Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 9

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week we’re continuing to digest and analyze both the recently-passed state budget and the recently-announced Democratic unity deal reached among Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, and others. According to Klein, he is on the verge of dissolving the IDC and becoming Stewart-Cousins’ deputy.

The unification deal comes after the new budget, which did not include many Democratic priorities, and Cuomo said was added motivation to broker the deal. It also comes just before the April 24 special elections for 11 Assembly and Senate seats, including the crucial Senate District 37 race in Westchester, which Democrats need to win to have a chance to form a 32-seat majority in the chamber before November. Even with wins in that race and the Senate race in the Bronx, which is a virtual lock, Democrats would have 31 seats and need to woo Senator Simcha Felder to their conference. Either way, Cuomo indicated at one point that the true goal is more Democratic victories come November, though he did indicate something different in an email blast through the State Democratic Party, wherein he said that a Westchester victory would give the party a 32-seat majority.

This is Republican Marc Molinaro’s second week as a fully-declared gubernatorial candidate, while Cynthia Nixon continues her campaign, starting Monday night with a birthday fundraiser. They’ll continue their attacks on Governor Cuomo from the right and the left, respectively, but also sounding some similar themes that are less ideological and more about character and ethics.

This week is also a very busy one at the City Council - see below for details on a variety of interesting and important hearings, as well as a full-body Stated Meeting, which is where new bills are introduced and bills that have been passed by committee are voted on by the full Council.

 As always, there are a variety of 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:

"On Monday, Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza will visit Pre-K and 3-K classrooms at P.S. 25, The Bilingual School. Immediately after, the Mayor and Chancellor will deliver remarks. This event is open press. There will be no Q-and-A. In the evening, the Mayor will appear live on NY1’s Inside City Hall."

Monday is the first school day since Richard Carranza took over as Chancellor of New York City Public Schools. "Carranza will visit schools and attend events in the Bronx, and meet with students, staff and families. In the morning, he will greet students and families at Concourse Village Elementary School and visit 3-K and pre-K classes...After, he will join 7th graders from PS/MS 279 on a tour of Bronx Community College as part of the College Access for All initiative...In the afternoon, he will join Mayor de Blasio on a visit to PS 25 The Bilingual School and visit 3-K and pre-K classes. He will deliver brief remarks. In the evening, he will throw the first pitch at the James Monroe Campus vs. George Washington Campus PSAL Varsity baseball game, and cheer with families."

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul has several public events Monday: 8:30 am. she will present awards at the Museum Association of NY's Annual Meeting in Rochester; at 9:30 a.m. she will present highlights of the FY 2019 budget at Monroe Community College, Downtown Campus in Rochester; at 3:30 p.m. she will present highlights of the FY 2019 budget at the The Harvest Room in Queens; at 5:15 p.m. she'll deliver remarks at NY Building Congress new office opening in Manhattan; and at 6:45 p.m. she will keynote a gun safety panel discussion at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in Manhattan.

At the City Council on Monday:
--The Committees on Women and Public Safety will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing “examining the NYPD’s response to sex crimes,” as well as to discuss related proposed laws calling for officers to receive “sensitivity training” in responding to sex crimes, to use “evidence based staffing” for the Special Victims Division, for the department to adopt a “modern case management system,” and requiring the department “to provide training on investigating sexual crimes.”
--The Committee on Civil and Human Rights will meet at 2 p.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to sexual harassment, as well as a resolution calling on Congress to pass and the President to sign the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act of 2017.

The New York State Board of Regents will meet on Monday and Tuesday in Albany.

Monday "at 8:00 AM, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will hand out flyers to commuters at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues subway station in Bushwick urging eligible Brooklynites to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), kicking off the final week before the tax filing deadline on Tuesday, April 17th. Members of his team will also be reaching out to commuters at a number of highly-trafficked subway stations across the borough, including Broadway Junction in Cypress Hills, Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, Crown Heights-Utica Avenue in Crown Heights, and Flatbush Avenue-Brooklyn College in Flatbush."

On Monday at 10 a.m. in Times Square, "Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, and Car Free Day partners announce the programming for Car Free Day NYC 2018." Other participants will include "Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Iyad Kheirbek, Executive Director, Air Quality Program, NYC DOH&MH; Harriet Taub, Executive Director of Materials for the Arts; Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins; Professor Elliott Sclar, Special Research Scholar & Director, Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) at the Earth Institute, Columbia University; Artists and Representatives from: Union Square Partnership, Garment District Alliance, 34th Street Partnership, Motivate, Terrain Work, Row NY, Citizens Climate Lobby, Hypothekids, GrowNYC, NYU Office of Sustainability, Bike NY, Appalachian Mountain Club, Van Alen Institute, Project for Public Space."

At 10 a.m. Monday in Jackson Heights, "City Council Member Daniel Dromm, "public school teachers, and Jackson Heights families will gather to call upon the NYC Department of Education to inform parents of their right to opt their children out of state exams." Participants include Dromm; Jackson Heights People for Public Schools Leader Organizer Amanda Vender; Class Size Matters Executive Director Leonie Haimson; Representatives from Change the Stakes; Representatives from NYC Opt Out; Jackson Heights parents and students. "New York State English Language Arts (ELA) exams are scheduled to take place in NYC public schools from April 11 to April 12, 2018. The Mathematics exam will be administered from May 1 to May 2, 2018. Last year over 225,000 New York State public school students opted out. Parents chose not to put their children through the pressure of testing because they disagree with policies that reduce education to a few test scores. They are concerned about the detrimental effects excessive testing has had on their children. Parents have the right to have their children opt out of these tests. In 2015, the NYC Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding that the DOE inform parents of their right to opt out. To this day, many have still not been informed of this right."

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, City Council Member Mark Levine, State Senator Brian Benjamin, and Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell, all of whom represent the Upper West Side, will join Transit Center and disability advocates to call for the MTA to prioritize making three Upper West Side subway stations ADA accessible while they’re closed for repair this fall. The event willl be at the Northwest Corner of Frederick Douglass Circle on 110th Street.

At 3 p.m. Monday, Manhattan DA Cy Vance, Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Commissioner Mary Bassett, and others will announce a “major investment in New Yorkers reentering their communities after incarceration” at the Institute for Family Health in Harlem.

At 6 p.m. Monday, U.S. Representatives Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, and Nydia Velazquez will host a town hall meeting “focused on organizing and the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.” The town hall will take place at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Veterans will tour “short-term transitional housing for military veterans” in Long Island City at 1 p.m.
--The Committee on Governmental Affairs will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss establishing a charter revision commission.
--The Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss appropriations and funding for the Fiscal Year 2019 city budget.
--The Committee on Transportation will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the Mayor’s Congestion Action Plan, and to discuss a proposed law relating to “certain sidewalk repairs.”
--The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “requiring the development of a fair affordable housing plan,” “requiring that city affordable housing plans address historic patterns of racial segregation,” and “an audit of expiring affordable housing units.”
--The Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss “adding members to the nightlife advisory board.”

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, Crain’s will host First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan for a “Business Breakfast” at the New York Athletic Club. Fuleihan will give remarks and take questions from Erik Engquist of Crain’s and Errol Louis of NY1 to discuss “his priorities in his new position, the next city budget and issues from homelessness to transit funding.”

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the Albany Times Union’s Capitol Confidential will host Jesse McKinley of the New York Times, Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News, and Robert Gavin of Times Union for a discussion on the Joe Percoco trial, including analysis of the trial and the precedent it could set for upcoming corruption cases. Times Union’s senior editor Casey Seiler will moderate. The event will take place at the Hearst Media Center in Loudonville, Albany County.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Community Service Society and JobsFirstNYC will host “School & Work: Addressing Barriers in the Young Adult Labor Market” at the CSS’s HQ in Manhattan. City Limits publisher Jarrett Murphy will moderate a panel discussing the challenges faced by young people who are neither in school or working; the panel will consist of Monique Miles of the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund, Marjorie Parker of JobsFirstNYC, Jen Mishory of the Century Foundation, and Andrea Vaghy Benyola of The Door.

On Tuesday at noon at City Hall, "the PowHerNY Network will be joined by elected officials, union leaders, and advocates on the steps of City Hall for the 12th Annual NYC Equal Pay Day Rally to say #TimesUp!...This rally is part of a multi-pronged campaign to achieving pay parity and economic equity in New York, and around the country. While New York has the smallest overall wage gap, women still only make an average of 89 cents for every dollar that men earn, and women of color continue to experience considerably larger pay disparities. Asian Women earn an average of 82 cents, African-American women earn 66 cents, and Hispanic women earn 56 cents for every dollar paid to full-time working white men. Wage inequality affects women across race, at all levels of the financial spectrum, in all fields, and at all levels of education." Participants will include Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul; Public Advocate Tish James; Jacqui Ebanks, NYC Mayor’s Commissioner on Gender Equity; PowHer New York, Beverly Neufeld; Gloria Middleton, President, Local CWA 1180; Catt Sadler, former E! News anchor; Members of the New York City Council; Child Care and Restaurant Worker Advocates.

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will preside over a public hearing regarding the proposed rezoning of Inwood. The hearing will take place at IS 218.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, lohud will host a “candidate conversation” between the candidates for the special election in the 37th State Senate district at the College of New Rochelle. The candidates in attendance will be Democratic nominee Shelley Mayer and Republican nominee Julie Killian. The election is April 24.

The City Council will hold a stated meeting at City Hall at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Council Speaker Corey Johnson is expected to host a pre-stated press conference at 12:30 p.m.

Also at the City Council on Wednesday: the Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a resolution “approving the new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Expense Budget.”

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Riders Alliance and the Community Service Society will hold a rally on the steps of City Hall calling upon the Mayor to fund discounted MetroCards for low-income transit riders.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting at 120 Broadway.

At noon Wednesday, members of the Campaign for Children will rally on the steps of City Hall to call upon the city “to create salary parity for early childhood education teachers.”

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Civilian Complaint Review Board will hold a public board meeting at 100 Church Street.

At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the Office of Recovery and Resiliency.
--The Committees on Higher Education and Civil Service & Labor will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, as well as to discuss two resolutions: the first “calling on the United State Supreme Court to protect public sector collective bargaining in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees” and the second “acknowledging workers’ gains through the American labor movement.”

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

Friday and the weekend
At 8:15 a.m. Friday, the Center for New York City Law will host Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi for a “CityLaw Breakfast” at 185 West Broadway, discussing “What's Changed and What Hasn't in For-Hire Vehicles.”

Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m. Friday.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, protesters will march nationwide as part of the “March for Science,” demanding policymakers in Washington and elsewhere enact “equitable, evidence-based policies that serve all communities.” In New York City, the march will take place in Washington Square Park.

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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