New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
New York, the United States, and the world are focused on Orlando, Florida as the week begins after a gunman there killed at least 50 people and injured at least 53 more. In the late night hours of Saturday into Sunday, Omar Mateen opened fire at The Pulse nightclub, known to be a centerpiece of the city’s LGBT community. At this point the attack is being investigated as an act of terrorism and as motivated by hate toward the LGBT community - the shooter, who was killed by law enforcement during the attack, declared allegiance to ISIS and was said, by his father, to have held anti-gay anger. Read the latest from the New York Times here.
In New York City, elected officials, LGBT and Muslim community leaders held a Sunday evening vigil at Diversity Plaza in Queens to honor the victims of the Orlando attack. The Mayor’s Clergy Advisory Council held an interfaith vigil outside Judson Memorial Church and at sunset, the City lit City Hall in rainbow colors to represent LGBT pride.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD officials updated the media on Sunday afternoon after the mayor marched in the Puerto Rican Day parade, explaining heightened security measures at LGBT landmarks across the city. City Council Member Corey Johnson announced plans for a Monday evening vigil outside the Stonewall Inn at 6 p.m. Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, among many others, will participate at about 7:30 p.m.
In terms of the week ahead in New York politics, many eyes are on Albany, where there are just three scheduled legislative session days left, set for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week. Mayoral control of New York City schools must be dealt with - it is due to expire at the end of June. There are a variety of other high-profile issues that may see legislation, but lawmakers might do a minimum and get out of town. All 213 seats in the Assembly (150) and Senate (63) are up for election this fall and legislators may be eager to devote their full-time attention to their home districts, campaign fund-raising, and re-election efforts.
Gov. Cuomo and the leaders of each legislative house’s majority announced a deal this weekend on expanding access to breast cancer screenings, a major priority for the governor. As the final days of session are upon us, we’re watching for possible agreement on several issues like the governor’s new campaign finance reform proposal; for-hire vehicle legislation to legalize and regulate services like Uber; and much more, including mayoral control of New York City schools.
In the city itself, the Mayor and the City Council agreed this past week on the outline of a city budget for fiscal year 2017, which begins on July 1 and the Council is expected to officially vote through the budget on Tuesday of this week.
As always, there's a great deal happening all over the city, with many events to be aware of - see our day-by-day rundown below.
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The run of the week in detail:
At On Monday morning, Mayor de Blasio will appear live on 1010WINS at 8:15 and WCBS Newsradio 880 at 8:25 to discuss the Orlando shootings. At 4 p.m. the Mayor "will hold a public hearing for and sign the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA). CJRA is comprised of eight bills – Intro. 639-B, in relation to requiring the NYPD to submit quarterly reports relating to the issuance of summonses; Intro. 662-A, in relation to requiring the NYPD to submit quarterly reports relating to the issuance of desk appearance tickets; Intro. 1056-A, in relation to penalties for violating park rules; Intro. 1057-A, in relation to the enforcement of criminal and civil offenses; Intro. 1058-A, in relation to the penalties for excessive noise; Intro. 1059-A, in relation to OATH procedures for certain quality of life offenses; Intro. 1067-A, in relation to the penalties for possessing an open container of alcohol; and Intro. 1070-A, in relation to the penalties for littering." City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who spearheaded the Criminal Justice Reform Act, will give remarks at the bill-signing.
At 9 a.m. Monday in Queens, City Council Members Dromm, Ferreras-Copeland and Koo will host an Anti-Discrimination Clinic sponsored by Project Reach and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The Clinic will focus on leadership training regarding race, class, and gender and address different aspects of discrimination in the community.
At 10 a.m. Monday at 250 Broadway, the state Assembly will hold a public hearing on “Devising a Smart Supportive Housing Strategy for Ex-Offenders upon Reentry. The hearing, led by Assembly Correction Committee Chair Daniel J. O’Donnell and Transitional Services Subcommittee Chair Luis Sepulveda, is “to examine solutions to overcome the barriers faced by ex-offenders in need of affordable housing, a proven cost-effective vehicle for preventing the cycle of homelessness and recidivism among individuals who were formerly incarcerated.”
On Monday starting at 11 a.m., “activists and a broad and diverse coalition of community, labor, good-government and advocacy organizations will demand statewide election reforms outside the offices of the Board of Elections, Glenwood Management and hedge-fund backed Families for Excellent Schools. The demonstrations are part of a statewide Demand Democracy Day of Action that aims to raise awareness about the corrupting influence of big money in Albany and the urgent need for voting rights, campaign finance and ethics reforms.” The series of demonstrations will be led by “Activists and representatives from: Citizen Action of New York, NY Working Families, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, Strong Economy for All Coalition, and other organizations.”
On Monday at 12:30 p.m. schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña “will visit John Jay College of Criminal Justice with 60 middle school students to make a college access announcement.”
Also at 12:30 p.m. Monday, in Albany legislators and advocates will call for Senate passage of Hoosick Falls legislation, which would "extend statute of limitations to recover from polluters." The press conference will be led by Assemblymember John McDonald, Senator Kathy Marchione, Michele Baker, mom and Hoosick Falls resident, Environmental Advocates of New York.
At 1 p.m. Monday at City Hall, City Council Members Stephen Levin, Laurie Cumbo, and Helen Rosenthal, and advocates will hold a rally "to call on Governor Cuomo and New York State Legislature to help New Yorkers who lack stable housing by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week to fully fund FEPS and pass legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi that will expand FEPS eligibility."
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, candidates in New York’s 13th Congressional District will debate at Riverside Church in a forum sponsored by AARP NY and several other organizations. Nine candidates are vying for the position, which is open for the first time since 1944. The debate will focus on issues regarding the needs and concerns of the older and diverse populations in the district, such as strengthening Social Security, supporting family caregivers, increasing pedestrian safety, ensuring retirement security, protecting against age discrimination, and increasing affordable housing.
At 6 p.m. Monday at the Stonewall Inn, there will be a vigil in honor of the victims of the Orlando shooting. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are among those who will participate, around 7:30 p.m.
Also Monday at 6 p.m. at Pregones Theater in the Bronx, a community forum will discuss “improved relations between the NYPD and the mental health community.” Specifically, the event, being led by Community Access and focus on the NYPD having begun “training officers in a new way to approach those in mental health crisis, known as Crisis Intervention Team training (CIT)...With the help of community partners including Community Access, the NYPD launched a CIT training program in June 2015. To date, more than 2,200 officers have been trained.”
At 7 p.m. Monday, the Regional Plan Association is hosting “Reimagining 14th Street” at the TransitCenter, 1 Whitehall Street. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is among those who will speak.
Both houses of the state Legislature are in session on Tuesday afternoon in Albany.
At 12 p.m. Tuesday in Albany, The Center for an Urban Future and NYATEP will host a policy forum on “how New York can strengthen connections between its signature economic development initiative and job training programs.” Featured speakers include Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Winston Fisher, Co-Chair of the NYC Regional Economic Development Council (REDC).
At the City Council on Tuesday:
- At 9:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet.
- At 11 a.m., the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses will meet concerning the designation of the East New York Savings Bank, Parkway Branch Building as an historic landmark.
- At 11 a.m., the Committee on Finance will meet to vote through the fiscal year 2017 budget.
- The Council will hold a full-body Stated Meeting on Tuesday to vote through the fiscal year 2017 budget.
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, City & State NY will recognize its 2016 Class of Albany Rising Stars. The annual award reception will honor 40 of the state’s “brightest young professionals in politics, advocacy and business”.
Both houses of the state Legislature are in session on Wednesday in Albany.
At 9 a.m. Wednesday in Long Island City, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) and Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will host their annual Fair Housing Symposium and Tenant Resource Fair. Co-sponsored by the CUNY School of Law, the event will feature discussions on “combatting tenant harassment and source of income discrimination.” Legal and social service providers will also be present to assist attendees with their individual housing concerns.
At the City Council on Wednesday:
- At 10:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will meet.
- At 11 a.m., the Committee on Land Use will meet to consider all items reported out of previous Subcommittee meetings.
- At 1 p.m., the Committee on Juvenile Justice will meet.
Both houses of the state Legislature are in session on Thursday in Albany.
At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye will discuss NYCHA plans and challenges at a Crain’s New York Business breakfast forum. After Olatoye gives remarks, she will answer questions from moderators Erik Engquist of Crain’s and Ben Max of Gotham Gazette.
At 6 p.m. Thursday, the city Department of City Planning will hold its second open house to gather input from local business owners and residents on the progress of the North Brooklyn Industry and Innovation Plan.
At the City Council on Thursday:
- At 10 a.m., the Committee on General Welfare will hold a previously deferred oversight hearing on foster care and consider eight newly-introduced bills that would require the city to more closely monitor the welfare of children in foster care, among other things.
- Also at 10 a.m., the Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet to discuss three bills that would require the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide seniors, women, and immigrants with outreach and education regarding consumer protection issues.
- At 1 p.m., the Committee on Higher Education will meet to review a bill that would establish a task force that would analyze ways to eliminate tuition at the City University of New York and develop proposals on the role the City can play in working toward that goal.
On Thursday at 7 p.m. the Queens County Young Democrats Celebrate Pride 2016 with special guests City Council Member Danny Dromm and Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer - Club Evolution, Jackson Heights.
Friday and the weekend
At the City Council on Friday: at 10 a.m., the Committee on Technology will hold a previously deferred hearing on two bills; one that would require all businesses to allow customers to dial 911 and another that would require the Commissioner of Information Technology to report on misrouted 911 calls near the geographic boundaries of the city.
by Amanda Sherwin and Ben Max