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Mayor/Presidential Candidate, MTA Board Meets, State Sexual Harassment Hearing, & More: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 20


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Mayor Bill de Blasio is back after his first weekend on the campaign trail as a candidate for president. The mayor was in early caucus/primary states Iowa and South Carolina over the weekend. On Monday he’ll be in Connecticut for his son Dante’s graduation from Yale, then back to the city and his weekly appearance on NY1 in the evening.

It will be interesting to see if de Blasio has any public campaign events during the week this week, or if he saves that for next weekend. There’s a chance New Yorkers will see a somewhat more active and engaged mayor during the time de Blasio is in the city as he runs for president, he seems set on trying to prove he can both campaign and govern well at the same time. Ironically, this could lead to the mayor showing New Yorkers’ a less aloof version of himself than his reputation affords.

One of many matters of importance happening in New York City, along with the day-to-day of city life and governance, as de Blasio begins his presidential campaign, is that NYPD administrative trial of Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold led to the 2014 death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. The trial began this past week and continues this coming week. De Blasio has been criticized for not firing Pantaleo immediately after Garner’s death, which occurred as Pantaleo and other officers were attempting to arrest him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.

It’s also budget season in the city and the City Council will continue its hearings this week on the mayor’s $92.5 billion expense budget plan for next fiscal year. A budget agreement between the two sides is due by the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

And state legislative session in Albany is in full swing and nearing its final days. This week the Legislature is in session three days, which will leave just 13 more on the calendar until its scheduled June 19 end. Many issues are being pushed and debated, both within each legislative house, between the two majorities, and with Governor Cuomo’s office. The top issues include rent regulations and marijuana legalization, but there are a host of others.

There’s an MTA Board meeting this week and a whole lot more -- 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:

Monday
The New York State Legislature is in session on Monday in Albany.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will be in Connecticut for his son Dante’s college graduation on Monday, then he’ll make his weekly appearance on NY1’s Inside City Hall in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

At 11 a.m. Monday, Governor Cuomo will make an announcement on Lake Ontario flooding.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, "Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Addresses Middle and High School Students at New York Sun Works Youth Conference" in Manhattan. At 12:30 p.m., "Hochul Delivers Remarks at Foreign Policy Association Luncheon with Quebec Premier Francois Legault" in Manhattan. And at 2 p.m., "Hochul Highlights $175 Million Workforce Development Investment During Tour of State Supported Program" at Per Scholas Inc. in Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m. Monday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will host a press conference with other City Council members and Jewish leaders on the “alarming rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes” in the city, at The United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn.

At 10 a.m. Monday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Banks and the Assembly Standing Committee on Local Governments will hold a joint hearing to determine the impact of allowing credit unions to take State and municipal deposits. The committees will hear oral testimony by invitation only.

The following City Council committees will hold executive budget hearings on Monday:
--Education at 10 a.m., regarding the Department of Education and School Construction Authority.
--Economic Development at 2 p.m., regarding the Economic Development Corporation.

The NYPD administrative trial of Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold led to the 2014 death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, will continue on Monday morning.

Monday is this month’s MTA Board committee meetings.

On Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall, Borough President Melinda Katz will chair the monthly meeting of the Queens Borough Board.

Tuesday
The New York State Legislature is in session on Tuesday in Albany.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics will meet Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in Albany.

At 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Comptroller Stringer will appear on “Good Day New York” on FOX5. At 5:30 p.m., Stringer will deliver remarks "at Planned Parenthood of New York City Stop the Bans Rally" in Foley Square.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will give remarks at the Police Conference of New York Convention in Lake Placid.

At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday outside City Hall, "Elected officials, advocates and the city’s three library systems will gather on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday before the budget hearing to urge the City to reconsider proposed cuts this year to libraries, and warn of potential loss of weekend service & smaller collections should funding be reduced. Library leaders and advocates will also decry the lack of inclusion of the city’s libraries in the ten-year capital plan. The three library systems are asking for $150 million to compensate for the lack of inclusion in the plan, and to help with ongoing maintenance of branches across the city that are in need of new roofs, boilers, air conditioners and more." Participants will include the presidents of the three city library systems: Tony Marx (New York Public Library), Dennis Walcott (Queens Public Library), Linda Johnson (Brooklyn Public Library) and City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, Carlos Menchaca, Alan Maisel, and Brad Lander.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday the City Council Committee on Veterans will hold a hearing on a bill in relation to making public the mayor's office of operations' report on veterans receiving certain city services. Also on the agenda are 2 resolutions related to naming a hospital in Manhattan after American Revolutionary War heroine Margaret Corbin, and recognizing the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The following City Council committees will hold executive budget hearings on Tuesday:
--Cultural Affairs, Libraries & International Intergroup Relations at 10 a.m., regarding Libraries and by Department of Cultural Affairs.
--Sanitation & Solid Waste Management at 1 p.m., regarding the Department of Sanitation.
--Transportation at 3 p.m., regarding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

On Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem, there will be a rally held by the Fair Futures campaign, which is aimed at improving services for foster youth.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday in Brooklyn, "Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett will announce the results of a long-term investigation."

At noon Tuesday in Albany, bill sponsors Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and Senator Jessica Ramos, other legislators, the SWEAT Coalition, and people victimized by wage theft will rally to support: “SWEAT legislation (A0486/S2844) will level the playing field for law abiding businesses, and will increase revenue for New York State by hundreds of millions of dollars.”

At 1 p.m. Tuesday in Albany, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and other legislators, including Senators Alessandra Biaggi and Jessica Ramos, and advocates will hold a press conference “to discuss legislation to expand protections for employees experiencing harassment and discrimination” specifically “bill A7083A, a bill that would enact comprehensive reforms including eliminating the “severe or pervasive” standard and the Faragher/Ellerth defense.” Those participating will include representatives of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, National Employment Lawyers Association, National Women’s Law Center, A Better Balance, and Girls for Gender Equity.

The Sexual Harassment Working Group is pushing “a 10-bill agenda for passage this legislative session; includes ending the "severe or pervasive" standard and amending the state constitution.” Tuesday’s press conference comes ahead of a Friday hearing on sexual harassment that the state Legislature will hold in Manhattan (see below).

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, in Foley Square in Manhattan, "Mayor de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Planned Parenthood NYC Rally to Stop The Bans."

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, "Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host the borough’s annual Dominican Heritage Celebration, in partnership with the Dominican Day Parade, at The Bronx County Building’s Veterans’ Memorial Hall. The event will honor the 2019 Dominican Day Parade leadership and will present a special “Adopted Dominican Award” to Gus Tyras."

Tuesday evening in Albany is the annual Legislative Correspondents’ Association Show.

Wednesday
The New York State Legislature is in session on Wednesday in Albany.

Wednesday beginning at 9 a.m. is this month’s MTA Board meeting.

Wednesday is “Bike to Work Day” in the city, with a variety of efforts to encourage biking and many groups and elected officials organizing and participating in group biking. That list includes Transportation Alternatives, StreetsPAC, the City Council’s Progressive Caucus, and others.

From 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, the Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development will hold a hearing on rent regulation and tenant protection legislation.

The following City Council committees will hold executive budget hearings on Wednesday:
--General Welfare from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., regarding Human Resources Administration and Homeless Services.
--General Welfare, and Justice System from 12:15 to 1 p.m., regarding the Office of Civil Justice.
--General Welfare, and Juvenile Justice from 1 to 2 p.m., regarding Administration for Children’s Services
--Parks and Recreation, and the Finance Subcommittee on Capital Budget at 2:30 p.m., regarding Parks and Recreation

At 1 p.m. Wednesday, the City Council Committee on Justice System, jointly with the Committees on Finance and General Welfare will hold an oversight hearing regarding preparation for the Implementation of Bail, Speedy Trial, and Discovery Reform.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, this week’s Max & Murphy show will air on WBAI radio, 99.5FM or wbai.org. This week’s show will focus on climate change and the city’s efforts to de-carbonize, fight global warming, and prepare for future extreme weather. Mayor de Blasio’s lead climate advisor, Dan Zarrilli, will be a guest.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Citizens Union will host its annual Spring for Reform event. This year’s, titled “Can we count on you?,” is Citizens Union’s “look at the 2020 Census,” and will include remarks by city Census Director Julie Menin, City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, who co-chairs the Council’s Census Task Force, and Melva Miller, who is leading Census efforts for the Association for a Better New York. NY1’s Pat Kiernan will moderate the discussion. Citizens Union Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum will speak at the event as well.

Thursday
Beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, City & State will host its 2019 Digital New York Summit, which will include a variety of speakers and panel discussions “on the innovative ideas being used to improve the delivery of services to both citizens and government agencies.” Discussions will include “How New York Can Remain a Global Leader in Tech,” “Data Security in New York: Where We Stand,” “Transportation and Smart Cities Technology,” and “How Technology is Transforming Daily Life for All New Yorkers.”

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations and Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development will hold a joint hearing to examine how code enforcement across New York State can be enhanced or assisted.

From 2:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, the Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development will hold a hearing on rent regulation and tenant protection legislation.

The City Council will hold its final executive budget hearing on Thursday, with testimony from the Department of Finance, Comptroller Scott Stringer, the Independent Budget Office, and the Office of Management and Budget.

On Thursday at 5 p.m., Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will speak at John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s MPA Program, Security Management, Emergency Protection Hooding Ceremony.

At 6 p.m. Thursday in Manhattan, a panel discussion hosted by City Limits: "Mapping the Future: Can a comprehensive plan work?" It will be moderated by City Limits' Executive Editor Jarrett Murphy and include City Council Member Brad Lander; Emily Goldstein, Director of Organizing and Advocacy at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development; Sandra Lobo, Executive Director of Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition; Stephen Smith, Member of Open New York; and Zachary Bernstein, Member of the Real Estate Board of New York's Zoning Committee.

Friday
At 10 a.m. Friday, the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, the Senate Standing Committee on Ethics and Internal Governance, the Senate Standing Committee on Women's Issues, the Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations, the Assembly Standing Committee on Labor, and the Task Force on Women's Issues will hold a joint hearing on sexual harassment in the workplace.

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

On Friday at 10 a.m. at Bronx Borough Hall, there will be a rally held by the Fair Futures campaign, which is aimed at improving services for foster youth.

***
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
@GothamGazette



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