May 06 2019

De Blasio for President Watch, City Council Budget Hearings, & More: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 6

May 05, 2019 | by Ben Max & Ben Brachfeld

What to watch for this week in New York politics:

Mayor de Blasio will announce a bid for President of the United States, possibly this week, according to a report by the New York Daily News published on Friday. De Blasio has been toying with the idea for months and promising a decision. He most recently admitted he was polling in Iowa and promised a decision one way or the other in the month of May.

As former Public Advocate de Blasio appears set to make that move, new Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is on Monday launching something else: a “one-day, five borough tour to discuss the need for the state legislature to pass the rent regulation and tenant protection package ahead of the expiration of existing protections in mid-June.” See details below.

Meanwhile, also on Monday the City Council kicks off hearings on the mayor’s recently-released executive budget, which includes a $92.5 billion plan for next fiscal year’s expense budget and a $117 billion 10-year capital budget plan. Council leadership expressed significant disappointment with the mayor’s plan; Monday’s initial budget hearing will likely be contentious. It’s a very busy week at the City Council, including several budget and non-budget hearings, plus a “Stated Meeting” where the full Council votes on bills that have passed committee and where new bills are introduced by members.

And the state Legislature is in session three days this week; including those three days there are just 22 days of session left before its scheduled June end.

There's a great deal happening this week, with many events to be aware of - see our day-by-day rundown below.

The run of the week in detail:

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany. Governor Andrew Cuomo has no public events on his schedule.

Mayor de Blasio will appear on Monday evening’s Inside City Hall on NY1, in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours.

Monday is the first day of executive budget hearings at the City Council, starting with the Committee on Finance and Subcommittee on Capital Budget jointly at 10 a.m. regarding the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Design and Construction.

At 6:30 a.m. Monday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will appear on NY1’s 'Mornings on 1' to discuss the five-borough rent regulation tour he’s launching. At 10 a.m. Williams will join a rally outside Brooklyn Housing Court with Flatbush Tenants Coalition and the Right to Counsel Coalition “to kick off their Worst Evictor week of action.” At 11:45 a.m., Williams will be in Queens for a “tenant action against MCI abuse”...”against Zara Realty's Holding Company's use of fraudulent MCIs (Major Capital Improvements) to evict tenants.” At 1 p.m. Williams will go on a “building tour and discussion on preferential rent” at Concourse Village in the Bronx. At 2:30 p.m. Williams will join a “protest at A&E Real Estate” in Manhattan. And at 4 p.m., Williams will be on Staten Island to lead a “kitchen-table discussion on displacement and eviction in the area” with Pastor Janet Jones.

At 7:30 a.m. Monday, schools “Chancellor Carranza will appear live on NY1's Mornings on 1 and make an announcement.”

At 10 a.m. Monday “MTA New York City Transit will hold an event to “pass the torch” and make the final passenger service run of the last bus from its 1980s-era “Rapid Transit Series” (RTS) line of buses on Monday, May 6. The retirement of the RTS model — which was used in neighborhoods throughout the entire city including Midtown Manhattan — comes as NYC Transit updates its bus fleet with modern, state-of-the-art vehicles that include new all-electric buses, one of which will also be on display and demonstrated Monday.”

On Monday at 11 a.m., “Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host a media preview and celebration to kick-off Bronx Week 2019 at The Lit. Bar, 131 Alexander Ave., The Bronx. As a highlight of the event, Borough President Diaz and The Bronx Tourism Council will announce the three honorees of the Bronx Walk of Fame Class of 2019.”

At 1:30 p.m. Monday “Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul Delivers Remarks at Restore NY Funded Development of MicroTel Inn” in Warsaw. At 2:15 p.m. “Hochul Tours Main Street with Warsaw Mayor Joseph Robinson.” And at 5:45 p.m. “Hochul Addresses the 10th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum” in Buffalo (the speech is closed to the press but Hochul will hold a press availability at 6 p.m.).

On Monday at 7 p.m. at the Queens Library Central in Jamaica, “Public Safety Chair Donovan Richards and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill will host a Town Hall to participate in a discussion with local leaders and community members about public safety priorities in Southeast Queens and learn about NYPD practices and procedures.” Participants will include Council Member Richards; Commissioner O’Neill; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; City Council Members Adrienne Adams and I. Daneek Miller; Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman; and a variety of other NYPD officials.

The funeral for former Queens District Attorney Richard Brown will be Tuesday in Queens. Mayor de Blasio will be among those who deliver remarks.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, "the Mayor and First Lady McCray will make an announcement about guaranteed health care for New Yorkers," at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx.

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Rockefeller Institute in Albany, “the NYS Complete Count Commission will hold a public hearing on plans for the upcoming 2020 Census...The hearing is open to the public and media. The New York State Department of State will broadcast the hearing via Facebook Live.”

At 10 a.m. Tuesday in Queens, "NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will join with the Independent Drivers Guild at a press conference to announce the launch of a first-of-its-kind mental health and wellness program for New York’s for-hire drivers."

The following City Council committees will hold executive budget hearings on Tuesday:
--Aging at 11 a.m., regarding the Department for the Aging.
--Public Housing at 1 p.m., regarding NYCHA.

Also at the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committee on Immigration will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss a resolution calling on the state to pass the Protect Our Courts Act, which would require a judicial warrant for any civil arrests for individuals in state courts or individuals heading to or leaving state courts; the measure is intended to protect immigrants from ICE arrests at courthouses.
--The Committee on Land Use and Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet jointly at 11 a.m. for an oversight hearing on whether the city’s environmental quality review process (CEQR) adequately measures the impacts of rezonings. The committees will also discuss several proposed laws requiring the city track mitigation strategies for neighborhood rezonings publicly as well as the impacts on housing and displacement, transportation, and school overcrowding resulting from rezonings. The committees will also discuss a resolution calling on the city to formally review CEQR procedures regarding adverse impacts of rezoning son neighborhoods.

On Tuesday at 11 a.m. outside City Hall, “nonprofit human services providers and members of the New York City Council will gather on the steps of City Hall to call for investments in community-based organizations in the city budget.” Participants will include City Council Member Helen Rosenthal; Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council of New York; and a variety of other sector leaders.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, "Councilman Chaim Deutsch will be holding a press conference on the steps of City Hall, along with community and faith leaders, to call on Mayor de Blasio to fund security for houses of worship in the FY20 budget. In light of recent attacks in churches, synagogues, and mosques, it is clear that New York City must be proactive in ensuring the safety of worshippers in their sacred spaces. At Tuesday’s presser, Councilman Deutsch will be joined by Eric Goldstein, CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York; Michael Miller, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York; Monsignor Kieran Harrington, the Vicar of Communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn; Father Myles Murphy, pastor of the parish of Our Lady of Victory and St. Andrews in Lower Manhattan; and other New York City leaders and elected officials."

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the 2019 Charter Revision Commission will hold its third of five borough hearings on the recently-released preliminary staff report, at Lehman College in the Bronx.

The New York State Legislature will be in session on Wednesday in Albany.

The City Council will hold a stated meeting at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at which bills that have been voted through committee are passed by the full Council and new bills are introduced.

Also at the City Council on Wednesday: the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections will meet at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the nominations of Joseph Puma and Nathan Joseph to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

On Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at the New School, the Center for New York City Affairs will host a foruma forum on pay parity for early childhood educators. Opening remarks will be made by James Parrott, Director of Economic and Fiscal Policies at the Center. A panel discussion will follow, moderated by Natasha Lifton, Senior Program Officer, New York Community Trust, and including Andrea Anthony, Exec. Director, Day Care Council of New York; Louisa Chafee, Sr. VP for External Relations and Public Policy, UJA-Federation of New York; Michelle Paige, Associate Exec. Director, Early Childhood Programs, University Settlement; and Rosemarie Sinclair, 1st Vice President, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. Closing remarks will be made by Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering will meet in Albany for a public hearing regarding online mobile sports betting.

This week's Max & Murphy show on WBAI radio will air at 5 p.m. Wednesday and include a discussion of de Blasio's possible presidential bid and a conversation with City Council Member Carlos Menchaca about key city and state issues related to immigrant communities. Tune in at 99.5FM or

At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Community Resource Exchange will host “2020 Census and Nonprofits” as part of its ongoing CRE Spotlight Series at the offices of Schulte Roth & Zabel in Midtown. Panelists will discuss the role nonprofits can play in ensuring an accurate count in the census. Panelists will include DCP Population Division director Joseph Salvo, New York Women’s Foundation program officer Beatrice Lors-Rousseau, ACLU Voting Rights Project fellow Jonathan Topaz, and MinKwon Center for Community Action executive director John Park. Tanvi Misra of CityLab will moderate.

On Thursday morning in Manhattan, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli “releases Construction Industry Report and gives remarks at the New York Building Congress Breakfast” at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen.

The following City Council committees will hold executive budget hearings on Thursday:
--Fire and Emergency Management at 10 a.m., regarding the FDNY and EMS.
--Criminal Justice at 11 a.m., regarding the Department of Correction.
--Hospitals at noon, regarding NYC Health + Hospitals.
--Environmental Protection at 1 p.m., regarding the Department of Environmental Protection.

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the Assembly Standing Committee on Housing will meet in Albany for a public hearing to discuss the state of New York’s rental housing and potential reforms to the state’s rent regulations.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the 2019 Charter Revision Commission will hold its fourth of five borough hearings on its preliminary staff report, at City Hall in Manhattan.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m. Friday, perhaps as a declared candidate for President of the United States.

At the City Council on Friday: an executive budget hearing will be held by the Committee on Transportation at 10 a.m., regarding New York City Transit, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and the Department of Transportation.

At the state Legislature on Friday:
--At 10 a.m., the Assembly Standing Committee on Education will meet at 250 Broadway in Manhattan for a public hearing regarding the admissions process to New York City’s specialized high schools.
--At 11 a.m., the Assembly Standing Committee on Housing will meet at the Monroe County Legislative Building in Rochester for a public hearing to discuss the state of New York’s rental housing and potential reforms to the state’s rent regulations.