New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver his State of the City speech on Monday evening at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, likely touting the accomplishments of his first three years in office as he gets ready to face reelection later this year. In announcements last Friday and over the weekend, the mayor revealed a few of the major initiatives he will include in his speech -- a $1.9 billion investment to increase affordability at 10,000 units of housing for seniors, veterans and low-income New Yorkers; a new Elder Rent Assistance Program for 25,000 seniors that would be funded through the mayor's proposed Mansion Tax; and a $93 million program to provide free legal services for tenants in housing court.
A nonpartisan City Council special election is scheduled for Tuesday in Harlem's District 9 for the seat vacated by Inez Dickens, who was elected to the state Assembly in November. Since it is a special election, no party primary was held and each candidate is running on their own party line. Special elections tend to draw few voters to the polls and the winner, out of nearly a dozen candidates, will likely be decided by a small number of votes. The new council member will serve through the remainder of Dickens' term and be up for reelection later this year.
On Thursday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will be giving her State of the City speech in Brooklyn, her final one as speaker as she will be term limited out of the Council this year.
Up in Albany, budget hearings continue as the Legislature examines Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive budget which was released last month.
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 the City Council on Monday:
- At 10 a.m., the Committee on Juvenile Justice will meet to discuss several proposed laws on youth in detention facilities, a proposed law on “requiring the administration for children’s services to maintain electronic health records for youth in the juvenile justice system,” and a proposed resolution asking New York State to amend an article of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
- At 10 a.m., the Committee on Transportation will hold an oversight hearing on one question--”How can public transportation better serve the needs of New York City residents?”
- At 1 p.m., the Committee on Technology will meet to discuss a proposed law on electronic emergency notifications.
- At 1 p.m., the Committee on Finance will meet to discuss four proposed laws on the commercial rent tax.
- At 1 p.m., the Committee on Parks and Recreation will hold an oversight hearing on “an update on the status of the Parks Without Borders initiative,” and to discuss proposed laws that would deal with pedestrian access to park facilities and “the naming of 40 thoroughfares and public places.”
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday.
The New York State Board of Regents will meet on Monday.
On Monday at 8 a.m., NYU Wagner and the Center for an Urban Future will hold a policy symposium titled “Driving Innovation: Can Cities Serve as Models for Solving Some of the Nation’s Biggest Domestic Policy Challenges?” At this symposium, the participants will grapple with the question of whether cities will be able to maintain, or even accelerate, progress under the existence of the Trump administration. The speakers include Nigel Jacob, Co-Chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics in the City of Boston; Christiana McFarland, Research Director at the National League of Cities; Josh Moskowitz, Director of Global Public Affairs at Citi; Michael Nutter, Former Mayor of Philadelphia; and Mindy Tarlow, Director of the Mayor's Office of Operations in New York. This event will take place at NYU’s Puck Building (295 Lafayette Street) in the Rudin Conference Room (2nd Floor).
On Monday at 9 a.m., Riders Alliance will hold a rally on the steps of City Hall on MetroCard fares.
At 9:30 a.m. on Monday, there will be a joint legislative budget hearing on environmental conservation in Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.
At 11 a.m. in Albany on Monday, Senate Democrats will hold a news conference at the Capitol calling for action on raising the age of adult criminal responsibility in New York.
At 12 p.m. on Monday, New York City Council members and business representatives from Manhattan will host a news conference at City Hall "in support of reforming the Commercial Rent Tax -- an unfair, 1960s-era tax that only applies to businesses south of 96th Street in Manhattan."
At 12:30 p.m., members of the Senate Independent Democratic Conference and Assembly Democrats will "join Foreclosure Prevention Network Organizations to release a whitepaper and call for $30 million over two years for foreclosure prevention legal services," according to a press release.
At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Open Society Foundations of New York will hold a live webcast called “Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel.” At this event, Harvard Professor Michèle Lamont will discuss her book, which “illuminates the different kinds of stigmatizing or discriminatory incidents individuals encounter in each country, how they respond to these occurrences, and what they view as the best strategy—whether individually, collectively, through confrontation, or through self-improvement—for dealing with such events.”
On Monday at 7 p.m., Mayor de Blasio will deliver his State of the City speech at the Apollo Theater.
At the City Council on Tuesday:
- At 10 a.m., the Committee on Governmental Operations will meet to discuss a proposed law related to “improving access to city services for limited English proficiency individuals.”
- At 10 a.m., the Committee on Public Safety will meet to discuss the proposed Nuisance Abatement Fairness Act, a legislative package of thirteen bills, as well as a proposed law prohibiting the use of all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes in the city.
- At 10 a.m., the Committee on Women’s Issues and the Committee on Higher Education will hold a joint oversight hearing on “child care centers at the City University of New York.”
- At 10 a.m., the Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet for an oversight hearing on the towing industry in New York City, and to discuss a proposed law that would increase the maximum charges for towing motor vehicles.
- At 11 a.m., the Committee on Land Use will meet.
- At 1 p.m., the Committee on Housing and Buildings and the Committee on Economic Development will hold a joint oversight hearing on “evaluating the City’s purchase of FHA-financed underwater mortgages through the Community Restoration Program.”
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday.
There will be a special election in City Council District 9 in Harlem.
At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the New York City Industrial Development Agency will hold a Board of Directors Meeting.
At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the NYC Board of Correction will hold a public meeting.
At 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, there will be a joint legislative budget hearing on elementary and secondary education in Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.
At the City Council on Wednesday:
- At 10 a.m., the Committee on Finance will meet.
- At 1:30 p.m., the City Council will hold a stated meeting.
- At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, there will be a joint legislative budget hearing on transportation in Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.
At 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the Brennan Center for Justice will hold “The Future of Miranda: Police Practices and Power in the Modern Legal Landscape.” The symposium is centered on issues surrounding Miranda v. Arizona, a Supreme Court decision which had a major impact on law enforcement. The panels at this symposium “will explore the ways in which Miranda and related law-enforcement issues have evolved in the 50 years since the decision was issued.” People can RSVP through this link.
On Wednesday at 11 a.m., the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs will hold a discussion with DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas.
At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will hold a hearing on New York City’s proposed budget.
At 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy will hold “Can we Put a Price on Student Achievement?: Financial Returns for Academic Success.” The speakers are Eric A. Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research; and Henry Levin, the William H. Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education at Columbia Teachers College. These two speakers will be in conversation with David Steiner, Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, and Professor of the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Councilman Corey Johnson will hold a Community Resource Fair. This event will talk about the various services and resources that are available to people who live in New York City.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, the Manhattan Institute will hold a “Young Leaders Circle Forum With Matt Oczkowski.” At this event, Oczkowski, who is the Head of Product at Cambridge Analytica, will answer questions like these: “What can big data—and organizations such as Cambridge Analytica—do to shape the future of the electoral process around the globe? And how did Cambridge, in particular, use information about consumer behavior to shape messaging and maximize campaign resources to deliver Trump's unforeseen victory?”
At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo will continue her “Community Exchange Series.” At this event, Cumbo will talk about “Land Use, Zoning, and Knowing Your Rights as a Tenant.” This event will take place at Medgar Evers College, which is at 1638 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn.
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Council Member Dan Garodnick will hold “Defending the Vulnerable: Call to Action on Immigration and Refugee Crisis.” This event “will cover a variety of timely issues -- from the Executive Orders to sanctuary cities, and much more.”
At 8 a.m. on Thursday, Crain’s New York will hold the “Crain’s 2017 Business Breakfast Forum: NYC’s Regulators.” At this event, top regulators in New York City “will discuss reforms they would like to see, how businesses can avoid trouble and their top priorities for 2017.” The regulators speaking at this event include Daniel D. Brownell, Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Business Integrity Commission; Mark Peters, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation; and Lorelei Salas, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. The moderator will be Erik Engquist the Assistant Managing Editor at Crain's New York Business.
At 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, there will be a joint legislative budget hearing on health/Medicaid in Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.
At 12 p.m. on Thursday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will deliver her State of the City Address. This will take place at Kings Theatre which is at 1027 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.
At 12 p.m. on Thursday, the Manhattan Institute will hold “After Indian Point the Risks Of Renewables.” At this event, Robert Bryce, the Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, will discuss the issues he sees in the future once the Indian Point Energy Center closes.
Friday and the weekend:
The weekend of February 17 is Caucus Weekend in Albany. From 9 a.m. on Friday to 12 p.m. on Saturday, the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators and New York City Council will hold “Caucus Weekend.”
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, “Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and New York Urban League Honors Activist Organizations.” The three organizations which will be honored at this event are West Harlem Environmental Action, the New York Immigrant Coalition, and the NYS Nurses Association.
by Brendan Birth and Samar Khurshid