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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 6


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

One of the big stories this week is what is happening in the fight over the city’s fee on plastic and paper carryout bags that is supposed to go into effect February 15 but state lawmakers are moving to block. Both houses of the state Legislature are set to pass legislation stopping the implementation of the nickel-per-bag fee, much to the disappointment of environmentalists, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and City Council members who passed the city legislation.

On Sunday, according to the media advisory of those involved, there was a rally at City Hall during which “Environmental groups and elected officials call for Assembly, Senate and Governor to Oppose Assembly Bill No. 4883 and Senate Bill No. 4158, which would nullify NYC’s Bring Your Own Bag Law -- the City’s thoroughly-vetted, democratically-adopted, easy-to-follow, environmentally-sound, Bring Your Own Bag Law.”

It is unclear how Gov. Andrew Cuomo will act on the legislation. He has kept his thoughts close to the vest, but it will up to him whether to sign or veto the state legislation. There is a chance that if Cuomo were to use a veto, the Legislature would then override it.

Also, on Monday in Albany, “the New York State Senate is expected to take up a comprehensive bill to bring ride-sharing to Upstate communities and improve local economies. The new bill (S4159), sponsored by Senate Insurance Committee Chairman James L. Seward (R-C-I-Ref, Oneonta) provides the framework for ride-sharing companies to expand operations outside of New York City and enable new jobs to be created by offering more safe, reliable transportation options to Upstate residents and visitors.”

Generally speaking, it will be another busy week of budget and other hearings in Albany as the state Legislature evaluates elements of Cuomo’s executive budget, which he released in mid-January, and policy matters like the bag fee and ride-hailing apps like Uber, as mentioned above. There’s also a hearing Monday on raising the age of adult criminal responsibility in New York, one of several ongoing, hot-button issues at the state level.  

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.

***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 the City Council on Monday:

  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Technology will hold an oversight hearing on the economic impact of the film and television industries in New York City.

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday.

At 8:30 a.m. on Monday, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will hold a “Special Congressional Breakfast Forum.” This event will feature the Brooklyn Delegation of the United States House of Representatives. These people “will share their perspectives on the new administration and on the 2017 Congressional session.”

On Monday at 10 a.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Borough Board “will hold a public hearing on the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2018 Preliminary Budget.” This event will take place at Queens Borough Hall, which is on 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Queens. People from the general public are encouraged to testify at this hearing.

On Monday at 1 p.m., there will be a joint legislative budget hearing on mental hygiene at Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

At 10:30 p.m. on Monday, the NYC Department of Homeless Services will begin its Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) count. This event “is an annual, HUD-mandated, point-in-time estimate to assess the number of individuals chronically living in New York City's public spaces.” This event will kick off at P.S. 116 in Manhattan, and Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks will kick off the event with a training session.

At 11 a.m. on Monday, the Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families and Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction will hold a joint public hearing on “The Age of Criminal Responsibility and its Impact in New York State.” This hearing will take place at Van Buren Hearing Room A which is on the 2nd Floor of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

At 12 p.m. on Monday, the Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary will hold a hearing “To Consider the Nomination of Rowan D. Wilson for Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.” This hearing will take place in Room 124 of the New York State Capitol Building in Albany.

Also at 12 p.m. Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill will hold a press conference in the Bronx to discuss the latest crime statistics.

At 1:15 p.m. Monday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will hold a news conference on immigration and the DREAM Act at the Capitol in Albany. 

At 5 p.m. on Monday, Council Member Ben Kallos and the Department of Sanitation will hold a reusable bag giveaway at Fairway Market on East 86th Street.

At 6:30 p.m. on Monday, the CUNY Graduate Center will hold “Higher Education and Upward Mobility.” Economist Raj Chetty will take on questions such as these--”Which U.S. colleges best help children climb the income ladder? How can we increase access to such colleges for children from low-income families?” Opening remarks will be made by CUNY Chancellor James Milliken, and Professors Philip Kasinitz (Sociology) and Leslie McCall (Sociology and Political Science) will join Chetty in the panel discussion. David Leonhardt of The New York Times will lead the panel discussion.

At 7 p.m. on Monday, feminist.com, the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University, and Road to Market Limited will sponsor “Now What/What Now? The Urgency of an ‘Allies Agenda.’” This event promises to be “an important panel discussion and open conversation about constructing an ‘allies agenda.’” The speakers include human rights activist Jimmie Briggs; Joelle Gamble, the National Director of Network at Roosevelt Institute; City Council Member Dan Garodnick; political consultant and opinion writer Alexis Grenell; and CBS National News Correspondent Michelle Miller. The moderators of this panel are Michael Kimmel, a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, and Executive Director at the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities; and Marianne Schnall, the Author and Founder/Executive Director of feminist.com.

Also at 7 p.m. Monday, the mayor's taped appearance on NY1's Inside City Hall will air.

Tuesday
At the City Council on Tuesday:

  • At 11 a.m., the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses will meet.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Aging will meet for an oversight hearing on follow-up on social adult day care.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Veterans will hold an oversight hearing on an update on the Veterans Advisory Board.
  • At 1 p.m., the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will meet.

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.

On Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., there will be a joint legislative budget hearing on taxes at Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

Wednesday
At the City Council on Wednesday:

  • At 10 a.m., the Committee on Public Safety will hold an oversight hearing on “NYPD recruitment, diversity, and path to promotion.”

On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., there will be a joint legislative budget hearing on human services at Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

On Wednesday at 10 a.m., the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes; the Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary; and the Assembly Standing Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation will hold a joint oversight hearing on “government oversight of forensic science laboratories.” This event will take place in the Assembly Hearing Room, which is at 250 Broadway, Room 1923, on the 19th Floor, in New York.

At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, City Council Member Jumaane Williams will hold “State of Immigration State of Emergency.” At this event, “attendees will learn about immigration policy changes under President Donald J. Trump and how to prepare.” Williams, State Senator Kevin Parker, State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, and District Leader Josue Pierre will all be at this forum.

At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Museum of the City of New York will hold “Divided in a Diverse City.” At this event, “New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and NYC Council Member Brad Lander examine the value of “diversity” and the realities of racial segregation in New York City today.”

At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board will hold a board meeting.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, there will be a Town Hall in Bedford Stuyvesant with Mayor de Blasio. This Town Hall will also be presented by City Councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, State Assemblywoman Velmanette Montgomery, and State Assemblyman Tremaine Wright. The event will be at P.S. 23, which is at 545 Willoughby Avenue.

Thursday
At the City Council on Thursday:

  • At 10 a.m., the Committee on Consumer Affairs will hold an oversight hearing on regulating New York’s towing industry, and discuss a proposed law on “increasing maximum charges for towing motor vehicles.”
  • At 11 a.m., the Committee on Land Use will meet.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committees on Women’s Issues and Higher Education will hold a joint oversight hearing on child care centers at CUNY.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Finance will discuss two proposed laws on the commercial rent tax.

At 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, the Queens Chamber of Commerce will have DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia discuss Mayor de Blasio’s “One New York.”

On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., there will be a joint legislative budget hearing on housing at Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

At 10 a.m. on Thursday, the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) will hold a public hearing.

At 10 a.m. on Thursday, the NYC Campaign Finance Board will hold a public meeting. This will take place at at 100 Church Street, on the 12th Floor.

At 12 p.m. on Thursday, the New York City Bar will hold “Over the Rainbow: Ending Mass Incarceration - Fewer Inmates and Better Prisons.” David Yassky, a former member of the New York City Council and Dean at Pace University School of Law; and Michael Mushlin a professor at Pace University School of Law will speak at this event.

At 5 p.m. on Thursday, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice will hold an event with Mayors Against Illegal Guns. This event will feature a panel discussion with Q&A. The panelists include Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly Jones, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. The moderator will be Bill Keller of The Marshall Project.

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, City Councilman Antonio Reynoso will hold his State of the District Address. People can RSVP through this link.

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte will deliver her State of the District Address. She will deliver her address at the Brooklyn College Student Center (SUBO), which is located on Campus Road and East 27th Street, 6th Floor.

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, the Manhattan Institute will hold “Supreme Court At A Crossroads: Judicial Engagement VS. Judicial Restraint: What Should Conservatives Prefer?” This event will be a debate between “those who support a more engaged judiciary that vigorously enforces enumerated as well as unenumerated constitutional rights to overturn state and federal legislation and those who believe in a judiciary that takes a more limited view of the constitutional text.” The speakers at this event will be Clark Neily, Senior Attorney, Institute For Justice; and Mark Pulliam, Lawyer And Contributing Editor, Library Of Law And Liberty; Contributor, City Journal. These two speakers will provide differing views in what a conservative should want out of a pick for the Supreme Court.

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, the Urban Land Institute of New York will hold “YLG Signature Panel: Zoning The City.” At this event, the topics include “affordable housing, the East New York Rezoning, the Midtown East Rezoning, and how zoning might resolve some of the city’s greatest challenges.” The speakers will include Gail Benjamin; Carl Weisbrod, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission; Elise Wagner, Partner of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; Vishaan Chakrabarti, Founder of Practice For Architecture And Urbanism (PAU); and David Brown, Director of Real Estate at the Archdiocese of New York.

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will hold an “East Side L Train Workshop.” This workshop will brainstorm ideas of how to deal with the reality of a shutdown of the L Train on the 14th Street Corridor in 2019.

Friday and the weekend

At 8:15 a.m. on Friday, there will be a CityLaw Breakfast with Fidel Del Valle, Commissioner and Chief Judge of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).

On Friday at 3 p.m., the Center for Community and Ethnic Media will hold a Q&A with Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop. At this event, “Commissioner Bishop will focus on his department’s major initiatives such as outreach to M/WBEs about city contracting opportunities, services available to help small business owners launch and grow, partnerships with business improvement districts, industry partnerships to help support growth in the local economy, and recent work with small business owners impacted by enhanced security near Trump Tower.”

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will deliver her “State of the Borough.” The theme of this event is “Get involved in the new era of activism!” This event will include remarks from Borough President Brewer, a panel discussion, and a Manhattan Activist Fair.

***
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 Brendan Birth and Ben Max
     



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