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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 26


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

It's a very busy week in New York politics, including a packed week at the City Council, two days of legislative session in Albany, and much more. The week spans the final days of February and first days of March, which is the key month for budget negotiations in the state capital - the new state fiscal year begins April 1. Expect state budget discussions to heat up mid-March, but there are ongoing negotiations, disagreements, and controversies.

As the week begins, issues at NYCHA continue to be a focus, and the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) of the state Senate will release a new report Monday about issues at the public housing authority. There is also a lot of focus, nationally and in New York, on school safety and gun control, with Governor Andrew Cuomo out front on the latter, touting his gun control accomplishments and working with other northeastern governors to move ahead on new information sharing and reforms, while also criticizing proposals by President Donald Trump and others, such as arming more teachers.  

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
"On Monday, Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner O’Neill will deliver remarks at a street sign dedication ceremony honoring Officer Edward Byrne." The event will take place at noon at the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica. "In the evening, the Mayor will appear live on NY1’s Inside City Hall with Errol Louis."

On Monday at 9:30 a.m. in the Bronx, the de Blasio administration, led by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio and Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks, and elected officials "will announce that the Department of Homeless Services has ended the use of more than 42 percent of cluster units citywide as part of the its commitment to phasing out the 18-year-old stop-gap cluster site program. Combined with Mayor de Blasio’s announcement in December that the City will convert another 800 cluster units to permanent affordable housing, the City will have reduced the use of cluster units by more than 60 percent citywide. Last year, Mayor de Blasio announced “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City,” his borough-by-borough plan for addressing the challenge of homelessness, which affects every community across the five boroughs. To address and transform a shelter system that expanded in a haphazard way over the past four decades, the Mayor’s plan will completely end the use of all 360 cluster sites and commercial hotel facilities citywide, while opening a smaller number of 90 new and more effective borough-based shelters. The City has committed to ending the use of all cluster sites by 2021."

At the City Council on Monday:
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Committees on the Justice System and Public Safety will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding enforcement of marijuana laws, to discuss a proposed law “requiring the police department to submit reports on the enforcement of marijuana possession,” and to discuss a resolution “urging the New York State Legislature to amend the Penal Law Section 130.05 to include individuals in police custody as being categorically incapable of consenting to sexual conduct with a police officer.”
--The Committees on Fire & Emergency Management and Housing & Buildings will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “issues related to recent residential fires,” and to discuss several proposed laws relating to fire safety measures in the home.
--The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet at noon.
--The Committee on Transportation will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “reports on pedestrian plazas.”
--The Committee on Finance will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “impact of the federal tax law on New York City.”
--The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “facilitating the use of wind power in New York City,” and to discuss several proposed laws relating to wind energy and to energy efficiency in buildings.
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 2 p.m.

“On Monday, February 26, 2018 at 10:30am in Borough Hall, Borough President James S. Oddo will unveil a new public education campaign on sleep and its impact on our physical, emotional, and mental health, and on the ability of kids to learn. A component of this initiative will also be an anti-drowsy driving campaign.”

"On Monday, February 26 at 11:00 a.m., New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators (NYAHP), an organization of advocates and sex abuse survivors from across New York, will hold a press conference at State Senator Martin Golden’s district office in Brooklyn, calling on the senator to stop blocking passage of the Child Victims Act. The bill would raise the statute of limitations in New York to prosecute and file civil claims against predators who have sexually abused children. Golden has been a public opponent of the bill and previously said he did not see an “impetus” to pass the legislation, denying victims a right to receive justice."

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul has three public events Monday: at 11:30 a.m. she will highlight state investments in downtown Cortland at ribbon cutting of mixed-Use building; at 12:15 p.m., she will tour downtown Cortland and visit businesses with Mayor Brian Tobin; and at 6:45 p.m., she will be a guest on "the 200th Radio Show of "Reaching Out With Gregory Floyd" on AM 970."

At noon Monday at 250 Broadway in Manhattan: "The Independent Democratic Conference, with advocates and impacted tenants, will release a bombshell report, “The New Flint,” comparing the lead crisis facing residents of the New York City Housing Authority with the lead crisis that captivated a nation in Flint, Michigan. Along with a new survey of NYCHA residents on lead paint, the senators will also lay out a comprehensive package of legislation to protect residents from the failures of the Authority." Participants in the press conference will include IDC Senators Jeff Klein; Jesse Hamilton; Diane Savino; and Marisol Alcantara; and representatives from Community Voices Heard.

"On Monday at 5:00 PM, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) Executive Director Charlotte Cohen will join representatives from small local arts organizations across the borough, including the Brooklyn Raga Massive, Fort Greene Park Conservancy, Fulton Art Fair, and Regina Opera Company in announcing $22,500 in new Destination>Brooklyn mini-grants to advance cultural tourism across the borough. The grant program, now in its third year of operation, supports the promotion of these local artistic groups to a broader audience through the creation, production, and distribution of print promotional materials, funded by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and NYC & Company Foundation. The announcement will take place at Cora Dance."

At 6 p.m. Monday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will host a celebration of Black History Month at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Brewer will honor five "black activists" at the event: Hawk Newsome, President, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York; Kemah George, Community Engagement Manager, New York Immigration Coalition; Nkechi Ogbodo, Founder, Kechie’s Project; Leslie LaRue, TransJustice Fellow, Audre Lorde Project; and Samuel Sinyangwe, Co-Founder, Campaign Zero and Planning Team Member, OurStates.

On Monday at 6:30 p.m., “Council Member Van Bramer will honor the achievements of distinguished community leaders at the 8th Annual Black History Month Celebration. The Council Member will present the Distinguished Public Service Award to NYPD Commanding Officer of Patrol Borough Queens North, Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes who made history by becoming the first African American female to command a NYC Patrol Borough.”

Tuesday
At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on the Justice System will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “issues with criminal discovery practices.”
--The Committee on Health will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Center for Health Equity.
--The Committee on Education will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding Community Schools and Renewal Schools, and to discuss a proposed law relating to “requiring the department of education to provide school-level data regarding students receiving special education services.”
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m.
--The Committees on Mental Health, Disabilities, & Addiction and General Welfare will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “opioid overdoses among NYC’s homeless population,” to discuss a resolution “calling upon the New York City Department of Education to include drug awareness education concerning opioids in the school curriculum,” and to discuss several proposed laws relating to matters such as a needle exchange program, distribution of educational materials on opioids in schools, and training and reporting requirements for opioid antagonists such as Naloxone.
--The Committee on Contracts will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the Returnable Grant Fund.

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

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics will meet on Tuesday in Albany.

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, Crain’s New York Business will host Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton for a “Business Breakfast Forum” at the New York Athletic Club, discussing “the Port Authority’s three major airports, plans for a new bus terminal and other infrastructure priorities.”

At 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, the New York City Bar Association will host Maria Vullo, Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, for a discussion on “the department’s priorities in 2018, plus a recap of 2017’s most noteworthy developments.”

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Board of Standards and Appeals will hold a public hearing at Spector Hall.

On Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Capitol in Albany, "VOCAL-NY and other grassroots groups from around New York State will rally to demand Gov. Andrew Cuomo align himself with the criminal justice proposals put forward by the leaders of his own party in the New York State Senate."

At 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council will hold its annual meeting at City College’s Shepard Hall. Kathryn Wylde, President of the Partnership for New York City, will deliver keynote remarks.

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Members Mark Gjonaj, Ritchie Torres, and Andrew Cohen, among otheres, will celebrate the tenth anniversary of Kosovo’s independence in the Council Chambers.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, City Council Member Adrienne Adams and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will hold a town hall meeting at MS 217 in Jamaica, Queens.

Wednesday
At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Committee on Criminal Justice will tour Rikers Island starting at 10 a.m.
--The Committee on Small Business will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “SBS role in supporting microbusinesses.”
--The Committee on Cultural Affairs will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “art as resistance state in Trump’s America.”
--The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding an “update on the Parks Department’s Equity Initiatives.”
--The Committee on Aging will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding home repairs for seniors.
--The Committees on Women and Civil & Human Rights will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “sexual harassment best practices/policies in New York City.”
--The Committee on Hospitals will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing “examining the status of ‘One New York: Health Care for Our Neighborhoods’.”
--The Committee on Technology will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “federal overhaul of the Lifeline Program and its effect on low-income New Yorkers.”
--The Committee on Juvenile Justice will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing “examining the continuum of NYC’s juvenile justice system.”

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

At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the New York City Bar Association will host “New York State Environmental Year in Review,” discussing “the past year’s most significant developments in New York State environmental law.” Speakers will include Thomas Berkman, General Counsel for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Donna DeCostanzo, of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Scott Fein, of Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP; Michael Gerrard of Columbia Law; Philip Weinberg of St. John’s Law School; and Amy Turner, of NYC Climate Action Alliance.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting at 120 Broadway.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, City & State will host its “NYC Power 100 Luncheon” at Battery Gardens in Battery Park City. Former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton will deliver a keynote address.

At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction will meet at the Arts Center Theater in Hudson, Columbia County for a community forum “to explore real solutions from law enforcement, first responders, addiction treatment and recovery specialists, elected officials and others to address New York State’s heroin and opioid abuse and addiction epidemic.”

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Citizens Budget Commission will host its 86th Annual Awards Dinner at the Pierre Hotel on the Upper East Side. City Comptroller Scott Stringer will be the recipient of CBC’s Medal for High Civic Service. Former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Stanley Fischer will be presented with the Felix G. Rohatyn Award.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Panel for Educational Policy will hold its monthly meeting at Murry Bergtraum High School in Chinatown.

Thursday
At noon Thursday, the New York State Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, State Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman will host “Finding Solutions To Our Transit Crisis” at the Proshansky Auditorium at the CUNY Graduate Center, featuring a panel of experts discussing remedies to issues such as train and bus service and congestion. The panel will consist of MTA Board Members Polly Trottenberg and Veronica Vanterpool, Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute, Alex Matthiessen of Move NY, and Nick Sifuentes of the Bus Turnaround Coalition and Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio is expected to make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show Friday morning at 10 a.m.

***
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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