First Read Tonight – August 15, 2017

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy in New York City, scattered thunderstorms in Albany and partly cloudy in Buffalo. New York City, low 71; Albany, low 62; Buffalo, low 64.



* Part of being a New York City Council member is just showing up. That’s why we included attendance in our first ranking of City Council members, with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Minority Leader Steven Matteo tying for first with perfect attendance.



* Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced he will introduce legislation that would add rioting and inciting to riot that target specific protected classes to offenses under the state’s hate crime laws, in response to the violent clashes in Virginia, State of Politics reports.

* Presidential adviser Jared Kushner’s family real estate company systematically pushed some Brooklyn Heights tenants out of rent-stabilized leases, a new lawsuit filed by the Housing Rights Initiative in Brooklyn Supreme Court charges, the Daily News reports.

* About 80 percent of New York City's curb cuts are not up to federal standards for the disabled, even after $243 million in taxpayer funds were shelled out over the past 15 years to build new ramps, DNAinfo reports.

* A second trial for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will start April 16 and run through late May, a federal judge ruled, but the date is subject “to a decision from the Supreme Court” related to the definition of corruption charges, State of Politics reports.

* Four people were injured in Central Park on Tuesday morning when a giant elm tree toppled, pinning a woman beneath its branches before a group of good Samaritans pulled her out, The New York Times reports.

* More news below …



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* Advertising agency Walton Isaacson, which has worked with the Oscars, McDonald’s and the Los Angeles Dodgers, was selected by the NYPD for a $54 million, five-year contract to help diversify its ranks, which is about half white, DNAinfo reports.

* Former Gov. George Pataki is all in for Kid Rock, throwing his support behind the musician’s still undeclared Michigan U.S. Senate bid in a tweet, saying he is “exactly the kind of candidate the GOP needs right now,” the Daily News reports.

* It took just over a month for President Donald Trump’s commission on election integrity to gain access to New York’s voter rolls, according to documents obtained from the state Board of Elections through the Freedom of Information Law, State of Politics reports.

* Milton Mollen, who led a commission that found that the New York City Police Department had been “willfully blind” to drug-related corruption by organized bands of rogue officers in the 1980s and early ’90s, died on Monday at 97, the Times reports.



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* On Tuesday, President Donald Trump insisted that he did nothing wrong Saturday when he declined to specifically condemn Nazi and white supremacist groups, asserting that “before I make a statement, I like to know the facts,” the Times reports.

* For months, Trump has considered ousting Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist and relentless nationalist, and has sent him to a sort of internal exile, not meeting face-to-face for more than a week, but has not yet fired him, the Times writes.

* Insurance premiums for Obamacare plans would rise 20 percent next year and people in small pockets of the country wouldn't have any insurance options if Trump scraps a key insurance subsidy, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, Politico reports.



“Instant” teacher licensing is a threat to charter students and the teaching profession

By Michael Mulgrew

New York State requires prospective cosmetologists to receive 1,000 hours of specialized instruction, and real estate brokers to get 120 hours of instruction and two years of field experience.

But the State University of New York, driven by the powerful charter lobby, seeks to allow some charter schools to create their own, special teaching license for anyone who finishes 30 hours of instruction and works 100 hours in a classroom.

If adopted, these changes will send a cynical message to charter parents: your children do not deserve a fully qualified teacher. Find out more HERE.




* In a bid to infuse station houses with the computerized analytical skills that are increasingly prevalent at NYPD headquarters, the police department is in the midst of hiring 100 civilian crime analysts for commands across the city, the Times reports.

* Only one New York City Council candidate has released a detailed list of government, campaign finance and voting reform proposals: Keith Powers, a Democrat competing in the crowded field to replace Dan Garodnick on Manhattan’s East Side, Gotham Gazette reports.

* There were 100,000 homeless students in New York City public schools during the 2015-16 school year, a number equal to the population of Albany, according to a report to be released at tomorrow’s City & State On Education event, the Times reports.



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Policy And Advocacy Director, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York

Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc. (CCC) is a 73-year-old non-profit, multi-issue child advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure that every New York child is healthy, housed, educated and safe.  Our unique approach to child advocacy is fact-based, relies on partnerships between our professional staff and our lay and professional volunteers on CCC’s Board and Advocacy Council, and requires the ability to effectively engage elected and appointed government officials, City and State agency leaders, direct service colleagues, philanthropic partners, and New Yorkers at large.

Governmental Relations Representative, NYS School Boards Association

NYSSBA, the statewide voice for the interests of public boards of education, seeks an experienced individual for our Latham, NY office to:

  •         Be a high profile, visible advocate for NYSSBA’s legislative agenda.
  •         Review and analyze legislation in assigned committees.
  •         Maintain regular contact with school board members around the state.
  •         Represent the Association in coalitions and other meetings.

Government Relations Coordinator, Davidoff Hutcher and Citron LLP

Davidoff Hutcher and Citron LLP, a top tier New York City based law and government affairs firm is seeking one (1) government relations coordinator to support a team of City and State government relations professionals. Experience working in government and/or in government relations is preferred. Interested parties should send resume and cover letter to the attention of Brittany M. Armstead at





7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” features New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams on construction safety, J’ouvert and Donald Trump, NY1.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – “Capital Tonight” features Assemblyman Marc Butler, Marcia Bystryn from the New York State League of Conservation Voters and the political insiders, Spectrum News.



7:05 p.m. – The Yankees host the Mets, WPIX, SNY.



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8 a.m.City & State hosts the 2017 On Education conference featuring New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, state Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, CUNY Chancellor James Milliken, SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall and others, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Department of Environmental Protection holds a public hearing, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services holds a public hearing, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – Rep. Claudia Tenney tours Family Health Network for National Health Center Week and receives an award, 17 Main St., Suite 302, Cortland.

11 a.m. – New York City mayoral candidate Sal Albanese holds a press conference on the increase in homeless students and outlines a plan for “truly affordable housing” and a pied-a-terre tax, outside City Hall gates, Broadway and Murray Street, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and elected officials announce the $1 million grand prize winner of the 76West Clean Energy Competition, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 225 Water St., Binghamton.

11 a.m. – “The Capitol Pressroom” features state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, Cherie Messore of WNY STEM, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi on abuse and neglect in state-run group homes and facilities and Manatt’s Bruce Gyory, WCNY.

12 p.m. – Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie makes an announcement regarding mass transit and transportation infrastructure in Westchester County, White Plains Train Station, 16 Ferris Ave., White Plains.

2 p.m. – The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs holds a public hearing, 42 Broadway, Manhattan.

2:30 p.m. – Tenney tours the Greater Binghamton Airport and announces a federal grant, Greater Binghamton Airport, 2534 Airport Road, Johnson City.

5:30 p.m. – State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and state Sen. Catharine Young host the Saratoga Salute, National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, 191 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs.

6 p.m. – The Suffolk County Republican Committee hosts the Chairman Club’s Fundraising Reception, featuring Reps. Peter King and Lee Zeldin, Tellers American Chophouse, 605 Main St., Islip.

6 p.m. – New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez hosts a rally against the developer SJM Partners, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Workforce 1 and Marshall’s, corner of 179th Street and Broadway, Bronx.


TOP TWEET: i would LOVE to meet the person that is a) not related to de blasio and b) stoked to hear this
De Blasio May Run for President

-Ashley Feinberg @AshleyFeinberg