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Fast Pace Continues in Albany; City Hall in the Bronx & More: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, Jan. 28

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week the fast pace of action early in the new Albany legislative session will continue, as Democrats now in control of both houses and the governor's office move ahead with more of their policy agenda. This week's highlights will include the Child Victims Act and several gun control bills. See below for more.

In New York City, it's the 2019 "City Hall in Your Borough" week in the Bronx. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration will focus on the Bronx all week, including several events and announcements. Monday night will see a citywide event, though, in the HOPE count, the annual federally-mandated count of people living on the streets. The city conducts the count utilizing a wide network of employees and volunteers.

And there may be news this final week of January (Friday is February 1) regarding the city and federal authorities coming to an agreement about next steps with relation to running NYCHA; there is a previously set deadline of Thursday for a new agreement before a federal judge who declined to accept a prior deal reached by the city and federal officials. That deadline may get pushed back due to the partial federal government shutdown that is now over, given that top officials involved were not technically working over the past several weeks.

It's another busy week at the City Council, including the second hearing on the deal to bring Amazon to Queens. See the full rundown below.

And there are many other 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:

This week, the de Blasio administration will be in the Bronx for the latest installment of “City Hall In Your Borough.” At 11 a.m. Mayor de Blasio "will make an announcement regarding New York City's lead prevention" at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. That is the mayor's only public event scheduled for Monday as of Sunday evening, but members and departments of his administration have a variety of other Bronx-focused events. "On Monday, First Lady Chirlane McCray will visit a Mental Health First Aid Training in the Bronx. This event is closed press. In the evening, First Lady Chirlane McCray will join author Nana-Ama Danquah for the Gracie Mansion Book Club to discuss her book “Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression” at Barnard College."

At the City Council on Monday:
--The Committee on For-Hire Vehicles will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss proposed laws to require for-hire vehicles to have panic buttons for both drivers and passengers, as well as a law to establish a minimum base rate for “trips dispatched by high-volume services in the congestion zone.”
--The Committee on Environmental Protection will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss several proposed laws related to green roofs, as well as a law to obligate the Buildings Department to include wind energy as part of its renewable strategy and authorize the installation of large wind turbines. The committee will also discuss a resolution to “increase the real property tax abatement for the installation of a green roof to $15 per square foot.”
--The Committee on Immigration will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “city services and supports for immigrants with Temporary Protected Status.”

The State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany, and both Democratically-controlled houses are expected to continue passing bills that were held up in past years by opposition from Republicans who controlled the state Senate. Monday’s slate includes the Child Victims Act.

At 10:30 a.m. in Albany, “Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan), Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, survivors, and advocates will be holding a press conference to celebrate the passage of the historic Child Victims Act.”

At 11 a.m. Monday, the State Legislature will hold a joint budget hearing on higher education.

At 10 a.m. Monday, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be a guest on 'Reaching Out with Gregory Floyd' on AM 970 The Answer. At 11 a.m. Hochul will deliver remarks and make an announcement at Staten Island Borough President James Oddo's Data Strategy to Fight Opioid Epidemic. And at 7 p.m. Hochul will deliver remarks at NYSAC Taste of NY Reception in Albany.

At 1 p.m. Monday, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will speak at the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) annual legislative conference, at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.

At 4 p.m. Monday in the Bronx, Acting Public Advocate and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will launch a "Five-Borough Bus Survey" with Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign and Tri-State Transportation Campaign, at Fordham Road and 3rd Avenue.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Brooklyn Historical Society will host “Petty Crimes and Petty Laws: A Hard Look at the Broken Misdemeanor System.” New York Times reporter Ali Winston will moderate a panel consisting of author Alexandra Natapoff, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund executive director Peter Goldberg, and Vocal-NY community leader Darryl Herring, discussing “the predatory nature of our inflated misdemeanor and bail systems, which too often target the low-income and communities of color.”

From 10 p.m. Monday until 4 a.m. Tuesday, the Department of Homeless Services will be conducting its annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (also known as the HOPE count), estimating the number of unsheltered homeless people in the city. DHS “is asking New Yorkers to assist the Agency and community partners in estimating the number of unsheltered individuals on the streets, in parks, subways, and other public spaces across the city.” Elected officials around the city often participate in the HOPE count in some way, from rallying volunteers before they head out to taking part in the counting themselves. Speaker Corey Johnson is among those who will participate.

Tuesday will mark four weeks until the February 26 special election for Public Advocate. On Tuesday the Board of Elections will meet starting at 1:30 p.m. to decide on the ballot challenges that have been filed against certain candidates and to finalize who will be on the ballot.

The State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany. It will be the second and final day of legislative session this week, with both houses expected to continue to pass bills, including gun control measures like extending the background check wait period from three to ten days, a ban on bump stocks, and a "red flag" bill that would allow a judge to order guns removed from the home of individuals flagged as a risk to themselves or others.

Also in Albany Tuesday:
--At 9:30 a.m., the State Legislature will hold a joint budget hearing on public protection.
--At 10:30 a.m., the Joint Commission on Public Ethics will hold a commissioners meeting.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host a city resource fair at the Latino Pastoral Action Center in Mount Eden, Bronx.

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Criminal Justice will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the criminal grievance process, as well as to discuss proposed laws requiring a survey and report on the process, to make it more efficient, and for the city to process 311 complaints by incarcerated individuals as formal grievances in a timely manner.
--The Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss proposed laws related to a count of the city’s housing stock, as well as reporting requirements on vacant and foreclosed property.
--The Committee on State and Federal Legislation will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing on the economic impact of the federal government shutdown on the city.
--The Committee on Contracts will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the “roll-out of the Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort).”
--The Committee on Sanitation will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws related to worker protection in the private carting industry. The bills would require the Business Integrity Commission (BIC) to “establish standards” for unions in the industry to combat unauthorized unions, for the BIC to provide information on workers’ rights, and for the BIC to refer wage and labor violations in the industry to the New York Attorney General, U.S. Department of Labor, and “other relevant city, state, or federal law enforcement agencies.”

At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the New York City Bar Association will host Maria Vullo, Superintendent of the State Department of Financial Services to discuss “the state of the New York insurance industry, her accomplishments in the past year and during her administration, areas of regulatory concern, and future challenges.”

At noon Tuesday, City Council Members, members of the Teamsters Local 813, private sanitation workers, and advocates will gather at the City Hall steps in support of legislation to eliminate “sham unions.” “Private sanitation workers will also be present to speak about their experiences with worker exploitation and illegitimate union representation.”

At 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Riders Alliance will rally in Flushing to call on local elected officials to fix the subway.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the New York Housing Conference will host Joseph Salvo, Director of the Department of City Planning’s Population Division, to discuss the stakes of the 2020 Census. The event will take place at LMHQ in the Financial District.

At 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the State Legislature will hold a joint budget hearing on transportation.

At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing on Amazon HQ2, the Council’s second, discussing whether the deal delivers for city residents.
--The Committee on Small Business will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the restaurant industry in the city.
--The Committee on Health will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding potentially banning flavored e-cigarettes and vapes, and to discuss proposed laws that would ban them.
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 1 p.m.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, this week’s Max & Murphy show will air on WBAI, 99.5FM and, and will include the next set of interviews with candidates for Public Advocate. (Find past episodes here, including interviews with seven of the candidates in the special election.)

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the New York City Panel for Educational Policy will meet at Murry Bergtraum HIgh School in Chinatown.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, NYU’s Urban Democracy Lab will host “Navigating the City/State Divide: What’s Next for Progressive Elected Officials?” at NYU’s Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts. Professor and author Richard Schragger will moderate a panel of elected officials and candidates discussing how “progressive urban leaders” can pursue change in the realm of municipal politics. Panelists will consist of City Council Member and Public Advocate candidate Jumaane Williams, professor and former Attorney General candidate Zephyr Teachout, City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, and State Senator Zellnor Myrie.

At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Subcommittee on Landmarks will meet at noon.
--The Committee on Governmental Operations will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to administrative trials for taxi drivers, as well as to fold the “Critical Driver Program” into the “Persistent Violators Program.”

At 8 a.m. Thursday, a new Quinnipiac poll on the 2020 Census will be unveiled at an Association for a Better New York event at the New York Public Library Main Branch. Officials involved in organizing the census will speak after the unveiling with reactions. Speakers include Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Census Director for New York City Julie Menin, and Chief Demographer at the Department of City Planning Joe Salvo.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson will deliver her 2019 State of the University System address at the Albany Capital Center.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, the New York City Bar Association will host a panel discussion on the New York Health Act, the proposed single-payer health care program for New York State. Panelists will include Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, SUNY Albany professor Ashley Fox, Oliver Thomas Fein of Cornell Medicine, Eric Linzer of the New York Health Plan Association, and Bill Hammond of the Empire Center.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the 2019 Charter Revision Commission will meet at the Council Chambers in City Hall.

At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, U.S. Representative and House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries will deliver his State of the District address at Brooklyn Tech H.S.

At 6:45 Thursday, Community Preservation Coalition Queens will hold a town hall meeting at the Kew Gardens Community Center to hear testimony in opposition to a new jail the city plans to build in Queens.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, City Council Member Costa Constantinides will deliver his State of the District address at PS 2 in East Elmhurst.

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

At 3 p.m. Saturday, State Senator James Sanders will host a debate on the the potential legalization of marijuana in the state and its impact on his district, including “possible abuse and addiction,” taxation, small business owners “having a hand in the market,” and expunging records. The event will take place at Roy Wilkins Park’s Black Spectrum Theatre in Jamaica.

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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