New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
This week the state Legislature will continue its very busy start to the year, including more budget hearings, while Governor Andrew Cuomo will give a speech in Manhattan on Thursday.
The main event of the week might be the first debate in the special election for Public Advocate, which will take place among 10 candidates on Wednesday night (there are 17 candidateson the Feb. 26 ballot). Tuesday will mark just three weeks until the vote; the second debate will be on Feb. 20.
There are several interesting hearings at the City Council this week, but perhaps most notable is the Thursday oversight hearing on police discipline, which comes just after the NYPD received and responded to an independent report commissioned by Commissioner James O'Neill that found the police department's approach to discipline is secretive and inconsistent. O'Neill promised some reforms, while also reiterating support for a state law change that would allow more transparency around officer discipline.
There's a lot to be aware of - see our day-by-day rundown below.
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The run of the week in detail:
At 11:30 a.m. Monday, Governor Cuomo and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will hold a press conference in the state Capitol.
At 1:30 p.m. Monday, "On Monday, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza will make an announcement about Pre-K and 3K. This event is open press. There will be no Q-and-A." The announcement will take place at PS 128 Audubon on West 169th Street.
At the City Council on Monday:
--The Committee on Governmental Operations will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “city agency responsiveness to 311 service requests,” as well as to discuss a proposed law to require 311 operators to indicate to callers when an agency can’t respond to a complaint.
--The Committee on General Welfare will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “client experience at HRA centers,” as well as to discuss several related proposed laws, including to require all HRA Job Center or SNAP employees to undergo de-escalation training, require a social worker to be present at all HRA facilities, and requiring space for children at HRA facilities. "The hearing comes after a highly publicized incident in December when Jazmine Headley entered a Department of Social Services (DSS) Job Center after her child care benefits were terminated. Ms. Headley allegedly waited over four hours to speak to a supervisor and subsequently faced a physical encounter with HRA and NYPD officers as Ms. Headley’s child was removed from her arms."
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will deliver remarks at both Council hearings. Later in the day, in his Acting Public Advocate role, Johnson will continue his five-borough bus rider survey tour in Queens, "talking to bus riders at the Jamaica Center - Parsons/Archer Station in Queens with Council Members Adrienne Adams, Rory Lancman, and I. Daneek Miller."
The State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany.
At 10 a.m. Monday in the Capitol, "Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda will address the human rights violations at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn involving lack of electricity and heat...The senator will be joined by Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Senator Jamaal Bailey."
On Monday, the State Legislature will hold two joint budget hearings: on housing at 11 a.m. and on workforce development at 3 p.m.
The State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.
"Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, Senator Todd Kaminsky, and members of the Senate and Assembly Majority Conferences to announce support for historic legislation to ban oil and natural gas drilling in New York's coastal areas. The legislation (S.2316), sponsored by Senator Kaminsky, will protect Long Island and New York from the Trump Administration’s dangerous offshore drilling expansion efforts. The Senate Majority will pass this critical legislation on Tuesday, February 5."
At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, the State Legislature will hold a joint budget hearing on health and Medicaid.
At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Committee on Public Housing will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “NYCHA management of TPA funds.”
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 10:45 a.m.
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m.
--The Committee on Civil and Human Rights will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “discrimination testing and commission-initiated cases at the NYC Commission on Human Rights.”
At 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the State Legislature will hold a joint budget hearing on elementary and secondary education.
Wednesday at 5 p.m. on WBAI radio, the latest episode of Max & Murphy will air; catch it on 99.5FM or streaming at wbai.org.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, the first of two televised debates in the special election for Public Advocate. There are 10 participating candidates, who met the financial threshold needed, out of the 17 who will be on the February 26 ballot. The debate will air on NY1 and be streamed online by the network, which is co-sponsoring the Campaign Finance Board-sanctioned debate with POLITICO New York, Citizens Union, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Latino Leadership Institute, The League of Women Voters of the City of New York, NAACP New York State Conference Metropolitan Council, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and East Kings County Alumnae Chapter.
At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Committee on Parks and Recreation will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss proposed laws requiring the Parks Department to report more detailed information on its capital expenditures, requiring the Department to provide portable defibrillators to all public pools and staffing all pools with someone trained to use it, and to allow the Department to distribute extra defibrillators to sports leagues after fulfilling their obligation to youth baseball and softball leagues.
--The Committees on Justice System and Public Safety will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding police discipline, and to discuss several related proposed laws, including laws requiring the NYPD to report monthly on complaints of police misconduct, requiring the NYPD to study the feasibility of an “internal disciplinary matrix,” requiring District Attorneys to report detailed information on criminal prosecutions, requiring the NYPD to publish its disciplinary guidelines and reports, requiring the NYPD to provide DAs with disciplinary records, and requiring the NYPD to report on arrests for obstructing government administration and resisting arrest. The committees will also discuss a resolution calling for the state to repeal section 50-a of the civil rights law.
--The Committee on Health will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss a proposed law allowing individuals to request that the name of a physician whose license has been revoked be removed from their birth certificate.
At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the State Legislature will hold a joint budget hearing on mental hygiene.
At 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Governor Cuomo will speak at the Association for a Better New York at the Midtown Hilton, discussing infrastructure.
At 2 p.m. Thursday, the Center for Community and Ethnic Media at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will host a debate for Public Advocate candidates. NY1’s Errol Louis will moderate. The participating candidates are former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Members Rafael Espinal and Ydanis Rodriguez, and Assemblymembers Michael Blake and Nomiki Konst.
Friday and the weekend
At 8:15 a.m. Friday, the Center for New York City Law will host Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton for a “CityLaw Breakfast” focusing on “rebuilding New York’s airports for the 21st century.”
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m. Friday.
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max