New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
The week begins with many eyes on the apparent death by suicide of Jeffrey Epstein in federal prison in Manhattan, news of which broke on Saturday morning. While conspiracy theories are swirling, Mayor Bill de Blasio and many others are calling for a full investigation. Federal prosecutors who were bringing a child prostitution case against Epstein said that the "conspiracy" case against Epstein's alleged co-conspirators would move ahead.
De Blasio was in Iowa over the weekend, as was Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and many other members of the Democratic presidential primary field -- it was the Iowa state fair, among other key events on the primary campaign schedule. De Blasio and many others also spoke at a "gun sense" candidate forum hosted by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the gun control organization he founded, Everytown for Gun Safety, and spinoff groups like Moms Demand, whose leader, Shannon Watts, co-moderated the event. De Blasio continues to draw small crowds for his own campaign stops, though he has been making the rounds on cable TV news, from this past week's appearance on Fox News' Sean Hannity to Sunday stops on CSPAN, CNN, and MSNBC.
The mayor has been pushing hard for $1 donations in his attempt to make the September debate stage based on rules set by the Democratic National Committee, calling in favors with allies -- from Orthodox Jewish leaders to labor unions -- to reach out to their community members to ask for donations to de Blasio, and noting that no endorsement or other commitment is involved.
As the Iowa forum indicated, this week will see continued attention on the issue of gun violence around the country and in New York City.
Also back in the city, we're awaiting more news on the fate of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whom an NYPD administrative judge has said should be removed from the force for misconduct in the death of Eric Garner. The decision will lie with Commissioner James O'Neill, who may not yet have the full paperwork from the attorneys involved that will allow him to trigger his decision-making process. De Blasio has promised resolution this month.
Perhaps most pressingly this week, the Child Victims Act takes effect across New York, including a one-year "look back" window that allows child sex abuse survivors to bring civil lawsuits against their alleged perpetrators. A major push will begin this week from advocacy groups, service providers, legislators, attorneys, and others to make sure that New Yorkers know about the CVA and its provisions.
As usual in August, there are not that many specific political events on the calendar, though there are some -- see our day-by-day rundown below -- highlighted by a City Council Stated Meeting, where bills are passed and introduced, and by the annual City & State NY education summit.
***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
The run of the week in detail:
Monday, August 12
Mayor de Blasio returns to New York City from Iowa on Monday. In the evening, he'll appear on NY1's Inside City Hall during the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.
Governor Cuomo has no events on his public schedule for Monday.
At 10 a.m. Monday, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will deliver remarks at the opening of Dunkirk Pier and Harbor.
At 10:30 a.m. Monday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will appear on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show.
At 1 p.m. Monday, there will be a “Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. Rally to Stop the Flow of Illegal Guns” calling on federal officials to stop the flow of illegal guns into New York from other states, at the Javits federal building. Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be among those who participate.
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will be on News12 for his monthly “Ask the Borough President” session.
At 7 p.m. Monday, the Manhattan Democratic Party will host its 2019 Judicial Convention, at which “the Judicial Delegates elected on June 25th will convene in order to elect the Democratic nominees for two New York Supreme Court seats that will appear on the November ballot.”
Tuesday, August 13
At the City Council on Tuesday:
-At 11 a.m., the Committee on Housing and Buildings will meet to discuss a new bill concerning relocation expenses incurred by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
-At 12 p.m., the Committee on General Welfare will meet to discuss eleven bills concerning accessibility and transparency at the Department of Social Services. A resolution calling on the state government to provide a grace period for SNAP benefits will also be introduced.
At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals will hold a public hearing.
At 10 a.m. Tuesday in Times Square, “Safe Horizon - the largest victims service organization in the country - will unveil a wide ranging public awareness campaign in Times Square to educate adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse about their rights under the newly enacted Child Victims Act. The launch will debut a video and ad PSA campaign featuring survivors, including New York State lawmakers: Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, and Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte. Clear Channel has generously donated digital billboard space. The launch will happen the day before a one year window opens, allowing survivors to sue their abusers or liable institutions, no matter how old they are or how long ago the abuse happened. The window closes on August 14th, 2020. Survivors who were 23 or older on the day the bill was signed (February 14th, 2019) must take advantage of the window if they want to seek justice in the courts...Safe Horizon has launched a comprehensive website on the new law that answers frequently asked questions and provides guidance for survivors seeking legal assistance.” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, and others -- including the aforementioned legislators and other survivors -- will also participate in Tuesday’s event.
At noon Tuesday, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will attend the University of Albany School of Education Inaugural Summit, at the Albany Convention Center.
The latest episode of the What’s The [Data] Point? podcast from Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission will post on Tuesday afternoon and feature an interview with New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman about the charter school sector in the city, the sector’s relationships with Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, and more.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will host an India Independence Day Celebration at Queens Borough Hall.
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Empire State Indivisible will hold a team meeting, joined by state Senator Julia Salazar and Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, “who will give us some inside info on how we can best prepare for 2020!”
Wednesday, August 14
At the City Council on Wednesday:
-At 10 a.m., the Committee on Finance will meet to discuss three land use applications, as well as a resolution concerning “changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Expense Budget.”
-At 10:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet to discuss two land use applications in Brooklyn.
-At 10:45 a.m., the Committee on Women and Gender Equality will meet to discuss a resolution in support of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.
-Also at 10:45 a.m., the Committee on Land Use will meet to discuss five land use applications.
-At 1:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, the City Council will hold a stated meeting at which bills that have been voted through committee are passed by the full Council and new bills are introduced. It will be preceded, as usual, by a pre-stated press conference led by Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
At 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, BetaNYC will host a bagel breakfast briefing with the NYC 311’s Open Data Team to “learn about 311 datasets available to the public, discuss impacts to the datasets from a recent system upgrade, talk about future work, and answer your questions.”
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday in Manhattan outside Supreme Court, “A rally will be held demanding that the Archdiocese of New York, Diocese of Brooklyn and Diocese of Rockville Centre help survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York, consisting of several survivors, their attorneys, and supporters of survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Survivor Lexington Filipowski will speak after he files his lawsuit under the new New York Child Victims Act. Filipowski will be one of the very first survivors to file a lawsuit under the CVA. Participants will hold signs that describe how they have been hurt by child sexual abuse by a clergy member. Participants will also have the opportunity to speak if they wish. No one will be identified by name unless they wish to be identified.”
At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Civilian Complaint Review Board will hold its August public board meeting. “Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about police-community relations and learn about key Agency updates. Investigators will be available to receive complaints of misconduct.”
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, this week’s Max & Murphy show on WBAI radio will feature a long, in-depth interview with City Council Member Joe Borelli, a Staten Island Republican, about his campaign for Public Advocate, and the status and future of the New York GOP. Tune in at 99.5FM or wbai.org.
At 11 p.m. Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio will appear on The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Thursday, August 15
From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday, City & State NY will host its 2019 Education Summit, offering “industry executives, public sector leaders and academics the opportunity to share ideas and debate critical issues such as school choice, closing the achievement gap, and school safety.” Speakers will include DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza; state Senators John Liu, Shelley Mayer, and Toby Ann Stavisky; Council Members Donovan Richards and Mark Treyger; Assembly Member Michael Benedetto; and many others.
At 10 a.m. Thursday, the NYC Campaign Finance Board will hold a board meeting.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Riders Alliance will hold a happy hour for better transit, with state Senator Michael Gianaris.
Friday, August 16
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m. Friday.
by Joey Fox and Ben Max