Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 29

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week must be much quieter than last - the city budget is passed; the legislative session in Albany is over; the two escaped upstate prisoners were found (one killed; one shot and captured); and the United States Supreme Court has wrapped up its spring. It's also a holiday week as we head toward Saturday, July 4 - the official holiday is Friday, as you probably know. There is quite a bit happening in New York politics on Monday and Tuesday, as you'll see below. There's also sure to be plenty of examination this week of what happened last week, and with much to consider as people dig further into the city budget, Albany 'big ugly,' and more.

Before looking at what is upcoming, did you read our Week in Review looking at the key things to see and know from last week in New York politics? It's a new feature of ours, a quick end-of-week read to catch you up and also bring you fun items like photos of the week, numbers of the week, and more. Give it a look.

This week we're not only watching for new stories about things that happened last week, but there are also key meetings of the governor's fast food wage board; the city rent guidelines board; and the City Council public safety committee. See details of those events and more below. Also, by Tuesday, The Midtown East Steering Committee, co-chaired by Council Member Dan Garodnick and Borough President Gale Brewer, is set to send their re-zoning blueprint to city planners.

Weekend wrap: the LGBT Pride celebrations continued after Friday's Supreme Court decision dictating marriage equality nationwide (Mayor Bill de Blasio held a celebration at City Hall and performed two marriages Friday afternoon). On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo officiated a wedding ceremony for the first time since being granted the authority to do so as part of the end-of-session deal in Albany. Cuomo presided over a marriage outside of the Stonewall Inn just before the annual Pride parade, which he, de Blasio, and many other city and state officials participated in.

On Saturday, "Mayor Bill de Blasio, Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, and Council Member Jumaane Williams dedicated a plaque marking the site of the colonial-era Wall Street slave market. Standing in Manhattan Park, the plaque is the first official acknowledgement of this slave market."

Upcoming: on Monday, at 10: 15 at South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, "Mayor de Blasio and U.S. Representatives Nydia Velázquez and Jerrold Nadler will host a press conference to make an announcement," according to the mayor's public schedule. At 4 p.m. at City Hall, "the Mayor will hold public hearings for and sign Intro. 318-A, in relation to prohibiting discrimination based on a person's arrest record or criminal conviction; Intro. 125-B, in relation to licensing car wash businesses; and Intros 456-A, 723-A, 724-A, 725-A, 726-A, and 729-A, related to the City's outreach and accessibility efforts for small businesses."

Cuomo-De Blasio Detente?: One key item worth watching this week is how well things cool off between Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo after a tense stretch leading to Albany's end of session and a deal not very favorable to de Blasio and many city-based lawmakers and their constituents. It's likely that this will be a fairly quiet week, though things could flare up again if either de Blasio or Cuomo (or their surrogates) were to criticize the other when talking with members of the media. Where the relationship between the two 'old friends' goes from here is unclear, as it may have been hit by irreparable damage over the past year-and-a-half, especially the past six months. Stay tuned.

Check out our day-by-day rundown below, and have a great week!

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
E-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.***

The run of the week in detail:

At 8 a.m. Monday morning, "City Council Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine and City Council Member Helen Rosenthal will be joined by DOT and Parks Department officials to kick-off the first day of car free Central Park north of 72nd Street. Last year, Council Members Rosenthal and Levine introduced legislation, Intro 499, which would ban cars in Central Park for a portion of the year and study banning them year-round...Central Park, West Drive and near 92nd Street Enter the Park at 93rd Street and Central Park West."

On Monday at the City Council: a 9:30 a.m. hearing of the public safety committee on a variety of police reform bills - expect this to be a long, intense hearing. Bills being heard deal with outlawing the use of chokeholds by the NYPD (they are currently banned by department policy); new reporting requirements for the NYPD of high-crime neighborhoods and CCRB complaints against specific officers; rules around officers identifyng themselves to suspects and notifying suspects of their rights to refuse a search that is not being requested due to reasonable suspicion; and more.

At noon outside that City Council hearing, according to police reform groups, "there will be a press conference "to call for New York City Council to pass Right to Know Act" featuring Council Members Brad Lander, Ritchie Torres, Jumaane Williams, and Antonio Reynoso, along with representatives from Communities United for Police Reform, Make the Road New York, VOCAL-NY, New York Civil Liberties Union, NYC Anti-Violence Project, Legal Aid Society, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Streetwise & Safe, Picture the Homeless, Arab American Association of New York, Brooklyn Movement Center, and Audre Lorde Project.

At 10 a.m. the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies is hosting the ribbon cutting for their new office and conference center. Bill Chong, Commissioner of the Department of Youth and Community Development; Steve Banks, Commissioner of the Human Resources Administration; Gilbert Taylor, Commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services; Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Council Member Dan Garodnick will be among those attending.

On Monday at 10 a.m., City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will deliver remarks at Broome Street Academy's graduation ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History.

After a month of testimony, the final public deliberations for the fast food Wage Board will be on Monday at 11 a.m. at the New York State Department of Labor. As has been the case with its other hearings, fast food workers and their allies, those fighting for a higher minimum wage, with the goal of $15/hour, will rally beforehand.

At noon on Monday at the Queens Library, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer will hold a "press conference to celebrate six day service at all New York City libraries."

Also at noon, "Street vendors and the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center call for lifting the cap on street vendor permits with the premiere of new video, plaza in front of City Hall," according to City & State NY.

At 1 p.m. Monday at City Hall, Harlem Interfaith Commission for Housing Equality will hold a press conference, attended by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Also at 1 p.m. Monday, "New York City Councilman Mark Treyger joins elected officials, community leaders, clergy members and residents to denounce the recent incidents of gun violence and call on the city to improve safety in Coney Island's residential areas, Surf Avenue and West 30th Street, Coney Island," according to City & State NY.

At 4 p.m. de Blasio and other city leaders will hold a bill-signing ceremony at City Hall.

On Monday at 6 p.m. the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) will hold its final vote after 4 public meetings with testimony. The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday, June 23.

Prior to the RGB meeting and vote, there will be a rally outside of Cooper Union, "After tenants were denied important rent protections by the governor, tenants are turning to the Rent Guidelines Board as their final hope for housing stability. Elected officials and the Rent Justice Coalition are rallying before the final Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) vote to demand rent relief for New York's working families. The RGB vote will impact the city's long term financial stability and the immediate welfare of 2.5 million tenants. The final vote comes after four hearings, where thousands of tenants and dozens of elected officials testified about the need for a rent rollback and the dire consequences of a rent increase." Attendees will include "The Rent Justice Coalition, rent stabilized tenants, elected officials including Council Member Jumaane Williams, Council Member Corey Johnson, Council Member Ben Kallos, Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Council Member Rosie Mendez, Council Member Dan Garodnick, Council Member Mark Levine, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Assembly Member, Assembly Member Herman Farrell, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, Senator Bill Perkins, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and others."

At 6 p.m. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will host that borough's feedback session as First Lady Chirlane McCray and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene put together a "Roadmap for Mental Health."

Monday evening's Inside City Hall on NY1 will feature an interview with Council Speaker Mark-Viverito.

As mentioned, the Midtown East Steering Committee is due to submit its rezoning plans to city hall by Tuesday.

Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. there will be a Google Hangout, "#LatinasRepresent Hangout with NYC's Leading Latinas," with Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas. This will be broadcast live.

Also at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and hearing of the City Council's transportation committee to examine two bills related to the taxicab and for-hire vehicle industry.

The Midtown East steering committee is aiming to send their re-zoning blueprint to city planners by June 30. The area covers stretches from East 39th to East 57th street between Fifth and Third Avenue and will be the culmination of nine months of talks.

On Tuesday at 5 p.m. there will be an immigration consultation and legal help provided by the Immigrant Justice Corps Community at the Brooklyn Public Library.

At 5:30 p.m. a Caribbean Heritage celebration will be hosted at City Hall. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Council Member Mathieu Eugene and the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus co-chairs Andy King and Rosie Mendez will be attending, among others. RSVP by Monday June 29, 2015.

There will be an event on the "role of data in reporting on race" by The New York Times Company's African Heritage Network and ProPublica at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Marcus Mabry, editor at large for The New York Times will be attending.

At 6 p.m. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be hosting Manhattan's session on the "Roadmap for Mental Health" being put together by First Lady Chirlane McCray and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Tuesday evening, beginning at 6 p.m. at New York Law School, good government group Citizens Union hosts "Effective Police Accountability; Building Public Trust and Ensuring Public Safety in Our Community...engaging dialogue on how New York can strengthen police accountability, improve public oversight, boost police-community relations, and ensure public safety." Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will give opening remarks, which will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, former Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney and NYPD Deputy Commissioner Arnold Kriss, Communities United for Police Reform's Joo-Hyun Kang, and Philip Eure, Inspector General for the NYPD; and moderated by Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey.

There will be a tenants' forum in Greenpoint on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development in partnership with Council Member Stephen Levin. "This is an opportunity for tenants to get information on issues such as rent stabilization protections, HPD code enforcement, housing court, rent protection for low-income seniors and displaced persons, anti-harassment protections, and much more."

Wednesday is July 1, and it looks like political events in the city are halting for the July 4th weekend.

Catch up on a few recent Gotham Gazette highlights:

Thank you for reading Gotham Gazette. Have a great start to July!

Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? E-mail Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max any time: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

by Bernard Agrest, Erika Wang, and Ben Max

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