First Read - April 2, 2014


WEATHER: Rain downstate; sun and some clouds elsewhere. New York City, high 61; Albany, high 55; Buffalo, high 39.



* Some at the Capitol are skeptical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reasoning for using a message of necessity to help accelerate the budget process, though they don’t believe he abused his power, The Wall Street Journal writes:

* After months of political battling to begin the year, both Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio exchanged from afar kind words about each other as state budget season wrapped up, the Journal reports:

* A review of the Port Authority found that a decaying business model is the top issue for the authority, with governors from both states pushing high-price projects and forcing the agency to look to raise tolls, the Times writes:

* The Hotel Trades Council is pushing for stricter public review of new hotel development—which could help it gain members—setting up a test pitting de Blasio’s promises to developers against his relationship with labor, the Journal writes:

* Federal prosecutors allege former Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone is violating conflict-of-interest laws by using a law firm whose lead partner is running for Congress for his trial for public corruption charges, the Post reports:

* A lawyer for passengers injured in December’s Metro-North derailment says the railroad initially agreed to pay for medical care for injured passengers but later stopped paying bills, the Post reports:

* In a memo, Emma Wolfe, de Blasio’s director of intergovernmental affairs, wrote that the money in the state budget for New York City’s prekindergarten wasn’t a victory for any one politician but a victory for children and parents, the Daily News reports:

* A pair of lawyers and a real estate developer were acquitted of federal bribery charges of allegedly paying off New York City officials to win bids for affordable housing developments, the Post reports:

* The co-chairmen of a committee, which includes Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, examining whether the Buffalo Bills should play in a new stadium said it could take years to gather and analyze data before making a recommendation, the Buffalo News writes:

* De Blasio said he wants people to drop his formal title and call him Bill and is looking for an “I work for them” sense of connection with his constituency, the Daily News writes:


ISSUE SPOTLIGHT: In our Last Read email, check out the new spotlight section with links to must-read stories on education (on Monday), energy and environment (Tuesday), healthcare (Wednesday), infrastructure (Thursday) and labor (Friday).



UNION CONSTRUCTION PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND MIDDLE CLASS CAREERS: A newColumbia University report calls The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills “a national model” and “the most successful construction industry pre-apprenticeship program in the country” that delivers “an extraordinary return on investment for minority youth.”   1,485 NYC residents placed in union apprenticeships.  89% are minorities.  80% remain actively employed.  THIS IS WHAT UNION CONSTRUCTION LOOKS LIKE.  SHOULDN’T IT BE WHAT ALL CONSTRUCTION LOOKS LIKE? Click HERE to download the full report.




* The Times applauds Albany County’s moratorium on the expansion of oil processing facilities at the Port of Albany because oil tank cars are accidents waiting to happen and regulators at all levels should reduce risks:

* The Daily News writes that in continuing to deal with Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has brought pay-to-play to the Council, and she must cut ties with the firm or its clients:

* The Post writes that public campaign financing, which the state passed a pilot program for, invites the corruption as it tries to keep it out, and even advocates see the state’s new plan as meaningless:

* The budget deal contains a set of ethics laws that give real teeth to New York’s district attorneys trying to fight government corruption, former Moreland Commission Co-chairmen William Fitzpatrick and Milton Williams write in the Daily News:

* Tuesday’s rally in Albany was against a year-old law—the SAFE Act—that did nothing the naysayers feared, and Rob Astorino’s appearance makes him seem as weak of a gubernatorial candidate as Carl Paladino was, Mike Lupica of the Daily News writes:



We Can End the Tale of Two Cities. NYC can create good jobs with family-sustaining wages and build affordable housing at the same time.  The Domino Sugar project proposed by Two Trees Management is the place to begin.  Let’s make sure the Domino Sugar rezoning raises up our communities with good jobs for all workers, real affordable housing, and community benefits for all. Sign the petition: Ironworkers Local 46




* Fresh off of a day wooing the press corps, Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared on NY1’s Inside City Hall last night in an interview with anchor Errol Louis. Louis quizzed the mayor on the implications of the $300 million New York City is set to receive from the state for full-day pre-school. Asked how the city will prioritize which preschool centers qualify to run the new program, the mayor would only say that he is “looking at the whole city, obviously” and that the only priority was “quality.” De Blasio was more revealing when Louis pressed him on whether his affordable housing plan would address the city’s growing homeless population. “The two go together,” de Blasio said of homelessness prevention and affordable housing. “Our larger approach to affordable housing, the 200,000 units we’re going to create over the next 10 years is also going to have a big impact on the reality of homelessness, because it’s going to provide a lot more affordable housing options for families that are struggling that sadly, sometimes, end up without an option and end up in our shelter system. We’re trying to got the root causes by creating a much greater supply of affordable housing.”

* When Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino heaped glowing praise on Donald Trump at an anti-SAFE Act rally at the Capitol Tuesday, the thousands gathered cheered sporadically. But when Paladino introduced Trump as the next governor of New York State, the masses roared. Although Trump has said he will not run, the rally took a largely Trump-for-governor tone with raucous applause during his six-minute speech and numerous “Trump for Governor” signs dotting the crowd. Trump discussed New York’s economy and a lack of support for upstate—save for during campaign time, he said—before lighting into the SAFE Act, the governor’s landmark gun control law. “When you go all through the list of just negative after negative, on top of everything, they give you the SAFE Act,” he said as the crowd booed. Trump ended his remarks by saying he is with attendees “no matter where you are.” Paladino then gave faint praise to Rob Astorino, who actually is running for governor, before Astorino took the stage. “Rob Astorino is a good man, but we need somebody who’s going to get elected,” Paladino said. “We have to win. Serving and winning are two different things. We have to win. That takes money. That takes name recognition, and that’s what’s so important for us.”



We demand jobs, safety and justice now.  New York's outdated scaffold law is costing thousands of new Pre-K seats in our communities.  It's hurting Minority and Women owned businesses and making job sites less safe.  The budget is done, but Albany still has work to do.  The Alliance for Minority and Women Construction Businesses is demanding change this session.   It's time to reform the Scaffold Law




* Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Councilman Ben Kallos and Reshma Saujani spoke at City & State's On Technology forum in late March discussing ways the city can become more high tech:


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

Deputy Director, New York Immigration Coalition

Description: We seek an experienced, dynamic candidate to work closely with the Executive Director to provide leadership for the NYIC, the nation’s largest statewide immigrant rights coalition. The Deputy Director will have key internal responsibilities – operations, communications, finance and fundraising – as well as important external responsibilities – advocacy and strategy, support for Coalition members, and management of political relationships.

Further Info: To view the full job description, please visit:  Please send a cover letter and resume to


Government Relations Associate

Salary: Competitive salary commensurate with experience and excellent benefits.

Description: Leading NYC-based government relations firm is looking for experienced, highly-motivated, organized professional who will thrive in a fast-paced environment. Responsibilities: Manage multiple accounts and provide strategic support to our diverse client base. Qualifications: Candidates must demonstrate an understanding of NYC/NYS government affairs and the political landscape; 4+ years’ experience in NYC/NYS government/politics strongly preferred.

Further info: Email resumes and cover letters to


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To former state Senate candidate George Amedore … to Danny Kanner … to Jamin Sewell, director of lobbying and government relations with The Advance Group … and to Capital New York reporter Dana Rubinstein.


MOVING ON: Anthony Thomas has been hired as the political director for the New York City Central Labor Council … and Kriss Casanova joined the Union Square Partnership as director of economic development.



City & State’s Upcoming April 7 Issue Spotlight: AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Promote your organization’s affordable housing objectives and benefits to NY’s public officials in this politically strategic communications venue. City & State magazine’s comprehensive special section will feature: Public Officials Q&A with Alicia Glen, Vicki Been, Keith Wright and Shaun Donovan (officials pending confirmation); Featured Editorial: Domino Deal | Defining Affordable Housing | Astorino vs. HUD | Scorecard: Key Players, Issues and Stats.  The ad deadline is April 4.  For advertising information, please contact or call 212-284-9714.




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

7:20 a.m. – State Sen. George Latimer discusses the recently passed state budget, WGCH 1490 AM.

9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. – Nancy Foner, author of "One Out of Three: Immigrant New York in the Twenty-First Century," talks about the city's new immigrant profile with host Doug Muzzio on "City Talk," CUNY TV.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Housing and Buildings Committee meets, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – The New York Alliance for Donation holds a press conference on legislative steps to improve the performance of the New York State Donate Life Registry, Legislative Office Building, LCA Press Room, Room 130, Albany.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, Assemblyman Al Stirpe, state Sen. Joe Griffo, UUP President Fred Kowal and Hofstra University National Center for Suburban Studies Executive Dean Larry Levy, WCNY.

11 a.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the Friends of the High Line Spring Cutback event, southwest corner of Chelsea Market Passage, entrance to the High Line at 14th St., Manhattan.

12 p.m. – State Sen. Greg Ball, Assemblywoman Didi Barrett and Dutchess County officials hold a funding announcement regarding Dutchess County, Dutchess County Office Building, 6th floor Legislature Chambers, 22 Market St., Poughkeepsie.

1:30 p.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio visits a pre-K classroom and makes an announcement, Police Officer Ramon Suarez School, 17-15 Weirfield St., Queens.

2 p.m. – State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblyman Ron Kim announce the passage of the state budget, including funding for universal pre-K and afterschool programs, Courtyard at Little Sweet Angels Preschool, 146-27 Beech Ave., Suite 1B, Queens.

5:30 p.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Brewer speaks at a SEIU 32BJ rally for apartment building workers, Park Avenue and 83rd Street, Manhattan.

6 p.m. – The Jewish Lawyers Guild holds its 38th Annual Dinner, Hilton New York , 1355 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall features Howard Glaser, the governor’s director of state operations; and The Political Rundown with Curtis Sliwa and Gerson Borrero, Time Warner Cable News NY1.

7:30 p.m. – De Blasio delivers remarks at the Jewish Community Relations Council Gala, The Pierre Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 2 E. 61st St., Manhattan.

7:30 p.m. – MetroFocus includes Albany Public TV’s Jenna Flanagan on 3D printing at SUNY New Paltz, a panel at the Council on Foreign Relations’ Emerging Technology series and a report on philanthropist Lewis Cullman, WLIW21.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features Unshackle Upstate’s Brian Sampson, Time Warner Cable News.  


KICKER: “When I'm on the street, people call me ‘Bill’ and I like that. I appreciate that sense of intimacy.” – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, via the Daily News.