Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 24

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Mayor Bill de Blasio had a busy weekend that took a tragic turn. On Saturday, the mayor made an Earth Day announcement on green jobs and spoke at the Sikh Day Parade. On Sunday, the mayor spoke at two churches and appeared on Univision before heading to Queens Village after a fire there killed five people. The mayor addressed the tragedy after being briefed by his fire commissioner. De Blasio was scheduled to speak Sunday evening at the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats Annual Dinner.

On Monday, "de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Chancellor Carmen Fariña will make an education announcement" at P.S. 1 The Courtlandt School in the Bronx. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will also participate in the announcement. In the 7 and 10 p.m. hours Monday, the Mayor will make his weekly appearance on NY1’s Road to City Hall. At 7 p.m. Monday, de Blasio "will deliver remarks at the Queens County Democratic Organization’s Friends of Queens County Event."

And, we know that on Thursday evening, de Blasio is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting in Queens, co-hosted by City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

Post-budget legislative session begins in Albany on Monday and is scheduled to stretch until mid-June. With a great deal included in the recently-passed budget, many -- including Governor Andrew Cuomo -- are expecting a fairly quiet two months of session. There are a number of issues that were not resolved in the budget, though, but it is unclear how much life voting and ethics reforms will have, for example. The Legislature must deal with mayoral control of New York City schools given that the latest one-year extension will expire in June and nothing on it was included in the budget. We’ll see what legislators are talking about when they return to Albany this week.

Also this week, on Thursday Cuomo will be presiding over an opening ceremony for the new Kosciuszko Bridge, according to The Daily News -- see below for details.

Among many others listed below, a couple of other highlights for the week include: a City Planning hearing on the East Midtown rezoning proposal and, from Wednesday through the weekend, the annual National Action Network convention, hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton, which will feature Bernie Sanders, Eric Holder, and many others, including city officials.

It’s also a very busy week at the New York City Council, especially Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, with a variety of committee hearings, and a meeting of the full Council on Tuesday. See below for all the details.

As always, there's a great deal happening all over the city, 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?
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The run of the week in detail:

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

At 11 a.m. Monday, #CLOSErikers will rally on the steps of City Hall to react to the mayor’s recent decision to close Rikers Island jails in 10 years and "demand city move forward immediately with clear plans to Close Rikers Island." "Rosie O’Donnell, Megan Boone, and Matt McGorry will be among those there "to declare proposed ten-year timeline is too long" and demand that de Blasio: "appoint someone to lead a speedy process of closing the facility,put forward a serious plan for closure, and immediately act on criminal justice reforms to reduce the Rikers population."

At noon Monday, “New York City Council member Eric Ulrich will throw his support behind New York Mayoral Candidate Bo Dietl on the steps of City Hall and make a major announcement.”

At the City Council on Monday

  • The Committee on Transportation will meet at 10 a.m. to vote on proposed laws in relation to “a study regarding transportation deserts” and “requiring the Department of Transportation to notify emergency service providers about resurfacing, including paving and milling.”
  • The Committee on Oversight and Investigations and the Committee on Public Housing will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing “examining DOI’s report on NYCHA’s permanent exclusion policy,” as well as to discuss a proposed law “in relation to reporting on persons who have been permanently excluded from public housing.”
  • The Committee on Women’s Issues will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws in relation to improving gender and racial equity in the city, as well as a resolution “calling upon the United States Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”
  • The Committee on Education will meet at 10 a.m. to vote on a local law “in relation to expanding distribution of college savings plan materials in schools to include pre-kindergarten and to distributing college savings plan materials to parents or guardians within three months after a child’s date of birth.”
  • The Committee on Technology will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “privacy of city data.”
  • The Committee on Contracts will meet at 1 p.m. to vote on several proposed laws related to VENDEX and to online access to city contracts
  • The Committee on Small Business will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss several proposed laws.
  • The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws related to “phasing out the use of fuel oil grade no. 4” and to “exemptions from air conditioning prohibitions.”

At 4 p.m. Monday, Manhattan BP Gale Brewer will host the “NYC Urban Manufacturing Symposium,” discussing the needs of manufacturers “in multiple sectors - what they’re making, what kinds of spaces they need, and how zoning can help or hurt them.” The event will be held at the High School of Fashion Industries.

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

Also Tuesday in Albany, the New York City Joint Commission on Public Ethics will hold its monthly meeting.

The full City Council will be in session on Tuesday starting at 1:30 p.m. This will be prefaced by the usual “pre-Stated” press conference led by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Also at the City Council on Tuesday, the Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m.

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, City & State will host the CSR Awards: Sustainability & Environmental Impact, honoring individuals and companies “that promote sustainability initiatives in the energy, transportation, food industries, and more.” The event will also feature a panel with Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation; Vincent Sapienza, acting Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection; and Mark Chambers, director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, City Council Members Rafael Espinal and Stephen Levin, along with the Sierra Club, will hold a press conference “to announce City Council resolution regarding Electric bus fleet during the L train shutdown” at the Bedford Avenue L Train stop entrance at North 7th St. and Driggs Ave in Williamsburg.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute will host its “Urban Food Policy Forum: What Would It Take to Grow a Regional Food Economy?” Discussion will center around how upstate and downstate New York can more sustainably produce and trade food.

At noon Tuesday, Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Amy Paulin will hold a press conference at the Capitol in Albany “to discuss the Child-Parent Security Act, legislation they co-authored that would legally establish a child’s relationship to his/her parents when the child was conceived through third-party reproduction, which would include children born through gestational surrogacy arrangements.”

At 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Vera Institute of Justice will host “The Making of Mass Incarceration in America,” featuring Harvard assistant professor of history and African & African-American studies Elizabeth Hinton.

On Tuesday at 1 p.m., schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will attend Team Up! Tuesday event with Police Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill at Murry Bergtraum Campus.

At 1 p.m. at City Hall, there will be a "Fair Fares" rally led by Riders Alliance and others. Public Advocate Letitia James will be among those to speak.

On Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m., "Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer will host "The Future of Biking in NYC," a mini-expo and forum on new developments in urban bicycling."

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, City Council Member Helen Rosenthal will hold a town hall meeting at Center at West Park on the Upper West Side. Public Advocate Letitia James will make remarks.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, First Lady Chirlane McCray “will host the first of five Community Conversations to connect directly with New Yorkers in the Bronx.” She will be joined by City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Richard Buery, and Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio.

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

At the City Council on Wednesday

  • The Committee on Aging and the Subcommittee on Senior Centers will meet jointly at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws and resolutions.
  • The Committees on Veterans and Civil Rights will meet jointly at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law “in relation to prohibiting discrimination on the basis of uniformed service,” as well as resolutions to designate the month of May as “Military Appreciation Month” and June 22 as “Veterans Tribute and Advocacy Day” in New York City.
  • The Committees on Education, Public Safety, and Immigration will meet jointly at 11 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to immigrant safety, particularly for minors.
  • The Committee on Recovery and Resiliency will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “resiliency of NYC’s electric power.”
  • The Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “requiring agencies to notify food rescue organizations before disposing of food” and “facilitating food donations.”
  • The Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet at 2 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to used car sales.

From Wednesday until Sunday, the National Action Network will hold its 26th Annual National Convention at the Sheraton Times Square. Numerous panels will be held throughout the convention featuring notable people discussing issues such as “voting rights, criminal justice reform, immigration, health care, education, corporate responsibility, economic equity and more.” The event will conclude with a televised forum called “Measuring the Movement” hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton. Others who will speak at the event include Senator Bernie Sanders, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray, Samuel L. Jackson, Mothers of the Movement, Harry Belafonte, and many more.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Manhattan Institute will host “Student Discipline and Disorder,” discussing the impact of the Obama administration’s orders to reduce suspensions in schools.

At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the New York City Bar Association will host a panel to discuss New York’s Clean Energy Standard and Reforming the Energy Vision.

Starting at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development will hold its 7th Annual Community Development Conference. The keynote speaker will be Maria T. Vullo, the Superintendent of Financial Services for New York State.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, City Council Member Andy King will celebrate the Week of the Young Child “with book readings to pre-K youngsters” at the Williamsbridge NAACP Early Childhood Education Center in the Bronx.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Urban Lab at NYU’s School of Professional Studies will host “The New Urban Crisis” at NYU’s Kimmel Center, exploring “how America’s urban revival has turned into a new urban crisis.” Speakers will include NY1 anchor Errol Louis; Jonathan Bowles of the Center for an Urban Future; Juliette Michaelson of the Regional Planning Association; and others.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting. At this meeting, the proposed Greater East Midtown Rezoning will be considered.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Center for New York City Affairs will host “Winning Ideas: Prized Solutions Showcase,” honoring the winners of the Winning Ideas: Reimagining NYC competition for New School students on how to improve the City.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and OATH Commissioner Fidel Del Valle will host a “What to do when you get a summons” town hall at the Harlem State Office Building.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Manhattan Republican Party will host a mayoral candidates screening featuring Republicans Paul Massey and Michel Faulkner, and Independent Bo Dietl, at the Metropolitan Republican Club. Following the screening, there will be an info session “on how to run for elected office.”

At the City Council on Thursday

  • The Committee on Health will meet at 10 a.m.
  • The Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to bail and “permitting arrestees to access contact information.”
  • The Committee on Contracting will meet at 10 a.m. relating to “requiring city agencies to accept procurement invoices electronically” and “prohibiting discrimination in public contracting.”
  • The Committee on Civil Service and Labor will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a proposed law “in relation to reporting of pay and employment equity data.”
  • The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “tenant interim lease program.”
  • The Committee on Governmental Operations will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “increasing the cap on public funds available.”

At 8 a.m. Thursday, City & State will host “On Health Care,” with panels discussing the potential impact of “Trumpcare” and repealing Obamacare on New York, “addressing epidemics and risk factors,” and “working across sectors to address social determinants of health.” Speakers include Public Advocate Tish James, City Council Member Andrew Cohen, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts President Robin Chappelle Golston, State Senate Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon, Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, and more.

At noon Thursday, the New York City Bar Association will host “Public Affairs Luncheon: The Changing Face of Education,” discussing the problems public universities are facing, especially regarding “the fallen financial support from states and localities.” Dr. Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor Emeritus of CUNY, will speak.

At 1 p.m. Thursday, Mayor de Blasio, Public Advocate Tish James, and City Comptroller Scott Stringer, all recently endorsed by the Kings County Democrats, “are expected to join Brooklyn elected and party officials at a Borough Hall rally.”

At 6 p.m. Thursday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, along with Council Members Rosie Mendez and Corey Johnson, will host a forum “to address the needs of trans and gender non-conforming community members in New York City.”

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the NAACP’s Task Force on Quality Education will hold a hearing at Harlem Hospital Center & Pavilion regarding “charter schools, public schools, and issues surrounding quality education.” The Task Force was formed following the passage of a resolution “calling for a moratorium on new charter schools until there was an examination of governance issues within charter schools, and a fuller determination of charter schools' relationship to, and effect on, traditional public schools.”

Thursday at 7 p.m., “Gov. Cuomo will officially open the new Kosciuszko Bridge this week with a party and a light show, the Daily News has learned.” There will be an accompanying light and music show.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Mayor de Blasio, Council Majority Leader Jimmy van Bramer, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and Senator Michael Gianaris will host a town hall at Queens Vocational and Technical High School in Long Island City.

Friday and the weekend
At 8 a.m. Friday, Sanitation Department Commissioner Kathryn Garcia will address the Queens Chamber of Commerce, discussing “commercial waste zone” policy and its effect on Queens businesses.

At 8:30 a.m. Friday, the Bronx Tech Summit will commence at the Metropolitan College of New York. Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will give remarks, and numerous panels will convene discussing the borough’s tech scene and how technology is used and can be used in the borough’s infrastructure.

At 9 a.m. Friday, the Murphy Institute at CUNY will host “Confronting the Tragedy: Law Enforcement, Unionism, & Communities of Color,” discussing the role that the labor movement plays in the criminal justice system.

At 11 a.m. Friday, IGNITE will host New York Young Women's Political Mobilization Lunch at the Weissman School of Arts and Science at Baruch College.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, Manhattan BP Gale Brewer will deliver opening remarks at “Harlem and the Future: Preserving Culture & Sustaining Historic Character in a Changing Environment,” discussing the question “what does the future of Harlem look like.” The keynote will be delivered by Chris Fair of Resonance Consultancy; closing remarks will be delivered by author Michael Henry Adams.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, City Council Member Ben Kallos and Manhattan CB 11 will host their “Spirit of Service” event at the Children’s Aid Society.

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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