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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 20


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

The New York political world is still reeling from and reacting to the news that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides will not be charged in either of two investigations into their behavior. Comptroller Scott Stringer has said definitively he is running for reelection, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said it’s time to move on to focus on key problems facing the city, and de Blasio himself held a testy press conference and then flew to Florida for a weekend away.

As for this week, the mayor will be back Monday after getting some sun, rest, and taking in some spring training baseball. He has no public events Monday.

It’s budget season, with just 10 days until a new state budget is due. Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders will begin pushing the pace in negotiations, especially given that last week the two houses of the Legislature passed their one-house budget resolutions. Notably, there’s been little indication that government ethics, voting or campaign finance reform is a high priority for legislators or for Gov. Cuomo. [Read: Since State of the State, Cuomo Silent on Ethics Reform]

Before he gets back to budget business in Albany, on Sunday Cuomo was in the Bronx, where he “announced a $1.8 billion project to transform the South Bronx by realizing the long-sought reconstruction of the Bruckner-Sheridan Interchange.”

With budget negotiations into their final weeks, it’s a rare four-day week of legislative session in Albany. That and much more to watch for this week -- 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, there will be a preliminary budget hearing of the Committee on Mental Health at 3 p.m.

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

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is heading to Albany Monday “to meet with State leaders.”

On Monday at 11:30 a.m. in Albany, “Citizens Union (CU) will release the latest edition of its report, Spending in the Shadows, on unspecified lump sum spending in New York’s FY 2018 Executive budget. The report examines numerous pots of money under state government control that have little detail, few restraints and little public accountability – all part of a recipe for public corruption. The report documents $4.3 billion in funds that are subject to spending decisions by individual elected officials, representing an increase of nearly $2 billion from last year’s executive budget. The report also documents other opaque spending that lacks criteria for spending, and does not specify any official as having authority.” The press conference will be on the third floor of the state Capitol.

At 12:30 p.m. Monday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Margaret Chin, OATH Commissioner Fidel Del Valle, and Chinatown organizations and leaders will hold a “press conference to announce “What to do if you get a city summons” town hall,” at the Chinese-American Planning Council.

At 12:30 p.m. Monday, schools Chancellor Carmen Farina will deliver remarks at the Hispanic Federation Education Summit, at the CUNY Graduate Center.

At 6 p.m. Monday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host the second of two public hearings of their “Gifted and Talented Task Force,” focusing on “gifted and talented education in New York City public schools, as well as the admissions process for the city’s specialized schools,” at the Bronx High School of Science.

At 6 p.m. Monday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will host a reception for her office gallery commemorating women’s causes and political life in New York, as part of Women’s History Month. The reception will honor the late Maggie Peyton.

At 8 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks at the Fort Greene Association Quarterly Meeting.

Tuesday
Mayor de Blasio has a busy Tuesday:

  • 10:30 a.m. press conference on Vision Zero near New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • 2 p.m. at Tweed Courthouse, "as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Cities’ Day of Immigration Action, the Mayor and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Vivierito will host a press conference on new policy guidance."
  • 4 p.m. public hearing and bill signing at City Hall: "the Mayor will hold public hearings and sign 14 pieces of legislation– Intro. 1161-A in relation to requiring DOHMH report annually on immunization rates of NYers for Human Papillomavirus; Intro. 1162-A in relation to requiring DOHMH to report annually on the use of contraceptives; Intro 1172-A in relation to requiring DOHMH to report annually on maternal mortality; Intro. 748-B in relation to amending the New York City charter in relation to drug strategy; Intro. 882-A in relation to requiring that a hearing loop – which helps people with hearing loss hear better – be installed in certain capital projects; Intro. 1280-B in relation to requiring NYPD to make collision reports available online to individuals involved; Intro. 1071-A in relation to requiring DOT to conduct a study of private streets; Intro. 1474-A in relation to lowering the tax on the transfer of a taxi medallion; Intro. 1475-A in relation to removing restrictions on the transfer of taxi medallions; Intro 873-A in relation to establishing a car-sharing pilot program that reserves some street parking spaces for car-share vehicles; Intro. 267-A in relation to requiring DOT to designate parking spaces in municipal parking lots for car-share organizations; Intro. 247-A in relation to increasing the fines for performing electrical work without a license; Intro. 820-A in relation to requiring DSNY to consider programs that would incentivize recycling in public housing; and Intro. 1198-A in relation to requiring DEP to publish a plan for reducing flooding in Queens Community Districts 12 and 13, and to report annually on progress."
  • 7 p.m. "the Mayor and First Lady Chirlane McCray will host a Greek Independence Day Reception" at Gracie Mansion.
  • During the 7 and 10 p.m. hours, the mayor will make a taped appearace on NY1's Road to City Hall.

At the City Council on Tuesday, there will be preliminary budget hearings on:

  • The Department of Parks & Recreation at 10 a.m.
  • The Department of Education at 10 a.m.

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

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Crain’s New York Business will host its 2017 Arts & Culture Breakfast, discussing how artists and cultural workers can secure funding for their projects. Speakers will include City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, who will talk with Jeremy Smerd, editor of Crain’s, as well as Diane Coffey, the Director Emerita of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and current Managing Director at the Peter J. Solomon Company, who will speak with Crain’s publisher Jill Kaplan.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito will deliver remarks at the New York Immigration Coalition Annual NYC Legislative and Policy Breakfast, at Tribeca Grill. At 11 a.m., Mark-Viverito will announce a capital funding investment in a NYCHA senior center, with NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye, at Betances Senior Center in the Bronx.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Public Advocate Letitia James will deliver remarks at the JCRC "Confronting Fear & Hate in New York City" forum at Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. At noon, James will deliver remarks at the Queens Chamber of Commerce St. Patrick's Day lunch.

On Tuesday at 11 a.m., Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan will appear on the Capitol Pressroom radio program, hosted by Susan Arbetter.

At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Comptroller Scott Stringer "Hosts Press Conference and Unveils Major New Report" at Greenwich House.

On Tuesday at 6 p.m., John Jay College of Criminal Justice will host a community information forum regarding the upcoming referendum on whether to call a state constitutional convention, in an event postponed one week due to last Tuesday's snowstorm. Panelists and moderators scheduled for the original event included Michael Benjamin of the New York Post; Brigid Bergin of WNYC; Josh Robin of NY1; Dick Dadey of Citizen Union; and Evan Davis, the former president of the New York City Bar Association and current senior counsel at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce will host “LGBT Financial Planning in the Trump Era.” Paul Schindler of Gay City News will moderate a panel featuring financial advisor Alexander J. Fruchtman and attorneys Dylan T. McKeon, Yolanda Kanes, and Pablo G. Velez.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer will hold a Women's History Month Celebration at the New York Supreme Court.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Manhattan Institute will host the 2017 William E. Simon Forum on Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship, discussing the impact of “sunset provisions” on philanthropy. MI’s Howard Husock will moderate a panel consisting of Edwin Feulner of the Heritage Foundation, Heather Higgins of the Randolph Foundation, and James Piereson of the William E. Simon Foundation.

Wednesday
At the City Council on Wednesday, there will be preliminary budget hearings that include testimony from:

  • The Mayor’s Office on Immigrant Affairs, the Human Resources Administration, the Department of Youth and Community Development, and CUNY at 10 a.m.
  • The Human Rights Commission at 1 p.m.

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

At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the New York City Food Policy Center will hold “The Inner Workings of New York City's Water,” with James Tierney, DEC NYS Deputy Commissioner; David Warne, DEP NYC Assistant Commissioner; Eric Goldstein, Senior Attorney and New York City Environment Director at the National Resources Defense Council; Professor Allan Frei, Department of Geography at Hunter College, CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities; and moderator Charles Platkin.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Margaret Chin, and OATH Commissioner Fidel F. Del Valle will cosponsor a forum with ACCES discussing what to do when you get a summons and how to navigate the city’s Administrative Law Court.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the city's Panel for Educational Policy will hold its monthly meeting at the High School for Fashion Industries.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the New York City Bar Association will host “How to Get on the Ballot in New York City.” The program will feature election lawyers discussing how to run for office in the city with prospective office holders who may feel overwhelmed by the complexity. Speakers include Martin E. Connor, former State Senate Minority Leader and Chair of the City Bar Election Law Committee; a Representative of the Office of General Counsel at the Board of Elections; Sarah K. Steiner, former Chair of the City Bar Election Law Committee; and Matt Sollars and Dan Cho, of the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Brooklyn Historical Society will host “Whose Park? Equity in NYC's Green Spaces,” to discuss whether New York City’s green spaces are distributed and used equitably. New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman “moderates a candid discussion with Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and former Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer about parks, equity, and the complicated mediation between users.”

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Gotham Center for New York City History, in association with the Brennan Center, will host “The History and Future of Criminal Justice Reform in New York City” at the Graduate Center at CUNY’s Elebash Recital Hall. The event will feature Shannon King of the College of Wooster; Alex Vitale, author of City of Disorder; Martin F. Horn, former Commissioner of the Departments of Probation and Correction; and Alice Speri, multimedia reporter at The Intercept.

Thursday
At the City Council on Thursday: The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws regarding illegal residential conversions, requiring landlords to distribute voter registration forms, and the denial of building permits where outstanding charges are owed to the city.

At the City Council on Thursday, there will be a preliminary budget hearing on The Department of Environmental Protection at 10 a.m.

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

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, City Council Members Helen Rosenthal, Mark Levine, and Bill Perkins, along with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, will host a Hate Crime Forum to discuss the recent rise in hate crimes as well as how to identify, report, and stop them.

Friday and the weekend
At 8:30 a.m. Friday, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Women's History Month Celebration at Brooklyn Law School’s Forchelli Conference Center. Joni Yoswein, of Yoswein New York, will moderate a discussion featuring Ingrid Lewis Martin, senior advisor to Borough President Eric Adams; Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon; and Senator Roxanne J. Persaud.

At noon Friday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will speak “at 106th anniversary commemoration of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Washington Place and Greene Street.”

On Saturday, Cycle 6 Voting Week for Participatory Budgeting will begin.

At about 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Manhattan BP Brewer will speak at the “33rd annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference, Hostos Community College.”

***
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 Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max
@GothamGazette



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