First Read - March 27, 2014

WEATHER: Clouds and sun. New York City, high 44; Albany, high 41; Buffalo, high 45.


ABOVE & BEYOND: City & State’s third annual Above & Beyond awards recognize 25 remarkable women in the fields of business, media, public service, labor and nonprofits:



* State lawmakers receive a $172 per day per diem while in Albany, which has left some looking for ways to pad their paychecks by legally pocketing the leftover money for food, lodging and expenses tax-free, The New York Times writes:

* Three former campaign workers for New York City Councilwoman Maria de Carmen Arroyo were charged with forgery for submitting nominating petitions with fake signatures for last year’s Democratic primary, the New York Post writes:

* New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James, eight City Council members, parents and advocacy groups all filed suit against Mayor Bill de Blasio to overturn his decision to open 14 charter schools in city-owned buildings, the Post reports:

* U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is expected to endorse Rep. Charles Rangel, marking the first statewide endorsement in Rangel’s bid for re-election against Democratic challenger state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, the Daily News reports:

* Citi Bike General Manager Justin Ginsburgh submitted his resignation as city officials have grown increasingly frustrated with the company that runs the bike-share program, The Wall Street Journal writes:

* Lawyers for the Empire Center and the state and New York City retirement systems presented their sides in a state Court of Appeals case that could decide whether details about taxpayer-funded teacher pensions should be made public, the Times Union reports:

* New York City Councilman Ruben Wills introduced a bill that would require the city to track the effects of expanded sick leave mandates on small businesses, the Daily News writes:

* De Blasio is creating a task force to recommend ways to relieve overcrowding and improve the charter school co-location process, and he is including charter supporters on the panel, the Post reports:

* Amy Peterson, president of Nontraditional Employment for Women, is expected to be named to lead New York City’s Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, the Times reports:

* A report shows that New York state has the most segregated public schools in the country, and New York City has the most segregated schools in the state, the Post writes:


TOP TWEETS: Love the top tweets in our Last Read email? Send your favorite tweet of the day 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




* Every year there is little or no discussion about lucrative budget items, but this year Albany lawmakers are dancing around a voucher program for working homeless families championed in New York City, The New York Times’ Michael Powell writes:

* In the Daily News, Anthony Weiner questions why Cuomo seems to be going out of his way to jam up Mayor Bill de Blasio, even though they claim they are friends and are laying the groundwork for a productive relationship:

* The Daily News writes that the proposed 30-cent surcharge for taxi trips would create roughly $53 million per year in revenue—a huge amount of money to give to a prosperous industry:

* If Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a Jaws-like figure, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is going to need a bigger boat to catch the incumbent in the gubernatorial race, the Journal News’s Phil Reisman writes:

* Criticism from either former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who knocked President Barack Obama and Mayor Bill de Blasio, respectively, should be considered a cheer, the Daily News’s Denis Hamill writes:



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



HEARD AROUND TOWN:                                                                        

* The 7th State Senate District will officially have a race this afternoon when Democrat Adam Haberannounces he will run against Republican Sen. Jack Martins. Haber was reported to be planning a runearlier this month, but today’s announcement will make it official. The businessman lost in the Democratic primary for Nassau County executive last year to Tom Suozzi, who went on to lose to Ed Mangano. Some observers think Haber, who took 41 percent of the primary vote, could give Martins a tough fight, but the incumbent may have the edge. “Adam Haber has worked very hard to build up his name recognition among voters and his credibility among Democratic activists, and he has shown a willingness to spend a lot of his own money on a race,” said Larry Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.  “But if the Republicans think that the election could be close, they’re prepared to spend every bit as much as Haber. And Martins has worked hard to make himself useful and appeal to Democratic officials in the towns and villages, and he has shown an ability to draw Democratic votes.”



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.




* Check out more interviews with Above & Beyond honorees, including Irene Baker from Madison Square Garden, Lindsey Boylan from Royal Bank of Canada and Vilma Huertas from NYCHA: 


WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities in City & State First Read, 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


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: To New York City Councilman Jimmy Vacca … and to George Paralemos, Queens regional director for the Division of Intergovernmental and Community Affairs for the Office of the State Comptroller.


MOVING ON: David Berlin was appointed executive director of the New York State Athletic Commission.



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.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio meets in the afternoon with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

9 a.m. – New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, other elected officials, advocates and tenants attend the first Rent Guidelines Board meeting to call for 2014 to be The Year of the Rent Freeze, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. – The New York City Rent Guidelines Board meets, Municipal Building, Landmarks Preservation Commission Conference Room, 1 Centre St., 9th floor, Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. – Parents protest the state Education Department and Common Core tests, P.S. 368/Hamilton Heights Elementary School, Amsterdam Avenue between 146th and 147th streets, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Drug Abuse Subcommittee and Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services Committee hold a joint preliminary budget hearing, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee holds a preliminary budget hearing, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Donovan Richards and others hold a press conference announcing the first participatory budget vote in City Council District 31’s history, Richards’ Rockaway Office, 1931 Mott Ave., Suite 406, Queens.

10 a.m. – The Brian Lehrer Show includes interviews with state Sen. Diane Savino on budget negotiations and medical marijuana; Times reporter Michael Schwirtz on Rikers Island; and City Councilman Mark Levine on tenants in housing court, WNYC.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features the Center for Media and Democracy’s Brendan Fischer, the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy’s Kate Breslin, New York State Association of Counties’ Stephen Acquario and Assemblyman Kieran Lalor, WCNY.

11 a.m. – The state Senate convenes, State Capitol, Senate Chambers, Albany.

11:30 a.m. – Advocates and students call for passage of the New York State DREAM Act in the state budget, outside Cuomo’s New York City office, 633 3rd Ave., Manhattan. 

12 p.m. – ATU Local 1181 members and parents groups hold a rally to speak out against Employee Protection Provisions, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

12 p.m. – Democrat Adam Haber announces his candidacy for state Senate, VFW Post 5253, 155 Searingtown Road, Albertson.

12:15 p.m. – De Blasio hosts an ethnic and foreign language media roundtable, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The New York City Civil Service and Labor Committee holds an oversight hearing on the school bus industry after the removal of Employee Protection Provisions, 250 Broadway, 16th floor, Committee Room, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The New York City Council Parks and Recreation Committee holds a preliminary budget hearing, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

5:45 p.m. – New York City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, the New York League of Conservation Voters and others hold a rally to call for safety improvements on Atlantic Avenue, Medgar Evers College, main lobby, 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – Congressional candidate Domenic Recchia Jr. holds a fundraiser, 20 W. 72nd St., Apt. 506, Manhattan.

6 p.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attends a Community Board 7 Business 2 Business networking wine reception, West Side YMCA of Greater New York, Parkside Room,  5 W. 63rd St., Manhattan.

6 p.m. – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attends Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras’ annual Women’s Heart Health and Fashion Event, Louis Armstrong Community Center, 33-16 108th St., Queens.

6 p.m. – State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, Rodriguez and the New York City Housing Preservation and Development Department hold a tenants’ rights forum, Isabella Geriatric Center, 515 Audubon Ave., Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. – Brewer attends a Landmark West forum on air quality, Macaulay Honors College, 35 W. 67th St., Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. – New NY Bridge project team members hold a public meeting, Nyack High School, auditorium, 360 Christian Herald Road, Nyack.

6:30 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosts a town hall on closures on the 7 line with state Sen. Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco, P.S./I.S. 78, 46-08 5th St., Queens.  

7 p.m. – The Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats host a Meet the Candidates Forum for the 20th State Senate District, Park Slope United Methodist Church, 410 6th Ave., Brooklyn.

7:45 p.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer speaks at the Mill Basin Civic Association’s annual installation of officers and directors, Glen Terrace Caterers, 5313 Avenue N, Brooklyn.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall features Move NY's Alex Matthiessen and New York City Councilman Mark Weprin on tolling East River bridges; and the New York City Independent Budget Office’s Ronnie Lowenstein, Time Warner Cable News NY1. 

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney and Citizens Union’s Alex Camarda, Time Warner Cable News.  

8:30 p.m. – MetroFocus features MTA photographer Patrick Cashin, PBS’s Matt Ryan and the Rockefeller University Parents and Science initiative’s Bruce McEwen, THIRTEEN.


KICKER: “If [charters] open in mixed-income neighborhoods as many have tried to, they are accused of abandoning their mission to serve high-needs kids and of trying to inflate their test scores. And when they do serve children in low-income areas — neighborhoods which are historically segregated — they are accused of being too narrow in focus.” – New York City Charter Center CEO James Merriman on a study that shows New York City has the most segregated schools in the state, via the Post.