New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
The week begins just after a very well-attended solidarity march against anti-Semitism over the Brooklyn Bridge, with participation from Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Hochul, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Attorney General James, Mayor de Blasio, and many other elected officials, Jewish leaders and leaders of other faiths, and other New Yorkers. The march was in response to a major spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York over the last few years, with an especially high number in 2019, including the slashing of several victims celebrating Hanukkah in Monsey.
The governor announced at the march the availability of $45 million in state funds, allocated in this year’s budget, for religious institutions to apply for to enhance their security.
Many eyes are on Cuomo this week: he’ll deliver his 2020 State of the State speech on Wednesday in Albany. The third-term Democrat has already laid out more than 20 of his 2020 policy proposals that form the start of his agenda for the year, but he will also make new announcements at the start of the week, including at a Monday event in Manhattan, and he always saves some big ideas for the speech itself.
Cuomo’s policy agenda will stretch many dozens of planks when the annual booklet is released. The governor will soon follow his big speech with a presentation of his executive budget for next fiscal year, which must be crafted to solve a $6.1 billion deficit that recently came to light and presents major challenges for the governor and the Legislature. The date of that budget presentation has not yet been announced.
As legislators return to Albany for the start of the 2020 session this week there is also the new question of who will be the Assembly minority leader after Republican Brian Kolb just stepped down from the post after his arrest for driving while intoxicated, an incident during which he crashed his state-issued vehicle. Assemblymember Will Barclay appears to be the frontrunner heading into the conference’s vote this week.
The State Legislature is in session on Wednesday and Thursday this week in Albany. Many members will begin the legislative year by attending Cuomo’s State of the State speech.
This week will also include the inauguration of Melinda Katz as Queens District Attorney; continued discussion of how the city and state are responding to hate crimes, especially anti-Semitic ones; the implementation of new bail reforms; and much more -- 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?
The run of the week in detail:
Monday, January 6
“On Monday, Mayor de Blasio and FDNY Commissioner Nigro will deliver remarks at a plaque dedication ceremony to honor Firefighter Steven H. Pollard” at 11 a.m. in Brooklyn. At 1 p.m., “the Mayor and Police Commissioner Shea will deliver remarks at an NYPD recruit swearing-in ceremony...Following, the Mayor and Police Commissioner Shea will hold a media availability on crime statistics.” In the evening, “the Mayor will deliver remarks at the inauguration of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.” In the 7 and 11 p.m. hours, de Blasio “will appear on NY1’s Inside City Hall with Errol Louis.” And also in the evening, “the Mayor will deliver remarks at the AIPAC Northeast Gala. This event is closed press.”
Monday is Three Kings Day and will feature the 43rd annual celebratory parade, preceded by a kickoff breakfast in East Harlem. Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer are among many who will participate.
At 11 a.m. Monday, “Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host a media preview of the 9th Annual “Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week at Seis Vecinos, a Central American restaurant that is featured in the 2020 Michelin Guide and is located in the Longwood neighborhood of The Bronx. “Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week is produced by the Bronx Tourism Council and this year takes place from January 6 through January 17, 2020.”
At 11:30 a.m. Monday, Governor Cuomo will deliver remarks at a lunch hosted by the Association for a Better New York in Manhattan to outline his 2020 transit and infrastructure agenda.
At 1 p.m. Monday in the Bronx, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams “will join Council Member Vanessa Gibson, anti-violence advocates and community leaders to denounce the recent attack on Juan Fresnada and his partner in the Morrisania area.”
At 1:45 p.m. Monday, “Chancellor Carranza will attend SoapboxNYC, a public speaking showcase for NYC public school students as part of Civics for All, and deliver brief remarks.”
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, Melinda Katz will be inaugurated as Queens District Attorney, in a ceremony at St. John’s University. Mayor de Blasio and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be among those who deliver remarks. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be among those in attendance.
At 7:30 p.m. Monday, "Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Attends the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Northeast Gala" at Lincoln Center.
Tuesday, January 7
No events as of now.
Wednesday, January 8
At noon on Wednesday, the City Council will hold its initial full-body Stated Meeting of the year at City Hall.
The State Legislature will be in session on Wednesday in Albany.
At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Governor Cuomo will deliver his 2020 State of the State address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, this week’s Max & Murphy show on WBAI radio (listen at 99.5FM or wbai.org) will feature summary and analysis of Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech and agenda.
Thursday, January 9
The State Legislature will be in session on Thursday in Albany.
At 1 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, the City Council Committee on Immigration will meet to consider several bills related to the Office of Immigrant Affairs, including one to turn the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs into a full-fledged Department of Immigrant Affairs.
Friday, January 10 and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show Friday at 10 a.m.
by Ben Max