First Read - May 27, 2016

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WEATHER:  Partly sunny skies with a chance of thunderstorms in downstate. Clouds with a chance of thunderstorms in the Capital Region. Mostly sunny in Western New York. New York City, high 85; Albany, high 88; Buffalo, high 75.



* While New York politicians enjoy beaches and barbecues this weekend, they’ll soon be scrambling to push through the last important pieces of legislation. Before the flurry of deal-making starts, sit back, relax and enjoy the weekend – and this week’s Winners & Losers!

* In a special Slant Podcast, Alexis Grenell joins Jessica Proud and Leticia Remauro to talk more deeply about what it means to be a Republican, a woman, and Republican women in a blue state like New York.



* According to documents and people familiar with the matter, large gaps in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s schedule are now filled with private meetings and calls away from City Hall since multiple investigations into his fundraising and administration began, The Wall Street Journal reports..

* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s inquiry into the state Department of Public Service has broadened, with a federal subpoena now seeking all records of emails and in-person meetings between senior state energy officials and top Cuomo administration officials, Politico New York reports.

* New York state investigators who work for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman searched an office at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which had been used by Todd Howe, as part of a probe into the school’s contracting practices, the Journal reports.

* Even as Bart Schwartz’s “independent” review is held up as a measure of confidence in the Cuomo administration and the state’s vast economic development apparatus, several questions about Schwartz’s role and power remain, Gotham Gazette writes.

* Speaking to reporters for the first time since admitting he coined the term “agents of the city” for outside political consultants and exempted them from transparency laws, de Blasio said he doesn’t talk about their clients who have city business, the Daily News reports.

* More news below …



Everyone agrees: New York’s hospitals and doctors deliver world-class patient care. But out-of-control medical malpractice costs that are by far the nation’s highest are stark proof of a deeply flawed system. Let’s make sure Albany doesn’t make it worse. Join us in urging the New York State Legislature to reject any bills that would raise medical malpractice costs even higher and weaken the ability of doctors and hospitals to deliver high-quality care:



* Advocates for homeless people filed a complaint with New York City’s Civil Rights Commission accusing the Police Department of targeting people living on the street, a practice they say violates a two-year-old law that prohibits “bias-based profiling,” The New York Times writes.

* New York City has agreed to make all day care center providers post “report cards” at their entrances detailing their safety records with information about violations and program suspensions and enforced by the Department of Health, the Daily News reports.

* Salt must soon be visibly on the menu at hundreds more chain restaurants in New York City, after a court cleared the way for the city to enforce a rule requiring many eateries to alert consumers to food items with high salt content, the Times reports.

* In a letter, homeless advocates are accusing the de Blasio administration of directing police to shuffle the homeless from place to place to make it appear he is cleaning up the city, and asked the city Commission on Human Rights to investigate, the Post writes.

* The Education Council Consortium, an unofficial New York City advisory group of parents and other advisors chosen by officials, is urging Albany lawmakers to curb the mayor’s power over city schools, which is due to expire next month, the Daily News reports.

* While federal investigators examine Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion, many companies already contracted by the Port Authority, and who stand to benefit from LaGuardia Airport's overhaul, are also big campaign contributors to the governor, NY1 reports.



Know someone with leadership potential? Help build the next generation of NYC’s community leaders.

The Murphy Institute at the CUNY School of Professional Studies is recruiting for Community Semester, a 16-week academic and community service experience. Students hone skills through coursework and first-hand experience working with a community-based organization while earning college credit and financial support toward educational expenses. Open to students entering the BA in Urban and Community Studies or the MA in Urban Studies.




* The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption program, or SCRIE, is not effectively addressing the full challenge of affordable senior housing – but with a few modifications it could provide a true safety net for seniors, write Enterprise Community Partners’ Judi Kende and LiveOn NY’s Bobbie Sackman.



Together We Can Help and Inspire People Through Running --New York Road Runners is looking to provide more free running programs for kids, adults, and seniors, right in your borough! To get your local schools and neighborhoods running and walking, contact NYRR today at  




* The Journal writes that since de Blasio and the New York City Council have done their best to revive homelessness and with knife slashings more frequent, making the city safer for small offenders will eventually make it less safe for everyone else.

* Schneiderman and other state attorneys general are relying on significant scientific research and serving the public they represent by holding the oil companies accountable for hiding the facts, casting doubt on science, and manipulating public opinion, the Times Union writes.

* At the least, state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie should give Cuomo his wish and shut the LLC loophole for gubernatorial races to bolster confidence that governors are untainted by limitless cash, the Daily News writes.

* The Post defends New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who called rappers “thugs” after a fatal shooting at a rap concert, and argues many, although not all, rap lyrics embrace violence, misogyny, drug use or gang culture.

* Supporters of the Long Island Rail Road’s plan to add a third track between Floral Park and Hicksville heard sensible questions from residents at six public comment sessions this week, signalling the public is more accepting of the project, Newsday writes.



CITY & STATE CAREERS - WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email or call 646-442-1617. Visit www.CityandState.Careers to view all jobs.

Research Director, EffectiveNY

New York-oriented public policy think tank seeks thoughtful, meticulous, full-time research director to produce an eclectic range of position papers about state and city government. Ideal candidate would already be knowledgeable about New York politics and government and enthusiastic about helping to come up with innovative solutions to important problems. This is a great opportunity for a current staffer to a city or state elected official, grad student or recent MPA. Salary contingent upon experience.

Vice President, SKDKnickerbocker

SKDKnickerbocker, New York’s leading public affairs and communications shop, is looking to fill a Vice President (VP) level position in the public relations division in its Albany office. The VP will work on a range of clients from corporate and non-profit sectors. High-quality writing skills are a must. Previous experience engaging Albany and New York press corps preferred.

Community & Social Services Analyst, The NYC Independent Budget Office

Nonpartisan city agency, seeks a budget and policy analyst to over youth, senior and correction programs. A successful candidate must be self-motivated, able to juggle multiple projects, have advanced quantitative and analytic skills, and be committed to impartial studies.

Scheduler, Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC

Responsibilities include organizing and handling outgoing and incoming schedule requests, assisting with logistics for local and regional travel, and administrative office duties.  Excellent organizational, prioritization, time management, communications and computer skills required.  Proficiency in excel and google calendar required. Previous scheduling experience a plus.




* Donald Trump secured the delegates he needs to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, and immediately showed what an unpredictable general-election candidate he will be, the Journal reports.

* Trump called for more fossil fuel drilling and fewer environmental regulations while vowing to “cancel the Paris climate agreement,” the 2015 accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to curb climate change, the Times writes.

* Unable to shake a distraction for her campaign, Hillary Clinton played down a report from the State Department’s inspector general that criticized her use of a private email server while secretary of state, the Times reports.



Support Home Ownership – Help First Time Homebuyers.  High taxes and fees are creating barriers for potential homebuyers who work hard to save and own their first homes.  That’s why legislators are working to create an incentive program to help New Yorkers easily save for their first home. Contact your State Representatives to let them know that you support the creation of the NY First Home program for first time homebuyers. Visit to learn more.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Today, to Arthur “Jerry” Kremer, New York AREA chairman and former Assembly Ways and Means chairman … to Lawrence Scherer, co-founder and partner at State & Broadway … to former New York City Councilman Lew Fidler … and to Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages … on Saturday, to Edward Ambrosino, attorney at Rivkin Radler LLP … to Ian Siegel, senior project manager at Salmar Properties LLC … to Lisanne Guzzetta, major account executive at PSEG Long Island … to Kristen Mucitelli-Heath, director of regional health initiatives at St Joseph's Hospital Health Center … to Joe Bonilla, managing partner for Relentless Awareness … to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani … to former New York City Council candidate Deirdre Feerick … and to David Lobl, special assistant for community affairs in the Cuomo administration … and on Sunday, to Assemblyman Dan Quart … to former Assemblyman Robert Sweeney … to Andrew Ferris, community liaison for state Sen. George Latimer … and to Natalia Alfonso, a political consultant and CEO of Profectus Social Innovation Strategies.



The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York State Museum invite you to join them for a free celebratory reception for their new exhibit, “Imagine the American West,” featuring selections from The Met. The event will be held on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the State Museum located at 222 Madison Ave. in Albany. This event is open to the public. To RSVP, please email or call (212) 650–2650.




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

9 a.m. - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the New York City Department of Education Advanced Sustainability Training, UFT Headquarters, 52 Broadway, 2nd floor, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - “The Brian Lehrer Show” features New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on the Memorial Day weekend, new Taxi and Limousine Commission driver fatigue rules, tenant protection and the newly trained correction officers; and Adrian Benepe, senior vice president and director of City Park Development at The Trust for Public Land, WNYC.

10 a.m. - Brewer joins 1986 New York Mets to visit veterans, VA Hospital Atrium, 423 E. 23rd St., Manhattan.

11 a.m. - “The Capitol Pressroom” features City & State’s Jon Lentz, the Manhattan Institute’s Yevgeniy Feyman, Daily News Albany Bureau Chief Ken Lovett, Tom Wilber of the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, and Jon Potter, the president and founder of Fan Freedom, WCNY.

11:30 a.m. – De Blasio discusses the Memorial Day weekend, new Taxi and Limousine Commission driver fatigue rules, tenant protection and the newly trained correction officers, AM 710 WOR.

12 p.m. - De Blasio discusses mayoral control, the Memorial Day weekend and the debt crisis in Puerto Rico, AM 1280’s Radio WADO.

12:30 p.m. - New York City Councilman Barry Grodenchik and Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott participate in Queens Library’s story time and advocacy rally, Glen Oaks Library, 256-04 Union Turnpike, Queens.

12:30 p.m. - State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and others call on Christ Church United Methodist to renew a lease with ARC XVI Fort Washington Senior Center,  4111 Broadway, Manhattan.

1 p.m. - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, state Sens. Joe Addabbo and James Sanders, and New York City Councilmen Eric Ulrich and Donovan Richards celebrate the upcoming opening of Rockaway Beach for the swimming season, Rockaway Beach Boardwalk, 94th Street Plaza, Queens.

4:30 p.m. - State Sen. Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and others rally against gun violence in response to a recent shooting, Throggs Neck Houses, 810 Astor Ave., Bronx.

7 p.m. - Brewer attends PS 130 Benefit, Jing Fong, 20 Elizabeth St., Manhattan.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Inside City Hall” features the Friday Reporters Roundtable with Laura Nahmias of Politico New York, Jen Fermino of the Daily News and Nick Powell of City & State, Time Warner Cable News NY1.

8 p.m. - Brewer speaks at Theater for a New City Lower East Side Festival, 155 First Ave., Manhattan.


KICKER: “You have a radioactive symbol for an essential nutrient. This is the first of its kind. It looks like a poison symbol.” - Christin Fernandez, a spokeswoman for the National Restaurant Association,on the city’s new salt warning label, via The New York Times.