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First Responder Mental Health; NYPD Status Report; Climate Strike; & More: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, September 16

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Mayor Bill de Blasio begins the week in South Carolina, where he has been campaigning for president over the past few days. De Blasio is set to return to the city Monday evening. De Blasio missed another annual event he has traditionally attended when on Sunday the African American Day Parade took place without him; he's previously missed the Puerto Rican and Dominican Day Parades while campaigning for the Democratic nomination and polling at 1% or under.

After missing the cutoff for last week's Democratic primary debate, de Blasio has said that if on October 1 he doesn't meet the requirements for the October debate, he will reassess his campaign. He needs 130,000 individual donors to his campaign and to hit 2% in four different national polls considered qualifying by the Democratic National Committee. There were 10 candidates in Thursday night's debate, which had the same qualifying thresholds, and it looks like at least one or two more might make the October debate, meaning it will be over two nights instead of one.

De Blasio, New Yorkers, and others will see a sharp contract to the mayor's struggling campaign on Monday evening when, as de Blasio is returning from campaign events in front of small gatherings of people in South Carolina, Senator Elizabeth Warren will be giving a major speech in Washington Square Park that is likely to draw thousands of people.

In government news, as the week begins we're following the developing story of how city and state government are moving to combat increasing use of electonic nicotine, otherwise known as vaping or e-cigarettes. The City Council has been considering two related bills that include a ban flavored e-cigarettes, which recently received support from Speaker Johnson, but on Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo took "emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in New York State - the latest in a series of actions to combat the increasing number of youth using vape products."

This week includes a variety of interesting and important hearings and other events -- see details and the day-by-day rundown below -- including a City Council hearing on mental health among first responders that takes place amid a spike in police officer suicides. NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill will also give a speech at an event Thursday morning, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will co-host a town hall in Manhattan with Council Member Keith Powers, Brooklyn City Council Member Carlos Menchaca will hold a public event to solicit feedback as he considers whether to agree to a rezoning of Industry City in his district, and much more.

We're also awaiting details of the MTA's next five-year capital plan, which is being quietly crafted behind the scenes as the deadline for the MTA Board to pass it is coming up soon. The plan is expected to outline more than $30 billion in spending over the next five years on signal upgrades, new subway cars, investments in the commuter rails, and much more.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
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The run of the week in detail:

Monday, September 16
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will continue his annual statewide tour in Cortland and Tompkins Counties on Monday.

At 9 a.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will host a roundtable discussion on his “NYC Under 3” childcare proposal at United Neighborhood Houses in Manhattan.

At 9 a.m. Monday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will deliver remarks at NYU Tandon Conference on Energy & Mobility in conjunction with the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the German American Chamber. At 6 p.m., Adams will host "a public forum on Clark Street subway station renovations with Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, and Congress Member Nydia Velázquez" at Saint Francis College.

On Monday art 10 a.m., "The Committee on Standards and Ethics will continue its disciplinary hearing concerning Council Member Andy King. Please note this meeting is in executive session and will be closed to the public."

At 10 a.m. Monday, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs will join ArtBridge and Google to celebrate the first public artwork installed under the City Canvas pilot initiative at the Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly Playground.

At 11 a.m. Monday, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will announce the 2019 Police Officers of the Year at Syracuse Police Department. At 6:15 p.m., Hochul will announce the top teams for the Buffalo Skyway Corridor Competition.

At 11 a.m. Monday, the Joint Senate Task Force on Opioids, Addiction and Overdose Prevention will hold a public meeting at St. Johns’ Staten Island campus “to hear from stakeholders on strategies for reducing overdoses, improving individual and community health, and addressing the harmful consequences of drug use.”

At 1 p.m., State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will hold a press conference at Schenectady Fire Station to release his latest Smart Tech report. He will be joined by Mayor Gary McCarthy, Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara, and representatives from National Grid. Afterward, DiNapoli will attend the ABLE Information Session with Assemblymember Santabarbara at the Schenectady County Public Library.

At 5 p.m. Monday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will honor Congressional Rep. John Lewis at the FBA SDNY 2019 Presidential Rule of Law Award Ceremony. Williams will present Lewis with "a proclamation in recognition of his work that spans decades, as the Federal Bar Association SDNY Chapter honors him with the 2019 Presidential Rule of Law Award."

At 7 p.m. Monday, presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren will deliver a speech “on how corruption in Washington has allowed the rich and powerful to tilt the rules and grow richer and more powerful. The speech will be at Washington Square Park, near the site of the former Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.” Warren has been endorsed by a number of local city officials, including Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Council Members Brad Lander, Antonio Reynoso, and Jimmy Van Bramer.

At 6 p.m. Monday, City & State NY will hold its 2019 Bronx Power 100 reception. Speakers will include Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and New York City Health + Hospitals Vice President Theodore Long.

At 6 p.m. Monday, City Council Member Carlos Menchaca will host a community conversation, “Should Sunset Park Rezone Industry City?” at Sunset Park High School.

The 2019 New York City Charter Revision Commission will hold an information session at John Jay School of Criminal Justice about its ballot proposals from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday.

U.S. Sentaor Kirsten Gillibrand will appear on NY1's Inside City Hall Monday evening in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

At 7 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will host a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Tuesday, September 17
The 74th session of the UN General Assembly begins Tuesday in Manhattan.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will continue his annual statewide tour Tuesday with stops in Liverpool, Fayetteville, and Manlius.

At 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will appear live on “PIX 11 Morning News.” At 9:45 a.m., Johnson will deliver remarks at a rally in support of his streets master plan bill with Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives, at 250 Broadway.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, "Mayor de Blasio will present the Alvarez family with a Key to the City to honor the late Detective Luis Alvarez." "In the afternoon, the Mayor will travel to Pennsylvania. He will return to New York City in the evening."

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Veterans will hold an oversight hearing about VetConnect NYC.
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Finance will hold a hearing on several bills.
--At 1 p.m., the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations will hold an oversight hearing on the Diversity in Cultural Institutions as part of the Cultural affairs’ diversity study.
--At 1 p.m., the Committee on Public Safety, the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction, and the Committee on Fire and Emergency Management will meet jointly for an oversight hearing on “Preventing Suicide and Promoting Mental Health for First Responders” and to discuss related legislation.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the State Legislative Commission on Rural Resources and Assembly Committee on Local Governments will hold a public hearing on “rural broadband” to “identify current broadband needs in rural New York State.”

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will hold a press conference on "National Grid denying service to New Yorkers. The Public Advocate will join constituents, elected officials, and advocates to condemn National Grid's efforts to deny service to New Yorkers via a moratorium and their attempts to make those affected lobby on behalf of the Williams pipeline." The event will occur outside the National Grid Brooklyn office. At 5:30 p.m., Williams will join a "Day of Action on the New Public Charge Rule" in the Bronx, joining "advocates to distribute information and raise awareness of the new public charge rules, and to engage with communities about the census, citizenship and voter registration."

At noon, Crain’s New York Business will host its Most Powerful Women in New York luncheon. Speakers will include Andrea Stewart-Cousins, majority leader of the New York State Senate; Mary Ann Tighe, CEO of the New York tri-state region CBRE; LaRay Brown, CEO of One Brooklyn Health System Inc. and Interfaith Medical Center; and Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO of Wealth and Asset Management at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

At 5:30 p.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the New York Immigration Coalition will host a Queens town hall on the “public charge” rule at Queens Borough Hall.

On Tuesday evening, the city Department of Design and Construction is holding a public hearing on the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be among those who testify.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday in Brooklyn, Senator Zellnor Myrie is hosting "Census 2020: Crown Heights Counts."

The 2019 New York City Charter Revision Commission will hold an information session at the College of Staten Island, informing voters about its ballot proposals, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, City Council Member Keith Powers and Council Speaker Corey Johnson are hosting a town hall meeting, 6:30 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Wednesday, September 18
At the City Council on Wednesday:
--At 9:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet.
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Aging will hold an oversight hearing about protecting seniors from extreme heat and cold.
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Civil and Human Rights will meet on several pieces of legislation.
--At 1 p.m., the Committee on Hospitals will meet on two bills, including one that requires medical schools to train all students about “implicit bias.”
--At 1 p.m., the Committee on Economic Development, the Committee on Education, and the Committee on General Welfare will jointly meet on several bills related to healthy eating and lifestyles, among other related topics.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the State Public Campaign Financing Commission will hold a public hearing at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, this week’s Max & Murphy show will air on WBAI radio, 99.5 FM and, and feature a conversation with Steve Banks, the commissioner for the New York City Department of Social Services, focused on homelessness and other aspects of his portfolio.

At 6 p.m., the New York City Panel for Educational Policy will hold a meeting at the High School of Fashion Industries.

The 2019 New York City Charter Revision Commission will hold an information session at the Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx, informing voters about its ballot proposals, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Thursday, September 19
At 8 a.m. Thursday, the Association for a Better New York will host a breakfast with NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill: “The commissioner will highlight the challenges of sustaining New York's historic crime reductions amid an evolving political climate, and examine public safety as a responsibility shared by everyone who lives and works in our nation's safest city.”

At 8:30 a.m. Thursday at New York Law School, a forum, “Seismic Shifts or Natural Progression? Recent Changes in NYC Real Estate.” Panelists include Louise Carroll, commissioner of NYC Housing Preservation and Development; Lisa Gomez, COO and partner at L+M Development Partners; Brenda Rosen, CEO of Breaking Ground; and James Whelan, President of REBNY.

At City Council on Thursday: At 10 a.m., the Committee on Youth Services will hold an oversight hearing on DYCD’s Adult Literacy Program and discuss a bill that would require bilingual after-school programs.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will attend the grand opening of Hamaspik Home Care, located in Brooklyn.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Manhattan Institute will host a panel titled “Future of Families in the Childless City,” focusing on New York City’s declining birth rate and the attributing causes including “pricey housing, poor schooling, declining public safety, and unwelcoming public spaces.” The panel will include Nolan Gray of the city Department of City Planning; Brad Hargreaves, Chief Executive Officer, Common; Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute and City Journal; and Derek Thompson of The Atlantic.

Friday, September 20
At 10 a.m. Friday, Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show.

The Climate Action Strike will take place Friday in New York City and across the country.  It is part of a movement to raise awareness about environmental degradation and climate change, scheduled for just ahead of the September 23 United Nations Climate Action Summit. Additionally, the New York City Department of Education announced that schools will excuse absences of participating students.

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 Max & Gia Ramesh

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