Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 19

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

As the week begins, the city remains focused on the explosion that went off Saturday night in Chelsea and the other explosive device that was found nearby. The NYPD, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and on Monday morning a suspect, Ahmad Rahami, was arrested in New Jersey. On Sunday evening the NYPD pulled over a car and questioned five people. On Monday morning, the FBI, Mayor de Blasio and NYPD identified a wanted suspect, Rahami, who was later engaged in a shootout with police and captured.

For the latest from the NYPD, read its Twitter feed here.

This week is the first week as NYPD Commissioner for James O'Neill, who has taken the helm from Bill Bratton, who left 1 Police Plaza for the last time as commissioner on Friday to much fanfare. O'Neill was privately sworn in by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday, but had a public swearing-in ceremony on Monday at 11 a.m. at 1 Police Plaza. O'Neill, a long-time NYPD veteran, is front-and-center on the Chelsea bomb incident in his first moments at the top of the department. According to de Blasio's public schedule, the mayor will preside over O'Neill's swearing in as the 43rd NYPD Commissioner. Afterward, at about 12:30 p.m., the mayor and O'Neill are due to hold a media availability.

Otherwise, there's a great deal 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:

At 8 a.m. Monday, the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) NYC will have a conversation with several leaders on neighborhood development and displacement. Vicki Been, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), will be among the speakers.

At 8:30 a.m. Monday, the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College will hold an “Agriculture and Technology Breakfast Seminar.”

At 9 a.m. Monday, Civic Hall will have a mini-conference “on practical innovations that U.S. debate producers, participants and viewers can apply to election debates at all levels of government.”

Postponed: At 10 a.m. Monday at City Hall, Families for Excellent Schools will lead a demonstration demanding that the de Blasio administration “to support the opening of 50 new charter schools in public space over the next two years.”

At 12:30 p.m. Monday, New York City Council Member Andy King will be launching the “Project Green Thumb” as part of the plan to beautify his Bronx district.

At 1 p.m. Monday, the City Planning Commission will hold a review session.

Comptroller Scott Stringer is scheduled Monday to attend O'Neill's NYPD swearing-in. He's then set to give 2 p.m. remarks at a JCRC press conference in solidarity with Dr. Leah and Dr. Simcha Goldin.

At 2 p.m. Monday, there will be a press conference in Gantry State Plaza Park, Long Island City, to announce the location of the LIC North Citywide Ferry Service Ferry landing. The event will be led by City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Borough President Melinda Katz, State Senator Michael Gianaris, and State Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan.

At 6 p.m. Monday, the Municipal Art Society of New York will hold a panel discussion on a controversial bill to eliminate limits on “floor area ratio” (FAR) in New York City. State Senator Liz Krueger and Chair of the New York City Planning Commission Carl Weisbrod will be among the panelists.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Riders Alliance is hosting its 2016 gala. Special guests include Assemblymember Jim Brennan and Chairman of the Fund for the Environment and Urban Life and Founder of the Commuter Check Services Corporation, Richard L. Oram.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Brooklyn Historical Society will host “From Gray to Green: The Role of Urban Parks in the 21st Century.” The event will include a panel discussion about the ways in which cities across the country, including New York, are finding new ways to make parks a central piece of urban renewal efforts. Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks, Tupper Thomas, will moderate the discussion.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Museum of the City of New York will host “Who’s the Man? | Alexander Hamilton v. Robert Moses.” This event explores the life and careers of these two influential New Yorkers from different eras, and consider the question of who would’ve been more influential if they came from the same era. City Council Member Daniel Garodnick will be a featured speaker.

On Monday, Public Advocate Letitia James is set to attend O'Neill's NYPD swearing-in. In the evening, James is set to deliver 7:30 p.m. remarks at the 2016 Unsung Heroes of the Upper West Side Annual Awards Ceremony and 8 p.m. remarks at the Times Square Advertising Coalition's Pediatric Cancer Awareness Night.

At 7 p.m. Monday, Planned Parenthood of NYC Votes will have Assemblymember Nily Rozic as a keynote speaker for “Your City, Your Vote: Why Local Elections Matter.”

At the City Council on Tuesday:

  • The Committee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
  • The Committee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet at 11 a.m.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations will hold an oversight hearing on the New York City Art Commission, and discuss a potential law which will require the art commission “to conduct a five year report.”
  • At 1 p.m., the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will meet.

On Tuesday at 11 a.m., "Mayor de Blasio will host a roundtable with tenants from Visions at Selis Manor to discuss the Chelsea bombing...After, the Mayor will visit the Malibu Diner to meet with residents from the Chelsea area," according to the mayor's public schedule.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, the CUNY Graduate Center will hold “Racism, Xenophobia, Populism: The Miseducation of the Public.” Jessie Daniels (Hunter College), Mary Phillips (Lehman College), and Linda Sarsour (Arab American Association of America) will be the panelists.

At 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, the CUNY Graduate Center will host an event which looks at the current state of the Presidential Race. Various professors and students in the American Politics section of the CUNY Graduate Center will host this discussion.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Campaign Finance Board will hold a Voters Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC) meeting.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, City & State NY continues its annual “Borough Series” with “Borough Series: Bronx” at the Hard Rock Café Yankee Stadium. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. will headline the event.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Food Policy Center will hold a conversation with Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. This conversation “will discuss the soda industry, sugar, who’s doing what, and what we can do to change the paradigm.”

At the City Council on Wednesday:

  • At 10 a.m., the Committee on Youth Services will hold an oversight hearing on the New York City Young Men’s Initiative.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Juvenile Justice will hold an oversight hearing on “family engagement for New York City's detained and placed youth.”
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Education will hold an oversight hearing on Career and Technical Education (CTE), and also discuss proposed laws which will require the city Department of Education to report on these CTE programs and computer science programs at schools.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Technology will hold an oversight hearing on the Open Data Law and its recent amendments.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Public Housing will discuss two bills, and oversight of the “struggle to save the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA’s) most endangered housing units.”

The Business Council of New York State will have its annual meeting from September 21 to September 23. Bob Woodward is the keynote speaker at this meeting.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy will host “Urban Food Policy Forum on Food Marketing and Countermarketing: Charting New Options for New York City.”

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

On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Chelsea Recreation Center, "a “Day of Action” for IDNYC, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and Commissioner Nisha Agarwal of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will hold a press conference to announce new IDNYC benefits." "IDNYC’s Day of Action is the launch of an IDNYC Week of Action" "to encourage and help all New Yorkers enroll for IDNYC and experience its great benefits."

At 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Queens Library, "New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will be joined by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and other elected officials and representatives of the Greater Jamaica community on Wednesday to release a report on the neighborhood’s economy."

At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, the New York City Panel for Education Policy will hold its monthly meeting at Murry Bergtraum High School in Manhattan.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the New York City Bar Association will hold “Examining Conditions of Confinement in New York's Correctional Facilities: A Focus on Prisoners' Rights.” This event will focus on the physical and mental health needs of prisoners, problems of prisons like Rikers Island, and more.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the New York City Bar Association will hold “Human Trafficking Cases: Working with Law Enforcement from a Victim-Centered Perspective.”

At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Brooklyn Historical Society is hosting “The Brooklyn Way: Putting Together the Pieces of a 21st Century Downtown,” an event focused on the reinvigoration of Downtown Brooklyn. Speakers include former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and former BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins. Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed will moderate the event.

Mayor de Blasio is scheduled to host an education-focused town hall in Brooklyn Thursday evening.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, the New York City Housing Conference will begin a policy symposium on “Affordable Housing Strategies to Help Preserve Public Housing.” The first of three panels will be with policymakers and moderated by NY1’s Errol Louis. It will include Holly Leicht, Regional Administrator, U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development; Shola Olatoye, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, New York City Housing Authority; and Ritchie Torres, New York City Councilmember, District 15.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, the Association for a Better New York is hosting a breakfast event featuring New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, City & State Reports will have an awards ceremony for outstanding people working in labor, law, and lobbying. A panel discussion will follow.

At the City Council on Thursday:

  • At 10 a.m., the Subcommittee on Senior Centers will hold a joint oversight hearing with the Committee on Aging on “reducing senior social isolation and increasing recruitment and retention at senior centers.”
  • At 10 a.m., the Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet to discuss a bill that would ban the sale of cosmetic talc in New York City.
  • At 11 a.m., the Committee on Land Use will meet.
  • The Committee on Finance will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a bill “in relation to the review and evaluation of economic development tax expenditures, and to repeal chapter 29 of such code, relating to the establishment of the tax study commission.”
  • The Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing on ThriveNYC’s Mental Health First Aid Training.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency will meet for an oversight on the “Build it Back” program.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, the state Senate Standing Committee on Social Services will sponsor a public hearing on “Food Pantries – Identifying Best Practices to Address Food Insecurity.” This will be held at Meals on Wheels Headquarters in Nanuet.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Manhattan Democratic Party will have its judicial nominating convention; Herbert G. Cave Auditorium, Harlem Hospital Center.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Riders Alliance will hold its first meeting to plan for their new “Bus Turnaround Campaign.”

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Manhattan Community Board 1 will hold a forum on downtown construction projects. Brewer will discuss the disruptions which have occurred as a result of these projects, and also the long-term benefits of the projects.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Brooklyn Historical Society will host “Righting Wrongful Convictions” a discussion with Barry Scheck, co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hale, Chief of the Conviction Review Unit in the Brooklyn DA’s Office.

Friday and the weekend
At the City Council on Friday: The Committee on Public Safety and the Committee on Courts and Legal Services will hold a joint oversight hearing on wrongful conviction and conviction integrity units.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., JustLeadershipUSA is hosting a march and rally to close the Rikers Island Prison. This rally will begin at Queens Plaza and will end with a rally and vigil at 5 p.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 Brendan Birth and Ben Max

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