Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 30

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

The big event this week will be Wednesday night’s mayoral debate, the second of two televised debates ahead of Election Day, November 7. Mayor Bill de Blasio, the incumbent Democrat; Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican nominee; and Bo Dietl, running on his own independent line, have been invited to participate. [This section of our article has been updated to reflect that CBS decided to invite Bo Dietl to participate in the debate (de Blasio and Malliotakis were guaranteed entrance given their fundraising numbers and participation in the public matching system.]

Meanwhile, of the four other candidates who will be on the mayoral ballot, two -- Sal Albanese, the Reform Party nominee, and Mike Tolkin, running on his own independent line -- are suing to be included in the debate. Tolkin met the financial requirements to be included in the first general election debate but was not invited by the lead sponsor, NY1. The other two mayoral candidates are Green Party nominee Akeem Browder and Libertarian nominee Aaron Commey.

De Blasio will kick off the week with a morning campaign announcement with Senator Charles Schumer and an evening campaign rally with Senator Bernie Sanders, both in Manhattan. On the government side of things, de Blasio is hosting a town hall on Thursday night in Queens and he has several events on Monday.

Much attention at the start of the week is being paid to the testimony of Jona Rechnitz, a cooperating witness in a federal corruption case against former correction officers union president Norman Seabrook who was also a major donor to de Blasio and has claimed a startling level of access to the mayor and his administration. De Blasio fielded press questions about Rechnitz’s testimony on both Saturday and Sunday, dismissing allegations as lies, old news, and not what New Yorkers really care about.

While there are many events to be aware of listed below, of special note are a City Council oversight hearing on Monday dealing with school bullying and the first public forum of the hopefuls vying to be the next City Council Speaker. Monday is a very busy day of Council committee hearings ahead of Tuesday’s “Stated meeting” where the full Council votes through bills that have passed committee and sees new bills introduced. See below for much more.

***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:

At 9:15 a.m. Monday, Mayor de Blasio and Senator Schumer will make a campaign announcement at Grand Central Terminal.

On Monday at 10 a.m., "Mayor de Blasio will deliver remarks at Know Your Value Conference with Mika Brzezinski." At 11 a.m. de Blasio and Senator Bernie Sanders will take a subway ride together, then hold a press conference about de Blasio's millionaire's tax proposal. At 4:30 p.m. "the Mayor will deliver remarks at a Local 3 IBEW rally for a fair contract" (City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will also deliver remarks at the rally). And at 8:30 p.m., "the Mayor will deliver remarks at the 50th anniversary of the annual Restore Brooklyn benefit."

At the City Council on Monday:
--The Committee on Public Safety will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “requiring the police department to disclose gun violence information to applicants for firearm licenses and permits,” as well as to discuss resolutions urging Congress to oppose two pieces of legislation involving firearms, one eliminating a tax on silencers and the other allowing someone with a concealed carry permit to carry in another state regardless of licensing requirements.
--The Committees on Women’s Issues and General Welfare will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “HRA’s system of domestic violence shelters,” as well as to discuss a proposed law relating to “exits from domestic violence emergency shelters.”
--The Committee on Education will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “DOE’s Response to Incidents of Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination in NYC Schools and Efforts to Improve School Climate,” as well as to discuss a proposed law relating to “requiring the department of education to list on its website the name and contact information of the designated respect for all liaison at each school.” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will deliver opening remarks.
--The Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services will meet at 11 a.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “requiring the board of correction and the commissioners of the department of correction and department of investigation to submit quarterly reports regarding the investigations of excessive use of force by correction officers on inmates.”
--The Committee on Consumer Affairs will meet at 12:30 p.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “security cameras and security guards at certain eating or drinking establishments and repealing subchapter 20 of title 20 of such code, relating to licensing public dance halls, cabarets and catering establishments.”
--The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss the renaming of “70 thoroughfares and public places.”
--The Committee on Immigration will meet at 1:30 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “persons not to be detained by the department of probation” and “federal immigration enforcement,” as well as a resolution calling upon the federal government to extend Temporary Protected Status for 10 countries.
--The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet at 2 p.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to the sewage system and fire hydrants.
--The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 2:30 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to Buildings Department inspectors and to “requiring the department of buildings to report on site safety managers and coordinators.”

At 10 a.m. Monday, First Lady Chirlane McCray will attend a ceremony with Health Commissioner Mary Bassett and National Institute for Reproductive Health President Andrea Miller, honoring New York City for being one of the NIRH’s top cities in America for reproductive rights.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will release the Comptroller’s Annual Wall Street Report, “on the profitability of New York City’s securities industry,” and hold a press conference call.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday at 633 3rd Avenue, “Reform Party Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese will hold a press conference outside Governor Cuomo’s midtown Manhattan office to call on him to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Mayor de Blasio’s corrupt administration.”

At 11 a.m. Monday, the Assembly Standing Committees on Health and Correction will meet jointly in Albany for a public hearing on “healthcare in New York correctional facilities.”

At 11 a.m. Monday at City Hall, "New York City Council Members and environmental justice advocates will call on Mayor de Blasio to implement a stronger energy efficiency policy that will require building owners to reduce all types of energy usage, including electricity, not just fossil fuels, while protecting affordable housing and protecting good union jobs." Participants will include City Council Members Ben Kallos, Margaret Chin, Bill Perkins, Antonio Reynoso, and others; leaders of ALIGN and the Climate Works for All coalition, and others.

At 11 a.m. Monday, City Council Member Costa Constantinides will hold a press conference at 22-52 23rd St. in Astoria, Queens to announce the introduction of a bill to create a website for people to easily pay and inquire about property taxes.

At 6 p.m. Monday, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and the League of Women Voters (LWV) will co-host a workshop on the upcoming vote on whether to hold a state constitutional convention at the Albany Public Library. NYCLU is against the Con Con while LWV is for the Con Con. Erika Lorshbough, NYCLU’s Legislative Counsel, will discuss the downsides of a convention, while Laura Bierman, Executive Director of LWV, will speak to the upsides of a convention.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the New York City Bar Association will host “Women of Color in State and Local Government,” a discussion with women of color working in city and state agencies about the challenges and opportunities that uniquely impact women of color in the political and government realm. Panelists include Shannon Manigault, Inspector General for the New York City Department of Investigation; Vilda Mayuga, Chair and Hearing Officer for the State Department of Labor’s Industrial Board of Appeals; Nneka Martin, Agency Attorney for the FDNY; and Archana Rao, Financial Frauds Bureau Chief at the Manhattan DA’s office. The panel will be moderated by S. Jeanine Conley of Littler Mendelson.

The Center for Popular Democracy is having it's gala Monday night, at which it is honoring City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Comptroller Scott Stringer is among those who will attend.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, NYCLU will host “Constitutional Crisis, Trump, and the ACLU” at the Fordham University School of Law, providing “legal analysis of the threats to democracy, civil rights and the rule of law posed by the Trump Administration and explain how the ACLU is fighting back.” Fordham Law professor Olivier Sylvain will moderate a panel consisting of NYCLU Legal Director David Cole and national ACLU Legal Director Art Eisenberg.

At 7 p.m. Monday, Mayor de Blasio will be joined by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for a campaign rally at Terminal 5 in Midtown West.

At 7 p.m. Monday, WNYC will host a live discussion on “Queens Machine” reporting by Brigid Bergin, discussing how the Queens Democratic Party operates. Dennis Walcott, the former schools chancellor and deputy mayor and current CEO of the Queens Library, will host a discussion at the Flushing Branch of the Queens Library on the history of political machines in New York City and the people who tried to take them down. Bergin and Fordham political science professor Dr. Christina Greer will be featured speakers.

Tuesday will mark one week until Election Day. Use our voter guide to see which races you'll be voting in and who the candidates are; find a collection of our election coverage here; read articles from us and our partners about Mayor de Blasio's record here; and listen to our election-focused podcast here.

The full City Council will hold a stated meeting at City Hall at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, prefaced by a press conference by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Also at the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss the establishment of a BID in Morris Park, Bronx, as well as to discuss a resolution “approving the new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Expense Budget.”
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 10 a.m.
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 10:30 a.m.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics will meet on Tuesday in Albany.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Board of Standards and Appeals will hold a public hearing at Spector Hall.

Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese will be in federal court in Brooklyn Tuesday morning to attempt to obtain a court order that he is included in Wednesday’s night’s mayoral debate.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday, Crain’s will host a debate among the eight candidates for New York City Council Speaker at the New York Athletic Club in Midtown Manhattan. Crain’s Assistant Managing Editor Erik Engquist will moderate. The attending candidates will be: Corey Johnson, Mark Levine, and Ydanis Rodriguez of Manhattan; Ritchie Torres of the Bronx; Donovan Richards and Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens; and Robert Cornegy and Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday, City & State will host “On Immigration,” discussing “policy, management and leadership issues affecting New York's immigration efforts and program,” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. City Comptroller Scott Stringer and city Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop will separately deliver keynote remarks. There will also be two panel discussions featuring government officials and advocates who will discuss how New York will move forward for DREAMers and the role immigrant-owned businesses play in the New York City economy.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting at Spector Hall.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the New York Women’s Foundation will host “Women’s Leadership and the Lippman Commission” at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work, discussing the “role of women’s leadership on the Commission and the work being done to help women entangled in the criminal justice system.” Event participants will include women who served on the Commission, including Margaret Egan, of CUNY; MaryAnne Gilmartin and Jane Marshall of Forest City New York; Insha Rahman, of the Vera Institute; Courtney Bryan of JPMorgan Chase; Dr. Althea Taylor, of the Hunter College School of Education; and Ana Oliveira, president the the NY Women’s Foundation.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, CBS will televise the second mayoral debate, including Democrat Bill de Blasio, Republican Nicole Malliotakis, and possibly others.

The Manhattan GOP will be holding a fundraiser/watch party at The Empire Steakhouse that Malliotakis will visit after the debate.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, the New York City Campaign Finance Board will hold a board meeting at 100 Church Street.

At 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Civic Hall will host a workshop on New York’s new paid family leave law. Molly Weston Williamson of a Better Balance will discuss the details of the law and how it could affect people’s lives.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, NYCLU and Citizen Action NY will host a workshop on New York’s new paid family leave law at the Albany Public Library.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will host a community forum on the East Harlem rezoning proposal at Taino Towers in her district.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Mayor de Blasio will hold a town hall meeting at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village with City Council Member Barry Grodenchik, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, State Senator Leroy Comrie, and Assemblymember David Weprin.

Friday and the weekend
No events on our radar as of Sunday evening, but stay tuned!

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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