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Ranked-Choice Debate; Election Day; Puerto Rico Somos Summit; & More: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 4

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Election Day is Tuesday! New York's first-ever early voting period is over, ending its nine-day run on Sunday, and Monday is a day for near-final campaigning. In New York City there are very few races on the ballot in what is the quietest of the four-year election cycle that otherwise includes presidential (next in 2020), mayoral (next in 2021), and gubernatorial (next in 2022) elections, not to mention state legislative and congressional elections every other year (next in 2020).

This year there's a Public Advocate election, but only because the seat was prematurely vacated at the start of the year by now-Attorney General Letitia James. After Jumaane Williams won a special election in February to serve the rest of this year, he now must defend the seat to see who holds the citywide post for the rest of the term, meaning 2020 and 2021. Williams, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Joe Borelli and Libertarian Devin Balkind. [Hear all three Public Advocate candidates on the Max & Murphy podcast.]

There's also a second special election of sorts for Williams' old City Council seat in Brooklyn's 45th District. And, there's a regularly scheduled Queens District Attorney election, with Democrat Melinda Katz, currently the Queens Borough President, heavily favored to win after eeking out the primary in a recount [Read: Melinda Katz's Path to the Precipice of Becoming Queens DA]. There are also judicial elections on the ballot. And, lastly, there are five "yes" or "no" questions on the back of the ballot (in tiny font) asked city voters to approve or disapprove a total of 19 city charter amendments that would alter city elections and governance. Two of those -- questions one and two -- have proved contentious. Question one includes instituting a ranked-choice voting system in some city elections and question two would alter and bolster the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), which investigates allegations of police misconduct.

After much attention on the election on Monday and Tuesday, most of the New York political world will shift its focus to Puerto Rico for the rest of the week and into the weekend for the annual Somos conference.

Still, there are a variety of other 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, November 4

The Board of Regents will meet on Monday and Tuesday in Albany. 

At the City Council on Monday:
--At 9:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will hold a hearing.
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Small Business will hold an oversight hearing on safety issues facing small businesses and related legislation.
--At 1 p.m., the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings and Dispositions will hold a hearing.

At 10 a.m. Monday, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will attend the groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting for Ezra Medical Center in Brooklyn.

There will be dueling Monday rallies in support of and against ranked-choice voting, with New York City voters in the midst of deciding via ballot referendum whether such a system will be adopted for party primary and special elections for city-level offices. At 10:30 a.m. a long list of elected officials and advocates led by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Common Cause NY, and others will rally at City Hall in favor of a “yes” vote on ballot question one, which includes ranked-choice voting. At noon, another long list of elected officials and advocates, led by the City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus, will rally at City Hall Park in favor of a “no” vote on question one. While many votes have already been cast via early voting, Election Day is Tuesday and still expected to see the bulk of this year’s vote.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday at City Hall, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will speak at the 'Rank the Vote' rally in support of ranked-choice voting. At 11 a.m. in Brooklyn, Williams will join “RWDSU to Demand Justice for 'Housing Works' Workers.” At 4 p.m., Williams will attend a march and rally for police accountability, joining “Arc of Justice and a coalition of advocates for a march to the NYPD 84th Precinct, as well as a press conference held there.”

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will make an announcement at St. George Theatre on Staten Island.

At 12 p.m. Monday, the State Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection, the State Senate Standing Committee on Health, and the State Senate Standing Committee on Education will jointly hold a public hearing at 250 Broadway to “investigate the safety and potential harms of electronic cigarettes and vaping, especially among school-aged youth.”

At 6:15 p.m. Monday, First Lady Chirlane McCray "will deliver remarks at a panel discussion featuring artists from Gracie Mansion’s exhibition, She Persists: A Century of Women Artists in New York 1919- 2019."

At 7 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks at the Fort Greene Association Open Meeting in Brooklyn.

Mayor de Blasio will appear in his weekly segment on NY1's Inside City Hall with host Errol Louis on Monday in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

Tuesday, November 5
Tuesday is Election Day. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, November 6
At 8 a.m. Wednesday, Citizens Budget Commission will welcome New York City First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan at a Trustee Breakfast, where “Fuleihan will discuss key Administration priorities in a question-and-answer session with CBC President Andrew Rein.”

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the State Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities will hold a public hearing on veterans mental health and well-being at Clarkstown Town Hall, New City.

The annual Somos Puerto Rico Conference will begin on Wednesday. At 7 p.m., State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will host a welcome reception at El San Juan Hotel.

Thursday, November 7
At 9 a.m. Thursday, City & State NY will host its 2019 Collaborative Technology Conference on the intersection of government, technology, and industry in New York. Speakers will include John Paul Farmer, Chief Technology Officer, City of New York; Assemblymember Clyde Vanel, chair of the Assembly Subcommittee on Internet and New Technologies; Assemblymember Ron Kim; Cordell Schachter, Chief Technology Officer, New York City Department of Transportation; Deanne Criswell, Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Emergency Management; Matthew Homer, Executive Deputy Superintendent of Research and Innovation, New York State Department of Financial Services; and many others.

Friday, November 8
At 10 a.m. Friday, Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show.

At 10 a.m. Friday, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will deliver remarks at Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Long Island State Veteran’s Home in Stony Brook.

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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