Gotham Gazette https://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/156 Tue, 23 Jul 2019 12:23:28 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Webmaster) City Task Force to Help ‘Most Vulnerable Young New Yorkers’ is Well Behind Schedule https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/8674-city-task-force-to-help-most-vulnerable-young-new-yorkers-is-well-behind-schedule https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/8674-city-task-force-to-help-most-vulnerable-young-new-yorkers-is-well-behind-schedule 3 cm eugene mathieu attor

Council Member Mathieu Eugene (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


A task force created in 2017 by City Council legislation aimed at providing better services and more opportunities for out-of-work, out-of-school youth and young adults has been delayed from the start, having met only a few times since its creation and now more than a year overdue in presenting its first report as mandated by law.

The City Council, with help from nonprofit advocacy group and service-provider JobsFirstNYC and other outside partners, passed a bill that would create the Mayor’s Disconnected Youth Task Force -- a 25-member committee composed of designees from city agencies, appointees by the mayor and Council speaker, representatives from community-based organizations that provide services to young adults, intermediaries, representatives from the business community, and young people ages 16 to 24 who have been out of work and out of school.

According to the bill, the creation of the Task Force was necessary to “examine the obstacles to education and employment for disconnected youth and to make recommendations regarding measures to improve outcomes for disconnected youth,” a group prone to falling through the cracks and into the criminal justice system.

The Task Force is led by the Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives under de Blasio, a position first filled by Richard Buery, and now his successor, Phillip Thompson, who convened the first meeting. Members include Marjorie Parker, the President and CEO of JobsFirstNYC; Stanley Richards, the Executive Vice President of the Fortune Society, an advocacy group and service-provider that works with people who have been in the criminal justice system; representatives from several city agencies including the Departments of Education, Health, Homelessness, Children’s Services, Youth and Community Development, and others.

The legislation, sponsored by Brooklyn City Council Member Mathieu Eugene, then the chair of the Council’s Youth Services Committee, outlined specific deadlines for the Task Force. It required the appointment of all 25 members within 30 days of the law’s April 2017 enactment and an initial report due by March 1, 2018, followed by subsequent biennial reports until the submission of the Task Force’s final report on March 1, 2022.

The Task Force didn’t meet for the first time until February 1 of this year, well over a year after it was supposed to and despite the fact that the law required it to meet four times before submitting its first report, which was due nearly a year prior to the first actual meeting.

As of Wednesday, the Mayor’s Disconnected Youth Task Force is yet to produce its first report, with the calendar closer to the deadline for the second report than the first.

Since the first meeting in February, where two workgroups were named, there have been five Task Force meetings and over a dozen workgroup meetings, according to a spokesperson for JobsFirstNYC. It is unclear when a first report from the Task Force may be out.

It appears that some of the Task Force’s delay may be due to the change in leadership from Buery, who left the administration in early 2018, to Thompson, the deputy mayor who now chairs it and led its first meeting last year.

Both the office of Council Member Eugene and the de Blasio administration failed to respond to several attempts by Gotham Gazette to ascertain the status of the Task Force and its first report.

After the first meeting last February, Deputy Mayor Thompson said in a statement, “This task force is seeking to help the most vulnerable young New Yorkers — those who do not finish school, those who are not in the workforce or those who are involved with the criminal justice system.”

He continued: “As somebody who was myself in foster care for part of my youth, I truly understand the challenges and the need to create pathways and support. The de Blasio administration is implementing a comprehensive strategy that involves working more closely with industries and companies to create relationships and partnerships that help move at-risk people into long-term careers. Some of these strategies are already producing results to reduce rates of youth disconnection citywide but we need to do so much more. I look forward to working with members of the task force to develop a better coordinated strategy among programs servicing youth citywide.”

Over the past nine years and coinciding with an extended economic expansion after the Great Recession, New York City has seen a consistent decline in the number of out-of-school, out-of-work youth. From 2010 to 2019, this population has dropped from 187,588 to 118,000, according to data from the Community Service Society.

The creation of the Task Force is an attempt to increase efforts to assist members of this population to find work or pursue further education, and to improve coordination among city agencies and between city government and outside partners. The main goal of the Task Force is to reframe the way that New York City provides services to OSOW youth by identifying and implementing solutions to the barriers that disconnected youth face.

JobsFirstNYC has been a driving force behind the creation of the task force and attempts to get its work to move ahead at a pace more in line with the legislation creating it. JobsFirst is a nonprofit intermediary organization that focuses attention and resources on what it calls a crisis of disengaged and disconnected young adults in New York City. It was founded in 2006 with an initial investment from the New York City Workforce Funders Group -- an entity that seeks to identify and develop initiatives at a citywide level and make the city’s workforce systems more responsive to the needs of workers and employers.

At the Task Force’s first meeting in February 2018, 20 of 25 members were named and the two workgroups were established: one focused on prevention and one on re-engagement. These workgroups were created to assess current systems, make observations and identify specific ways to make services and programs for youth and young adults more connected and collaborative. 

“We were asking ourselves a couple of framing questions: ‘What is it that we need to understand about the issue of disconnected youth?’, so we made a lot of requests to try to first understand the way the system is operating,” said Richards of The Fortune Society and the Task Force, in an interview, when asked about the work done by the workgroups thus far.

“We had experts from across the spectrum of government officials, service providers, educators, really talk from their viewpoint about how the system operates and then we asked ourselves, ‘Where are the gaps, where are the inconsistencies, what gets in the way of a highly functional system?’,” Richards said.

Due in 2022, the Task Force’s final report must include an “assessment of the obstacles that prevent disconnected youth from pursuing educational opportunities or entering the workforce, including but not limited to, issues related to housing, childcare, health care and substance abuse, criminal justice, transportation, wages, and language and cultural barriers.”

The report must also provide an analysis of how to address said obstacles and recommendations for how to better adjust the city’s current efforts to helping OSOW youth by working on ways to strengthen the partnerships between public and private providers that serve disconnected youth.

The Task Force is responsible for providing recommendations for how to improve data collection for disconnected youth programs and make the data publicly available, as well as how to better inform the public of the availability of services for disconnected youth.

It is also expected to make recommendations to the city on how it should allocate its $500 million workforce budget in a way that is more efficient and beneficial to OSOW youth.

The legislation outlined that four of the Task Force members had to be appointed by the Mayor, four by the City Council Speaker, and that three members would be youth leaders between the ages of 16 and 24. The additional members had to include other specific government officials or their designees such as the Commissioner of Youth and Community Development and the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Center for Youth Employment.

JobsFirstNYC, which conducts research on disconnected youth and ways to help them, is represented on the Task Force and on the prevention and re-engagement workgroups. The organization examines the variety of city services and systems and evaluates how they can be modified to better serve young people, while articulating barriers that prevent young people from gaining full-time employment or pursuing post-secondary education. 

The organization -- and likely the Task Force -- aims to encourage employer engagement in improving workforce development and building more structural partnerships so that training and post-secondary opportunities are directly connected to in-demand employment. The Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP) is a program conceived by JobsFirst that aims to identify whether different sector strategies can help link OSOW young adults with employers by creating customized pathways to employment.

According to research conducted by JobsFirstNYC in collaboration with Dr. James Parott, formerly of the Fiscal Policy Institute, and Lazar Treschan of the Community Service Society, some of the barriers that dictate a young person’s ability to enter the New York City economy include race, geography, education, poverty, and the 2008 recession.

The research, published in 2013 as Barriers to Entry: The Increasing Challenges Faced by Young Adults In the New York City Labor Market, found that OSOW youth are highly concentrated, with 18 of 55 New York City neighborhoods home to over half of the OSOW young adults in the city. These neighborhoods include East Harlem, Ocean Hill, East New York, and Parkchester. 

Additionally, race is a dominant characteristic in the OSOW population the research found: of the 48,000 out-of-school, out-of-work young people without a high school diploma, over 83% were black and Latino.

The research helps impact programs such as the Bronx Opportunity Network (BON), launched in 2008, that aims to provide young adults in the South Bronx with intensive tutoring and academic support so that they can enroll in and complete college. Another program through JobsFirstNYC is the Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN), a program that aims to lower the barriers to access high-quality jobs in high-demand industries for Lower East Side residents. 

The Invest in Skills NY campaign, where JobsFirstNYC is a co-chair organization, is an advocacy partnership among key stakeholders -- employers and others doing workforce development -- trying to ensure that state government makes a skilled workforce a priority with programming across New York.

As the Mayor’s Disconnected Youth Task Force first met in February, JobsFirst and Invest in Skills NY released a “policy brief” to help guide the Task Force’s work. Developing a Single-System Strategy for New York City’s Out of School, Out of Work Adults outlines recommendations to the Task Force, including the broad goal of creating, as the brief’s name suggests, a “single-system strategy,” so that programs support young adults across a cooperative continuum. This system “intervenes before a young person becomes an OSOW, engages and connects OSOW young adults to opportunities and supports the career development of young adults who are marginally connected to the labor market or pursuing post-secondary education.”

“Until now, this issue has lacked real leadership,” said Kevin Stump, Vice President of Policy, Communications and In-School Practice at JobsFirstNYC, in an interview, “which is why we remain optimistic that Mayor de Blasio’s Disconnected Youth Task Force will develop a fully-funded single-strategy system that is data-informed and meets the unique needs of this population and the communities in which they live.”

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by Jewel Antoine, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

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City Task Force to Help ‘Most Vulnerable Young New Yorkers’ is Well Behind Schedule Wed, 17 Jul 2019 04:00:00 +0000
Council to Examine Young Men’s Initiative, a Bloomberg Program & National Model https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6537-council-to-examine-young-men-s-initiative-a-bloomberg-program-national-model https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6537-council-to-examine-young-men-s-initiative-a-bloomberg-program-national-model YMI Cyrus Garrett

YMI's Cyrus Garrett (photo: @NYCyoungmen)


In August of 2011, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed a group of nonprofit and community leaders as he announced the launch of a landmark approach to tackling persistent problems facing young black and Latino men. The Young Men’s Initiative, Bloomberg said, would address “four areas where the disparities are greatest and the consequences most harmful: education, health, employment, and the justice system.”

Upon its 2011 launch, Bloomberg put together a steering committee that included major players from the administration, including then-Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs; then-schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott; Veronica White, Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at the time; and Andrea Batista Schlesinger, Gibb’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, who Bloomberg said was the driving force behind the initiative.

The program was initially funded by a combination of one-time $30 million contributions from Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Open Society Foundation and ongoing support from New York City tax dollars (up to $67.5 million over three years, Bloomberg said at the time). In his speech, Bloomberg said the purpose was that “‘equal opportunity’ is not an abstract notion – but an everyday reality, for all New Yorkers.”

That goal is, generally, the operating motivation for all of the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bloomberg’s successor. However, while de Blasio has supported the Young Men’s Initiative, the program is not exactly a central piece of de Blasio’s fight against inequality. On Wednesday, about five years after the launch of the Young Men’s Initiative, the City Council will hold an oversight hearing to examine the status of YMI and its effectiveness nearly three years into the de Blasio administration.

The Council’s Youth Services Committee, chaired by Council Member Mathieu Eugene of Brooklyn, will hear from Cyrus Garrett, the current executive director, and other YMI stakeholders, including those who have gone through its programming.

According to a status report conducted by the Urban Institute in January of this year, most stakeholders agreed that under Bloomberg, YMI’s approach to New York’s disparity in justice for young men of color was most successful. YMI 1.0, as the Urban Institute called its Bloomberg era form, ushered in policies like Close to Home, an initiative allowing juvenile offenders to stay close to their families while spending time in non-secure and limited-secure city facilities and ARCHES, a group mentoring program to help remove men aged 16-24 from the criminal justice system.

In 2013, when Bloomberg left office, YMI 1.0 had already presided over (or, at least, coincided with) several successes, according to the 2013 YMI annual report: juvenile crime was 30% lower in 2013 compared to 2012, and had dropped 18% since 2006; 40 high schools for black and Latino boys had received investments from the Expanded Success Initiative (a YMI offshoot that has since transitioned to the NYC Department of Education); after the introduction of Cure Violence, a program designed to treat violence as a public health issue by putting outreach workers on the ground, there was a 28% decrease in gun violence in the target neighborhoods of the South Bronx, South Jamaica, Crown Heights, East New York, and Central Harlem.

Interestingly, the 2013 report was co-authored by Richard Buery, who was then leading Children’s Aid Society, but would soon be named a deputy mayor under de Blasio and now oversees YMI.

Along with apparent progress, YMI 1.0 also had some structural problems. According to the Urban Institute, “there was widespread belief that YMI needed continuous input and consultancy with actors outside city government” and “community-based organizations, both large and small, did not have sufficient input into YMI processes and decisionmaking.”

Fast forward to the present and YMI is led by Garrett, who assumed the role of YMI executive director in December 2014. YMI 2.0 -- as the Urban Institute refers to it -- includes a number of changes, some that seem to speak to the Urban Institute’s findings, and some that seem to adapt the initiative to de Blasio’s own policies outside of YMI.

At an event in 2015 inaugurating the launch of YMI 2.0 and Garrett's appointment, de Blasio outlined the trajectory going forward: “New York City is answering President Obama’s call and doubling down on its commitments to expanding literacy in our youngest children, ensuring our high school graduates are ready for college and career, and forging a deeper partnership between police and community to prevent crime.”

While YMI 2.0 remains committed to many of the successful programs under Bloomberg, it has since been reconfigured to focus on neighborhoods in the South Bronx, East Harlem, Southwest and Southeast Queens, the North Shore of Staten Island, Brownsville, and East New York. This likely reflects budgetary constraints: the seed money from Bloomberg and Soros has all been spent, as their $60 million was only allocated for the three years after the 2011 launch of YMI.

YMI has also begun to align itself with goals set forth in Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, a nationwide program launched in 2014 that de Blasio referred to at the 2015 event and which the city officially partners with. According to Obama, his initiative focuses on “providing the support [young men of color] need to think more broadly about their future.” While My Brother’s Keeper has a much larger focus (and a corresponding $600 million budget), it’s genesis can be traced to the Young Men’s Initiative.

Alignment with My Brother’s Keeper has led to some adjustment in YMI’s vision. Under Bloomberg, YMI targeted men of color aged 16-24, but under de Blasio, programs are offered to different age groups. The “Talk to Your Baby” campaign and reading programs for children enrolled in kindergarten through third grade are both My Brother’s Keeper-united programs that clearly target a younger audience. While there are several goals of My Brother’s Keeper that also correspond with Bloomberg’s original 16-24 demographic, the Urban Institute recommended that the de Blasio administration define “what constitutes YMI-aligned programming and clearly communicating which programs count as YMI aligned.”

Other important new highlights of YMI 2.0 include improved relationships between the NYPD and young men of color -- a goal that was outlined in de Blasio’s 2015 launch with Garrett -- but one that lacks any evident policy behind it, though the city is rolling out its expanded neighborhood policing program.

In April, YMI released “The Disparity Report,” which “provides a snapshot of where young people of color stand in relation to their peers in the areas of Education, Economic Security and Mobility, Health and Wellbeing, and Community and Personal Safety.” Generally, the report shows that there have been “decreases in several disparities for young men and women of color,” but that “disparities persist, warranting an in-depth exploration of the underlying factors that account for these continued discrepancies.”

And on Monday, the de Blasio administration released the Mayor’s Management Report (MMR) for fiscal year 2016, which ended June 30. The Young Men’s Initiative section of the report shows that it is partnering with about 20 city agencies and offices, mentions its increasing alignment with My Brother’s Keeper, and says that “In Fiscal 2016, YMI implemented new programs and refined existing ones; developed trackable indicators and metrics; and launched a policy committee to further advance New York City’s capacity to promote the advancement of [boys and young men of color].”

Specifically, “YMI implemented major initiatives on mentoring, early childhood literacy and teacher recruitment and retention” in fiscal 2016, the MMR section states.

Council Member Eugene’s office confirmed that at Wednesday’s hearing his committee will be looking for new information from YMI about its programs and their effectiveness, what its budgetary needs might be, and more.

When the City Council examines the Young Men’s Initiative Wednesday, a project spearheaded by the Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, could also come up. The Young Women’s Initiative, launched by Mark-Viverito in October 2015, targets gaps in services for young women aged 12-24. Similar to YMI, YWI focuses on structural inequality facing women of color, with a spotlight on health, education, economic and workforce development, criminal justice, and self-sufficiency and mobility.

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by Elena Burger, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

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Council to Examine Young Men’s Initiative, a Bloomberg Program & National Model Tue, 20 Sep 2016 04:00:00 +0000
Armed with New Report, Supporters to Push De Blasio on Summer Youth Employment https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6338-armed-with-new-report-supporters-to-push-de-blasio-on-summer-youth-employment https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6338-armed-with-new-report-supporters-to-push-de-blasio-on-summer-youth-employment cm eugene

Council Member Eugene & advocates for youth summer camps (photo: @CAMBAInc)


When the City Council held its first hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Executive Budget for fiscal year 2017, Council members made it clear that they weren’t satisfied with the level of investment in the city’s youth, one of the top priorities identified in their prior response to the mayor’s preliminary budget.

On Tuesday morning, members of the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, which has 24 members including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and advocacy groups will band together outside City Hall to rally for one particular aspect of youth investment: the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The rally will be accompanied by the Tuesday morning release of a report by the Campaign for Summer Jobs, a coalition of more than 100 community-based organizations, that outlines a plan to expand SYEP while making key programmatic changes.

SYEP provides up to six weeks of paid work to youth between 14 and 24 years old and it received 120,000 applications last year but only served 54,000 young people. This year, Council members and advocates want the city to increase that number to 60,000. “We’re trying to create a roadmap to get to 100,000 spots by Fiscal 2019,” said Andrea Bowen, policy analyst at United Neighborhood Houses and co-chair of the Campaign for Summer Jobs along with Justin Hardy, policy fellow at the Neighborhood Family Services Coalition. “This is achievable and possible and necessary,” Bowen said in a Monday interview.

The Campaign for Summer Jobs report, which Gotham Gazette reviewed before its public release, calls for baselining increased funding for the SYEP over the next few years. Adjusting for increases in the minimum wage and accounting for program changes, the report proposes $75 million in city funding in fiscal 2017 for 60,000 summer youth jobs, increasing to $178 million in Fiscal 2018 for 80,000 jobs, $257 million in Fiscal 2019 for the ultimate goal of 100,000 jobs and $288 million in Fiscal 2020.

So far, the de Blasio administration has allocated $36.5 million in city funds for fiscal 2017, which begins July 1 of this year, with an expected state contribution of $15.6 million, for a total of about $52 million. This would fund about 35,000 jobs this summer.

Some of the report’s key proposals include implementing earlier application, enrollment, and orientation dates; earlier release of funding to service providers; recruiting more providers to the program; increasing base funding for providers; and creating an SYEP Expansion and Improvement Fund. With the ultimate goal of reaching 100,000 summer job slots, “funding levels for the next few years need to be known in advance,” said Bowen.

Much of what’s in the report dovetails with the City Council’s priorities. “The issue that we have is that year to year, we have to negotiate for this funding,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, who is leading the budget process as the Council’s finance committee chair. “We want it baselined so agencies can properly plan and young people can be informed that they have a job in the summer.”

She stressed that the underinvestment in youth in the executive budget was of “great concern” to the Council and that members will continue to push the administration “aggressively” for more funding. “We want to take an opportunity to overhaul and do an evaluation of SYEP, figure out what works,” Ferreras-Copeland said on Monday, insisting that this was necessary for expanding the program to 100,000 slots. “Using the strategy that we’re using currently, going year by year, we’re not going to get there,” she added.

The de Blasio administration sent a statement to Gotham Gazette that echoed what the mayor has said when asked about the issue: “As announced in May 2015, last year’s additional seats for summer programming were for one year only. We gave parents and providers a year’s notice to plan ahead for this summer. The Department of Youth and Community Development runs the largest summer youth jobs program in the nation, and we increased seats to ensure that more New York City youth have the opportunity to gain valuable exposure and workforce skills over the summer months. We have also extended hours at Cornerstone Community Centers, so both young people and adults can have a safe and supportive environment to be active, learn and develop their skills throughout the summer months.”

A cacophony of voices have been raised in favor of improving the summer youth employment program. Last week, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and New York Congressional Rep. Hakeem Jeffries held a press conference where they called on the mayor to increase SYEP funding. On Monday, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Council members, advocates, and others congregated at City Hall to release a new report by the Young Women's Initiative, a $20-million City Council campaign that promotes services for young women, particularly women of color. One of its recommendations is an expansion of the SYEP. Hours later, Council Member Mathieu Eugene, chair of the youth services committee, brought together his colleagues and community advocates to the same spot to push for a related cause, increased funding for youth summer camp programs. He called on all those present to return for Tuesday’s rally.

Eugene chairs the Council’s youth services committee, which will hold its executive budget hearing on Tuesday morning, right after the City Hall rally calling for more SYEP funding. Council members will question de Blasio administration officials about their funding decisions.

“Those young people that are looking for a job are begging to do positive things,” Eugene told Gotham Gazette shortly after Monday’s summer camp rally. “They want an opportunity and I believe it is our moral obligation as elected officials, as people who serve New York City, to provide them with the opportunities that they are looking for.”

[Related: First Executive Budget Hearing Sets Stage for Final Negotiations]

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by Samar Khurshid, senior reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

Note: this story has been updated with comment from the de Blasio administration.

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Armed with New Report, Supporters to Push De Blasio on Summer Youth Employment Mon, 16 May 2016 04:00:00 +0000
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 21 https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6231-the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-march-21 https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6231-the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-march-21 New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week will be another busy one when it comes to budgets: the City Council continues its preliminary budget hearings and state budget negotiations enter their final ten days - a state budget is due by April 1 and some say a deal could be announced before the end of this week. Don't count on it, though, state budgets usually come in just before (or, as was the case last year, just after) the March 31 midnight deadline. This practice under Governor Andrew Cuomo is actually a serious improvement given that the state used to regularly wind up with late budgets extending weeks past the start of the new fiscal year, which begins April 1.

There are a variety of issues to be worked out, with several of importance to New York City. As always, there are a number of high-profile items, like an increase of the minimum wage or government ethics reform, that could be pushed beyond the budget and into the legislative session to follow. That session runs until mid-June. The budget, after all, only must include necessary state expenses. Expect at least a couple of closed-door meetings among Cuomo and the two legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat, and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican. On Monday, City Council "Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Members will travel to Albany to advocate for the City Council's 2016 State Budget and Legislative Agenda," according to Mark-Viverito's public schedule.

Also worth watching in Albany this week, the Assembly will consider internal reforms announced by Heastie and his conference at the end of this past week. The 40-plus reform proposals received a mixed reaction from elected officials and good government advocates, but still indicate a number of changes that many have been advocating for years. And, keep an eye out for a related conference in Albany on Friday, which will look at ethics reform through the lens of a state constitutional convention - details below.

While it is another busy week of budget hearings at the City Council, the Council will also hold a full-body Stated Meeting on Tuesday, at which new bills will be introduced and the Council will vote on the two high-profile zoning changes - Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) - that have been the source of months of discussion, negotiation, and controversy, and that are key to Mayor de Blasio's affordable housing plans.

As always, there's a great deal happening all over the city, with many events to be aware of - read 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: bmax@gothamgazette.com***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
Mayor de Blasio is doing a series of six media appearances to discuss his affordable housing agenda on Monday. He'll be on NPR, 880AM and 710AM radio, and on NY1, NY1 Noticias, and Univision TV.

Both houses of the New York State Legislature are in session on Monday in Albany.

At 10 a.m. in Albany, following the full meeting of the NYS Board of Regents, the board’s newly-elected Chancellor and Vice Chancellor will hold a press conference with the State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.

At noon Monday, a coalition of over 90 HIV/AIDS advocates will launch a statewide Week of Action on the steps of City Hall, calling upon Governor Cuomo to invest $70 million in a plan to end AIDS in the 2016 New York State budget.

At the City Council on Monday:

  • At 9:30 a.m., the Committee on Health will hold a hearing on a bill to prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco products at sports arenas and recreational areas that require tickets.
  • At 10 a.m., the Committee on Health will meet for a preliminary budget hearing.
  • At noon, the Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet for a preliminary budget hearing.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Youth Services will discuss a bill requiring the establishment of a training coordinator to teach certain agency staff throughout departments such as Parks and Recreation, Homeless Services, and Human Resources Administration/Social Services how to identify runaway, homeless or sexually exploited youth and how to connect them with appropriate services. The committee will also discuss several technical changes relating to an annual report produced by the Administration for Children’s Services and the Department of Youth and Community Development on the number of sexually exploited youth each agency has come into contact with over the course of the calendar year.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Public Safety will meet for a preliminary budget hearing.
  • At 1:30 p.m., the Committee on Higher Education will meet to discuss a resolution to increase State funding to CUNY, and to reach a fair labor agreement with the University’s faculty and staff in the 2016-17 NYS Executive Budget.
  • At 3 p.m., the Committee on Civil Rights will examine a bill to broaden or incorporate a right to truthful information for a variety of activities covered by the New York City Human Rights Law, including lending, employment, and access to public accommodations and others.

At 2 p.m. Monday, "First Lady McCray will deliver opening remarks at a panel at Fountain House, an organization dedicated to supporting those living with serious mental illness."

At 6 p.m. Monday, the LGBT Task Force of Manhattan Community Boards 9, 10, 11, and 12 will host an LGBT Resource Fair featuring New York City Agencies. The event is sponsored by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

At 6:10 p.m. Monday evening, "Mayor Bill de Blasio will discuss affordable housing with an anticipated 10,000+ AARP members from New York City on an interactive call that allows participants to ask questions," according to AARP-NY.

On Monday at 6:30 p.m., schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will attend a town hall meeting of District 16's Community Education Council at MS 267 in Brooklyn.

Tuesday
Both houses of the New York State Legislature are in session on Tuesday in Albany.

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Crain’s New York Business will host an event on how startup businesses take off in New York City, featuring: Gregg Bishop, Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services; Howard Lerman, Co-Founder & CEO, Yext; Rachel Shechtman,, Founder and CEO, STORY; Adam Shwartz, Director, Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech; and moderated by Matthew Flamm, Senior Reporter, Crain's New York Business.

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the YWCA of New York City will host “its third breakfast panel for Women’s History Month “New York City Women Leaders: The Power of Influence and Purpose.” The panel will include Maya Wiley, counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio; City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley; and Carmelyn Malalis, commissioner of the city’s Human Rights Commission; among others.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Commission on Public Information and Communication will meet to discuss the implementation of the webcasting law and the establishment of a central portal for webcasts.

At the City Council on Tuesday:

  • At 9 a.m., the Committee on State and Federal Legislation will meet to press for authorization that Christopher Park in Manhattan is discontinued as city parkland.
  • At 10 a.m., the Committee on Finance will meet to approve new designations for certain organizations to receive funding in the expense budget; to communicate the transfer of City funds between various agencies in FY ‘16 in the expense budget; and to communicate the appropriation of new revenues of $982 million in FY ‘16.
  • At 1:30 p.m., the City Council will hold a full-body Stated Meeting. The highlight of the hearing will be the Council’s votes on the MIH and ZQA zoning text amendments.
  • Before the Stated, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will host a pre-Stated press conference at 12:30.

Also prior to the Stated Meeting, at noon, City Council Members Costa Constantinides and Ydanis Rodriguez will host a press conference on the steps of City Hall to rally before introducing a bill to create a pilot program for electric vehicle charging stations on street parking. The program hopes to encourage the use of electric cars and reduce carbon emissions citywide.

Wednesday
Both houses of the New York State Legislature are in session on Wednesday in Albany.

At the City Council on Wednesday:

  • At 10 a.m., the Subcommittee on Libraries will meet jointly with the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations for a preliminary budget hearing on libraries.
  • At 11 a.m., the Committee on Contracts will meet for a preliminary budget hearing.
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Courts and Legal Services will meet for a preliminary budget hearing.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will host a Women’s History Month celebration at Mott Haven Library.

Thursday
At 8 a.m. Thursday, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce will host a breakfast event focused on combating the rising tide of cybercrime and featuring Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.

Friday and the weekend
At 1:30 p.m. Friday in Albany, a forum, “Can a NYS Constitutional Convention Strengthen Government Ethics?” The event, hosted by The Rockefeller Institute, will feature discussion about whether issues of integrity in government can be fixed statutorily, or if would be better resolved through constitutional change. Speaking will be former NYS Comptroller H. Carl McCall; and Columbia Law School Professor Richard Briffault, who is also a former assistant counsel to Governor Hugh Carey; as well as a panel of experts.

On Saturday, March 26, Participatory Budget voting begins in New York City Council districts running the program. In Participatory Budgeting, Council Members ask New York City residents “to decide how to invest public funds in their neighborhoods.” Voting will take place throughout the nearly 30 participating districts through April 3.

***
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: bmax@gothamgazette.com (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Kelly Fan and Ben Max
@GothamGazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 21 Sat, 19 Mar 2016 14:22:16 +0000
The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 23 https://www.gothamgazette.com/government/6002-the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-november-23 https://www.gothamgazette.com/government/6002-the-week-ahead-in-new-york-politics-november-23 New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Thanksgiving week will see just a few days of political activity, but the beginning of the week is looking busy. Highlights include closing arguments in Sheldon Silver's corruption trial; the continuation of Dean Skelos' corruption trial; the release of the Public Advocate's "worst landlord list"; several City Council hearings and a full-body "Stated Meeting"; two public meetings of the city's commission on elected official compensation; and more. See our day-by-day rundown below.

First, in case you haven't seen some of our most recent reporting, a few highlights:

[To read more of the latest from Gotham Gazette, click here; to subscribe to our newsletters, click here]

Mayor Bill de Blasio had no public schedule Saturday. On Sunday, the mayor, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson observed "an active shooter drill in Lower Manhattan." After that, the mayor was delivered remarks at Church of God of Prophecy in the Bronx, where he was hosted by City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, among others.

On Monday, de Blasio "will deliver remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for Hunter's Point South Phase II" at noon; "host a press conference to make an announcement related to mental health" with First Lady Chirlane McCray at 2 p.m. at CUNY Hunter College - Silberman School of Social Work; and hold a media availability at about 3 p.m. nearby the school.

 

***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: bmax@gothamgazette.com***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
At the City Council on Monday, November 23:

  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Public Safety and the Committee on Transportation will meet to hear the introduction of several bills regarding unmanned aviation vehicles (drones). They will focus on regulation, registration requirements and authorization of use.
  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Youth Services will meet to discuss several new bills that would require training for certain employees in treating runaway, homeless, and sexually exploited youths, and amend the requirement date for the annual report on sexually exploited children.
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Education will meet for oversight on Department of Education’s efforts to help struggling schools. Schools chancellor Carmen Fariña will testify.
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Civil Service and Labor will meet to hear a series of new bills that would require successive employers of buildings to retain workers for a transitional time period and extend protections for displaced building service workers to food service workers.
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Environmental Protection will meet to hear a new bill that would require the identification of geothermal systems and buildings eligible for them, as well as registration for the people allowed to install such systems.

On Monday at 8 a.m., The Food Bank for New York will release a new report on the state of hunger and food networks in New York City. The “legislative breakfast” and report will examine the effects of federal cuts to SNAP cuts. Margarette Purvis, President and CEO, Food Bank For New York City; Steven Banks, Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration; Triada Stampas, Vice President For Research & Public Affairs, Food Bank For New York City, and “elected officials from throughout New York City” are expected.

At 8:30 a.m. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and Business Forward will host a business leader forum to discuss the effects of severe climate change on the restaurant industry.

At 9 a.m. Monday in Long Island City, City Council "Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer will be joined by several New Yorkers who have applied and have not been selected for a variety of the City's affordable housing development lotteries throughout the five boroughs. Together, Council Member Van Bramer and these New Yorkers in need will express why they believe Airbnb needs to be held accountable for allowing tax-subsidized affordable housing units to be posted as illegal hotels on their website."

Later, Van Bramer will join the mayor for the aforementioned Hunter's Point groundbreaking.

At 11 a.m. in Foley Square, Public Advocate Letitia James "will hold a tenant rally and release the 2015 Worst Landlord Watchlist. Following the rally, Public Advocate James will visit Brooklyn Housing Court to ensure tenants are aware of their rights and then tour one of the buildings on the Worst Landlord Watchlist.".

At 11:15 a.m. Monday, State Senator Liz Krueger, together with community leaders and elected officials, will gather at the City Hall for a press conference which will urge Governor Andrew Cuomo to transition New York off of coal power by 2020. Senator Liz Krueger will be joined by State Senator Brad Hoylman; Assembly Members Brian Kavanagh, Rebecca Seawright and Jo Anne Simon; and City Council Members Donovan Richards and Dan Garodnick.
[Read Sen. Krueger's new op-ed on the subject: Time for New York to Cut the Coal]

At 12:45 p.m. Monday, City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, joined with Unite Here 100, will rally for food service worker retention, supporting a bill that expands upon the 2002 Displaced Building Service Worker Protection Act to include food service workers from being fired from work after a new owner takes over a business. A Council hearing will take place at 1 p.m.

On Monday at 2 p.m., Gov. Cuomo will be at the Jacob Javits Center to participate "in New York State's Annual Thanksgiving Food Donation Drive with volunteers and members of the New York National Guard."

At 5 p.m. the city’s Quadrennial Advisory Committee on elected officials’ compensation will hold its first of two community hearings to gather public feedback about its work. There is a state pay commission set to convene soon as well, we'll have details on that upcoming. [Read our recent look at the work ahead for the commission and the question of whether New York elected officials deserve a raise]

At 6 p.m. Monday, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Red Tape Commission will hold a Staten Island hearing for business owners and entrepreneurs, part of the ongoing initiative to remake the government into a partner to businesses instead of being an “obstacle to growth”.

Also at 6 p.m. the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will hold a public hearing on East New York community planning.

Tuesday
At the State Legislature on Tuesday: at noon, the Assembly Standing Committee on Agriculture will convene for “Oversight of the SFY 2015-2016 State Budget for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.”

At the City Council on Tuesday, November 24th:

  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Finance will meet on a variety of topics.
  • At 1 p.m. the City Council Stated Meeting will be held - and as usual, it will be prefaced by the Speaker’s pre-stated press conference, at 12:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, "Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will appear live on CNN's New Day to discuss ThriveNYC: The Mental Health Roadmap for All," at about 6:50 a.m. Later in the morning, "the Mayor will create and deliver food packages with Joel Berg of NYC Coalition Against Hunger." At about 11:45 a.m., "the Mayor will deliver remarks on hunger and food insecurity in New York City." At about 4 p.m., "the Mayor will join bi-partisan local elected officials – including Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Congressman Dan Donovan and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez – to host a press conference to highlight the need for increased federal transportation funding as New Yorkers prepare for holiday weekend travel."

On Tuesday, November 24th, Council Member Andy King will offer Free Healthcare Enrollment and Legal Services to Bronx Residents. In cooperation with MetroPlus and New York Legal Assistance Group the event will help residents sign up for health care and legal services.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks at "NYC Coalition Against Hunger Annual Flagship Event."

At 5 p.m. Tuesday the NYC Quadrennial Advisory Board will hold another community hearing on compensation for elected officials. [Read our recent look at the work ahead for the commission and the question of whether New York elected officials deserve a raise]

On Tuesday at 7 p.m. Public Advocate Tish James will host an African Immigrant "Talk to Tish" Town Hall in the Bronx; and at 8:30 p.m. James will attend the Bayside Hills Civic Association General Meeting in Oakland Gardens.

On Tuesday evening in Brooklyn, school district 15, which includes parts of Sunset Park, Kensington, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will hold a town hall "from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at P.S. 516...Local elected officials including City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and State Sen. Jesse Hamilton are expected to attend and answer questions from the public from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.," according to DNAinfo.

Happy Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating. Watch for our latest articles this week and we'll publish a 'Week Ahead' on Sunday, Nov. 29. 

***
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: bmax@gothamgazette.com (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Colin O'Connor, Konstantine Beridze, and Ben Max
@GothamGazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 23 Sun, 22 Nov 2015 05:00:00 +0000