Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 12

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

On Monday, New York elected officials including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James and many others marched in the New York City Columbus Day Parade.

With Election Day just three weeks from Tuesday, the governor's slow march to re-election has picked up a bit of steam lately, mostly aboard the Women's Equality Express, which Cuomo and his lieutenant governor running mate Kathy Hochul again boarded on Saturday, this time in New York City and Long Island.

Then, on Sunday, Cuomo and Hochul were campaigning in Buffalo where they attended True Bethel Baptist Church followed by a closed-press "Buffalo Bills ‎Tailgate Party" (before the Bills lost to the Patriots).

This week, the governor's campaigning will get a push from the release of Cuomo's new memoir All Things Possible: Setbacks and Successes in Politics and Life, at Barnes & Noble now. The governor will be promoting the book at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square on Wednesday - but watch for his gubernatorial opponent Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, whose campaign is staging an event outside the bookstore at the same time as Cuomo's event.

Meanwhile, Cuomo's former Democratic primary opponent Zephyr Teachout is criss-crossing the state promoting her new book (and doing the work for a Democratic takeover of the State Senate that she says Cuomo is not doing despite a pledge to do so). She'll be in Brooklyn at a public event Tuesday night.

Also Tuesday night and in the same vein, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray is set to headline a fundraiser for Democratic candidates. Details on all of these events are below. (This will happen while her husband is in Washington, D.C., where he has a packed Tuesday - see below for details).

When the governor gets more publicly involved with state Senate races is to be determined, of course. It is expected that Mayor de Blasio will start popping up at more campaign events, though.

Cuomo's Republican foe, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, will see Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana in town on Thursday to help him campaign and raise funds.

As of Columbus Day, it looks like Cuomo and Astorino will only be facing off in one deabte, set to be televised from Buffalo on October 22 (and include Hawkins and Libertarian candidate Mike McDermott).

But first, this week will see a debate in the state Comptroller race: incumbent Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and his Republican challenger Bob Antonacci will take part in a debate televised from New York City on Wednesday night. (Later this month, on October 30, incumbent Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Republican challenger John Cahill are set to debate.)

Comptroller Stringer
Perhaps taking advantage of a slow Sunday-of-a-holiday-weekend news day (the mayor had no public events), Comptroller Scott Stringer opted to announce the results of a new audit on Sunday in Harlem. According to a press release from his office, "Stringer unveiled findings of a new audit showing widespread deficiencies in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (DOHMH) response to citizen complaints about rodents." The release noted that Stringer said "This is a rat race we're all losing and it's one that affects our quality of life...When people discover infestations in their homes and on their blocks, they expect a quick and effective response. Our audit found that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene wasn't managing its pest control program effectively, even as the number of complaints about pests grew."

The run of the week in more detail:

It's Columbus Day, so there's more parading to be done. Aside from marching on Monday, Mayor de Blasio "will deliver remarks at the NYPD Columbia Association," according to his public schedule.

Monday will see the campaign kickoff of "25 days to 25 MPH" as city officials and activists anticipate the lowering of the the city speed limit to 25 MPH in many areas come November 7 after a recently passed law allows this to happen. 

On Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio heads "to Washington, DC on Tuesday for a series of meetings with federal partners," according to his public schedule: "In the morning, the Mayor will meet with FBI Director James Comey and Police Commissioner Bratton at FBI headquarters...Tuesday afternoon, the Mayor will meet with Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco and Police Commissioner Bratton at the White House...Later Tuesday afternoon, the Mayor will meet with Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association (NEA) at the NEA headquarters...Afterward, the Mayor will meet with United States Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Police Commissioner Bratton at the Department of Homeland Security....Tuesday evening, the Mayor will participate in a media availability at the NYC Federal Affairs Office with John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism of the NYPD...Later on Tuesday, the Mayor will accept Campaign for America's Progressive Champion Award and deliver remarks at Celebrating America's Future 2014....The Mayor will return to New York City on Tuesday night."

Tuesday is three weeks til Election Day!

And as we noted, Governor Cuomo's memoir All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life is set to be released on Tuesday. Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal got a look at the book last week - and Cuomo discussed it in an interview with the Times for its Sunday magazine.

On Tuesday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito "speaks at National Latino AIDS Awareness Press Conference" on the steps of City Hall, according to her public schedule.

On Tuesday the City Council schedule includes the Committee on Public Housing holding an oversight hearing, "evaluation of the Victim of Domestic Violence Need-Based Preference Category and Support and Services for Victims of Domestic Violence in NYCHA Developments" at 10 a.m. at City Hall; and the Committee on Finance, which will consider a new bill being introduced that aims to amend "the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to notices of violation" - also 10 a.m. at City Hall; and the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations will meet to consider a "Resolution calling upon Congress to pass and the President to sign H.R. 1217 and S. 568 to establish the Smithsonian American Latino Museum and designate the Arts and Industries Building as its future location in Washington, D.C." at 1 p.m. at City Hall - Speaker Mark-Viverito will give opening remarks at this meeting.

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will welcome The Brooklyn Bolts, "the borough's first professional football team in 70 years" at a rally on the steps of Borough Hall.

On Tuesday evening, Citizens Union will host its annual Awards Dinner, this year the good government organization honors Michael Cardozo, Michele Hirshman, Dr. Herbert Pardes, and Hon. William Thompson, Jr.

Friends of David Garland, the Republican candidate for Assembly District 76, will hold a fundraising event on Tuesday evening with "special guest of honor Assemblyman John Ravitz."

There will be a candidate forum focused on environmental issues in the 18th Congressional District race featuring Nan Hayworth and U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on Tuesday evening in Bedford, NY.

There is a debate scheduled for Tuesday evening between incumbent Assembly Member Alec Brook-Krasny and his challenger for the 46th assembly seat, Stamatis Lilikakis: 7:30 p.m. at St. Phillip's Church in Dyker Heights, according to The Bensonhurt Bean.

Zephyr Teachout will discuss her new book Corruption in America: From Ben Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. This is part of Teachout's "Corruption in New York Circuit Tour," which is part book tour, part campaign for Democratic State Senate candidates.

Brooklyn City Council Member Brad Lander is holding a participatory budgeting session focused on "streets & transit" on Tuesday evening at the NYC Transit Museum.

New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray is set to headline a fundraiser on Tuesday evening as the de Blasio administration (and family) works for a Democratic takeover of the State Senate. According to Capital New York, "McCray is ramping up efforts to ensure Bill de Blasio's wish to have a Democrat-controlled State Senate comes to fruition next month: McCray is headlining a fundraiser Oct. 14 for State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk who is running for re-election in the 46th District (Capital District and Hudson Valley), and Adrienne Esposito who is running against Republican Tom Croci for Lee Zeldin's 3rd District Senate seat on Long Island. Zeldin, a Republican, is running for Congress."

As we've mentioned, Wednesday night will see the first real debate of the general election in any of the three statewide races (Astorino and Teachout held a couple of debates, but those were more to garner media attention and call out Gov. Cuomo for not debating Teachout). It'll be the Democratic and Republican candidates for Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli and Bob Antonacci, respectively. The debate is taking place at Baruch College in Manhattan and will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable News, including on NY1.

Also as we've mentioned, Governor Cuomo will be at Barnes & Noble in Union Square on Wednesday evening to promote his new memoir - and his opponent Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins will have a presence outside the store.

Meanwhile, Wednesday marks the official "Go Purple Day" in New York City as various city council members, in partnership with the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, will host outreach events across the city to help bring awareness to issues pertaining to Domestic Violence. Events will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. as council members "select high visibility areas in their district to conduct outreach."

The Council of Senior Centers and Services (CSCS) will host its second annual Housing Symposium on Wednesday. Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been is set to headline "the only aging AND housing focused event in NYC that brings together executives, management and policy officials from public, private and governmental organizations within the housing and aging services industries" - 8:15 am to 12:00 pm at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Wednesday morning will also see the opening of the first Community Healthy Food Hub in West Harlem: "West Harlem Group Assistance (WHGA), the New York office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund will launch West Harlem's first Community Healthy Food Hub."

The City Council schedule on Wednesday includes the Committee on Immigration meeting to consider a local law "in relation to persons not to be detained by the department of correction," which has been introduced by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; and the Committee on Parks and Recreation will head to the Bronx for a tour of North and South Brother Islands Barretto Point Park.

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is hosting an event to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the Council Chambers of City Hall on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

The office of Council Member Julissa Ferreras will also celebrate hispanic heritage by hosting the "1st Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards Reception" at New York Hall of Science in Corona on Wednesday evening.

The "Cop Watch" training series will continue "to teach New Yorkers to monitor and document the police" with an information session in Queens on Wednesday evening.

There will be a Veterans Town Hall meeting hosted by Council Member Eric Ulrich and Assembly Member Michael Miller on Wednesday evening at American Legion Post 118 in Woodhaven. New Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs (MOVA) Commissioner Loree Sutton is expected to participate.

Wednesday night will see the second annual "C4Q-Tech/Bash" in Long Island City: "Please join 250+ entrepreneurs, technologists, civic and business leaders, and community residents at the 2nd Annual C4Q Tech Bash fundraiser at the MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Museum. Honorees include Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of reddit and YCombinator Partner; James Milliken, Chanchellor of CUNY; and Aaron Cohen, Fueled - C4Q Volunteer of the Year.

The Brooklyn Young Democrats will hold their monthly general meeting, at which they hope to hear "from the campaigns of our three endorsed candidates in the area, including Jamie Kemmerer, Marybeth Melendez and Domenic Recchia" - 7:30 PM at Lone Star Bar & Grill in Bay Ridge.

Thursday will see "the first ever tech conference in Harlem." "Silicon Harlem Conference" is being hosted by Silicon Harlem and will include Rep. Charlie Rangel, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Inez Dickens, and Economic Development Corporation head Kyle Kimball will deliver remarks.

City & State NY will host its first "New York - Canada Summit" on Thursday, bringing together "prominent government and business leaders" to discuss the world's "largest bilateral trade relationship" - Grand Hyatt Regency in Buffalo. Discussion will center around "the $33 billion trade relationship across the 445 mile border that New York and Canada share. The New York – Canadian border hosts 17 crossings, four of which are the most heavily-travelled ports of entry, and supports $74.6 billion of economic activity each year for Canada and the United States."

Thursday morning will also see the City-sponsored "Domestic Violence & the Workplace: A Forum For Empowering Survivors Through Best Practices and Resources."

Also Thursday morning, "Twenty Years of Broken Windows Policing: What's Ahead for Public Safety in New York City?" an event being put on by The Manhattan Institute.

CUNY Institute for Education Policy presents: "Choosing Neighborhoods, Choosing Schools" on Thursday evening at The Roosevelt House: "As the idea of school choice gains ground, the question of how parents choose schools becomes a more important topic. Annette Lareau, the sociologist whose work on middle class schooling practices changed the field, will discuss her recent book Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools."

"Post-Racial Mythologies, Post Ferguson Realities: The Past, Present & Future of Policing & Black Communities" is scheduled for Thursday evening at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. "Join the faculty, students, affiliates, and friends of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS; Columbia University) in a contextual and forward-looking discussion of black communities, policing, and youth in the United States." Speakers will include Dr. Christina Greer, a Fordham professor and frequent political commentator on New York and national politics.

Thursday evening is this year's Alliance for Quality Education's (AQE) "Champions of Education" at which AQE will "recognize Champions of Education who work to ensure all students in New York have access to a high quality education" - United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Headquarters.

City Limits ( is having an event on Thursday evening to celebrate a new, independent chapter in the publication's existence - CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, with special guest speaker Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Four Freedoms Democratic Club's October General Meeting & Happy Hour is Thursday evening and will feature special guest City Council Member Dan Garodnick.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is set to headline a fundraiser for Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino on Thursday evening.

Friday and the weekend
Events on our radar for Friday and the weekend are minimal right now, but that's sure to change as the week progresses. A couple of items, though:

On Sunday, Greater NYC for Change, New York State Young Democrats, and Brooklyn Young Democrats will join forces for an afternoon of canvassing "to persuade voters that (Democratic 11th district congressional candidate) Dominic Recchia is the best choice to represent them in the House in November."

For those interested in a career with NYPD, there is an afternoon event in the Bronx on Sunday, "NYPD Community Career Day."

Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? Email 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 Rati Mukhuradze, Katrina Shakarian, David King, and Ben Max

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