Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 26

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

The week starts with all eyes on the Presidential race and the first presidential debate Monday night. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will debate at 9 p.m. Monday from Long Island. Mayor Bill de Blasio made a trip to Wisconsin over the weekend to campaign for Hillary Clinton and he'll attend the debate Monday evening at Hofstra. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Gov. Andrew Cuomo will also attend the debate.

De Blasio will first hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Monday at FDR High School in Brooklyn to make "an education announcement." According to his public schedule he will limit press questions to "on-topic" only. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Public Advocate Letitia James will be at the press conference.

There will also continue to be attention this week on the fallout from last week's federal corruption charges brought against nine people involved with Governor Cuomo's economic development programs, including a close former aide and friend to the governor, Joseph Percoco, multiple developers who received major state contracts and have been big donors to Cuomo's campaigns, and the powerful head of many state projects, Alain Kaloyeros. Cuomo said on Friday that he had no idea about any of what was detailed in U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's 80-page complaint against those alleged to have committed the crimes involved. While no charges were brought against Cuomo, Bharara said the investigation is ongoing and questions have been raised about how Cuomo could not have known what was alleged to have happened under hs watch.

On Tuesday, Cuomo is set to give a speech in New York City in front of the Association for a Better New York, and he is likely to take questions from members of the media afterward.

Another highlight of the week ahead is that on Thursday the City Council is scheduled to hold an oversight hearing on what happened in the lifting of deed restrictions on Rivington House, the Lower East Side property that was a nursing home for AIDS patients and is becoming high-end condos after the city agreed to lift restrictions on the property and it was flipped in a series of now-controversial transactions. The city's Department of Investigations and city Comptroller Scott Stringer have each already released reports on what happened in the Rivington mess (the DOI said after receiving more information from City Hall that its investigation was "ongoing"). While Mayor Bill de Blasio said that things went very poorly with the process and announced a new process for deed restrictions, City Council members andn others are proposing legislation to change how the lifting of deed restrictions are handled, adding them to a City Council-involved process known as ULURP, which includes several checks outside of the mayoral administration.

And, speaking of the presidential election, there are just a couple weeks left to register to vote for those not registered and wishing to cast a ballot November 8 -- in the presidential election and/or others. Brooklyn Boulders and Rock the Vote are hosting two events this week in New York City, Tuesday in Queens and Thursday in Brooklyn, to register voters. Tuesday is also National Voter Registration Day.

As always, there's a great deal happening all over the city, with many events to be aware of - see 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:

Mayor Bill de Blasio starts his week with the aforementioned press conference and, with his wife Chirlane McCray, attending the presidential debate.

  • At the City Council on Monday:
    The Committee on Courts and Legal Services will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss “a Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to providing legal counsel for low-income eligible tenants who are subject to eviction, ejectment or foreclosure proceedings.”
  • The Committees on Consumer Affairs and Transportation will hold a joint meeting at 1 p.m. for the oversight of and on legislation regulating the Sightseeing Bus Industry.
  • The Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss numerous proposed laws.
  • The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss two local laws which would amend administrative codes.

Regarding and prior to the 10 a.m. hearing, “There will be a press conference and public hearing on Int. 214A-2014, a local law that will provide legal representation for low-income tenants who are subject to eviction, ejectment or foreclosure proceedings. This bill is sponsored by Council Members Levine and Gibson, and signed by 40 additional City Council Members.” The press conference will include “Council Members Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Manhattan BP Gale Brewer, Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr., Brooklyn BP Eric Adams, several other city and state elected officials, legal services providers, tenant advocacy groups, faith leaders, unions, and the NYC Bar Association.”

At 11 a.m. Monday City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will speak at the Supportive Alternatives to Violent Encounters (SAVE) grand opening in her East Harlem district. At 1 p.m., she'll deliver remarks at the Council Fire and Criminal Justice Committee hearing on her bills related to the Department of Corrections. And at 3:30, Mark-Viverito will speak at the 16th Annual Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Brides March.

At 11:30 a.m. Monday, City Council Member Andy King, officials from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), NYCHA tenant presidents, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Sanitation will hold a joint press conference to announce upgrades to NYCHA buildings in King’s City Council District; entrance of the Gun Hill House in The Bronx.

On Monday evening in Manhattan, City Limits News will hold its 40th anniversary gala, at which the news organization will honor journalist Wayne Barrett and union leader Henry Garrido.

The first of three Presidential debates will be held at 9 p.m. on Monday. This debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be hosted by Hofstra University and moderated by NBC Nightly News Anchor Lester Holt. (There is also one Vice Presidential debate scheduled for early October.)

At the City Council on Tuesday:

  • At 1 p.m., the Committees on Economic Development and Civil Service and Labor will hold a joint oversight hearing on the city’s Employees’ Paid Parental Leave Program.
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Environmental Protection will meet for oversight of and on legislation regarding idling restrictions.

September 27 is National Voter Registration Day.

The New York State Joint Commission on Ethics will meet on Tuesday morning in Albany.

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation will begin its two-day conference, “REV Future 2016.” This conference “will bring together key stakeholders, technology providers, and utilities and state policy makers to discuss actionable business strategies to operationalize the ongoing initiative for a clean, resilient, and affordable energy system in New York City.”

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, Maria Torres-Springer, president and CEO of the city Economic Development Corporation, will be speaking at SoBRO’s South Bronx Leadership Forum.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Agriculture will hold a public hearing to discuss “Oversight of the SFY 2016-2017 State Budget for the New York State
Department of Agriculture and Markets.”

At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Association for a Better New York will have a luncheon with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"This Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer will sponsor a public forum on “driverless” vehicles in New York City, featuring a display of of Audi’s prototype piloted vehicle, an adapted A7 named “Jack.” The panel will address the questions facing dense urban areas such as New York City as driverless cars and trucks begin to roll on the nation’s roads, on the heels of this week’s announcement by the Obama Administration of guidelines for automated vehicles, and of Uber’s pilot of driverless vehicles on the streets of Pittsburgh this month." Moderated by Recode journalist Johana Bhuiyan, panelists will include: Sarah M. Kaufman, Assistant Director for Technology Programming at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation; Jeff Garber, Director of Technology and Innovation at the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission; William Carry, Senior Director for Special Projects at the NYC Department of Transportation; and Brad Stertz, Director of Government Affairs at Audi.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, City & State will hold its 10th Anniversary Gala. In conjunction with the gala, City & State will celebrate prominent and influential figures in New York City politics who have made their mark on the city over the last ten years with a special print edition entitled “The Newsmakers of the Decade.” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will be keynote speaker. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and former Governor David Paterson will also be speakers at the event.

At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Day One will hold its 2016 Benefit to End Dating Violence Among Youth. Tamron Hall of NBC News and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will make remarks at the event.

At the City Council on Wednesday:

  • The Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss two resolutions.
  • A Stated Meeting of the City Council will be held at 1:30 p.m. This will be prefaced, as usual, by a press conference led by Speaker Mark-Viverito.

On Wednesday, Families for Excellent Schools will hold its “Path to Possible March” in Prospect Park. Congressional Rep. Hakeem Jeffries will headline the pro-charter schools march and deliver the keynote speech.

At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Citizens Budget Commission and Tech:NYC “will co-host a panel discussion on...New York City's Competitiveness in Attracting and Retaining Talent.” CBC will release its “2016 Competitiveness Scorecard,” which evaluates how the 15 largest metropolitan areas in the United States compare “in their capacity to attract the young, highly talented workforce essential to retaining strength in core industries and successfully cultivating emerging ones.” Edward Skyler, chair of the Citizens Budget Commission, and Maria Torres-Springer, president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, will be among the participants in this discussion.

On Wednesday at noon, the Manhattan Institute will hold a symposium on whether America’s education-accountability movement has progressed or regressed in recent years. This symposium will feature former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

On Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate Center, "Paying the Price," an event focused on "College Costs, Financial Aid, & The Betrayal of the American Dream," with Prof. Sara Goldrick-Rab as featured speaker and Nicholas Freudenberg (CUNY Public Health) & Mark Zuckerman (The Century Foundation, moderated by Prof. Anna O. Law (Brooklyn College).

At the City Council on Thursday:

  • At 9:30 a.m, the Committees on Governmental Operations and Oversight and Investigations will hold a joint meeting to discuss the oversight of “The Lifting of the Rivington House Deed Restrictions,” and discuss a law which would change deed restriction protocols.
  • At 1 p.m. the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management will meet to discuss “in relation to regulation of the heating oil supply industry by the business integrity commission.”

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Brooklyn Historical Society will hold “Wild New York.” At this event, Jarrett Murphy, publisher of City Limits, will talk with “a panel of experts about the effects of the changing urban environment on nature and its creatures, and how the city is working to understand, manage, and mitigate the issues that result.”

Friday and the weekend
At the City Council on Friday:

  • At 10 a.m., the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will hold a joint meeting with the Committee on Small Business to discuss the oversight of “zoning and incentives for promoting retail diversity and preserving neighborhood character.”
  • At 1 p.m., the Committee on Veterans will meet to discuss “a Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the creation of a veterans resource guide.”

At 8 a.m. Friday, there will be a New York Building Congress Breakfast Forum which will focus on the Midtown East rezoning. City Council Member Dan Garodnick and City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod will speak. 

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 Brendan Birth and Ben Max

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