Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 12

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week Sunday was the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Mayor Bill de Blasio, his predecessors, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and many others remembered the victims, honored the first responders, and commemorated the day at the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the World Trade Center. De Blasio, Cuomo, and others also participated in other commemorative events, with Cuomo announcing that “a monument honoring the first responders who took action on 9/11 will be built in New York City.” Cuomo also rode in the annual 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride. De Blasio spent the evening at the Staten Island September 11 Postcards Memorial.

As the week begins, many eyes are on the state and local party primary elections taking place on Tuesday. There are many state Assembly and state Senate contests on the ballot, but you can only vote if you’re registered with the Democratic or Republican Party - find information about races to watch here; look up who will be on your ballot through the Gotham Gazette-WNYC radio election guide here. Find your poll site here.

On Monday morning at 10:30 a.m., listen to Gotham Gazette’s Ben Max on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show to preview Tuesday’s voting.

This is New York’s third primary day this election season, after the presidential party primaries in April and the congressional party primaries in June. It is expected to be a low turnout day of voting, where candidates can win important primary elections with just a couple of thousand votes.

Highlights of our Gotham Gazette election coverage thus far:

Meanwhile, there are other things to watch for this week in New York politics, including a busy week for the City Council, highlighted by a full-body Stated meeting on Wednesday, along with a variety of committee hearings, one of which will be a Thursday hearing on a bill mandating that the NYPD patrol guide is published online and updated.

Speaking of the NYPD, this week is NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton's last week on the job. He retires from the NYPD on Friday, to be replaced by current Chief of Department James O'Neill.

Mayor de Blasio starts his week with two public events Monday - see below for details. There's a lot happening all over the city this week, 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:

On Monday morning at 8 a.m. at the Jamaica Educational Campus Football Field in Queens, "Mayor de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Jamaica Muslim Center's Eid ul Adha prayer service." At 3p.m., "the Mayor will visit a firehouse with FDNY Commissioner Nigro and UFA President Steve Cassidy, and host a press conference on accidental disability benefits."

At 9 a.m. Monday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will speak at the Jamaican Muslim Center Eid Prayer with Council Member Daneek Miller, Jamaica High School in Queens. Read Mark-Viverito and Miller's joint Gotham Gazette op-ed on fighting Islamophobia.

At 11 a.m., Mark-Viverito will be at Queensborough Community College to announce $50 million in capital funding for the City University of New York.

Monday and Tuesday in Albany, there will be New York Board of Regents meetings.

At 10 a.m. Monday, New York City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and New York City Department of Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha will begin "Forgiving Fines: The New York City Amnesty Program." This program “will forgive penalties and interest on violations received by individuals and business owners from the Department of Sanitation, Department of Buildings and other City agencies.” The program runs until December 12. The launch is set for Angelo's Pizza on 103 Street in Queens.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, Gotham Gazette’s Ben Max and WNYC’s Kat Aaron will join The Brian Lehrer Show to discuss contested races for judge positions and seats in the state Senate and Assembly. This discussion is ahead of Tuesday’s primary elections.

At 11 a.m. Monday, the state Senate Standing Committee on Health, Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, and Assembly Standing Committee on Health will host a public hearing on water quality and contamination. The venue for this third water contamination hearing is the Legislative Auditorium of the William H. Rogers Building in Smithtown, Long Island. (The other hearings were in Hoosick Falls and Albany.)

At 11 a.m. Monday, there will be a rally at the Capitol in Albany for “Higher Ground Moral Day of Action” calling on legislators across the country to support issues such as racial justice and union rights, as part of a “moral policy agenda.”

On Monday evening at CUNY Graduate Center, government reform organization Citizens Union is hosting a "civic conversation" on "Winning back our democracy by voting in 2017 to hold a state constitutional convention." Panelists will include Richard Briffault of Columbia Law School, Gerald Benjamin of SUNY New Paltz, and Patricia Salkin of Touro Law Center.

Primary elections for local and state races will happen on Tuesday, September 13.
Races to Watch
Interactive Gotham Gazette-WNYC election guide

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, there will be a New York City Board of Corrections meeting.

On Tuesday in Albany, there will be a New York Board of Regents meeting.

Starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs will host “Open House Training Series: NYC's Paid Sick Leave Law.” This event is meant to help employers understand how to stay in-line with New York City’s law on Paid Sick Leave. At 11 a.m., DCA will host “Open House Training Series: NYC's Commuter Benefits Law.” This event is meant to help employers understand how to stay in line with New York City’s law on Consumer Benefits.

At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in Manhattan, "Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman will announce the results of an ongoing investigation into illegal online tracking of children at dozens of the nation’s most recognizable kids’ websites."

On Tuesday evening, Mayor de Blasio "will participate in a tele-town hall with New York City parents to discuss Equity and Excellence for All initiatives to improve education across the five boroughs."

At the City Council on Wednesday:

  • The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 9:30 a.m. to discuss three proposed laws on bicycle access in different types of buildings.
  • The Committee on Transportation will meet at 9:30 a.m. and discuss a bill “to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to pedestrian countdown signals.”
  • The Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections will meet at 10 a.m.
  • The Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. to vote on "submitting the name of Hari Savitala to the Council for its advice and consent regarding his appointment to the Environmental Control Board.”
  • The Committee on Contracts will meet at 11 a.m. This committee will discuss amending a number of administrative codes, as well as a “resolution condemning all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the global movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the people of Israel.”
  • There will be a Stated Meeting of the full Council at 1:30 p.m. Beforehand, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will host a pre-Stated press conference.

On Wednesday at 11 a.m., "New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will be joined by elected officials and representatives of the Sunset Park business and civic community on Wednesday to release a report on the neighborhood’s economy, highlighting the growth of jobs and businesses in the area."

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy will host “Curricula and Student Success” at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. David Steiner, Executive Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, will moderate Thomas Kane of the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Matthew Chingos of the Urban Institute; and Rebecca Kockler of the Louisiana Department of Education in discussion about the fact that few school districts seem to put an emphasis on curriculum quality over other methods of improving schools, and it will examine case studies of school districts which emphasized the improvement of curricula.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board will have a meeting.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Manhattan, Civic Hall will host a forum focused on the question, “Do current Election Systems serve our best interests?” Panelists Include: Ann Ravel, FEC Commissioner; James Bopp, Plaintiff’s Attorney for Citizens United Supreme Court case; Trevor Potter, former FEC Chairman and Commissioner, advisor to Stephen Colbert’s Presidential Campaign / Super PAC; Amy Loprest, Executive Director, NYC Campaign Finance Board; Senator Gustavo Rivera from the Bronx; Richard Briffault, Columbia Law School Professor on Campaigns and Elections; Jon Reznick, Consultant on Campaign Finance and Spending; Matt Mahan, CEO of Brigade – the world’s first network for voters. “Some topics you can expect to cover in Impact Elections: Does money predict elections? How will technology shape voting in the future? Does the current voting system fundamentally fail certain segments of our country’s population? What can voting systems from other nations tell us about options for change?”

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, New York City Council Members Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams, in conjunction with the Brooklyn Movement Center, and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), are co-hosting a community town hall: “Confronting Racism, Privilege, and What it Means to be an Ally to People of Color in Work for Racial Justice.” The town hall will include a discussion on privilege, racism, and resources for achieving racial justice in Brooklyn.

At 8 a.m., the New York City Bar Association is hosting Zoning at 100: A Symposium for the Future. This event will bring together experts and professionals from the legal and design fields to discuss the history of New York City’s zoning resolutions and whether a new resolution is needed in order to address the modern-day challenges New York City faces. Director of the New York Department of City Planning and Chair of the New York City Planning Commission Carl Weisbrod and Jerold S. Kayden, Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, will co-chair the event. Mayor Bill de Blasio will give opening remarks at the event, and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen will moderate a panel discussion.

At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will hold “Brooklyn Newsmakers.” The special guest is Polly Trottenberg, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.

At 9 a.m. Thursday, the Brennan Center for Justice and the Policing Project are co-hosting “Policing and Accountability in the Digital Age,” a symposium focused on the intersection between new technologies, social media, and police work as well as the ways in which digital advancements have affected different racial and minority groups within the United States. New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton will deliver the keynote address. There will be several panel discussions throughout the conference.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, the New York City Campaign Finance Board will hold a board meeting and public hearing on proposed rules.

At the City Council on Thursday:

  • The Committee on Higher Education will meet at 10 a.m. for oversight of the City University of New York (CUNY) Master Plan from 2012 to 2016.
  • The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss the amending of several administrative codes.
  • The Committee on Public Safety will meet at 10 a.m. The committee will hold a hearing on a bill to mandate publication of the NYPD patrol guide.
  • The Committee on Civil Service and Labor will meet at 1 p.m. for oversight of the Murphy Institute’s “State of the Unions” report.

At 3 p.m. Thursday, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will hold a question and answer session with New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Working Families Party will host its 18th Annual Gala at the Great Hall at Cooper Union in Manhattan. Former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders will be the keynote speaker.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation will host “Open House: East 126th Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial and Mixed-Use Project.” This event will discuss plans for the former East 126 Street MTA Bus Depot.

On Thursday at 6 p.m., City Council Member Ben Kallos will hold his annual town hall event, where constituents can "learn and ask questions about Pre-Kindergarten seats in the district, the completion of the Second Avenue Subway, Bus Service, Parks Improvements and Bike Safety." Representatives will be there from the Department of Education; MTA Transit; MTA Capital Construction; Department of Parks and Recreation; and Department of Transportation.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, City & State is hosting its “Staten Island Power 50 and Borough Series” event. Speakers will include various prominent Staten Island community members and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.

Friday and the weekend
Friday is retiring NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s last day on the job. He is being replaced by current NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill.

At 8 a.m. on Friday, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce will host a Chairman’s Breakfast with Alejandro Mayorkas, the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

At 8:15 a.m. on Friday, the CityLaw Breakfast Series at New York Law School continues: “Reform at Rikers: Creating a Culture of Safety at the NYC Department of Correction.” Commissioner of the Department of Correction Joseph Ponte will speak.

On Friday morning, Brooklyn Eagle will release its annual "BK Politics Report" at a breakfast event featuring Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough President Eric Adams, and others. "A comprehensive print report and analysis of government and politics in Brooklyn launching at a must-attend breakfast event that will host some of the most influential folks across NYC. Join us at BRIC in the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn to get your copy of the report and enjoy the speakers and festivities." 

At 8:30 a.m. on Friday, The Murphy Institute will hold “The Left-Wing of the Possible: How Can the Sanders’ Phenomenon Transform American Politics?” This event will explore how the unorthodox campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, and the appeal of his socialism, could have a lasting impact on politics in the United States. Among others, the event will feature Mark Winston Griffith of the Brooklyn Movement Center and Bob Master of the Communications Workers of America.

At 10 a.m. Friday, the Bronx Youth Empowerment Program and City Council Member Andy King will host the “2016 Reading Is Cool Back To School Rally.” This event will be held on the Evander Childs High School Campus Field; speakers will include current New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña as well as her predecessor, Dennis Walcott, now head of the Queens Public Library; New York Public Library President and CEO Tony Marx; Brooklyn Public  Library President and CEO Linda Johnson; and others.

Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, “Another Chance” is being hosted by the office of Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark. New Yorkers from all five boroughs can have arrest warrants for outstanding summonses cleared and those summonses adjudicated.

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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