First Read - March 26, 2014


WEATHER: Windy downstate; slight chance of snow elsewhere. New York City, high 36; Albany, high 32; Buffalo, high 22.


WIN OR LOSE: As a child of the '60s and '70s, Bill de Blasio might be a politician who believes that at times losing is better than winning and that a loss might ennoble his cause, Steven M. Cohen writes in City & State:



* In his pitch to the New York City Council for additional funding, city Board of Elections Director Michael Ryan claimed that the agency was purposely shorted funds by the city, the New York Post writes:

* A deal is reportedly being negotiated to put a two-year moratorium on the use of Common Core tests for grade promotion, with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver saying discussions are pointing toward something Common Core-related possibly being in the budget, Newsday reports:

* The de Blasio administration is proposing a 30-cent surcharge on all yellow and street-hail taxi rides to help pay for conversions of half of the city’s taxi fleet to make them wheelchair-accessible, The New York Times writes:

* New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer rejected a proposed $6 million Bloomberg administration settlement with Hewlett-Packard for the company’s overcharging of the city for modernizing its 911 system, the Daily News writes:

* A smokers’ rights group filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court to overturn New York City’s ban on e-cigarettes, which the group claims violates the one subject rule of the city charter, The Wall Street Journal writes:

* Charter school executive Eva Moskowitz praised New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s softened tone on charters, though she said she still wants permanent state protection for charters, the Daily News reports:

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo tiptoed around a question about if he’ll pick Republican Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney to be his lieutenant governor running mate instead of Robert Duffy, saying the conversation hasn’t happened, the Post-Standard writes:

* The primary race between state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and Rep. Charles Rangel has created a rift between state Democratic Party Co-chair Assemblyman Keith Wright and the Legislature’s Black, Hispanic and Asian Caucus Chairman Assemblyman Karim Camara, the Post reports:

* Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani pushed back against the de Blasio proposal to ban horse and carriage rides, saying that when horses bred to work are put on farms, they die, the Daily News reports:

* Rochester casino developer David Flaum and his son Asher, who are proposing an Albany casino, also have proposals in other parts of the state, including in Orange County just 50 miles from New York City, the Times reports:



* Cuomo, who has built a centrist reputation, may be forced to push back more than usual against legislative leaders during state budget talks because of the liberal agenda items they have brought to the table, the Journal 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 action:




* The Post writes that with state budget talks wrapping up, it’s time for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to deliver on his vow to save charter schools:

* The Daily News writes that state Sen. Liz Krueger jumped to conclusions by claiming that the paper was hoodwinked and not the first to be bamboozled after endorsing a bill offering tax credits to people who donate to schools:

* The governor and state Legislature should approve a New York City Council proposal to lower the age threshold for joining community boards from 18 to 16 years old, Rachel Figueroa-Levin writes in amNewYork:



New Yorkers support funding for clean water and environmental programs.  Public opinion research shows voters in every region of New York support increasing funding for programs that safeguard our clean water and natural resources while also creating jobs.  This year is an opportunity to grow the Environmental Protection Fund in the budget and bring these benefits to more of our communities. The Environmental Protection Fund works. Find out more at



HEARD AROUND TOWN:                                                                        

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission on Public Corruption convened quietly earlier this month in a private meeting held on March 10. City & State had reported in February that the commission had yet to meet in 2014 and that Cuomo had not committed to replacing Kathleen Rice, a commission co-chair and the Nassau County District Attorney. A Moreland spokeswoman said that the commission discussed investigations during its March meeting. 



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.




* Richard Cavallaro, president of Skanska USA Civil, discusses the state of New York City's aging infrastructure and affordable housing, among other topics, in an interview with City & State's Nick Powell: 


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


Director of Policy and Advocacy, The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc.

Description: Responsible for development /  implementation of agency public policy / advocacy agenda activities; analysis of NYC & NYS mental health / substance use budgets; coordinate  Board committees; prepare / present policy positions via testimony, newsletters,  advocacy materials / media; represent agency in public / private forums; organize members / leadership in advocacy, policy initiatives, legislative and media activities; work with government to adopt and implement community behavioral health sector policies.  Master’s degree in public policy / administration, social work or allied area required. NYC & NYS advocacy / public policy experience. Research, analytic & writing skills, public speaking, networking, knowledge of electronic media are essential.

Further info: To apply, email under the subject line “Director of Policy and Advocacy” resume, cover letter 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


Director, Foundation Support and Grants Management

Salary:  $50,000 to $75,000 based on experience

Description:  The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is seeking a Director, Foundation Support and Grants Management.  The position is a direct report to the President and CEO and is charged with identifying and securing support from corporate, foundation and other grant sources to support both current programs and new initiatives.  The position develops and implements fund raising strategies, both public and private, for Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce programming and that of its economic development affiliate, The Brooklyn Alliance.  

Further Info: Please send resume, cover letter, and salary history to   


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Jeremy Soffin, director of real estate practice at BerlinRosen … to Brendan Baxter… to Rory Whelan, regional vice president for government relations for Time Warner Cable … to Cathy Calhoun, deputy comptroller for the Division of Intergovernmental & Community Affairs at the Office of the State Comptroller … to Sara Valenzuela, Staten Island regional director at the Office of the State Comptroller … and to John Byrne, assistant district attorney and director of policy and legislative affairs to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.


MOVING ON: Nicole Kolinsky, director of public affairs at the Alliance for Downtown New York, will join BerlinRosen Public Affairs.


CONGRATULATIONS: To Shirley Limongi, press officer at the New York City Council, and her husband,Felix Cruz, who had their first child on Monday.



Affordable health insurance is a win-win for New York. A Basic Health Program will offer quality, low cost health insurance to thousands of hardworking New Yorkers. The Program is federally funded, so New York will save hundreds of millions of dollars. It will help families who earn too much to qualify for public health insurance (Medicaid), but not enough to afford private plans, even with financial assistance. We need our NYS Senate to join Governor Cuomo and the NYS Assembly in supporting this program. Call your state Senator TODAY and ask them to approve the Basic Health Program.




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

Mayor Bill de Blasio is in New York City with no public schedule.

9:30 a.m. – The state Senate Banks Committee meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 611, 181 State St., Albany.

9:30 a.m. – The New York City Council General Welfare Committee holds a meeting on the state budget implications on reimbursements for rental subsidy programs for the homeless, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Finance Committee meets, City Hall, Committee Room.

10 a.m. – The state Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 946A, 181 State St., Albany.

10:30 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy outlines a proposal to cut property taxes and deliver relief to homeowners in Chemung County, Chemung County Executive Office,  203 Lake St., Elmira.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Michael Borges, executive director for the New York State Association of School Business Officials, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Alliance for Quality Education Executive Director Billy Easton and League of Women Voters Legislative Director Barbara Bartoletti, WCNY.

11 a.m. – NYSPFFA President Michael McManus, State Sens. Phil Boyle and Mark Grisanti and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney call for prevention of diseases and disorders linked to toxic chemicals and screen a documentary, New York State Museum, Carole Huxley Theater, 222 Madison Ave., Albany.

11 a.m. – New York City Council Members Brad Lander and Margaret Chin, environmentalists and advocates hold a rally in support of legislation to reduce plastic bag usage, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11:30 a.m. – The Long Island DREAM Coalition holds a rally to support the DREAM Act, Cuomo’s Long Island Regional Office, 303 W. Old Country Road, Hicksville.

12 p.m. – Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. receives a “Prosecutor of the Year Award,” Annual Meeting of the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud, Apella at Alexandria Center, 450 E. 29th St., Manhattan.

12:30 p.m. – Duffy attends a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Breckenridge Place Affordable Housing Complex, 100 W. Seneca St., Ithaca.

1:30 p.m. – The New York City Council meets, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

3 p.m. – The state Senate convenes, State Capitol, Senate Chambers, Albany.

6 p.m. – New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council members hold a Vision Zero town hall meeting, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Gerald W. Lynch Theater, 524 W. 59th St., Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. – Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino holds a campaign kickoff reception, Westchester Marriott, 670 White Plains Road, Tarrytown.

6:30 p.m. – New NY Bridge project team members hold a public meeting, Sleepy Hollow High School, auditorium, 210 N. Broadway, Sleepy Hollow.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall features former state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs; State Tax Commissioner Thomas Mattox; and the Political Rundown, Time Warner Cable News NY1. 

7 p.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer speaks at Kneseth Israel White Shul’s 92nd Annual Dinner, Congregation Kneseth Israel, 728 Empire Ave., Queens.

7 p.m. – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attends the Grand Council of Guardians 8th Annual Women’s History Month Celebration, 165 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

7:30 p.m. – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks at the Upper West Side Democratic club where he began his political career, Community Free Democrats membership meeting, Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Ave., Manhattan.

7:30 p.m. – MetroFocus features MTA photographer Patrick Cashin, PBS’s Matt Ryan, Rockefeller University Parents and Science initiative faculty adviser Bruce McEwen and a tour of Digital Atelier in Mercerville, N.J., WLIW21.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features Ron Deutsch and Fred Floss, and Lowell Peterson from the Writers Guild Association, Time Warner Cable News.  


KICKER: “Wow. Those are some fighting words. I think we’re just adding to the hyperbole when the executive director comes in and says, ‘Hey, we’ve got this vast conspiracy of folks who are out to get us.’ I think we need to step it down a notch.” – New York City Councilman David Greenfield on claims from city Board of Elections Director Michael Ryan that the city has deliberately underfunded the board, via the Post.