First Read – October 17, 2017

WEATHER: Sunny in New York City and Albany, with a slight chance of morning showers and then sunny in Buffalo. New York City, high 60; Albany, high 57; Buffalo, high 61.



* Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made transportation infrastructure a major priority during his tenure, and the successful completion of multiple projects is a key part of his legacy. Here are six of the most important infrastructure investments in New York this year.

* With the Oct. 19 deadline looming, potential host cities of Amazon’s second headquarters have just a couple days left to make their pitches to the online retail giant. We asked three experts to make their arguments for or against New York City hosting HQ2.



* Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who is facing questions regarding the ethics of some of his campaign donations, said on Monday that he regrets taking campaign money from defense attorneys with cases before his office, NY1 reports.

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio approved a new law that mandates at least 40 hours of training for tens of thousands of construction workers by March 1, which city officials say is a response to an increase in construction site accidents, the New York Post writes.

* As de Blasio faces attacks on everything from his management style to failing New York City subways, the successful creation and rollout of his universal prekindergarten program continues to be a boon to his re-election campaign, Politico New York writes.

* U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor avoided questions Monday about President Donald Trump’s belief that her health was in decline, saying she could not discuss “politics” during an appearance at Queens College, the Daily News reports.

* Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, both of whom are exploring gubernatorial bids, are in discussions to form a Republican ticket to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in next year’s election, the Auburn Citizen writes.

* More news below …


Join the Center for NYC Neighborhoods for its Affordable Homeownership Summit on Oct. 24, 2017, to explore innovative solutions to the housing affordability crisis in New York City. The keynote will be delivered by HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, followed by a discussion on a pioneering community land trust. The Center will also release its findings from a yearlong study of housing in East New York.For more info and to register, click here.



* U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer urged New Yorkers to demand an explanation from Vice President Mike Pence about Republican proposals to eliminate a federal tax deduction used by state residents when he visits the Buffalo area on Tuesday,The Buffalo News writes.

* A member of the Niagara Falls Water Board said the board is sorry for the black, smelly sewer discharges that have fouled the Niagara River and the city’s image, but without a massive investment in new infrastructure, the overflows can’t be stopped and will continue for years, The Buffalo News reports.

* Nearly five years after Superstorm Sandy, more than 7,600 of the 11,000 Long Island homes that were damaged by the storm and participated in NY Rising’s flagship Homeowner Recovery Program have finished their repairs, leaving one-third of them short of that goal, Newsday reports.

* Imprisoned former state Sen. John Sampson has not yet paid his $75,000 fine following his corruption conviction this year, so prosecutors are asking a judge to order it be pulled from his retirement fund, the Post reports.

* State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia on Monday confirmed that the state Regents exams will undergo extra scrutiny following the discovery of three flaws in a recently administered geometry test, Newsday writes.


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* Like the rest of the state’s 62 district attorneys, Vance has long taken advantage of lax campaign finance laws to take in thousands from criminal defense lawyers, and what New York needs is a system the public can trust, the Post writes.

* Pence barnstorms Buffalo on Tuesday with Rep. Chris Collins to tout a White House tax plan that would savage the congressman’s state, as eliminating the state and local tax deduction would make Collins’ constituents pay an average of nearly $3,000 more each year, the Daily News writes.

* Newsday writes that the Nassau County Republican Party has, over the past century, elevated nepotism to a thing of wonder, and elected and appointed officials should have to declare at the time of hiring any relatives of themselves, their spouses or their party leader.

* Demand for spots in Buffalo’s charter schools is unrelenting and they are serving a public need, so the only way that need will diminish is for regular public schools to improve their performance, a development that would benefit all of Buffalo, The Buffalo News writes.



Want to make a change?
Do issues like immigrant rights, healthcare reform, and public policy matter to you?
If so, come to the Murphy Institute at the CUNY School of Professional Studies where scholars and practitioners lead classes on topics like these.
Programs such as the MA in Urban Studies explore social justice issues that impact the lives of New Yorkers and U.S. citizens alike— especially as they relate to diverse working-class communities.
Attend an open house November 9 at 6pm at 25 W 43rd St. 18th Floor, NYC.




* Dan Doctoroff, the former deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, joined the New York Slant podcast to discuss his new book and how the Bloomberg administration set the stage for de Blasio’s progressive achievements.



USIC workers are contracted by Con Ed and National Grid to prevent underground utility damage and explosions. But USIC pays workers substandard wages, provides almost no paid time off and even forces workers to be on call for 24-hours at a time—without pay. Learn more here.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To John Casellini, president of Ways and Means NY … John Connorton Jr., of counsel at Hawkins, Delafield & Wood LLP … Elizabeth Kanter, founder of Elizabeth Kanter LLC … H. Carl McCall, SUNY Board of Trustees chairman … E.J. McMahon, founder and research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy … and to Benjamin Solotaire, participatory budgeting director for New York City Councilman Stephen Levin.


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CITY & STATE JOBS – Want to see your job opening here?  We are holding a First Read Job Listing 15% OFF SALE through the month of October!  For more information on the discount, additional posting options, and to view all jobs please To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email or call 212-268-0442 ext. 2022.


Part Time Position at Fast Paced Albany Government Affairs Office

Small, fast paced, Albany government affairs office seeking a Part Time organized person who can work with schedules, meetings, and diverse clients.  The ideal candidate must be hard working and discreet, with the ability  to prioritize, handle diverse tasks, learn new skills, and help with daily office management.  Must optimize,  coordinate  with colleagues and assist in all aspects of preparation for executives.  Schedule flexible.   Send resume to

President & CEO, The Food Industry Alliance of NY

The Food Industry Alliance of New York State seeks applicants for the position of President & CEO. Ideal candidate possesses working knowledge of NYS government, the grocery industry and/or consumer products and association management. The position is based in the Capital District. Salary is commensurate with job-related experience. Resumes will be accepted through November 15, 2017 via email to





8:30 a.m. – City & State hosts its Front Page Roundtable Series: Technology event, bringing together over 200 technology experts and policy leaders responsible for technology, information, data, analytics, security and more, 1871 Broadway, Manhattan.

9 a.m. – The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Council meets with state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, 1120 Sixth Ave., Manhattan.

9 a.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer hosts an Italian heritage celebration, David M. Dinkins Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., fifth floor S., Manhattan.

9:45 a.m. – The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission holds a hearing, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – “The Brian Lehrer Show” features MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber, Fifth Avenue Committee executive director Michelle de la Uz, WNYC reporter Jessica Gould and more, WNYC.

10 a.m. – The New York City Board of Standards and Appeals holds a public hearing, 22 Reade St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – Rep. Jose Serrano hosts an “Ask An Astronaut” event with NASA astronaut Lee Morin, Bronx Community College, Schwendler Auditorium, 2155 University Ave., Bronx.

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

10 a.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at Solar 2 groundbreaking, Stuyvesant Cove Park, 24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes an announcement, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, 818 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

10:30 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections meets, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – Women’s March on Washington Co-chairwoman and activist Tamika Mallory holds her first press conference since being removed from an American Airlines flight, 499 Seventh Ave., Manhattan.

11 a.m. – “The Capitol Pressroom” features Assemblyman Michael Kearns, state Sens. Patrick Gallivan and Brad Hoylman as well as Art Chang of the Sanctuary State Project and Toni Lasicki of the Association for Community Living of New York State, WCNY.

11 a.m. – Rep. Tom Suozzi meets with the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s executive director, Onco360, 225 Community Drive, Suite 100, Great Neck.

11 a.m. – New York City Department of Transportation Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez, New York City Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. and other local officials break ground on Clean Energy Fuel’s first natural gas fueling station in the Bronx, 1361 Ryawa Ave., Bronx.

11 a.m. – New York City first lady Chirlane McCray joins the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the New York City Football Club and the U.S. Soccer Foundation at the opening New York City Soccer Initiative’s first field, 219 E. 109th St., Manhattan.

11:30 a.m. – State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announces the results of his office’s investigation into school bus safety, 1450 Central Park Ave., Yonkers.

11:40 a.m. – The state Board of Regents holds an executive session during its two-day October meeting, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

12 p.m. – New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez announces the introduction of a bill to help with declining taxi medallion values and making the yellow taxi more competitive, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

12:30 p.m. – Cuomo makes an announcement, Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Main Terminal, 1000 Colonel Eileen Collins Blvd., Syracuse.

12:30 p.m. – Homeless New Yorkers hold a protest to improve and pass legislation to tackle overdose in New York City shelters, City Hall entrance, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. holds a public hearing, 851 Grand Concourse, Room 206, Bronx.

1 p.m. – Rep. Nita Lowey, along with local officials, visits the Haverstraw Firehouse to discuss her recent visit to Puerto Rico and to provide an update on relief and recovery efforts, 25 Fairmount Ave., Haverstraw.

1:30 p.m. – The New York City Council holds a stated meeting, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

2:30 p.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio makes an announcement about protecting New York City tenants, 1 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

2:45 p.m. – Cuomo makes an announcement, Norsk Titanium USA, 44 Martina Circle, Plattsburgh.

6 p.m. – The New York Immigration Coalition celebrates its 30th anniversary by honoring  former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Unite Here’s General Vice President Maria Elena Durazo, 583 Park Ave., Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosts his eighth annual Hispanic Leadership Awards, Thalia Spanish Theatre, 41-17 Greenpoint Ave., Queens.

6:30 p.m. – Rep. Claudia Tenney hosts a forum on the opioid and heroin crisis, Binghamton University Symposium Hall, 85 Murray Hill Road, Vestal.

6:30 p.m. – Rep. Nydia Velázquez hosts a resource forum to provide an update on the state of the federal disaster response in Puerto Rico, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic, featuring New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and others, 309 47th St., Brooklyn.

7 p.m. – NYC Votes hosts a debate for New York City comptroller candidates Michael Faulkner and incumbent Scott Stringer broadcast on NY1 and WNYC, CUNY TV Studios, 365 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

8:30 p.m. – Brewer speaks at Center at West Park “Glitz and Grit” Benefit, 165 W. 86th St., Manhattan.


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The Mayor’s homeless policy is failing New Yorkers. And now he is saying the city doesn’t need to provide any advance notice to turn hotels into homeless shelters (via the Daily News). It’s time for a change. Meet Nicole Malliotakis.

Paid for by Nicole for New York City.



KICKER: “We’re not out to kill each other.” – Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, on possibly running on a ticket with Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb to defeat Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018, via the Auburn Citizen.