First Read Tonight – August 18, 2017

WEATHER: Heavy rain likely in New York City, a chance of heavy rain in Albany and partly cloudy in Buffalo. New York City, low 72; Albany, low 68; Buffalo, low 65.



* In the final installment of our breakdown of the best and worst New York City Council members, we rank the city lawmakers on the expeditiousness of their constituent and communications response times.

* After Success Academy Charter Board Chairman Daniel Loeb made racially charged remarks about state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the discussion at our “On Education” event turned to equality and diversity.

* New Yorkers respond to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Daniel Loeb goes low and Assemblyman Denny Farrell submits his resignation in This Week’s Headlines.



* A federal court ruled Friday in favor of the state Department of Environmental Conservation after it denied a water quality certification for the Constitution Pipeline, which would have carried fracked gas across the state, State of Politics reports.

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to tax the wealthy and send the proceeds to the MTA may seem like it’s dead on arrival in Albany, but his staff is asking New York City Council members to endorse a statement in support of the proposal, Politico New York reports.

* The opening of the first span of the new bridge that will replace the Tappan Zee Bridge next week will be a modest celebration, without a grand bridge renaming ceremony, or Gov. Andrew Cuomo driving across the new bridge in a restored 1932 Packard, Gannett Albany reports.

* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he hopes New York removes any public monument that glorifies the Confederacy, but said a depiction of the Battle of Gettysburg should stay in a Capitol mural, Politico New York reports.

* Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell made his resignation official in a letter on Thursday that was received by Heastie on Friday. After indicating to the Daily News he would be stepping down, he will officially resign from the Assembly on Sept. 5, State of Politics reports.

* More news below …



Accelerate your future at Metropolitan College of New York! Join us at our Open House on August 19th at 11 am at our Bronx Campus. MCNY offers personalized education with the flexibility to attend and graduate on your schedule. Seats are filling up fast! Meet with an advisor about your financial aid and scholarship opportunities, available to those who qualify. RSVP here.



* Metro-North’s biggest union is calling for the arrest of two MTA police officers who have been accused of assaulting a conductor last week, claiming a surveillance video shows the officers tackling the conductor to the ground in a clear-cut case of police brutality, the Journal News reports.

* Former Rep. Anthony Weiner is asking a Manhattan federal judge to delay his sentencing date until Oct. 6 to give his attorneys more time to prepare a sentencing recommendation in the case against him for texting a minor sexually inappropriate messages, the New York Post writes.



“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.




* Steve Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Donald Trump win the 2016 election but clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers, is leaving his post, a White House spokeswoman announced Friday, The New York Times reports.

* Another presidential advisory committee appears to be breaking up, as actor Kal Penn, artist Chuck Close and virtually the entire membership of the President’s Committee On the Arts and Humanities have announced their resignation, The Associated Press reports.

* The American Civil Liberties Union, taking a tougher stance on armed protests, will no longer defend hate groups seeking to march with firearms and screen clients more for closely for the potential of violence, The Wall Street Journal reports.



City & State magazine’s upcoming Issue Spotlight: ORGANIZED LABOR

Educate and influence NY’s Public Officials on your union’s benefits and objectives in this strategic ad/messaging venue. The special section features coverage of: Union Endorsements | Opposing Constitutional Convention | Buy American. The Public Officials Q&A features: Commissioner Bob Linn | Commissioner Roberta Reardon | Council Member I. Daneek Miller | Assembly Member Michele Titus | State Sen. Marisol Alcantara | Commissioner Lorelei Salas. Ad deadline: Aug. 25 | Issue Date: Aug. 28 For further information, please contact




* It doesn’t take a panel of pundits to tell us that Cuomo’s running for president, but he is not simply loved by the type of progressives who seem to be driving the Democrat’s national identity towards the left, New York City Councilman Joe Borelli writes in The Hill.

* Hundreds of NYPD officers have joined a Chicago-based charity, the Brotherhood for the Fallen, which sent officers to 61 funerals all over the U.S. last year, connecting with relatives and grieving officers, offering emotional support and a check, the Times writes.

* Mehari Bokrezion, an Eritrean immigrant who died alone behind the wheel of his taxi in Soho a week ago, then waited almost 18 hours to be discovered, had a huge and proud funeral, with more than 500 mourners, including many taxi drivers, the Times reports.



CITY & STATE JOBS – WHO’S HIRING: We have added new features to improve your experience on the site.  To check out the updates, and view all jobs please visit To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email or call 212-268-0442 ext. 2022.

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 a debate with Republican candidates for New York City Council District 43 and the Friday Reporters Roundtable, NY1.

7:30 p.m. – “New York NOW” features Andy Pallotta, the president of New York State United Teachers, WMHT.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – “Capital Tonight” features the state Sen. Catharine Young and the Reporters Roundtable, Spectrum News.



7:10 p.m. – The Yankees visit the Boston Red Sox, YES.

7:10 p.m. – The Mets host the Miami Marlins, SNY.



PUT YOUR ADVOCACY MESSAGE HERE: City & State First Read is the must-read morning roundup of New York politics and government. Reaching over 17,000 subscribers and consistently growing, it's the most effective and targeted digital ad venue to get your message in front of city and state elected officials, agency and industry leaders, and the staff, advocates, media and operatives who drive the issues of the day – all by 7 a.m. each weekday. For advertising information, please email:




10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams and law enforcement officials speak in support of NFL player Colin Kaepernick, Brooklyn Bridge Park boardwalk, Brooklyn.

12 p.m. – State Sen. Leroy Comrie and Dream Team Leaders Inc. host a #ProjectPeace Conference, SUNY Queens Education Opportunity Center, 158-29 Archer Ave., Queens.

2 p.m. – State Sen. Jamaal Bailey hosts an immigration resource fair featuring Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and New York City Councilman Andrew Cohen, Tracey Towers, 40 W. Mosholu Parkway S., Bronx.

2 p.m. – The Bronx Democratic Party hosts an event in the Know Your Rights series on immigration, Crawford Memorial United Methodist Church, 3757 White Plains Road, Bronx.



10:30 a.m. – “In Focus with Cheryl Wills” features John Pfeifer, director of Clinical Services at Life’s WORC and New York City Councilman Andrew Cohen, Spectrum News.

12 p.m. – Republican New York City mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and other elected officials march in the India Day Parade, Madison Avenue and 38th Street, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. hosts the Summer Concert Series, Orchard Beach, Bronx.

7 p.m. – State Sen. James Sanders Jr. and community leaders host a Day of Healing vigil, Brookville Park at the 147th Avenue entrance, Queens.

8 p.m. – “State of the Union,” the District Council 37 radio show hosted by Chris Policano, features author and Civil Technical Guild Local 375 member Anita Samuels and Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, WNYE.



9 a.m. – Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto host their annual senior day trip, New Rochelle, New York.

9:30 a.m. – The New York City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. and New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich promote legislation boosting crossing guards, Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 102nd Street, Queens.

11 a.m. – Rep. Joe Crowley holds a press conference to announce federal legislation creating two new refundable tax credits for people who live in rental or government subsidized housing, Woodside Houses Park, 50th Street between Newtown Road and Broadway, Queens.

11:30 a.m. – New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver joins Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, state Sen. Leroy Comrie and New York City Councilman I. Daneek Miller for a ribbon-cutting on various improvements to the St. Albans Park playground, Marne Place and Adelaide Road, Queens.

1 p.m. – The New York City Council Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.


TOP TWEET: “Buhbye Bannon, BUH-bye! Buhbye Bannon...Buhbye! BuhBYE!” – Woman w/ her horrified teen son in the elevator just now. #awkward

-Frank G. Runyeon @FrankRunyeon