New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
This Tuesday marks just three weeks until Election Day, November 6. Campaigns for state-wide and state and federal legislative seats, among others, are in full swing and will only intensify this week. While some debates take place, others have yet to be scheduled. We've already seen one debate in the state comptroller race, which aired Sunday night on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and this week will feature a televised debate in the lone competitive congressional race in New York City, that in New York-11, which is currently represented by Congressional Rep. Dan Donovan, a Republican being challenged by Democrat Max Rose. There's also the lone debate coming up on Sunday, October 21, between U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, and her Republican opponent Chele Farley.
We are waiting on word of any debates in the races for governor and attorney general. Governor Andrew Cuomo, the incumbent Democrat, has yet to agree to debate his four opponents (Republican Marc Molinaro, Green Howie Hawkins, Libertarian Larry Sharpe, and independent Stephanie Miner), and while Letitia James, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, has said she will definitely debate, no debate has yet been agreed upon and announced in that race -- James faces candidates including Republican Keith Wofford and Green Michael Sussman.
Along with the statewide races, the battles for control of the State Senate and U.S. Congress are key to this election season in New York. Democrats are hoping to flip both houses and appear to have a lot of positive momentum. They need to simply net one seat in the State Senate, while roughly ten are thought to be in play. Democrats need to flip about two dozen House seats across the country, and a handful of New York races could play into that effort.
While elections will be a major focus this week and through Election Day, there's also government happening, especially in New York City, where there aren't city-level elecitons this year and the City Council has a busy week. There are Council and other events to be aware of - see our day-by-day rundown below.
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The run of the week in detail:
At 11 a.m. Monday at Madison Square Garden, Mayor Bill de Blasio will "attend and deliver remarks at the NYPD graduation ceremony." Later, the mayor will make his weekly appearance on NY1’s Inside City Hall in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.
At the City Council on Monday:
--The Committee on Civil and Human Rights will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “discrimination against MASAJS (Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Jewish, and Sikh) communities.”
--The Committee on For-Hire Vehicles will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “accessibility in the taxi and for-hire vehicle industries.”
--The Committee on Fire and Emergency Management will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “New York City’s Emergency Management Strategic Plan,” as well as to discuss a proposed law relating to “the posting of hurricane evacuation zone and evacuation center information in multiple dwellings.”
--The Committee on Women will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to maternal accommodations at places of employment and public spaces, as well as a law relating to “reporting on maternal mortality and morbidity.”
The New York State Board of Regents will meet on Monday and Tuesday.
At 9 a.m. Monday, NYU Steinhardt will host Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza for a discussion with NYU professor Lisette Nieves “on his career and vision for public education in New York City.” The event will take place at the Rosenthal Pavilion at NYU’s Kimmel Center.
At 9:30 a.m. Monday, "Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Delivers Remarks at NYS Canals Conference" on Staten Island.
At 10 a.m. Monday at City Hall, “One year after #MeToo went viral, New York State still refuses to commit to holding public hearings on sexual harassment and abuse. Instead, NYS pushed through laws without input from victims. In order to pass the strongest protections, workers across all industries must be afforded the opportunity to be heard.“ Participants will include the Sexual Harassment Working Group; “Common Cause New York; Eleanor’s Legacy; New York Transgender Advocacy Group; Council on American-Islamic Relations; Senator Liz Krueger; Assembly Members Dan Quart and Richard Gottfried; Rockland County District Attorney Candidate Patricia Gunning; and Democratic Senate Candidates Zellnor Myrie and Andrew Gounardes.”
At 11 a.m. Monday, First Lady Chirlane McCray "will deliver remarks at The New York Soccer Initiative’s Soccer Day ribbon cutting ceremony" at Hostos Lincoln Academy of Science in the Bronx. At 6:30 p.m., McCray "will attend Between the Lines: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics" at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
At 2 p.m. Monday, members of Vocal-NY will meet with officials at City Hall to discuss a demand that Mayor de Blasio set aside 10 percent of units in his affordable housing plan for homeless New Yorkers. The members will include Nathylin Flowers, who recently confronted Mayor de Blasio at the Park Slope YMCA to ask why his plan only sets aside 5 percent of units for homeless New Yorkers.
At 2 p.m. Monday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will speak “at a press conference on the SCAR Act” at City Hall Park.
On Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall, “The Queens Borough Board, chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz, will hear a presentation from Andy Byford, the president of MTA New York City Transit, regarding his agency’s plans to improve the City’s mass transit system. Mr. Byford will provide an update on the progress of “Fast Forward: The Plan to Modernize NYC Transit”, the mass transit turnaround plan that New York City Transit released in May 2018. Mr. Byford noted at an August town hall meeting in Jamaica that the Fast Forward plan envisions a 10-year, $37 billion investment.”
At 5 p.m. Monday, "Comptroller Scott Stringer, the National Action Network, elected officials, faith leaders, community leaders and advocates will hold a press conference to reject bigotry and violence following an attack involving a hate group in Manhattan on Friday night. Over the weekend, news reports showed disturbing video of the assault that occurred on the Upper East Side." The press conference will take place at the northwest corner of East 84th Street and Third Avenue and will include Stringer, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, City Council Member Keith Powers, Assembly Member Dan Quart, and others.
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, "Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will host a community-wide conversation at the site of last Wednesday's “Cornerstone Caroline” viral incident in Flatbush, encouraging Brooklynites to publicly share their views on the importance of diversity and respect following days of local outrage from a woman falsely accusing a nine-year-old boy of groping her at the Sahara Deli Market. Video footage of the episode, which has been received millions of views online, has galvanized public concerns over racial tolerance in Brooklyn and across the country."
At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission will hold a “public education forum” at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights to provide information on and explain the commission’s three proposals on the November ballot to Queens residents.
Also at 6:30 p.m. Monday, "members of the New York City Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform will hold a public hearing in Brooklyn to listen to people who pay property taxes directly or indirectly. To ensure the Commission hears from all those interested, speakers will be given no more than three minutes to present testimony or comments. Commission members may use additional time to ask questions." The commission was a creation of Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
At 6:30 p.m. Monday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, U.S. Rep Jerrold Nadler, and 9/11 Environmental Action will host a town hall meeting “to connect downtown residents and workers with the two programs established by Congress under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.” The town hall will take place at the Borough President’s office in the Manhattan Municipal Building.
At 6:30 p.m. Monday, schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will attend a town hall meeting of Educators for Excellence-New York at Museum of the City of New York.
At 7 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Stringer will host a town hall at CUNY Law School in Long Island City.
At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to a variety of issues, including community land trusts, accessibility, and transparency for tenants regarding construction and work in dwellings.
--The Committee on Cultural Affairs will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss several resolutions honoring certain historical figures, including Rosa Parks, Roberto Clemente, Casimir Pulaski, and Tadeusz Kosciuszko, as well as to declare November 11 as Polish Independence Day.
--The Committee on Education will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “DOE’s Office of Pupil Transportation,” as well as to discuss several proposed laws relating to school bus transportation and a resolution “calling upon the New York State Education Department to require, implement and enforce more extensive training and tracking of the training of school bus drivers and attendants who transport students with disabilities.”
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Center for New York City Affairs will host “The Impact Of NYCHA Conditions On Health, Education, And Child Welfare” at the New School. The event will “discuss how living in public housing affects child welfare involvement and identify community-driven strategies to promote change.” Columbia University’s Cindy Bautista-Thomas will moderate a panel consisting of Ray Thomas of Little Sisters of the Assumption, NYCHA resident and housing activist Michele Holmes, and Educational Video Center’s Steven Goodman.
At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Assembly Standing Committees on Codes, Health, Governmental Operations, and Alcoholism & Drug Abuse will meet jointly at 250 Broadway for a public hearing to “seek input on proposals to legalize, regulate and tax adult use of marijuana in New York.” The hearing will be the first of four statewide hearings on the issue.
At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Senate Standing Committees on Labor, Agriculture, and Economic Development will meet jointly at 250 Broadway for a public hearing to “examine the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises program, and consider potential legislative solutions to create a more effective and efficient program to enhance New York’s business climate.”
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the mayor’s Charter Revision Commission will hold a “public education forum” at the Michael J. Petrides School in Todt Hill, Staten Island to provide information on and explain the commission’s three proposals on the November ballot to Staten Island residents. [Read: Mayoral Charter Revision Commission Puts Three Questions on November Ballot]
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, NY1 will host U.S. Representative Dan Donovan and Democratic challenger Max Rose for a debate to represent the 11th Congressional District. NY1’s Errol Louis will moderate, along with other journalists. The debate will take place at the College of Staten Island’s Williamson Theatre.
The City Council will hold a full-body "stated meeting" at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall. It is likely to be preceded by a press conference led by Speaker Corey Johnson.
Also at the City Council on Wednesday: the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections will meet at 11:30 a.m. to discuss two mayoral appointments: Steven Kest to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and Raj Rampershad to the City Planning Commission.
At 8 a.m. Wednesday, Crain’s will host City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for a “Business Breakfast Forum” at the New York Athletic Club. Trottenberg will discuss “Vision Zero...the issue of congestion, and the L-pocalypse.” The discussion will be moderated by Erik Engquist of Crain’s and Emma Fitzsimmons of the New York Times.
At 9 a.m. Wednesday, City & State will host “Rebuilding New York” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City, discussing New York’s biggest infrastructure crises and potential solutions. Speakers will include Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; City Council Members Robert Cornegy, Ritchie Torres, and Ydanis Rodriguez; Assemblymembers Carmen de la Rosa and Nicole Malliotakis; MTA President Pat Foye; Gateway Program Development Corporation President Steven Cohen; Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director of the Center for an Urban Future, and others.
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting at 120 Broadway.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, this week’s Max & Murphy show will air on WBAI radio -- 99.5FM and wbai.org -- and will be focused on the battle over control of the New York State Senate. Guests will include Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens, who heads the Democrats’ Senate campaign efforts.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sanctuary for Families, the New York Immigration Coalition, and Proskauer Rose LLP will host “Lives in the Balance: Eviscerating Asylum Protection for Victims of Gender Violence” at the offices of Proskauer Rose in Times Square. The event “will bring together experts to address the Administration’s decision to drop asylum protections for domestic violence victims.” The panel will include U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney; Lori Adams, Director of Sanctuary for Families’ Immigration Intervention Project; Judge Amiena Khan, Executive Vice President of the National Association of Immigration Judges; Lisa Koenig, a partner at Fragomen Worldwide; and William Silverman, a partner at Proskauer Rose.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, TransitCenter will host “Fair Fare Enforcement?” at One Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan. Panelists will discuss the pros of all-door boarding on buses, as well as the potential for racialized policing that comes with fare enforcement by transit police. TransitCenter Deputy Executive Director Tabitha Decker will moderate a panel consisting of Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus Operations at New York City Transit; Laura Weins, Director of Pittsburghers for Public Transit; Jason Lee, Program Manager of Technology at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; and Harold Stolper, a senior economist at the Community Service Society.
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission will hold a “public education forum” at the Metropolitan College of New York in the South Bronx to provide information on and explain the commission’s three proposals on the November ballot to Bronx residents. [Read: Mayoral Charter Revision Commission Puts Three Questions on November Ballot]
At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Committee on Economic Development will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “Freight NYC,” as well as to discuss a resolution “calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to amend the North Shore helicopter route to extend further west to cover Northeast Queens.”
--The Committee on Technology will meet at 1:30 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the city’s “annual Open Data Plan.”
On Thursday, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings will partner with Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo and City Council Member Joe Borelli to bring a “neighborhood pop-up court” to Staten Island, at Staten Island Community Board 3. The initiative allows individuals with outstanding summonses to present their case to a hearing officer before their official court date, at a local institution rather than at the hearing office.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission will hold a “public education forum” at Gregorio Luperon High School in Washington Heights to provide information on and explain the commission’s three proposals on the November ballot to Manhattan residents.
Friday and the weekend
On Friday, Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m.
At 7 p.m. Sunday, NY1 will host Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican challenger Chele Farley for a U.S. Senate debate at Skidmore College. NY1’s Errol Louis will moderate.
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max