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Early Voting Continues; Council Member King’s Fate; City Council Passes Major Legislation; & More: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 28


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

The inaugural session of early voting in New York began on Saturday and continues throughout this week. Find hours for each day in New York City here; find your poll site here. Early voting goes through Sunday, November 3, then there is one day with no voting before Election Day, November 5. See what's on your ballot here.

This week will be a very busy one at the City Council, starting with a full Council vote on discipline for Council Member Andy King, a Bronx Democrat, for a variety of abuses of his power. He's facing suspension by the Council, among other punishments, while he vows to fight the charges, which have been substantiated by an outside investigator and the Council's ethics committee, led by Council Member Steven Matteo, a Republican from Staten Island. King is facing the drafted punishments that the full City Council will vote on Monday, but also calls for his resignation from Speaker Corey Johnson, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and others.

The week will also feature several important oversight hearings and hearings on key pieces of legislation, as well as a full Council Stated Meeting to pass legislation, which is expected to include Speaker Corey Johnson’s legislation to mandate a five-year master plan for city streets with more bike and bus lanes and pedestrian plazas and Council Member Antonio Reynoso’s bill to create private waste-hauler zones and limits on franchise agreements.

Tuesday is the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hitting New York City. The Council will hold an oversight hearing on the city's rebuilding and resiliency efforts since, as well as on related legislation. [Read our three-part series, "7 Years After Sandy"

The week will also see more discussion of weekend events involving the NYPD, including an incident in Brownsville that left an officer in a coma and the alleged perpetrator dead from police gunfire, and a brawl between police officers and civilians on a Brooklyn subway platform.

On a related note, we're waiting this week for the promised release by the NYPD of its official policy on release of footage from body-worn cameras that are now being worn by all patrol officers. Early this month an NYPD spokesperson told Gotham Gazette that the policy would be released by the end of October.

It was a busy weekend for Governor Andrew Cuomo, who on Friday announced he was issuing “a proclamation declaring October 27, 2019, the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., as a "Day of Action to Combat Anti-Semitism." The proclamation was presented Sunday at Central Synagogue in Manhattan, where Mayor Bill de Blasio gave remarks as part of the day of action.

On Saturday Cuomo participated in “the second in a series of conferences to raise awareness about the state's Red Flag gun safety law that went into effect this year” and “launched a grassroots effort to bolster his "Make America Safer" campaign -- a four point plan to curb gun violence on the national level. The Governor has called on Democratic presidential candidates to endorse the "Make America Safer" pledge -- and today Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives joined the Governor's call for candidates to sign the pledge.” The four planks are: “outlaw assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; create a mental health database to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing a firearm; pass universal background checks closing the private gun sales loophole; pass Red Flag legislation preventing individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm.”

Also on Saturday, Cuomo “announced an early voting public awareness campaign....New Yorkers can text "Early Voting" to 81336 to receive early voting information via text message. Additionally, the campaign includes a new web page where New Yorkers can easily find their polling place for early voting. The Governor also announced the launch of a social media campaign throughout the early voting period to raise awareness and inform New Yorkers about early voting.”

Cuomo then tweeted with excitement that on Sunday he “toured the Moynihan Train Hall construction site.”

There are a variety of events to be aware of this week -- 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, October 28
On Monday Mayor Bill de Blasio will "deliver remarks at the Queens County Democrats Pre-Election Party," which is closed to press. In the 7 and 11 p.m. hours, de Blasio will appear on NY1's Inside City Hall during his usual weekly segment.

At the City Council on Monday: at 1:30 p.m., the Council will hold a meeting on a resolution to discipline Council Member Andy King for a variety of abuses of power.

At 9 a.m. Monday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will speak on a panel at the Catskill Watershed Farm-to-Chef Forum at Pace University. At 8 p.m. Brewer will speak at the NoHo-Bowery Stakeholders annual meeting.

At the State Legislature on Monday:
--The State Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities will hold a public hearing to discuss eating disorders, treatment, and recovery at 10 a.m. Monday at Clarkstown Town Hall in New City.
--The State Senate Standing Committee on Codes will hold a public hearing on the implementation of Discovery Reform at 10 a.m. Monday in Albany. 
--At 1 p.m. Monday, the State Senate Committee on Higher Education will hold a public hearing at SUNY New Paltz to examine the “cost of public higher education and its effects on student financial aid programs, state support, TAP/GAP, student borrowing and other challenges to affordability and accessibility.”

At 1:30 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will host a roundtable with Rockaway Jewish Community Stakeholders. At 5 p.m. Stringer will host a pop-up town hall outside the Forest Hills-71 Ave subway station in Queens. At 6:30 p.m., Stringer will host a Diwali celebration in Queens.

At 2 p.m. Monday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will host a press conference outside the Jay Street-Metrotech subway station “to call for modified assignment and increased NYPD de-escalation training after Jay Street-Metrotech Station incident.” At 6:30 p.m., Adams will join the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) for a “What’s On Tap” young professionals event.

On Monday afternoon Ben Max of Gotham Gazette and Jarrett Murphy of City Limits will tape the latest Max & Murphy podcast with guest James Oddo, the Staten Island Borough President. The episode will be available Monday evening. 

At 5:30 p.m. Monday at Foley Square, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will join “the 'National Day of Outrage' Protest.” “The Public Advocate will join the Arc of Justice, Justice League NYC, G.M.A.C.C., and a coalition of advocacy groups for the event as part of a national day of action demanding justice for Atatiana Jefferson and others. The groups will march from Foley Square to 1 Police Plaza.”

At 5:30 p.m. Monday at Queens Borough Hall, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey will brief the Queens Borough Board, chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz, on the JFK redevelopment program.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Regional Plan Association is hosting "Outer Borough Transit," a presentation from RPA and panel discussion featuring State Senator Jessica Ramos, Assemblymember Latrice Walker, Samara Karasyk of Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Nick Sifuentes of Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and moderator Ben Max of Gotham Gazette. The event will take place at Brooklyn Historical Society.

On Monday at 6:30 p.m., the New York City Bar Association will host a panel discussion on the 2019 charter revision ballot proposals. Speakers will include Charter Revision Commissioners Sal Albanese and Sateesh Nori; Indiana Porta, the Director of Outreach and Counsel for the 2019 Charter Revision Commission; and Jonathan Darche, Executive Director of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Education Fund will host its 2019 Annual Benefit and Silent Auction at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Honorees include author Angie Thomas; Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie; Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; State Senator Brian Kavanagh; and Youth Over Guns, NYAGV’s youth advocacy group. 

Tuesday, October 29
Tuesday is the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hitting New York City.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will host the fifth annual “Surviving & Thriving: Domestic Violence Awareness Day of Empowerment” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at Borough Hall. It will include a discussion on a domestic violence agenda, led by Brooklyn City Council Member Farah Louis.

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--At 12 p.m., the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management will hold a hearing on multiple bills
--At 1 p.m., the Committee on Governmental Operations, the Committee on Immigration, and the Committee on State and Federal Legislation will jointly hold an oversight hearing in preparation for a complete count of the 2020 Census.
--At 1 p.m., the Committee on Resiliency and Waterfronts and the Committee on Environmental Protection will jointly hold an oversight hearing on the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and hear related bills.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday in Manhattan, the Assembly Standing Committee on Health will hold a public hearing on Youth Tackle Football.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday in Manhattan, the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals will hold its next public hearing.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics will hold a meeting in Albany.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the State Public Campaign Financing Commission will hold a public hearing at the Burchfield Penney Arts Center in Buffalo.

At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in Manhattan, the State Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Governmental Operations, Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations, and the Legislative Commission on Governmental Administration will jointly hold a public hearing on New York State’s response to federal government shutdowns. 

The State Senate Standing Committee on Education and the State Senate Standing Committee on Budget and Revenue will jointly hold a public meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Syracuse Center for Excellence to “hear stakeholder input regarding the components of the Foundation Aid formula in relation to student, district and community needs with a goal of greater equity in school financing.” 

At 6 p.m. Monday, the New York State Assembly Manhattan delegation will hold a town hall with tenants on the NYCHA Crisis, at the Johnson Houses Community Center. Attending state Assembly members will include Robert J. Rodriguez, Yuh-Line Niou, and Harvey Epstein. NYCHA representatives will also be on hand.

Wednesday, October 30
At the City Council on Wednesday:
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Finance will hold hearings on multiple bills including one that would authorize five existing Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) throughout the City to increase the amount they expend annually.
--At 1:30 p.m. the Council will hold a Stated Meeting to pass and introduce bills. Speaker Corey Johnson will host the usual pre-Stated press conference at 12:30 p.m.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Joint State Senate Task Force on Opioids, Addiction and Overdose Prevention will hold a public meeting in Buffalo 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. Wednesday, the State Senate Standing Committee on Higher Education will hold a public hearing at SUNY Buffalo to examine the “cost of public higher education and its effects on student financial aid programs, state support, TAP/GAP, student borrowing and other challenges to affordability and accessibility.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will host “Meet the Judges: A Discussion with Invited Jurists About Law Related Topics” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Borough Hall. Speakers will include Theresa Ciccotto, Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, Civil Matters; Deborah A. Dowling, New York State, Supreme Court Justice, Civil Matters; Cheryl Gonzalez, Supervising Judge, Kings County Housing Court; Lorna Mcallister, New York City, Civil Court Judge; Lisa S. Ottley, New York State, Supreme Court Justice, Civil Matters; Harriet Thompson, Surrogate, Kings County, Surrogate Court; Carolyn Wade, Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, Civil Matters; and Craig Walker, Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, Criminal Term. It will be moderated by Robin K. Sheares, Acting Justice Supreme Court. 

Thursday, October 31
Crain’s NY Business and Tech:NYC will together present the Future of New York City Tech Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday in Manhattan. Speakers will include Daniel Ramot, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Via; Laura Fox, Citi Bike General Manager, Bikes and Scooters, Lyft; Rachel Haot, Executive Director, Transit Innovation Partnership; James Patchett, President & CEO, New York City Economic Development Corporation; Rohit Aggarwala, Head of Urban Systems, Sidewalk Labs; Diniece Mendes, Director, Office of Freight Mobility, New York City Department of Transportation; City Council Member Keith Powers; Jessica Schumer, Executive Director, Friends of the BQX; and others.

At 9 a.m. Thursday, the New York City Board of Correction will hold a public meeting in Manhattan.

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy will host an “Urban Food Policy Forum: New York City & State Budgets and Food Spending” at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Speakers will include Marrisa Martin, Executive Director, The Advocacy Institute; James Parrott, Senior Director for Fiscal and Economic Policy, Center for New York City Affairs; and Liz Accles, Executive Director, Community Food Advocates. The panel will be moderated by Craig Willingham, Deputy Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute.

At the City Council on Thursday:
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Health and the Committee on Hospitals will jointly hold an oversight hearing on health access in New York City and the roll out of NYC Care, and will discuss related bills. 
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations will hold an oversight hearing on upcoming capital projects in libraries and will hold hearings on multiple bills. 
--At 1 p.m., the Committee on General Welfare will hold a hearing on multiple bills in relation to the Administration for Child Services (ACS).

At 1 p.m. Thursday, the State Senate Standing Committee on Higher Education will hold a public hearing at SUNY Oswego in Syracuse to examine the “cost of public higher education and its effects on student financial aid programs, state support, TAP/GAP, student borrowing and other challenges to affordability and accessibility.”

Friday, November 1
At 10 a.m. Friday, Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. 

At 12 p.m. Friday, the State Senate Committee on Higher Education will hold a public hearing at the Nassau Community College to examine the “cost of public higher education and its effects on student financial aid programs, state support, TAP/GAP, student borrowing and other challenges to affordability and accessibility.”

***
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
@GothamGazette



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