Gotham Gazette

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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 30

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week we're continuing to dissect Mayor Bill de Blasio's recently-released $89 billion Executive Budget plan for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1. The de Blasio administration and the City Council now enter another round of Council hearings on the budget as well as behind-the-scenes negotiations, rallies, and other methods of seeing the next city budget include or ommit certain priorities. [Listen to the latest episode of What's The [Data] Point? for a full breakdown of de Blasio's budget proposal and key issues at play as negotiations heat up]

There are three days of legislative session in Albany this week, with less than two months to go in the Albany government year, which is scheduled to end mid-June. It's unclear how much will get done given it is a state election year and Senate Republicans, who control the chamber by a one-seat margin, have little incentive to say "yes" to anything that Governor Andrew Cuomo or the state Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, wants to see passed this session.

Cuomo spent Friday rallying for a Democratic state Senate, by backing Anna Kaplan in Senate District 7, and Sunday on a day trip to Puerto Rico, where he continued to enhance New York's efforts to support the island's recovery from Hurricane Maria. The governor is, of course, at the center of a re-election campaign and this week is sure to see continued campaigning by his main Democratic primary opponent, Cynthia Nixon, and the presumptive Republican nominee Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County Executive.

There are a variety of 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:

On Monday at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, "Mayor de Blasio will hold a public hearing for the following eleven bills that aim to reduce workplace sexual harassment: Intro. 612-A requires annual anti-sexual harassment training at City agencies; Intro. 613-A requires assessing workplace risk factors associated with sexual harassment within City agencies; Intro. 614-A mandates information about sexual harassment to be made available online for public access; Intro. 630-A creates an "Anti-Sexual Harassment Rights and Responsibilities" poster; Intro. 632-A mandates anti-sexual harassment training for private employers; Intro. 657-A expands sexual harassment protections to all employees; Intro. 660-A makes improvements to clarify and strengthen the City's Human Rights Law; Intro. 663-A changes the City's Human Rights Law statute of limitations for sexual harassment to three years; Intro. 664-A relates to climate surveys and action plans to combat sexual harassment; Intro. 653-A mandates annual reporting on workplace sexual harassment within City agencies and; Intro. 693 relates to the Division of Labor Services employment reports. The Mayor will also hold a public hearing and sign Intro. 241-B that establishes a Charter Revision Commission."

In the evening, de Blasio will appear on NY1’s Inside City Hall during the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday at Gracie Mansion, First Lady Chirlane McCray "will deliver remarks at the annual Mayoral Service Recognition Ceremony honoring over 400 New Yorkers and over two dozen businesses for outstanding volunteer service in 2017."

On Monday, city schools "Chancellor Richard A. Carranza will visit classes and attend a music and dance performance at MS 137 America's School of Heroes in Queens" at 10:30 a.m. "In the afternoon, he will host town hall events" at 4 and 5:30 p.m. at PS 131 Abigail Adams School in Queens.

At the City Council on Monday:
--The Committee on For-Hire Vehicles will meet at 9:30 a.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “the waiver of licensing fees for accessible taxi-cabs and for-hire vehicles” and “the licensing and regulation of app-based for-hire transportation services and vehicles.”
--The Committee on Fire and Emergency Management will meet at 9:30 a.m. for an oversight hearing “evaluating emergency service needs in response to population shifts” as well as to discuss several proposed laws relating to reporting on the effects of rezonings on FDNY operations.
--The Committees on Education and Civil Service & Labor will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “paid parental leave for New York City municipal employees” as well as two resolutions, one “calling upon New York City to extend paid family leave benefits to city employees covered by municipal unions” and the other “calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation to amend the state Paid Family Leave Act to provide workers in New York State with a benefit equal to 100 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage.”
--The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “permitting process for the use of athletic fields at parks.”

At 8 a.m. Monday, members of the Independent Drivers Guild will rally at City Hall to protest Intro. 838, a proposed city law that would create a $2,000 annual fee for for-hire drivers and prohibit them from driving for more than one company, which is being heard at the aforementioned City Council meeting of the for-hire vehicle committee.

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany. Including Monday, there are 24 scheduled session days left this year, with three this week, before the June 20 end of business in Albany.

The retrial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who had his corruption conviction overturned due to a Supreme Court ruling and subsequent appeal, begins on Monday.

At 11 a.m. Monday, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez will join advocacy groups at the steps of City Hall to “call on Congress to reject disastrous cuts to food stamps, Medicaid, housing, and other social programs that strengthen the economy, improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers, and demonstrate how we as a city value opportunity and dignity.”

At noon Monday, the Department of City Planning will give a presentation on the recently passed Jerome Avenue rezoning at the offices of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council in the Financial District.

On Monday at 1 p.m. at City Hall, "delivery workers will be joined by Asian American Federation, Make the Road New York, Biking Public Project, Transportation Alternatives, Legal Aid Society, New York City Council Member Margaret Chin and other elected officials to lay out five steps the de Blasio administration must take to ensure their needs are not forgotten in light of recent proposed clarifications on rules surrounding class 1, pedal-assist e-bikes. The rules recently proposed by the mayor enshrining the legality of class 1 pedal-assist e-bikes are a positive first step, but they explicitly leave out the e-bikes that the vast majority of delivery workers use. As long as this remains the case, delivery workers will continue to be criminalized." Participants will include delivery workers, Asian American Federation, Make the Road New York, Biking Public Project, Transportation Alternatives, Legal Aid Society, Council Member Margaret Chin, and other elected officials.

At 1:30 p.m. Monday, Luis Sepulveda and Shelley Mayer will be sworn in as State Senators in the Senate Chamber in Albany. The two Democratic Assemblymembers won special elections on April 24 and will vacate their Assembly seats to join the Senate.

At 6 p.m. Monday, the mayoral Charter Revision Commission will hold a public hearing at Bronx Community College in University Heights.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the New York City Bar Association will host “Advancing Environmental Equity in New York City,” discussing “pressing local environmental justice issues, including: mold in NYCHA buildings, private waste transfer stations, and equity in climate change adaptation.” Speakers will include Rachel Spector, Melissa Iachan, and Shiva Prakash of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Sara Imperiale of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Michael Stanley of Manhattan Together.

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet at noon to discuss a proposed law “authorizing the Landmarks Preservation Commission to administer a historic preservation grant program.”
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 2 p.m.

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

City "On Tuesday, Chancellor Richard A. Carranza will attend meetings in Albany." At 9:30 a.m. he will deliver brief remarks at an Assembly Education Committee meeting and at 10:30 a.m. he will deliver brief remarks at a Senate Education Committee meeting.

Tuesday will see several demonstrations in honor of May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. There will be demonstrations in Union Square, Washington Square Park, Cadman Plaza, and Wall Street, among other places.
--Beginning at 7 a.m. in Battery Park, "On May Day, as part of a national day of resistance, immigrant and working class New Yorkers will march to Wall Street to protest major financial institutions' complicity in the mass incarceration and family separation being advanced by the Trump Administration." Participants will include "immigrant and working-class New Yorkers with Make the Road NY, Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH), Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, New York Communities for Change, Center for Popular Democracy, Working Families Party, and CREDO."
--At 11 a.m. in Washington Square Park, the the New York Immigration Coalition will hold a May Day rally, at which Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Public Advocate Letitia James will be among the speakers.

On Tuesday Gotham Gazette and City Limits will produce this week’s Max & Murphy podcast, with guest Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President and 2021 mayoral candidate.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will appear on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

At 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, there will be a rally calling for instant runoff voting in New York. Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and others will participate.

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Governor Cuomo will make an announcement at John Jay College in Manhattan.

At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, "Mayor de Blasio will join Newark Mayor Baraka to make an announcement at Newark City Hall. This event is open press. There will be no Q-and-A."

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, NYC Votes and the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s Voter Assistance Advisory Committee will meet at the CFB’s office “to discuss the findings of the 2017-18 NYC Voter Assistance Annual Report.”

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Association for a Better New York will host its 12th Annual “Spirit of ABNY Awards” at the Rainbow Room. Honorees will include U.S. Rep Joe Crowley, Police Commissioner James O’Neill, and New York Magazine CEO Pam Wasserstein.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Empire State Indivisible and True Blue NY will host “4 Women in a Room: A Conversation about Women in NYS Government” at the Great Hall of Cooper Union. Speakers will include former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, and Brooklyn NAACP President L. Joy Williams.

At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Committee on Standards and Ethics will meet at 10:30 a.m. to discuss a proposed law relating to “the advisory opinions of the Conflicts Of Interest Board.”
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m. to discuss the “approval of cemetery uses on land acquired in Queens before 1973.”
--The Committees on Justice System and Consumer Affairs & Business Licenses will meet jointly at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to the bail bonds industry.

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

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Business Council of New York State will host its annual “Conference on State Taxation,” featuring business leaders discussing the impact of recent tax issues on businesses in the state. The conference will take place at the Renaissance Albany Hotel.

At 8 a.m. Wednesday, Crain’s New York Business will host its 2018 “Health Care Summit” at the Times Square Sheraton Hotel, discussing “investing in digital health innovation.” Panels consisting of health industry CEOs, as well as Economic Development Corporation James Patchett, will discuss “cutting edge trends in digital health.”

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, City & State NY will host the “Gender Parity Summit,” discussing changes in workplace culture surrounding gender in the #MeToo era and strategies for the future. Speakers will include, among others, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Public Advocate Letitia James, and New York State Chief Diversity Officer Lourdes Zapata. The event will take place at the Manny Cantor Center on the Lower East Side.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, the New School Center for New York City Affairs will host “School Choice and Integration in NYC,” discussing new research by the Center’s Nicole Mader on the impact of school choice on those who choose to leave neighborhood schools and those who stay. Following the presentation of the research, there will be a panel consisting of Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, New School professors Maya Wiley and Ujju Aggarwal, Community Education Council 3 member Dennis Morgan, and author Allison Roda.

At 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, criminal justice reform advocates will gather at the west gate of City Hall to call on the city to “pass protections for consumers regularly exploited by the predatory bail bonds industry.”

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the New York City Bar Association will host “How To Get on the Ballot in New York City,” discussing the complex process of becoming a candidate for public office in New York City. Speakers will include former Senate Minority Leader Martin Connor, election attorney Sarah Steiner, NYS Board of Elections co-chair Douglas Kellner, and City Board of Elections Deputy General Counsel Raphael Savino.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Health will meet at 250 Broadway in Manhattan “to examine the practice of medical aid in dying, as well as potential legislation to authorize this practice.” Medical aid in dying is when a terminally ill patient requests a prescription from their doctor that will, when administered, bring about death.

At 11:30 a.m. Thursday, City Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Just Leadership USA, and others will rally at the Fulton Fish Market to call for the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center in the South Bronx to be closed.

At noon Thursday, the New York State Board of Elections will hold a commissioners’ meeting in Albany.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Charter Revision Commission will hold a public hearing at the Flushing branch of the Queens Library.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday morning at 10 a.m.

On Friday, Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission will produce the latest episode of the What’s The [Data] Point? podcast, focusing on Mayor de Blasio’s neighborhood rezonings and affordable housing plan, real estate transactions, and other housing-related issues, with guest Sally Goldenberg of Politico New York.

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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