First Read – March 1, 2017

WEATHER: Rain across the state. New York City, high 68; Albany, high 64; Buffalo, high 61.



* The hysterical reaction to President Donald Trump’s histrionics from the left-leaning media intelligentsia and professional Democrats obscure the fact that he is less of a threat than advertised, particularly where relations with Russia are concerned, Ross Barkan writes.



* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he couldn’t see an immediate end to New York’s homelessness crisis and that a “blood-and-guts war strategy” was needed, but whether his strategy is gutsy enough to make a dent in the problem is unknown, The New York Times writes.

* New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres and other city lawmakers laid into city public housing officials for lagging behind on $3 billion in repairs to buildings damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Daily News writes.

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted there was already enough independent oversight of the state’s economic development programs, pointing to the local and federal prosecutors already in place, State of Politics writes.

* New York City Council legislation sponsored by Daniel Garodnick would require the NYPD to fill the public in on how it uses technology like license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices, the Daily News writes.

* The New York City Independent Budget Office found that de Blasio’s preliminary $24.4 billion 2018 school budget rose by about $1.1 billion, due in large part to teacher salary hikes, the New York Post writes.

* More news below …



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* New York City Public Advocate Letitia James said the vast majority of curbs fail to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, amNewYork writes.

* Business mogul John Catsimatidis is ramping up his team ahead of another possible run for mayor and was spotted meeting with strategists and potential advisers, the Post writes.

* More than 100 demonstrators called on schools New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to protect the city’s immigrant public school students in light of President Donald Trump’s promises and policies promoting deportations, the Daily News writes.

* The Assembly and state Senate released their economic and revenue forecasts for the upcoming fiscal year, and both project that there will be more revenues than Cuomo’s administration is forecasting, the Times Union writes.

* In his Tuesday Cabinet meeting and press conference, Cuomo repeated his assurances that the state is working with the city of Albany and its mayor, Kathy Sheehan, to find a way to close the city’s looming $12.5 million budget gap, the Times Union writes.



New research data from the country’s top economists indicate that the City University of New York propelled almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all eight Ivy League campuses, plus Duke, M.I.T., Stanford and Chicago, combined.  Read more here




* The Daily News credits de Blasio for belatedly unveiling a true plan to manage homelessness, but faults him for taking this long to get there and for, after all this time, still failing to do enough to curb the rising tide of people seeking shelter.

* Bill Traylor, president of Richman Housing Resources, and Ted Houghton, president of Gateway Housing, write in the Daily News that de Blasio’s homelessness plan has a strong shot at success because it concedes truths few New Yorkers are willing to acknowledge.

* New York Post columnist Bob McManus writes that de Blasio needs to fire city Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks if he wants to solve the homelessness crisis.



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* The never coy Assemblyman Charles Barron accused fellow Democrats of hiding behind President Donald Trump’s racism, and discussed his plan to fight back against Gov. Andrew Cuomo while revealing the racial power dynamics at City Hall and the Capitol.



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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To John Scott, former Manhattan Democratic District Leader … to New York City Councilman Rory Lancman … to Selvena Brooks-Powers, northeast regional communications director for SEIU … to Jesse Smith Campoamor, senior vice president at Capalino+Company … to Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez … and belatedly, on Tuesday, to Andrew Mangini, director of public affairs at Gramercy Communications.


MOVING ON: Maggie Scott Greenfield has been named executive director of the Bronx River Alliance and Bronx River administrator for the New York City Parks Department … she replaces Linda R. Cox, who is retiring Thursday … and director of policy, advocacy and research at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Emily Miles has been promoted to chief program and policy officer.


Have a birthday, career change, birth or death to announce? Let us know and we’ll include it in First Read – just email



CITY & STATE CAREERS – WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email or call 212-268-0442 ext. 2022. Visit www.CityandState.Careers to view all jobs.

Policy Associate for Research and Data Analysis, Citizens’ Committee for Children

Unique opportunity to serve as part of the team managing NYC’s premiere child well-being database. Support CCC’s research, community education and advocacy by providing data collection, analysis, mapping, and producing data reports.  Candidate must have experience analyzing large data sets and proficiency in ArcGIS.   

Public Finance/Tax Policy Economist, The Independent Budget Office

The Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan NYC agency, seeks experienced economist with a keen interest in public policy to fill a new position conducting evaluations of economic development tax expenditures. Background in public finance, urban economics, or tax policy analysis strongly preferred. See full job description and requirements:




The state Legislature is in session.

8 a.m. – New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks speaks at a Crain’s New York Business breakfast forum, The Yale Club of New York City, 50 Vanderbilt Ave., Manhattan.

8:45 a.m. – State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan addresses the Healthcare Association of New York State’s Advocacy Day, Meeting Rooms 2-4, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

9 a.m. – Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing holds 30th rally outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office urging the governor and legislative leaders to finalize the affordable housing memorandum of understanding, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

9 a.m. – State Sen. Robert Ortt, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and #BFair2DirectCare activists rally before their lobby day, Legislative Office Building, third floor terrace, Albany.

9:30 a.m. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes an announcement, Sidney Albert Albany JCC, 340 Whitehall Road, Albany.

10 a.m. – The state Senate Committee on Children and Families holds a public meeting, Legislative Office Building, Room 901, Albany.

10 a.m. – The state Senate Committee on Health holds a public meeting, state Capitol, Room 124, Albany.

10 a.m. – The state Legislature will continue the interview process of state Board of Regents candidates for Judicial Districts 6 and 7, state Capitol, Assembly Parlor, third floor, Albany.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections resumes its recessed public meeting that began on Feb. 27, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Finance holds a public hearing on approving the new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the expense budget, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – The state Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business holds a public meeting, Legislative Office Building Room 813, Albany.

10:30 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul chairs Women’s Suffrage Commission meeting, state Capitol, Blue Room, Albany.

10:30 a.m. – State Sens. Robert Ortt and James Seward and Assemblyman Marc Butler announce legislation to repeal provisions in the SAFE Act, state Capitol, west side of the Million Dollar Staircase, second floor, Albany.

11 a.m.Cuomo, Flanagan deliver remarks at the Orthodox Union Lobby Day, The Egg Hart Theatre, 1 Empire State Plaza, Albany.

11 a.m. – New York City Council members Vanessa Gibson and Robert Cornegy announce the introduction of the Commercial and Auto Repair Stability Act, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – “The Capitol Pressroom” features Laura Kennedy, the president of the New York state chapter of The Arc; former Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg on #BFair2DirectCare; Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and others, WCNY.

11:30 a.m. – The state Senate Committee on the Judiciary holds a public meeting, state Capitol, Room 123, Albany.

12 p.m. – The state Senate Committee on Banks holds a public meeting, Legislative Office Building, Room 915, Albany.

12 p.m. – Assembly members Linda Rosenthal and Victor Pichardo, tenants and others call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to abandon his push for a new 421-a plan, War Room, state Capitol, Albany.

12 p.m. – New York City Council Members Daniel Garodnick and Vanessa Gibson, the New York Civil Liberties Union and others announce introduction of the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

12:15 p.m. – Hochul launches Women’s History Month with elected leaders, state Capitol, Blue Room, Albany.

12:30 p.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts press conference to discuss crime statistics. 114th Precinct, 34-16 Astoria Blvd., Queens.

12:30 p.m. – The state Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions holds a public meeting, Legislative Office Building, Room 610, Albany.

12:30 p.m. – The state Senate Committee on Higher Education holds a public meeting, Legislative Office Building, Room 807, Albany.

12:30 p.m. – New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Councilman Mark Levine and others hold a press conference, City Hall, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – New York Public Interest Research Group, New Yorkers for Equal Transportation Access and others rally against City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and in favor of legislation mandating all Uber vehicles have GPS monitoring, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

1:30 p.m. – The New York City Council meets, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

2 p.m.Cuomo makes an announcement, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue between 37th and 38th streets, Manhattan.

2 p.m. – Hochul delivers opening remarks at ribbon cutting, Albany Convention Center, 55 Eagle St., Albany.

3 p.m. – The state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.

3 p.m. – Assembly members Sean Ryan, Anthony Brindisi, Patricia Fahy, William Magnarelli, Harry Bronson and others rally to advocate for state budget funding for refugee resettlement agencies, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

6 p.m. – Women’s City Club of New York hosts a conversation with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., John Jay College, Room L 61, 524 W. 59th St., Manhattan.

6 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosts a CreateNYC cultural plan workshop with New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Queens.

6:30 p.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attends Upper West Side Community Emergency Response Team 10th anniversary, American Museum of Natural History, Great Hall, Central Park West at West 77th Street, Manhattan.

7 p.m. – The Brooklyn GOP and its executive committee host a New York City mayoral candidate forum with the Rev. Michel Faulkner and Paul Massey Jr., Dyker Beach Golf Course, 1030 86th St., Brooklyn.



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KICKER: “Rather than overpromising, I think he’s being realistic. It’s better than promising something that’s not going to happen.” - Mitchell Netburn, president and CEO of Project Renewal, a homeless shelter provider, on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to open 90 new homeless shelters, via the Times.