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/riders-alliance 2017-10-22T11:37:28+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com 7 Transit Commitments Advocates Want From Candidates This Year 2017-07-06T04:00:00+00:00 2017-07-06T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7052:seven-transit-commitments-advocates-want-from-candidates Samar Khurshid <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/img_7012.jpg" alt="img 7012" width="600" height="482" /></p> <p>Transit advocates rally near City Hall (photo: Sam Raskin/Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>Activists from eight transportation advocacy groups gathered near the City Hall R train subway station on Thursday calling on candidates running for elected office in the city to adopt a seven-point plan to improve New York’s crumbling transit infrastructure.</p> <p>“We’ve put together the steps that New York City can take to make transportation work in New York,” said John Raskin, executive director of Riders Alliance, who led the news conference. The coalition released a four-page document titled, “<a href="http://tstc.org/transportation-equity-agenda-2017.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Transportation and Equity: A 2017 Agenda for Candidates</a>” which included seven proposed solutions -- increasing funding for public transportation, improving bus service, reducing the cost of mass-transit, increasing bicycle usage, reducing traffic fatalities under the <a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/site/visionzero/index.page" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Vision Zero</a> campaign, improving how street space is divided, and providing alternatives for the L train riders who will soon see an expected disruption of service.</p> <p>The advocates believe that the time is ripe to hold politicians’ feet to the fire on transit issues, ahead of the upcoming city elections. “Transportation is now a top-tier issue in our city,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “There's never been a better time for our city to make progress on streets and transportation. So if you’re running for office, ignore our issues at your own peril. New Yorkers are hungry for solutions and we have them.”</p> <p>The coalition of advocates did acknowledge that much of the city’s transportation management is the responsibility of the state. The subway system is managed by the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor recently declared a state of emergency for the MTA to ease procurement rules and speed up improvements to the subway system but critics believe the measure was too little, too late. “We’re not here to let the governor in Albany off the hook,” insisted StreetsPac Executive Director Eric McClure, noting that city dwellers are “unfortunately trapped” in a situation in which city matters are determined by representatives from outside the city. But the activists believe the city can take certain matters into its own hands. “In a world where the governor controls the MTA, we are answering the question: what can the mayor do? What can the city council do? What can other city level elected officials do to help New Yorkers get around town, access jobs and build a fair and sustainable city for the future,” said Raskin.</p> <p>The organizations coalesced around popular transit fixes such as increasing capital funding to the MTA, adding and improving bike lanes, funding the Fair Fares proposal to provide half-priced MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers, committing to improving safety on the street through the Vision Zero campaign, augmenting the express Select Bus Service and enhancing bus lane enforcement.</p> <p>“We’re not here promote flying cars or monorails, or new tunneling for autonomous vehicles,” White said. “These are all proven solutions that simply need to be expanded.”</p> <p>Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly touted expansion of the Select Bus Service, Citi Bike additions, and ferry service expansions as transportation accomplishments under his tenure. These received tepid support from White. “The mayor deserves credit for trying a multitude of solutions that are under his control, ferries included,” White said. “If you look at the subsidies per ride, investments in bus service, improving bus service, investments in walking and biking provide much more bang for your investment buck if you’re the mayor of New York. Ferries are important, but there is more to be had with investments in bus service in particular.”</p> <p>The coalition, notably, did not take a collective stance on the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) streetcar, which would run between Sunset Park and Astoria. Certain activists have expressed doubts about investing in a costly new streetcar as opposed to improving existing transit options. The proposal has&nbsp;few strong supporters among transit advocates and there are doubts about whether it can be <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/city-hall-memo-debunks-de-blasio-bqx-streetcar-funding-promises-article-1.3055601" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">adequately funded</a>. There are a variety of business and other organizations supporting BQX.</p> <p>Along with policies with consensus among activists and electeds, the transit groups also pushed for more ambitious, imaginative proposals such as a Brooklyn-Manhattan Bus Rapid Transit route over the Williamsburg Bridge to deal with the planned 15-month shutdown of the L train beginning in 2019.</p> <p>Additionally, the advocates called on the administration to further its current use of a portion of real estate value added by upzoning to fund transportation projects. “[T]he city is in a position to make sure that part of that value goes to build and rebuild the infrastructure that the real estate relies on,” Raskin said. “That’s something we’re asking the city to do in a widespread way.” The groups also expressed support for the <a href="http://nyc.smartparticipation.com/learn/whats-move-ny-fair-plan" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Move NY Fair Plan</a>, which would reform bridge toll prices to simultaneously raise revenue and reduce traffic congestion.</p> <p>Confident in the achievability and efficacy of their suggestions, the advocates believe the next step is to spread awareness and apply pressure on current and potential New York lawmakers. “The agenda that this group has put together for New York City is doable,” said Marcia Bystyrn, executive director of New York League of Conservation Voters. “The real challenge for all of us is making it clear to every elected official in New York that we expect them to deliver.”</p> <p> </p> <p>Note: this article has been adjusted to more carefully characterize support for the BQX.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/img_7012.jpg" alt="img 7012" width="600" height="482" /></p> <p>Transit advocates rally near City Hall (photo: Sam Raskin/Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>Activists from eight transportation advocacy groups gathered near the City Hall R train subway station on Thursday calling on candidates running for elected office in the city to adopt a seven-point plan to improve New York’s crumbling transit infrastructure.</p> <p>“We’ve put together the steps that New York City can take to make transportation work in New York,” said John Raskin, executive director of Riders Alliance, who led the news conference. The coalition released a four-page document titled, “<a href="http://tstc.org/transportation-equity-agenda-2017.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Transportation and Equity: A 2017 Agenda for Candidates</a>” which included seven proposed solutions -- increasing funding for public transportation, improving bus service, reducing the cost of mass-transit, increasing bicycle usage, reducing traffic fatalities under the <a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/site/visionzero/index.page" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Vision Zero</a> campaign, improving how street space is divided, and providing alternatives for the L train riders who will soon see an expected disruption of service.</p> <p>The advocates believe that the time is ripe to hold politicians’ feet to the fire on transit issues, ahead of the upcoming city elections. “Transportation is now a top-tier issue in our city,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “There's never been a better time for our city to make progress on streets and transportation. So if you’re running for office, ignore our issues at your own peril. New Yorkers are hungry for solutions and we have them.”</p> <p>The coalition of advocates did acknowledge that much of the city’s transportation management is the responsibility of the state. The subway system is managed by the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The governor recently declared a state of emergency for the MTA to ease procurement rules and speed up improvements to the subway system but critics believe the measure was too little, too late. “We’re not here to let the governor in Albany off the hook,” insisted StreetsPac Executive Director Eric McClure, noting that city dwellers are “unfortunately trapped” in a situation in which city matters are determined by representatives from outside the city. But the activists believe the city can take certain matters into its own hands. “In a world where the governor controls the MTA, we are answering the question: what can the mayor do? What can the city council do? What can other city level elected officials do to help New Yorkers get around town, access jobs and build a fair and sustainable city for the future,” said Raskin.</p> <p>The organizations coalesced around popular transit fixes such as increasing capital funding to the MTA, adding and improving bike lanes, funding the Fair Fares proposal to provide half-priced MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers, committing to improving safety on the street through the Vision Zero campaign, augmenting the express Select Bus Service and enhancing bus lane enforcement.</p> <p>“We’re not here promote flying cars or monorails, or new tunneling for autonomous vehicles,” White said. “These are all proven solutions that simply need to be expanded.”</p> <p>Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly touted expansion of the Select Bus Service, Citi Bike additions, and ferry service expansions as transportation accomplishments under his tenure. These received tepid support from White. “The mayor deserves credit for trying a multitude of solutions that are under his control, ferries included,” White said. “If you look at the subsidies per ride, investments in bus service, improving bus service, investments in walking and biking provide much more bang for your investment buck if you’re the mayor of New York. Ferries are important, but there is more to be had with investments in bus service in particular.”</p> <p>The coalition, notably, did not take a collective stance on the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) streetcar, which would run between Sunset Park and Astoria. Certain activists have expressed doubts about investing in a costly new streetcar as opposed to improving existing transit options. The proposal has&nbsp;few strong supporters among transit advocates and there are doubts about whether it can be <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/city-hall-memo-debunks-de-blasio-bqx-streetcar-funding-promises-article-1.3055601" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">adequately funded</a>. There are a variety of business and other organizations supporting BQX.</p> <p>Along with policies with consensus among activists and electeds, the transit groups also pushed for more ambitious, imaginative proposals such as a Brooklyn-Manhattan Bus Rapid Transit route over the Williamsburg Bridge to deal with the planned 15-month shutdown of the L train beginning in 2019.</p> <p>Additionally, the advocates called on the administration to further its current use of a portion of real estate value added by upzoning to fund transportation projects. “[T]he city is in a position to make sure that part of that value goes to build and rebuild the infrastructure that the real estate relies on,” Raskin said. “That’s something we’re asking the city to do in a widespread way.” The groups also expressed support for the <a href="http://nyc.smartparticipation.com/learn/whats-move-ny-fair-plan" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Move NY Fair Plan</a>, which would reform bridge toll prices to simultaneously raise revenue and reduce traffic congestion.</p> <p>Confident in the achievability and efficacy of their suggestions, the advocates believe the next step is to spread awareness and apply pressure on current and potential New York lawmakers. “The agenda that this group has put together for New York City is doable,” said Marcia Bystyrn, executive director of New York League of Conservation Voters. “The real challenge for all of us is making it clear to every elected official in New York that we expect them to deliver.”</p> <p> </p> <p>Note: this article has been adjusted to more carefully characterize support for the BQX.</p> 'Fair Fares' Proposal Dominates Transportation Hearing 2017-02-14T00:00:00+00:00 2017-02-14T00:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6757:fair-fares-dominate-debate-at-transportation-hearing Samar Khurshid <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/12528291894_ba579ca81c_z.jpg" alt="CM Ydanis Rodriguez" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (Photo: William Alatriste)</p> <hr /> <p>A campaign to provide discounted MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers took center stage at a City Council hearing on Monday, with council members and transit advocates calling for greater equity in the public transportation system.</p> <p>The City Council’s Committee on Transportation conducted oversight of the Department of Transportation’s citywide initiatives to examine how they can better serve New York City residents. Central to the proceedings was the issue of transportation equity, the concept that transportation should be used as an equalizer and a conduit between low-income communities and the job-laden business centers of the city. Council members and transit advocacy groups expressed concern that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has failed to prioritize fairness in the system, even as it moves forward on a number of transit projects including the citywide ferry service and the Brooklyn-Queens Connector.</p> <p>The issue that dominated the debate was the 'Fair Fares' campaign to lower public transportation fares for low-income New Yorkers, launched last year by the Community Service Society, a nonprofit that fights poverty, and transit advocacy group Riders Alliance. The campaign is anchored in a 2016 report by CSS that found that 1-in-4 low-income city residents cannot afford the cost of MetroCards. As previously reported by Gotham Gazette, the mayor has been staunch in his refusal to put up the estimated $200 million to implement the cost reductions proposed by Fair Fares, which would provide half-price MetroCards for the roughly 800,000 New Yorkers living below the poverty line.</p> <p>Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the committee, said in his opening remarks that MetroCard costs were “preventative” for many New Yorkers, forcing them to “forego job opportunities, education, cultural experiences, doctor appointments, and more.” Rodriguez found support in other council members, including David Greenfield, Antonio Reynoso, and Donovan Richards. Just prior to the hearing, many of the council members rallied with colleagues, transit advocates and union representatives on the steps of City Hall, calling on the mayor to fund the Fair Fares proposal.</p> <p>At the hearing, the council members asked DOT representative Eric Beaton to explain the mayor’s refusal to provide the required funding in the city budget. Beaton fell back on the mayor’s argument that the city could not afford the proposal and that the state-run MTA should fund it instead. He also pointed out that the city recently committed to a historically-high $2.5 billion contribution to the MTA’s capital plan and that there was simply no room in the budget for an extra $200 million.</p> <p>Councilmembers Reynoso and Greenfield weren’t satisfied with the response, and Greenfield cited the $13 billion increase in the city budget under de Blasio as proof that the administration has the ability to cover “everything under the sun.” Reynoso echoed his sentiment, telling Beaton that the budget “is not a legitimate excuse” for failing to provide low-income New Yorkers with affordable public transportation.</p> <p>The committee also touched on issues of transit access for residents of Far Rockaway and Southeast Queens, two areas notorious for their status as “transportation deserts.” Council members Richards and I. Daneek Miller, who represent those two neighborhoods respectively, stressed that their constituents are burdened with commutes of up to two hours, arguing that bus services in areas lacking subway stops must be made a priority so that residents are able to make the commute to Manhattan. Though Beaton agreed that bus efficiency must be improved, he again deferred to the MTA, saying that bus routing was the MTA’s responsibility.</p> <p>David Jones, president of the Community Service Society and a mayoral appointee to the MTA board, pressed his organization’s push for Fair Fares, noting that unaffordable transit fares also create ancillary problems such as an increase in fare evasion, placing an added burden on the transit police and criminal justice system. These arrests lead to more criminal records for young people, Jones contended, simply because subway and bus fares are too expensive. Jones and Veronica Vanterpool, another MTA board member, have both called on the mayor to fund Fair Fares.</p> <p>Jones was joined on the panel by Bronx resident Norma Ridez, who testified on behalf of Riders Alliance. Ridez, an unemployed single mother of three, said that between the cost of getting her children to daycare and grocery shopping, she “can’t afford a metrocard to get to [job] interviews.”</p> <p>Though DOT’s Beaton and the committee members were frequently at odds, the two sides were momentarily allied in admonishing the MTA for failing to send a representative to the hearing. Public Advocate Letitia James was particularly critical, in both her opening and closing statements, expressing her “deep disappointment” that MTA representatives were not present to discuss their “unreliable system.”</p> <p>Monday’s hearing and the preceding rally demonstrate wide-ranging support for transit affordability reform, but the fate of Fair Fares remains uncertain since neither the city nor the MTA are willing to be held responsible for the bill. MTA communications director Beth DeFalco noted in an email that the MTA already spends significant amounts on low-income riders, including $625 million specifically for seniors, schoolchildren and people with disabilities in New York City. “The MTA always tries to keep fares as low as possible and still provide safe, reliable service,” DeFalco said.</p> <p>With no end in sight to the Fair Fares gridlock, low-income New Yorkers are left holding their breath on lower transportation costs. Attempting to underscore the impact of this funding stalemate, Councilmember Greenfield reminded those at the hearing, “You can’t get out of poverty if you can’t get to your job.”</p> <p>&nbsp;

***
by Luke Foley, Gotham Gazette

</p> <p>With reporting by Samar Khurshid</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/12528291894_ba579ca81c_z.jpg" alt="CM Ydanis Rodriguez" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (Photo: William Alatriste)</p> <hr /> <p>A campaign to provide discounted MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers took center stage at a City Council hearing on Monday, with council members and transit advocates calling for greater equity in the public transportation system.</p> <p>The City Council’s Committee on Transportation conducted oversight of the Department of Transportation’s citywide initiatives to examine how they can better serve New York City residents. Central to the proceedings was the issue of transportation equity, the concept that transportation should be used as an equalizer and a conduit between low-income communities and the job-laden business centers of the city. Council members and transit advocacy groups expressed concern that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has failed to prioritize fairness in the system, even as it moves forward on a number of transit projects including the citywide ferry service and the Brooklyn-Queens Connector.</p> <p>The issue that dominated the debate was the 'Fair Fares' campaign to lower public transportation fares for low-income New Yorkers, launched last year by the Community Service Society, a nonprofit that fights poverty, and transit advocacy group Riders Alliance. The campaign is anchored in a 2016 report by CSS that found that 1-in-4 low-income city residents cannot afford the cost of MetroCards. As previously reported by Gotham Gazette, the mayor has been staunch in his refusal to put up the estimated $200 million to implement the cost reductions proposed by Fair Fares, which would provide half-price MetroCards for the roughly 800,000 New Yorkers living below the poverty line.</p> <p>Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the committee, said in his opening remarks that MetroCard costs were “preventative” for many New Yorkers, forcing them to “forego job opportunities, education, cultural experiences, doctor appointments, and more.” Rodriguez found support in other council members, including David Greenfield, Antonio Reynoso, and Donovan Richards. Just prior to the hearing, many of the council members rallied with colleagues, transit advocates and union representatives on the steps of City Hall, calling on the mayor to fund the Fair Fares proposal.</p> <p>At the hearing, the council members asked DOT representative Eric Beaton to explain the mayor’s refusal to provide the required funding in the city budget. Beaton fell back on the mayor’s argument that the city could not afford the proposal and that the state-run MTA should fund it instead. He also pointed out that the city recently committed to a historically-high $2.5 billion contribution to the MTA’s capital plan and that there was simply no room in the budget for an extra $200 million.</p> <p>Councilmembers Reynoso and Greenfield weren’t satisfied with the response, and Greenfield cited the $13 billion increase in the city budget under de Blasio as proof that the administration has the ability to cover “everything under the sun.” Reynoso echoed his sentiment, telling Beaton that the budget “is not a legitimate excuse” for failing to provide low-income New Yorkers with affordable public transportation.</p> <p>The committee also touched on issues of transit access for residents of Far Rockaway and Southeast Queens, two areas notorious for their status as “transportation deserts.” Council members Richards and I. Daneek Miller, who represent those two neighborhoods respectively, stressed that their constituents are burdened with commutes of up to two hours, arguing that bus services in areas lacking subway stops must be made a priority so that residents are able to make the commute to Manhattan. Though Beaton agreed that bus efficiency must be improved, he again deferred to the MTA, saying that bus routing was the MTA’s responsibility.</p> <p>David Jones, president of the Community Service Society and a mayoral appointee to the MTA board, pressed his organization’s push for Fair Fares, noting that unaffordable transit fares also create ancillary problems such as an increase in fare evasion, placing an added burden on the transit police and criminal justice system. These arrests lead to more criminal records for young people, Jones contended, simply because subway and bus fares are too expensive. Jones and Veronica Vanterpool, another MTA board member, have both called on the mayor to fund Fair Fares.</p> <p>Jones was joined on the panel by Bronx resident Norma Ridez, who testified on behalf of Riders Alliance. Ridez, an unemployed single mother of three, said that between the cost of getting her children to daycare and grocery shopping, she “can’t afford a metrocard to get to [job] interviews.”</p> <p>Though DOT’s Beaton and the committee members were frequently at odds, the two sides were momentarily allied in admonishing the MTA for failing to send a representative to the hearing. Public Advocate Letitia James was particularly critical, in both her opening and closing statements, expressing her “deep disappointment” that MTA representatives were not present to discuss their “unreliable system.”</p> <p>Monday’s hearing and the preceding rally demonstrate wide-ranging support for transit affordability reform, but the fate of Fair Fares remains uncertain since neither the city nor the MTA are willing to be held responsible for the bill. MTA communications director Beth DeFalco noted in an email that the MTA already spends significant amounts on low-income riders, including $625 million specifically for seniors, schoolchildren and people with disabilities in New York City. “The MTA always tries to keep fares as low as possible and still provide safe, reliable service,” DeFalco said.</p> <p>With no end in sight to the Fair Fares gridlock, low-income New Yorkers are left holding their breath on lower transportation costs. Attempting to underscore the impact of this funding stalemate, Councilmember Greenfield reminded those at the hearing, “You can’t get out of poverty if you can’t get to your job.”</p> <p>&nbsp;

***
by Luke Foley, Gotham Gazette

</p> <p>With reporting by Samar Khurshid</p>
Cuomo Makes Transit a ‘Personal Priority,’ Advocates Want More Funding Details 2016-08-03T04:00:00+00:00 2016-08-03T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6466:cuomo-makes-transit-a-personal-priority-advocates-want-more-funding-details Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/27776793163_cc7c351dd3_z.jpg" width="600" height="392" alt="cuomo prendergast mta" /></p> <p dir="ltr">Gov. Cuomo &amp; MTA Chair Prendergast (photo:&nbsp;Philip Kamrass, Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">Governor Andrew Cuomo has made mass transit a major focus of late, holding a series of events over the past year regarding airport redevelopment, railroad expansion, new transportation hubs and vehicles, and more. Early last month he described the Metropolitan Transit Administration (MTA) as a new &ldquo;personal priority&rdquo; and announced an effort to modernize the agency, beginning with the purchase of over 1,000 new subway cars.</p> <p dir="ltr">This, with the accompanying significant funding allocation toward the MTA, is something of a change of course for Cuomo, who has a <a href="http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2011/12/what-will-cuomos-payroll-tax-concession-cost-the-mta-in-the-end-000000" target="_blank">history</a> of <a href="http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2013/02/transit-advocate-cuomo-falls-off-the-wagon-diverts-20-million-from-the-mta-000000" target="_blank">diverting</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2011/12/4534145/what-will-cuomos-payroll-tax-concession-cost-mta-end" target="_blank">money</a> from the MTA. Now, the governor&rsquo;s ambitious transit plan includes updating the MTA, repairing tunnels and bridges throughout the New York metropolitan area, building a new Tappan Zee bridge, rebuilding LaGuardia Airport and Penn Station, and creating a new tunnel under the Hudson river.</p> <p dir="ltr">With federal corruption convictions having toppled two recent leaders in the state Legislature, among other former Albany lawmakers, and investigations into his own administration, Cuomo appears to have seized on a concrete, quality-of-life issue in mass transit that has also been brought into focus by the dire state of the state&rsquo;s transportation infrastructure.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cuomo&rsquo;s commitment came after <a href="http://www.streetsblog.org/2016/02/23/36-assembly-members-to-cuomo-stop-playing-games-and-fund-the-mta/" target="_blank">calls from transit advocates, business people, and lawmakers</a> urging the governor to allocate funding to the MTA&rsquo;s five-year Capital Program in the state&rsquo;s budget to meet the staggering needs outlined by the authority. After spending $1 billion in the first year of the Capital Program last year, Cuomo agreed to provide an additional $7.3 billion last fall. New York City will provide $2.5 billion, and the MTA, a state body whose chair is appointed by the Governor, will itself provide $17 billion.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cuomo did not finalize the spending plan for the Capital Program <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-final-approval-27-billion-5-year-mta-capital-program-advancement-other" target="_blank">until late May</a>, but has widely publicized his support of the program since. The state&rsquo;s contribution to the Capital Program is included in the <a href="https://www.budget.ny.gov/budgetFP/FY2017FP.pdf" target="_blank">Fiscal Year 2017 budget</a>, providing $2.9 billion in the coming year on top of the $1 billion provided in Fiscal Year 2016.</p> <p dir="ltr">At a June event celebrating groundbreaking at &ldquo;the new LaGuardia Airport,&rdquo; Cuomo put the magnitude of his &ldquo;$100 billion infrastructure program&rdquo; on display, calling it &ldquo;the largest reinvestment in New York&rsquo;s infrastructure in modern history,&rdquo; which, he said, was &ldquo;long overdue.&rdquo; A key part of it, the governor said, &ldquo;is a $27 billion investment, largest capital investment in history in the MTA because that is going to be the future. Moving more and more people through mass transit rather than through cars and I am proud to be the governor who made the largest investment in the MTA&rsquo;s history.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">While some transit advocates view the governor&rsquo;s recent embrace of the MTA as a victory, not all are reassured by the promise of capital funding.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It was a great win in many ways that the governor said he would allocate the necessary funding at least this year to the capital plan,&rdquo; Masha Burina, an organizer for the advocacy group Riders Alliance, told Gotham Gazette. &ldquo;But our major concern going forward that we still have and that we're going to be pushing for in our campaign is to get a sense of where this money is coming from.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Burina said the push to secure budgetary funding for the Capital Program was aided by Assembly member James Brennan, a Democrat from Brooklyn, who penned a <a href="http://www.streetsblog.org/2016/02/23/36-assembly-members-to-cuomo-stop-playing-games-and-fund-the-mta/">letter</a> signed by 35 other Assembly members and sent to Cuomo in February. However, Burina added that Cuomo has not detailed how the state will pay for the capital program.</p> <p dir="ltr">Without a new source of funding, the state&mdash;or the MTA&mdash;will have to borrow. The MTA is already <a href="http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/pdf/FINAL_MTA%20Consolidated%20Financial%20Statements-Q1%202016.pdf" target="_blank">over $35 billion in debt</a>. Because one of the only revenue generators within the MTA&rsquo;s control is passenger fares, Burina said she is worried going further in debt would make a <a href="http://ny.curbed.com/2016/7/28/12317778/mta-fare-hike" target="_blank">looming fare hike to $3</a> even more likely (the current cost of a subway or bus ride is $2.75).</p> <p dir="ltr">But the Fiscal Year 2017 budget stipulates that the state can only provide its share of the funding via a revenue stream or direct payments, which means no debt related to the state&rsquo;s contribution to the Capital Program can be passed on to the fare-payer, according to Morris Peters, a spokesperson for the New York State Division of the Budget.</p> <p dir="ltr">Peters also touted the $3.9 billion state contribution already signed into law as part of the past two years&rsquo; budget, pointing out that this places the state ahead of schedule in providing its $8.3 billion pledged contribution.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Through the Enacted Budget, the state&rsquo;s commitment of $8.3 billion in new funding for the MTA is now law. Anyone who thinks this isn't a priority clearly doesn't know what they're talking about,&rdquo; Peters said in an email to Gotham Gazette.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nonetheless, transportation advocates are likely to continue questioning where exactly the money is coming from and pressuring Cuomo as they have in the past, urging the governor to find ways to pay for the capital plan, according to Burina.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It's great that he's come out and stepped up saying that these are his priorities, but we want to make sure that this doesn't translate into unsupported debt borrowing,&rdquo; Burina said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Several possible options for funding exist, but none have yet been embraced by the governor. One possibility is raising motor fuel taxes, which brought in $503 million for the state <a href="https://www.budget.ny.gov/budgetFP/FY2017FP.pdf" target="_blank">last year</a>. But Nicole Gelinas, the Searle Freedom Trust Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, said raising the gas tax is unlikely to provide enough funding for the Capital Program.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don't think we'll get much from a higher gas tax,&rdquo; Gelinas said in an email to Gotham Gazette. &ldquo;We could double it, and take in another half billion [dollars], but that doesn't solve the MTA's problems.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Increasing motor fuel taxes has not been endorsed by Riders Alliance and has drawn skepticism from elected officials who support increased transportation spending, especially since motor fuel tax revenue is expected to decrease by $9 million in the coming year.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;All our public policy is, quite properly, aimed at saying &lsquo;use fewer gallons of gasoline.&rsquo; We want to be more energy efficient, we want to have less fumes and we want to have more miles per gallon,&rdquo; Jerrold Nadler, a Democratic congressman from Manhattan, said at &ldquo;On Transportation,&rdquo; a forum hosted by City &amp; State NY at the New School on Tuesday. &ldquo;So the amount of revenue in real terms from the gasoline tax is going down steadily, and we have to substitute for it.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Riders Alliance has, however, endorsed the <a href="http://iheartmoveny.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2015-MNY-Final-Ex-Sum-copy.pdf" target="_blank">Move NY Fair Plan</a>, which would increase tolls in areas of high transit availability like major East River bridges and decrease tolls in areas of low availability, including bridges over the Harlem River. But the plan would generate &ldquo;only&rdquo; one billion dollars per year for transit projects through 2019, as well as $375 million per year for road and bridge improvements during that time.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The Move NY is a much better plan, except that even it is not a panacea,&rdquo; Gelinas said by email. &ldquo;It buys us the debt for one five-year capital plan, at most. But we're now two years into that five-year capital plan. So what do we do in three years' time?&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">As advocates continue to push for a source of funding for the MTA, Riders Alliance hopes to use Cuomo&rsquo;s &ldquo;prioritization&rdquo; of transit to gain momentum for more specific causes they&rsquo;ve spearheaded in recent months, including compiling a plan to support commuters affected by the L Train&rsquo;s upcoming closure, subsidizing fares for low-income New Yorkers, and updating the subway <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/why-dont-we-know-where-all-the-trains-are/415152/" target="_blank">signaling system</a>, which would allow for expanded countdown clocks and more trains per track.</p> <p dir="ltr">And while some have been bolstered by Cuomo&rsquo;s pledge to be an advocate for transportation, others are less satisfied. New York State Senator Leroy Comrie, a Democrat from Queens who serves on the Senate&rsquo;s infrastructure committee, said that regardless of its sources of funding, the Capital Program neglects parts of his constituency.</p> <p>&ldquo;I represent Southeast Queens, which is a transportation desert. The MTA five-year capital plan addresses no solutions for Queens other than repair and maintenance of the existing bridges that are there,&rdquo; Comrie said at the City &amp; State forum on Tuesday. &ldquo;The project for LaGuardia was necessary and important, there&rsquo;s no access for our community to actually get to work.&rdquo;</p> <p>

***
by Aaron Holmes, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/27776793163_cc7c351dd3_z.jpg" width="600" height="392" alt="cuomo prendergast mta" /></p> <p dir="ltr">Gov. Cuomo &amp; MTA Chair Prendergast (photo:&nbsp;Philip Kamrass, Governor's Office)</p> <hr /> <p dir="ltr">Governor Andrew Cuomo has made mass transit a major focus of late, holding a series of events over the past year regarding airport redevelopment, railroad expansion, new transportation hubs and vehicles, and more. Early last month he described the Metropolitan Transit Administration (MTA) as a new &ldquo;personal priority&rdquo; and announced an effort to modernize the agency, beginning with the purchase of over 1,000 new subway cars.</p> <p dir="ltr">This, with the accompanying significant funding allocation toward the MTA, is something of a change of course for Cuomo, who has a <a href="http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2011/12/what-will-cuomos-payroll-tax-concession-cost-the-mta-in-the-end-000000" target="_blank">history</a> of <a href="http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2013/02/transit-advocate-cuomo-falls-off-the-wagon-diverts-20-million-from-the-mta-000000" target="_blank">diverting</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2011/12/4534145/what-will-cuomos-payroll-tax-concession-cost-mta-end" target="_blank">money</a> from the MTA. Now, the governor&rsquo;s ambitious transit plan includes updating the MTA, repairing tunnels and bridges throughout the New York metropolitan area, building a new Tappan Zee bridge, rebuilding LaGuardia Airport and Penn Station, and creating a new tunnel under the Hudson river.</p> <p dir="ltr">With federal corruption convictions having toppled two recent leaders in the state Legislature, among other former Albany lawmakers, and investigations into his own administration, Cuomo appears to have seized on a concrete, quality-of-life issue in mass transit that has also been brought into focus by the dire state of the state&rsquo;s transportation infrastructure.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cuomo&rsquo;s commitment came after <a href="http://www.streetsblog.org/2016/02/23/36-assembly-members-to-cuomo-stop-playing-games-and-fund-the-mta/" target="_blank">calls from transit advocates, business people, and lawmakers</a> urging the governor to allocate funding to the MTA&rsquo;s five-year Capital Program in the state&rsquo;s budget to meet the staggering needs outlined by the authority. After spending $1 billion in the first year of the Capital Program last year, Cuomo agreed to provide an additional $7.3 billion last fall. New York City will provide $2.5 billion, and the MTA, a state body whose chair is appointed by the Governor, will itself provide $17 billion.</p> <p dir="ltr">Cuomo did not finalize the spending plan for the Capital Program <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-final-approval-27-billion-5-year-mta-capital-program-advancement-other" target="_blank">until late May</a>, but has widely publicized his support of the program since. The state&rsquo;s contribution to the Capital Program is included in the <a href="https://www.budget.ny.gov/budgetFP/FY2017FP.pdf" target="_blank">Fiscal Year 2017 budget</a>, providing $2.9 billion in the coming year on top of the $1 billion provided in Fiscal Year 2016.</p> <p dir="ltr">At a June event celebrating groundbreaking at &ldquo;the new LaGuardia Airport,&rdquo; Cuomo put the magnitude of his &ldquo;$100 billion infrastructure program&rdquo; on display, calling it &ldquo;the largest reinvestment in New York&rsquo;s infrastructure in modern history,&rdquo; which, he said, was &ldquo;long overdue.&rdquo; A key part of it, the governor said, &ldquo;is a $27 billion investment, largest capital investment in history in the MTA because that is going to be the future. Moving more and more people through mass transit rather than through cars and I am proud to be the governor who made the largest investment in the MTA&rsquo;s history.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">While some transit advocates view the governor&rsquo;s recent embrace of the MTA as a victory, not all are reassured by the promise of capital funding.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It was a great win in many ways that the governor said he would allocate the necessary funding at least this year to the capital plan,&rdquo; Masha Burina, an organizer for the advocacy group Riders Alliance, told Gotham Gazette. &ldquo;But our major concern going forward that we still have and that we're going to be pushing for in our campaign is to get a sense of where this money is coming from.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Burina said the push to secure budgetary funding for the Capital Program was aided by Assembly member James Brennan, a Democrat from Brooklyn, who penned a <a href="http://www.streetsblog.org/2016/02/23/36-assembly-members-to-cuomo-stop-playing-games-and-fund-the-mta/">letter</a> signed by 35 other Assembly members and sent to Cuomo in February. However, Burina added that Cuomo has not detailed how the state will pay for the capital program.</p> <p dir="ltr">Without a new source of funding, the state&mdash;or the MTA&mdash;will have to borrow. The MTA is already <a href="http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/pdf/FINAL_MTA%20Consolidated%20Financial%20Statements-Q1%202016.pdf" target="_blank">over $35 billion in debt</a>. Because one of the only revenue generators within the MTA&rsquo;s control is passenger fares, Burina said she is worried going further in debt would make a <a href="http://ny.curbed.com/2016/7/28/12317778/mta-fare-hike" target="_blank">looming fare hike to $3</a> even more likely (the current cost of a subway or bus ride is $2.75).</p> <p dir="ltr">But the Fiscal Year 2017 budget stipulates that the state can only provide its share of the funding via a revenue stream or direct payments, which means no debt related to the state&rsquo;s contribution to the Capital Program can be passed on to the fare-payer, according to Morris Peters, a spokesperson for the New York State Division of the Budget.</p> <p dir="ltr">Peters also touted the $3.9 billion state contribution already signed into law as part of the past two years&rsquo; budget, pointing out that this places the state ahead of schedule in providing its $8.3 billion pledged contribution.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Through the Enacted Budget, the state&rsquo;s commitment of $8.3 billion in new funding for the MTA is now law. Anyone who thinks this isn't a priority clearly doesn't know what they're talking about,&rdquo; Peters said in an email to Gotham Gazette.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nonetheless, transportation advocates are likely to continue questioning where exactly the money is coming from and pressuring Cuomo as they have in the past, urging the governor to find ways to pay for the capital plan, according to Burina.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It's great that he's come out and stepped up saying that these are his priorities, but we want to make sure that this doesn't translate into unsupported debt borrowing,&rdquo; Burina said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Several possible options for funding exist, but none have yet been embraced by the governor. One possibility is raising motor fuel taxes, which brought in $503 million for the state <a href="https://www.budget.ny.gov/budgetFP/FY2017FP.pdf" target="_blank">last year</a>. But Nicole Gelinas, the Searle Freedom Trust Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, said raising the gas tax is unlikely to provide enough funding for the Capital Program.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don't think we'll get much from a higher gas tax,&rdquo; Gelinas said in an email to Gotham Gazette. &ldquo;We could double it, and take in another half billion [dollars], but that doesn't solve the MTA's problems.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Increasing motor fuel taxes has not been endorsed by Riders Alliance and has drawn skepticism from elected officials who support increased transportation spending, especially since motor fuel tax revenue is expected to decrease by $9 million in the coming year.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;All our public policy is, quite properly, aimed at saying &lsquo;use fewer gallons of gasoline.&rsquo; We want to be more energy efficient, we want to have less fumes and we want to have more miles per gallon,&rdquo; Jerrold Nadler, a Democratic congressman from Manhattan, said at &ldquo;On Transportation,&rdquo; a forum hosted by City &amp; State NY at the New School on Tuesday. &ldquo;So the amount of revenue in real terms from the gasoline tax is going down steadily, and we have to substitute for it.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Riders Alliance has, however, endorsed the <a href="http://iheartmoveny.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2015-MNY-Final-Ex-Sum-copy.pdf" target="_blank">Move NY Fair Plan</a>, which would increase tolls in areas of high transit availability like major East River bridges and decrease tolls in areas of low availability, including bridges over the Harlem River. But the plan would generate &ldquo;only&rdquo; one billion dollars per year for transit projects through 2019, as well as $375 million per year for road and bridge improvements during that time.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The Move NY is a much better plan, except that even it is not a panacea,&rdquo; Gelinas said by email. &ldquo;It buys us the debt for one five-year capital plan, at most. But we're now two years into that five-year capital plan. So what do we do in three years' time?&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">As advocates continue to push for a source of funding for the MTA, Riders Alliance hopes to use Cuomo&rsquo;s &ldquo;prioritization&rdquo; of transit to gain momentum for more specific causes they&rsquo;ve spearheaded in recent months, including compiling a plan to support commuters affected by the L Train&rsquo;s upcoming closure, subsidizing fares for low-income New Yorkers, and updating the subway <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/why-dont-we-know-where-all-the-trains-are/415152/" target="_blank">signaling system</a>, which would allow for expanded countdown clocks and more trains per track.</p> <p dir="ltr">And while some have been bolstered by Cuomo&rsquo;s pledge to be an advocate for transportation, others are less satisfied. New York State Senator Leroy Comrie, a Democrat from Queens who serves on the Senate&rsquo;s infrastructure committee, said that regardless of its sources of funding, the Capital Program neglects parts of his constituency.</p> <p>&ldquo;I represent Southeast Queens, which is a transportation desert. The MTA five-year capital plan addresses no solutions for Queens other than repair and maintenance of the existing bridges that are there,&rdquo; Comrie said at the City &amp; State forum on Tuesday. &ldquo;The project for LaGuardia was necessary and important, there&rsquo;s no access for our community to actually get to work.&rdquo;</p> <p>

***
by Aaron Holmes, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

</p>
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 7 2015-12-06T21:57:46+00:00 2015-12-06T21:57:46+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6020:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-dec-7 Super User <p><img alt="New York City Hall" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/640px-New_York_City_Hall.jpg" height="450" width="600" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">New York City Hall</span></p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<em style="text-align: center;">***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?<br /></em><em>E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>***</em></p> <p><strong>What to watch for this week in New York politics:</strong></p> <p><strong>Monday<br /></strong>On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio will&nbsp;attend the memorial service for John E. Zuccotti. At 12:30 p.m., "the Mayor will deliver remarks at NYPD's Clergy All-In Conference at One Police Plaza." At about 2:45 p.m. at the Staten Island South Shore YMCA, "the Mayor and First Lady Chirlane McCray will host a press conference to make an announcement related to substance misuse."</p> <p>On Monday morning in Albany, leading experts on the New York State Constitution and the prospects for a Constitutional Convention will hold a media “boot camp.” The event will include Gerald Benjamin of SUNY New Paltz; constitutional scholars Christopher Bopst and Peter Galie; Richard Brodsky, senior fellow at Demos and former Assembly member; and Henry M. Greenberg, chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on the New York State Constitution and former counsel to the New York State attorney general. “The event is sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York, New York State Bar Association, Government Law Center of Albany Law School, state League of Women Voters, Siena Research Institute and New York News Publishers Association.”&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at 10 a.m. at City Hall, the push for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) intensifies: “Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Donovan Richards, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and the “BRT For NYC” Coalition will co-host a press conference to announce increased community support for bringing high-quality bus rapid transit to Queens. The “BRT For NYC” Coalition will be represented by ABNY, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, New York League of Conservation Voters, Pratt Center for Community Development, Riders Alliance, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, Transit Workers Union Local 100, and Working Families Party. Bus riders and members of the Queens community will also be in attendance.” [Read our recent look at the issue: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5991-all-aboard-the-brt-express" target="_blank">All Abord the BRT Express?</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Monday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m., the Committee on Finance will meet to discuss a bill about expanding the Metrotech Area Business Improvement District.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 11 a.m., the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections will meet, agenda TBD.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1:30 a.m. on Monday, the City Council will have a Stated Meeting, prefaced as always by the Speaker’s pre-stated press conference, set for 12:30 p.m.</li> </ul> <p>At noon, before the Council’s stated meeting, there will be a rally at City Hall to unveil “First-of-its-kind NYC Council legislation to be unveiled cracking down on deadbeat companies that stiff the city’s 1.3 million.” Members of the Freelancers Union, other labor reps including from the UFT and 32BJ, other activists, and several City Council members led Brad Lander, Laurie Cumbo, Rafael Espinal, Steve Levin, and Margaret Chin <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rally-to-pass-the-freelanceisntfree-bill-tickets-19690053480" target="_blank">will hold</a> a rally at the steps of City Hall to pass legislation protecting New York City’s freelancers. [Read our recent look at the issue: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5971-city-council-developing-new-protections-for-workers-in-gig-economy" target="_blank">City Council Developing New Protections for Workers in ‘Gig’ Economy</a>]&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">As the week begins, City Council Member Jumaane Williams is in Washington, DC from Sunday to Tuesday “attending the <a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0010IeYMMHdXPBAyOcAGg3NEDCUNLjJUcShnt4es7ggEhsxmGTvVxd9i4dP7E9fqaSntJn0Zs05visfv9iXepdtKq7jUg7nZZlZymx1TUl6meTlRnP0DHp__etemHeKTjEgmZuwbmu3_XzPNNZF05ge1xmgbdvocUvBa2g9ZOXEGB8=&amp;c=8cU0O04C-yHYB2Q34HXfzDAefTS6CTmx8r_0pitHUy2tW5hreIg4Jg==&amp;ch=bT-YamHPEc4TkA3BHSD8me6g6uh9wG3mnMf3qqWddZR2Qo4yHZcK7w==" target="_blank">Joint Center for Political &amp; Economic Studies</a>' bi-annual Roundtable Discussion being held at George Washington Law School.” It is a conference “for a select group of 25 elected officials of color from across the nation will feature discussions regarding policy innovations.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">State Legislature</a> on Monday: at 11 a.m., the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation and the Assembly Climate Change Work Group will hold a joint hearing on climate change.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at noon, The New York City Bar Association is hosting a “<a href="https://services.nycbar.org/iMIS/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=SEN120715&amp;WebsiteKey=f71e12f3-524e-4f8c-a5f7-0d16ce7b3314" target="_blank">Lunch and Public Policy Discussion</a>” with Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall, “The Queens Borough Board, chaired by Borough President Katz, will hear details from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP about the department’s new “Parks Without Borders” program, which aims to make New York City public parks more open, welcoming, and beautiful by focusing on improving park entrances and edges, and park-adjacent spaces.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday at 7 p.m. at The New School, “Politics and Policy: The Latino Vote and The 2016 US Presidential Election” with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, among others, offering “a fresh examination of the role of Latinos in the 2016 election. Featuring a panel of journalists, pollsters, and political insiders, we’ll explore political, demographic and economic trends that will shape the outcome in 2016.” <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#.VmSlpWSDGkq" target="_blank">The event</a> is organized by Feet in 2 Worlds, The Center for New York City Affairs and the Milano School.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at 8 p.m., city Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks&nbsp;"at West Side Federation of Neighborhood and Block Associations Annual Holiday Party."</p> <p><strong>Tuesday</strong><br />At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Tuesday: at 10 a.m., the Committee on Public Safety will meet to discuss two bills related to New York City crossing guard deployment.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Tuesday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. in Manhattan, a joint committee hearing on Daily Fantasy Sports in New York will be held by the Assembly Standing Committee on Racing and Wagering, the Assembly Standing Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, and the Assembly Legislative Commission on Administrative Regulations Review.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 10:30 a.m. in Albany, a joint committee hearing about law-enforcement officials using body cameras will be held by the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, the Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary, and the Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">Beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, a “<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-state-public-projects-forum-tickets-18909139746" target="_blank">Public Projects Forum</a>” hosted by City &amp; State NY will have Noam Bramson, Mayor of New Rochelle, NY; Reginald Spinello, Mayor of Glen Cove, NY; Commissioner Feniosky Pena-Mora, NYC Department of Design &amp; Construction; and Holly Leicht, Regional Administrator, Housing &amp; Urban Development; speak about the upcoming public projects in the tristate area.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Queens Borough Hall, “The Queens Borough Cabinet, chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz, will hear a briefing from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on its current counterterrorism efforts in light of recent events in this county and abroad. The briefing will include a review of new counterterrorism technologies employed by the NYPD. In addition, the Fire Department of New York’s (FDNY’s) Fire Education Safety Team will deliver a presentation on how City residents can best keep their homes safe during the holiday season. Also, the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation will deliver a presentation on the implementation of the Neighborhoods.nyc domain, which has launched nearly 400 online hubs for civic engagement, information sharing and economic development.”&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Wednesday</strong><br />At 10 a.m. Wednesday,<a href="http://www.manhattancc.org/events/The-Manhattan-Chamber-of-Commerce-Quarterly-Chairman's-Breakfast-2050/details" target="_blank"> The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Chairman's Breakfast</a> will take on the presidential transition and the need for the most carefully planned transition in United States history in anticipation of January 20, 2017. [Read an op-ed on the subject from Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Chair Ken Biberaj and David Eagles of Partnership for Public Service: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6012-lets-be-prepared-for-americas-biggest-corporate-takeover" target="_blank">Let’s Be Prepared for America’s Biggest Corporate Takeover</a>]&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Wednesday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m., the Committee on Health will meet to discuss a bill to create two new health-focused city government bodies and another that would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene “to post a New York City map on its website of the clinics they run, comprehensive care and primary care facilities run by the Health and Hospitals Corporation, voluntary non-profit and publicly sponsored diagnostic and treatment centers, and federally qualified health centers.”</li> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m., the Committee on General Welfare will hold an oversight hearing on the city’s efforts to address “the homelessness crisis.” [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5994-as-homelessness-crisis-continues-shelter-siting-questions-intensify" target="_blank">our recent look at issues related to how and where homeless shelters are sited</a>.]</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m., the Committees on Aging and Finance will meet for a joint oversight hearing on the city’s “efforts to conduct outreach” and boost registration for the Rent Freeze Program; and on a new a bill that would “require the Department of Finance to include a notification regarding preferential rent on certain documents related to the NYC Rent Freeze Program.”</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m., the Committee on Civil Rights will meet to discuss four bills regarding the city’s human rights law.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m., the Committee on Immigration will have an oversight hearing about “Resources Available in New York City for Unaccompanied Minors.”</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Wednesday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At noon in Manhattan, the Assembly Standing Committees on Labor and Small Business as well as the Assembly Commission on Skills Development and Careers Education will hold a joint oversight hearing on the state’s apprenticeship programs.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m. in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Real Property Taxation will hold an oversight hearing on the 2015-2016 budget plan.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Thursday</strong><br />At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Thursday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m., the Committee on Housing and Buildings meet on three bills. The first would create a Department of Buildings-headed task force that would assess the dangers posed by construction sites to motorists and pedestrians and submit recommendations to the City Council and mayor about measures proposed to minimize the hazard. The other two bills would raise penalties for working without a permit and for violating stop work directives.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 10:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will review two land use applications.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 11 a.m., the Committee on Land Use will review five applications.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m., the Committee on Civil Service and Labor and the Committee on Higher Education will have a joint oversight hearing on “Establishing the Murphy Institute as a new CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies.”</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Thursday: at 10:30 a.m. in Manhattan, the Assembly Standing Committee on Election Law and the Assembly Standing Subcommittee on Election Day Operations and Voter Disenfranchisement will hold a joint oversight hearing about “Enhancing the voter experience, preventing voter disenfranchisement and improving emergency voting protocols.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At 8:30 a.m. at Civic Hall on Thursday, Scott Stringer’s <a href="https://twitter.com/scottmstringer/status/671474583002853377" target="_blank">Red Tape Commission</a> will meet in Manhattan to hear suggestions from small business owners and others.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday, the Staten Island Borough Board is expected to vote on Mayor de Blasio's two rezoning amendment proposals. It will be the fifth borough to do so - the other four have voted against them, sometimes with lists of conditions that the advisory boards would like to see made to revised proposals.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 4 p.m. Thursday, the New York City Campaign Finance Board holds a “<a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/about/calendar/new-cfb-1" target="_blank">New to the CFB</a>” session.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Thursday: “Power Lines: Race, Class, The City &amp; Its Schools,” <a href="http://www.thegreenespace.org/events/thegreenespace/2015/dec/10/power-lines-race-class-city-its-schools/" target="_blank">a discussion</a> about segregation in New York City schools.</p> <p><strong>Friday and the weekend</strong><br />At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Friday: at 10:30 a.m. in Manhattan, a hearing of the Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development regarding “Injuries in combative sports.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is launching a Manhattan Youth Council, and is holding an initial information session on Friday afternoon at her offices. “High school students from across Manhattan are invited to meet and talk with Borough President Gale Brewer about the issues that matter most to you...Young people who live, work, or attend school in Manhattan can <a href="https://go.madmimi.com/redirects/1449268325-d12c165ed357d5dc005c17a8f0bfdd20-98399a7?pa=35173649382" target="_blank">sign up here</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">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>&nbsp;(please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).</p> <p>***<br />by Konstantine Beridze, Ryan Brady, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> <p><img alt="New York City Hall" src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/640px-New_York_City_Hall.jpg" height="450" width="600" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;">New York City Hall</span></p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<em style="text-align: center;">***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?<br /></em><em>E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>***</em></p> <p><strong>What to watch for this week in New York politics:</strong></p> <p><strong>Monday<br /></strong>On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio will&nbsp;attend the memorial service for John E. Zuccotti. At 12:30 p.m., "the Mayor will deliver remarks at NYPD's Clergy All-In Conference at One Police Plaza." At about 2:45 p.m. at the Staten Island South Shore YMCA, "the Mayor and First Lady Chirlane McCray will host a press conference to make an announcement related to substance misuse."</p> <p>On Monday morning in Albany, leading experts on the New York State Constitution and the prospects for a Constitutional Convention will hold a media “boot camp.” The event will include Gerald Benjamin of SUNY New Paltz; constitutional scholars Christopher Bopst and Peter Galie; Richard Brodsky, senior fellow at Demos and former Assembly member; and Henry M. Greenberg, chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on the New York State Constitution and former counsel to the New York State attorney general. “The event is sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York, New York State Bar Association, Government Law Center of Albany Law School, state League of Women Voters, Siena Research Institute and New York News Publishers Association.”&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at 10 a.m. at City Hall, the push for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) intensifies: “Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Donovan Richards, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and the “BRT For NYC” Coalition will co-host a press conference to announce increased community support for bringing high-quality bus rapid transit to Queens. The “BRT For NYC” Coalition will be represented by ABNY, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, New York League of Conservation Voters, Pratt Center for Community Development, Riders Alliance, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, Transit Workers Union Local 100, and Working Families Party. Bus riders and members of the Queens community will also be in attendance.” [Read our recent look at the issue: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5991-all-aboard-the-brt-express" target="_blank">All Abord the BRT Express?</a>]</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Monday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m., the Committee on Finance will meet to discuss a bill about expanding the Metrotech Area Business Improvement District.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 11 a.m., the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections will meet, agenda TBD.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1:30 a.m. on Monday, the City Council will have a Stated Meeting, prefaced as always by the Speaker’s pre-stated press conference, set for 12:30 p.m.</li> </ul> <p>At noon, before the Council’s stated meeting, there will be a rally at City Hall to unveil “First-of-its-kind NYC Council legislation to be unveiled cracking down on deadbeat companies that stiff the city’s 1.3 million.” Members of the Freelancers Union, other labor reps including from the UFT and 32BJ, other activists, and several City Council members led Brad Lander, Laurie Cumbo, Rafael Espinal, Steve Levin, and Margaret Chin <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rally-to-pass-the-freelanceisntfree-bill-tickets-19690053480" target="_blank">will hold</a> a rally at the steps of City Hall to pass legislation protecting New York City’s freelancers. [Read our recent look at the issue: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5971-city-council-developing-new-protections-for-workers-in-gig-economy" target="_blank">City Council Developing New Protections for Workers in ‘Gig’ Economy</a>]&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">As the week begins, City Council Member Jumaane Williams is in Washington, DC from Sunday to Tuesday “attending the <a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0010IeYMMHdXPBAyOcAGg3NEDCUNLjJUcShnt4es7ggEhsxmGTvVxd9i4dP7E9fqaSntJn0Zs05visfv9iXepdtKq7jUg7nZZlZymx1TUl6meTlRnP0DHp__etemHeKTjEgmZuwbmu3_XzPNNZF05ge1xmgbdvocUvBa2g9ZOXEGB8=&amp;c=8cU0O04C-yHYB2Q34HXfzDAefTS6CTmx8r_0pitHUy2tW5hreIg4Jg==&amp;ch=bT-YamHPEc4TkA3BHSD8me6g6uh9wG3mnMf3qqWddZR2Qo4yHZcK7w==" target="_blank">Joint Center for Political &amp; Economic Studies</a>' bi-annual Roundtable Discussion being held at George Washington Law School.” It is a conference “for a select group of 25 elected officials of color from across the nation will feature discussions regarding policy innovations.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">State Legislature</a> on Monday: at 11 a.m., the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation and the Assembly Climate Change Work Group will hold a joint hearing on climate change.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at noon, The New York City Bar Association is hosting a “<a href="https://services.nycbar.org/iMIS/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=SEN120715&amp;WebsiteKey=f71e12f3-524e-4f8c-a5f7-0d16ce7b3314" target="_blank">Lunch and Public Policy Discussion</a>” with Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall, “The Queens Borough Board, chaired by Borough President Katz, will hear details from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP about the department’s new “Parks Without Borders” program, which aims to make New York City public parks more open, welcoming, and beautiful by focusing on improving park entrances and edges, and park-adjacent spaces.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday at 7 p.m. at The New School, “Politics and Policy: The Latino Vote and The 2016 US Presidential Election” with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, among others, offering “a fresh examination of the role of Latinos in the 2016 election. Featuring a panel of journalists, pollsters, and political insiders, we’ll explore political, demographic and economic trends that will shape the outcome in 2016.” <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#.VmSlpWSDGkq" target="_blank">The event</a> is organized by Feet in 2 Worlds, The Center for New York City Affairs and the Milano School.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at 8 p.m., city Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks&nbsp;"at West Side Federation of Neighborhood and Block Associations Annual Holiday Party."</p> <p><strong>Tuesday</strong><br />At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Tuesday: at 10 a.m., the Committee on Public Safety will meet to discuss two bills related to New York City crossing guard deployment.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Tuesday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. in Manhattan, a joint committee hearing on Daily Fantasy Sports in New York will be held by the Assembly Standing Committee on Racing and Wagering, the Assembly Standing Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, and the Assembly Legislative Commission on Administrative Regulations Review.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 10:30 a.m. in Albany, a joint committee hearing about law-enforcement officials using body cameras will be held by the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, the Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary, and the Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">Beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, a “<a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-state-public-projects-forum-tickets-18909139746" target="_blank">Public Projects Forum</a>” hosted by City &amp; State NY will have Noam Bramson, Mayor of New Rochelle, NY; Reginald Spinello, Mayor of Glen Cove, NY; Commissioner Feniosky Pena-Mora, NYC Department of Design &amp; Construction; and Holly Leicht, Regional Administrator, Housing &amp; Urban Development; speak about the upcoming public projects in the tristate area.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Queens Borough Hall, “The Queens Borough Cabinet, chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz, will hear a briefing from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on its current counterterrorism efforts in light of recent events in this county and abroad. The briefing will include a review of new counterterrorism technologies employed by the NYPD. In addition, the Fire Department of New York’s (FDNY’s) Fire Education Safety Team will deliver a presentation on how City residents can best keep their homes safe during the holiday season. Also, the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation will deliver a presentation on the implementation of the Neighborhoods.nyc domain, which has launched nearly 400 online hubs for civic engagement, information sharing and economic development.”&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Wednesday</strong><br />At 10 a.m. Wednesday,<a href="http://www.manhattancc.org/events/The-Manhattan-Chamber-of-Commerce-Quarterly-Chairman's-Breakfast-2050/details" target="_blank"> The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Chairman's Breakfast</a> will take on the presidential transition and the need for the most carefully planned transition in United States history in anticipation of January 20, 2017. [Read an op-ed on the subject from Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Chair Ken Biberaj and David Eagles of Partnership for Public Service: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/6012-lets-be-prepared-for-americas-biggest-corporate-takeover" target="_blank">Let’s Be Prepared for America’s Biggest Corporate Takeover</a>]&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Wednesday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m., the Committee on Health will meet to discuss a bill to create two new health-focused city government bodies and another that would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene “to post a New York City map on its website of the clinics they run, comprehensive care and primary care facilities run by the Health and Hospitals Corporation, voluntary non-profit and publicly sponsored diagnostic and treatment centers, and federally qualified health centers.”</li> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m., the Committee on General Welfare will hold an oversight hearing on the city’s efforts to address “the homelessness crisis.” [Read <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5994-as-homelessness-crisis-continues-shelter-siting-questions-intensify" target="_blank">our recent look at issues related to how and where homeless shelters are sited</a>.]</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m., the Committees on Aging and Finance will meet for a joint oversight hearing on the city’s “efforts to conduct outreach” and boost registration for the Rent Freeze Program; and on a new a bill that would “require the Department of Finance to include a notification regarding preferential rent on certain documents related to the NYC Rent Freeze Program.”</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m., the Committee on Civil Rights will meet to discuss four bills regarding the city’s human rights law.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m., the Committee on Immigration will have an oversight hearing about “Resources Available in New York City for Unaccompanied Minors.”</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Wednesday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At noon in Manhattan, the Assembly Standing Committees on Labor and Small Business as well as the Assembly Commission on Skills Development and Careers Education will hold a joint oversight hearing on the state’s apprenticeship programs.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m. in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Real Property Taxation will hold an oversight hearing on the 2015-2016 budget plan.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Thursday</strong><br />At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Thursday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m., the Committee on Housing and Buildings meet on three bills. The first would create a Department of Buildings-headed task force that would assess the dangers posed by construction sites to motorists and pedestrians and submit recommendations to the City Council and mayor about measures proposed to minimize the hazard. The other two bills would raise penalties for working without a permit and for violating stop work directives.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 10:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will review two land use applications.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 11 a.m., the Committee on Land Use will review five applications.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m., the Committee on Civil Service and Labor and the Committee on Higher Education will have a joint oversight hearing on “Establishing the Murphy Institute as a new CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies.”</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Thursday: at 10:30 a.m. in Manhattan, the Assembly Standing Committee on Election Law and the Assembly Standing Subcommittee on Election Day Operations and Voter Disenfranchisement will hold a joint oversight hearing about “Enhancing the voter experience, preventing voter disenfranchisement and improving emergency voting protocols.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At 8:30 a.m. at Civic Hall on Thursday, Scott Stringer’s <a href="https://twitter.com/scottmstringer/status/671474583002853377" target="_blank">Red Tape Commission</a> will meet in Manhattan to hear suggestions from small business owners and others.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday, the Staten Island Borough Board is expected to vote on Mayor de Blasio's two rezoning amendment proposals. It will be the fifth borough to do so - the other four have voted against them, sometimes with lists of conditions that the advisory boards would like to see made to revised proposals.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 4 p.m. Thursday, the New York City Campaign Finance Board holds a “<a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/about/calendar/new-cfb-1" target="_blank">New to the CFB</a>” session.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Thursday: “Power Lines: Race, Class, The City &amp; Its Schools,” <a href="http://www.thegreenespace.org/events/thegreenespace/2015/dec/10/power-lines-race-class-city-its-schools/" target="_blank">a discussion</a> about segregation in New York City schools.</p> <p><strong>Friday and the weekend</strong><br />At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Friday: at 10:30 a.m. in Manhattan, a hearing of the Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development regarding “Injuries in combative sports.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is launching a Manhattan Youth Council, and is holding an initial information session on Friday afternoon at her offices. “High school students from across Manhattan are invited to meet and talk with Borough President Gale Brewer about the issues that matter most to you...Young people who live, work, or attend school in Manhattan can <a href="https://go.madmimi.com/redirects/1449268325-d12c165ed357d5dc005c17a8f0bfdd20-98399a7?pa=35173649382" target="_blank">sign up here</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">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>&nbsp;(please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).</p> <p>***<br />by Konstantine Beridze, Ryan Brady, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 26 2015-10-25T05:00:00+00:00 2015-10-25T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5949:the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-october-26-2015 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>This week will be dominated by the World Series, we know that. The New York Mets begin their quest for the title against the Royals in Kansas City on Tuesday night, followed by another game in KC on Wednesday and then games in Queens on Friday, Saturday, and, if necessary, Sunday. If the series continues, games six and seven would be the following Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 3 and 4) back in Kansas City. On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced a wager over the series, with the loser having to wear the jersey of the winning team to work for a day. There are other aspects of the bet, too, with significant home-state items to be sent from loser to winner.</p> <p>Now, on to politics sans sport.</p> <p>It was a quiet political weekend. Mayor de Blasio, City Council Member Dan Garodnick, and others touted the new Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village sales deal to the complex's tenant association on Saturday afternoon. [Read CM Garodnick's thoughts on the sale <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5947-the-future-of-stuyvesant-town-a-peter-cooper-village-garodnick" target="_blank">in this Gotham Gazette op-ed</a>]</p> <p>On Monday, de Blasio has no public events scheduled.&nbsp;Governor Cuomo is in New York City Monday, though, to make an announcement at 1:30 p.m. at Chelsea Piers.</p> <p>There is a lot happening Monday and beyond. Services will occur this week to honor Police Officer Randolph Holder, who was killed on October 20. As has been the case since Holder was shot and killed, criminal justice reform and policing are sure to be sources of significant attention this week.</p> <p>Thursday is the three-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hitting New York; there are sure to be both rememberances of the people and property lost, as well as assessments of progress made in recovering from Sandy and preparing for the next big storm.</p> <p>See our day-by-day rundown below.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?</em><br /><em>E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>***</em></p> <p><strong>The run of the week in detail:</strong></p> <p><strong>Monday<br /></strong>At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Monday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. the Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet to discuss a bill that would ban the sale of personal care products or over the counter drugs that contain microbeads, as well as pass a resolution on the Microbeads-free Waters Acts.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m. the Committee on Environmental Protection will meet to discuss bills related to the use of biodiesel.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">On Monday morning, current and former elected officials and others will honor recently-retired former Assemblymember Joan Millman. Comptroller Scott Stringer is among those who will speak.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 12:30 p.m. Monday,&nbsp;schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will visit the High School of Fashion Industries to kick off College Application Week and make an announcement.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at 1 p.m. at City Hall, Congressional Rep. Nydia Velazquez will announce new legislation aimed at reducing the number of guns in New York and nationwide. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries; Public Advocate Letitia James; Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams; Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson; Leah Gunn Barrett, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence; and NYC families impacted by gun violence will also participate.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 3 p.m. Monday, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold a <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/queens/news/2015/10/22/-hometown-rally--for-mets-fans-monday-at-queens-borough-hall.html" target="_blank">Hometown Rally</a> to cheer on the Mets as they start Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night in Kansas City. Other elected officials, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Public Advocate Letitia James are set to participate.</p> <p dir="ltr">Later, Mark-Viverito will speak at the 2015 Roy &amp; Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government, where she and the City Council are receiving an award for their Participatory Budgeting program. [Read more about the award and the participatory budgeting program in <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5946-participatory-budgeting-grows-in-nyc-why-isnt-every-council-member-doing-it" target="_blank">our new in-depth report</a>: Participatory Budgeting Grows in NYC - Why Isn't Every Council Member Doing It?]</p> <p>Then, Mark-Viverito "speaks at 2015 Shine Event for LGBT Immigration Equality."</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7 p.m. Monday the Bronx Young Democrats will discuss the achievements and current initiatives of young female Bronx leaders. The <a href="https://twitter.com/vanessalgibson/status/654191195590160384" target="_blank">event</a> will feature Darcel Clark, Democratic candidate for Bronx District Attorney; City Council Member Vanessa Gibson; State Assemblymember Latoya Joyner; and Marsha Michael, Attorney &amp; Law Clerk.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7:15 p.m. the Immigration Equality event “<a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1706785126218100" target="_blank">SHINE</a>”, celebrating women’s leadership in in the LGBT community, will honor City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and &nbsp;Denise Chambers, Immigration Equality client and asylum winner from Trinidad.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday evening, several uptown Manhattan Democratic clubs <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/894423727260973/" target="_blank">are hosting</a> Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for a discussion of relevant issues. City Council Member Mark Levine will also participate in the dialogue.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday evening is the Riders Alliance gala. Public Advocate Letitia James is among those set to attend.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/pb/events.shtml" target="_blank">event</a>: CM Mark Treyger (District 47, Brooklyn) 6 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Tuesday<br /></strong>On Tuesday, at 8:30 a.m., Stroock, the public affairs law firm, will host a Government Leadership forum &nbsp;<a href="http://colreaction.stroock.com/Reaction/RSGenPage.asp?RSID=fIqA7tbEiXYreT0_7kSPHQ&amp;RSTYPE=RSVP" target="_blank">“What is the Future of Organized Labor?</a>” Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council; Gregory Floyd, President of Local 237 Teamsters; Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers; and Harry Nespoli, President of the Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association will be on the panel. Robert Abrams, former New York State Attorney General and Chair of Stroock's Government Relations Practice Group, and Alan M. Klinger, Co-Managing Partner and Co-Chair of Stroock's Litigation Practice Group, will moderate.</p> <p>On Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is in Westchester County meeting with elected officials and touring different areas.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 10:30 a.m. the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) will <a href="http://www.jcope.ny.gov/public/agendas/Public%20Meeting%20Agenda%2010.27.15%20for%20website.pdf" target="_blank">meet</a> on a number of matters including its ongoing search for a new Executive Director.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. Vocal-NY, City Council Member Jumaane Williams, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and others will hold the <a href="https://twitter.com/VOCALNewYork/status/657622574965391360" target="_blank">Fair Chance Rally</a>. The purpose of the rally is to raise awareness about the Fair Chance Act, which makes it illegal for New York City employers to ask about one’s criminal record until after a job offer is made, and is going into effect.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Tuesday: the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation and Assembly Climate Change Work Group will have a roundtable discussion on Climate Change.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Tuesday: at 11 a.m. the Committee on Women’s Issues; the Committee on Health; and the Committee on Education will meet for a joint oversight hearing on sex education in NYC schools. They will discuss three bills that would: require the Department of Education to provide a report on student health services to the Council; require the DOE to report annually on information about health education and HIV/AIDS education for students in grades six through twelve; require the DOE to submit an annual report on the sexual health education received by instructors in public middle and high schools.</p> <p dir="ltr">Prior to that City Council hearing, at 10 a.m.,&nbsp;there will be a "press conference to call for comprehensive sex education in NYC schools" led by Council Members Laurie Cumbo, Chair of the Committee on Women's Issues; Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Education; and Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health; as well as representatives from Planned Parenthood of New York City; NARAL Pro-Choice New York; New York Civil Liberties Union; and Reproductive Healthcare Advocates.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday at 2 p.m. at 250 Broadway,&nbsp;"State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), together with Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Annabel Palma and Make the Road New York, will release a bombshell investigative report "The American Scheme: Herbalife's Pyramid 'Shake'down.""</p> <p dir="ltr">At 4 p.m. Safe Passage Project will hold an <a href="http://www.safepassageproject.org/event/representing-immigrant-children-one-year-later/" target="_blank">event</a> composed of two parts. The first will be discussing the unmet needs of recent migrant children and young parent from Central America. City Council Member Rory Lancman will make opening remarks. There will be multiple related panel discussions thereafter.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday evening, Governor Cuomo is set to deliver remarks at the Business Council of Westchester’s <a href="http://www.lohud.com/story/money/business-in-the-burbs/2015/10/05/business-burbs/72982700/" target="_blank">Annual Dinner</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. the city Panel for Educational Policy will have a <a href="http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/leadership/PEP/schedule/2015-2016/20152016PanelforEducationalPolicyCalendar.htm" target="_blank">public meeting</a> in Manhattan. At the event the Chancellor will give an update on current policies and the panel will discuss a number of important topics including: Race and Diversity in School Admission, Aggregation of Community District Budgets Together with a Proposed Budget for Administrative Expenditures of the City Board and the Chancellor, and more; while also taking public comment.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. during <a href="https://twitter.com/JimmyVanBramer/status/654009551277195264" target="_blank">The Hispanic Leadership Awards</a>, City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer will lead a celebration honoring several people for their outstanding leadership in the Latino community, including Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who will receive a Distinguished Public Service Award. &nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7 p.m. City Council Members Donovan Richards and I. Daneek Miller will hold a Southeast Queens Transportation Town Hall. Representatives from DOT, MTA, TLC, and NYPD will attend.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/pb/events.shtml" target="_blank">events</a>:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">CM Mathieu Eugene (District 40, Brooklyn) 6:30 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Paul Vallone (District 19, Queens) 7 p.m.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Wednesday<br /></strong>At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Wednesday: The Assembly Standing Committee on Aging along with the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities, the Assembly Subcommittee on Community Integration, and the Assembly Subcommittee on Outreach and Oversight of Senior Citizen Programs, will hold a joint public hearing regarding the “New York State Office for the Aging’s study on the benefits of creating an office of community living”</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. several groups host <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-she-ran-a-conversation-with-women-in-politics-tickets-19020356398" target="_blank">“Why She Ran: A Conversation With Women in Politics”</a> discussing the challenges women face in New York politics and encouraging women to run for office. Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Julissa Ferreras, and Council Member Helen Rosenthal will speak at the event. Sponsors of the event include the Working Families Party, Eleanor's Legacy, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Higher Heights for America, Ladies of Labor, Shirley Chisholm Institute, NOW-NYS, Women's Organizing Network, and WIN NYC.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also at 6:30 p.m., school district 3 will host a <a href="http://insideschools.org/calendar/event/3450-d3-town-hall-w-chancellor" target="_blank">Town Hall</a> meeting with Chancellor Carmen Fariña.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/pb/events.shtml" target="_blank">events</a>:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">CM Paul Vallone (District 19, Queens) 6 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Melissa Mark-Viverito (District 8, Manhattan/Bronx) 6 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Manhattan) 6 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Ritchie Torres (District 15, Bronx) time TBA</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Eric Ulrich (District 32, Queens) 8 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Paul Vallone (District 19, Queens) 7 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Jumaane D. Williams (District 45, Brooklyn) 6:30 p.m.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Thursday<br /></strong>On Thursday beginning at 8:30 a.m. the Urban Land Institute will hold <a href="http://newyork.uli.org/event/save-date-uli-tri-state-infrastructure-summit/" target="_blank">a conference</a> about the best new practices to help fund public transportation infrastructure in the New York metro area in the face of withering public funding, including solutions through partnerships with the private sector.</p> <p>At the&nbsp;<a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a>&nbsp;on Thursday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10:30 a.m. the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections will meet to hear communication from Orlando Marin of the City Planning Commission</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1:30 p.m. will be a City Council Stated Meeting; prefaced, as always, by the Speaker’s pre-stated press conference at 12:30 p.m.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. United States Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates will <a href="http://web.law.columbia.edu/public-integrity/current-state-criminal-justice-conversation-us-deputy-attorney-general-sally-yates" target="_blank">discuss</a> the administration’s top goals and priorities at the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School; following the speech will be a Q&amp;A session.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. The Hopkins-Hunter Forum for Education Policy, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and The Hunter College Gifted and Talented Program will host “<a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-excellence-gap-the-state-of-gifted-talented-education-tickets-17894759708?aff=mcivte" target="_blank">The Excellence Gap: The State of Gifted and Talented Education</a>,” an event that will discuss the income based education gap among students, and talk about suggestions on how to address the issue in the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio will be hosting a <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/10/8579632/de-blasio-kick-2017-campaign-midtown-fundraiser" target="_blank">fundraiser</a> for his 2017 campaign, as reported by Politico New York.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/pb/events.shtml" target="_blank">events</a>:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">CM Mathieu Eugene (District 40, Brooklyn) 6:30 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Corey Johnson (District 3, Manhattan) 4:30 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Donovan Richards (District 31, Queens) time TBA</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Paul Vallone (District 19, Queens) 7 p.m.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Friday and the weekend<br /></strong>On Saturday and Sunday, Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will hold two <a href="http://gothamist.com/2015/10/22/deblasio_halloween_spooky.php" target="_blank">Spooky Parties</a> at Gracie Mansion, inviting families with children 5-10 years old to come tour their haunted house. Families must have tickets through the ticket giveaway being held prior to the event.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Sunday at 2 p.m. a large group of Democratic political clubs and progressive organizations will hold a <a href="http://www.presidentialforumnyc.com/" target="_blank">Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Forum</a>. Representatives from the Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley and Lessing campaigns will participate.. The forum will be moderated by Ronnie Eldridge.</p> <p>***<br />Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? E-mail Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max any time:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>&nbsp;(please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).</p> <p>***<br />by Colin O'Connor, Konstantine Beridze, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p> <p><img 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>This week will be dominated by the World Series, we know that. The New York Mets begin their quest for the title against the Royals in Kansas City on Tuesday night, followed by another game in KC on Wednesday and then games in Queens on Friday, Saturday, and, if necessary, Sunday. If the series continues, games six and seven would be the following Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 3 and 4) back in Kansas City. On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced a wager over the series, with the loser having to wear the jersey of the winning team to work for a day. There are other aspects of the bet, too, with significant home-state items to be sent from loser to winner.</p> <p>Now, on to politics sans sport.</p> <p>It was a quiet political weekend. Mayor de Blasio, City Council Member Dan Garodnick, and others touted the new Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village sales deal to the complex's tenant association on Saturday afternoon. [Read CM Garodnick's thoughts on the sale <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5947-the-future-of-stuyvesant-town-a-peter-cooper-village-garodnick" target="_blank">in this Gotham Gazette op-ed</a>]</p> <p>On Monday, de Blasio has no public events scheduled.&nbsp;Governor Cuomo is in New York City Monday, though, to make an announcement at 1:30 p.m. at Chelsea Piers.</p> <p>There is a lot happening Monday and beyond. Services will occur this week to honor Police Officer Randolph Holder, who was killed on October 20. As has been the case since Holder was shot and killed, criminal justice reform and policing are sure to be sources of significant attention this week.</p> <p>Thursday is the three-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hitting New York; there are sure to be both rememberances of the people and property lost, as well as assessments of progress made in recovering from Sandy and preparing for the next big storm.</p> <p>See our day-by-day rundown below.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?</em><br /><em>E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>***</em></p> <p><strong>The run of the week in detail:</strong></p> <p><strong>Monday<br /></strong>At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Monday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10 a.m. the Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet to discuss a bill that would ban the sale of personal care products or over the counter drugs that contain microbeads, as well as pass a resolution on the Microbeads-free Waters Acts.</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1 p.m. the Committee on Environmental Protection will meet to discuss bills related to the use of biodiesel.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">On Monday morning, current and former elected officials and others will honor recently-retired former Assemblymember Joan Millman. Comptroller Scott Stringer is among those who will speak.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 12:30 p.m. Monday,&nbsp;schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will visit the High School of Fashion Industries to kick off College Application Week and make an announcement.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday at 1 p.m. at City Hall, Congressional Rep. Nydia Velazquez will announce new legislation aimed at reducing the number of guns in New York and nationwide. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries; Public Advocate Letitia James; Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams; Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson; Leah Gunn Barrett, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence; and NYC families impacted by gun violence will also participate.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 3 p.m. Monday, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold a <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/queens/news/2015/10/22/-hometown-rally--for-mets-fans-monday-at-queens-borough-hall.html" target="_blank">Hometown Rally</a> to cheer on the Mets as they start Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night in Kansas City. Other elected officials, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Public Advocate Letitia James are set to participate.</p> <p dir="ltr">Later, Mark-Viverito will speak at the 2015 Roy &amp; Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government, where she and the City Council are receiving an award for their Participatory Budgeting program. [Read more about the award and the participatory budgeting program in <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5946-participatory-budgeting-grows-in-nyc-why-isnt-every-council-member-doing-it" target="_blank">our new in-depth report</a>: Participatory Budgeting Grows in NYC - Why Isn't Every Council Member Doing It?]</p> <p>Then, Mark-Viverito "speaks at 2015 Shine Event for LGBT Immigration Equality."</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7 p.m. Monday the Bronx Young Democrats will discuss the achievements and current initiatives of young female Bronx leaders. The <a href="https://twitter.com/vanessalgibson/status/654191195590160384" target="_blank">event</a> will feature Darcel Clark, Democratic candidate for Bronx District Attorney; City Council Member Vanessa Gibson; State Assemblymember Latoya Joyner; and Marsha Michael, Attorney &amp; Law Clerk.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7:15 p.m. the Immigration Equality event “<a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1706785126218100" target="_blank">SHINE</a>”, celebrating women’s leadership in in the LGBT community, will honor City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and &nbsp;Denise Chambers, Immigration Equality client and asylum winner from Trinidad.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday evening, several uptown Manhattan Democratic clubs <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/894423727260973/" target="_blank">are hosting</a> Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for a discussion of relevant issues. City Council Member Mark Levine will also participate in the dialogue.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday evening is the Riders Alliance gala. Public Advocate Letitia James is among those set to attend.</p> <p dir="ltr">Monday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/pb/events.shtml" target="_blank">event</a>: CM Mark Treyger (District 47, Brooklyn) 6 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Tuesday<br /></strong>On Tuesday, at 8:30 a.m., Stroock, the public affairs law firm, will host a Government Leadership forum &nbsp;<a href="http://colreaction.stroock.com/Reaction/RSGenPage.asp?RSID=fIqA7tbEiXYreT0_7kSPHQ&amp;RSTYPE=RSVP" target="_blank">“What is the Future of Organized Labor?</a>” Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council; Gregory Floyd, President of Local 237 Teamsters; Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers; and Harry Nespoli, President of the Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association will be on the panel. Robert Abrams, former New York State Attorney General and Chair of Stroock's Government Relations Practice Group, and Alan M. Klinger, Co-Managing Partner and Co-Chair of Stroock's Litigation Practice Group, will moderate.</p> <p>On Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is in Westchester County meeting with elected officials and touring different areas.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 10:30 a.m. the New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) will <a href="http://www.jcope.ny.gov/public/agendas/Public%20Meeting%20Agenda%2010.27.15%20for%20website.pdf" target="_blank">meet</a> on a number of matters including its ongoing search for a new Executive Director.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 11 a.m. Vocal-NY, City Council Member Jumaane Williams, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and others will hold the <a href="https://twitter.com/VOCALNewYork/status/657622574965391360" target="_blank">Fair Chance Rally</a>. The purpose of the rally is to raise awareness about the Fair Chance Act, which makes it illegal for New York City employers to ask about one’s criminal record until after a job offer is made, and is going into effect.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Tuesday: the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation and Assembly Climate Change Work Group will have a roundtable discussion on Climate Change.</p> <p dir="ltr">At the <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a> on Tuesday: at 11 a.m. the Committee on Women’s Issues; the Committee on Health; and the Committee on Education will meet for a joint oversight hearing on sex education in NYC schools. They will discuss three bills that would: require the Department of Education to provide a report on student health services to the Council; require the DOE to report annually on information about health education and HIV/AIDS education for students in grades six through twelve; require the DOE to submit an annual report on the sexual health education received by instructors in public middle and high schools.</p> <p dir="ltr">Prior to that City Council hearing, at 10 a.m.,&nbsp;there will be a "press conference to call for comprehensive sex education in NYC schools" led by Council Members Laurie Cumbo, Chair of the Committee on Women's Issues; Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Education; and Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health; as well as representatives from Planned Parenthood of New York City; NARAL Pro-Choice New York; New York Civil Liberties Union; and Reproductive Healthcare Advocates.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday at 2 p.m. at 250 Broadway,&nbsp;"State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), together with Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Annabel Palma and Make the Road New York, will release a bombshell investigative report "The American Scheme: Herbalife's Pyramid 'Shake'down.""</p> <p dir="ltr">At 4 p.m. Safe Passage Project will hold an <a href="http://www.safepassageproject.org/event/representing-immigrant-children-one-year-later/" target="_blank">event</a> composed of two parts. The first will be discussing the unmet needs of recent migrant children and young parent from Central America. City Council Member Rory Lancman will make opening remarks. There will be multiple related panel discussions thereafter.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday evening, Governor Cuomo is set to deliver remarks at the Business Council of Westchester’s <a href="http://www.lohud.com/story/money/business-in-the-burbs/2015/10/05/business-burbs/72982700/" target="_blank">Annual Dinner</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. the city Panel for Educational Policy will have a <a href="http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/leadership/PEP/schedule/2015-2016/20152016PanelforEducationalPolicyCalendar.htm" target="_blank">public meeting</a> in Manhattan. At the event the Chancellor will give an update on current policies and the panel will discuss a number of important topics including: Race and Diversity in School Admission, Aggregation of Community District Budgets Together with a Proposed Budget for Administrative Expenditures of the City Board and the Chancellor, and more; while also taking public comment.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. during <a href="https://twitter.com/JimmyVanBramer/status/654009551277195264" target="_blank">The Hispanic Leadership Awards</a>, City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer will lead a celebration honoring several people for their outstanding leadership in the Latino community, including Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who will receive a Distinguished Public Service Award. &nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">At 7 p.m. City Council Members Donovan Richards and I. Daneek Miller will hold a Southeast Queens Transportation Town Hall. Representatives from DOT, MTA, TLC, and NYPD will attend.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tuesday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/pb/events.shtml" target="_blank">events</a>:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">CM Mathieu Eugene (District 40, Brooklyn) 6:30 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Paul Vallone (District 19, Queens) 7 p.m.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Wednesday<br /></strong>At the <a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=hear" target="_blank">New York State Legislature</a> on Wednesday: The Assembly Standing Committee on Aging along with the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities, the Assembly Subcommittee on Community Integration, and the Assembly Subcommittee on Outreach and Oversight of Senior Citizen Programs, will hold a joint public hearing regarding the “New York State Office for the Aging’s study on the benefits of creating an office of community living”</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6:30 p.m. several groups host <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-she-ran-a-conversation-with-women-in-politics-tickets-19020356398" target="_blank">“Why She Ran: A Conversation With Women in Politics”</a> discussing the challenges women face in New York politics and encouraging women to run for office. Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Julissa Ferreras, and Council Member Helen Rosenthal will speak at the event. Sponsors of the event include the Working Families Party, Eleanor's Legacy, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Higher Heights for America, Ladies of Labor, Shirley Chisholm Institute, NOW-NYS, Women's Organizing Network, and WIN NYC.</p> <p dir="ltr">Also at 6:30 p.m., school district 3 will host a <a href="http://insideschools.org/calendar/event/3450-d3-town-hall-w-chancellor" target="_blank">Town Hall</a> meeting with Chancellor Carmen Fariña.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wednesday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/pb/events.shtml" target="_blank">events</a>:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">CM Paul Vallone (District 19, Queens) 6 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Melissa Mark-Viverito (District 8, Manhattan/Bronx) 6 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Manhattan) 6 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Ritchie Torres (District 15, Bronx) time TBA</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Eric Ulrich (District 32, Queens) 8 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Paul Vallone (District 19, Queens) 7 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Jumaane D. Williams (District 45, Brooklyn) 6:30 p.m.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Thursday<br /></strong>On Thursday beginning at 8:30 a.m. the Urban Land Institute will hold <a href="http://newyork.uli.org/event/save-date-uli-tri-state-infrastructure-summit/" target="_blank">a conference</a> about the best new practices to help fund public transportation infrastructure in the New York metro area in the face of withering public funding, including solutions through partnerships with the private sector.</p> <p>At the&nbsp;<a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx" target="_blank">City Council</a>&nbsp;on Thursday:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">At 10:30 a.m. the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections will meet to hear communication from Orlando Marin of the City Planning Commission</li> <li dir="ltr">At 1:30 p.m. will be a City Council Stated Meeting; prefaced, as always, by the Speaker’s pre-stated press conference at 12:30 p.m.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. United States Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates will <a href="http://web.law.columbia.edu/public-integrity/current-state-criminal-justice-conversation-us-deputy-attorney-general-sally-yates" target="_blank">discuss</a> the administration’s top goals and priorities at the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School; following the speech will be a Q&amp;A session.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 5:30 p.m. The Hopkins-Hunter Forum for Education Policy, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and The Hunter College Gifted and Talented Program will host “<a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-excellence-gap-the-state-of-gifted-talented-education-tickets-17894759708?aff=mcivte" target="_blank">The Excellence Gap: The State of Gifted and Talented Education</a>,” an event that will discuss the income based education gap among students, and talk about suggestions on how to address the issue in the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 6 p.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio will be hosting a <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/10/8579632/de-blasio-kick-2017-campaign-midtown-fundraiser" target="_blank">fundraiser</a> for his 2017 campaign, as reported by Politico New York.</p> <p dir="ltr">Thursday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting <a href="http://council.nyc.gov/html/pb/events.shtml" target="_blank">events</a>:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">CM Mathieu Eugene (District 40, Brooklyn) 6:30 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Corey Johnson (District 3, Manhattan) 4:30 p.m.</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Donovan Richards (District 31, Queens) time TBA</li> <li dir="ltr">CM Paul Vallone (District 19, Queens) 7 p.m.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Friday and the weekend<br /></strong>On Saturday and Sunday, Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will hold two <a href="http://gothamist.com/2015/10/22/deblasio_halloween_spooky.php" target="_blank">Spooky Parties</a> at Gracie Mansion, inviting families with children 5-10 years old to come tour their haunted house. Families must have tickets through the ticket giveaway being held prior to the event.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Sunday at 2 p.m. a large group of Democratic political clubs and progressive organizations will hold a <a href="http://www.presidentialforumnyc.com/" target="_blank">Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Forum</a>. Representatives from the Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley and Lessing campaigns will participate.. The forum will be moderated by Ronnie Eldridge.</p> <p>***<br />Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? E-mail Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max any time:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a>&nbsp;(please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).</p> <p>***<br />by Colin O'Connor, Konstantine Beridze, and Ben Max<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a></p>