First Read - December 23, 2014

WEATHER: Chance of showers in Western New York. Rain throughout the rest of the state. New York City, high 52; Albany, high 44; Buffalo, high 47.


THE DE BLASIO EFFECT: With affordable housing a signature issue of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, City & State explores what impact he will have in Albany on the renewal of expiring rent regulations:

BUFFALO BILLION SUPPRESSION: Jim Heaney of the Investigative Post writes about his struggles to get state spending records of the Buffalo Billion from highly paid state employees charged with managing the money:



* U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, a Staten Island Republican re-elected to a third term last month despite a 20-count federal indictment, will plead guilty to a single felony charge of tax fraud, The New York Times reports:

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has not spoken with the Rev. Al Sharpton since Saturday, when two uniformed NYPD cops were shot and killed in Brooklyn, the Daily News writes:  

* Authorities on Monday released the last known image of the shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, hoping to retrace his final hours before he executed the two officers, the New York Post reports:

* The Niagara Falls City Council approved the purchase of body cameras for police, who will join a handful of other Western New York departments either using or considering using the technology, the Buffalo News writes:

* The Cuomo administration's push to move 2,500 unionized state workers into non-union "management/confidential" status hit an early snag, with a state board requesting further details, the Times Union writes:

* More than 100,000 New Yorkers could face cuts in union pensions next year, thanks to a provision tucked into Congress' omnibus spending bill to keep the federal government funded, the Times Union reports:

* Crews at the SolarCity site unearthed traces of a steel plant buried at the site, illustrating the unusual challenges as they scramble to meet a tight timeline agreed to in late summer, the Buffalo News writes:

* More than 225,000 people enrolled in insurance plans for the first time using the state's online health insurance market, NY State of Health, between Nov. 15 and Dec. 20, the Times Union writes:

* Online grocer FreshDirect says its South Bronx site will create jobs, but critics protested at the groundbreaking on Monday, complaining of increased truck traffic in an area with high asthma rates, the Times writes:



Experts said Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who shot and killed the two NYPD officers on Saturday, was likely a social misfit with a longstanding grudge against authority in general and the police in particular, the Times reports:



The men and women of the Hotel Trades Council know that Brooklyn is the strongest choice for the Democratic National Convention in 2016. While many factors must be considered in the site selection process, few are as important as hosting the convention in hotels and an arena that represent the Democratic Party’s core values. NYC’s unionized hotel industry embodies the ideals of shared prosperity and a vibrant middle class - that’s why Brooklyn’s the clear choice for the DNC: #DNCNYC




* De Blasio is right when he insists harmony between the police and people protesting police brutality is possible, as hating police brutality and respecting the police are not contradictory impulses, the Times writes:

* However unlikely, de Blasio and PBA President Patrick Lynch should backtrack publicly from incendiary comments made about the police in order to improve a climate they both contributed to, Len Levitt writes in am New York:  

* If Grimm does plead guilty to a tax violation, he must resign from Congress and should not be allowed to write laws and still represent his constituents, the Daily News writes:




Time Warner Cable invites you to stop by the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 7, for its annual Opening Day “Open House.” We’ll be there from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the Opening Day of the NYS Legislature and pay tribute to our military service people. Our guests this year are HISTORY and our TWC VetNet employee network. Click here for more information on the event.



CITY & STATE TV:                 

* Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried discusses his push for a single-payer health care system and whether New York will legalize recreational marijuana:



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

Assistant Director of State Governmental Affairs, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Competitive benefit package

Location: Based in Manhattan or Albany (TBD).

Description: The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators seeks a new member for our public policy team as Assistant Director of State Governmental Affairs. In coordination with the CSA Director of Political Affairs and the CSA union leadership team, the Assistant Director of State Governmental Affairs will be responsible for developing and managing CSA’s state government affairs and public policy agenda.

Further Info: See full job description and application information at:


Legislative Analyst – Ostroff Associates, Inc.

Description: Albany-based lobbying firm seeking legislative analyst with a minimum of one year experience.  Primary role to support team of lobbyists. Duties include, but are not limited to bill tracking, monitoring governmental activities, research & analysis, writing, and administrative support. Interested applicants must be proficient in LRS, Statewatch, and Microsoft Office Suite.

Further Info: Resume, writing sample, and references may be submitted


Senior Associate, Progressive Cities

Salary: Competitive

Location: New York City.

Description: Progressive Cities, a rapidly growing communications and campaign strategy firm, has an immediate opening for a senior associate to work with advocacy, labor, and political clients. Key duties include placing news stories on a variety of issues, developing persuasive content and messaging, and helping with continued new business growth.

Minimum 3-5 years of experience working with New York media.

Further Info: To apply, send a cover letter for this specific position, a résumé, three recent story placements, and three writing samples to Dan Morris at


Associate Producer, Politics - NY1 News

Description: Works with Political Director/Senior Political Producer to produce NY1's nightly Inside City Hall program. Line produces, books guests, writes scripts, cuts and catalogues video. Assists reporters, supports general news staff, works with web staff to maintain political unit social media presence. Bachelor’s degree and 2 years newsroom experience required.

Further Info: To view full job description or to apply visit-


Further Info:  Please send your resume and cover letter to and reference “Director of Government Affairs” in the subject line



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Bobbie Sackman, director of public policy at the Council of Senior Centers and Services … to state Sen. Carl Marcellino … and to Mary Cooley, director of city legislative affairs for the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.



More than a lobbying firm.  More than a public relations firm.  For 25 years, Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz (CMW) has provided comprehensive consulting services to businesses, industries, non-profits, start-ups and business leaders, helping them survive and thrive in New York City’s complex media and regulatory environment. Visit our new website at to learn more.  CMW. A Public Affairs Firm for Today.




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in the New York City area and in New York City with no public schedule.

8:30 a.m. - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer thanks Greater NY Automobile Dealers Association for contributing more than 3,000 coats to New York Cares’ coat drive, New York Cares loading dock, 157 West 31st St., Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. - State Sen. Tony Avella, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, Assemblyman David Weprin, New York City Councilman Mark Weprin and advocates denounce the destruction of a Menorah, Union Turnpike and 220th Street, Queens.

11 a.m. – Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan holds a press conference to call to keep the Half Moon in the Capital Region, 24 Eagle St., Albany.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features state Sen. John Flanagan, NYS PTA President Bonnie Russell, and an education panel with AQE’s Billy Easton, Bob Lowry from NYSCOSS and Dr. Rick Timbs from the New York State Finance Consortium, WCNY, listen here:  

11 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams attends the funeral of a gun violence victim, Brooklyn.

1 p.m. - New York City Councilman David Greenfield and community leaders hold a rally to support the New York City Police Department, 5822 16th Ave., Brooklyn.

2:47 p.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other elected officials observe moment of silence in honor of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, City Hall, Manhattan.

3 p.m. - State Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis hold roundtable about trip to China, 7408 5th Ave., Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

3 p.m. - Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson is joined by representatives of the NYPD to announce results of long-term firearms trafficking investigation, 350 Jay St., 19th Floor, Brooklyn. 



Get your message in front of New York’s leadership before the 2015 Legislative session in City & State’s State of the State Special Issue. The State of the State issue features 2015 legislative priorities, profiles of newly elected representatives, and special distribution at our State of Our State evening reception and at Governor Cuomo’s address.  Contact Andrew Holt or 212-894-5422 for advertising and sponsorship information.



KICKER: “I think it’s important to note that this purchase, although highlighted by current events, is not a knee-jerk reaction to them.” – Bryan DalPorto, Buffalo Police superintendent, on the purchase of body cameras for police, via the Buffalo News