What to watch for this week in New York politics:
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio will attend the memorial service for John E. Zuccotti. At 12:30 p.m., “the Mayor will deliver remarks at NYPD’s Clergy All-In Conference at One Police Plaza.” At about 2:45 p.m. at the Staten Island South Shore YMCA, “the Mayor and First Lady Chirlane McCray will host a press conference to make an announcement related to substance misuse.”
On Monday morning in Albany, leading experts on the New York State Constitution and the prospects for a Constitutional Convention will hold a media “boot camp.” The event will include Gerald Benjamin of SUNY New Paltz; constitutional scholars Christopher Bopst and Peter Galie; Richard Brodsky, senior fellow at Demos and former Assembly member; and Henry M. Greenberg, chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on the New York State Constitution and former counsel to the New York State attorney general. “The event is sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York, New York State Bar Association, Government Law Center of Albany Law School, state League of Women Voters, Siena Research Institute and New York News Publishers Association.”
On Monday at 10 a.m. at City Hall, the push for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) intensifies: “Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Donovan Richards, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and the “BRT For NYC” Coalition will co-host a press conference to announce increased community support for bringing high-quality bus rapid transit to Queens. The “BRT For NYC” Coalition will be represented by ABNY, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, New York League of Conservation Voters, Pratt Center for Community Development, Riders Alliance, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, Transit Workers Union Local 100, and Working Families Party. Bus riders and members of the Queens community will also be in attendance.” [Read our recent look at the issue: All Abord the BRT Express?]
At the City Council on Monday:
– At 10 a.m., the Committee on Finance will meet to discuss a bill about expanding the Metrotech Area Business Improvement District.
– At 11 a.m., the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections will meet, agenda TBD.
– At 1:30 a.m. on Monday, the City Council will have a Stated Meeting, prefaced as always by the Speaker’s pre-stated press conference, set for 12:30 p.m.
At noon, before the Council’s stated meeting, there will be a rally at City Hall to unveil “First-of-its-kind NYC Council legislation to be unveiled cracking down on deadbeat companies that stiff the city’s 1.3 million.” Members of the Freelancers Union, other labor reps including from the UFT and 32BJ, other activists, and several City Council members led Brad Lander, Laurie Cumbo, Rafael Espinal, Steve Levin, and Margaret Chin will hold a rally at the steps of City Hall to pass legislation protecting New York City’s freelancers. [Read our recent look at the issue: City Council Developing New Protections for Workers in ‘Gig’ Economy]
As the week begins, City Council Member Jumaane Williams is in Washington, DC from Sunday to Tuesday “attending the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies’ bi-annual Roundtable Discussion being held at George Washington Law School.” It is a conference “for a select group of 25 elected officials of color from across the nation will feature discussions regarding policy innovations.”
At the State Legislature on Monday: at 11 a.m., the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation and the Assembly Climate Change Work Group will hold a joint hearing on climate change.
On Monday at noon, The New York City Bar Association is hosting a “Lunch and Public Policy Discussion” with Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President.
On Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Queens Borough Hall, “The Queens Borough Board, chaired by Borough President Katz, will hear details from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP about the department’s new “Parks Without Borders” program, which aims to make New York City public parks more open, welcoming, and beautiful by focusing on improving park entrances and edges, and park-adjacent spaces.”
Monday at 7 p.m. at The New School, “Politics and Policy: The Latino Vote and The 2016 US Presidential Election” with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, among others, offering “a fresh examination of the role of Latinos in the 2016 election. Featuring a panel of journalists, pollsters, and political insiders, we’ll explore political, demographic and economic trends that will shape the outcome in 2016.” The event is organized by Feet in 2 Worlds, The Center for New York City Affairs and the Milano School.
On Monday at 8 p.m., city Comptroller Scott Stringer will deliver remarks “at West Side Federation of Neighborhood and Block Associations Annual Holiday Party.”
At the City Council on Tuesday: at 10 a.m., the Committee on Public Safety will meet to discuss two bills related to New York City crossing guard deployment.
At the New York State Legislature on Tuesday:
At 10 a.m. in Manhattan, a joint committee hearing on Daily Fantasy Sports in New York will be held by the Assembly Standing Committee on Racing and Wagering, the Assembly Standing Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, and the Assembly Legislative Commission on Administrative Regulations Review.
At 10:30 a.m. in Albany, a joint committee hearing about law-enforcement officials using body cameras will be held by the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, the Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary, and the Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations.
Beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, a “Public Projects Forum” hosted by City & State NY will have Noam Bramson, Mayor of New Rochelle, NY; Reginald Spinello, Mayor of Glen Cove, NY; Commissioner Feniosky Pena-Mora, NYC Department of Design & Construction; and Holly Leicht, Regional Administrator, Housing & Urban Development; speak about the upcoming public projects in the tristate area.
On Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Queens Borough Hall, “The Queens Borough Cabinet, chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz, will hear a briefing from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on its current counterterrorism efforts in light of recent events in this county and abroad. The briefing will include a review of new counterterrorism technologies employed by the NYPD. In addition, the Fire Department of New York’s (FDNY’s) Fire Education Safety Team will deliver a presentation on how City residents can best keep their homes safe during the holiday season. Also, the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation will deliver a presentation on the implementation of the Neighborhoods.nyc domain, which has launched nearly 400 online hubs for civic engagement, information sharing and economic development.”
At noon on Tuesday at City Hall, “City Council Members Steve Levin, Mark Levine, Ritchie Torres, Jumaane Williams; Assembly Member Hevesi; Advocates for the homeless and for affordable housing” will rally to “call on Governor Cuomo to fund the creation of 35,000 units of supportive housing statewide, and stop politicizing New York City’s homeless crisis. Participants will point to repeated remarks by Cuomo as evidence of him using the homelessness crisis as a reason to attack Mayor de Blasio, rather than provide necessary resources and leadership to tackle the problem.” Organizational endorsers include “Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), Community Voices Heard Power, Faith in New York, Make the Road New York, Met Council on Housing, Neighbors Together, New York Communities for Change, Tenants & Neighbors, Three-quarter House Tenant Organizing Project, United Homesteading Assistance Board, VOCAL New York.”
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Chairman’s Breakfast will take on the presidential transition and the need for the most carefully planned transition in United States history in anticipation of January 20, 2017. [Read an op-ed on the subject from Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Chair Ken Biberaj and David Eagles of Partnership for Public Service: Let’s Be Prepared for America’s Biggest Corporate Takeover]
At the City Council on Wednesday:
At 10 a.m., the Committee on Health will meet to discuss a bill to create two new health-focused city government bodies and another that would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene “to post a New York City map on its website of the clinics they run, comprehensive care and primary care facilities run by the Health and Hospitals Corporation, voluntary non-profit and publicly sponsored diagnostic and treatment centers, and federally qualified health centers.”
At 10 a.m., the Committee on General Welfare will hold an oversight hearing on the city’s efforts to address “the homelessness crisis.” [Read our recent look at issues related to how and where homeless shelters are sited.]
At 1 p.m., the Committees on Aging and Finance will meet for a joint oversight hearing on the city’s “efforts to conduct outreach” and boost registration for the Rent Freeze Program; and on a new a bill that would “require the Department of Finance to include a notification regarding preferential rent on certain documents related to the NYC Rent Freeze Program.”
At 1 p.m., the Committee on Civil Rights will meet to discuss four bills regarding the city’s human rights law.
At 1 p.m., the Committee on Immigration will have an oversight hearing about “Resources Available in New York City for Unaccompanied Minors.”
At the New York State Legislature on Wednesday:
At noon in Manhattan, the Assembly Standing Committees on Labor and Small Business as well as the Assembly Commission on Skills Development and Careers Education will hold a joint oversight hearing on the state’s apprenticeship programs.
At 1 p.m. in Albany, the Assembly Standing Committee on Real Property Taxation will hold an oversight hearing on the 2015-2016 budget plan.
At the City Council on Thursday:
At 10 a.m., the Committee on Housing and Buildings meet on three bills. The first would create a Department of Buildings-headed task force that would assess the dangers posed by construction sites to motorists and pedestrians and submit recommendations to the City Council and mayor about measures proposed to minimize the hazard. The other two bills would raise penalties for working without a permit and for violating stop work directives.
At 10:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions will review two land use applications.
At 11 a.m., the Committee on Land Use will review five applications.
At 1 p.m., the Committee on Civil Service and Labor and the Committee on Higher Education will have a joint oversight hearing on “Establishing the Murphy Institute as a new CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies.”
At the New York State Legislature on Thursday: at 10:30 a.m. in Manhattan, the Assembly Standing Committee on Election Law and the Assembly Standing Subcommittee on Election Day Operations and Voter Disenfranchisement will hold a joint oversight hearing about “Enhancing the voter experience, preventing voter disenfranchisement and improving emergency voting protocols.”
Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in Albany, Governor Cuomo will will announce the Regional Economic Development Council and Upstate Revitalization Initiative Awards.
At 8:30 a.m. at Civic Hall on Thursday, Scott Stringer’s Red Tape Commission will meet in Manhattan to hear suggestions from small business owners and others.
On Thursday, the Staten Island Borough Board is expected to vote on Mayor de Blasio’s two rezoning amendment proposals. It will be the fifth borough to do so – the other four have voted against them, sometimes with lists of conditions that the advisory boards would like to see made to revised proposals.
At 4 p.m. Thursday, the New York City Campaign Finance Board holds a “New to the CFB” session.
At 6 p.m. Thursday: “Power Lines: Race, Class, The City & Its Schools,” a discussion about segregation in New York City schools.
Friday and the weekend
At the New York State Legislature on Friday: at 10:30 a.m. in Manhattan, a hearing of the Assembly Standing Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development regarding “Injuries in combative sports.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is launching a Manhattan Youth Council, and is holding an initial information session on Friday afternoon at her offices. “High school students from across Manhattan are invited to meet and talk with Borough President Gale Brewer about the issues that matter most to you…Young people who live, work, or attend school in Manhattan can sign up here.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (please use “For Week Ahead” as email subject).
by Konstantine Beridze, Ryan Brady, and Ben Max