Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 13

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

We have an MTA funding deal! Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have agreed to a capital budget plan for the MTA, ensuring that the money will be there for the five-year, $26 billion program for infrastructure upgrades and expansion (the capital program is different from the operating budget).

The mayor and governor had been jockeying over how a remaining shortfall in the program would be filled - in the end, both agreed to increase the contributions from their ends, with the mayor ultimately putting up more money than originally expected and winning agreement from Cuomo that city-based decisions would largely be made by city reps and that the state would not "raid" money from MTA funds.

Is this the start of a new page in the de Blasio-Cuomo relationship? Will the mayor and the governor give more detail about how they are funding the commitments each has made to the MTA plan?

TRACKING DE BLASIO: Later this week, Mayor de Blasio leaves for Israel late Thursday evening and will be there Friday to Sunday. He will keynote the Annual Conference of Mayors, speaking "on the topic of Anti-Semitism in the West: How Cities Must Lead," according to his office. "The Conference is being hosted by the American Jewish Congress, American Council for World Jewry, and World Forum of Russian-Speaking Jewry, and will bring together dozens of mayors from around the world to discuss the issues and challenges facing cities."

Before leaving on Thursday, de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, and others will hold a ceremony to rename the Municipal Building for former Mayor David Dinkins.

Before that, on Wednesday, de Blasio will hold an open forum on "rent security and tenant protection," according to the mayor's office, as reported by the New York Times. It will reportedly include "about 250 tenants in Washington Heights."

De Blasio spent the weekend at a couple of different Columbus Day parades. On Tuesday, he'll "deliver remarks at the funeral for Department of Correction Assistant Deputy Warden Rodney Bowden....deliver remarks at the dedication ceremony for the Battery Park Police Memorial" and hold public hearings for several bills that have passed the City Council, signing some of them (others will be signed at a later date), see below for details. Tuesday evening, "Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will deliver remarks at the second annual UpStander Awards," according to his public schedule.

Before we give you an extensive day-by-day rundown, a few other highlights of the Week Ahead:

  • Governor Cuomo's "Common Core Task Force" is set to meet for the first time this week, though we don't know where or when yet, as reported last week by Politico New York. The task force is likely to meet privately and set dates for public hearings. [Read: The task force is without a student representative].
  • On Wednesday in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Education will hold a public hearing on "Chronically Struggling Schools and School Receivership" in order "to examine and study schools eligible for school receivership in order to better understand how to support these schools in their turnaround efforts to improve student performance."
  • And, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton heads back to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, for, as he explained it to the media this past week, "a day-long meeting" with "the attorney general, a number of police leaders, government leaders, on the issue of – the incarceration issue – the idea that so many people put in jail, are now coming out. What do we do with them? How do we deal with that issue?...And there might be a potential meeting with the President on Thursday as a follow up to that."

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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday, Columbus Day - Mets v. Dodgers, Game 3

At the City Council on Tuesday:

  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet regarding three bills related to making buildings more bicycle-friendly.
  • At 11 a.m. the Committee on land use will meet.
  • At 1 p.m.The Committees on Health and Parks and Recreation will meet on a bill that would require defibrillators at baseball fields dedicated to youth activity.

"Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is in Colombia and Dutchess County on Tuesday" as he continues to tour the state.

More on Mayor de Blasio's Tuesday schedule:

  • 10 a.m: Delivers remarks at the funeral for Department of Correction Assistant Deputy Warden Rodney Bowden.
  • 11 a.m: Delivers remarks at the dedication ceremony for the Battery Park Police Memorial.
  • 3:30 p.m: Holds "public hearings for and sign Intro. 903, granting the Mayor authority to extend health insurance benefits to the widow and family of Frank Musella, a sergeant in the New York City Department of Sanitation who passed away while on duty; and Intro. 730, in relation to reports on school discipline and police department activity in schools. The Mayor will also hold public hearings for Intros 917-A, 885, and 897, which would provide additional tools for City agencies to combat the manufacture and sale of the synthetic drug K-2, and will be signed at a later date."
  • 6:30 p.m: With First Lady Chirlane McCray, delivers remarks at the second annual UpStander Awards.

On Tuesday starting at 7 a.m., The New York Civil Liberties Union will kick off its annual Week of Action, this year's focus is "students' rights when facing suspensions." On multiple days this week, "NYCLU volunteers will visit selected schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx before classes start and after the school day ends to speak with students and distribute Know Your Rights When Facing a Suspension palm cards."

On Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., New York City Chief Technology Officer Minerva Tantoco will chat with Jordan Crook, Senior Writer at TechCrunch, and Jessica Lawrence, Executive Director of the New York Tech Meetup, about her first year in the new position. The event will be held at LMHQ in Downtown Manhattan.

Also at 8:30 a.m., “NYS School Environmental Health Summit: Is Your School Clean, Green and Healthy?”, a statewide conference focusing on school environmental health, will commence at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The day-long event aspires to raise awareness and support for the newly developed NYS Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools program that’s mission is to provide every child and school employee with “the right to a safe and healthy learning and working environment that is clean and in good repair”. The event will include city and state officials.

On Tuesday at 9 a.m., "New York City Council Member Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Deputy Commissioner Edwin Torres will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by presenting a $1.4 million capital award to The Hispanic Society of America (Hispanic Society) in upper Manhattan."

On Tuesday at 11 a.m., "Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) will join concerned NYC college students, representatives from Moms Demand Action, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence for a press conference on gun violence prevention at Hunter College's Roosevelt House...Maloney will stress the need for Congress to take action, and outline where gun violence legislation stands in Congress...A community forum will take place prior to the press conference," at 10 a.m. Public Advocate Letitia James will participate in both the forum and the press conference.

At noon in Albany, “Assemblymember Sandy Galef and nuclear expert, Paul Blanch, will join New Yorkers to deliver over 30,000 petitions calling for Governor Cuomo to stop construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline next to the Indian Point nuclear facility.”

At 6 p.m. New Yorkers for Parks will host the “2015 Party for Parks Gala” at ICQ in Chelsea. The event will honor former Parks Commissioner Veronica White, former Executive Director at the Center for Economic Opportunity and current Chief of Staff at Bloomberg LP; and Shola Olatoye, recipient of the NY4P Urban Leader Award, Chair & Chief Executive Officer at the New York City Housing Authority. Tickets require a donation to the organization.

Also at 6 p.m. Tuesday, "Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman will co-host a forum with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to educate homeowners about deed theft and scammers in the housing market."

On Tuesday evening, city Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks at the Mill Basin Civic Association Monthly Meeting and then at the Bergen Beach Civic Association Monthly Meeting, both in Brooklyn.

On Tuesday night in Brooklyn, Public Advocate Letitia James will attend the official Hillary Clinton campaign debate watch party. Many miles west in Las Vegas, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito will be at the debate in person at the behest of the Latino Victory Fund. Both James and Mark-Viverito have officially endorsed Clinton.

Tuesday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting events:

  • CM Ydanis Rodriguez (District 10, Manhattan) 6p.m.
  • CM Eric Ulrich (District 32, Queens) 7:45 p.m.
  • CM Jimmy Van Bramer (District 26, Queens) 6 p.m.

At the City Council on Wednesday:

  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Higher Education will meet for oversight of College Testing Access.
  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on General Welfare will meet to discuss two bills concerning the administration of HIV-AIDS treatment and services.
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Oversight and Investigation, the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, and the Committee on Technology will meet for oversight on the Verizon FiOS Franchise.
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Waterfronts will meet for oversight on an update concerning the development of the Governor’s Island.

On Wednesday at 8 a.m. City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, chair of the Committee on Finance, will discuss her priorities while serving as head of the committee at a breakfast event hosted by Citizens Budget Commission (CBC).

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Morgan Library and Museum, "The Center for an Urban Future and the City of New York will hold a high-profile conference...about the future of the arts in New York City. The event...will feature NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, Former NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Acting Commissioner Edwin Torres, Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak, Studio Museum Director Thelma Golden and choreographer Michelle Dorrance, a 2015 MacArthur "Genius" Award recipient." City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, chair of the cultural affairs committee, is also expected to speak at the conference.

"Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is in Suffolk County on Wednesday," touring and visiting with area legislators.

At 11 a.m. the the New York Ethics Review Commission will hold a public hearing at the New York Law School, “to receive public comments on the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and the Legislative Ethics Commission.”

On Wednesday at 11 a.m. on Staten Island, "Borough President James S. Oddo, City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation ("Parks") Staten Island Borough Commissioner Lynda Ricciardone, and Marie Didato, Executive Director of the New Dorp Friendship Club, will announce the progress made in the reconstruction of the Club, which was extensively damaged by Hurricane Sandy."

At 11:30 a.m., #PeoplesClimate groups and participants will assemble at St. Barts Church in Midtown to march to demand better environmental conservation policy. The protest, which will also have an early evening demonstration in Harlem, is promoted and organized by ALIGN NY and many other groups in the People’s Climate Movement NYC and is part of National Day of Climate Action.

At 12 p.m.,the Brennan Center for Justice will hold  “Stronger Parties, Stronger Democracy: Rethinking Political Reform,” a discussion on how strengthening parties in an age of super PACs can boost electoral participation and create a more transparent and inclusive democracy. The panel will feature Matea Gold, National Political Reporter at The Washington Post; Lee Goodman, Federal Election Commission Commissioner; Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; and Daniel Weiner Senior Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Also at noon Wednesday, on the steps of the City Hall, homeless New Yorkers, faith leaders, and other homeless will come together for allies “Faith Leaders Say NO: #HandsOffTheHomeless”: a protest against the inhumane treatment of the homeless by the NYPD.

At 2 p.m. the Office of Manhattan Borough President Brewer will sponsor a symposium on urban agriculture. The event will be held at the Natural History Museum and allow participants and attendees to “exchange knowledge, experience, and best practices for growing community-based urban agriculture programs.”

At 6 p.m. the Supportive Housing Network of New York will hold its annual gala to honor partners in public and private sectors. State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi will be honored as representatives of the public sector.

Also at 6 p.m. the Civilian Complaint Review Board will hold a Public Board Meeting to field grievances from city residents.

On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Robert Siano is kicking off his campaign to reform the Bronx District Attorney's Office. Siano will launch his campaign from the Bronx County Republican Party Headquarters.

The Police Reform Organizing Project, or PROP, will host a Wednesday evening event: PROP leaders will lead a public discussion at the Ethical Culture Society to review relevant issues and topics and plan future events.

The welcome reception for the 2015 Annual Environment Conference, sponsored by the Business Council of New York State, will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The event will bring together professionals from both public and private sectors to discuss the ever changing environmental policies of New York. Senator Thomas F. O’Mara will attend the conference along with a number of other high profile members of the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. The event will run through Friday, October 16th.

At 6:30 p.m., at the Sunset Park Recreation Center in Brooklyn, NYCEDC will hold a public open house and information session on the future of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.

Wednesday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting events:

  • CM Mark Levine (District 7, Manhattan) 6:30 p.m.
  • CM Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Manhattan) 4 p.m.
  • CM Mark Treyger (District 47, Brooklyn) 6 p.m.

At the City Council on Thursday:

  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Finance will meet to approve “the new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Expense Budget.”
  • At 10 a.m. the Committee on Public Safety will meet to discuss bills that would: require the police department to post weekly, monthly, and quarterly statistics reports on domestic and hate crimes; require the police department to post domestic crimes and murders that occurred in NYC’s public housing, and the percentage of felony crimes related to domestic violence; require the police department to report the percentage of all domestic violence crimes that involved intimate partners; and require the police department to report the number of all hate crimes and separate the tally to indicate which groups were most often targeted.
  • At 1:30 p.m. will be the City Council Stated Meeting, prefaced as always by the Speaker’s pre-stated press conference, at 12:30.

On Thursday Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray will host a ceremony to rename the Manhattan Municipal Building in honor of former mayor David N. Dinkins. “He’s left an indelible impact on this city – and on Chirlane’s and my lives. We are so grateful for Mayor Dinkins’ decades of public service and everything he’s done to ensure a stronger, safer city” said de Blasio.

Thursday is “NYC Go Purple Day” in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. City Council Member Laurie Cumbo, chair of the Council’s women’s issues committee; Public Advocate Letitia James, state Senator Jesse Hamilton, and Assembly Member Walter Mosely will hold an 8 a.m. event outside Barclays Center.

On Thursday at 3 p.m. at CUNY School of Journalism, Errol Louis, of NY1 and the CUNY J-School, will team up with Tequila Minsky (Caribbean Life) and David Cruz (Norwood News), "two journalists from New York’s community and ethnic media,” for a Q&A with city Comptroller Scott Stringer.

At 7:30 p.m. the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association will hold its monthly meeting. The event with feature a panel discussion on “Citizens: Try creating a level playing field… before the field is purchased.” Adam Forman, senior researcher at the Center for Urban Future; Norman Siegel, attorney and past-director of NY Civil Liberties Union; Council member Jumaane Williams; and moderator NIck Powell, opinion editor at City & State NY, will participate in the discussion.

Mayor de Blasio leaves for Israel late Thursday evening, and is there for the weekend.

Thursday’s City Council Participatory Budgeting events:

  • CM Elizabeth Crowley (District 30, Queens) 6:30 p.m.
  • CM Mark Levine (District 7, Manhattan) 6:30 p.m.
  • CM Carlos Menchaca (District 38, Brooklyn) 6:30 p.m.
  • CM Carlos Menchaca (District 38, Brooklyn) 10 a.m.
  • CM Donovan Richards (District 31, Queens) Time TBA
  • CM Eric Ulrich (District 32, Queens) 7 p.m.
  • CM Jimmy Van Bramer (District 26, Queens) 6 p.m.
  • CM Jumaane D. Williams (District 45, Brooklyn) 6 p.m.

Friday and the weekend
At 8:30 a.m. Friday, Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Red Tape Commission will host its “Brooklyn Hearing for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs.” The event will serve as a brainstorming session for ideas and policies to improve government support for growing businesses, while eliminating detrimental bureaucracy. Commision members include: Council Member Robert Cornegy; Melissa Chapman, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Antoinette Balzano, Totonno's Pizzeria; Jonathan Butler, Brooklyn Flea; Dr. Roy Hastick, Sr., Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Deb Howard, Pratt Area Community Council.

At noon Friday, "The NYC Jails Action Coalition (JAC) will hold a rally prior to the NYC Board of Correction hearing with faith leaders, children and families of incarcerated individuals and other criminal justice advocates. City Council Members have been invited."

At 1 p.m. the New York Board of Corrections will hold a public hearing, as board members consider passing new rules, including changes to the Department’s visitation rules and requirements for the Enhanced Supervision Housing Unit.

At 6:30 p.m. New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will be honored at the 3rd annual Power and Policy awards for her outstanding contributions as a New American Leader. The event will take place at the Newseum in Washington DC. Other honorees include California state senator Ricardo Lara and writer and Al Jazeera co-host Wajahat Ali.

On Saturday at 1 p.m., NYCEDC will hold the second public open house and information session about the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal for those unable to attend the first open house on Wednesday.

On Sunday PROP will hold its Mock Summons Action in Park Slope, Brooklyn. PROP volunteers with fan-out across the yuppie-filled, predominantly white neighbor to hand out mock summonses for “activities like biking on the sidewalk, jaywalking, spitting, open alcohol container, and being in the park after dark” in an attempt to bring attention to the racially biased ticketing practices of the NYPD.

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 Colin O'Connor, Konstantine Beridze, and Ben Max

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