First Read - March 28, 2014

WEATHER: Rain across the state. New York City, high 57; Albany, high 50; Buffalo, high 49.


WINNERS AND LOSERS: New York’s winter of discontent may finally be over with a state budget, warmer weather and renewed government ethics conversation all on the way; but for some on our Winners & Losers list, a new season of agony is just getting started:



* Queens Public Library President Thomas Galante billed the Elmont School District an average of 26 hours per week for consulting work, documents show; but he also claims he worked 70 to 80 hours per week at the library, the Daily News’s Juan Gonzalez writes:

* State leaders reached a tentative deal to put in the state budget charter school protections, including increased per pupil spending and rent money, the Daily News reports:

* The death of a Rikers Island inmate was the centerpiece of a New York City Council hearing Thursday, during which Department of Corrections Commissioner Mark Cranston apologized to the man’s family and explained the circumstances surrounding his death, NY1 reports:

* A plan that would have given tax breaks to donors who give to private schools is reportedly out of state budget talks, though lawmakers said the final budget deal will increase funding for state-mandated services in Catholic schools, the Buffalo News reports:

* Some New York City Council members were dismayed that response times for New York City 911 calls have increased because of a new method of tracking the times, the Daily News writes:

* Nassau County’s financial control board delayed its approval of proposed new contracts that would lift a three-year wage freeze, deciding to meet the week of April 7 to allow more time for cost analysis, Newsday writes:

* State and Albany Convention Center Authority officials are trying to find a private firm to consolidate management of the Empire State Plaza Convention center and Albany’s yet-to-be-built convention center, the Times Union reports:

* While Rochester developer David Flaum received backing for one of his casino proposals from Albany County’s sheriff, two gaming companies are calling for the state to investigate his relationship with the Seneca Nation of Indians, the Times Union writes:



* Some experts say that if Citi Bike wants to stay afloat without public funding, it should consider raising annual membership fees and improving tourist and infrequent user ridership, The Wall Street Journal reports:


TOP TWEETS: Love the top tweets in our Last Read email? Send your favorite tweet of the day to or @CityAndStateNY and it might end up on our list.



Patients in need. Not enough nurses. It's putting New Yorkers at risk. Studies show thousands of hospital deaths and medical mistakes would be avoided with a safe staffing law. That’s why nurses are fighting to set safe nurse-to-patient ratios in all New York healthcare facilities. Make sure corporate greed doesn’t hurt your care. Say NO to profits before patients and YES to safe staffing! Take action:




* The Daily News writes that Assemblyman William Scarborough, who is accused of padding his expense account, is part of a culture in which grabbing for what you can is business as usual:

* The Post writes that as state leaders consider funding expanded prekindergarten in New York City, Department of Education data for some districts that already have pre-K show reason for skepticism of the effectiveness of the city’s program:

* The Times Union writes that the state budget should include appropriate funding for education instead of programs that lawmakers hope get them re-elected:

* If London’s bike-share program is a model, New Yorkers should stick with Citi Bike, but they should also be cognizant of the fact that the program could cost taxpayers money in the end, London Evening Standard transport editor Matthew Beard writes in the Daily News:



We love New York.  The Environmental Protection Fund safeguards what we love most about New York – our clean water, community parks, family farms and much more.  Increasing our investment in the Environmental Protection Fund in this year’s budget will protect these community assets, create jobs and boost outdoor tourism. The Environmental Protection Fund works. Find out more at



HEARD AROUND TOWN:                                                                        

* As far as Assemblyman Keith Wright is concerned, the dispute he had with Assemblyman Karim Camara over endorsements in the primary contest between Rep. Charles Rangel and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat is now yesterday’s news. “We’re good, we’re good,” he said this week after the Post reported that Wright, a longtime Rangel ally, was unhappy with Camara’s endorsement of Espaillat. “You know, at the end of the day we all serve the same communities,” Wright said. “Everything’s fine.”

* The race for disgraced Assemblyman William Boyland Jr.’s seat has just begun, but already Lori Boozer seems to be building momentum for her candidacy. Boozer was endorsed by the Communications Workers of America District 1 today, giving her a second union endorsement to boost her campaign. Boozer, a community activist, was previously endorsed by the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, as well as Tenants PAC. With 30,000 members in the city and 500 in the 55th Assembly district alone, CWA’s support, at the very least, gives Boozer a solid base and potential campaign foot soldiers for the election. “Families in communities like Brownsville and Bed-Stuy need a leader like Lori Boozer fighting for them in Albany,” said Chris Shelton, vice president of the Communication Workers of America, District 1. "Lori will be a strong voice for good jobs and fair wages, and CWA District One is proud to stand by her campaign and do everything in our power to ensure her victory on Election Day.” So far the field that Boozer will face off against includes Ineisha Williford, a staffer for City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy, and Lamont Carolina, a former field organizer and voting registration director on both Obama presidential campaigns. 



* Check out more interviews with Above & Beyond honorees, including Susan Birnbaum from the New York City Police Foundation, Lucy Friedman from the After School Corporation and Sally Garner from WNET: 




Don’t be fooled: replacing carriage horses with electric cars is a myth, not a solution. Opening Central Park to cars throughout the day would endanger the park’s walkers, joggers, and cyclists, which is why advocates for Central Park and its pedestrians oppose the idea. Banning carriage horses means losing 300 middle-class jobs. Join park advocates, labor unions, and tourists in supporting New York's carriage horses.



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


Supervising Attorney for Immigrant Rights & Racial Justice, The Center for Popular Democracy

Salary: Generous salary and benefits package, depending on experience.

Position Location: New York City

Description: We seek an experienced and energetic legal professional to lead the organization’s immigrant rights and racial justice policy work.  The Supervising Attorney for Immigrant Rights & Racial Justice will support campaigns on discriminatory policing, deportation defense, education, and others through strategy development, initial investigation and legal research, legislative drafting, creation of campaign materials, lobby visits, community education activities, and work on implementation.  The Supervising Attorney will also oversee campaigns on municipal ID, detainer discretion and other innovative state and local immigration policies.

Further Info: For full job description click here. Please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to


Director of Preservation & Community Outreach, Historic Districts Council

Description: The Historic Districts Council seeks candidates for full-time position to maintain and further develop our neighborhood-based historic preservation advocacy programs. Should have experience in community organizing and providing support services to community groups and individuals. Knowledge of New York City architecture and history preferred; familiarity with historic preservation and land use policies and practices strongly recommended. Must have strong communication skills & be comfortable publically representing HDC.

Further Info: To view full job description visit: Please send resume, cover letter of 300 words to


National Campaign Co-Director, The Center for Popular Democracy

Position Location: Washington, DC or New York

Description: We seek an experienced and energetic professional to help lead our Campaign Department and to drive campaign strategies in a range of areas, including potentially: immigration, racial justice, education, healthcare, climate justice and more. The Campaign Director will be responsible for the management, strategic development, and day-to-day operation of the Campaign Department.

Further Info: For more information about the Center for Popular Democracy click here. Please send a cover letter and resume to


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Today, to Muhammed Sumbundu, Buffalo State Council student representative and SUNY Student Assembly president candidate … to Rep. Nydia Velazquez … to Assemblyman Joseph Saladino … to Brooklyn Community Board 6 member Sarah Phillips … and to Michael Pantelidis, communications director for Councilman James Vacca … on Saturday, to Adam Richardson, first assistant counsel for the state Senate Counsel Program … and to Paul Del Duca, chief of staff to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. … and on Sunday, to Sheila Stainback, press secretary for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office … and to Danna DeBlasio, lead New York City Council lobbyist for Patricia Lynch Associates.

MOVING ON: Sarah Williams Willard was appointed owners’ representative for the New York City Rent Guidelines Board … Cecilia Joza and Steven Flax have been appointed public members of the Rent Guidelines Board … Sheila Garcia has been appointed a tenant representative of the Rent Guidelines Board … and Joan McNichol, formerly an attorney and a past president of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York, will become the county attorney for Lewis County.



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 3.  For advertising information, please contact or call 212-284-9714.




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

8:30 a.m. – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attends the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce Women’s History Month Breakfast, 1501 Broadway, Manhattan.

9 a.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate James speak at a Mount Hope Housing Company affordable housing networking breakfast, Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. W., Faculty Dining Room, Music Building, Bronx.

10 a.m. – Stringer speaks to student participants of the Herbert H. Lehman Center for Student Leadership Development, Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. W., East Dining Room, Music Building, Bronx.

10 a.m. – The New York City Waterfronts Committee holds an oversight hearing on the city’s Comprehensive Waterfront Plan as it relates to expanding public waterfront access, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

10:15 a.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attends a farewell breakfast for outgoing Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, DSNY headquarters, 125 Worth St., Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joins Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for an announcement of homeowner relief efforts in the Buffalo region, Edward A. Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., 16th floor, Buffalo.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features City & State’s Matthew Hamilton, Ken Lovett of the Daily News, Liz Benjamin of Capital Tonight and Common Cause Executive Director Susan Lerner, WCNY.

1:30 p.m. – New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, state and city elected officials and others hold a press conference to proclaim Astoria as Queens’ first arts district, Kaufman Astoria Studios, 35th Avenue between 35th and 36th streets, Queens.

2:15 p.m. – New York City Council Members Daniel Dromm and Julissa Ferreras, the NAACP’s George Gibson and Queens Pride’s Bill Meehan speak out against a comedy event involving black face, 82-22 Northern Blvd., Queens.

4:30 p.m. – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attends City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson’s Women’s History Month event, William Hodson Senior Center, 1320 Webster Ave., Bronx.

5 p.m. – State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli receives the Thomas J. Cuite Award for Public Service from the Irish American Heritage and Culture Committee, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Courthouse, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

6:30 p.m. – First Lady Chirlane McCray delivers the keynote address at the Shirley Chisholm Women of Distinction Celebration & Awards Ceremony, Brooklyn Public Library-Central Branch, Dweck Auditorium, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.

7 p.m. – State Sens. Jeff Klein and Ruben Diaz, and Assemblymen Luis Sepulveda and Marcos Crespo host an Abrazo Bangladesh in New York event in honor of Bangladesh Independence Day, Maestro’s Caterers, 1703 Bronxdale Ave., Bronx.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall includes a panel about aging in prison with Edgar Barens, director of Prison Terminal; and the Reporters Roundtable, Time Warner Cable News NY1. 

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features state budget news, Time Warner Cable News.  


KICKER: “It seems Mr. Galante either does not sleep or eat — which is hard to believe. [He] needs to be honest with New York City taxpayers about the amount of time he actually spends working for the library.” – New York City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley on documents that show Queens Library President Thomas Galante charged an average of 26 hours worth of consulting work per week to the Elmont School District despite his claims he was working at the library an average of 70 to 80 hours per week.