First Read Tonight – June 21, 2017

WEATHER: A chance of thunderstorms in New York City and mostly clear upstate. New York City, low 68; Albany, low 58; Buffalo, low 57.



* Three years after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to provide more than 200,000 units of subsidized housing over a decade in an ambitious plan known as Housing New York, we take a closer look at the initiative’s progress.



* Legislative leaders continue to talk with Gov. Andrew Cuomo about a “grand plan” to renew mayoral control of New York City schools, reauthorize sales taxes around the state and possibly increase the number of charter schools, Politico New York reports.

* Feniosky Peña-Mora, the embattled head of the New York City Department of Design and Construction that oversees the problem-plagued Build it Back program, will step down from his post at the end of the month to return to Columbia University, DNAinfo writes.

* Metropolitan Transportation Authority Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim has ordered a “top to bottom” review of how the agency handles chronic delays in the city’s beleaguered subway system, the New York Post writes.

* The Assembly approved legislation that would ban employers from asking job applicants about their salary history before an interview, aimed at ending what is considered to be a major factor in the pay gap between women and men, State of Politics reports.

* Assemblyman Felix Ortiz announced a bill that would create a third option for designating gender – an “X” – on a state driver’s license or learner’s permit, State of Politics reports.

* More news below …



New York has strong laws to protect affordable housing, but that hasn’t stopped illegal commercial Airbnbs from depleting our already limited supply of affordable housing, driving up rent and creating serious quality-of-life and safety concerns for our neighborhoods. Since Airbnb won’t stop illegal commercial operators, we need to help. Call 646-979-4117 to speak to a live trained operator who can help you identify and report illegal hotels in your area.



* A former financial auditor at the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, a state lobbying and ethics watchdog, alleges that she was fired after reporting sexual discrimination by one of her supervisors to the agency’s leadership, the Times Union writes.

* Cuomo granted clemency to a former Ground Zero recovery worker who was convicted of a nonviolent drug crime in 1990 and has been detained for months by federal immigration authorities, potentially saving him from deportation, the Daily News writes.

* Lawmakers in both legislative chambers, concerned about a loophole in the state law authorizing statewide ride-hailing services, passed legislation that would bar level 1 sex offenders from driving for those companies, the Times Union writes.

* The de Blasio administration fanned out across Queens in a “day of action” to inform residents of their rights after a landlord threatened to evict tenants based on their citizenship status, the Daily News writes.

* Cuomo is seeking last-minute changes to a $90 million flood relief package for homeowners, businesses and municipalities on Lake Ontario, which lawmakers approved earlier this week, Gannett Albany reports.



Did you know that car wash workers don’t get paid the minimum wage? In fact, they earn far less. Car wash owners have long been exempted from paying their workers the full minimum wage, which has left workers vulnerable to the unpredictability of relying on negligible tips. This loophole encourages wage theft of immigrant workers by wealthy carwash owners. Support Carwasheros in New York State. Ask your legislators to pass S.2664-A/A.2967-A. #EndWashedOutWages




* White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer conceded what has been known for weeks: The White House has solicited interest from a range of candidates to succeed him behind the podium, but there’s been little interest in the position, The New York Times writes.

* Hackers linked to the Russian government potentially targeted election systems in as many as 21 states last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned Congress at a hearing Wednesday, CNN writes.

* Karen Handel's win over Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District is already prompting Democratic recriminations, as the Bernie Sanders wing of the party pushes the establishment to get behind more liberal candidates, The Washington Post reports.



NYC needs more high quality schools now! Charter schools are a proven and successful approach to this problem. There are 48,000 students on NYC charter waitlists – more students than are enrolled in Buffalo, the largest school district outside of NYC.  Despite this, Albany has imposed an arbitrary cap on charters and we are running out of new charters to open. Every neighborhood deserves access to a quality school.  Don’t cap NYC's future; lift the charter school cap! Watch Video>>




* The one time that mayoral control lapsed, in 2009 under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the state Senate was waging a leadership battle and the disruption had a minimal effect, though it’s unlikely things would proceed as smoothly today, the Times writes.

* The Village Voice rounds up a list of pieces of proposed state legislation that are most vital to female New Yorkers, such as the Reproductive Health Act, Comprehensive Contraception Act and the so-called Boss Bill.

* As Albany lawmakers clash over the future of mayoral control of city schools – and with the mayoral primary just months away – Chalkbeat has taken a closer look at de Blasio’s track record on education.

* The Empire Center for Public Policy analyzes the fiscal impact of the five-year contract agreement reached Tuesday with the Civil Service Employees Association, which has more than 60,000 state employees among its ranks.



The On Diversity Forum is next Tuesday! Explore the latest issue facing businesses today on June 27th at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. With discussions on how MWBE can help your business, creating a culture of inclusion and diversity, community engagement & strategic relationships while working with diverse communities, and what you need to know about doing business in NY. Check out the agenda for On Diversity! Our expert speakers include Rev. Al Sharpton, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, Michael Garner, Chief Diversity Officer of the MTA, and Rose Rodriguez, Chief Diversity Officer, Office of the Governor. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER




7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” features City & State’s Editor-at-Large Gerson Borrero and Curtis Sliwa on the weekly political rundown, NY1.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – “Capital Tonight” features Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, the New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman, Emily McNeil of the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State and Peter Iwanowicz of Environmental Advocates of New York, Spectrum News.



7:05 p.m. – The Yankees host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, YES.

10:10 p.m. – The Mets visit the Los Angeles Dodgers, SNY.



Upcoming Issue Spotlight: TECH & TELECOM

Advocate your organization’s tech benefits and initiatives to NY’s Public Officials in this strategic ad/messaging venue.  The special section in City & State magazine features coverage of: Tech Policies | Big Apps.  The Public Officials Q&A Features: Anne Roest | George Amedore | Miguel A. Gamino | Terri Egan.  Ad deadline: June 22; Issue Date: June 26. For further information, please contact




8 a.m.City & State CSR hosts our Corporate-Community Partnerships breakfast awards ceremony celebrating community-minded individuals and companies, Baruch College, 55 Lexington Ave., 14th floor, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Committees on Contracts and Economic Development meet, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and others host the Fifth Annual Senior Luncheon, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 2017 Beverly Road, Brooklyn.

10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez rallies with dozens of Black Car drivers to support legislation requiring a tipping option within its app and to celebrate Uber's announcement to implement this policy, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – “The Brian Lehrer Show” features New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, WNYC.

11 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Transportation meets, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – The Legal Aid Society and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hold a press conference calling on the state Office of Court Administration to take immediate action to stop U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement courthouse raids, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – New York elected officials, unions, advocates, community organizations, grass-roots groups and impacted consumers hold a press conference to discuss the impact of the U.S. Senate’s health care bill, state Capitol, Albany.

2 p.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Juvenile Justice tours the South Bronx NeON, 198 E. 161st St., Bronx.

2 p.m. – New York City mayoral candidate Sal Albanese holds a press conference and walking tour past empty storefronts, 1231 Third Ave., Manhattan.

2 p.m. – New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm, city School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo and others hold a groundbreaking for Q398, a new elementary school and pre-K site, 69-01 34th Ave., Queens.

4 p.m. – New York City Department of Parks and Recreation unveils the recently restored Henry Ward Beecher Monument, Columbus Park, Cadman Plaza East and Johnson Street, Brooklyn.

4:30 p.m. – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, the Yonkers City Council and others kick off Gay Pride Week with a celebration, Yonkers City Hall Unity Fountain, 40 South Broadway, Yonkers.

5 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams attends an event where his deputy chief of staff, Farah Louis, is honored, The Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – The Justice for All Coalition hosts a community march and rally to protest development in western Queens, Jacob Riis Community Center, 10-25 41st Ave., Queens.

6 p.m. – State Sen. David Carlucci hosts a free training on how to administer Naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of an opioid overdose, Pearl River Library, 80 Franklin Ave., Pearl River.

7 p.m. – CBS 2 News, WCBS Radio 880, 1010 WINS, the Daily News, New York Immigration Coalition and Common Cause New York host one in a series of town halls ahead of the New York City mayoral election debates, Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.

7 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams attends the Interfaith Coalition of Brooklyn’s Second Annual Interfaith Dinner, Our Lady of Refuge Church, 2020 Foster Ave, Brooklyn.


TOP TWEET: Random guy walks to mic stand, yells: “Filthy Americans ... deserve to die.” Reporter: “Cameras aren’t on.” Guy walks away. #Brooklyn

-Azi Paybarah @Azi