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Driver's Licenses for All in Effect; Renewed Amazon Debate; Senate Albany Conference; & More: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 9


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week begins with a great deal of focus on two pieces of Albany business: the law passed earlier this year to allow undocumented immigrants access to driver's licenses is set to take effect on Saturday (December 14), though it is the subject of litigation and protest, including from some county clerks who say they won't honor the law.

Meanwhile, one week after Assembly Democrats were in the capital for annual conference meetings, their Senate counterparts are scheduled to gather in Albany. One major topic hanging over the meetings is the binding recommendations from the state campaign finance commission that are set to take effect later this month unless the Legislature acts. A number of lawmakers from both houses have expressed their displeasure with the results of the commission, but it is not at all apparent that there is enough will in either house for action. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie indicated as much this past week after his conference met. This week will show at least some of what Senate Democrats are thinking after they meet.

The week also begins with renewed debate over the ultimately withdrawn deal to bring a major Amazon campus to Queens (where Senate Democrats were a key part of the opposition), given that news broke on Friday in the Wall Street Journal that the e-commerce giant is leasing new space in Hudson Yards for roughly 1,500 employees, far short of the 25,000 promised over many years if the Queens project had moved ahead, albeit with roughly $3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies. 

There's a lot happening this week, with many events to be aware of -- 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, December 9
Mayor de Blasio will appear on NY1's Inside City Hall in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours on Monday evening.

At 8 a.m. Monday, ABNY Census 2020 in partnership with all five boroughwide chambers of commerce will host an information and networking event about the 2020 Census, “2020 Census and Business: Engaging New York City business leaders in the 2020 Census.”

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

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is in Puerto Rico Monday where he is speaking at the Public Employee’s Conference Convention.

At the City Council on Monday:
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Health and the Committee on Hospitals will jointly hold an oversight hearing on the city’s efforts to prevent and address HIV and Hepatitis along with related legislation. 
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Resiliency and Waterfronts and the Committee on Parks and Recreation will jointly hold an oversight hearing on Governors Island. 
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Housing and Buildings will hold a hearing on multiple bills.

At 11 a.m. Monday in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health, the Assembly Standing Committee on Health and the Assembly Standing Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will jointly hold a public hearing on suicide prevention supports and services.

Monday at 11 a.m., "New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer will release an audit revealing alarming new findings about the MTA’s $600 million contract with Bombardier Transit Corporation to produce 300 subway cars."

At 11:30 a.m. Monday, the Fiscal Policy Institute will host “Tax Justice NY: Moving from Austerity to Prosperity” at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. Speakers include Charles Khan, Organizing Director, Strong Economy for All; Michelle Gittelman, Revenue Working Group;  Pierce Delahunt, Patriotic Millionaires; Michelle Jackson, Deputy Executive Director, Human Services Coalition; Jasmine Gripper, Legislative Director, Alliance Quality Education; Mark Hannay, Executive Director, Metro New York Health Care for All; Paulette Soltani, Political Director, VOCAL-NY; Brenda Episcopo, President and CEO, United Way of New York State; and Dorothy Hill, Director of Policy, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy.

At noon Monday, "Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Delivers Remarks at Opening of Renovated Woolworth Building Funded by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative" in Middletown.

At 1 p.m. Monday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will join a press conference at City Hall with the Family of Antonio Williams and others "to demand transparency and accountability regarding Williams' death." At 6:30 p.m., Williams will attend the the New York County Lawyers Association 105th Annual Dinner. And at 7 p.m., Williams will join the 'We Fight On' Virtual Town Hall with Justice League NYC to "speak about policing and criminal justice reforms."

At 1 p.m. there will be the aforementioned press conference regarding the death of Antonio Williams, ""demanding answers and accountability over the NYPD killing of Antonio Williams and announcing the filing of a FOIL request." Along with Public Advocate Williams, participants will include Antonio Williams' father, stepmother, and brother, members of Communities United for Police Reform, City Council Members Brad Lander and Antonio Reynoso, and others. "Antonio Williams was killed by NYPD officers on September 29, 2019 after reportedly being chased and tackled by plainclothes Officer Brian Mulkeen. At least five officers reportedly drew their guns and opened fire, killing both Williams and Mulkeen. Williams was reportedly simply standing on the sidewalk when plainclothes officers jumped out of cars at him that evening. The NYPD has offered no explanation for why Williams was first approached or why they escalated the encounter without reasonable suspicion of a crime. Since Williams’ death, Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have obstructed transparency and accountability for his family. They have refused to release the names of officers involved, and failed to produce body camera footage or any information about investigations or discipline related to the incident. According to Shawn and Gladys Williams, the only updates they have received about their son’s death have come from the media."

At 1:30 p.m., "New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy will be in Albany Monday and will hold a media availability to discuss the latest developments in Cuomo’s JCOPE coverup and the public finance commission report."

Tuesday, December 10
At 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer will appear live on NY1 “Mornings on 1” with Pat Kiernan. At 3:30 p.m., Stringer will deliver remarks at "Celebration for Upcoming Implementation of Bail and Discovery Reform."

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

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Manhattan, the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes and the Assembly Standing Committee on Correction will jointly hold a public hearing about sealing criminal records and expansion of youthful offender status.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday in Jackson Heights, Queens, Mayor Bill de Blasio and schools Chancellor Richard Carranza "will deliver remarks at the renaming of PS 398 to the Héctor Figueroa School." Comptroller Scott Stringer will be among those in attendance.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will speak "at the 'NYC Worst Banks Award Ceremony' Press Conference. The Public Advocate will join elected officials and advocates including Public Bank NYC at a press conference to highlight the ways banks that accept billions of dollars in municipal deposits harm New Yorkers, NYC neighborhoods, and the planet." At 3 p.m., Williams will join a bail reform press conference "with a broad coalition of elected officials, faith leaders, and advocacy organizations, will discuss the upcoming implementation of bail and discovery reforms in one of several rallies happening across the state. Rallies will be held in New York City, Nassau County, Ulster County, and Albany County." At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Williams will attend "the Bronx Democrats' Holiday Party and Toy Drive."

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the City Council, a Stated Meeting will occur, prefaced by the usual pre-Stated press conference led by Speaker Corey Johnson.

The Regional Plan Association and the Pew Charitable Trusts will co-host a briefing from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesday in Manhattan, “How Cities and States are paying to reduce flood risk.” Speakers include Tim Blake , Managing Director - Public Finance, Moody's Investors Service; James Lee Witt, former FEMA Administrator;  Rob Freudenberg, Vice President of Energy and Environment, Regional Plan Association; Matt Fuchs, Officer, Pew's Flood-Prepared Communities Initiative; Kate Boicourt, Director of Resilience, Waterfront Alliance; and others.

Wednesday, December 11
At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell will join Crain's New York Business "to discuss how New York state is working to protect consumers from predatory lending and fraud. She will also address her department's work to help student borrowers navigate their loans and its focus on regulation of new technologies, cryptocurrencies and cybersecurity."

At the City Council on Wednesday:
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Governmental Operations and the Committee on Justice Systems will jointly hold an oversight hearing on “day fines pilot program” and related legislation. 
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Environmental Protection will hold an oversight hearing on the challenges in managing the Department of Environmental Protection wastewater infrastructure. 
--At 1 p.m., the Committee on Immigration and the Committee on Small Business will jointly hold an oversight hearing on city services and supports for immigrant business owners.

The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board will hold its monthly public board meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Manhattan.

This week’s Max & Murphy show will air at 5 p.m. Wednesday on WBAI radio, 99.5 FM or wbai.org, and feature discussion about how the NYPD and other law enforcement police gangs in New York City.

Thursday, December 12
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 rising health care costs.
--At 10 a.m., the Committee on Housing and Building and the Committee on Aging will jointly hold an oversight hearing on senior affordable housing and related legislation.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, the State Senate Committee on Investigations and Governmental Operations, the State Senate Standing Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, and the State Senate Standing Committee on Consumer Protection will jointly hold a public hearing at Hofstra University regarding real estate agents’ discrimination of homebuyers on Long Island. The hearing was provoked by a recently-published Newsday series.

At 11 a.m. Thursday in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development and the Assembly Subcommittee on Museums & Cultural Institutions will jointly hold a public hearing on capital funding for arts and cultural organizations. 

At 12 p.m. Thursday in Albany, the New York State Board of Elections will hold its monthly commissioners meeting.

Friday, December 13 and the weekend
At 10 a.m. Friday in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries and Education Technology will hold a public hearing on funding New York State’s libraries.

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

On Saturday, the state's driver's licenses for all law goes into effect.

On Saturday at 5 p.m., Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will speak at the Alliance of Asian American Labor 12th Annual Convention in Manhattan.

***
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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