New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
Thursday of this week will mark six weeks until the September 13 primary elections (the deadline to register to vote and be eligible for a party primary is August 19 (the deadline to change party enrollment to vote in a party primary has long passed)). Expect competitive primaries to continue to heat up.
It was a busy weekend of endorsement announcements as we head toward those primaries, especially in the most-contested races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and certain state Senate seats -- all on the Democratic side (Republicans have very few primaries across the state, and none for the four statewide state-level positions).
Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams officially endorsed each other on Sunday. Each has been backed by the Working Families Party and a number of other groups and officials, but they had yet to make it official in announcing support for each other. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are nominated separately in party primaries, then run as a ticket for the general election. Nixon and Williams are hoping to win their respective Democratic primary bids against Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
Nixon and Williams also received the endorsement this weekend of the New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America.
On Saturday, "Brooklyn women leaders" launched “Brooklyn Women For Cuomo” to endorse and support Cuomo for another term. The women leaders are Public Advocate Letitia James, State Senators Roxanne Persaud and Velmanette Montgomery , and Assemblymembers Latrice Walker, Jaime Williams, and Tremaine Wright, and former Assemblymember Annette Robinson. Cuomo also received endorsements this weekend from NYCHA tenant leaders in Queens and from "The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund PAC, formerly NARAL NY," which also endorsed Hochul.
Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, was endorsed this weekend by Comptroller Scott Stringer and several elected officials from the Upper West Side.
And, City Council Member Carlina Rivera endorsed state Senate candidates Julia Salazar and Jessica Ramos.
More endorsements will be coming in this week, and there is other governmental and political business on the calendar -- see our day-by-day rundown below. We’re also awaiting news regarding any special state legislative session in Albany to extend the city’s speed camera program, which has expired, regarding the naming of a federal monitor for NYCHA, regarding next steps in the NYPD trials of the two officers being brought up on departmental charges in the death of Eric Garner, regarding how the Uber-City Council fight will play out as the Council moves ahead with bills that Uber and other for-hire vehicle companies are opposing, and more.
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The run of the week in detail:
At 10 a.m. Monday at City Hall, the City Council “Committee on Standards and Ethics will hold a meeting regarding Section 10.80 of the Council Rules.” This appears to be the next step after a prior initial meeting dealing with an allegation against City Council Member Ruben Diaz, Sr. that he improperly used his government email to send political messages.
On Monday at 11 a.m. outside City Hall, 10 of the City Council’s 11 female members will endorse Public Advocate Letitia James for Attorney General.
At 11 a.m. Monday, NYCHA interim chair Stanley Brezenoff and Health and Mental Hygiene Assistant Commissioner Javier Lopez will announce the launch of “Smoke-Free NYCHA” at the Jerome L. Greene Family Center in Chelsea. Per federal regulations, NYCHA is adopting the somewhat controversial no-smoking policy.
On Monday at 11 a.m. in Bushwick, “Revel Transit will hold a press conference to launch the first ever shared electric moped service in New York City...Revel Transit is a brand new, New York-based company that will initially provide users access to electric mopeds in the neighborhoods of Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. This service is the first of its kind in New York City but follows a model that is wildly popular in global cities such as Berlin and Paris. The mopeds are perfect for short- and medium-range trips and will add a unique option to New York’s diverse transit network.” City Council Member Antonio Reynoso will participate in Monday’s launch event.
At 1 p.m. Monday, Governor Cuomo will make an announcement at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Lieutenant Governor Hochul will participate.
“On Monday, First Lady Chirlane McCray will tour the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center with New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera and participate in a roundtable discussion with clients. This event is closed press. Later, the First Lady will participate in a “Teatime Inspiration” event focused on mental health and wellness with Kate Spade New York employees. This event is closed press.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio will make his weekly appearance on NY1’s Inside City Hall Monday in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.
At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the Center for an Urban Future will host a forum on New York’s aging park infrastructure at the Greene Space in the West Village. City Council Member Barry Grodenchik will give introductory remarks, which will be followed by a one-on-one conversation with Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and a panel discussion with former Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Susan Donoghue of the Prospect Park Alliance, Lynn Kelly of New Yorkers for Parks, Nilka Martell of Loving the Bronx, and Charles McKinney, former Principal Urban Designer at NYC Parks.
On Tuesday at 9 a.m., "Chancellor Richard A. Carranza will deliver brief remarks at the School Technology Summit" at Beacon High School.
On Tuesday morning, City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams “will begin his trial in New York County Criminal Court for charges related to his arrest while trying to stop the unlawful detention and imminent deportation of immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir. He now faces charges of Obstruction of an Emergency Vehicle and Obstructing Government Administration. Williams will be available to speak to the media prior to the start of the trial, at 9:15am, outside the New York County Criminal Court. He will appear with his attorneys, Rhiya Trivedi and Ron Kuby.”
At 10 a.m. Tuesday at Brooklyn Borough Hall, "Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will be joined by Food Bank For New York City COO Lisa Hines-Johnson to launch Brooklyn's participation in Food Bank’s “Woman to Woman” campaign — a donation drive to collect feminine care products and address the critical needs of women and girls living in poverty."
At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Governor Cuomo will make an announcement at LaGuardia Airport.
At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics will hold a commissioners’ meeting.
On Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., “Calling on Mayor de Blasio to embrace their newly proposed “Fast Bus, Fair City” plan, riders will turn the City Hall steps into a stage and dramatize their daily struggles riding New York’s local buses. The riders’ performance will demonstrate how their proven suite of transit policy changes will enhance quality of life and social inclusion for more than two million daily bus riders. Then the coalition and local elected officials will elaborate on the specific components of the call and why they are important. “Fast Bus, Fair City” would complement the City’s adoption of Fair Fares and the MTA’s Bus Plan. Once set in motion, all three could provide unparalleled access to city neighborhoods and resources, ensuring that the mayor’s own goal of making New York the fairest big city in America is fully realized.” Participants include Riders Alliance, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, Transit Center, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, New York League of Conservation Voters, elected officials, and bus riders.
At the City Council on Tuesday: The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss “the naming of one thoroughfare and public place, Jean-Jacques Dessalines Boulevard in the Borough of Brooklyn.”
On Tuesday at 1 p.m. at City Hall, "State Senator Tony Avella, Assembly Member William Colton, and Council Member Bob Holden will stand with community groups Coalition EDU and the Chinese American Citizens Alliance to reveal their legislation aimed at saving the Specialized High School Exam."
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will make an announcement at Brooklyn Public Library's main branch, Grand Army Plaza.
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will deliver remarks at the Matthews-Palmer Playground ribbon cutting with Parks Commissioner Silver and other elected officials.
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the mayor’s Charter Revision Commission will hold a public hearing at McKee High School in St. George, Staten Island. This is the last of a new round of public hearings in each borough after the release of the commission’s preliminary staff report. Recommendations from the commission that will be on the ballot in November for voters to approve or disapprove, are due out by September 7.
This week’s Max & Murphy show on WBAI radio will feature interviews with State Senator Marisol Alcantara, a former member of the Independent Democratic Conference from Manhattan, and her Democratic primary opponent Robert Jackson. Tune in at 5pm Wednesday on WBAI, 99.5FM or wbai.org. The Max & Murphy podcast recently moved to WBAI, with the first two shows featuring interviews with Democratic Attorney General candidates Letitia James, Zephyr Teachout, and Leecia Eve (the fourth candidate in the primary, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, will be a guest on the show on August 8). The show is still available as a podcast if you can't or prefer not to listen live.
At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 9:45 a.m.
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 10 a.m.
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at noon.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, City & State will celebrate its “Brooklyn Power 50” list at a reception at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. Borough President Eric Adams will deliver keynote remarks.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, Indivisible Westchester will host a forum for Democratic Attorney General candidates at the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester in White Plains. The participating candidates are expected to be Letitia James, Zephyr Teachout, Sean Patrick Maloney, and Leecia Eve. The forum will be moderated by Damon Jones of the Westchester Black Political Conference.
Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday at 10 a.m.
De Blasio will leave on Friday afternoon for this year’s Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, where he will be until Sunday morning, when he returns to New York City. According to the mayor's office, he will have a series of policy meetings with local and national elected officials and activists while he's there, and he’ll address the gathering’s attendees Saturday evening. He'll also have a few political meetings while there.
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max