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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, July 20


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

It's hot in New York City! "With dangerously hot weather expected through Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio today urged New Yorkers to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat...an Air Quality Alert is in effect today through 11:00 p.m. Monday." At 11 a.m. Monday in Brooklyn, de Blasio "and members of the administration will hold a press conference at the Office of Emergency Management to discuss safety in the extreme heat."

With things between Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo a bit cooler, the heat is perhaps only rivaled by what's happening between car-hailing company Uber and the City.

Uber Politics: De Blasio and some in the City Council are advocating for a one-year cap limiting the number of new cars that can be added to the Uber fleet (and those of other similar companies), while the city studies the issue. The New York Times editorial board came out against the proposed cap (and reiterated support for the Move NY transportation plan), while de Blasio explained the rationale behind it in a Daily News op-ed. There could be a Council hearing on the bill this week (it's not scheduled as of publication, but could be added last minute, with a committee hearing on Wednesday, then committee and full Council votes on Thursday).

Mayor & Governor: Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have not spoken directly in weeks, as each has indicated as they continue to be peppered by journalists dissecting their relationship. The governor has indicated that, as usual, members of their staffs have been in touch regularly, and that the two will speak directly when necessary.

On Saturday, de Blasio was in Crown Heights with many other elected officials and city leaders for the funeral service for Reverend Clarence Norman Sr., where the mayor made remarks.

On Sunday, de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray were in Queens attending the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival; the mayor participated in the cook-off and delivered remarks. Meanwhile, Cuomo "held the 2015 Summer Adirondack Challenge to promote summer tourism and showcase recreational opportunities in the Adirondack region...At the Adirondack Challenge, the Governor announced four vital investments to strengthen tourism in Upstate New York...the "I LOVE NY Cash and Travel" lottery ticket; $2 million for campgrounds in the Catskills and Adirondacks; a new Adirondack Park website and mobile app; and an extended, outdoors-specific I LOVE NY marketing campaign."

Monday evening, de Blasio "will depart New York City and fly to Rome, Italy to attend Pope Francis' event, "Modern Slavery and Climate Change: The Commitment of The Cities." He'll return on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the governor could be in the spotlight this week as the fast food worker wage board that he ordered the department of labor to convene is set to issue a recommendation on the minimum wage Wednesday. It appears the wage board could recommend $15 per hour and that the state labor commissioner could accept that recommendation, thus putting pressure on the legislature, especially Senate Republicans, to move the state's minimum wage to $15/hour.

Police Reform: Criminal justice reform is an essential issue for any governor and mayor, and things have been especially intense for Cuomo and de Blasio. The governor recently made a move whereby Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office will take charge of investigations of police killings of unarmed civilians. Friday was the one-year anniversary of Eric Garner's death. The mayor and other city officials participated in a memorial service on Tuesday and reform activists marched and rallied at various points throughout the week and weekend. While the mayor touts NYPD reform, including officer training, some activists say he's done little to address systemic problems. Many await the results of the federal investigation into Garner's death as well as the NYPD's review (NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has indicated he will not be releasing the department review until the federal probe has concluded).

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.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
At 10:15 Monday on Long Island, “Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will announce a new push to ban plastic microbeads in personal care products.”

At 11 a.m. Monday at City Hall, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will make an announcement on the “Unaccompanied Minors Initiative.” At 5:30 p.m., Mark-Viverito, Council Member Daneek Miller, and other Council Members will host an Eid ul-Fitr celebration for the end of Ramadan.

Also at 11 a.m., “Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will join The Bronx Dominican Parade Committee Directors Felipe Febles and Rosa Ayala to officially announce the celebrations and events that will lead up to the 26th Annual Gran Parada Dominicana de El Bronx  (Bronx Dominican Day Parade). The parade “will take place on Sunday, July 26th, along the Grand Concourse from East Tremont to East 166th Street.”

Monday signals a busier week for the City Council than we’ve seen yet in July - leading to the lone July Stated Meeting on Thursday. Monday’s Council schedule:

  • At 9:30 a.m. the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet on six land use applications - all sponsored by Council Member David Greenfield.
  • At 11 a.m. the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses will examine a land use application on the Bank of the Manhattan Company Building.
  • At 12 p.m. the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency will meet on an introduction that would require the New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force to “consider the potential impact of climate change on public and private telecommunications infrastructure.”
  • At 1 p.m. the Subcommittee on Planning, Disposition and Concessions will meet on three different land use applications for Aerospace Metals and the Acacia Gardens.

City Council Member Corey Johnson and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are hosting “Rat Academy...a free training on safe and effective methods for rat prevention in your building and neighborhood,” 6 p.m. at Hudson Guild's Elliot Center.

At 6 p.m. Monday there will be a forum hosted by the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office on Mitchell-Lama housing. Updates will be delivered by Mitchell-Lamas staff followed by small group discussions.

At 6:30 p.m. a special “police accountability working group” meeting hosted by Brooklyn Movement Center to train community members in “Cop Watch” and “Know Your Rights.” This event is also sponsored by Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and People’s Justice Cop Watch Alliance.

As mentioned, Mayor de Blasio leaves Monday evening for Rome. He will visit the Vatican for an event, “Modern Slavery and Climate Change: The Commitment of The Cities,” at which he will be giving a speech on OneNYC and joining other Mayors for an audience with the Pope. Mayor de Blasio will be returning on Wednesday, July 22.

Tuesday
According to NY1's Zack Fink, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will embark Tuesday on a tour of Central New York. Heastie will reportedly visit Syracuse, Watertown, Utica and Madison County over the course of the week.

Starting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday there will be a “symposium on innovative procurement” hosted by Civic Hall. Minerva Tantoco, New York City’s Chief Technology Officer and Bryan Sivak, former-CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be among those attending the event at Civic Hall.

Tuesday at the City Council: at 11 a.m. the Committee on Land Use will meet at City Hall.

The New York City Campaign Finance Board is offering a compliance training session for the 2017 election cycle at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. “Compliance trainings cover campaign finance laws and CFB rules. C-SMART trainings provide an overview of the CFB’s web-based application, which campaigns must use to manage and disclose financial activity. The candidate, treasurer, campaign manager or other individual with significant managerial control over the campaign is legally required to attend both a Compliance and a C-SMART training.”

At 6 p.m. there will be a forum on the Lower East Side hosted by the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office as part of the “Community-Police Dialogues” series. There will be an opportunity for group discussion. 

Wednesday
At 8 a.m. City & State NY will host “New York Moves: Transportation Conference,” a discussion on all different forms of transportation in New York and “where the biggest investments will be made.” Anthony R. Foxx, the United States Secretary of Transportation; Council Members Brad Lander, Ydanis Rodriguez; Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and Elizabeth M. McCarthy, Chief Financial Officer of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are a few of the speakers.

Starting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, "American Elections at the Crossroads: How do we restore voters' faith in elections and get them back to the polls?" featuring keynote remarks by Ann Ravel, chair of the Federal Election Commission, and co-hosted by Brennan Center for Justice, the New York City Campaign Finance Board, and the Committee for Economic Development. Other speakers will include Rose Gill Hearn, Chair of the New York City Campaign Finance Board; Mike Petro, Vice President of the Committee for Economic Development; Letitia James, New York City Public Advocate and City Council Members Eric Ulrich and Brad Lander.  

At 9:30 a.m. the Community Service Society will host a training on “surviving in public housing,” to help tenants in public housing keep their apartments. Compliance with NYCHA lease and filing a grievance are among topics that will be discussed.

Wednesday at the City Council:

  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Aging will meet about a resolution “requiring banking organizations to provide, at minimum, the immediately preceding six months of financial documents following a request for such financial documents to help fight financial exploitation of older adults.”
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Parks and Recreation examines two bills, one on renaming two thoroughfares and public places and the other mandating the Department of Parks and Recreation to “create an annual report on compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards for accessible design.”

At 2:30 p.m. at the Department of Health in Manhattan, the state department of labor fast food wage board is set to meet, likely to announce its recommendations. As there have been for other meetings of the wage board, a rally led by workers and their allies is planned for right beforehand.

The New York City Campaign Finance Board is offering a C-SMART training session for the 2017 election cycle at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. “Compliance trainings cover campaign finance laws and CFB rules. C-SMART trainings provide an overview of the CFB’s web-based application, which campaigns must use to manage and disclose financial activity. The candidate, treasurer, campaign manager or other individual with significant managerial control over the campaign is legally required to attend both a Compliance and a C-SMART training.” 

At 6:30 p.m. City Council Member Brad Lander will host a town hall meeting on climate change.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Attorney General Schneiderman, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer co-host a “Know Your Rights” forum on co-op/condo/loft procedures. This forum is held in cooperation with Council Member Chin, Johnson, and Mendez; State Senator Hoylman; Assemblymember Glick and Congressmembers Maloney, Nadler and Velazquez.

At 7 p.m. there will be a civic hacknight in Brooklyn. The Code for America Brigade program, Microsoft Civic and Accela are event partners.

Thursday
At 8 a.m. Thursday City & State NY hosts NYPD Commissioner, William Bratton for a public conversation on policing in New York City.

Thursday at the City Council:

  • At 9:30 a.m. the Committee on General Welfare will meet on two proposed bills - one requires the Department of Social Services to "provide semiannual reports to the council regarding referrals to adult protective services" and the other mandates "providing adult protective services training for certain employees of the city of New York."
  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Finance will meet to approve "new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Expense Budget."
  • At 10:30 a.m. the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections will meet as a continuation of their July 15 recessed meeting.
  • At 1:30 p.m. in City Hall there will be a Stated Meeting. This will be the first stated meeting since the Budget passed, on June 26.

At 6:30 there will be a forum on preventing super-scrapers. This event is co-sponsored by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; State Senators Liz Krueger and Jose Serrano; Assembly members Rebecca Seawright, Dan Quart and Robert Rodriguez; and City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos.

Friday and the weekend
As is often the case at this point in the week, especially during the summer, we don't have events listed for Friday or the weekend, but as the week gets going we're sure to see some.

***
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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Erika Wang and Ben Max
@GothamGazette



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