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What to watch for this week in New York politics:
Before you read our preview of this week, check out our 'Week in Review' of last week's political news - it's a good, quick read and includes top photos and stories of the week; key numbers to know from the week's news; and other interesting and fun features. We recently started publishing this new feature every Friday.
Eric Garner's Death One Year Later: Friday, July 17 is one year since Eric Garner died at the hands of police officers who were arresting him on a Staten Island street. Expect many commemorations this week, including renewed calls for policing reform and for disciplinary action against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold led to Garner's death. The NYPD investigation of the incident has been resolved, but Police Commissioner Bratton says the department is awaiting the federal investigation to conclude before announcing NYPD findings. Among the latest coverage emerging as the one-year mark hits, this weekend the Daily News looked at Pantaleo one year later, while the AP went in-depth on the fallout from Garner's death.
Summer Crime Numbers: Speaking of the NYPD, as the summer continues many are watching to see what New York City crime numbers look like. The De Blasio administration launched its summer crime-fighting initiative aimed at the parts of the city with the most violent crime earlier this year than last, attempting to stem the uptick in shootings and murders that the city had seen in the first six months of 2015. June was a strong month for those stats. Stay tuned this week as more data becomes available.
Cuomo-De Blasio: the governor and the mayor continued their war of words last week, though neither spoke in the kind of terms de Blasio did when he let loose about the governor before leaving on vacation at the start of the month (Example: Cuomo declined to name a single thing de Blasio has done well as mayor when he was asked on WPIX-11). Things may very likely quiet down a bit for the rest of the summer, but you can bet the two will continue to be asked about areas of disagreement and key policies that are at stake as they sort through their relationship and styles of governance.
On Monday, de Blasio will host a press conference to make an announcement in the Bronx - he will be joined by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (Cuomo's public schedule has him in New York City, with no events listed). This weekend, de Blasio was out and about while Cuomo was mostly out of the public eye, though he did participate in a campaign fundraiser on Long Island (which was met by protestors). On Sunday, de Blasio delivered remarks and marched "in the Inaugural NYC Disability Pride Parade with the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Victor Calise and members of the administration." He then spoke at "the 43rd Annual Old Timers Stick Ball Game." On Saturday, de Blasio delivered remarks in Central Park at NY CityFest.
Also on Saturday, Cuomo's office sent out a statement from Counsel Alphonso David clarifying the memo of understanding between the administration and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan regarding the continued delay of the ammunition background check database that is outlined in the SAFE Act but has yet to launch. The Friday announcement of the MOU raised many eyebrows and received much criticism from Cuomo's left.
Speaker Mark-Viverito will travel back to Arizona this week - she was there earlier this year to talk with Phoenix lawmakers about the city's municipal ID program - where on Friday she will speak at the annual Netroots Nation conference. According to Capital New York, at the conference Mark-Viverito "will participate in a panel titled "Building Progressive Political Power"" and then "also speak at a forum hosted by the Latino Victory Project, a political action committee that raises money and resources for Latino candidates across the country."
It's looking like another fairly quiet summer week in terms of events scheduled around the city, and with the City Council holding few hearings this month. But, there's several things on the schedule for your attention - see below - and surely more will pop up as the week begins.
As always, there's a great deal happening all over the city, with many events to be aware of - read our day-by-day rundown below.
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The run of the week in detail:
"The trial of state Sen. Thomas Libous is the latest legal battle for a New York political figure caught in U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's war on corruption." Libous' corruption trial is set to start Monday, as Gannett reports.
On Monday at 10 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will attend a press announcement with New York City Dept. of Transportation officials, Columbus Avenue and 86th Street.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is due to give an economic policy speech at The New School on Monday.
Governor Cuomo's fast food worker wage board will meet on Monday.
At 10:30 Monday morning, "Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman will make remarks in Plattsburgh to discuss efforts to combat the foreclosure crisis in the North Country and across the state." He will be joined by Peter Racette, Deputy Director of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York; Michelle Furnia, Director of Finance and Housing, Friends of the North Country; and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon, among others.
At 11 a.m. Monday there will be a public hearing of the New York City Campaign Finance Board on "proposed amendments to the Campaign Finance Board rules related to public funds eligibility and disclosure statement documentation."
At 1 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will hold a "press conference to announce findings of audit of the New York City Housing Authority's maintenance and repairs" at Grant Houses, 125th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
At 5:30 p.m. Queens "Borough President Melinda Katz will chair a joint meeting of the Borough Board and Borough Cabinet...The Board and Cabinet will hear a presentation from Assistant Chief Terrence Monahan on the New York City Police Department's (NYPD's) new "One City: Safe and Fair – Everywhere" initiative. The initiative calls for a series of strategic changes to form a new framework for neighborhood policing and for building a true partnership between the police and the community in the fight against crime."
At 7 p.m. many of the city's Democrats will celebrate at the Manhattan Democratic Party's third annual Demmy Awards. "Event is hosted by New York County Democratic Committee Leader and Assembly Member Keith Wright. "The Demmy Awards honors individuals, organizations and democratic clubs who have made significant contributions to the Democratic Party. NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Councilwoman Inez Dickens, Councilman Corey Johnson and more to be in attendance." This year's honorees include "New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies Executive Director Jennifer Jones Austin and more."
On Tuesday morning, Public Advocate Letitia James will co-host a workshop on avoiding immigration scams with NYIC at the Brooklyn Public Library.
Presumed presidential candidate and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley "will host an immigration roundtable on Tuesday at 11 AM at the New York Immigration Action Fund, where he will unveil his ideas for fixing our inhumane immigration system."
Also Tuesday at 11 a.m., "UFA President Steve Cassidy, joined by recently hired FDNY firefighters will announce a lawsuit against the NY City Council Speaker for her office's efforts to obstruct debate and open government and for creating a total lack of transparency in City Hall...on the steps of the New York State Supreme Court." The issue at stake is disability pension policy.
At 2 p.m. there will be a workshop hosted by the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, "ID Theft: Addressing Financial Abuse in Domestic Violence Cases."
At 5 p.m. there will be a "Small Business Risk Education Workshop" hosted by the New York Public Library-SIBL.
At 6 p.m. the New York City Bar Association will host "What It's Really Like to Practice Law As A Woman." Carmelyn Malalis, Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights will be one of the speakers.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) are hosting a series of town hall meetings to discuss the recently released NYCHA Next Generation Plan. There will be a town hall meeting on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Baruch College.
Tuesday evening in Union Square, Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets will hold a "Vision Zero vigil," commemorating traffic fatalities. BP Brewer is expected to attend.
At 7:30 Tuesday evening, there will be an "interfaith worship service commemorating the one year anniversary of Eric Garner's death" at
Mount Sinai United Christian Church on Staten Island. Mayor de Blasio, Public Advocate James, Comptroller Stringer, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and other officials are set to attend. The mayor will deliver remarks.
James will then host an Iftar celebration in Brooklyn.
At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the City Council Rules, Privileges and Elections Committee will meet to consider several commission and board appointments. This is the only hearing on the Council's schedule for the week.
At noon Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Civic Hall will co-host a "Community Open Data Workshop," on how to use "open data for local community planning.
At 7 p.m. there will be a "BetaNYC Civic Hacknight."
At 8 a.m. Thursday, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce will co-host a discussion on the state of development, specifically East Side rezoning in Manhattan. East Midtown Rezoning Steering Committee Co-Chairman and Council Member Dan Garodnick will be giving the keynote speech with a panel featuring Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction, and others following. The discussion is sponsored by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Woods Bagot, the Real Estate Board of New York and New York Law School's Center for Real Estate Studies and Center for New York City Law.
At 8:30 a.m. there will be a Manhattan Borough Board meeting hosted by BP Brewer.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will hold a land use hearing at 10:30 a.m.
The second in a two-part symposium on race and law enforcement hosted by Roosevelt House public policy institute of Hunter College is on Thursday at 6 p.m. (Part one occured on Tuesday, July 7.) On Thursday the former Executive Director of Mental health for NYC corrections, Daniel Selling, will be among other speakers attending.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will host Iftar Dinner at 6:30 p.m. to honor the month of Ramadan and leaders in Manhattan's Muslim community.
The City's 2015 NYC BigApps competition begins on Thursday, with a launch event at Civic Hall. "BigApps is a globally recognized competition that recruits the sharpest minds in tech and innovation to tackle New York City's biggest challenges. Launched in 2009 by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), BigApps has awarded over $350,000 in prizes, attracted nearly 500 submissions, and engaged thousands of New Yorkers."
Friday and the weekend
Expect demonstrations and commemorations of the one-year anniversary of Eric Garner's death. One such event will be on Saturday at noon in Brooklyn, a "Rally to Demand Justice for Eric Garner."
Have you read the latest reporting and in-depth articles from Gotham Gazette lately? Take a look here for our most recent articles, you're sure to find something interesting.
by Erika Wang and Ben Max