Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 3

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

All eyes are on Albany, where a new state budget is late and negotiations continue. The state’s new fiscal year began Saturday, April 1, but there is still no spending plan from the Governor and Legislature. At about midnight Sunday night, with negotiations at an impasse, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would move an "extender" budget on Monday and that legislative leaders had said they would pass it. The extender will largely continue state spending as it was for the most recent fiscal year, with a few adjustments, which are not clear as of Monday morning. It will also extend through the third week in May, when there will be more clarity on the federal budget and its effects on New York. However, a new state budget deal could come together before then and be passed to supercede the extender.

Issues that appear to have held up a larger deal on a new state budget include details of overall education aid to municipalities, funding for charter schools, raising the age of adult criminal responsibility, and detailing the allocation of about $2 billion affordable housing funds that were set aside in last year’s budget but never released by Cuomo and legislative leaders. There is also federal funding uncertainty hanging over everything.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio and 8.5 million other New York City residents await budget news from Albany.

De Blasio had a busy weekend, fresh off his Friday announcement that the city would begin formulating a plan to close the Rikers Island jail complex over ten years: on Saturday, he eulogized Timothy Caughman and participated in The Inner Circle Show. On Sunday, de Blasio will delivered remarks at the Christian Cultural Center and the New Life Tabernacle in Brooklyn. He voted in City Council Member Brad Lander’s participatory budgeting for Council District 39 and he and First Lady Chirlane McCray made remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Progressive Democrats Political Association of Central Brooklyn.

De Blasio has several public events scheduled Monday, including his weekly appearance on NY1’s Road to City Hall in the 7 and 10 p.m. hours -- see details of his schedule below.

Also this week, city budget season moves from City Council preliminary budget hearings to behind-closed-doors discussions leading to the Council’s formal preliminary budget response. That will then inform de Blasio’s executive budget, which will lead to another round of Council hearings and more negotiation. The Council continues with non-budget committee hearings this week.

Those and a whole lot more this week -- 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:

The New York State Legislature is scheduled to be in session on Monday in Albany. 

At 9 a.m. Monday, the New York State Board of Regents will be in session. The board will also be in session at 5 p.m. Monday and at 11:10 a.m. Tuesday.

US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will headline Albany Law School’s speaker series, speaking on Monday and Tuesday.

On Monday, Mayor de Blasio has several public events: at 11:15 a.m. he will visit and provide brief remarks to high school juniors preparing for the first-ever citywide SAT School Day on Wednesday, at Queens Vocational. At 12:40 p.m. de Blasio "will attend opening ceremonies for the New York Mets home opener at Citi Field. The Mayor will join members of the NYPD and FDNY for the ceremonial first pitch." At 2:30 p.m., "the Mayor and the Police Commissioner will host a press conference to discuss crime statistics." And in the evening, de Blasio will appear on NY1’s Road to City Hall.

At the City Council on Monday:
---The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law “in relation to the posting of information online regarding tree maintenance work.”
---The Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a resolution “calling upon President Donald Trump to fully fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and not to eliminate or diminish any of these agencies in any form.”

Just before that 1 p.m. hearing, at noon at City Hall, Cultural Affairs committee chair City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito “will hold a Rally to Save the Arts to protest the Trump Administration’s proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.” They’ll be joined by other City Council members; Tom Finkelpearl, Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner; Comptroller Scott Stringer; leaders of the city’s three library systems; leaders and members of “50+ cultural organizations” as well as “Broadway performers, dancers, several hundred artists and cultural workers.” 

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez "will hold a press availability following a planning meeting with over 60 organizations gearing up to take part in the 2nd annual #CarFreeNYC, taking place on April 22nd," at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

At 6 p.m. Monday, the Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders will host Valerie Barton-Richardson of CAMBA and a representative from the city Department of Homeless Services for a policy discussion on issues surrounding homelessness in the city.

At 6 p.m. Monday, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito will attend Passover food distribution at Young Israel of Staten Island.

At 9 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will appear on BronxTalk with Gary Axelbank, BronxNet TV channel 67 and Fios 33, online at

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany. 

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon and Senator Martin Golden will host the second annual NY Dyslexia Awareness Day at the State Capitol. Amy Margolis, of Columbia and the Brooklyn Learning Center, and Carolyn Strom of NYU will give “expert presentations,” and Senator David Carlucci will join a panel of students with dyslexia to talk about their experiences.

On Tuesday Mayor de Blasio will make several media appearances -- on PIX11 and NY1 TV and Hot 97 and WABC-AM radio -- and then he'll fly west. He'll be in Washington and California for several fundraisers and government meetings over the next few days, according to Politico New York.

Public Advocate Letitia James will co-host and speak at "the 11th Annual NYC Equal Pay Day Rally," at City Hall at noon. James will appears on NY1's Road to City Hall in the 7 and 10 p.m. hours Tuesday evening. At 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, James will deliver remarks at the "Loaded Guns in Public Places? How Concealed Carry Reciprocity May Impact Us" forum. And, at 8:30 p.m., James will deliver remarks at A Taste of Fifth in Brooklyn.

Comptroller Scott Stringer will also speak at the Equal Pay rally at City Hall Tuesday.

At the City Council on Tuesday:
---The Committee on Civil Rights will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law “in relation to prohibiting employers from inquiring about or relying on a prospective employee’s salary history.”
---The Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law “in relation to preventing the unauthorized practice of immigration law.”

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Association for a Better New York will host two talks. The first, “The City Budget & How it Works,” will feature Deputy Comptroller of the Budget Preston Niblack, who will “present the fundamentals behind New York City’s budget.” The second, “The Water & Sewer Network,” will feature Cas Holloway of Bloomberg LP, “who will discuss the scope of the city’s water and sewer network.” 

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Wednesday in Albany -- the last day of session for two weeks. 

At the City Council on Wednesday:
---The Finance Committee will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws and resolutions.
---The full City Council is scheduled to meet at 1:30 p.m. As usual, this will be prefaced by a press conference led by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting on Wednesday.

At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Bob Gangi will announce his mayoral run in the Democratic primary with a press conference at 1 Police Plaza.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., Commissioner Jacques Jiha, Sheriff Joseph Fucito, CB3 and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation will host a town hall, "Addressing Deed Fraud and Abuse" in Brooklyn.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Gotham Center at CUNY Graduate Center will host “Fixing Elections: The Politics of Electoral Reform in NYC, Then and Now,” discussing the causes of low turnout in City elections and how electoral reform can increase turnout. Brigid Bergin of WNYC will moderate a panel featuring Gerald Benjamin, formerly of the Center for New York State and Local Government Studies; Daniel O. Prosterman, author of Defining Democracy; Susan Lerner of Common Cause New York; and Rob Richie of Fairvote. The forum is co-sponsored by The Brennan Center for Justice (NYU)​, The Center for Urban Research (The Graduate Center, CUNY), The League of Women Voters of the City of New York, The New York Public Interest Research Group, New Yorkers for a Human-Scale City, The Green Party of New York, and the New Kings Democrats. 

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Riders’ Alliance will host its second L Train Shutdown Solutions Meeting for those in Brooklyn affected by the L train’s shutdown, at the Brooklyn Public Library Stone Avenue Branch in Brownsville.

At the City Council on Thursday:
---The Committee on Public Safety will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “enforcement issues with revenge porn,” as well as to discuss two proposed laws: one criminalizing revenge porn, and the other “requiring the maintenance of an information sharing system regarding civil actions, claims, complaints, and investigations alleging improper police conduct.”
---The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a resolution calling for a Hudson River Greenway between Spuyten Duyvil, Bronx and Yonkers, as well as a proposed law regarding the renaming of two thoroughfares and public places in the Bronx.
---The Committees on Mental Health and Youth Services will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding youth suicide.

At 8:15 a.m. Thursday, the Center for New York City Law will host “Building Mega-Projects: Lessons from the Second Avenue Subway,” with Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction Company.

At 9 a.m. Thursday, JustLeadershipUSA will hold “Leading with Conviction in the Era of Trump.” This event “will bring together policy makers, ​journalists, ​formerly incarcerated leaders, and other supporters and allies to explore the crucial role of “leaders with conviction” in driving efforts to reduce mass incarceration and revitalize affected communities.”

At 9 a.m. Thursday, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce will host a workshop with several leaders from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, “who will share important lessons on how to reduce risks from employee fraud, unauthorized diversion of funds, and cyber breaches.”

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, former US Attorney Preet Bharara will deliver the John Jay Iselin Memorial Lecture at the Cooper Union.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer will hold a town hall meeting at Goddard Riverside Community Center on the Upper West Side.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will keynote City & State’s “Borough Series: Manhattan,” honoring 25 prominent Manhattan individuals.

Friday and the weekend
On Friday, Mayor de Blasio will likely make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show.

At noon Friday, the Manhattan Institute will host “Inside Job: How Government Insiders Subvert The Public Interest,” featuring Mark Zupan, author of a book bearing the same title. Discussion will center around “the tremendous damage that government insiders -- elected officials, bureaucrats, and other public employees -- inflict when they enrich themselves at taxpayers’ expense.”

At 9 a.m. Saturday, Urban Democracy Lab will host “Humanizing Data: Data, Humanities, and the City.” The event will feature panels and workshops relating to how data can be used to “enhance and disrupt the kinds of research questions, methods, and narratives that define the humanities.”

At noon Saturday, Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer will host the eighth annual Spring Open House, honoring female community leaders in his Queens district.

At noon Sunday, the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club will hold its annual Spring Brunch. City Comptroller Scott Stringer will present outgoing City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez with awards “for their service to New Yorkers.” Further, the Charles Buchwald Memorial Award for Community Service will be presented to Planned Parenthood Votes NYC.

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 Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max

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