their current positions, and the four other than Diaz Jr. are definitively seeking re-election.</p> <p>As for later aspirations, Adams said he wants to be Mayor eventually. Diaz Jr. said he plans to seek higher office someday, but “I don’t know when.” Brewer said she doesn’t plan to seek a higher office; Katz demurred, saying she is focused on running for re-election; and Oddo said, “No, because First Deputy Mayor is not an elected position.”</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Change 2016-04-01T02:22:42+00:00 2016-04-01T02:22:42+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6258:wary-of-gentrification-east-harlem-braces-for-change-page-two Super User <p dir="ltr"><strong><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/mmv_ehnp.jpg" alt="mmv ehnp" height="400" width="600" /></strong></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;Mark-Viverito at an East Harlem planning session (photo: William Alatriste)</p> <hr /> <p><em>CONTINUED from <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6253-wary-of-gentrification-east-harlem-braces-for-rapid-change" target="_blank">page 1</a> - this is page 2 of 2</em></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Community calls for community planning</strong><br />City officials have not yet presented a timeline, much less a plan, for rezoning East Harlem, but that hasn’t stopped residents from preemptively organizing against “upzoning” that they believe will accelerate displacement of low-income people in their neighborhood. Two community-driven plans have emerged from El Barrio since November: one, an attempt at leveraging rezoning for a higher percentage of more deeply affordable housing and community benefits through collaboration with city officials; the other, an outright rejection of the mayor’s plan and a demand for better protections for immigrants and very low-income people living in regulated rental units.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaker Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem and parts of the South Bronx, told NY1 in January, "The question is, do we want to let things stand and get nothing out of it, or do we try to get something, allow the density to happen, with a benefit to the community? To me, the answer is very clear. We have to get something for the community.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Getting something for the community” seems to be the theme of the<a href="http://www.eastharlemplan.nyc" target="_blank">&nbsp;East Harlem Neighborhood Plan</a>, which was completed in February by a broad coalition led Mark-Viverito, Manhattan President Gale Brewer, and advocacy group Community Voices Heard.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/22984956200_9ef6976220_z.jpg" alt="east harlem planning table" style="margin: 8px; float: left;" height="249" width="375" />The EHNP is the product of a 10-month process in which over 1,300 East Harlem residents filled out hundreds of community surveys, gathered for seven community vision workshops on 12 topic areas, and produced an exhaustive list of recommendations for neighborhood preservation and improvement. While it certainly won’t halt fear of gentrification and displacement, it may go a long way in influencing the rezoning plan put forth by City Hall, and, many believe, stemming the tide of displacement while improving the community in a variety of ways.</p> <p dir="ltr">The plan’s recommendations span 12 themes, ranging from improvements to NYCHA developments to arts and culture preservation to senior needs, but two issues took precedence over the rest: the preservation of affordable housing and job creation.</p> <p dir="ltr">The plan specifically calls for better enforcement of anti-tenant harassment laws, additional legal and educational support for tenants, and policy changes and increased funding aimed at preserving existing regulated units and bringing more units under regulation. The plan also recommends that the city build off of the affordability that will be required on private rezoned sites under the new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing rules. The plan recommends 100% affordable units on public sites, and asks that all tools, such as HPD subsidies and programs, be utilized to achieve deeper affordability for the lowest-income residents.</p> <p dir="ltr">Participants also heavily emphasize job creation, job training, and living wages as changes they want to see accompany increased density in their neighborhood.</p> <p dir="ltr">East Harlem’s distinction as the home district of the powerful City Council Speaker sets the area apart from other neighborhoods on deck to be rezoned. Still, other Council members took notice of the EHNP effort, even attending the final planning event, eyeing ways in which they can lead a local process to get ahead of a more centralized, mayoral administration-run plan for rezoning.</p> <p dir="ltr">The EHNP coalition sent the 134-page plan to the City Planning Commission and other city agencies after its release on February 25.</p> <p dir="ltr">Community planning in New York neighborhoods is not a new concept; the Department of City Planning has been organizing “place-based planning studies” in other to-be-rezoned neighborhoods to help develop recommendations for affordable housing, economic development and infrastructure investments, and assisting community and borough boards in the creation of&nbsp;<a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/community/community-based-planning.page?tab=2" target="_blank">197-a community plans</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The city created the rezoning plan that is now being negotiated for East New York after a number of community meetings, and the process is playing out in Flushing and other areas slated for rezonings.</p> <p dir="ltr">But the Speaker calls the EHNP the first of its kind in the city, emphasizing a proactive, bottom-up approach.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re kind of doing it upside-down. Usually an application is presented and we respond to it, right?” Mark-Viverito said to the audience at an EHNP community forum on January 27, referring to the typical land use review process (ULURP), which is taking place in East New York. “The [East Harlem] application hasn’t even been submitted. We have a plan, we’re giving it to the city, and we’re forcing the city to consider and take into account those needs in the application process.”</p> <p dir="ltr">It remains to be seen whether the Speaker’s influence will fortify the plan once the rezoning process begins in East Harlem, but many people involved believe that the strength of the plan’s process and government-community partnerships have given the neighborhood the best chance of success as they both brace for and embrace the rezoning.</p> <p dir="ltr">"This is a document that we actually want to govern how East Harlem is developed and evolves over time,” said Sondra Youdelman, director Community Voices Heard, in a February interview with Gotham Gazette. “Now it's up to the city to figure out which policies and tools need to be coupled together to make this happen.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>'Consulta del Barrio'</strong><br />Movement for Justice in El Barrio, founded in 2004, is an organization predominantly comprised of and led by immigrants - mostly women - who have lived in rent-regulated apartment units in East Harlem for decades. The organization claims over 1,000 members and organizing within 95 privately-owned buildings in El Barrio.</p> <p dir="ltr">MJB&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5972-east-harlem-tenants-group-rejects-de-blasio-housing-plan-offer-its-own">released in November 2015 a 10-point plan</a>&nbsp;that roundly rejected the mayor’s zoning plans as they stood then and focuses almost exclusively on housing preservation for low-income residents in rent-regulated apartments, people of color, and immigrant communities, which the group says are disproportionately displaced by landlord harassment and gentrification.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Our members didn’t want to just reject the plan,” said Juan Haro, an organizer at Movement for Justice in El Barrio. “They wanted to put forward a concrete proposal to improve the housing situation in our neighborhood.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The document is also an indictment of what Movement for Justice calls a failure by HPD to enforce housing codes and protect tenants’ rights.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We believe that when HPD is not responsive to landlords breaking the local housing code, and their unresponsiveness allows landlords to get away with driving out tenants, which contributes to displacement and gentrification,” Haro said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Movement for Justice in El Barrio’s plan calls for increased and independent oversight of HPD; a public education campaign to inform tenants about HPD's role; a new body to collect fines levied against negligent landlords; publication of inspection documents in multiple languages, penalties for landlords who fail to make repairs within 24 hours of emergency violations; the establishment of an East Harlem HPD oversight team; and improvements to HPD’s inspection and follow-up speeds.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to Haro, over 8,500 East Harlem residents participated in 12 public meetings throughout the year-long “Consulta del Barrio,” or neighborhood consultation. Haro highlights the group’s bottom-up organizing strategy and pragmatic outreach effort, which targets very low-income residents and immigrants, and favors flyering over social media.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We know that there is a digital divide,” he said. “Many folks in the neighborhood don’t have access to Facebook or Twitter, so we focused on on-the-street outreach, and worked in the evenings and on weekends when more people weren’t at work.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Public meetings were “fluid and organic,” Haro added, and residents attended to learn more about the intricacies of the rezoning proposal and land use in general. Participants voted to reject the mayor’s proposals, and formulated the demands that would become the pith of the 10-point plan.</p> <p dir="ltr">The plan concentrates on protecting tenants of regulated, private apartment buildings, because those tenants have the most at stake as the neighborhood gentrifies, Haro said. “Landlords cut off basic services and violate local housing codes,” he said. “They offer buyouts to tenants to surrender their units. They threaten to bring in immigration authorities or ask for proof as citizens and threaten based on citizenship."</p> <p dir="ltr">The de Blasio administration has mounted an initiative to deter evictions and landlord harassment in rapidly changing neighborhoods with the creation of the Tenant Support Unit in August of 2015. The mayor announced in February that the unit had resolved its thousandth case since it began offering assistance to tenants.</p> <p dir="ltr">While&nbsp;<a href="http://citylimits.org/2015/07/21/citys-tenant-protection-effort-breaks-ground-and-ruffles-feathers/">reviews of the unit’s methodology have been mixed</a>, the administration touted a ten-fold increase in free legal services for tenants, for a total of $62 million in funding that will be fully implemented for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1 of this year. &nbsp;As a result, de Blasio said, evictions by city marshals have decreased 24 percent since he took office, down from 28,849 in 2013 to 21,988 in 2015.</p> <p dir="ltr">While the new support measures and protections introduced by the mayor seem to be having a positive effect, members at MJB believe that they will still be forced out once rezoning takes hold.</p> <p dir="ltr">Movement for Justice in El Barrio members organized a series of protests against the mayor’s plan leading up to a Community Board 11 vote on MIH and ZQA in November.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sandra Cruz, a member, said at a rally before the meeting, “We are against the mayor’s ‘luxury housing plan’ because we know that 25-30% of the apartments that the mayor says will supposedly be constructed for low-income people will not be accessible to the poor people of East Harlem, because we don’t make enough money to pay those high rents.”</p> <p dir="ltr">CB 11 voted “no with conditions” on the mayor’s citywide zoning plans. This feedback, similar to that of community boards across the city, helped inform the City Council’s negotiations with the de Blasio administration over the final versions of MIH and ZQA.</p> <p dir="ltr">Movement for Justice sent its 10-point community plan to Speaker Mark-Viverito and Borough President Gale Brewer in November, but have not received a response, they said. Meanwhile, Mark-Viverito, Brewer, and a variety of other stakeholders, were in the process of creating the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Next for East Harlem</strong><br />With MIH and ZQA in place, East Harlem stakeholders are watching the neighborhood rezoning process as it unfolds in East New York, the first neighborhood rezoning being moved by the de Blasio administration, in consultation with the City Council.</p> <p dir="ltr">Like East Harlem, East New York’s population is predominantly Latino and African-American, and the neighborhood AMI is around $34,000. City Council Member Rafael Espinal represents much of East New York and remains adamant that the plan for the area not help in pricing out long-term residents.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Neighbors on my street are already jacking up the rents to $1,800 [per month]," Espinal said at a March 8 City Council hearing on the East New York rezoning.</p> <p dir="ltr">Parallels between East New York and East Harlem are undeniable, and many are watching the process for clues as to how the future may unfold in El Barrio. East Harlem may be slightly further along in a gentrification process as of now, but both neighborhoods are changing.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though some involved in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan are skeptical as to how much of the document will be seriously considered by the city, the speaker hopes that the document will serve as a model for other communities down the road.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It would be great,” she said at the January 27 community forum, “if the administration established some sort of process to create neighborhood plans in every area that would be rezoned.” She followed this up by devoting a portion of her February State of the City address to the Council’s proposal that the city develop a Neighborhood Commitment Plan that would accompany all rezoning proposals, “describing and tracking commitments for housing, schools, infrastructure and other city services.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Planning for the future of our neighborhoods should start from the ground up and infuse the voices of everyday New Yorkers into policy decisions,” Mark-Viverito said in her address. She remarked that the community planning process is an opportunity to discuss neighborhood concerns “from school overcrowding and pedestrian safety to sewers and public transit.”</p> <p dir="ltr">For community organizations in El Barrio, the work has only just begun. Leaders across groups and initiatives say they’ll continue to apply pressure to the city to respond to demands for deeper affordability, better protection of tenants’ rights, neighborhood improvements, and capital investments. Essential, they say, is community power in all processes.</p> <p dir="ltr">Even as the future of East Harlem seems unsure, long-time resident Pearl Barkley notes the surge of neighborhood civic engagement around rezoning as a silver lining.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I grew up in a time of social movements, with activism throughout the neighborhood,” Barkley said. “Right now, when I attend meetings, I see young people standing up, excited to talk about what they want for their city. That gives me hope. It makes me happy.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>This is page 2 of 2 - <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6253-wary-of-gentrification-east-harlem-braces-for-rapid-change" target="_blank">return to page 1</a></em></p> <p dir="ltr">

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by Maggie Calmes, Gotham Gazette
     

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<p dir="ltr"><strong><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/mmv_ehnp.jpg" alt="mmv ehnp" height="400" width="600" /></strong></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;Mark-Viverito at an East Harlem planning session (photo: William Alatriste)</p> <hr /> <p><em>CONTINUED from <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6253-wary-of-gentrification-east-harlem-braces-for-rapid-change" target="_blank">page 1</a> - this is page 2 of 2</em></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Community calls for community planning</strong><br />City officials have not yet presented a timeline, much less a plan, for rezoning East Harlem, but that hasn’t stopped residents from preemptively organizing against “upzoning” that they believe will accelerate displacement of low-income people in their neighborhood. Two community-driven plans have emerged from El Barrio since November: one, an attempt at leveraging rezoning for a higher percentage of more deeply affordable housing and community benefits through collaboration with city officials; the other, an outright rejection of the mayor’s plan and a demand for better protections for immigrants and very low-income people living in regulated rental units.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaker Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem and parts of the South Bronx, told NY1 in January, "The question is, do we want to let things stand and get nothing out of it, or do we try to get something, allow the density to happen, with a benefit to the community? To me, the answer is very clear. We have to get something for the community.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Getting something for the community” seems to be the theme of the<a href="http://www.eastharlemplan.nyc" target="_blank">&nbsp;East Harlem Neighborhood Plan</a>, which was completed in February by a broad coalition led Mark-Viverito, Manhattan President Gale Brewer, and advocacy group Community Voices Heard.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/22984956200_9ef6976220_z.jpg" alt="east harlem planning table" style="margin: 8px; float: left;" height="249" width="375" />The EHNP is the product of a 10-month process in which over 1,300 East Harlem residents filled out hundreds of community surveys, gathered for seven community vision workshops on 12 topic areas, and produced an exhaustive list of recommendations for neighborhood preservation and improvement. While it certainly won’t halt fear of gentrification and displacement, it may go a long way in influencing the rezoning plan put forth by City Hall, and, many believe, stemming the tide of displacement while improving the community in a variety of ways.</p> <p dir="ltr">The plan’s recommendations span 12 themes, ranging from improvements to NYCHA developments to arts and culture preservation to senior needs, but two issues took precedence over the rest: the preservation of affordable housing and job creation.</p> <p dir="ltr">The plan specifically calls for better enforcement of anti-tenant harassment laws, additional legal and educational support for tenants, and policy changes and increased funding aimed at preserving existing regulated units and bringing more units under regulation. The plan also recommends that the city build off of the affordability that will be required on private rezoned sites under the new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing rules. The plan recommends 100% affordable units on public sites, and asks that all tools, such as HPD subsidies and programs, be utilized to achieve deeper affordability for the lowest-income residents.</p> <p dir="ltr">Participants also heavily emphasize job creation, job training, and living wages as changes they want to see accompany increased density in their neighborhood.</p> <p dir="ltr">East Harlem’s distinction as the home district of the powerful City Council Speaker sets the area apart from other neighborhoods on deck to be rezoned. Still, other Council members took notice of the EHNP effort, even attending the final planning event, eyeing ways in which they can lead a local process to get ahead of a more centralized, mayoral administration-run plan for rezoning.</p> <p dir="ltr">The EHNP coalition sent the 134-page plan to the City Planning Commission and other city agencies after its release on February 25.</p> <p dir="ltr">Community planning in New York neighborhoods is not a new concept; the Department of City Planning has been organizing “place-based planning studies” in other to-be-rezoned neighborhoods to help develop recommendations for affordable housing, economic development and infrastructure investments, and assisting community and borough boards in the creation of&nbsp;<a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/community/community-based-planning.page?tab=2" target="_blank">197-a community plans</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The city created the rezoning plan that is now being negotiated for East New York after a number of community meetings, and the process is playing out in Flushing and other areas slated for rezonings.</p> <p dir="ltr">But the Speaker calls the EHNP the first of its kind in the city, emphasizing a proactive, bottom-up approach.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re kind of doing it upside-down. Usually an application is presented and we respond to it, right?” Mark-Viverito said to the audience at an EHNP community forum on January 27, referring to the typical land use review process (ULURP), which is taking place in East New York. “The [East Harlem] application hasn’t even been submitted. We have a plan, we’re giving it to the city, and we’re forcing the city to consider and take into account those needs in the application process.”</p> <p dir="ltr">It remains to be seen whether the Speaker’s influence will fortify the plan once the rezoning process begins in East Harlem, but many people involved believe that the strength of the plan’s process and government-community partnerships have given the neighborhood the best chance of success as they both brace for and embrace the rezoning.</p> <p dir="ltr">"This is a document that we actually want to govern how East Harlem is developed and evolves over time,” said Sondra Youdelman, director Community Voices Heard, in a February interview with Gotham Gazette. “Now it's up to the city to figure out which policies and tools need to be coupled together to make this happen.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>'Consulta del Barrio'</strong><br />Movement for Justice in El Barrio, founded in 2004, is an organization predominantly comprised of and led by immigrants - mostly women - who have lived in rent-regulated apartment units in East Harlem for decades. The organization claims over 1,000 members and organizing within 95 privately-owned buildings in El Barrio.</p> <p dir="ltr">MJB&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5972-east-harlem-tenants-group-rejects-de-blasio-housing-plan-offer-its-own">released in November 2015 a 10-point plan</a>&nbsp;that roundly rejected the mayor’s zoning plans as they stood then and focuses almost exclusively on housing preservation for low-income residents in rent-regulated apartments, people of color, and immigrant communities, which the group says are disproportionately displaced by landlord harassment and gentrification.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Our members didn’t want to just reject the plan,” said Juan Haro, an organizer at Movement for Justice in El Barrio. “They wanted to put forward a concrete proposal to improve the housing situation in our neighborhood.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The document is also an indictment of what Movement for Justice calls a failure by HPD to enforce housing codes and protect tenants’ rights.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We believe that when HPD is not responsive to landlords breaking the local housing code, and their unresponsiveness allows landlords to get away with driving out tenants, which contributes to displacement and gentrification,” Haro said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Movement for Justice in El Barrio’s plan calls for increased and independent oversight of HPD; a public education campaign to inform tenants about HPD's role; a new body to collect fines levied against negligent landlords; publication of inspection documents in multiple languages, penalties for landlords who fail to make repairs within 24 hours of emergency violations; the establishment of an East Harlem HPD oversight team; and improvements to HPD’s inspection and follow-up speeds.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to Haro, over 8,500 East Harlem residents participated in 12 public meetings throughout the year-long “Consulta del Barrio,” or neighborhood consultation. Haro highlights the group’s bottom-up organizing strategy and pragmatic outreach effort, which targets very low-income residents and immigrants, and favors flyering over social media.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We know that there is a digital divide,” he said. “Many folks in the neighborhood don’t have access to Facebook or Twitter, so we focused on on-the-street outreach, and worked in the evenings and on weekends when more people weren’t at work.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Public meetings were “fluid and organic,” Haro added, and residents attended to learn more about the intricacies of the rezoning proposal and land use in general. Participants voted to reject the mayor’s proposals, and formulated the demands that would become the pith of the 10-point plan.</p> <p dir="ltr">The plan concentrates on protecting tenants of regulated, private apartment buildings, because those tenants have the most at stake as the neighborhood gentrifies, Haro said. “Landlords cut off basic services and violate local housing codes,” he said. “They offer buyouts to tenants to surrender their units. They threaten to bring in immigration authorities or ask for proof as citizens and threaten based on citizenship."</p> <p dir="ltr">The de Blasio administration has mounted an initiative to deter evictions and landlord harassment in rapidly changing neighborhoods with the creation of the Tenant Support Unit in August of 2015. The mayor announced in February that the unit had resolved its thousandth case since it began offering assistance to tenants.</p> <p dir="ltr">While&nbsp;<a href="http://citylimits.org/2015/07/21/citys-tenant-protection-effort-breaks-ground-and-ruffles-feathers/">reviews of the unit’s methodology have been mixed</a>, the administration touted a ten-fold increase in free legal services for tenants, for a total of $62 million in funding that will be fully implemented for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1 of this year. &nbsp;As a result, de Blasio said, evictions by city marshals have decreased 24 percent since he took office, down from 28,849 in 2013 to 21,988 in 2015.</p> <p dir="ltr">While the new support measures and protections introduced by the mayor seem to be having a positive effect, members at MJB believe that they will still be forced out once rezoning takes hold.</p> <p dir="ltr">Movement for Justice in El Barrio members organized a series of protests against the mayor’s plan leading up to a Community Board 11 vote on MIH and ZQA in November.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sandra Cruz, a member, said at a rally before the meeting, “We are against the mayor’s ‘luxury housing plan’ because we know that 25-30% of the apartments that the mayor says will supposedly be constructed for low-income people will not be accessible to the poor people of East Harlem, because we don’t make enough money to pay those high rents.”</p> <p dir="ltr">CB 11 voted “no with conditions” on the mayor’s citywide zoning plans. This feedback, similar to that of community boards across the city, helped inform the City Council’s negotiations with the de Blasio administration over the final versions of MIH and ZQA.</p> <p dir="ltr">Movement for Justice sent its 10-point community plan to Speaker Mark-Viverito and Borough President Gale Brewer in November, but have not received a response, they said. Meanwhile, Mark-Viverito, Brewer, and a variety of other stakeholders, were in the process of creating the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Next for East Harlem</strong><br />With MIH and ZQA in place, East Harlem stakeholders are watching the neighborhood rezoning process as it unfolds in East New York, the first neighborhood rezoning being moved by the de Blasio administration, in consultation with the City Council.</p> <p dir="ltr">Like East Harlem, East New York’s population is predominantly Latino and African-American, and the neighborhood AMI is around $34,000. City Council Member Rafael Espinal represents much of East New York and remains adamant that the plan for the area not help in pricing out long-term residents.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Neighbors on my street are already jacking up the rents to $1,800 [per month]," Espinal said at a March 8 City Council hearing on the East New York rezoning.</p> <p dir="ltr">Parallels between East New York and East Harlem are undeniable, and many are watching the process for clues as to how the future may unfold in El Barrio. East Harlem may be slightly further along in a gentrification process as of now, but both neighborhoods are changing.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though some involved in the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan are skeptical as to how much of the document will be seriously considered by the city, the speaker hopes that the document will serve as a model for other communities down the road.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It would be great,” she said at the January 27 community forum, “if the administration established some sort of process to create neighborhood plans in every area that would be rezoned.” She followed this up by devoting a portion of her February State of the City address to the Council’s proposal that the city develop a Neighborhood Commitment Plan that would accompany all rezoning proposals, “describing and tracking commitments for housing, schools, infrastructure and other city services.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Planning for the future of our neighborhoods should start from the ground up and infuse the voices of everyday New Yorkers into policy decisions,” Mark-Viverito said in her address. She remarked that the community planning process is an opportunity to discuss neighborhood concerns “from school overcrowding and pedestrian safety to sewers and public transit.”</p> <p dir="ltr">For community organizations in El Barrio, the work has only just begun. Leaders across groups and initiatives say they’ll continue to apply pressure to the city to respond to demands for deeper affordability, better protection of tenants’ rights, neighborhood improvements, and capital investments. Essential, they say, is community power in all processes.</p> <p dir="ltr">Even as the future of East Harlem seems unsure, long-time resident Pearl Barkley notes the surge of neighborhood civic engagement around rezoning as a silver lining.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I grew up in a time of social movements, with activism throughout the neighborhood,” Barkley said. “Right now, when I attend meetings, I see young people standing up, excited to talk about what they want for their city. That gives me hope. It makes me happy.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>This is page 2 of 2 - <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/6253-wary-of-gentrification-east-harlem-braces-for-rapid-change" target="_blank">return to page 1</a></em></p> <p dir="ltr">

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by Maggie Calmes, Gotham Gazette
     

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De Blasio Housing Chief Looks to Allay Fears, Build Support for Rezonings 2015-11-13T21:47:43+00:00 2015-11-13T21:47:43+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5988:de-blasio-housing-chief-looks-to-allay-fears-build-support-for-rezonings Super User <p dir="ltr"><img alt="Been NY Law School" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/Been_NY_Law_School.jpg" width="600" height="328" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">New York Law School's Ross Sandler &amp; HPD's Vicki Been (Phoebe Rosen for NYLS)</span></p> <hr /> <p>Vicki Been, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said that the city’s affordable housing plan is on track and responded to critics on Friday, emphasizing that the plan is less about simply building units and more about “making neighborhoods better.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the CityLand publication of New York Law School, Been gave a balanced, thorough review of the concerns people have expressed about the city’s rezoning plans, but said that the city, through HPD, is implementing policies that will prevent displacement and ensure existing residents are included as neighborhoods change.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nearly two years into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term, his ten-year <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/housing/assets/downloads/pdf/housing_plan.pdf" target="_blank">Housing New York</a> plan to preserve or build 200,000 units of affordable housing is on target, Been declared, with the city having closed on more than 30,000 affordable homes. But two key elements of the plan, <a href="http://home.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/housing/mandatory-inclusionary-housing-summary.shtml" target="_blank">Mandatory Inclusionary Housing</a> and <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zoning-qa/zoning-for-affordability-1.shtml" target="_blank">Zoning for Quality and Affordability</a>, have run into community opposition in recent months as the city begins the public review process that is likely to lead to their passage through the City Council, potentially with a few tweaks.</p> <p dir="ltr">At a community meeting last month in East New York, Assembly Member Charles Barron and City Council Member Inez Barron <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151020/east-new-york/east-new-yorkers-urged-reject-citys-rezoning-plan" target="_blank">urged residents</a> to vote against a <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/east_new_york/index.shtml" target="_blank">proposal</a> to rezone the neighborhood, according to DNAinfo. The two said that while the new units built may be designated “affordable,” they may not actually be affordable to existing residents. This concern, among several specific problems that critics point to with the plans, has been voiced in other neighborhoods as well. An extensive borough- and community-based review of the proposals is underway, with varying results thus far as local community boards vote in non-determinative polls.</p> <p dir="ltr">Community boards have thus far had mixed responses to the proposed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability plans. While Brooklyn’s CB6 <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151112/carroll-gardens/park-slope-carroll-gardens-cb6-approves-citys-rezoning-proposal" target="_blank">approved</a> the proposals this week, Brooklyn’s CB3 and Queens’ CB2 <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151110/long-island-city/queens-cb2-rejects-affordable-housing-plan-citing-overcrowding-concerns" target="_blank">rejected</a> the same proposals earlier this month. Residents in Brooklyn’s CB3, which includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, said they were <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151103/bed-stuy/citys-rezoning-proposal-shot-down-by-bed-stuy-community-board" target="_blank">concerned</a> about the plan allowing taller buildings to be built, changing the neighborhood’s character, and eventually forcing them to move out of the area.</p> <p dir="ltr">More borough- and community-based hearings are upcoming, including one being held by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer on Monday evening, and City Council hearings are not far off.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan would require 25 to 30 percent of new units built in a rezoned area to be “permanently affordable,” while the Zoning for Quality and Affordability plan would change existing zoning laws to promote the construction of more affordable and higher quality buildings.</p> <p dir="ltr">During an appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday, Mayor de Blasio said his zoning plans are informed by what he saw as a lack of city regulation and planning in places like Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.</p> <p dir="ltr">Been said that all such plans are controversial because current residents fear they could be displaced - that gentrification is scary to many in and near neighborhoods that have been changing over the years. But Been also said the East New York plan, which aims to provide more than 3,000 units of affordable housing and improve transport and business corridors, was something the city should be doing more of. She also said that rezonings don’t actually lead to more flight from neighborhoods by low-income tenants than is a typical amount of transience.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to Gotham Gazette after the event, Been said that while she would like the rezoning plans to be more widely accepted, “we would like to get it passed, and we’re very optimistic.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She had a similarly optimistic response to a question from the audience about the future of the 421-a tax abatement, which will expire in December if it is not renewed given a deal between labor and real estate. “Life will go on,” Been said to chuckles from the crowd. “There was life before 421-a, and there will be life if 421-a fails. We will survive and still deliver our 200,000 units.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Still, Been indicated she would like to see 421-a survive and that it, in a newly strengthened form, will be helpful in achieving the administration’s goals.</p> <p dir="ltr">Either way, the administration’s rezoning plans are moving along. East New York is among the first neighborhoods the city plans to rezone, along with East Harlem and Flushing, among others. Some East Harlem tenants <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5972-east-harlem-tenants-group-rejects-de-blasio-housing-plan-offer-its-own" target="_blank">recently announced</a> their own opposition to the plans. During her speech Friday, Been showed a presentation that included current photos of streets in East New York and future renderings that showed new, six-story apartment buildings with street-level retail space.</p> <p dir="ltr">Been said that while change is inevitable when investments are made in a neighborhood, the city’s approach will address concerns about displacement and gentrification while she also highlighted the positives that come with community development.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If we’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a neighborhood, we’re doing it to make the neighborhood a bit better. We want it to be a more vibrant place…So as it gets better, it will become more desirable,” Been said. While low-income people face a lot of housing insecurity across the board, she said that recent <a href="http://uar.sagepub.com/content/40/4/463.abstract" target="_blank">research</a> shows that renters are not moving out of gentrifying neighborhoods at higher rates. Still, she acknowledged that “whatever the research shows, people fear displacement and they fear displacement for perfectly legitimate reasons.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Been pointed to a variety of policies included in the Housing New York plan that are aimed at preventing displacement. Most importantly, she said that the city will “double down” on efforts and take a data-driven approach to preserve existing affordable units. “We can’t let any unit of housing that is already affordable become market rate,” she said, noting that de Blasio’s plan promises to preserve at least 120,000 homes that would otherwise become market rate.</p> <p dir="ltr">Been also mentioned efforts in reaching out to owners of small buildings to preserve or establish affordability, providing legal assistance to protect tenants from harassment, changing vacancy decontrol laws, and establishing community preferences for distributing the new housing stock.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re really working hard to make sure that people in the neighborhoods and the lowest income people do get into the housing we’re building,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Been also noted that Housing New York plans include families earning as little as 30 percent of area median income (AMI)—or $15,000 for single households. “We are stretching our housing boat down and a little up, so that we provide economically diverse neighborhoods and do not concentrate poverty,” she said. While some new buildings will be 100 percent affordable, many others will be mixed levels of affordability, with some units renting at market rate.</p> <p dir="ltr">Providing housing for those earning below 30 percent of AMI would be too expensive using the same approach, Been said, noting that the city has historically relied on the federal Department of Housing Urban Development’s Section 8 voucher program, funding for which has been cut in recent years. “That’s why we’re struggling so hard to provide housing below the 30 percent level,” she said in response to a question from an audience member.</p> <p dir="ltr">The affordable housing plan is “formed with the basic belief that we have to shape development instead of react to it,” she said. “Too much of the discourse is about stopping development. You don’t stop development in a city like New York…Let’s shape it to serve the interests of the neighborhoods across the city.”</p> <p dir="ltr">***<br />by Christian Zhang, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> <p dir="ltr"><img alt="Been NY Law School" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/Been_NY_Law_School.jpg" width="600" height="328" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">New York Law School's Ross Sandler &amp; HPD's Vicki Been (Phoebe Rosen for NYLS)</span></p> <hr /> <p>Vicki Been, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said that the city’s affordable housing plan is on track and responded to critics on Friday, emphasizing that the plan is less about simply building units and more about “making neighborhoods better.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the CityLand publication of New York Law School, Been gave a balanced, thorough review of the concerns people have expressed about the city’s rezoning plans, but said that the city, through HPD, is implementing policies that will prevent displacement and ensure existing residents are included as neighborhoods change.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nearly two years into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term, his ten-year <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/housing/assets/downloads/pdf/housing_plan.pdf" target="_blank">Housing New York</a> plan to preserve or build 200,000 units of affordable housing is on target, Been declared, with the city having closed on more than 30,000 affordable homes. But two key elements of the plan, <a href="http://home.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/housing/mandatory-inclusionary-housing-summary.shtml" target="_blank">Mandatory Inclusionary Housing</a> and <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zoning-qa/zoning-for-affordability-1.shtml" target="_blank">Zoning for Quality and Affordability</a>, have run into community opposition in recent months as the city begins the public review process that is likely to lead to their passage through the City Council, potentially with a few tweaks.</p> <p dir="ltr">At a community meeting last month in East New York, Assembly Member Charles Barron and City Council Member Inez Barron <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151020/east-new-york/east-new-yorkers-urged-reject-citys-rezoning-plan" target="_blank">urged residents</a> to vote against a <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/east_new_york/index.shtml" target="_blank">proposal</a> to rezone the neighborhood, according to DNAinfo. The two said that while the new units built may be designated “affordable,” they may not actually be affordable to existing residents. This concern, among several specific problems that critics point to with the plans, has been voiced in other neighborhoods as well. An extensive borough- and community-based review of the proposals is underway, with varying results thus far as local community boards vote in non-determinative polls.</p> <p dir="ltr">Community boards have thus far had mixed responses to the proposed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability plans. While Brooklyn’s CB6 <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151112/carroll-gardens/park-slope-carroll-gardens-cb6-approves-citys-rezoning-proposal" target="_blank">approved</a> the proposals this week, Brooklyn’s CB3 and Queens’ CB2 <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151110/long-island-city/queens-cb2-rejects-affordable-housing-plan-citing-overcrowding-concerns" target="_blank">rejected</a> the same proposals earlier this month. Residents in Brooklyn’s CB3, which includes Bedford-Stuyvesant, said they were <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20151103/bed-stuy/citys-rezoning-proposal-shot-down-by-bed-stuy-community-board" target="_blank">concerned</a> about the plan allowing taller buildings to be built, changing the neighborhood’s character, and eventually forcing them to move out of the area.</p> <p dir="ltr">More borough- and community-based hearings are upcoming, including one being held by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer on Monday evening, and City Council hearings are not far off.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan would require 25 to 30 percent of new units built in a rezoned area to be “permanently affordable,” while the Zoning for Quality and Affordability plan would change existing zoning laws to promote the construction of more affordable and higher quality buildings.</p> <p dir="ltr">During an appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday, Mayor de Blasio said his zoning plans are informed by what he saw as a lack of city regulation and planning in places like Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.</p> <p dir="ltr">Been said that all such plans are controversial because current residents fear they could be displaced - that gentrification is scary to many in and near neighborhoods that have been changing over the years. But Been also said the East New York plan, which aims to provide more than 3,000 units of affordable housing and improve transport and business corridors, was something the city should be doing more of. She also said that rezonings don’t actually lead to more flight from neighborhoods by low-income tenants than is a typical amount of transience.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to Gotham Gazette after the event, Been said that while she would like the rezoning plans to be more widely accepted, “we would like to get it passed, and we’re very optimistic.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She had a similarly optimistic response to a question from the audience about the future of the 421-a tax abatement, which will expire in December if it is not renewed given a deal between labor and real estate. “Life will go on,” Been said to chuckles from the crowd. “There was life before 421-a, and there will be life if 421-a fails. We will survive and still deliver our 200,000 units.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Still, Been indicated she would like to see 421-a survive and that it, in a newly strengthened form, will be helpful in achieving the administration’s goals.</p> <p dir="ltr">Either way, the administration’s rezoning plans are moving along. East New York is among the first neighborhoods the city plans to rezone, along with East Harlem and Flushing, among others. Some East Harlem tenants <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5972-east-harlem-tenants-group-rejects-de-blasio-housing-plan-offer-its-own" target="_blank">recently announced</a> their own opposition to the plans. During her speech Friday, Been showed a presentation that included current photos of streets in East New York and future renderings that showed new, six-story apartment buildings with street-level retail space.</p> <p dir="ltr">Been said that while change is inevitable when investments are made in a neighborhood, the city’s approach will address concerns about displacement and gentrification while she also highlighted the positives that come with community development.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If we’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a neighborhood, we’re doing it to make the neighborhood a bit better. We want it to be a more vibrant place…So as it gets better, it will become more desirable,” Been said. While low-income people face a lot of housing insecurity across the board, she said that recent <a href="http://uar.sagepub.com/content/40/4/463.abstract" target="_blank">research</a> shows that renters are not moving out of gentrifying neighborhoods at higher rates. Still, she acknowledged that “whatever the research shows, people fear displacement and they fear displacement for perfectly legitimate reasons.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Been pointed to a variety of policies included in the Housing New York plan that are aimed at preventing displacement. Most importantly, she said that the city will “double down” on efforts and take a data-driven approach to preserve existing affordable units. “We can’t let any unit of housing that is already affordable become market rate,” she said, noting that de Blasio’s plan promises to preserve at least 120,000 homes that would otherwise become market rate.</p> <p dir="ltr">Been also mentioned efforts in reaching out to owners of small buildings to preserve or establish affordability, providing legal assistance to protect tenants from harassment, changing vacancy decontrol laws, and establishing community preferences for distributing the new housing stock.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re really working hard to make sure that people in the neighborhoods and the lowest income people do get into the housing we’re building,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Been also noted that Housing New York plans include families earning as little as 30 percent of area median income (AMI)—or $15,000 for single households. “We are stretching our housing boat down and a little up, so that we provide economically diverse neighborhoods and do not concentrate poverty,” she said. While some new buildings will be 100 percent affordable, many others will be mixed levels of affordability, with some units renting at market rate.</p> <p dir="ltr">Providing housing for those earning below 30 percent of AMI would be too expensive using the same approach, Been said, noting that the city has historically relied on the federal Department of Housing Urban Development’s Section 8 voucher program, funding for which has been cut in recent years. “That’s why we’re struggling so hard to provide housing below the 30 percent level,” she said in response to a question from an audience member.</p> <p dir="ltr">The affordable housing plan is “formed with the basic belief that we have to shape development instead of react to it,” she said. “Too much of the discourse is about stopping development. You don’t stop development in a city like New York…Let’s shape it to serve the interests of the neighborhoods across the city.”</p> <p dir="ltr">***<br />by Christian Zhang, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> East Harlem Tenants Group Rejects De Blasio Housing Plan, Offers Its Own 2015-11-05T21:13:45+00:00 2015-11-05T21:13:45+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5972:east-harlem-tenants-group-rejects-de-blasio-housing-plan-offer-its-own Super User <p><img alt="East-HarlemMovement" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/East-HarlemMovement.jpg" width="600" height="402" /></p> <p>A Movement for Justice in El Barrio rally</p> <hr /> <p>An East Harlem tenants group is gearing up to battle Mayor Bill de Blasio over his housing plan, saying that the plan will see local mom-and-pop stores bought out by chains, further incentivize landlords to push tenants out, and destroy the culture of Spanish Harlem.</p> <p>The group, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, is countering the de Blasio rezoning proposal that they call a "luxury housing plan" with a 10-point agenda of its own designed to preserve current housing stock and protect the community from gentrification. It hopes to push the local community board to vote against the mayor's two rezoning proposals and wants a face-to-face meeting with de Blasio to discuss concerns.</p> <p>Movement for Justice, an immigrant-led community organization formed in 2004, plans to make its opposition and proposals public at a Friday afternoon press conference at the corner of East 103rd Street and Lexington Avenue.</p> <p>The tenants' decision to oppose de Blasio's sweeping affordable housing plan didn't come easily or quickly, they say. "We spent a lot of time analyzing the plan, yet we understand lots of people in the city haven't opened their eyes. We are very hopeful we can make our case to the public and convince them we are on the moral high ground," said Josefina Salazar, a founding member of the group and 20-year resident of East Harlem.</p> <p>Movement for Justice in El Barrio held a series of community meetings and workshops starting this past spring that its members say involved thousands of Harlem residents. Only after formulating their position, creating a plan of their own, and reaching out to the mayor's office did they decide to take their position public.</p> <p>Tenants' biggest concerns, which mirror those being seen in other neighborhoods around the city where de Blasio is first looking to rezone to create more density, are led by the administration's plan calling for all new residential development to set aside 25-30 percent for "affordable" housing units, but with affordability rates they say are too high.</p> <p>"Affordable" as defined in the de Blasio plan is incomes between $46,620 and $62,150 for a family of three. According to census data the current average median family income for an East Harlem family of four is $33,600, according to 2010-2012 <a href="http://project.wnyc.org/median-income-nabes/" target="_blank">estimates</a> from the U.S. Census Bureau.</p> <p>Remaining units in new construction would rent at the real estate developer's discretion, also known as market-rate housing. Developers must agree to the administration's terms in order to build in areas being rezoned by the city.</p> <p>In order to meet de Blasio's ambitious affordable housing goals, maintaining or building 200,000 affordable units over ten years, the administration argues that it must increase density in underdeveloped neighborhoods. The administration is starting with places like East New York, Flushing, and East Harlem. El Barrio is particularly interesting because it is represented in the City Council by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, largely an ally of the mayor.</p> <p>Supporters of the plan note that the affordable housing would be mandatory for developers to include in their projects and it would be permanent. But the group fears that their current apartments and those of their neighbors will not be protected and as the neighborhood gentrifies landlords will be motivated to push them out to rent to higher-income tenants.</p> <p>Community boards across the city have to decide whether to approve the mayor's <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/housing/mandatory-inclusionary-housing-summary.shtml" target="_blank">Mandatory Inclusionary Housing</a> and <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zoning-qa/zoning-for-affordability-1.shtml" target="_blank">Zoning for Quality and Affordability</a> plans. City Limits <a href="http://citylimits.org/2015/11/02/how-are-nycs-community-boards-reacting-to-de-blasios-housing-proposals/" target="_blank">recently reported</a> that while most of the boards have yet to vote on the proposals, the majority of the ones that did rejected them and that there are widespread concerns about the plans as tenants and small business owners worry about being squeezed our of their neighborhoods.</p> <p>Movement for Justice in El Barrio plans a series of protests and continued community education to push back against the zoning plans before they comes to a vote at Community Board 11 on November 17. The Community Board is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter on Nov. 9.</p> <p>"When we watch TV we see de Blasio promotes this plan as an affordable housing plan," said Salazar. "But this is pure propaganda. We did the math and we realized after reading the report on housing and his ten-year plan that this is not truly an affordable housing plan. It favors the creation of luxury housing that we don't consider affordable."</p> <p>The group has put together its own ten-point plan members want to see adopted to preserve existing affordable housing in their neighborhood.</p> <p>The plan calls for independent oversight of the city's Housing Preservation Department; establishing a public education campaign to inform tenants about HPD's role; empowering a new body or building inspectors to collect fines against landlords; having HPD make repairs not completed by the landlord in the specified amount of time and then billing the landlord; making inspectors carry citations in multiple languages and send out reports in multiple languages; forcing landlords to make repairs within 24 hours of emergency violations; establishing an East Harlem HPD oversight team as a pilot for other areas with at-risk low-income housing; providing inspections 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week; and improving HPD's follow-up on violations.</p> <p>Zorayda Aguirre, a member of Movement for Justice who has lived in East Harlem with her husband and three young children for 16 years, said she fears for the community she has grown to love. "This plan will destroy our culture and change the face of East Harlem," she said of the mayor's proposals. "Not only that but the landlords will become more aggressive and try to drive us out. We will see our small businesses replaced by large ones that cater to the rich and it will become very expensive to live here."</p> <p>Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer shares some of the group's concerns."The history of New York City is one of constant change, but that change can't leave current residents behind – it needs to benefit and complement existing communities," Brewer told Gotham Gazette. "I will be working hard throughout this process to ensure the existing community is at the heart of the discussion. Any rezoning in East Harlem needs to address the full range of neighborhood issues like housing preservation, schools, and community-based small business."</p> <p>In response to de Blasio's plan, Brewer called for an inclusion of even more affordable housing, a reduction of luxury housing included in deals with developers, increased vigilance by HPD to make sure existing affordable housing units are not lost, that there are tenant education clinics (with no income restrictions) in areas where upzoning is proposed. Brewer has also focused on helping mom and pop shops stay in business as major chains move in.</p> <p>"We will never have enough affordable housing if we are not able to help tenants remain in existing affordable units. HPD must help prevent evictions by coordinating with the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to ensure rents are legal and to enforce housing codes," Brewer <a href="https://madmimi.com/p/befad5?fe=1&amp;pact=28065113575" target="_blank">wrote</a> in a Febraury response to de Blasio unveiling his housing plan.</p> <p>Amy Varghese, spokesperson for Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, said that the speaker encourages the community to get involved in the discussion of the city's housing plan.</p> <p>"The East Harlem rezoning is an opportunity for all residents and stakeholders to engage in a community-driven, neighborhood-based planning process that addresses real local needs and concerns," Varghese said in a statement. "We need to have diverse voices at the table having meaningful conversations around these issues, from housing to transportation to open space and more. True to her grassroots leadership, Speaker is committed to facilitating these discussions in an empowered, productive environment and strongly encourages all residents to get involved, participate and harness this opportunity to make a difference in the neighborhood we are so proud to call home."</p> <p>Members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio say they will do just that, making their voices heard in the coming weeks as community boards across the city consider the plan.</p> <p>"This is a David versus Goliath type of battle," said Salazar. "The mayor is very powerful and has a propaganda machine. We really want a face-to-face meeting with the mayor. I think we can change his heart," said Salazar. "We want to tell him that we don't think his plan will preserve the simple, humble people of El Barrio."</p> <p>The mayor's office did not return request for comment.</p> <p>***<br />by David King, Albany editor, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@DavidHowardKing</a></p> <p><img alt="East-HarlemMovement" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/East-HarlemMovement.jpg" width="600" height="402" /></p> <p>A Movement for Justice in El Barrio rally</p> <hr /> <p>An East Harlem tenants group is gearing up to battle Mayor Bill de Blasio over his housing plan, saying that the plan will see local mom-and-pop stores bought out by chains, further incentivize landlords to push tenants out, and destroy the culture of Spanish Harlem.</p> <p>The group, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, is countering the de Blasio rezoning proposal that they call a "luxury housing plan" with a 10-point agenda of its own designed to preserve current housing stock and protect the community from gentrification. It hopes to push the local community board to vote against the mayor's two rezoning proposals and wants a face-to-face meeting with de Blasio to discuss concerns.</p> <p>Movement for Justice, an immigrant-led community organization formed in 2004, plans to make its opposition and proposals public at a Friday afternoon press conference at the corner of East 103rd Street and Lexington Avenue.</p> <p>The tenants' decision to oppose de Blasio's sweeping affordable housing plan didn't come easily or quickly, they say. "We spent a lot of time analyzing the plan, yet we understand lots of people in the city haven't opened their eyes. We are very hopeful we can make our case to the public and convince them we are on the moral high ground," said Josefina Salazar, a founding member of the group and 20-year resident of East Harlem.</p> <p>Movement for Justice in El Barrio held a series of community meetings and workshops starting this past spring that its members say involved thousands of Harlem residents. Only after formulating their position, creating a plan of their own, and reaching out to the mayor's office did they decide to take their position public.</p> <p>Tenants' biggest concerns, which mirror those being seen in other neighborhoods around the city where de Blasio is first looking to rezone to create more density, are led by the administration's plan calling for all new residential development to set aside 25-30 percent for "affordable" housing units, but with affordability rates they say are too high.</p> <p>"Affordable" as defined in the de Blasio plan is incomes between $46,620 and $62,150 for a family of three. According to census data the current average median family income for an East Harlem family of four is $33,600, according to 2010-2012 <a href="http://project.wnyc.org/median-income-nabes/" target="_blank">estimates</a> from the U.S. Census Bureau.</p> <p>Remaining units in new construction would rent at the real estate developer's discretion, also known as market-rate housing. Developers must agree to the administration's terms in order to build in areas being rezoned by the city.</p> <p>In order to meet de Blasio's ambitious affordable housing goals, maintaining or building 200,000 affordable units over ten years, the administration argues that it must increase density in underdeveloped neighborhoods. The administration is starting with places like East New York, Flushing, and East Harlem. El Barrio is particularly interesting because it is represented in the City Council by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, largely an ally of the mayor.</p> <p>Supporters of the plan note that the affordable housing would be mandatory for developers to include in their projects and it would be permanent. But the group fears that their current apartments and those of their neighbors will not be protected and as the neighborhood gentrifies landlords will be motivated to push them out to rent to higher-income tenants.</p> <p>Community boards across the city have to decide whether to approve the mayor's <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/housing/mandatory-inclusionary-housing-summary.shtml" target="_blank">Mandatory Inclusionary Housing</a> and <a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zoning-qa/zoning-for-affordability-1.shtml" target="_blank">Zoning for Quality and Affordability</a> plans. City Limits <a href="http://citylimits.org/2015/11/02/how-are-nycs-community-boards-reacting-to-de-blasios-housing-proposals/" target="_blank">recently reported</a> that while most of the boards have yet to vote on the proposals, the majority of the ones that did rejected them and that there are widespread concerns about the plans as tenants and small business owners worry about being squeezed our of their neighborhoods.</p> <p>Movement for Justice in El Barrio plans a series of protests and continued community education to push back against the zoning plans before they comes to a vote at Community Board 11 on November 17. The Community Board is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter on Nov. 9.</p> <p>"When we watch TV we see de Blasio promotes this plan as an affordable housing plan," said Salazar. "But this is pure propaganda. We did the math and we realized after reading the report on housing and his ten-year plan that this is not truly an affordable housing plan. It favors the creation of luxury housing that we don't consider affordable."</p> <p>The group has put together its own ten-point plan members want to see adopted to preserve existing affordable housing in their neighborhood.</p> <p>The plan calls for independent oversight of the city's Housing Preservation Department; establishing a public education campaign to inform tenants about HPD's role; empowering a new body or building inspectors to collect fines against landlords; having HPD make repairs not completed by the landlord in the specified amount of time and then billing the landlord; making inspectors carry citations in multiple languages and send out reports in multiple languages; forcing landlords to make repairs within 24 hours of emergency violations; establishing an East Harlem HPD oversight team as a pilot for other areas with at-risk low-income housing; providing inspections 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week; and improving HPD's follow-up on violations.</p> <p>Zorayda Aguirre, a member of Movement for Justice who has lived in East Harlem with her husband and three young children for 16 years, said she fears for the community she has grown to love. "This plan will destroy our culture and change the face of East Harlem," she said of the mayor's proposals. "Not only that but the landlords will become more aggressive and try to drive us out. We will see our small businesses replaced by large ones that cater to the rich and it will become very expensive to live here."</p> <p>Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer shares some of the group's concerns."The history of New York City is one of constant change, but that change can't leave current residents behind – it needs to benefit and complement existing communities," Brewer told Gotham Gazette. "I will be working hard throughout this process to ensure the existing community is at the heart of the discussion. Any rezoning in East Harlem needs to address the full range of neighborhood issues like housing preservation, schools, and community-based small business."</p> <p>In response to de Blasio's plan, Brewer called for an inclusion of even more affordable housing, a reduction of luxury housing included in deals with developers, increased vigilance by HPD to make sure existing affordable housing units are not lost, that there are tenant education clinics (with no income restrictions) in areas where upzoning is proposed. Brewer has also focused on helping mom and pop shops stay in business as major chains move in.</p> <p>"We will never have enough affordable housing if we are not able to help tenants remain in existing affordable units. HPD must help prevent evictions by coordinating with the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to ensure rents are legal and to enforce housing codes," Brewer <a href="https://madmimi.com/p/befad5?fe=1&amp;pact=28065113575" target="_blank">wrote</a> in a Febraury response to de Blasio unveiling his housing plan.</p> <p>Amy Varghese, spokesperson for Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, said that the speaker encourages the community to get involved in the discussion of the city's housing plan.</p> <p>"The East Harlem rezoning is an opportunity for all residents and stakeholders to engage in a community-driven, neighborhood-based planning process that addresses real local needs and concerns," Varghese said in a statement. "We need to have diverse voices at the table having meaningful conversations around these issues, from housing to transportation to open space and more. True to her grassroots leadership, Speaker is committed to facilitating these discussions in an empowered, productive environment and strongly encourages all residents to get involved, participate and harness this opportunity to make a difference in the neighborhood we are so proud to call home."</p> <p>Members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio say they will do just that, making their voices heard in the coming weeks as community boards across the city consider the plan.</p> <p>"This is a David versus Goliath type of battle," said Salazar. "The mayor is very powerful and has a propaganda machine. We really want a face-to-face meeting with the mayor. I think we can change his heart," said Salazar. "We want to tell him that we don't think his plan will preserve the simple, humble people of El Barrio."</p> <p>The mayor's office did not return request for comment.</p> <p>***<br />by David King, Albany editor, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@DavidHowardKing</a></p> The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 30 2015-03-29T05:00:00+00:00 2015-03-29T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5659:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-march-30 Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/640px-New_York_City_Hall.jpg" alt="New York City Hall" height="450" width="600" /></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>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 <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-majority-leader-skelos-and-speaker-heastie-announce-agreement-2015-16-budget" target="_blank">announced</a> that Cuomo is now five for five in on-time budgets as governor - not a small feat:&nbsp;"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.</p> <p>As negotiations continued the governor has admitted that more and more of the policies that he attempted to include in the budget <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/03/8565047/cuomo-no-budget-deal-yet-pending-ethics-and-ed-agreements" target="_blank">were being pushed</a> to the legislative session to follow - which has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5654-democrats-frustrated-by-governor-backing-off-partys-issues" target="_blank">frustrated some fellow Democrats</a>. 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: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5627-on-minimum-wage-cuomo-again-finds-the-not-so-happy-middle" target="_blank">minimum wage</a>. 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.</p> <p>In quite the well-timed release, a new unauthorized biography of Cuomo is <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/cuomo-book-has-a-subplot-1426815975" target="_blank">due out</a> on Tuesday:&nbsp;Michael Shnayerson's "The Contender."</p> <p>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 <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5658-the-city-council-definition-of-womens-issues" target="_blank">our new look at how the City Council defines "women's issues" when it comes ot the budget and otherwise</a>]</p> <p>Mayor de Blasio begins his week with a 3 p.m. event:&nbsp;"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."</p> <p>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.</p> <p>There's a great deal happening at&nbsp;<a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">the City Council</a>&nbsp;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.</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>City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's public schedule on Monday includes&nbsp;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.</p> <p>At 8:15 Monday morning, City Comptroller Scott Stringer will appear live on 91.1 FM's "JM in the AM."</p> <p>Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be a guest on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show this morning, discussing help for small business owners.</p> <p>Monday’s City Council schedule will include a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389758&amp;GUID=1B01CC25-E82F-4421-B14A-7E8C2F3AAB34&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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 <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=390249&amp;GUID=E322FF4A-1E64-433A-9F60-DF50E160D0D2&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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 <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389491&amp;GUID=CC0C9E24-B32A-4686-84C7-CF9E60443C11&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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.</p> <p>At 11 a.m., Attorney General Eric Schneiderman&nbsp;"will detail his agreement with retail giant GNC to implement landmark reforms in the authentication, testing and public information and transparency of herbal supplements,"&nbsp;from his Manhattan office.</p> <p>Also Monday morning at 11 a.m.,&nbsp;"as part of the city's unprecedented tax season outreach cmapaign," an event in Flushing "to promote&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/nyc.gov/taxprep" target="_blank">free tax filing</a>" 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."</p> <p>On Monday at noon,&nbsp;schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña "launches literacy program in 20 Family Shelters with DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor" from HELP Bronx Crotona Park North.</p> <p dir="ltr">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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">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 &amp; State NY.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 3 p.m. Mayor de Blasio will hold his aforementioned bill-signing event.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday&nbsp;at 4:30, "Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer will host a Technology &amp; 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 &amp; Educational Technology organizations, including Citizen Schools, The LAMP, and others.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday <a href="http://ow.ly/i/a3rqd/original" target="_blank">afternoon</a>, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Public Advocate Letitia James; <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5658-the-city-council-definition-of-womens-issues" target="_blank">Council Women’s Issues Committee</a> 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At Brooklyn Borough Hall there will be a Women's History Month&nbsp;<a href="http://files.ctctcdn.com/94e27db1401/9b687277-4822-4e6a-9208-eda5ebaa611f.pdf" target="_blank">celebration</a>&nbsp;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.</p> <p dir="ltr">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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Monday <a href="http://www.queenslibrary.org/slide-show-content/open-budget-hearing" target="_blank">evening</a>, 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.”</p> <p><strong>Tuesday<br /></strong>On Tuesday, Comptroller Scott Stringer&nbsp;will attend the Council of Institutional Investors 2015 Spring Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration in Washington D.C.</p> <p>As mentioned,&nbsp;Michael Shnayerson’s Andrew Cuomo biography “The Contender,” is slated for release Tuesday.</p> <p>Tuesday is the last day of the state's 2015 fiscal year. A new fiscal year 2016 budget is due by midnight.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday morning at <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#.VRBTgzTF_T1">8 a.m</a>., City &amp; State will host Real Estate, Construction &amp; 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.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Tuesday <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#utm_source=Events%20Calendar%20Alert&amp;utm_medium=alert-html&amp;utm_campaign=Newsletters" target="_blank">morning</a>, 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.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday at <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#.VRBQqzTF_T0" target="_blank">9 a.m</a>., 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday’s City Council schedule will include a 10 a.m. <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=387259&amp;GUID=530FB874-36BC-488A-9A3C-387824A58AAC&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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 <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=382175&amp;GUID=E1AB9EFD-4136-4327-AB55-B8F063FA87E7&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">1:30 p.m</a>.&nbsp;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&nbsp;<a href="http://capi.tl/1ykvaRI" target="_blank">would require</a>&nbsp;the NYPD to publish its patrol guide.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#top">evening</a>, Educators for Excellence will host Manhattan Policy Roundtable: Teacher Evaluation and Tenure.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Tuesday <a href="http://calendar.qc.cuny.edu/?e=3888">evening</a>, 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday at <a href="http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/wagner-03-31-2015">5 p.m</a>., 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, <a href="http://www.fordfoundation.org/about-us/leadership/darren-walker">Darren Walker</a>, President of the <a href="http://www.fordfoundation.org/">Ford Foundation</a>. <a href="http://www.nyu.edu/about/leadership-university-administration/office-of-the-president/office-of-the-provost/global-programs/bios/melody-c-barnes.html">Melody Barnes</a>, 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="http://nyagv.org/join-us-spring-member-meeting-march-31-in-nyc/">evening</a>, 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 href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5576-pass-nicholas-law-increase-protection-for-children-from-guns-nyagv-barrett" target="_blank">a recent op-ed by Barrett on the need to pass Nicholas' Law</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday at <a href="http://www.centernyc.org/the-low-down-on-pre-k">6 p.m</a>., 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?”</p> <p dir="ltr">There will be a meeting of&nbsp;the National Women's Political Caucus New York City chapter, at which Manhattan BP Brewer will speak.</p> <p dir="ltr">And also Tuesday evening, a debate in the 11th Congressional District race:&nbsp;8:15 PM at Guild for Exceptional Children's headquarters in Brooklyn. <a href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/donovan_gentile_lane_to_face_o.html%20" target="_blank">Staten Island Advance</a>: "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."</p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;">[Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank">the latest reporting from Gotham Gazette on New York City and State politics and policy</a>]</p> <p><strong>Wednesday<br /></strong>Wednesday is the first day of the New York State 2016 fiscal year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday’s City Council schedule will include a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389773&amp;GUID=D4FE9D27-C023-427F-84F0-6E5DB39249DC&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Housing and Buildings; a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389494&amp;GUID=2B4F0164-CEB4-4C7E-8261-16FF35C17CAB&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor jointly with the Committee on Finance for an <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/03/8564719/council-seeking-answers-plans-health-care-savings" target="_blank">oversight hearing</a> regarding examining health care savings under recent collective bargaining agreements; a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389423&amp;GUID=299A9344-9BAA-40C2-AD81-DCF2FBBA3E1D&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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 <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389493&amp;GUID=D2098C9B-D765-4506-B451-95E5222A4C1D&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday at <a href="https://sipa.columbia.edu/experience-sipa/events/deans-seminar-series-on-race-and-policy-at-the-intersection-of-tech-and-social-impact" target="_blank">1 p.m</a>., 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Also at Columbia University mid-day Wednesday, Manhattan BP Brewer will&nbsp;speak at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs "One Billion Rising" event raising awareness to end violence against women.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday at <a href="http://www.meetup.com/betanyc/events/221202114/" target="_blank">5:30 p.m.</a>, 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!!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Wednesday at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1556723811245687/" target="_blank">5:30 p.m</a>., 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.”</p> <p><strong>Thursday<br /></strong>Thursday <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/435731259921361/" target="_blank">evening</a>, Big Apple Coffee Party, Common Cause/NY, Public Citizen and Occupy Wall Street Special Projects Affinity Group &nbsp;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.”</p> <p>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 &amp; 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.</p> <p><strong>Friday and the weekend<br /></strong>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.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">***Read some of the latest original content from Gotham Gazette - explore<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank"> our stories</a> or recent <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion" target="_blank">op-eds</a>***</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 Rati Mukhuradze, Marco Poggio, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/640px-New_York_City_Hall.jpg" alt="New York City Hall" height="450" width="600" /></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>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 <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-majority-leader-skelos-and-speaker-heastie-announce-agreement-2015-16-budget" target="_blank">announced</a> that Cuomo is now five for five in on-time budgets as governor - not a small feat:&nbsp;"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.</p> <p>As negotiations continued the governor has admitted that more and more of the policies that he attempted to include in the budget <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/03/8565047/cuomo-no-budget-deal-yet-pending-ethics-and-ed-agreements" target="_blank">were being pushed</a> to the legislative session to follow - which has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5654-democrats-frustrated-by-governor-backing-off-partys-issues" target="_blank">frustrated some fellow Democrats</a>. 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: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5627-on-minimum-wage-cuomo-again-finds-the-not-so-happy-middle" target="_blank">minimum wage</a>. 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.</p> <p>In quite the well-timed release, a new unauthorized biography of Cuomo is <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/cuomo-book-has-a-subplot-1426815975" target="_blank">due out</a> on Tuesday:&nbsp;Michael Shnayerson's "The Contender."</p> <p>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 <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5658-the-city-council-definition-of-womens-issues" target="_blank">our new look at how the City Council defines "women's issues" when it comes ot the budget and otherwise</a>]</p> <p>Mayor de Blasio begins his week with a 3 p.m. event:&nbsp;"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."</p> <p>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.</p> <p>There's a great deal happening at&nbsp;<a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">the City Council</a>&nbsp;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.</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>City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's public schedule on Monday includes&nbsp;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.</p> <p>At 8:15 Monday morning, City Comptroller Scott Stringer will appear live on 91.1 FM's "JM in the AM."</p> <p>Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be a guest on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show this morning, discussing help for small business owners.</p> <p>Monday’s City Council schedule will include a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389758&amp;GUID=1B01CC25-E82F-4421-B14A-7E8C2F3AAB34&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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 <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=390249&amp;GUID=E322FF4A-1E64-433A-9F60-DF50E160D0D2&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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 <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389491&amp;GUID=CC0C9E24-B32A-4686-84C7-CF9E60443C11&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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.</p> <p>At 11 a.m., Attorney General Eric Schneiderman&nbsp;"will detail his agreement with retail giant GNC to implement landmark reforms in the authentication, testing and public information and transparency of herbal supplements,"&nbsp;from his Manhattan office.</p> <p>Also Monday morning at 11 a.m.,&nbsp;"as part of the city's unprecedented tax season outreach cmapaign," an event in Flushing "to promote&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/nyc.gov/taxprep" target="_blank">free tax filing</a>" 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."</p> <p>On Monday at noon,&nbsp;schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña "launches literacy program in 20 Family Shelters with DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor" from HELP Bronx Crotona Park North.</p> <p dir="ltr">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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">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 &amp; State NY.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 3 p.m. Mayor de Blasio will hold his aforementioned bill-signing event.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday&nbsp;at 4:30, "Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer will host a Technology &amp; 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 &amp; Educational Technology organizations, including Citizen Schools, The LAMP, and others.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday <a href="http://ow.ly/i/a3rqd/original" target="_blank">afternoon</a>, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Public Advocate Letitia James; <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5658-the-city-council-definition-of-womens-issues" target="_blank">Council Women’s Issues Committee</a> 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At Brooklyn Borough Hall there will be a Women's History Month&nbsp;<a href="http://files.ctctcdn.com/94e27db1401/9b687277-4822-4e6a-9208-eda5ebaa611f.pdf" target="_blank">celebration</a>&nbsp;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.</p> <p dir="ltr">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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Monday <a href="http://www.queenslibrary.org/slide-show-content/open-budget-hearing" target="_blank">evening</a>, 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.”</p> <p><strong>Tuesday<br /></strong>On Tuesday, Comptroller Scott Stringer&nbsp;will attend the Council of Institutional Investors 2015 Spring Conference and 30th Anniversary Celebration in Washington D.C.</p> <p>As mentioned,&nbsp;Michael Shnayerson’s Andrew Cuomo biography “The Contender,” is slated for release Tuesday.</p> <p>Tuesday is the last day of the state's 2015 fiscal year. A new fiscal year 2016 budget is due by midnight.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday morning at <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#.VRBTgzTF_T1">8 a.m</a>., City &amp; State will host Real Estate, Construction &amp; 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.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Tuesday <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#utm_source=Events%20Calendar%20Alert&amp;utm_medium=alert-html&amp;utm_campaign=Newsletters" target="_blank">morning</a>, 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.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday at <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#.VRBQqzTF_T0" target="_blank">9 a.m</a>., 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday’s City Council schedule will include a 10 a.m. <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=387259&amp;GUID=530FB874-36BC-488A-9A3C-387824A58AAC&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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 <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=382175&amp;GUID=E1AB9EFD-4136-4327-AB55-B8F063FA87E7&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">1:30 p.m</a>.&nbsp;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&nbsp;<a href="http://capi.tl/1ykvaRI" target="_blank">would require</a>&nbsp;the NYPD to publish its patrol guide.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#top">evening</a>, Educators for Excellence will host Manhattan Policy Roundtable: Teacher Evaluation and Tenure.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Tuesday <a href="http://calendar.qc.cuny.edu/?e=3888">evening</a>, 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday at <a href="http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/wagner-03-31-2015">5 p.m</a>., 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, <a href="http://www.fordfoundation.org/about-us/leadership/darren-walker">Darren Walker</a>, President of the <a href="http://www.fordfoundation.org/">Ford Foundation</a>. <a href="http://www.nyu.edu/about/leadership-university-administration/office-of-the-president/office-of-the-provost/global-programs/bios/melody-c-barnes.html">Melody Barnes</a>, 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="http://nyagv.org/join-us-spring-member-meeting-march-31-in-nyc/">evening</a>, 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 href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5576-pass-nicholas-law-increase-protection-for-children-from-guns-nyagv-barrett" target="_blank">a recent op-ed by Barrett on the need to pass Nicholas' Law</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday at <a href="http://www.centernyc.org/the-low-down-on-pre-k">6 p.m</a>., 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?”</p> <p dir="ltr">There will be a meeting of&nbsp;the National Women's Political Caucus New York City chapter, at which Manhattan BP Brewer will speak.</p> <p dir="ltr">And also Tuesday evening, a debate in the 11th Congressional District race:&nbsp;8:15 PM at Guild for Exceptional Children's headquarters in Brooklyn. <a href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/donovan_gentile_lane_to_face_o.html%20" target="_blank">Staten Island Advance</a>: "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."</p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;">[Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank">the latest reporting from Gotham Gazette on New York City and State politics and policy</a>]</p> <p><strong>Wednesday<br /></strong>Wednesday is the first day of the New York State 2016 fiscal year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday’s City Council schedule will include a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389773&amp;GUID=D4FE9D27-C023-427F-84F0-6E5DB39249DC&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Housing and Buildings; a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389494&amp;GUID=2B4F0164-CEB4-4C7E-8261-16FF35C17CAB&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor jointly with the Committee on Finance for an <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/03/8564719/council-seeking-answers-plans-health-care-savings" target="_blank">oversight hearing</a> regarding examining health care savings under recent collective bargaining agreements; a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389423&amp;GUID=299A9344-9BAA-40C2-AD81-DCF2FBBA3E1D&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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 <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=389493&amp;GUID=D2098C9B-D765-4506-B451-95E5222A4C1D&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> 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.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday at <a href="https://sipa.columbia.edu/experience-sipa/events/deans-seminar-series-on-race-and-policy-at-the-intersection-of-tech-and-social-impact" target="_blank">1 p.m</a>., 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.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Also at Columbia University mid-day Wednesday, Manhattan BP Brewer will&nbsp;speak at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs "One Billion Rising" event raising awareness to end violence against women.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday at <a href="http://www.meetup.com/betanyc/events/221202114/" target="_blank">5:30 p.m.</a>, 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!!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Wednesday at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1556723811245687/" target="_blank">5:30 p.m</a>., 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.”</p> <p><strong>Thursday<br /></strong>Thursday <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/435731259921361/" target="_blank">evening</a>, Big Apple Coffee Party, Common Cause/NY, Public Citizen and Occupy Wall Street Special Projects Affinity Group &nbsp;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.”</p> <p>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 &amp; 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.</p> <p><strong>Friday and the weekend<br /></strong>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.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">***Read some of the latest original content from Gotham Gazette - explore<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank"> our stories</a> or recent <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion" target="_blank">op-eds</a>***</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 Rati Mukhuradze, Marco Poggio, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 23 2015-03-20T15:41:48+00:00 2015-03-20T15:41:48+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5644:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-march-23 Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/640px-New_York_City_Hall.jpg" alt="New York City Hall" height="450" width="600" /></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>We're getting close to the state budget deadline of April 1. This week will be full of both private negotiations and public sessions in Albany, where lawmakers attempt to come to a budget deal while showing <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5636-three-different-budgets-with-two-weeks-to-go" target="_blank">significantly divergent takes</a> on key issues - as well as central mechanisms related to the budget and policy. Governor Andrew Cuomo has jammed quite a bit of policy into <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5636-three-different-budgets-with-two-weeks-to-go" target="_blank">his budget</a>, attaching initiatives to appropriations in an attempt to strong-arm the Legislature into agreeing to his policy demands. This is especially true around <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5634-schneiderman-unveils-ethics-plan-to-cure-the-disease" target="_blank">ethics</a> and educaiton reforms, but Cuomo has also used creative tactics to push compromise, tying an education tax credit favored by Republicans to <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5628-separating-fact-from-fiction-on-the-dream-act-choi" target="_blank">the DREAM Act</a>, which is favored by Democrats, for example. The Legislature is in session Monday through Thursday again this week.</p> <p>Meanwhile, New York City officials await decisions in Albany (while also <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5600-in-albany-de-blasio-critiques-cuomos-budget-defines-citys-needs" target="_blank">trying to affect those decisions</a>, of course) and carry on their own budget work. The City Council will wrap up its month of preliminary budget hearings this week and then formulate a formal response to the mayor, who will then issue his Executive Budget in April, leading to another round of council hearings and a final budget deal by July 1. The City is eagerly awaiting word from Albany on things like funding for schools, homelessness prevention, public housing, and much more.</p> <p>De Blasio is in Boston on Sunday and Monday, participating in the&nbsp;U.S. Conference of Mayors Cities of Opportunity Task Force Summit; on Monday,&nbsp;"there will be a press conference on transportation issues at 12:30pm" at Faneuil Hall;&nbsp;he'll return to New York City on Monday evening. De Blasio was in Albany on Saturday for the Somos el Futuro Conference, where he reiterated <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/US%20Conference%20of%20Mayors%20Cities%20of%20Opportunity%20Task%20Force%20Summit" target="_blank">his push</a> for full education funding from the State and other top priorities, and received&nbsp;"the Champion for Latinos Award at the dinner gala."</p> <p>And the whole week builds to the annual Inner Circle Show this Friday (dress rehearsal) and Saturday, at which the press will roast the mayor, and vice versa.</p> <p>There's plenty happening this week. See our day-by-day rundown below for more.</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>Monday morning, schools&nbsp;Chancellor Carmen Fariña will visit a "CTE program to make an announcement" at the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Queens.</p> <p>Comptroller Scott Stringer's only public event scheduled for Monday is an 8:15 a.m. appearance&nbsp;on "Buen Día New York," WADO 1280 AM.</p> <p>Also Monday <a href="http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=6a3c6f6168c3f1dbf2e16c506&amp;id=5eb213f604&amp;e=c69e0ca980" target="_blank">morning</a>, the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association will host a breakfast with United States Senator Charles Schumer at Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s headquarters.</p> <p>At 10:30 Monday morning,&nbsp;Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer "will issue a report, Small Business, Big Impact: Expanding Opportunity for Manhattan's Storefronters, with case studies and policy recommendations to help small businesses grow and thrive in New York City." At The Halal Guys on the Upper West Side, Brewer will be joined by Robert Cornegy, Chair, New York City Council Small Business Committee; The Halal Guys co-founders Muhammed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka, and Abdelbaset Elsayed; and Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director, BetaNYC. The report's recommendations include "Take the pressure off lease renewals"; "Overhaul regulations and city policies governing street vending" and "Help established, successful small businesses threatened by rent increases by encouraging "condo-ization" of storefront space." [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5621-as-city-eases-burdens-access-to-capital-rising-rents-remain-issues-for-small-businesses" target="_blank">our recent report on key issues facing small business in New York City and the City's new efforts to help ease regulatory burdens</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday’s Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, three of the five borough presidents will appear together: “Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams talk about borough and city-wide issues facing Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx residents.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday at 10 a.m. at City Hall, preceding the relevant City Council preliminary budget hearing, "hundreds of New York City seniors and service providers were invited to descend upon City Hall's Council Chambers and make their voices heard at the Department for the Aging budget hearing to advocate for $33 million in critical funding for senior services."</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. on Monday at City Hall, Rep. Nydia Velázquez and other local leaders will release a report on how the Republican congressional budget would impact New York City: “From transportation, to housing, to health and human services, New York would be acutely affected by proposed cuts,” says a media advisory on the event.</p> <p>At noon at City Hall, there will be a "Rally for action by Earth Day on plastic bag reduction bill" hosted by Council Members Brad Lander and Margaret Chin, who sponsor the relevant bill, and Council Member and Sanitation Committee Chair Antonio Reynoso, as well as other elected officials: "The bill (Int. 209) will reduce disposable bag use by requiring retail and grocery stores to charge 10 cents per single-use plastic or paper bag. Supporters of the bill turned out in large numbers at a public hearing before the Council's Sanitation Committee last fall, and will rally again for its passage by Earth Day (April 22)."</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday’s City Council schedule consists of two preliminary budget hearings: a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385763&amp;GUID=BD5E9A55-8C53-466C-B096-D1BFF8461AF1&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Aging jointly with the Subcommittee on Senior Centers; and a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385724&amp;GUID=227EDE37-9441-425B-BE67-09E3AA150B14&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Health.</p> <p dir="ltr">CUNY Journalism School's brown bag lunch series continues on Monday <a href="http://www.journalism.cuny.edu/events/brown-bag-speaker-event-investigative-edition/" target="_blank">with a conversation</a> between Errol Louis and Tom Robbins, both journalists and CUNY J-school professors. "Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, will discuss his recent piece on the brutal beatings of former Attica Prison inmate George Williams...Errol Louis, director of the Urban Reporting Program and host of NY1's Inside City Hall, will pick Robbins' brain on the work that went into the nine-month project, as well as the larger issues of prison violence that it illuminated."</p> <p dir="ltr">At 2 p.m. Monday,&nbsp;outside FDNY headquarters at MetroTech Center, Brooklyn BP Adams "will announce a borough-wide fire safety education campaign, following a fatal fire Saturday in Midwood that claimed the lives of seven siblings, aged five to 16, from the Sassoon family. His effort will include multilingual outreach and the distribution of free smoke detectors...Adams will call for the creation of a burn center in Brooklyn...Adams will be joined by local elected officials and Jewish leaders."</p> <p dir="ltr">Also&nbsp;<a href="https://my.citizenactionny.org/civicrm/event/register?id=475" target="_blank">Monday</a>, in Albany, Citizen Action of New York will hold Moral Monday to Raise the Wage: “Nearly 3 million workers – 37% of New York’s workforce – earn less than $15 an hour. Thirty-six percent of adults earn less than $15 an hour; 41% women earn less than $15 an hour, and 28% of workers with at least some college education earn less than $15 an hour. A full-time worker earning $9 an hour will bring home just $18,720 per year – still below the federal poverty line for a family of three. Under the Self-Sufficiency Standard guidelines, a more accurate measure of the cost of living in New York, the hourly wage that 2 full-time workers must each earn to meet basic budget needs ranges from $13.40 in Schenectady County, to $16.15 in New York City, to $20.73 in Suffolk County.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday at <a href="http://gaming.ny.gov/pdf/03.18.15.GCMeetingNotice.pdf" target="_blank">noon</a>, there will be meeting of the New York State Gaming Commission at the New York State Department of Labor.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/23/corporations-authorities-and-commissions-meeting" target="_blank">afternoon</a> in Albany, the Senate Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions will hold a hearing to consider several pieces of legislation.</p> <p>Monday <a href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/vincent_gentil_daniel_donovan.html" target="_blank">evening</a>, “The Middle Class Action Project will host a candidates forum with Republican District Attorney Daniel Donovan and Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile to discuss economic issues facing the middle class,” according to the Staten Island Advance.</p> <p><strong>Tuesday<br /></strong>Tuesday <a href="https://services.nycbar.org/iMIS/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=ELE032415&amp;WebsiteKey=f71e12f3-524e-4f8c-a5f7-0d16ce7b3314" target="_blank">morning</a>, the New York Bar Association will host Campaign Finance: The Current State of Affairs and Where We Go From Here: “Since the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United, campaign finance law has moved at a rapid pace, leading the way for the creation of various entities that facilitate the injection of billions of dollars into elections. And Congress just increased the power of political party committees by significantly increasing applicable campaign finance limits. This program will consist of three panels composed of top-tier campaign finance law experts, regulators, reporters and political consultants.” Panelists will include Nicholas Confessore from The New York Times; Dave Levinthal from the Center for Public Integrity; Eric Friedman from NYC Campaign Finance Board; Bill Hyers from Hilltop Public Solutions; Fritz Schwarz, Jr. from the Brennan Center; Douglas Kellner from the NYS Board of Elections; and Jerry Goldfeder from Stroock &amp; Stroock &amp; Lavan.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday’s City Council schedule will include&nbsp;a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385765&amp;GUID=E7600B96-680A-46E7-BC58-6ACCFADDEF6F&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services for a preliminary budget hearing; a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=387010&amp;GUID=29E5350F-4E34-4E21-B6AD-F913E0A3708F&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Zoning and Franchises to review proposed Land Use Applications; and a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=387012&amp;GUID=D86ABDD6-CD52-4235-84B8-78322F2B5B9D&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions to review land use applications.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/24/environmental-conservation" target="_blank">morning</a> in Albany, the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation will hold a hearing to consider a variety of bills to amend the environmental conservation law; <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/24/transportation-meeting" target="_blank">the Senate</a>&nbsp;Standing Committee on Transportation will meet to consider several bills amending the highway law and the vehicle and traffic law; <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/24/judiciary-meeting" target="_blank">the Senate</a>&nbsp;Standing Committee on Judiciary will meet to discuss the reappointments of several judges at the New York Court of Claims; and in the <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/24/codes-meeting" target="_blank">afternoon</a>, the Senate Standing Committee on Codes will meet to discuss a series of act to amend the civil rights law and the penal law.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eaomsfdf2f42506f&amp;oseq=&amp;c=&amp;ch=" target="_blank">evening</a>, the YWCA will host its Women's History Month Reception 2015. The theme of this year's series of events is Leadership and Generosity: A Call to Action; and as it culminates on Tuesday, the YWCA is <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5631-after-making-history-james-seeks-change" target="_blank">honoring Public Advocate Letitia James</a> as "YW Woman of the Year" for her hard work toward gender and racial equity for women and girls. [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5631-after-making-history-james-seeks-change" target="_blank">our new profile of PA James as a recent history-maker, the first woman of color elected to city-wide office</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday evening, City Council Member Andy King and his staff will be hosting one in a series of Constituent Services Nights in different NYCHA housing developments. The program will include resources and solutions for housing, food stamps, immigration, Access-A-Ride and more.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-space-new-ideas-for-civic-life-tickets-16040805481" target="_blank">evening</a>, Parsons DESIS Lab and Lower Manhattan HQ will host Public Space: New Ideas for Civic Life: “New York City has an abundance of public spaces rich in culture and design, from Central Park to the New York Public Library. However, despite these places’ role as the physical center of civic life, digital platforms have emerged as the preferred way for government to engage the public. How can we revitalize public spaces as places to enhance civic life and public participation in government?” Speakers will include Mary Rowe of&nbsp;Municipal Arts Society&nbsp;and Victoria Milne of the city's&nbsp;Department of Design and Construction.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Tuesday <a href="https://sipa.columbia.edu/experience-sipa/events/public-policy-challenges-womens-empowerment-in-new-york-city" target="_blank">evening</a>, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs presents Public Policy Challenges: Women’s Empowerment in NYC: “Come learn from and engage with leading practitioners on New York law, policy, and services related to violence against women.” The panel will include Ana Oliveira, President and CEO of the New York Women's Foundation; Rose Pierre-Louis, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence; and Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.</p> <p><strong>Wednesday<br /></strong>Wednesday’s City Council schedule will include two preliminary budget hearings: a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=386665&amp;GUID=0791D02E-BA44-4E3B-96D8-D0BAAD5BF30D&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Education and a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385766&amp;GUID=6C600A3D-FE2C-4DB4-801B-510A3E846734&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/25/social-services-meeting" target="_blank">morning</a> in Albany, the Senate Standing Committee on Social Services will meet to discuss a variety of potential amendments to the social services law.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday at noon, the New York State Bar Association will host Human Trafficking in New York State: Legal Issues and Advocating for the Victim, “to educate attorneys across the country on how to identify potential victims of human trafficking.” [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5538-new-york-must-strengthen-sex-trafficking-laws-manhattan-da-cy-vance" target="_blank">Manhattan DA Cy Vance's recent op-ed on the need to strengthen sex trafficking laws in New York</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday evening, the city's Panel on Educational Policy (PEP) will host a public meeting at Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Wednesday, at <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digitalnyc-five-borough-tour-queens-tickets-15204438886" target="_blank">6:30 p.m</a>., the Digital NYC Five Borough Tour will hit Queens. Panelists will include Kristin Hodgson, Communications Director at Meetup, and Jukay Hsu, Founder of Coalition for Queens.</p> <p><strong>Thursday<br /></strong>Thursday morning at Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus, “All alumni are invited to join us for the inaugural interview session and breakfast for the new Oral Archive on Governance in New York City: The Bloomberg Years” featuring Howard Wolfson, former Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs and Communications.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday’s City Council schedule will include a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385771&amp;GUID=70960B71-4200-4630-8E35-006D6DB7B72A&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Public Housing for a preliminary budget hearing; a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385769&amp;GUID=4BF26D8C-3072-40F3-8EF8-4FF3B44EB540&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">joint meeting</a> of the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Economic Development for a preliminary budget hearing; and a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=387013&amp;GUID=FD998D40-A475-47DA-B8A5-E1787EE801FA&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Land Use to review all items reported out of the Subcommittee hearings.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday <a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-lead-evening-of-politics-and-power-tickets-15996007489?aff=efbeventhttp://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-lead-evening-of-politics-and-power-tickets-15996007489?aff=efbevent" target="_blank">evening</a>, “Join us at Civic Hall – the new beautiful co-working space for civic tech and VRL’s new NY home! – for an evening of workshops and an engaging panel of women leaders.” The event is hosted by VoteRunLead, Veracity Media, Civic Hall, Republican Majority for Choice, Women's Information Network NYC (WIN NYC), She Should Run, Emerge America, Rising Stars and Greater NYC for Change.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday at <a href="https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ea9bntf9b8933a9b&amp;oseq=&amp;c=&amp;ch=" target="_blank">5:30 p.m.</a>, CUNY Institute for Educational Policy at Roosevelt House will host Challenging the Tenure Laws in New York State: Why or Why Not?: “Davids vs. New York, a highly publicized lawsuit challenging New York's teacher tenure and seniority laws, is underway. Plaintiffs contend that the current laws violate children's constitutional right to a sound, basic education by keeping ineffective teachers in classrooms; defendants claim the lawsuit is a spurious attempt to destroy hard-won protections for the state's teaching profession.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday evening, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and members of the Council's Irish caucus - Council Members Danny Dromm, Corey Johnson, Liz Crowley, and Jimmy Van Bramer - along with other council members, will host the Council's Irish Heritage and Culture celebration at City Hall.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Thursday <a href="https://twitter.com/idaneekmiller/status/577573825614761984?refsrc=email&amp;s=11" target="_blank">evening</a>, City Council Members Donovan Richards and Member Daneek Miller, and the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs will host an IDNYC Community Meeting in Queens.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday at <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#.VQuSZYF4pNu" target="_blank">6 p.m</a>., City and State will host Above and Beyond: Honoring Women of Public and Civic Mind: “Each year, City &amp; State honors 25 women who exhibit exceptional leadership in their fields and have made important contributions to society."</p> <p><strong>Friday and the weekend<br /></strong>Friday at City Hall, the Committee on Contracts, the Committee on Courts and Legal Services, the Committee on Community Development and the Committee on Youth Services will all hold preliminary budget oversight <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">hearings</a> throughout the day.</p> <p dir="ltr">Friday <a href="https://twitter.com/elizcrowleynyc/status/578573565894795264?refsrc=email&amp;s=11" target="_blank">afternoon</a>, in celebration of Women’s History Month, City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley will host a special film screening of a documentary on Geraldine Ferraro’s life titled “Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way,” the film about the life of the first female Vice Presidential nominee of a major political party.</p> <p dir="ltr">Friday <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yYWIuIiFwwpYrE7fswc-okWyVrw_K6TFiKgvfXZMBao/viewform" target="_blank">evening</a>, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, District Leader Shirley Patterson and Green Earth Poets Café will host Shirley Chisholm Women of Excellence Awards and Reception: “Brooklynite Shirley Chisholm was a catalyst of change who made history by becoming the first African-American woman elected to Congress. Because of her values Barack Obama became the first African-American President in 2008. Senator Hamilton will continue her legacy by recognizing the achievements of iconic Brooklyn women on Friday, March 27th at the historic First Baptist Church in Crown Heights.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Friday evening, the Inner Circle Show will hold its rehearsal; with the main event on Saturday <a href="http://innercircleshow.org/?page_id=2503" target="_blank">night</a>, both at the New York Hilton Hotel.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Saturday at noon, Zephyr Teachout and others are <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/835159699896878/" target="_blank">holding a rally</a>:&nbsp;"Gov. Cuomo has turned his back on our students. Join us as we rally outside his Midtown Office to demand that he fully fund our public schools, support struggling schools, not raise the cap on charter schools, and limit high-stakes testing!"</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 Rati Mukhuradze, Marco Poggio, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/640px-New_York_City_Hall.jpg" alt="New York City Hall" height="450" width="600" /></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>We're getting close to the state budget deadline of April 1. This week will be full of both private negotiations and public sessions in Albany, where lawmakers attempt to come to a budget deal while showing <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5636-three-different-budgets-with-two-weeks-to-go" target="_blank">significantly divergent takes</a> on key issues - as well as central mechanisms related to the budget and policy. Governor Andrew Cuomo has jammed quite a bit of policy into <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5636-three-different-budgets-with-two-weeks-to-go" target="_blank">his budget</a>, attaching initiatives to appropriations in an attempt to strong-arm the Legislature into agreeing to his policy demands. This is especially true around <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5634-schneiderman-unveils-ethics-plan-to-cure-the-disease" target="_blank">ethics</a> and educaiton reforms, but Cuomo has also used creative tactics to push compromise, tying an education tax credit favored by Republicans to <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5628-separating-fact-from-fiction-on-the-dream-act-choi" target="_blank">the DREAM Act</a>, which is favored by Democrats, for example. The Legislature is in session Monday through Thursday again this week.</p> <p>Meanwhile, New York City officials await decisions in Albany (while also <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5600-in-albany-de-blasio-critiques-cuomos-budget-defines-citys-needs" target="_blank">trying to affect those decisions</a>, of course) and carry on their own budget work. The City Council will wrap up its month of preliminary budget hearings this week and then formulate a formal response to the mayor, who will then issue his Executive Budget in April, leading to another round of council hearings and a final budget deal by July 1. The City is eagerly awaiting word from Albany on things like funding for schools, homelessness prevention, public housing, and much more.</p> <p>De Blasio is in Boston on Sunday and Monday, participating in the&nbsp;U.S. Conference of Mayors Cities of Opportunity Task Force Summit; on Monday,&nbsp;"there will be a press conference on transportation issues at 12:30pm" at Faneuil Hall;&nbsp;he'll return to New York City on Monday evening. De Blasio was in Albany on Saturday for the Somos el Futuro Conference, where he reiterated <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/US%20Conference%20of%20Mayors%20Cities%20of%20Opportunity%20Task%20Force%20Summit" target="_blank">his push</a> for full education funding from the State and other top priorities, and received&nbsp;"the Champion for Latinos Award at the dinner gala."</p> <p>And the whole week builds to the annual Inner Circle Show this Friday (dress rehearsal) and Saturday, at which the press will roast the mayor, and vice versa.</p> <p>There's plenty happening this week. See our day-by-day rundown below for more.</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>Monday morning, schools&nbsp;Chancellor Carmen Fariña will visit a "CTE program to make an announcement" at the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Queens.</p> <p>Comptroller Scott Stringer's only public event scheduled for Monday is an 8:15 a.m. appearance&nbsp;on "Buen Día New York," WADO 1280 AM.</p> <p>Also Monday <a href="http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=6a3c6f6168c3f1dbf2e16c506&amp;id=5eb213f604&amp;e=c69e0ca980" target="_blank">morning</a>, the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association will host a breakfast with United States Senator Charles Schumer at Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s headquarters.</p> <p>At 10:30 Monday morning,&nbsp;Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer "will issue a report, Small Business, Big Impact: Expanding Opportunity for Manhattan's Storefronters, with case studies and policy recommendations to help small businesses grow and thrive in New York City." At The Halal Guys on the Upper West Side, Brewer will be joined by Robert Cornegy, Chair, New York City Council Small Business Committee; The Halal Guys co-founders Muhammed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka, and Abdelbaset Elsayed; and Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director, BetaNYC. The report's recommendations include "Take the pressure off lease renewals"; "Overhaul regulations and city policies governing street vending" and "Help established, successful small businesses threatened by rent increases by encouraging "condo-ization" of storefront space." [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5621-as-city-eases-burdens-access-to-capital-rising-rents-remain-issues-for-small-businesses" target="_blank">our recent report on key issues facing small business in New York City and the City's new efforts to help ease regulatory burdens</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday’s Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, three of the five borough presidents will appear together: “Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams talk about borough and city-wide issues facing Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx residents.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday at 10 a.m. at City Hall, preceding the relevant City Council preliminary budget hearing, "hundreds of New York City seniors and service providers were invited to descend upon City Hall's Council Chambers and make their voices heard at the Department for the Aging budget hearing to advocate for $33 million in critical funding for senior services."</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. on Monday at City Hall, Rep. Nydia Velázquez and other local leaders will release a report on how the Republican congressional budget would impact New York City: “From transportation, to housing, to health and human services, New York would be acutely affected by proposed cuts,” says a media advisory on the event.</p> <p>At noon at City Hall, there will be a "Rally for action by Earth Day on plastic bag reduction bill" hosted by Council Members Brad Lander and Margaret Chin, who sponsor the relevant bill, and Council Member and Sanitation Committee Chair Antonio Reynoso, as well as other elected officials: "The bill (Int. 209) will reduce disposable bag use by requiring retail and grocery stores to charge 10 cents per single-use plastic or paper bag. Supporters of the bill turned out in large numbers at a public hearing before the Council's Sanitation Committee last fall, and will rally again for its passage by Earth Day (April 22)."</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday’s City Council schedule consists of two preliminary budget hearings: a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385763&amp;GUID=BD5E9A55-8C53-466C-B096-D1BFF8461AF1&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Aging jointly with the Subcommittee on Senior Centers; and a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385724&amp;GUID=227EDE37-9441-425B-BE67-09E3AA150B14&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Health.</p> <p dir="ltr">CUNY Journalism School's brown bag lunch series continues on Monday <a href="http://www.journalism.cuny.edu/events/brown-bag-speaker-event-investigative-edition/" target="_blank">with a conversation</a> between Errol Louis and Tom Robbins, both journalists and CUNY J-school professors. "Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, will discuss his recent piece on the brutal beatings of former Attica Prison inmate George Williams...Errol Louis, director of the Urban Reporting Program and host of NY1's Inside City Hall, will pick Robbins' brain on the work that went into the nine-month project, as well as the larger issues of prison violence that it illuminated."</p> <p dir="ltr">At 2 p.m. Monday,&nbsp;outside FDNY headquarters at MetroTech Center, Brooklyn BP Adams "will announce a borough-wide fire safety education campaign, following a fatal fire Saturday in Midwood that claimed the lives of seven siblings, aged five to 16, from the Sassoon family. His effort will include multilingual outreach and the distribution of free smoke detectors...Adams will call for the creation of a burn center in Brooklyn...Adams will be joined by local elected officials and Jewish leaders."</p> <p dir="ltr">Also&nbsp;<a href="https://my.citizenactionny.org/civicrm/event/register?id=475" target="_blank">Monday</a>, in Albany, Citizen Action of New York will hold Moral Monday to Raise the Wage: “Nearly 3 million workers – 37% of New York’s workforce – earn less than $15 an hour. Thirty-six percent of adults earn less than $15 an hour; 41% women earn less than $15 an hour, and 28% of workers with at least some college education earn less than $15 an hour. A full-time worker earning $9 an hour will bring home just $18,720 per year – still below the federal poverty line for a family of three. Under the Self-Sufficiency Standard guidelines, a more accurate measure of the cost of living in New York, the hourly wage that 2 full-time workers must each earn to meet basic budget needs ranges from $13.40 in Schenectady County, to $16.15 in New York City, to $20.73 in Suffolk County.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday at <a href="http://gaming.ny.gov/pdf/03.18.15.GCMeetingNotice.pdf" target="_blank">noon</a>, there will be meeting of the New York State Gaming Commission at the New York State Department of Labor.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/23/corporations-authorities-and-commissions-meeting" target="_blank">afternoon</a> in Albany, the Senate Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions will hold a hearing to consider several pieces of legislation.</p> <p>Monday <a href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/vincent_gentil_daniel_donovan.html" target="_blank">evening</a>, “The Middle Class Action Project will host a candidates forum with Republican District Attorney Daniel Donovan and Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile to discuss economic issues facing the middle class,” according to the Staten Island Advance.</p> <p><strong>Tuesday<br /></strong>Tuesday <a href="https://services.nycbar.org/iMIS/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=ELE032415&amp;WebsiteKey=f71e12f3-524e-4f8c-a5f7-0d16ce7b3314" target="_blank">morning</a>, the New York Bar Association will host Campaign Finance: The Current State of Affairs and Where We Go From Here: “Since the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United, campaign finance law has moved at a rapid pace, leading the way for the creation of various entities that facilitate the injection of billions of dollars into elections. And Congress just increased the power of political party committees by significantly increasing applicable campaign finance limits. This program will consist of three panels composed of top-tier campaign finance law experts, regulators, reporters and political consultants.” Panelists will include Nicholas Confessore from The New York Times; Dave Levinthal from the Center for Public Integrity; Eric Friedman from NYC Campaign Finance Board; Bill Hyers from Hilltop Public Solutions; Fritz Schwarz, Jr. from the Brennan Center; Douglas Kellner from the NYS Board of Elections; and Jerry Goldfeder from Stroock &amp; Stroock &amp; Lavan.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday’s City Council schedule will include&nbsp;a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385765&amp;GUID=E7600B96-680A-46E7-BC58-6ACCFADDEF6F&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services for a preliminary budget hearing; a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=387010&amp;GUID=29E5350F-4E34-4E21-B6AD-F913E0A3708F&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Zoning and Franchises to review proposed Land Use Applications; and a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=387012&amp;GUID=D86ABDD6-CD52-4235-84B8-78322F2B5B9D&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions to review land use applications.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/24/environmental-conservation" target="_blank">morning</a> in Albany, the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation will hold a hearing to consider a variety of bills to amend the environmental conservation law; <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/24/transportation-meeting" target="_blank">the Senate</a>&nbsp;Standing Committee on Transportation will meet to consider several bills amending the highway law and the vehicle and traffic law; <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/24/judiciary-meeting" target="_blank">the Senate</a>&nbsp;Standing Committee on Judiciary will meet to discuss the reappointments of several judges at the New York Court of Claims; and in the <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/24/codes-meeting" target="_blank">afternoon</a>, the Senate Standing Committee on Codes will meet to discuss a series of act to amend the civil rights law and the penal law.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eaomsfdf2f42506f&amp;oseq=&amp;c=&amp;ch=" target="_blank">evening</a>, the YWCA will host its Women's History Month Reception 2015. The theme of this year's series of events is Leadership and Generosity: A Call to Action; and as it culminates on Tuesday, the YWCA is <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5631-after-making-history-james-seeks-change" target="_blank">honoring Public Advocate Letitia James</a> as "YW Woman of the Year" for her hard work toward gender and racial equity for women and girls. [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5631-after-making-history-james-seeks-change" target="_blank">our new profile of PA James as a recent history-maker, the first woman of color elected to city-wide office</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday evening, City Council Member Andy King and his staff will be hosting one in a series of Constituent Services Nights in different NYCHA housing developments. The program will include resources and solutions for housing, food stamps, immigration, Access-A-Ride and more.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday <a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-space-new-ideas-for-civic-life-tickets-16040805481" target="_blank">evening</a>, Parsons DESIS Lab and Lower Manhattan HQ will host Public Space: New Ideas for Civic Life: “New York City has an abundance of public spaces rich in culture and design, from Central Park to the New York Public Library. However, despite these places’ role as the physical center of civic life, digital platforms have emerged as the preferred way for government to engage the public. How can we revitalize public spaces as places to enhance civic life and public participation in government?” Speakers will include Mary Rowe of&nbsp;Municipal Arts Society&nbsp;and Victoria Milne of the city's&nbsp;Department of Design and Construction.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Tuesday <a href="https://sipa.columbia.edu/experience-sipa/events/public-policy-challenges-womens-empowerment-in-new-york-city" target="_blank">evening</a>, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs presents Public Policy Challenges: Women’s Empowerment in NYC: “Come learn from and engage with leading practitioners on New York law, policy, and services related to violence against women.” The panel will include Ana Oliveira, President and CEO of the New York Women's Foundation; Rose Pierre-Louis, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence; and Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.</p> <p><strong>Wednesday<br /></strong>Wednesday’s City Council schedule will include two preliminary budget hearings: a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=386665&amp;GUID=0791D02E-BA44-4E3B-96D8-D0BAAD5BF30D&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Education and a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385766&amp;GUID=6C600A3D-FE2C-4DB4-801B-510A3E846734&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/event/2015/mar/25/social-services-meeting" target="_blank">morning</a> in Albany, the Senate Standing Committee on Social Services will meet to discuss a variety of potential amendments to the social services law.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday at noon, the New York State Bar Association will host Human Trafficking in New York State: Legal Issues and Advocating for the Victim, “to educate attorneys across the country on how to identify potential victims of human trafficking.” [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinions/5538-new-york-must-strengthen-sex-trafficking-laws-manhattan-da-cy-vance" target="_blank">Manhattan DA Cy Vance's recent op-ed on the need to strengthen sex trafficking laws in New York</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday evening, the city's Panel on Educational Policy (PEP) will host a public meeting at Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Wednesday, at <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digitalnyc-five-borough-tour-queens-tickets-15204438886" target="_blank">6:30 p.m</a>., the Digital NYC Five Borough Tour will hit Queens. Panelists will include Kristin Hodgson, Communications Director at Meetup, and Jukay Hsu, Founder of Coalition for Queens.</p> <p><strong>Thursday<br /></strong>Thursday morning at Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus, “All alumni are invited to join us for the inaugural interview session and breakfast for the new Oral Archive on Governance in New York City: The Bloomberg Years” featuring Howard Wolfson, former Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs and Communications.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday’s City Council schedule will include a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385771&amp;GUID=70960B71-4200-4630-8E35-006D6DB7B72A&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Public Housing for a preliminary budget hearing; a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=385769&amp;GUID=4BF26D8C-3072-40F3-8EF8-4FF3B44EB540&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">joint meeting</a> of the Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Economic Development for a preliminary budget hearing; and a <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=387013&amp;GUID=FD998D40-A475-47DA-B8A5-E1787EE801FA&amp;Options=info|&amp;Search=" target="_blank">meeting</a> of the Committee on Land Use to review all items reported out of the Subcommittee hearings.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday <a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-lead-evening-of-politics-and-power-tickets-15996007489?aff=efbeventhttp://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-lead-evening-of-politics-and-power-tickets-15996007489?aff=efbevent" target="_blank">evening</a>, “Join us at Civic Hall – the new beautiful co-working space for civic tech and VRL’s new NY home! – for an evening of workshops and an engaging panel of women leaders.” The event is hosted by VoteRunLead, Veracity Media, Civic Hall, Republican Majority for Choice, Women's Information Network NYC (WIN NYC), She Should Run, Emerge America, Rising Stars and Greater NYC for Change.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday at <a href="https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ea9bntf9b8933a9b&amp;oseq=&amp;c=&amp;ch=" target="_blank">5:30 p.m.</a>, CUNY Institute for Educational Policy at Roosevelt House will host Challenging the Tenure Laws in New York State: Why or Why Not?: “Davids vs. New York, a highly publicized lawsuit challenging New York's teacher tenure and seniority laws, is underway. Plaintiffs contend that the current laws violate children's constitutional right to a sound, basic education by keeping ineffective teachers in classrooms; defendants claim the lawsuit is a spurious attempt to destroy hard-won protections for the state's teaching profession.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday evening, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and members of the Council's Irish caucus - Council Members Danny Dromm, Corey Johnson, Liz Crowley, and Jimmy Van Bramer - along with other council members, will host the Council's Irish Heritage and Culture celebration at City Hall.&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Also Thursday <a href="https://twitter.com/idaneekmiller/status/577573825614761984?refsrc=email&amp;s=11" target="_blank">evening</a>, City Council Members Donovan Richards and Member Daneek Miller, and the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs will host an IDNYC Community Meeting in Queens.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday at <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#.VQuSZYF4pNu" target="_blank">6 p.m</a>., City and State will host Above and Beyond: Honoring Women of Public and Civic Mind: “Each year, City &amp; State honors 25 women who exhibit exceptional leadership in their fields and have made important contributions to society."</p> <p><strong>Friday and the weekend<br /></strong>Friday at City Hall, the Committee on Contracts, the Committee on Courts and Legal Services, the Committee on Community Development and the Committee on Youth Services will all hold preliminary budget oversight <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">hearings</a> throughout the day.</p> <p dir="ltr">Friday <a href="https://twitter.com/elizcrowleynyc/status/578573565894795264?refsrc=email&amp;s=11" target="_blank">afternoon</a>, in celebration of Women’s History Month, City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley will host a special film screening of a documentary on Geraldine Ferraro’s life titled “Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way,” the film about the life of the first female Vice Presidential nominee of a major political party.</p> <p dir="ltr">Friday <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yYWIuIiFwwpYrE7fswc-okWyVrw_K6TFiKgvfXZMBao/viewform" target="_blank">evening</a>, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, District Leader Shirley Patterson and Green Earth Poets Café will host Shirley Chisholm Women of Excellence Awards and Reception: “Brooklynite Shirley Chisholm was a catalyst of change who made history by becoming the first African-American woman elected to Congress. Because of her values Barack Obama became the first African-American President in 2008. Senator Hamilton will continue her legacy by recognizing the achievements of iconic Brooklyn women on Friday, March 27th at the historic First Baptist Church in Crown Heights.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Friday evening, the Inner Circle Show will hold its rehearsal; with the main event on Saturday <a href="http://innercircleshow.org/?page_id=2503" target="_blank">night</a>, both at the New York Hilton Hotel.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Saturday at noon, Zephyr Teachout and others are <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/835159699896878/" target="_blank">holding a rally</a>:&nbsp;"Gov. Cuomo has turned his back on our students. Join us as we rally outside his Midtown Office to demand that he fully fund our public schools, support struggling schools, not raise the cap on charter schools, and limit high-stakes testing!"</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 Rati Mukhuradze, Marco Poggio, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> The New Yorker's Guide To The New City Government 2013-12-31T16:55:08+00:00 2013-12-31T16:55:08+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=4792:the-guide-to-new-york-citys-new-government Super User <p><img class="caption" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/CityHall2.jpg" alt="CityHall2" height="400" width="600" /></p> <p><span class="caption">Photo by Bill Alatriste/City Council</span></p> <p>NEW YORK —&nbsp;The historic overhaul of New York City government this year goes well beyond the mayor's office.</p> <p class="c2">There are 21 new members of the City Council, four new borough presidents, and fresh, yet familiar, faces in the offices of Brooklyn district attorney, comptroller, and public advocate. With the city’s politics taking an increasingly liberal turn, there are few outright conservatives left in city government.</p> <p class="c2">“Reapportionment and term limits combined to make the City Council younger, a little bit further to the left, perhaps less a product of traditional political organizations or machines, and demographically, a little more like the population of the city,” said Kenneth Sherrill, Chair of the Political Science Department at Hunter College.</p> <p class="c2">New city officials include the first Mexican-American on City Council; old friends of incoming Police Commissioner Bill Bratton from his tenure during the 1990s; yet another member of the Queens Vallone clan; and a progressive new Brooklyn D.A., who has said he wants to re-train the borough's police officers. We've rounded up the full list here.</p> <h1 class="c2">Citywide</h1> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Mayor</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Bill de Blasio - De Blasio has been involved in New York City politics since he helped the last progressive mayor, David Dinkins, get elected in 1989.<span class="c3">&nbsp;Between that first campaign and his mayoral victory, De Blasio served as the regional director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, helped Hillary Clinton get elected to the U.S. Senate, spent eight years representing some of Brooklyn’s wealthier neighborhoods on the City Council, and, most recently, served as the city’s public advocate. In an attempt to deliver on a key campaign promise early on, De Blasio has spent the last few weeks drumming up support in Albany for a small tax on the wealthy to fund universal pre-K. Dinkins, somewhat ironically and <span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/nyregion/praised-by-de-blasio-dinkins-responds-with-an-arrow.html">extremely publicly</a>, recently told him to reconsider, saying “we might have more success” with a commuter tax.</span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Comptroller</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Scott Stringer - Stringer left his post as Manhattan Borough President and took on former Gov. Elliot Spitzer in order to ascend to this quietly powerful office overseeing city finances. He brings with him experience as a&nbsp;trustee of the massive<a class="c4" href="https://www.nycers.org/%28S%28ooq2yk45ynp3ouugmutx3q2u%29%29/Index.aspx"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="https://www.nycers.org/%28S%28ooq2yk45ynp3ouugmutx3q2u%29%29/Index.aspx">NYCERS pension fund</a>&nbsp;and a track record of spearheading<a class="c4" href="http://mbpo.org/free_details.asp?id=511"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://mbpo.org/free_details.asp?id=511">populist economic initiatives</a>, including the New York City Taxpayer Receipt, a website that allows constituents to<a class="c4" href="http://mbpo.org/taxreceipt/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://mbpo.org/taxreceipt/">track their tax dollars</a>.</span></span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Public Advocate</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Letitia "Tish" James - James has served Central Brooklyn on the City Council since 2003 and has opposed several major development and rezoning projects, including Atlantic Yards, which, for years, riled up residents around what is now the Barclays Center. Most recently, James joined progressive groups in calling for higher wages and a change in the city’s economic development policies, including more stringent requirements for banks and corporations that receive city subsidies.</span></p> <h1 class="c2">Borough-wide offices</h1> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Brooklyn District Attorney</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Kenneth P. Thompson -&nbsp;Thompson had to<a class="c4" href="http://gothamist.com/2013/11/06/new_brooklyn_da_ken_thompson.php"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://gothamist.com/2013/11/06/new_brooklyn_da_ken_thompson.php">beat incumbent Charles Hynes twice</a>&nbsp;- first, in the primary, when Hynes was a Democrat, and again when Hynes became a Republican for the general election. In an<a class="c4" href="http://www.ny1.com/content/politics/decision_2013_video/196299/ny1-online--thompson-addresses-supporters-after-winning-brooklyn-da-race"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.ny1.com/content/politics/decision_2013_video/196299/ny1-online--thompson-addresses-supporters-after-winning-brooklyn-da-race">acceptance speech</a>, the first black Brooklyn DA said voters had chosen him as an alternative to "false accusation, fear-mongering, and race-baiting." As a federal attorney, Thompson prosecuted<a class="c4" href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/26/abner-louima-ken-thompson-brooklyn-election"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/26/abner-louima-ken-thompson-brooklyn-election">police brutality</a>&nbsp;in Brooklyn and now aims to reduce false arrests by<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/da-charles-hynes-soon-to-be-successor-ken-thompson-outlines-big-plans-article-1.1452972"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/da-charles-hynes-soon-to-be-successor-ken-thompson-outlines-big-plans-article-1.1452972">assigning prosecutors to police precincts</a>&nbsp;in East New York and Brownsville. “It is not right to have someone subjected to stop-and-frisk, snake through the system and spend two days in jail just to get out," he<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/da-charles-hynes-soon-to-be-successor-ken-thompson-outlines-big-plans-article-1.1452972"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/da-charles-hynes-soon-to-be-successor-ken-thompson-outlines-big-plans-article-1.1452972">told the Daily News</a>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><span class="c3"><strong>Brooklyn Borough President</strong><br /></span></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Eric Adams (D, WF)&nbsp;- Counted as an<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/hamill-returning-top-bill-bratton-stop-frisk-differently-article-1.1540414"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/hamill-returning-top-bill-bratton-stop-frisk-differently-article-1.1540414">old friend</a>&nbsp;by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Adams served 22 years in the NYPD before moving on to the State Senate, where he has represented Crown Heights, Flatbush, Sunset Park and Park Slope for the last eight years. A vocal critic of former Commissioner Ray Kelly when stop-and-frisk was on trial, Adams advocates for a "symbiotic relationship" between the police and the community.</span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><span class="c3"><strong>Manhattan <span class="c3">Borough President</span></strong><br /></span></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Gale Brewer (D)&nbsp;- Brewer has been a Council member for the Upper West Side and North Clinton since 2002. Her most recent political efforts include a push to<a class="c4" href="http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2013/11/27/food-trucks-get-greener-with-startups-plug-in-technology/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2013/11/27/food-trucks-get-greener-with-startups-plug-in-technology/">make food trucks greener</a>&nbsp;and to get the city to<a class="c4" href="http://www.westsiderag.com/2013/12/04/with-citibike-expansion-stalled-brewer-wants-federal-funding"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.westsiderag.com/2013/12/04/with-citibike-expansion-stalled-brewer-wants-federal-funding">seek federal funding</a>&nbsp;to expand CitiBike.</span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><span class="c3"><strong>Queens</strong> <span class="c3"><strong>Borough President</strong></span><br /></span></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Melinda Katz (D)&nbsp;- Katz represented Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and other pockets of Queens during her seven-year tenure on the City Council between 2002 and 2009. While on the Council, she was chair of the land use committee, and played a key role in moving forward the massive rezoning the city underwent during the Bloomberg administration.</span></p> <h3 class="c2"><span class="c3"><strong>Staten Island Borough President</strong><br /></span></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">James Oddo (R) - After 15 years on the City Council, Oddo is passing his title of Republican minority leader on to fellow Staten Island politician Vincent Ignizio. When it comes to Sandy relief, Oddo<a class="c4" href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/10/gentlemanly_staten_island_bp_d.html"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/10/gentlemanly_staten_island_bp_d.html">supports an "acquisition for redevelopment" plan</a>&nbsp;that would buy out homeowners, open Midland Beach up to developers, and give former residents the option of moving back in.</span></span></p> <h1 class="c2">City Council</h1> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Manhattan</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Corey Johnson (D) - D3 - Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, West Village- Johnson, a prominent activist in the LGBT community, will take outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn's seat. Johnson most recently served as Chair of Community Board 4, which also made him a<a class="c4" href="http://www.hydc.org/html/board/board.shtml"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.hydc.org/html/board/board.shtml">board member</a>&nbsp;of the Hudson Yards Development Corp. Johnson built much of his campaign around affordable housing, but has been the<a class="c4" href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2013/06/the_strange_can.php"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2013/06/the_strange_can.php">subject</a>&nbsp;of controversy as a former employee of GFI Development Co., which has erected its fair share of Brooklyn condos.</span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Ben Kallos (D) - D5 - Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island - Kallos, a lawyer and lifelong Upper East Sider, advocated for state constitutional reform as the Executive Director of the group<a class="c4" href="http://www.effectiveny.org/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.effectiveny.org/">EffectiveNY</a>&nbsp;and has put the issues of government accountability and transparency at the forefront of his campaign.<span class="c3">&nbsp;He has also pledged to try to<a class="c4" href="https://kallosforcouncil.com/solutions/second-avenue-subway-construction"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="https://kallosforcouncil.com/solutions/second-avenue-subway-construction">aid local businesses</a>&nbsp;affected by the interminable Second Avenue subway construction.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Hellen Rosenthal (D) - D6 - Upper West Side and North Clinton - Rosenthal, who is coming from a post in the City Hall Budget Office, has been a<a class="c4" href="http://www.helenrosenthal.com/press_release_from_helen_rosenthal_for_city_council_on_the_success_of_participatory_budgeting_april_4_2012"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.helenrosenthal.com/press_release_from_helen_rosenthal_for_city_council_on_the_success_of_participatory_budgeting_april_4_2012">major supporter</a>&nbsp;of participatory budgeting and has advocated bringing it to her district, where, in the past, she served as Chair of Community Board 7.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Mark Levine (D, WF) - D7 - parts of Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights/West Harlem, Manhattan Valley, Washington Heights, and part of UWS - Over the course of his uptown political career, Levine founded the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan and a credit union called the Neighborhood Trust. He also briefly ran the New York chapter of the controversial Teach for America program, of which he was an early participant. Levine's proposals for city schools include<a class="c4" href="http://www.votelevine.com/education"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.votelevine.com/education">expanding the curriculum</a>&nbsp;to teach about LGBT history, animal welfare, and environmental issues.</span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Brooklyn</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Laurie Cumbo (D) - D35 - Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, and part of Bedford Stuyvesant - Cumbo is best known in Brooklyn for her leadership and expansion of<a class="c4" href="http://mocada.org/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://mocada.org/">MoCADA</a>, the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts, and other cultural programs she has jump-started. But Cumbo has had a rough start as a Council member. She already had to<a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131210/fort-greene/city-councilwoman-elect-laurie-cumbo-apologizes-for-knockout-comments"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131210/fort-greene/city-councilwoman-elect-laurie-cumbo-apologizes-for-knockout-comments">apologize</a>&nbsp;to her new constituents for racially charged<a class="c4" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/laurie-cumbo-knockout-attack-brooklyn-blacks-jews_n_4390605.html"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/laurie-cumbo-knockout-attack-brooklyn-blacks-jews_n_4390605.html">comments she made</a>&nbsp;about the 'knockout attacks' in Crown Heights last month.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Robert Cornegy, Jr. (D) -D36- Bedford Stuvesant and parts of Crown Heights - Cornegy is transitioning from a position as Legislative Analyst for the Council's Aging and Veterans Committee. The former district leader and president of VIDA, Central Brooklyn's Vanguard Independent Democratic Association,<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/cornegy-top-recount-central-brooklyn-city-council-race-article-1.1470137"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/cornegy-top-recount-central-brooklyn-city-council-race-article-1.1470137">eked out a primary win</a>&nbsp;in a race that ended with a highly contested recount.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Rafael Espinal, Jr. (D) - D37- Cypress Hills, Bushwick, East New York, City Line, Ocean Hill, Brownsville - Two years ago, Espinal, then 27, became the youngest member of the State Assembly, representing District 54. Most recently, he<a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Rafael-L-Espinal-Jr/sponsor/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Rafael-L-Espinal-Jr/sponsor/">sponsored legislation</a>&nbsp;related to domestic abuse and, in the past, has sponsored bills that would require insurance companies to expand women's health coverage. Espinal has said he is determined to repair the infrastructure in neighborhoods that have been <a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/new-assemblyman-rafael-espinal-fights-cypress-hills-machine-made-politician-article-1.961148"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/new-assemblyman-rafael-espinal-fights-cypress-hills-machine-made-politician-article-1.961148">"completely ignored"</a>&nbsp;by the city, like Cypress Hills, where he grew up.</span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Carlos Menchaca (D) - D38 - Bayridge Towers, Greenwood Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace - Menchaca's<a class="c4" href="http://www.decidenyc.com/carlos-menchaca-from-sandy-to-city-hall/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.decidenyc.com/carlos-menchaca-from-sandy-to-city-hall/">relief efforts in Red Hook</a>&nbsp;following Hurricane Sandy helped him get the support he needed to beat his district's incumbent. Now, he and incoming Council Member Mark Treyger want to<a class="c4" href="http://politicker.com/2013/12/new-councilmen-call-for-new-committee-to-oversee-sandy-recovery/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://politicker.com/2013/12/new-councilmen-call-for-new-committee-to-oversee-sandy-recovery/">start a Sandy relief committee</a>&nbsp;on the City Council. Proudly claiming the dual titles of "first Mexican-American on the City Council" and "first openly gay legislator in Brooklyn,"<span class="c3">&nbsp;Menchaca cut his teeth in the offices of outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz and outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Inez Barron (D) - D42 - NEIGHBORHOODS - In her five years representing State Assembly District 60, Barron has<a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Inez-D-Barron/sponsor/"></a>taken a progressive stance on issues from gun regulation to sex education. She also<a class="c4" href="http://gothamschools.org/2009/05/04/meet-inez-barron-wife-of-charles-and-a-new-assembly-member/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://gothamschools.org/2009/05/04/meet-inez-barron-wife-of-charles-and-a-new-assembly-member/">fought to end mayoral control</a>&nbsp;of city schools after a decades-long career as a public school teacher and administrator. Barron's more incendiary husband, Charles, is passing her the torch in their Council district.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Alan Maisel (D) - D46 - Canarsie, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach, part of Sheepshead Bay - Environmental issues and public safety, including 'fracking' regulation, have been prominent among the legislation Maisel has<a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Alan-Maisel/sponsor/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Alan-Maisel/sponsor/">sponsored</a>&nbsp;in his tenure serving State Assembly District 59. Much of Maisel's civic work in Brooklyn has been done through the international Jewish organization B'nai B'rith, although he has also served on his local school and community boards.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Mark Treyger (D) - D47 - Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Coney Island, and Sea Gate - After Superstorm Sandy hit, Treyger founded STRONG, the Sandy Task Force Recovery Organized by Neighborhood Groups, and is now joining forces with fellow incoming Council Member Carlos Menchaca to call for<a class="c4" href="http://politicker.com/2013/12/new-councilmen-call-for-new-committee-to-oversee-sandy-recovery/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://politicker.com/2013/12/new-councilmen-call-for-new-committee-to-oversee-sandy-recovery/">a Sandy relief committee</a>&nbsp;on the City Council. Treyger, long active in local politics, has been a high school teacher since 2005, with strong involvement in the United Federation of Teachers.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Chaim Deutsch (D) - D48 - Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, and Brighton Beach - Over the past 20 years, Deutsch, who has a strong foothold in Brooklyn's Jewish community, has taken community safety into his own hands as president of the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol.<span class="c6">&nbsp;He founded the Patrol in the early 1990s in response to rising crime and has worked closely with both Commissioner Bill Bratton and outgoing police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Deutsch even held an appreciation ceremony for Kelly, during which he<a class="c4" href="http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/felder-calls-kelly-city%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98best-police-commissioner-ever%E2%80%99-2013-12-12-153000"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/felder-calls-kelly-city%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98best-police-commissioner-ever%E2%80%99-2013-12-12-153000">presented the city</a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.brooklyneagle.com%2Farticles%2Ffelder-calls-kelly-city%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598best-police-commissioner-ever%25E2%2580%2599-2013-12-12-153000&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGgvmwSpDHoPV0Ir4YaCJHvP26aHw">’s top cop </a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/felder-calls-kelly-city%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98best-police-commissioner-ever%E2%80%99-2013-12-12-153000">with a </a><span class="c0 c8"><a class="c4" href="http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/felder-calls-kelly-city%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98best-police-commissioner-ever%E2%80%99-2013-12-12-153000">mezuzah</a>, which Jews hang in their doorways for protection. He also<a class="c4" href="http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/204641/nyc-councilmember-elect-chaim-deutsch-praises-deblasio-on-bratton-appointment.html"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/204641/nyc-councilmember-elect-chaim-deutsch-praises-deblasio-on-bratton-appointment.html">praised Bratton</a>&nbsp;for having "excelled at police-community relations and law enforcement strategies" during his previous tenure on the NYPD.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3"><span class="c6"><span class="c0"><span class="c0"><span class="c0"><span class="c0 c8"><span class="c0">Antonio Reynoso - D34 - Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn; Ridgewood in Queens - Reynoso is taking the seat of his former boss, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, who he has been working for since 2007, most recently as her Chief of Staff. A Williamsburg native, Reynoso has made affordable housing his top issue, <a href="http://www.brooklynrail.org/2013/09/local/antonio-reynosos-fight-for-williamsburg">speaking out</a> frequently about the neighborhood's luxury makeover. He beat out a seasoned politician, former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who was forced out of the Assembly earlier this year following <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/nyregion/disgraced-assemblyman-loses-bid-for-council-seat.html?_r=0">a sexual harassment case.</a></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Queens</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Paul Vallone, Jr. (D) - D19 - College Point, Auburndale-Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Douglaston, and Little Neck - Leaving his practice at Queens law firm Vallone and Vallone to take a seat on the City Council, Vallone seems to be leaving one<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/history-vallones-article-1.1458651"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/history-vallones-article-1.1458651">family business</a>&nbsp;for another. His father, former Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., served on the City Council for 25 years, leaving in 2001, when his brother, Peter, Jr., was elected to represent the 22nd District (his term is up this year).<span class="c3">&nbsp;Beyond his family ties, Vallone has established thousands of dollars in scholarship funds for Queens high school students and based his campaign platform on a mix of progressive issues — such as women's access to birth control — and local issues like noise pollution from overhead flights.</span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Costa Constantinides (D) - D22 - Astoria, Long Island City, part of Jackson Heights, Rikers Island, Randalls Island, and Wards Island - In the district that includes the city's largest jail, Constantinides earned valuable campaign support from the Correctional Officers Benevolent Association. Constantinides aims to reduce both crime and unemployment by hiring more police officers. He has also been active in the fight for voter rights throughout the state as a member of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, and says it's time to dump the<a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120920/new-york-city/thousands-of-city-students-have-trailers-for-classrooms"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120920/new-york-city/thousands-of-city-students-have-trailers-for-classrooms">hundreds of outdoor </a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dnainfo.com%2Fnew-york%2F20120920%2Fnew-york-city%2Fthousands-of-city-students-have-trailers-for-classrooms&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNEtNcxYAHlbBnO1zKkeROqyeW9H9A">“</a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120920/new-york-city/thousands-of-city-students-have-trailers-for-classrooms">trailer classrooms</a>”&nbsp;that are disproportionately found in Queens schools.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Rory Lancman (D) - D24 -&nbsp;<span class="c3">Briarwood, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest Estates, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, Utopia Estates, and parts of Forest Hills, Flushing, Jamaica and Rego Park&nbsp;- When Lancman attempted to run for Anthony Weiner's old seat in Congress last year,<a class="c4" href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/212295-rory-lancman-wants-be-next-queens-liberal-lion-congress/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/212295-rory-lancman-wants-be-next-queens-liberal-lion-congress/">WNYC reported</a>&nbsp;that he had made some enemies and that one source had even called him the "most hated member of the state Assembly." Lancman, a lawyer who served Assembly District 25 for six years, has also passed a significant volume of legislation, including the<a class="c4" href="http://acdemocracy.org/the-libel-terrorism-protection-act/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://acdemocracy.org/the-libel-terrorism-protection-act/">Libel Terrorism Protection Act</a>, which aims to protect journalists writing about terrorism abroad from being hit with defamation lawsuits, and a host of bills related to equality and<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/dominique-strauss-kahn-case-assemblyman-rory-lancman-calls-legislation-protect-hotel-maids-article-1.146262"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/dominique-strauss-kahn-case-assemblyman-rory-lancman-calls-legislation-protect-hotel-maids-article-1.146262">safety in the workplace</a>.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Daneek Miller (D) - D27 - St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Jamaica, Baisley Park, Addisleigh Park, and parts of Queens Village, Rosedale, and Springfield Gardens - In December, Miller<a class="c4" href="http://laborpress.org/sectors/political-action/3108-laborpress-honors-james-stringer-and-miller-as-champions-of-labor"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://laborpress.org/sectors/political-action/3108-laborpress-honors-james-stringer-and-miller-as-champions-of-labor">received a "Champion of Labor" Award</a>, along with Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James. In Southeast Queens, where subway service is spotty, Miller has championed bus drivers and riders as president of the local chapter of the Amalgamated Transportation Union. He also co-founded a mentor program called Brothers Unlimited.</span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Bronx</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Andrew Cohen (D) - D11 - Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Woodlawn, Norwood, and parts of Bedford Park, Wakefield, and Bronx Park East - Cohen, a Riverdale attorney, has had a long career in law, including several years as a court attorney to a Bronx Supreme Court Justice, legal counsel to State Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz, and a stint as an assistant adjunct at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has called for raising the minimum wage and has gained the support of the United Federation of Teachers.</span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Ritchie Torres (D) - D15 - Bathgate, Belmont, Crotona, Fordham, East Tremont, Van Nest and West Farms - Torres, only 24, is one of many young Latino Democrats making their way into city politics.<span class="c3">&nbsp;He has worked with Councilman James Vacca since his 2005 campaign and was named his housing director in 2011. Torres, who grew up in NYCHA housing, has worked to create tenants' associations and to advocate for basic rights of NYCHA residents in the Bronx, like building improvements and<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/bronx-residents-cold-article-1.1544981"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/bronx-residents-cold-article-1.1544981">heating</a>.</span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Vanessa Gibson (D) - D16 - West Bronx, Morrisania, Highbridge, and Melrose - A Bronx transplant from Brooklyn, Gibson was elected to State Assembly District 77 in 2009, where she has focused on housing and social services.<span class="c3">&nbsp;She began her political career as the Bronx district office manager for Assemblywoman Aurelia Greene.</span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Staten Island</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Steven Matteo (R) - D50 - in Brooklyn, parts of Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach; in Staten Island, Arrochar, Bulls Head, Concord, Dongan Hill, Emerson Hill, Fort Wadsworth, Grant City, Graniteville, Grasmere, Island of Meadows, Midland Beach, New Dorp, Prall's Island, Richmondtown, South Beach, Todt Hill, Travis, Westerleigh, Willowbrook - Sandy relief is still the number one priority in Staten Island, but Matteo has identified other issues affecting residents, including rampant<a class="c4" href="http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2011/08/what-should-be-done-about-staten-islands-oxycodone-problem/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2011/08/what-should-be-done-about-staten-islands-oxycodone-problem/">prescription drug use</a>. Matteo also said he<a class="c4" href="http://www.nyccfb.info/public/voter-guide/general_2013/cd_profile/CD50_Matteo_1152.aspx"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nyccfb.info/public/voter-guide/general_2013/cd_profile/CD50_Matteo_1152.aspx">hopes to work with the mayor</a>&nbsp; "to wrestle toll setting authority” from the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority. </span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3"><span class="c0"><span class="c0"><em>This is an updated version which corrects the number of incoming City Council members to 21 and adds information on Councilman Antonio Reynoso. </em><br /></span></span></span></p> <p><img class="caption" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/CityHall2.jpg" alt="CityHall2" height="400" width="600" /></p> <p><span class="caption">Photo by Bill Alatriste/City Council</span></p> <p>NEW YORK —&nbsp;The historic overhaul of New York City government this year goes well beyond the mayor's office.</p> <p class="c2">There are 21 new members of the City Council, four new borough presidents, and fresh, yet familiar, faces in the offices of Brooklyn district attorney, comptroller, and public advocate. With the city’s politics taking an increasingly liberal turn, there are few outright conservatives left in city government.</p> <p class="c2">“Reapportionment and term limits combined to make the City Council younger, a little bit further to the left, perhaps less a product of traditional political organizations or machines, and demographically, a little more like the population of the city,” said Kenneth Sherrill, Chair of the Political Science Department at Hunter College.</p> <p class="c2">New city officials include the first Mexican-American on City Council; old friends of incoming Police Commissioner Bill Bratton from his tenure during the 1990s; yet another member of the Queens Vallone clan; and a progressive new Brooklyn D.A., who has said he wants to re-train the borough's police officers. We've rounded up the full list here.</p> <h1 class="c2">Citywide</h1> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Mayor</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Bill de Blasio - De Blasio has been involved in New York City politics since he helped the last progressive mayor, David Dinkins, get elected in 1989.<span class="c3">&nbsp;Between that first campaign and his mayoral victory, De Blasio served as the regional director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, helped Hillary Clinton get elected to the U.S. Senate, spent eight years representing some of Brooklyn’s wealthier neighborhoods on the City Council, and, most recently, served as the city’s public advocate. In an attempt to deliver on a key campaign promise early on, De Blasio has spent the last few weeks drumming up support in Albany for a small tax on the wealthy to fund universal pre-K. Dinkins, somewhat ironically and <span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/nyregion/praised-by-de-blasio-dinkins-responds-with-an-arrow.html">extremely publicly</a>, recently told him to reconsider, saying “we might have more success” with a commuter tax.</span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Comptroller</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Scott Stringer - Stringer left his post as Manhattan Borough President and took on former Gov. Elliot Spitzer in order to ascend to this quietly powerful office overseeing city finances. He brings with him experience as a&nbsp;trustee of the massive<a class="c4" href="https://www.nycers.org/%28S%28ooq2yk45ynp3ouugmutx3q2u%29%29/Index.aspx"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="https://www.nycers.org/%28S%28ooq2yk45ynp3ouugmutx3q2u%29%29/Index.aspx">NYCERS pension fund</a>&nbsp;and a track record of spearheading<a class="c4" href="http://mbpo.org/free_details.asp?id=511"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://mbpo.org/free_details.asp?id=511">populist economic initiatives</a>, including the New York City Taxpayer Receipt, a website that allows constituents to<a class="c4" href="http://mbpo.org/taxreceipt/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://mbpo.org/taxreceipt/">track their tax dollars</a>.</span></span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Public Advocate</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Letitia "Tish" James - James has served Central Brooklyn on the City Council since 2003 and has opposed several major development and rezoning projects, including Atlantic Yards, which, for years, riled up residents around what is now the Barclays Center. Most recently, James joined progressive groups in calling for higher wages and a change in the city’s economic development policies, including more stringent requirements for banks and corporations that receive city subsidies.</span></p> <h1 class="c2">Borough-wide offices</h1> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Brooklyn District Attorney</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Kenneth P. Thompson -&nbsp;Thompson had to<a class="c4" href="http://gothamist.com/2013/11/06/new_brooklyn_da_ken_thompson.php"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://gothamist.com/2013/11/06/new_brooklyn_da_ken_thompson.php">beat incumbent Charles Hynes twice</a>&nbsp;- first, in the primary, when Hynes was a Democrat, and again when Hynes became a Republican for the general election. In an<a class="c4" href="http://www.ny1.com/content/politics/decision_2013_video/196299/ny1-online--thompson-addresses-supporters-after-winning-brooklyn-da-race"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.ny1.com/content/politics/decision_2013_video/196299/ny1-online--thompson-addresses-supporters-after-winning-brooklyn-da-race">acceptance speech</a>, the first black Brooklyn DA said voters had chosen him as an alternative to "false accusation, fear-mongering, and race-baiting." As a federal attorney, Thompson prosecuted<a class="c4" href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/26/abner-louima-ken-thompson-brooklyn-election"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/26/abner-louima-ken-thompson-brooklyn-election">police brutality</a>&nbsp;in Brooklyn and now aims to reduce false arrests by<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/da-charles-hynes-soon-to-be-successor-ken-thompson-outlines-big-plans-article-1.1452972"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/da-charles-hynes-soon-to-be-successor-ken-thompson-outlines-big-plans-article-1.1452972">assigning prosecutors to police precincts</a>&nbsp;in East New York and Brownsville. “It is not right to have someone subjected to stop-and-frisk, snake through the system and spend two days in jail just to get out," he<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/da-charles-hynes-soon-to-be-successor-ken-thompson-outlines-big-plans-article-1.1452972"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/da-charles-hynes-soon-to-be-successor-ken-thompson-outlines-big-plans-article-1.1452972">told the Daily News</a>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><span class="c3"><strong>Brooklyn Borough President</strong><br /></span></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Eric Adams (D, WF)&nbsp;- Counted as an<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/hamill-returning-top-bill-bratton-stop-frisk-differently-article-1.1540414"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/hamill-returning-top-bill-bratton-stop-frisk-differently-article-1.1540414">old friend</a>&nbsp;by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Adams served 22 years in the NYPD before moving on to the State Senate, where he has represented Crown Heights, Flatbush, Sunset Park and Park Slope for the last eight years. A vocal critic of former Commissioner Ray Kelly when stop-and-frisk was on trial, Adams advocates for a "symbiotic relationship" between the police and the community.</span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><span class="c3"><strong>Manhattan <span class="c3">Borough President</span></strong><br /></span></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Gale Brewer (D)&nbsp;- Brewer has been a Council member for the Upper West Side and North Clinton since 2002. Her most recent political efforts include a push to<a class="c4" href="http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2013/11/27/food-trucks-get-greener-with-startups-plug-in-technology/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2013/11/27/food-trucks-get-greener-with-startups-plug-in-technology/">make food trucks greener</a>&nbsp;and to get the city to<a class="c4" href="http://www.westsiderag.com/2013/12/04/with-citibike-expansion-stalled-brewer-wants-federal-funding"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.westsiderag.com/2013/12/04/with-citibike-expansion-stalled-brewer-wants-federal-funding">seek federal funding</a>&nbsp;to expand CitiBike.</span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><span class="c3"><strong>Queens</strong> <span class="c3"><strong>Borough President</strong></span><br /></span></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Melinda Katz (D)&nbsp;- Katz represented Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and other pockets of Queens during her seven-year tenure on the City Council between 2002 and 2009. While on the Council, she was chair of the land use committee, and played a key role in moving forward the massive rezoning the city underwent during the Bloomberg administration.</span></p> <h3 class="c2"><span class="c3"><strong>Staten Island Borough President</strong><br /></span></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">James Oddo (R) - After 15 years on the City Council, Oddo is passing his title of Republican minority leader on to fellow Staten Island politician Vincent Ignizio. When it comes to Sandy relief, Oddo<a class="c4" href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/10/gentlemanly_staten_island_bp_d.html"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/10/gentlemanly_staten_island_bp_d.html">supports an "acquisition for redevelopment" plan</a>&nbsp;that would buy out homeowners, open Midland Beach up to developers, and give former residents the option of moving back in.</span></span></p> <h1 class="c2">City Council</h1> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Manhattan</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Corey Johnson (D) - D3 - Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, West Village- Johnson, a prominent activist in the LGBT community, will take outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn's seat. Johnson most recently served as Chair of Community Board 4, which also made him a<a class="c4" href="http://www.hydc.org/html/board/board.shtml"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.hydc.org/html/board/board.shtml">board member</a>&nbsp;of the Hudson Yards Development Corp. Johnson built much of his campaign around affordable housing, but has been the<a class="c4" href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2013/06/the_strange_can.php"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2013/06/the_strange_can.php">subject</a>&nbsp;of controversy as a former employee of GFI Development Co., which has erected its fair share of Brooklyn condos.</span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Ben Kallos (D) - D5 - Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island - Kallos, a lawyer and lifelong Upper East Sider, advocated for state constitutional reform as the Executive Director of the group<a class="c4" href="http://www.effectiveny.org/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.effectiveny.org/">EffectiveNY</a>&nbsp;and has put the issues of government accountability and transparency at the forefront of his campaign.<span class="c3">&nbsp;He has also pledged to try to<a class="c4" href="https://kallosforcouncil.com/solutions/second-avenue-subway-construction"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="https://kallosforcouncil.com/solutions/second-avenue-subway-construction">aid local businesses</a>&nbsp;affected by the interminable Second Avenue subway construction.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Hellen Rosenthal (D) - D6 - Upper West Side and North Clinton - Rosenthal, who is coming from a post in the City Hall Budget Office, has been a<a class="c4" href="http://www.helenrosenthal.com/press_release_from_helen_rosenthal_for_city_council_on_the_success_of_participatory_budgeting_april_4_2012"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.helenrosenthal.com/press_release_from_helen_rosenthal_for_city_council_on_the_success_of_participatory_budgeting_april_4_2012">major supporter</a>&nbsp;of participatory budgeting and has advocated bringing it to her district, where, in the past, she served as Chair of Community Board 7.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Mark Levine (D, WF) - D7 - parts of Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights/West Harlem, Manhattan Valley, Washington Heights, and part of UWS - Over the course of his uptown political career, Levine founded the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan and a credit union called the Neighborhood Trust. He also briefly ran the New York chapter of the controversial Teach for America program, of which he was an early participant. Levine's proposals for city schools include<a class="c4" href="http://www.votelevine.com/education"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.votelevine.com/education">expanding the curriculum</a>&nbsp;to teach about LGBT history, animal welfare, and environmental issues.</span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Brooklyn</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Laurie Cumbo (D) - D35 - Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, and part of Bedford Stuyvesant - Cumbo is best known in Brooklyn for her leadership and expansion of<a class="c4" href="http://mocada.org/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://mocada.org/">MoCADA</a>, the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts, and other cultural programs she has jump-started. But Cumbo has had a rough start as a Council member. She already had to<a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131210/fort-greene/city-councilwoman-elect-laurie-cumbo-apologizes-for-knockout-comments"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131210/fort-greene/city-councilwoman-elect-laurie-cumbo-apologizes-for-knockout-comments">apologize</a>&nbsp;to her new constituents for racially charged<a class="c4" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/laurie-cumbo-knockout-attack-brooklyn-blacks-jews_n_4390605.html"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/laurie-cumbo-knockout-attack-brooklyn-blacks-jews_n_4390605.html">comments she made</a>&nbsp;about the 'knockout attacks' in Crown Heights last month.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Robert Cornegy, Jr. (D) -D36- Bedford Stuvesant and parts of Crown Heights - Cornegy is transitioning from a position as Legislative Analyst for the Council's Aging and Veterans Committee. The former district leader and president of VIDA, Central Brooklyn's Vanguard Independent Democratic Association,<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/cornegy-top-recount-central-brooklyn-city-council-race-article-1.1470137"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/cornegy-top-recount-central-brooklyn-city-council-race-article-1.1470137">eked out a primary win</a>&nbsp;in a race that ended with a highly contested recount.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Rafael Espinal, Jr. (D) - D37- Cypress Hills, Bushwick, East New York, City Line, Ocean Hill, Brownsville - Two years ago, Espinal, then 27, became the youngest member of the State Assembly, representing District 54. Most recently, he<a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Rafael-L-Espinal-Jr/sponsor/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Rafael-L-Espinal-Jr/sponsor/">sponsored legislation</a>&nbsp;related to domestic abuse and, in the past, has sponsored bills that would require insurance companies to expand women's health coverage. Espinal has said he is determined to repair the infrastructure in neighborhoods that have been <a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/new-assemblyman-rafael-espinal-fights-cypress-hills-machine-made-politician-article-1.961148"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/new-assemblyman-rafael-espinal-fights-cypress-hills-machine-made-politician-article-1.961148">"completely ignored"</a>&nbsp;by the city, like Cypress Hills, where he grew up.</span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Carlos Menchaca (D) - D38 - Bayridge Towers, Greenwood Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace - Menchaca's<a class="c4" href="http://www.decidenyc.com/carlos-menchaca-from-sandy-to-city-hall/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.decidenyc.com/carlos-menchaca-from-sandy-to-city-hall/">relief efforts in Red Hook</a>&nbsp;following Hurricane Sandy helped him get the support he needed to beat his district's incumbent. Now, he and incoming Council Member Mark Treyger want to<a class="c4" href="http://politicker.com/2013/12/new-councilmen-call-for-new-committee-to-oversee-sandy-recovery/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://politicker.com/2013/12/new-councilmen-call-for-new-committee-to-oversee-sandy-recovery/">start a Sandy relief committee</a>&nbsp;on the City Council. Proudly claiming the dual titles of "first Mexican-American on the City Council" and "first openly gay legislator in Brooklyn,"<span class="c3">&nbsp;Menchaca cut his teeth in the offices of outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz and outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Inez Barron (D) - D42 - NEIGHBORHOODS - In her five years representing State Assembly District 60, Barron has<a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Inez-D-Barron/sponsor/"></a>taken a progressive stance on issues from gun regulation to sex education. She also<a class="c4" href="http://gothamschools.org/2009/05/04/meet-inez-barron-wife-of-charles-and-a-new-assembly-member/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://gothamschools.org/2009/05/04/meet-inez-barron-wife-of-charles-and-a-new-assembly-member/">fought to end mayoral control</a>&nbsp;of city schools after a decades-long career as a public school teacher and administrator. Barron's more incendiary husband, Charles, is passing her the torch in their Council district.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Alan Maisel (D) - D46 - Canarsie, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach, part of Sheepshead Bay - Environmental issues and public safety, including 'fracking' regulation, have been prominent among the legislation Maisel has<a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Alan-Maisel/sponsor/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Alan-Maisel/sponsor/">sponsored</a>&nbsp;in his tenure serving State Assembly District 59. Much of Maisel's civic work in Brooklyn has been done through the international Jewish organization B'nai B'rith, although he has also served on his local school and community boards.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Mark Treyger (D) - D47 - Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Coney Island, and Sea Gate - After Superstorm Sandy hit, Treyger founded STRONG, the Sandy Task Force Recovery Organized by Neighborhood Groups, and is now joining forces with fellow incoming Council Member Carlos Menchaca to call for<a class="c4" href="http://politicker.com/2013/12/new-councilmen-call-for-new-committee-to-oversee-sandy-recovery/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://politicker.com/2013/12/new-councilmen-call-for-new-committee-to-oversee-sandy-recovery/">a Sandy relief committee</a>&nbsp;on the City Council. Treyger, long active in local politics, has been a high school teacher since 2005, with strong involvement in the United Federation of Teachers.</span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Chaim Deutsch (D) - D48 - Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, and Brighton Beach - Over the past 20 years, Deutsch, who has a strong foothold in Brooklyn's Jewish community, has taken community safety into his own hands as president of the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol.<span class="c6">&nbsp;He founded the Patrol in the early 1990s in response to rising crime and has worked closely with both Commissioner Bill Bratton and outgoing police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Deutsch even held an appreciation ceremony for Kelly, during which he<a class="c4" href="http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/felder-calls-kelly-city%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98best-police-commissioner-ever%E2%80%99-2013-12-12-153000"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/felder-calls-kelly-city%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98best-police-commissioner-ever%E2%80%99-2013-12-12-153000">presented the city</a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.brooklyneagle.com%2Farticles%2Ffelder-calls-kelly-city%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598best-police-commissioner-ever%25E2%2580%2599-2013-12-12-153000&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGgvmwSpDHoPV0Ir4YaCJHvP26aHw">’s top cop </a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/felder-calls-kelly-city%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98best-police-commissioner-ever%E2%80%99-2013-12-12-153000">with a </a><span class="c0 c8"><a class="c4" href="http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/felder-calls-kelly-city%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98best-police-commissioner-ever%E2%80%99-2013-12-12-153000">mezuzah</a>, which Jews hang in their doorways for protection. He also<a class="c4" href="http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/204641/nyc-councilmember-elect-chaim-deutsch-praises-deblasio-on-bratton-appointment.html"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/204641/nyc-councilmember-elect-chaim-deutsch-praises-deblasio-on-bratton-appointment.html">praised Bratton</a>&nbsp;for having "excelled at police-community relations and law enforcement strategies" during his previous tenure on the NYPD.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3"><span class="c6"><span class="c0"><span class="c0"><span class="c0"><span class="c0 c8"><span class="c0">Antonio Reynoso - D34 - Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn; Ridgewood in Queens - Reynoso is taking the seat of his former boss, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, who he has been working for since 2007, most recently as her Chief of Staff. A Williamsburg native, Reynoso has made affordable housing his top issue, <a href="http://www.brooklynrail.org/2013/09/local/antonio-reynosos-fight-for-williamsburg">speaking out</a> frequently about the neighborhood's luxury makeover. He beat out a seasoned politician, former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who was forced out of the Assembly earlier this year following <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/nyregion/disgraced-assemblyman-loses-bid-for-council-seat.html?_r=0">a sexual harassment case.</a></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Queens</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Paul Vallone, Jr. (D) - D19 - College Point, Auburndale-Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Douglaston, and Little Neck - Leaving his practice at Queens law firm Vallone and Vallone to take a seat on the City Council, Vallone seems to be leaving one<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/history-vallones-article-1.1458651"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/history-vallones-article-1.1458651">family business</a>&nbsp;for another. His father, former Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., served on the City Council for 25 years, leaving in 2001, when his brother, Peter, Jr., was elected to represent the 22nd District (his term is up this year).<span class="c3">&nbsp;Beyond his family ties, Vallone has established thousands of dollars in scholarship funds for Queens high school students and based his campaign platform on a mix of progressive issues — such as women's access to birth control — and local issues like noise pollution from overhead flights.</span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Costa Constantinides (D) - D22 - Astoria, Long Island City, part of Jackson Heights, Rikers Island, Randalls Island, and Wards Island - In the district that includes the city's largest jail, Constantinides earned valuable campaign support from the Correctional Officers Benevolent Association. Constantinides aims to reduce both crime and unemployment by hiring more police officers. He has also been active in the fight for voter rights throughout the state as a member of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, and says it's time to dump the<a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120920/new-york-city/thousands-of-city-students-have-trailers-for-classrooms"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120920/new-york-city/thousands-of-city-students-have-trailers-for-classrooms">hundreds of outdoor </a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dnainfo.com%2Fnew-york%2F20120920%2Fnew-york-city%2Fthousands-of-city-students-have-trailers-for-classrooms&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNEtNcxYAHlbBnO1zKkeROqyeW9H9A">“</a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120920/new-york-city/thousands-of-city-students-have-trailers-for-classrooms">trailer classrooms</a>”&nbsp;that are disproportionately found in Queens schools.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Rory Lancman (D) - D24 -&nbsp;<span class="c3">Briarwood, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest Estates, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, Utopia Estates, and parts of Forest Hills, Flushing, Jamaica and Rego Park&nbsp;- When Lancman attempted to run for Anthony Weiner's old seat in Congress last year,<a class="c4" href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/212295-rory-lancman-wants-be-next-queens-liberal-lion-congress/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/212295-rory-lancman-wants-be-next-queens-liberal-lion-congress/">WNYC reported</a>&nbsp;that he had made some enemies and that one source had even called him the "most hated member of the state Assembly." Lancman, a lawyer who served Assembly District 25 for six years, has also passed a significant volume of legislation, including the<a class="c4" href="http://acdemocracy.org/the-libel-terrorism-protection-act/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://acdemocracy.org/the-libel-terrorism-protection-act/">Libel Terrorism Protection Act</a>, which aims to protect journalists writing about terrorism abroad from being hit with defamation lawsuits, and a host of bills related to equality and<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/dominique-strauss-kahn-case-assemblyman-rory-lancman-calls-legislation-protect-hotel-maids-article-1.146262"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/dominique-strauss-kahn-case-assemblyman-rory-lancman-calls-legislation-protect-hotel-maids-article-1.146262">safety in the workplace</a>.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Daneek Miller (D) - D27 - St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Jamaica, Baisley Park, Addisleigh Park, and parts of Queens Village, Rosedale, and Springfield Gardens - In December, Miller<a class="c4" href="http://laborpress.org/sectors/political-action/3108-laborpress-honors-james-stringer-and-miller-as-champions-of-labor"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://laborpress.org/sectors/political-action/3108-laborpress-honors-james-stringer-and-miller-as-champions-of-labor">received a "Champion of Labor" Award</a>, along with Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James. In Southeast Queens, where subway service is spotty, Miller has championed bus drivers and riders as president of the local chapter of the Amalgamated Transportation Union. He also co-founded a mentor program called Brothers Unlimited.</span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Bronx</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Andrew Cohen (D) - D11 - Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Woodlawn, Norwood, and parts of Bedford Park, Wakefield, and Bronx Park East - Cohen, a Riverdale attorney, has had a long career in law, including several years as a court attorney to a Bronx Supreme Court Justice, legal counsel to State Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz, and a stint as an assistant adjunct at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has called for raising the minimum wage and has gained the support of the United Federation of Teachers.</span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Ritchie Torres (D) - D15 - Bathgate, Belmont, Crotona, Fordham, East Tremont, Van Nest and West Farms - Torres, only 24, is one of many young Latino Democrats making their way into city politics.<span class="c3">&nbsp;He has worked with Councilman James Vacca since his 2005 campaign and was named his housing director in 2011. Torres, who grew up in NYCHA housing, has worked to create tenants' associations and to advocate for basic rights of NYCHA residents in the Bronx, like building improvements and<a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/bronx-residents-cold-article-1.1544981"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/bronx-residents-cold-article-1.1544981">heating</a>.</span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Vanessa Gibson (D) - D16 - West Bronx, Morrisania, Highbridge, and Melrose - A Bronx transplant from Brooklyn, Gibson was elected to State Assembly District 77 in 2009, where she has focused on housing and social services.<span class="c3">&nbsp;She began her political career as the Bronx district office manager for Assemblywoman Aurelia Greene.</span></span></p> <h3 class="c2"><strong><span class="c3">Staten Island</span></strong></h3> <p class="c2"><span class="c3">Steven Matteo (R) - D50 - in Brooklyn, parts of Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach; in Staten Island, Arrochar, Bulls Head, Concord, Dongan Hill, Emerson Hill, Fort Wadsworth, Grant City, Graniteville, Grasmere, Island of Meadows, Midland Beach, New Dorp, Prall's Island, Richmondtown, South Beach, Todt Hill, Travis, Westerleigh, Willowbrook - Sandy relief is still the number one priority in Staten Island, but Matteo has identified other issues affecting residents, including rampant<a class="c4" href="http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2011/08/what-should-be-done-about-staten-islands-oxycodone-problem/"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2011/08/what-should-be-done-about-staten-islands-oxycodone-problem/">prescription drug use</a>. Matteo also said he<a class="c4" href="http://www.nyccfb.info/public/voter-guide/general_2013/cd_profile/CD50_Matteo_1152.aspx"></a><span class="c0"><a class="c4" href="http://www.nyccfb.info/public/voter-guide/general_2013/cd_profile/CD50_Matteo_1152.aspx">hopes to work with the mayor</a>&nbsp; "to wrestle toll setting authority” from the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority. </span></span></span></p> <p class="c2"><span class="c3"><span class="c0"><span class="c0"><em>This is an updated version which corrects the number of incoming City Council members to 21 and adds information on Councilman Antonio Reynoso. </em><br /></span></span></span></p>