Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 5

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week will see the beginning of preliminary budget hearings at the City Council, where Council members will hear from representatives of the de Blasio administration about the mayor's proposed budget for next fiscal year, which begins July 1, and ask questions about how money is being allocated, savings, and more.

Key details of the city budget that is agreed upon later this year by Mayor de Blasio and the Council will depend on the next state budget, which is due by the April 1 start of the state fiscal year. Budget negotiations may heat up this week in Albany, with just a few weeks to go, though they really move much closer to the deadline. The Legislature is in session three days this week.

Hanging over state business are both the federal corruption trial of Governor Andrew Cuomo's former top aide, Joe Percoco, which is now in jury deliberations after closing arguments last week and this year's state-level elections, including the race for governor. While Cuomo has said he is seeking a third term this year, who his Republican opponent will be remains to be seen. State Senator John DeFrancisco has been seen as the frontrunner, but it appears that Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has reconsidered his declaration that he would not run and is jumping into the fray. An announcement from Molinaro is expected this week.

An announcement that is not expected this week is that of the next New York City schools chancellor. After Mayor de Blasio indicated a pick and placed a news story announcing Alberto Carvalho as the next chancellor, to replace the retiring Carmen Fariña, Carvalho backed out in dramatic fashion, deciding to stay in Miami, Florida instead. The mayor said he was surprised and frustrated, but that the national search had already resumed. Fariña will stay on through the end of March, de Blasio said.

De Blasio will dabble in national politics again this week, he's due to co-host a fundraiser for Randy Bryce, who is challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin.

Those are a few highlights, but as always, there are many events to be aware of 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:

At the City Council on Monday preliminary budget hearings will begin with a general overview hearing at 10 a.m., focused on the mayor’s preliminary budget, featuring representatives of the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Finance, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and the Independent Budget Office, among others that may testify. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will deliver opening remarks.

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

At 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, Speaker Johnson will co-host a Greek Independence Celebration.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and BetaNYC will host Open Data Training for Community Boards, at the Borough President’s Office.

On Monday at 6:30 p.m., National Action Network, elected officials, parents, and others are hosting an "emergency town hall meeting on safety and security in public schools." Participants will include Minister Kirsten John Foy & National Action Network, PS 11 PTA, NYS Dep. Sec. Public Safety Richard White, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, City Council Member Laurie Cumbo, DOE/NYPD Security & Safety Team. The town hall will occur at "419 Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn New York Between Greene and Gates avenue."

Mayor de Blasio will make his weekly appearance on NY1's Inside City Hall with anchor Errol Louis on Monday evening in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

At 7 p.m., Brewer will present a proclamation at Young People’s Chorus of NYC 30th anniversary gala, Lincoln Center. And at about 7:30 p.m., Brewer will visit the Society of Foreign Consuls in New York’s International Women’s Day event at Bohemian National Hall.

At the City Council on Tuesday, there will be a preliminary budget hearing on Higher Education at 2:30 p.m., regarding CUNY.

Also at the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to litter and rodents.
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 2:30 p.m.
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 3 p.m.

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

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Bar Association will host “The State of Criminal Discovery in New York State,” discussing “the current law applicable to criminal discovery in New York State courts; responses to the Criminal Law Committee's statewide survey of the judiciary, defense bar and district attorneys regarding current practices; criminal discovery law in other states; and proposed reforms.” Panelists will include Kristin Braun of the Legal Aid Society, Matthew McCann of the Law Office of Alan S. Futerfas, and former New York Supreme Court Justice James Yates. The panel will be moderated by Monica Hickey-Martin of the MTA Office of the Inspector General.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Association for a Better New York will host “Covering the City Hall Beat: A Conversation with NYC Journalists” at the Tribeca Grill. Fordham political science professor Dr. Christina Greer will moderate a panel consisting of Mara Gay of the Wall Street Journal, J. David Goodman of the New York Times, Yoav Gonen of the New York Post, and Jillian Jorgensen of the New York Daily News.

Mayor de Blasio will host a fundraiser on Wednesday for Randy “Iron Stache” Bryce, who is challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan for his house seat in Wisconsin.

The full City Council will hold a “stated meeting” at City Hall at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Also at the City Council on Wednesday: The Committee on Rules, Elections, and Privileges will meet at 10:30 a.m. to receive three nominations from the Mayor for appointments to city agencies: Fernando Bohorquez and Anthony Crowell for the Conflicts of Interest Board, and Salvatore Scibetta for the Board of Standards and Appeals.

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

At the City Council on Thursday, the following committees will hold preliminary budget hearings:
--Transportation at 9:30 a.m., regarding the MTA
--Fire and Emergency Management at noon, regarding Fire/Emergency Medical Service and the Office of Emergency Management
--For-Hire Vehicles at 1:30 p.m., regarding the Taxi and Limousine Commission
--Transportation and the Capital Budget at 3 p.m., regarding the DOT expense and capital budgets

Thursday is International Women’s Day. It will be marked by commemorations by public officials as well as marches and strikes by advocacy groups.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, City & State will host “Is Closing Rikers a Dream or a Reality” at the New York Academy of Sciences. The event will feature a one-on-one interview between City & State editor Jon Lentz and Elias Husamudeen, President of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, followed by a panel discussing the impacts of closing Rikers and potential solutions to the problem of safety in the city’s jails, featuring Husamudeen, Queens ADA James Quinn, and City Council Members Joe Borelli and Keith Powers.

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

At 3 p.m. Thursday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson will join NY1 anchor Errol Louis and the CUNY Journalism School’s Center for Community and Ethnic Media for a discussion regarding “his vision for the City Council, the legislative agenda, increased oversight of city agencies and departments and maintaining the City Council's independence.” Also discussed will be issues relevant to community and ethnic media, and the Council’s relationship with the media. The event will take place at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in Midtown. Louis will be joined by Debralee Santos of the Manhattan Times and Stephon Johnson of the New York Amsterdam News.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio is expected to make his weekly appearance on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday at 10 a.m.

At the City Council on Friday, the following committees will hold preliminary budget hearings:
--Economic Development at 10 a.m., regarding EDC
--Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing at 11 a.m., regarding the Department of Consumer Affairs and the new Mayor’s Office of Nightlife.
--Small Business at 1 p.m., regarding the Department of Small Business Services.

At 8:15 a.m. Friday, the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School will host Patrick Foye, President of the MTA, at its 150th “CityLaw Breakfast.” The discussion will center around “Innovation & Reform: Building Toward a New MTA.”

At 9 a.m. Friday, the Center for New York City Affairs will host “Getting Proactive in the Preserving & Strengthening of Human Services in NY,” discussing “the economic and social impact of human services CBOs, and the need to preserve and strengthen their critical role in building foundational supports that contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.” Fordham political science professor Christina Greer will moderate a panel consisting of Herminia Palacio, the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services; Fran Barrett, Interagency Coordinator for Nonprofits in the Governor’s Office; Dylan Roberts, of Oliver Wyman; Emary Aronson, Chief Program Officer of the Robin Hood Foundation; and Ariel Zwang, CEO of Safe Horizon.

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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