New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
This week we’re continuing to watch the fallout of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controverisal decision to fire Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters. De Blasio’s nomination to replace Peters, Margaret Garnett, will testify before the City Council on Monday afternoon, a normal part of the process given that the DOI commissioner is the only agency head where the City Council votes to approve or disapprove the mayor’s nominee. That hearing is among several especially interesting Council meetings set for this very busy week at City Hall.
We’re also watching for further signs about the Democratic agenda for Albany in 2019, when the party controls the governor’s office and both houses of the state Legislature. Senate Democrats will meet Monday in Albany to discuss their agenda and decide their leadership, at which time Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins is expected to make history and be voted to lead the chamber come January.
Meanwhile, protests against the Amazon-to-Queens deal are set to intensify this week. And, we’re waiting to see how the field for the Public Advocate special election continues to take shape. Most candidates expected to run have already either declared or formally said they are exploring it, other than former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is expected to announce her candidacy in the coming weeks. The election will be in February.
There’s a lot more that could move ahead this week, from pay raises for state legislators to next steps around negotiations over NYCHA between federal prosecutors and the de Blasio administration, and much more. And, it’s Housing Week in AGENDA 2019, the ongoing project from Gotham Gazette and City Limits.
Also, Mayor de Blasio is scheduled to head to Vermont at the end of the week, he’ll be speaking at a summit of progressive leaders pulled together by Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane Sanders.
As always, there’s a great deal happening all over the city, with many events to be aware of – see our day-by-day rundown below.
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The run of the week in detail:
On Monday in Albany, State Senate Democrats will meet to vote on their leadership as they prepare to hold the majority come January. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins is set to become the first woman and first woman of color to lead a legislative chamber in New York.
Mayor de Blasio will appear on NY1’s Inside City Hall on Monday evening in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours. At 8 p.m., “the Mayor will deliver remarks at the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City’s Annual Awards Ceremony where he will be receiving the Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award.”
At the City Council on Monday:
–The Committee on Small Business will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law “in relation to microbusinesses.”
–The Committees on Hospitals and Health will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “access to transgender- and gender nonconforming-friendly health services.”
–The Committee on Veterans will meet at 2 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “discharge characterization upgrade assistance,” and two proposed laws relating to offering discharge upgrade assistance to veterans discharged due to their LGBTQ status and creating a “Discharge Upgrade Assistance Unit” at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
–The Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections will meet at 3 p.m. to discuss the nomination of Margaret Garnett as Commissioner of the Department of Investigation.
At 5 p.m. Monday, activist groups will converge at Court Square in Long Island City to protest the deal to bring Amazon to Queens, including the state and city tax incentives and subsidies to attract the company, and the potential for gentrification, among other things.
At 5:30 p.m. Monday in Manhattan, “Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Attends Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square Festival and Tree Lighting,” at Dante Park.
At 6:30 p.m. Monday, Comptroller Scott Stringer will host a Diwali Celebration.
At the City Council on Tuesday:
–The Committee on Fire and Emergency Management will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “requiring the fire department to report on emergency medical services divisions and stations,” “requiring the fire department to annually report on the potential impact of certain rezonings on department services,” and “creating online applications for fire alarm plan examinations and inspections.”
–The Committee on Youth Services will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed laws requiring the Department of Youth and Community Development to create a “Runaway and Homeless Youth Immigration Information Plan.”
–The Committee on Standards and Ethics will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a proposed law “amending reporting and donor disclosure requirements for organizations affiliated with elected officials.”
–The Committee on For-Hire Vehicles will meet at 10:30 a.m. to discuss a proposed law requiring the city to study debt owed by owners of taxi medallions.
–The Committee on Criminal Justice will meet at 11:30 a.m. to discuss a proposed law “informing persons released from city jails of their voting rights.”
–The Committee on Immigration will meet at noon to discuss two resolutions in opposition to the federal government’s proposed “public charge” rule.
–The Committee on Governmental Operations will meet at 12:30 p.m. to discuss proposed laws relating to “the Department of Probation informing persons of their voting rights” and “agencies assisting eligible parolees with voter registration.”
–The Committee on Transportation will meet at 1 p.m. to discuss several proposed laws relating to curb cuts and other matters related to sidewalks.
–The Committees on Governmental Operations and Civil Service & Labor will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the Provisional Employee Reduction Plan, as well as to discuss a proposed law relating to that plan and calling on the state to pass a law automatically enrolling “optional employees” in the City’s BERS system after 90 days of employment.
–The Committees on General Welfare and Justice System will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “parent-child separation in family court.”
At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Assembly Standing Committees on Banks and Consumer Affairs will meet jointly in Albany for a public hearing regarding the “practices of the student loan industry.”
At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics will meet in Albany.
The City Council will hold a stated meeting on Wednesday. Council Speaker Corey Johnson is expected to host a pre-stated press conference at City Hall beforehand.
Also at the City Council on Wednesday: the Committee on Finance will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss the creation of a Throggs Neck Business Improvement District, and increasing the size and expenditure on the Hudson Square BID.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Agriculture will hold a public oversight hearing in Albany regarding the 2018-19 State Agriculture Department budget.
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. on WBAI radio, this week’s Max & Murphy will air. The show will focus on the major housing policy issues facing the state and the city in 2019.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Panel for Educational Policy will meet at Long Island City High School in Queens.
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the New York City Bar Association will host a talk on fees associated with state courts and whether courts should be used as “revenue raisers.” Panelists will consist of State Supreme Court Judge Daniel Conviser, Ashika David of Brooklyn Defender Services, Ashley Gantt of JustLeadershipUSA, Claudia Wilner of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, and University of Washington professor Karin Martin.
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and State Senator Brad Hoylman will hold a town hall on “the future of rent regulation” in New York City. The town hall will take place at the Celeste Auditorium at the New York Public Library’s main branch in Midtown.
At the City Council on Thursday:
–The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
–The Committees on Finance and Civil Service & Labor will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding the city’s Healthcare Savings Agreement.
–The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Pubic Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet at noon.
–The Committees on Economic Development and Cultural Affairs will meet jointly at 1 p.m. at One World Trade Center’s TWA Lounge for an oversight hearing regarding “the economic impact of the city’s tourism infrastructure and cultural attractions,” as well as to discuss a proposed law relating to “the creation of a tourism economy dashboard.”
–The Committees on Criminal Justice and Justice System will meet jointly at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing on the city’s bail system, as well as to discuss proposed laws requiring the city to inform inmates, defense attorneys, and court personnel when bail is set at $1, to remove fees associated with bail payments by credit card, and to allow “online bail payment to be made by direct deposit and electronic check.”
–The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 2 p.m.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, City & State will unveil its “Manhattan Power 50” at The Mezzanine at 55 Broadway. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will deliver keynote remarks.
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Brooklyn Historical Society will host “Malls vs. Bodegas: Resisting the Suburbanization of the City,” discussing the simultaneous phenomena of the proliferation of chain stores, high-rent blight of storefronts, and displacement of small businesses due to high rent and other factors. Panelists will consist of Jonathan Bowles of the Center for an Urban Future, Jeremiah Moss of Vanishing New York, and Lena Afridi of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.
Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m. Friday.
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max