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What to watch for this week in New York politics:
This week will be another dominated by budget negotiations and hearings, both in New York City and Albany. In the city, the City Council began its preliminary budget hearings last week and continues them this week and throughout March, evaluating Mayor Bill de Blasio's spending plans agency by agency. In Albany, discussions swirl around how the Legislature might attempt to move Governor Andrew Cuomo on some of the hard stances he's taking with respect to education and ethics policies and the ways in which he is budgeting them. Both the State Senate and the State Assembly are expected to introduce and vote on their respective one-house budgets this week, which will further intensify negotiations with the governor. Of course, there are key aspects of what de Blasio and other city officials want from the State that are at stake in Albany negotiations. An Albany budget is due by April 1; a New York City budget by July 1.
Mayor de Blasio and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner are reportedly set to push the governor and the State Legislature for increased education funding on Monday - apart from Cuomo's education reform plan, which he has tied to funding increases in order to force the Legislature's hand.
Other highlights to watch this week include the race in New York's 11th Congressional District heating up as there is limited time before the May 5 special election between Dan Donovan and Vincent Gentile to replace former Congressman Michael Grimm; Public Advocate Letitia James continues her "mayoral control forums;" and various celebrations of Women's History Month.
As always, there are many events to be aware of this week. See our day-by-day rundown below.
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The run of the week in detail:
Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray start the week hosting "the Beijing +20 Reception at Gracie Mansion" Monday evening.
On Monday morning, Rep. Joe Crowley and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will hold a press conference to celebrate Women’s History Month in the Bronx, according to City & State NY.
At 10 a.m., on steps of City Hall, there will be a news conference condemning Fast Track legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the so-called "free" trade deal that has been described as "NAFTA on steroids." Attendees will include Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (8th District, Brooklyn and Queens), Rep. Grace Meng (6th District, Queens), Mario Cilento, President of NYS AFL-CIO, Vincent Alvarez, President of NYC Central Labor Council, James Conigliaro, Business Representative of Machinists Union District 15, George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, Carmen Charles, President of AFSCME Local 420m, Eric Weltman, Senior Organizer at Food and Water Watch, and Thelma Fellows, Executive Committee at Sierra Club NYC.
Also 10 a.m. Monday, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball will present a $1 billion plan to redevelop property in the Sunset Park area, according to City & State NY.
Monday at 11:30 a.m., on the steps of City Hall, “Council Member Mark S. Weprin, along with his colleagues in the City Council, announces the introduction of a bill to allow and regulate youth hostels in New York City.”
Monday, at 11:30 a.m., schools Chancellor Carmen Farina will be a guest on WNYC’s the Brian Lehrer show discussing why 7th grade is such a pivotal year in a child’s life.
Also Monday morning, "three of the largest New York City faith-based institutions on Monday March 9th to unveil a historic study about poverty reduction in New York City. The three faith-based organizations releasing the study are: The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, and UJA-Federation of New York. Together they will release the results of a major new research study that demonstrates the effects anti-poverty policy combinations can have on reducing poverty in New York.
Monday at noon, at Governor Cuomo’s Office in New York City, faith and labor leaders, voters, and community members will take part in a rally organized by Common Cause “to demand morality, fairness and honesty from our elected officials.”
At 1 p.m. Monday, members of Gov. Cuomo’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice will hold a panel discussion on raising the age of criminal prosecution at The New York Bar Association in Albany, according to City & State NY.
"Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman will announce a groundbreaking settlement with the nation's three leading national credit reporting agencies to implement critical reforms to protect consumers" on Monday at 1:30, joined by Julie Menin, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and Susan Shin, senior staff attorney at the New Economy Project.
Monday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises to review land use in the Soho Cast-Iron Historic District in Manhattan; a meeting of the Committee on Higher Education to consider resolution “calling upon Congress to pass and the President to sign legislation to implement President Barack Obama’s ‘America’s College Promise’ plan to make two years of community college free to anyone who maintains a 2.5 GPA and calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation funding the State’s obligation under the plan”; a meeting of the Committee on Parks and Recreation for preliminary budget oversight; and a meeting of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions to review submitted Land Use Applications.
Monday’s State Senate Committee Hearings will include a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Labor to discuss a variety of acts to amend the labor law; a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions to discuss a variety of legislation, including an act to amend the New York State Urban Development Corporation Act in relation to creating the New York State innovative energy and environmental technology program; and several in relation to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Monday at 5:30 p.m., the Queens Borough Board, as led by Queens BP Melinda Katz, will meet and vote on FY2016 Budget Priorities
On Monday evening, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will make a “special presentation at Women’s History Month reception, Metropolitan Museum of Art.”
And on Monday evening, schools Chancellor Farina will deliver remarks at the Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival at the Imperial Theatre in Manhattan.
Tuesday is the funeral for Cardinal Edward Egan, which will be attended by many, including Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and other elected officials.
That will be part of a busy Tuesday for de Blasio, who before the funeral will visit a classroom at the Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant and then host a press conference to make an education announcement. Then, after the funeral, the mayor will deliver remarks at a Mayor's Fund reception and then deliver remarks at the Beijing+20 Opening Reception.
Tuesday’s State Senate Committee Hearing schedule will include a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Education to consider a variety of legislation, including to amend chapter 91 of the laws of 2002, amending the education law and other laws relating to the reorganization of the New York city school construction authority, board of education, and community boards, in relation to the effectiveness thereof; and to repeal section 4 of chapter 91 of the laws of 2002, amending the education law and other laws relating to the reorganization of the New York city school construction authority, board of education, and community boards; a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation to consider a variety of legislation; a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Codes to consider a variety of legislation, including in relation to providing that an elementary or secondary school student shall be incapable of consenting to sexual conduct with a school employee; an act to amend the penal law, in relation to forged instruments and the sale thereof; an act to amend the penal law, in relation to the theft of controlled substances.
Tuesday morning, YWCA will present: “Women’s History Month Breakfast Panel Series: Leadership and Generosity: A Call to Action” featuring local leaders Sheelah A. Feinberg, Jennifer Jones Austin, Cecilia Clarke, Maya Wiley, Akiba Solomon and Anne Williams-Isom.
Tuesday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Housing and Buildings to consider the extension of rent stabilization laws, a resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to approve, A.1865, in relation to repealing vacancy decontrol, a resolution determining that a public emergency requiring rent control in the City of New York continues to exist and will continue to exist on and after April 1, 2015; a resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation that would end deregulation of rent regulated apartments and several others; a meeting of the Committee on Education to discuss introduction of a new bill relating to: “Requiring the Department of Education to report information regarding students receiving special education services” ; a meeting of the Committee on Consumer Affairs to discuss making of a new bill regarding: “Dept of consumer affairs to provide young adults with outreach and education regarding consumer protection issues”;
And preliminary budget hearings in response to Mayor de Blasio’s initial fiscal year 2016 budget outline: the Committee on Land Use; the Committee on Technology jointly with the Committee on Land Use; and the Committee on Housing and Buildings.
Tuesday, at 12 p.m., the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research will present “The Truth About Campus Sexual Assault: Is there really an epidemic of campus rape? If so, is government leading a constructive path forward?”
Tuesday evening, Public Advocate Letitia James will host one in her series of Mayoral Control Forums at P.S. 69, in Queens: “New Yorkers are encourage to come and share their thoughts about mayoral control and how modifications to the law can help to improve our education system. This is an opportunity to discuss what real community and parent engagement should look like moving forward.”
Also Tuesday evening, at 6 p.m., Wix Lounge will host NYC Lean In: Women’s History Month Event.
Tuesday at 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer will host an Immigrant Small Business Town Hall: “My office’s African Immigrant Task Force is sponsoring a Town Hall jointly with the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, Dept. of Small Business Services, and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Please join us for a presentation on how to obtain city resources to help manage your small business better, moderated by Lloyd Williams of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. Panelists include myself; Julie Menin, Commissioner, Dept. of Consumer Affairs; Alejandro Alvarez, Director of Community Affairs, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner, Dept. of Small Business Services.”
Also Tuesday at 6 p.m., Council Member Annabel Palma will host a Scam Prevention Forum at New York Public Library’s Parkchester Branch.
Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m., the NYC Charter School Center and the NYC Special Education Collaborative will host the 5th annual NYC Charter School Career Fair at Harlem Children's Zone Gymnasium and Cafeteria: “Last year’s fair hosted over 1,000 teachers, counselors, related service providers, and administrators with over 85% of NYC charter schools participating. This year, we’re looking forward to an even larger turnout.”
Wednesday morning in Albany the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, will hold a joint meeting with the Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary to “examine the need for reforms to the criminal justice system to ensure fairness, improve community/police relations, and protect the safety of law enforcement officers.”
Also Wednesday morning, the Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction, will hold a joint meeting with the Senate Standing Committee on Civil Service and Pensions, and Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, for an oversight hearing “Examining police safety and public protection throughout New York State.”
Wednesday’s State Senate Committee Hearing schedule will include a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities to consider a variety of bills; a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Higher Education to consider a variety of legislation, including an act to amend the education law, in relation to changing the eligibility dates for a military service recognition scholarship to include the conflicts that occurred after June 1, 1982; and an act to amend the education law, in relation to providing scholarships for surviving dependent family members of New York state military personnel who have died while performing official military duties.
Also Wednesday, Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action of New York will hold "Parade for Public Education and Lobby: Rally to Save Public Education in New York: We will meet with parents, students, teachers, and community leaders from across the state at the Armory and then we will parade down to the Capitol to demand $2.2 billion in new school aid, $150 billion in pre-K outside of NYC, and that we maintain current cap on charter schools to stop school privatization, as well as a resolution to the 20-year Campaign for Fiscal Equity.”
Wednesday morning, at 10 a.m., there will be a rally for preserving housing and for permanent affordable housing in East New York.
Wednesday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Finance to review submitted land use applications and to go over: “Meatpacking Area business improvement district, Manhattan” and a Stated meeting of City Council at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Wednesday evening, Public Advocate Letitia James will host the Manhattan episode of her Mayoral Control Forum series, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice - co-hosted by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. According to Brewer: “I am co-sponsoring with Public Advocate Tish James a Manhattan Forum on Mayoral Control of schools, one in a series of forums taking place in all five boroughs. The forum will focus on one aspect of mayoral control -- community and parent engagement -- and provide a platform for educators, parents, guardians, and elected officials to discuss what real community and parent engagement should look like under mayoral control, which is set to expire this June.”
Comptroller Scott Stringer is hosting a Women’s History Month celebration Wednesday evening in Manhattan.
Also Wednesday evening, at 6:30 p.m., City Council Member Corey Johnson will host "Let’s Talk!: Reforming the Rent Guidelines Board" at P.S. 3, in Manhattan: “Join Council Member Corey Johnson, housing policy experts and tenant organizers for a discussion about reforming the Rent Guideline Board and confronting New York City’s affordability crisis.”
Wednesday evening, at 6:30 p.m., Manhattan Neighborhood Network will host The State of Women in New York City, a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Christina Greer, and including Ashley Emerole, Alexis Grenell, Erica Ford, and Karina Aybar-Jacob.
Wednesday evening, there will be a fundraiser for Vincent Gentile’s congressional campaign, on Staten Island.
At 8:30 Thursday morning, Manhattan Institute will host a breakfast forum discussion titled “Are NYC Charter Schools Doing All They Can to Serve the Neediest Students?” Panelists will include Seth Andrew, Founder and Democracy Prep Public Schools and Democracy Builders; James Merriman, President of New York City Charter School Center; Ian Rowe, Chief Executive Officer of Public Prep; and Marcus Winters, Senior Fellow at Manhattan Institute: “At this breakfast forum, Winters will unveil the findings from his latest study on low-performers. Then, a panel will discuss the broader issue of whether New York City charters are doing all they can to serve the neediest students.”
Also Thursday, Association for a Better New York “cordially invites you to be our guest at a lunch meeting featuring Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Secretary Foxx will discuss his priorities for the federal Department of Transportation.”
Thursday will be the next public meeting of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, at 10:00 a.m.
"Brooklyn Parents, Students, and Teachers will take to the streets in Carroll Gardens to protest Governor Cuomo's proposed education policies on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 3:15 p.m. The march is led by the Community Alliance for Student Education (CASE), a group formed to support public school students, teachers, and the community. CASE and the parents and students of PS 58 will join parents, students, and teachers from PS 261 in a march to voice their opposition to Gov. Cuomo's plans, which include placing more of an emphasis on the testing of young children, budgeting that reflects less than HALF the increase recommended for public school success, and putting teacher's ratings in the hands of outside "professional" consultants hired by Albany."
The Joint Legislative Budget schedule is to include "Senate and Assembly budget actions," and "joint Senate and Assembly budget conference committees commence."
Thursday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Public Safety and a meeting of the Committee on Standards and Ethics for preliminary budget oversight hearings.
Thursday at 6:30 p.m., PROP Public Forum: "The Whole System Is Guilty: the panel will feature speakers presenting critiques on the key agencies of our so-called system of justice that, in effect, join forces everyday to inflict harm and hardship on low-income New Yorkers of color: the NYPD, prosecutors, judges, the defense bar, jails and prisons, and the New York City Council.”
Also Thursday, at 7 p.m., "How Would the TPP Affect Our Community?: Join us for a community meeting to learn about the threats posed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership and how efforts to fast track this dangerous trade agreement can be stopped. We'll highlight how the TPP risks our jobs, health, communities, and environment. Fortunately, Congressman Charles Rangel can play a key role in stopping the fast tracking of the TPP! Sponsors include Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Food & Water Watch, Communications Workers of America, Working Families Party, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Three Parks Independent Democrats, Sierra Club New York City Group, Broadway Democrats, MoveOn NYC Councils, 350NYC, Franciscan Earth Corps, United for Action, Health GAP, ALIGN-NY, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, Show Up! America, Environmental Action,, NY4Whales, Polo Democratico NY, Terraza 7, New York Environmental Law and Justice Project, OWS Special Projects Affinity Group, OWS Outreach Working Group, TradeJustice New York Metro, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, Sane Energy Project.”
Thursday evening, City Council Member Andy King will host the State of the 12th District: “The address will highlight the district’s finances, accomplishments over the past year, challenges facing the district, and future planning. All community members are invited to attend the State of the District Address, as well as stay for a birthday celebration for Council Member King.”
Friday morning, the State Senate Standing Committee on Social Services will meet to discuss “Policies to Assist Working Families in New York.”
On Friday, Public Advocate James' mayoral control forum series sees its big finale with an event featuring Diane Ravitch, Assemby Member Cathy Nolan, and others.
Also Friday morning, the Murphy Institute at CUNY, in collaboration with 1199SEIU and Cornell University’s Worker Institute, will present Identity Politics: A Foundation for Coalition Building: “Barbara Smith argues that “identity politics” rather than presenting an obstacle to forming coalitions for social and economic justice – offer an essential foundation for such coalitions. Drawing on forty years of work with civil rights, feminist, LGBTQ and other movements, Smith’s new book, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, edited by Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, poses an urgent set of related questions that she and forum panelists will consider.”
Friday at 11 a.m., the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Financial Empowerment, the DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) at Parsons The New School for Design, the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity, and Citi Community Development will host Designing for Financial Empowerment: Improving Tax-Time Services for New Yorkers: “There are about 950,000 New York City families who are eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which averages approximately $2,500, and, combined with other credits, can translate to a refund of as much as $10,000. But one in every five eligible households do not claim this vital tax credit; and of those who do, too many pay an average of $250 to file their taxes instead of using the free tax preparation services available at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites around the city. How can we enable more of our fellow New Yorkers who have low incomes to file for free, claim their money and get access to other financial empowerment services? To answer that challenge, we are re-imagining how free tax preparation is provided in New York City and want your input.” Attendees will include Commissioner of DCA Julie Menin and Darren Bloch, Executive Director at The Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC.
Friday’s City Council schedule will include a meeting of the Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services and a meeting of the Committee on Environmental Protection for preliminary budget oversight hearings.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).
by Rati Mukhuradze, Marco Poggio, and Ben Max
Note: this article has been updated.