First Read – February 24, 2014

Written by City & State on . Posted in Latest.


WEATHER: Breezy downstate; chance of snow upstate. New York City, high 34; Albany, high 30; Buffalo, high 22.


BEATING THE CLOCK: While Gov. Andrew Cuomo has touted his string of on-time budgets as a positive, some question whether an on-time budget is always a good thing, City & State’s Jon Lentz reports:

TO G OR NOT TO G: Chirlane McCray and the de Blasio children’s appearance in a promotional video for a peculiar cause is another example of how the First Family must be careful to think through its actions now that they are being so carefully scrutinized, City & State columnist Seth Barron writes:

NO GOOD DEED: Given the resistance the Working Families Party and its allies are mounting against Governor Cuomo and his agenda, should the governor regret not having killed the party when he had the chance? City & State’s Morgan Pehme asks:


WINNERS AND LOSERS: The votes are in! Last week REBNY President Steven Spinola was City & State’s Winner of the Week with 28 percent of the vote, while New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was your clear choice for Loser of the Week with 42 percent of the votes cast:



* Of the nearly 20,000 homeowners who signed up for New York City’s Build It Back program for Superstorm Sandy home repairs, none have seen construction work begin and only 173 have signed a deal for how much aid they will receive, the Daily News writes:

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has until now not taken a position on the proposed state DREAM Act, says he would sign such legislation, though it will need to overcome opposition in the state Senate before it can reach his desk, the Daily News’s Ken Lovett reports:

* Though he pledged to make an announcement about a run for governor no later than the end of this month, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is expected to announce a gubernatorial run at the beginning of March, the Post’s Fred Dicker reports:

* With major union contracts coming due in the next two years, union negotiators could find a challenge in Cuomo’s commitment to a 2-percent spending cap, which his administration has said would help generate a $2 billion surplus, the Times Union reports:

* Amid criticism of where the state’s brownfield cleanup tax breaks have gone, Cuomo is looking to allow remediation tax credits only for actual cleanup costs in an effort to reform the program, the Buffalo News writes:

* A national group plans to use a new commercial to promote public campaign financing in the hope that it will help persuade lawmakers to keep Cuomo’s proposal in the final state budget, The New York Times reports:

* With toll raises expected to help pay for the new Tappan Zee Bridge, some officials are calling for a residential discount plan as Cuomo offers Staten Island residents toll breaks on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Journal News reports:

* Members of the new parents’ group Families for Safe Streets are urging de Blasio to establish a timeline for rapid implementation for his Vision Zero plan and to obey traffic laws, the Post writes:

* The MTA plans to announce a set of new safety efforts, including the creation of a safety committee and a senior management position that will report directly to the MTA chairman, the Journal News reports:

* Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is calling for a new mixed-use waterfront district like Brooklyn Bridge Park in the Port Morris section of the South Bronx, the Daily News writes:



* In an appearance on the “Today” show this morning, De Blasio will face off with Al Roker, who criticized the mayor on Twitter for his decision not to close schools during a recent snow storm, the Post reports:

* If de Blasio’s pre-kindergarten plan comes to fruition, it could financially help parents who would be able to drop childcare payments and seek employment or an education, the Daily News writes:

* New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña met with charter school officials for the first time during the de Blasio administration, though there was reportedly little discussion of policy, the Times reports:

* Transport union officials said a request from members of Congress that the MTA call for a second board of negotiators helped avert a Long Island Rail Road strike, but the MTA called it a coincidence, the Post writes:

* The leader of the state Liberal Party says the party would consider backing Cuomo, who had party backing 2002 before dropping out of the governor’s race, the Post reports:



Come to the first-ever Bronx Charter School Fair! Saturday, March 15, 10am – 3pm at Family Life Academy Charter School, 14 West 170th St., Bronx, NY. Free and open to the public, parents are invited to learn about their public school options and meet with school representatives. The Charter Center will have a computer station set up where parents can access our Common Online Application and apply on the spot. Over 40 Bronx charter schools will be represented; parents are invited to come and learn about their public school choices! QUESTIONS? Call 212-437-8300




* Though Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s proposal to help the wrongly convicted get financial compensation is admirable, attention must be paid to the difficulty of righting those convictions, Steven Cohen writes in City & State:

* Albany could vault New York into a powerful and lucrative position on the national stage by doing away with the winner-take-all apportionment of the state’s votes in the Electoral College, writes James Coll of in City & State:

* With Gov. Andrew Cuomo offering an election year pre-kindergarten plan, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio should stop spending political capital on a losing fight and declare victory by accepting the governor’s offer to fund pre-K, Democratic strategist Lis Smith writes in the Daily News:

* The Daily News writes that with the New York City Council set to discuss, among other things, member items, de Blasio should step in and help abolish them:



New York State Needs to Act Now on the Dream Act:  The Teamsters Joint Council 16 believes everyone has the right to an education.  New York needs skilled workers to tackle the challenges of an evolving job market, we cannot afford to discriminate between who gets an opportunity at a higher education.  The New York State DREAM Act puts DREAMers on a level playing field, which is what every student deserves.



WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities in City & State First Read, email or call 646-442-1662.  


Executive Director, NYC Carpenters Labor Management Corporation

The NYC Carpenters Labor Management Corporation seeks a leader to develop and implement complex strategies to increase the market share of NYC construction work performed by unionized contractors. Candidate must have 12+ years experience with NYC construction, development, real estate, or government, plus high-level management and communication skills.

To view the full job and apply, visit


Government and Public Affairs Position for Major NYC Construction Trade Association

Salary: Competitive compensation and benefits package

Description: NYC Construction Association seeks Chief of Staff to the President and CEO. Responsibilities include development and implementation of association’s legislative and public policy agenda for NYC and NYS. Will provide support to association committees, communications program and special events. Qualifications include excellent written and oral communications skills. Must be hands on and comfortable in a team-oriented environment.

For More Information: Send cover letter, resume and sample of writing ability to


Government Relations Associate

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Description: Prominent NYC Government Relations firm is looking to hire an energetic, smart, hard-working government relations associate to support a team of senior public affairs professionals – some experience working in NYC government/politics strongly preferred. Responsibilities include: Developing professional working relationships with city government officials and staff; Managing compliance requirements with the NYS Public Integrity Commission and the New York City Clerk’s lobbying bureau; Researching and writing strategic memos, briefing papers and policy background research memos;

Further Info: Please email resumes to:


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman Allan Fromberg … to Ululy Martinez of Cablevision … to Karen Perischilli Keogh, national managing director for state and local government relations for JPMorgan Chase … and to New York City Department of Transportation planner Inbar Kishoni.


CONGRATULATOINS: To Josh Emrick, chief of staff for state Sen. Jeff Klein and the Independent Democratic Conference, and his wife, Cassondra Emrick, who gave birth to their second child Friday … and to Working Families Party Deputy Director Jon Green and 32BJ SEIU Political Director Alison Hirsch, who gave birth to their first child Sunday.


CORRECTION: In Friday’s First Read, we incorrectly spelled the names of two Long Island Congressional candidates. They are Bruce Blakeman and Kevan Abrahams.



Westerleigh Press – Your go to source for Union Printing and Direct Mail!  Trusted by top political consultants, mail firms and trade unions.  We offer the highest quality print work, fastest turnaround times, and best customer service in the industry.  Make Westerleigh a part of your team.  For all inquiries please contact Gregg Salzman at or 718-390-0600.   Now featuring a full line of union made promotional items as well.




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City, Erie County and Albany.

8 a.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appears on the Today Show for a Rockefeller Plaza ribbon cutting, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The Geraldo Rivera radio show includes interviews with Daily News reporter Ben Chapman, former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik and The NY Immigration Coalition’s Steven Choi, WABC.

10 a.m. – The Brian Lehrer Show includes an interview with MSNBC analyst Jonathan Alter on the rollout of Obamacare, WNYC.

10 a.m. – The New York City Transportation and Public Safety committees hold a joint oversight hearing on “Vision Zero,” City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Community Development Committee meets, 250 Broadway, Committee Room, 16th floor, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Aging Council holds an oversight hearing on identifying and preventing elder abuse, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – Rep. Joe Crowley and Angel Pineiro Jr., senior vice president for ASI System Integration hold a press conference to announce Crowley’s legislation to help New Yorkers gain new skills and find and keep jobs, Queens Community House-Jackson Heights, Room 418, 74-09 37th Ave., Queens.

10 a.m. – Rep. Steve Israel announces a plan to extend the dependent care tax credit, Gurwin Jewish Residences, 68 Hauppauge Road, Commack.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features state Sen. Greg Ball, the Working Families Party’s Bill Lifton, The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon and Regent Jim Tallon, WCNY.

11 a.m. – New York City Councilmen Carlos Menchaca, Ritchie Torres and Mark Treyger, community leaders and Superstorm Sandy survivors rally to urge city officials to take immediate action on Sandy rebuilding, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – Elected officials, union officials and community members hold a press conference about keeping Interfaith Medical Center a full-service hospital, Interfaith Medical Center, 1545 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. – State Sens. Jeff Klein and Ruth Hassell-Thompson and others announce a $100,000 direct aid grant for Mt. Vernon public schools, Pennington Elementary School, 20 Fairway St., Mt. Vernon.

12 p.m. – De Blasio attends a Staten Island meeting on Sandy recovery, hosted by Borough President James Oddo, followed by a press availability at 1:15 p.m., Staten Island Borough Hall, Staten Island.

12 p.m. – Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder announces the introduction of legislation to increase investment at Aqueduct Racetrack, Aqueduct Racetrack main entrance, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., Queens.

12 p.m. – The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon joins Mike Durant of the National Federation of Independent Business and Jeff Williams of the state Farm Bureau to introduce a report on tax policy reform, Room 130, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

1 p.m. – The New York City Health Committee meets, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The New York City Technology Committee holds an oversight hearing on the requirement that all public meetings be webcast, 250 Broadway, Committee Room, 16th floor, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The New York City Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee meets, 250 Broadway, Hearing Room, Manhattan.

1:45 p.m. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers a regional budget presentation, Classics V Banquet Facility, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

2 p.m. – The New York City Council Rules, Privileges and Elections Committee meets, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

2:15 p.m. – The Alliance for Quality Education and the Campaign for Fiscal Equity continue their week-long “Fact Finding Tour” of schools and education funding across the state, Cohoes Middle School, 7 Bevan St., Cohoes.

5:30 p.m. – State Sen. George Latimer and Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer host a state budget community hearing, Grinton Will Public Library, 1500 Central Park Ave., Yonkers.

5:30 p.m. – The New York City Voter Assistance Advisory Committee meets, Office of Collective Bargaining, Conference Room 2, 7th floor, 40 Rector St., Manhattan.

5:30 p.m. – Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, Educators 4 Excellence and others hold a roundtable discussion on Common Core and other education issues, Shore Hill Housing Community Room, 9000 Shore Road, Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – Our Lady of Lourdes High School and state Sen. Greg Ball host a Common Core Forum, Our Lady of Lourdes High School, 131 Boardman Road, Poughkeepsie.

6 p.m. – The Local Development Corporation of East New York hosts Malcolm X Remember: An Evening of Dialogue with Chief Aide to Malcolm X Abdullah Abdur-Razzaq, Brooklyn Central Library, Dweck Auditorium, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – State Sen. Jose Serrano and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance sponsor a town hall meeting on Roosevelt Island, Good Shepherd Community Center, 543 Main St., Roosevelt Island.

6 p.m. – Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams hosts a Black History Month celebration, Brooklyn Historical Society, Great Hall, 128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer holds a Trailblazers Event in honor of Black History Month, Long Island University Brooklyn, Kumble Theatre, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña attends a town hall meeting of District 27’s Community Education Council, P.S. 333 The Goldie Maple School, 3-65 Beach 56 St., Queens.

7 p.m. – Rep. Nita Lowey, representatives from the U.S. Department of Education, New York State Higher Education Services Corporation and the state Attorney General’s Office hold a student financial aid forum, Mercy College, Mercy Hall, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry.

7 p.m. – The Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club holds an endorsement meeting for the 13th Congressional District with Rep. Charles Rangel, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and Pastor Michael Walrond Jr., 304 W. 231st St., Bronx.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capitol Tonight features New York State of Health’s Donna Frescatore and Syracuse University professor David Rubin, Time Warner Cable News.



EDUCATION: City & State’s Upcoming March 10 Issue Spotlight

Promote your organization’s education objectives and benefits to NY’s public officials in this strategic government relations communications venue. City & State magazine’s comprehensive special section will feature: Public Officials Q&A with John Flanagan, Merryl Tisch, John King, Carmen Farina and Meredith Bajgier (officials pending confirmation); Featured Editorial: Common Core | Universal Pre-K | Higher Education | Education Scorecard: Key Players, Issues and Stats.  The ad deadline is March 6.  For advertising information, please contact or call 212-284-9714.



KICKER: “It is really a lifeline for folks who don’t have any other means to do repairs. It’s extremely concerning the program hasn’t been able to speed up to the degree people need to get on with our lives.” — Nathalie Alegre, coordinator of the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding, on the lack of movement for New York City’s Build It Back program, via the Daily News.

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