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GOVERNMENT

The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 18


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to look for this week, via the City and Albany:

The week kicks off with Mayor Bill de Blasio giving the keynote to start this year's Internet Week New York. Internet Week is filled with events, including speakers and workshops. De Blasio is expected to "present his vision for the role of the technology industry in New York City, address the unique nature of New York City's technology community, and outline the administration's plans to support and grow the city's innovation economy," according to a March 27 press release from the mayor's office.

Along with many representatives from the private sector, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen will also speak during Internet Week, and, NYC Digital, led by de Blasio's digital director, Jessica Singleton, will host a series of discussions and workshops with the tech community in hopes of continuing to build relationships with the blossoming industry. Of interest to some may be the administration's rollout of .nyc domain names, the process for which has just begun.

On Monday the mayor will also deliver remarks and sign into law several lower-profile bills recently passed by the City Council.

This week is also full of city council executive budget hearings and will see a variety of interesting one-off events, including the return of President Barack Obama to the state just a week after having been in New York to talk infrastructure near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Here's the run of the week in more detail:

New York City

Monday
Along with the start of Internet Week New York, Monday sees City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito being honored alongside Cynthia Nixon, an early supporter of Mayor Bill de Blasio, at the Eleanor's Legacy spring breakfast at the Yale Club. In the evening, Mark-Viverito attends New York League of Conservation Voters 25th anniversary spring gala at Chelsea Piers. And yes, that's "conservation," not "conservative."

The City Council's exectuive budget hearings will continue on Monday with a joint hearing of the committees on general welfare, women's issues and finance.

On Monday evening, Sandra Fluke, who is running for State Senate in California, will be in New York City. 'Stand With Sandra' is hosting a fundraiser at 6 p.m. in Manhattan. Fluke gained national attention in February 2012 when Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee refused to allow her to testify regarding the importance of birth control being covered by health insurance.

Also on Monday evening, the Historic Horse-Drawn Carriages of Central Park, LLC.is hosting "the world premiere of a new short documentary by Mary Haverstick, of Haverstick Films, narrated by Liam Neeson" called Save NYC Horse Carriages. The film will be screened for select guests at the Kraine Theater in Manhattan. No word as of 8:30 Sunday evening if anti-horse carriage activists will have a presence at or near the screening.

According to his public schedule, the mayor will attend "the Asian Pacific American Heritage Reception at Gracie Mansion" on Monday night, and then, "the Mayor will receive the Ally Award at the Marriage Equality USA National Gala."

Tuesday
The 20th Annual Citywide Seminar on Ethics in City Government is Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is put on by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board and the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School. According to a release, "discussion topics include the newest proposal for state ethics reform, ethical issues in lobbying, government initiatives in anti-corruption, recent developments in the conflicts of interest law and "Keeping Gotham Honest: How the City Polices Itself."" The event will culminate with "a "pub trivia"-type competition" that will test participants' "knowledge of Chapter 68 of the City Charter which covers conflicts of interest, and history of City government."

Council executive budget hearings on Tuesday include a joint hearing of the committees on public safety and finance, among others (the finance committee participates in all executie budget hearings).

Tuesday evening features an event being put on by the CUNY Institute for Education Policy at Roosevelt House in Manhattan. The event, "New Education Advocacy Organizations in the U.S. States: Their Current Influence and Potential Future Role in K-12 Policy Development" promises to explore how over "the past two decades, about five dozen new education advocacy organizations have emerged across the U.S." It is unclear how much of the discussion will focus on New York, but the topic certainly has quite a bit of relevance as New York has been home to some of the most active and contentious education advocacy work in the country.

Wednesday
On Wednesday morning, The Manhattan Institute hosts a breakfast policy forum featuring NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton. Bratton will be introduced by Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow and Bratton aide George Kelling. Questions on the agenda include: "How can the NYPD and community groups strengthen the fabric of their partnership in 2014? What are today's challenges in the subways and parks, and what will make these places truly the best they can be for generations to come? How will big data and advanced data analytics impact 21st Century policing?"

City Council budget hearings on Wednesday include the committees on housing and buildings; economic development; and small business - each in conjunction with the finance committee.

Thursday
City Council budget hearings on Thursday include the finance committee meeting jointly with the Committee on Aging and the Subcommittee on Senior Centers together; with the Committee on Land Use and the Committee on Technology together; with the Committee on Oversight and Investigation; and with the Committee on Standards and Ethics.

On Thursday at 6:30 p.m. there will be another in the series of Vision Zero town halls, this one at Lehman College in the Bronx.

Friday
On Friday, the City Council will have two committee meetings that are not executive budget hearings: the Committee on Public Housing tours District Council 9's training center and the Committee on Veterans meets to discuss a few topics, incuding the possibility of a ticker-tape parade to honor veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

And regarding Albany:
This will be another politically-charged week in Albany as the State Democratic convention takes place Wednesday and Thursday in Suffolk County, Long Island. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will officially be named his party's nominee for governor and Cuomo could also name a replacement for departing Lt. Governor Robert Duffy. But Cuomo won't be the most important Democrat in the state all week as President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Cooperstown - the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame - on Thursday to discuss tourism. Could there be some Cuomo-Obama synergy? It seems likely at this point as Obama returns just a week after having appeared alongside the governor near the Tappan Zee Bridge. And, Obama is scheduled to return to the state again on the 28th when he gives the commencement address at West Point. How much this synergy relates to 2016 is anybody's guess and could be the cause for some entertaining speculation.

The convention and Obama's visit could signal a lull for actual legislating in Albany - something already hard to come by as members eye the end of session and their re-election campaigns.

The Assembly will hold an awareness day for people with disabilities on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the well of the Legislative Office Building. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb will address participants at 11:45 a.m. The Assembly will then vote on a number of bills that address issues for the disabled. 

***
by Kristen Meriwether and Ben Max in New York City and David King in Albany
@GothamGazette

 



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