First Read Tonight – November 20, 2017

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy in Albany and mostly clear in New York City and Buffalo. New York City, low 39; Albany, low 29; Buffalo, low 39.



* Incoming New York City Council members are learning that chief of staff Ramón Martinez is the person who prioritizes projects on the speaker’s desk, and Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez could be an early favorite to replace New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Gerson Borrero writes in this week’s Bochinche & Buzz column.



* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted he has known for the past 18 months that the New York City Housing Authority was not completing thousands of required lead paint inspections and, in retrospect, should have mentioned it when he learned about it, the Daily News reports.

* U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer has joined a growing chorus calling on the state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference to reunify with the chamber’s mainline Democrats, saying it’s “the right thing to do,” the Daily News reports.

* The push by organized labor against a state constitutional convention may have helped bring more Democrats out on Election Day, with some correlation between anti-convention lobbying and where Democrats performed better, Politico New York reports.

* State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said Republicans deserve credit for a state income tax cut worth $4.2 billion annually once phased in and will reduce rates by 20 percent for middle-income earners, State of Politics reports.

* After official complaints were made by recently defeated New York City Council District 40 candidate Brian Cunningham, multiple voters described supporters of New York City Councilman Mathieu Eugene engaging in improper behavior on Election Day, the Village Voice reports.

* More news below …




The Committee, nearly 100 professionals, represents 70 firms and companies from  Design, Construction, and Real Estate.  It was born from the Building Congress’ understanding that for the industry to be successful, it must embrace new technology, best practices, and innovation.  “At NYBC, our forward thinking is helping create the projects of tomorrow, and the biggest projects of the day after tomorrow – the people on this committee will be the ones who conceive, design, and build these projects,” said Building Congress President & CEO Carlo A. Scissura. Read More Here.



* Transit advocacy group Riders Alliance channeled commuters’ frustrations over the failing transit system on Monday into a new campaign that’s meant to bring comprehensive fixes to the subway by handing out “Subway Delay Action Kits” to commuters at Grand Central Terminal, Curbed New York reports.

* State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told a climate conference in Germany on Friday that it was reassuring to hear that there are opportunities to invest state pension fund money in environmentally sound opportunities, the Times Union reports.

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* The U.S. Department of Justice is expected to file a lawsuit aimed at blocking AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner over antitrust concerns and President Donald Trump has stated his opposition to the merger, citing his longstanding animosity toward CNN, The Wall Street Journal reports.

* A second woman said U.S. Sen. Al Franken inappropriately touched her when he was a sitting senator, grabbing her buttocks while taking a photo in 2010 at the Minnesota State Fair, CNN reports.

* Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said she will leave the Fed at the end of her term in early February, leaving immediately upon the swearing-in of the next chairman, who is likely to be Trump’s nominee Jerome H. Powell, The New York Times reports.



City & State and WNET present a two-night special edition of MetroFocus: Who Will be the Next New York City Council Speaker? A televised forum with the eight candidates vying to lead the City Council for the next four years. Airing on MetroFocus Tuesday, November 21st and Wednesday November 22nd . Get the full schedule here: and watch online:




* Victor Pacheco planted, trimmed and harvested grapes and raspberries at the Diller-Raby Farm in Lewiston for more than two decades, until he was stopped leaving a bank, arrested by immigration officers and subsequently deported back to Mexico, The Buffalo News reports.

* A battle in White Plains is pitting a homeowner against historic preservationists, highlighting the tensions that can flare up between property owners and preservation committees, underscoring the broad criteria that can be used to designate properties as historic landmarks, the Journal reports.

* Residents of NYCHA’s Melrose Houses in the South Bronx described the dangerous conditions they live in, the Daily News reports, after a report revealed that the agency had falsely certified it was completing required lead paint inspections.



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7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” features New York City Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye, NY1.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – “Capital Tonight” features Rep. Paul Tonko, Housing Works President and CEO Charles King and New York Civil Liberties Union’s Donna Lieberman, Spectrum News.



7 p.m. – The Sabres host the Columbus Blue Jackets, MSGB.

7:30 p.m. – The Knicks host the Los Angeles Clippers, MSG.



10 a.m. – Assemblyman William Colton speaks in support of Christopher Columbus statues at the public meeting held by the mayor’s commission on monuments and statues, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Public Safety meets, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – The New York City Council Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – The New York City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises meets, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Land Use meets, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – Tenants, members of the Alliance for Tenant Power and elected officials call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to use his discretion to establish an emergency rent freeze for the 26,000 rent-controlled units remaining in New York City, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The New York City Council Committees on Environmental Protection and on Consumer Affairs meet, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

4 p.m. – State Sen. Marisol Alcántara, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Carmen De la Rosa and New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez distribute Thanksgiving turkeys to uptown families, United Palace Theater, 4140 Broadway, Manhattan.

6 p.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts a town hall with New York City Councilman Peter Koo, hosted in conjunction with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Rep. Grace Meng, state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblyman Ron Kim, 144-80 Barclay Ave., Queens.

6 p.m. – The New York Immigration Coalition and the New York State Immigrant Action Fund host a forum for New York City Council speaker candidates, 131 W. 33rd St., second floor, Manhattan.


TOP TWEET: Wheels of “Justice with Judge Jeanine” star do not turn slowly – Pirro ticketed for going 119mph in a 65, @klnynews reports

-Dareh Gregorian @darehgregorian