First Read - December 2, 2016

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers in upstate. Mostly sunny in downstate. New York City, high 50; Albany, high 47; Buffalo, high 44.



* A well-connected Republican source tells City & State’s Gerson Borrero that President-elect Donald Trump has already offered the secretary of state job to Rudy Giuliani and that his future staff at the State Department is already being lined up. 

* There seems like there is a daily game of Winners & Losers playing out at Trump Tower these days, but we picked our choices from a broader scope (well, maybe not all of our choices). Click here to see who made this week’s list

* Henry Cisneros, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton, joins this week’s Slant Podcast to discuss Donald Trump’s infrastructure plans and his tenure at HUD working with Andrew Cuomo. 



* Upsetting the state Capitol’s usual rhythms of activity, the state Legislature is contemplating an unusual December special session, with a glittering prize as motivation: a pay raise, The New York Times reports.

* New York City Public Advocate Letitia James said the new federal ban on smoking in public housing might inflame the relationship between cops and community and said she’s afraid of “aggressive enforcement” of the ban, the Daily News writes.

* The state Commission on Judicial Nomination released its list of seven nominees to fill the seat on the Court of Appeals that will be vacated at the end of this month by the forced retirement of Judge Eugene Pigott, the Times Union reports.

* The state Court of Appeals has been operating for nearly a year without a presiding justice, an unusual situation that has frustrated some in legal circles, and has caused many to ask why the post was taking so long to fill, The Wall Street Journal reports.

* Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance charged that a New York City Council bill to remake parts of the city’s strict campaign finance rules will eliminate safeguards that have helped authorities catch pols ripping off taxpayers, the Daily News reports.

* More news below … 



This is a must-attend event! On December 13, the NYSSCPA will hold its first Marijuana Symposium at the Executive Conference Center, 153 East 53rd Street, 14th Floor, New York NY, from 11:30 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. Attend two roundtable discussions with New York State senators; licensed dispensaries; and audit, banking, insurance, legal, and taxation industry professionals. Join us as they share the business, tax, and legal implications of New York State’s marijuana industry. RSVP Here



* U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer huddled with Canadian officials to discuss policies that are said to be harmful to New York milk producers and urged them to reverse these “protectionist and restrictive trade policies,” the Times Union reports.

* A New York state comptroller's office review of 2015 property tax rebates found the state made more than 31,000 questionable payments totaling $8 million, including some that went to dead property owners or those not actually eligible for the STAR exemption, the Post Standard writes.

* Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has sent a letter to the state DOT expressing his “concern” that more than 150 of the controversial “I Love New York” tourism signs that have sprung up on state highways and local streets since June were made in Arkansas, Newsday writes.

* Public Advocate James joined the chorus of voices attacking Mayor Bill de Blasio’s use of outside consultants, denouncing the practice as a “violation of ethics,” and said there should be “a firewall between those who lobby this city” and policy makers, the Post reports.



Verizon’s got the best devices on the best network, but we also know that there’s a time and place to put them aside. With the holidays quickly approaching, truly be present when spending time with friends and family this season – even if that means putting the devices down for a while. Visit and #BePresent this Holiday Season. 




Real Estate Board of New York’s Michael Slattery rebuts the Community Service Society of New York’s criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 421-a proposal with a set of facts about the tax exemption. 



Join a unique training program on Applied Data Analytics for Public Policy,offered jointly by NYU, the University of Chicago, and the University of Maryland. Taught by editors of Big Data and Social Science, learn how to approach problems using real world data and modern technology, and how to scrape the web, use APIs, and apply machine learning. The program also provides an inside opportunity to network with practitioners from other cities and states.




* Cuomo is right to demand that any pay increases require state legislators to work full time and accept a tight limit on outside income, but some of the other items on his laundry list of demands shouldn’t be tied to raises, such as the the renewal of 421-a, Newsday writes.

* The current state budget includes $175 million for community schools, but continued funding is not automatic, and Cuomo and legislators must continue the commitment and be prepared to expand it if the efforts continue to prove their value, the Times Union writes.

* Albany has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness to change on its own, and it’s a relief that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will continue his essential work in the Trump administration after January, the Buffalo News writes.

* New York City politicians who engage in civil disobedience do not know the true meaning of the act and face no real risk, since they are often quickly processed by police if arrested and released with no penalties, Manhattan Institute’s Seth Barron writes in the Post. 



Dec. 5th City & State magazine Features: SETTING THE 2017 AGENDA: Infrastructure | Energy & Environment

Start your organization’s strategic government relations messaging nowfor the 2017 legislative session. Each special section features: A preview of the key issues in the 2017 session; Public Officials’ viewpoints; Analysis from industry sector representatives. Ad deadline is today, Dec. 2 at 2pm. For further information, please contact



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Today, to George Fontas, executive vice president at Capalino+Company … to Marc La Vorgna, founder of MLV Strategies, LLC … to Carla Matero, executive director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Special Projects and Community Events … to Alex Anderson, constituent services for New York City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz … to Margo Catsimatidis, wife of former New York City mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis … and to Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte … on Saturday, to Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum … to Michael McKee, treasurer at Tenants PAC … to New Jersey Sen. Jim Whelan … to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz … to New York City Council Member Steve Levin … to Allen Cappelli, member of the New York City Civil Service Commission … to Stephanie Bello, community affairs director for New York City Councilman Mark Levine … and to Jillian Jonas, creator of the “Ethics Ain’t Pretty” blog and public affairs segment producer at WBAI Radio … on Sunday, to Tyquana Henderson-Parsons, Connective Strategies president and CEO … to Pablo Romano, community associate at the New York City Department of Transportation … to Ray Long, vice president of government affairs at NRG Energy … and to Judith Enck, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



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.

Account Supervisor, Kirtzman Strategies 

Kirtzman Strategies, a public affairs communications firm, is expanding and looking for a mid-level communications strategist with 3+ years’ experience to join our team. You’ll manage client accounts, develop and execute communications plans, and contribute to new business proposals. Candidates must possess excellent writing skills, a strong media sense, and a track record of successful account management.

Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Office of the Queens Borough President

The Administrative Assistant will primarily be responsible for assisting the Chief of Staff with administrative and clerical support services in the day-to-day operations of the Borough President’s Executive Office. Responsibilities include management of briefings, special research and coordination projects, and reviewing correspondence and publication materials. Ideal candidate would be self-motivated and able to manage multiple tasks and projects simultaneously. Email resume and cover letter to

Creative Director, Metropolitan Public Strategies

We are looking for a talented and energetic Creative Director who will be responsible for development of online strategy, management of online marketing campaigns, and supervision of creative content production. This person will play a leading role in the development and execution of digital advertising and marketing strategies, including targeting, placement, and management of digital ad campaigns across multiple platforms (onboarding, social media, etc.). 

Associate, Metropolitan Public Strategies 

We are looking for a talented, motivated individual to play a vital role in assisting the MPS team with ongoing client campaigns with opportunities to eventually play a leading role on client projects. Daily responsibilities will include conducting research of public records, creating content for our client’s online efforts, drafting press releases, media advisories, talking points, fact sheets, op-eds and other communications materials, preparing presentations, and strategizing with high-level staff members.




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

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public schedule. 

8:30 a.m. – Representatives from the NYC Human Rights Commission and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, elected officials and advocates from the Women’s Prison Association and the College and Community Fellowship partner with Community Board 12 to host “Reclaim the Hope: How The Fair Chance Act Can Help,” to help formerly incarcerated women and men understand their rights under the Fair Chance Act, Community Board 12, 4101 White Plains Road, Bronx.

9 a.m. – The Erie County Commission on the Status of Women holds an economic justice forum to explore issues of gender pay inequity, Westminster Church, Case Library, 724 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

10:15 a.m. – Brooklyn Law School, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, NYC Councilman David Greenfield host panel discussion on zoning in our diverse communities for the future, featuring panelists including Councilman Rafael Espinal, 250 Joralemon St., Brooklyn. 

11 a.m. – The National Action Network (NAN), New York City Council members Rory Lancman, Jumaane Williams and Robert Cornegy, Minister Kirsten John Foy and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, and civil rights advocates hold rally for two-year anniversary of the end of the grand jury case that ended with no indictment of officer Daniel Pantaleo, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11 a.m.- Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers remarks during Anheuser Busch NY headquarters grand opening, 125 West 24th St., Manhattan. 

11 a.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer holds roundtable on criminal justice reform, JustLeadership, 1900 Lexington Ave., Manhattan. 

11 a.m. – Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Ama Dwimoh, founder and former chief of the Crimes Against Children Bureau in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, will launch Operation C.A.R.E. (Child Abuse Response and Engagement), 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn. 

11 a.m. – “The Capitol Pressroom” features state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Jonathan Gradess, executive director of the New York State Defenders Association, Newsday Albany reporter Michael Gormley, and Ian Rosenblum, executive director of Education Trust–NY, WCNY.

11 a.m. – Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan announces two city court judge appointments, Rotunda, City Hall, 24 Eagle St., Albany.

12 p.m. – The New York Public Library and NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez will celebrate the completion of a $4.4 million renovation project that transformed the former custodial apartment at NYPL’s Washington Heights branch into a dedicated teen area and tech center, 1000 St. Nicholas Ave., Manhattan. 

6:30 p.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attends Congregation Beit Simchat Torah's World AIDS Day observance, 130 West 30th St., Manhattan. 



9 a.m. – New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and City Councilman Rafael Espinal are honored Boro Park Jewish Community Council Annual Legislative and Community Tribute Breakfast, Lipschitz Halls, 5000 14th Ave., Brooklyn.

4 p.m. – #CloseRikers advocates and faith leaders hold vigil to urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to close Rikers Island jail complex, Gracie Mansion Conservancy, E. 88th St. & East End Ave., Manhattan. 



10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Andy King and city Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina  visit Evander Childs High School campus, 800 East Gun Hill Road, Bronx.

11 a.m. – The Thruway Authority Board holds a public meeting, New NY Bridge Project office, fourth floor, suite 413, M1 conference room, 303 South Broadway, Tarrytown.

6 p.m. – Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz hosts a public meeting on the County’s Broadband Internet Study, Erie County Fire Training Academy, 3359 Broadway, Cheektowaga.

6:30 p.m. – New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, The Legal Aid Society, and city Department of Consumer Affairs Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Labor Policy and Standards Liz Vladeck hold Know Your Rights forum to address concerns under the Donald Trump administration, P.S. 19, 98-02 Roosevelt Ave., Queens.



Dec. 12th City & State magazine Features: PORT AUTHORITY Agency Focus

Advocate PANYNJ leadership and NY’s Public Officials in this strategic and targeted legislative messaging venue. The special section features: Q&A with Executive Director Patrick Foye; Profiles of the 10 PANYNJ Commissioners; PANYNJ History & Politics; Budget Analysis by CBC. Ad deadline: Dec. 9. For further information, please



KICKER: “They cannot be considered on a whim. I have no idea who the governor is speaking to about these issues, but it certainly isn’t me.” – Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, on the governor’s list of reforms he wants in exchange for a pay raise for lawmakers, via The New York Times.