First Read – January 16, 2018

WEATHER: Cloudy in New York City, light snow likely in Albany and a chance of snow showers in Buffalo. New York City, high 36; Albany, high 30; Buffalo, high 25.



* New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has taken pains to set a fun, sociable tone, standing in stark contrast with his more buttoned-up predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito, City & State’s Jeff Coltin writes in this week’s cover story.

* In recent years, New York City and New York state have passed legislation to expand workers’ rights, but a new report shows that low-income New Yorkers who would benefit the most from the policies have no idea they even exist, City & State reports.

* Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Albany have been staking out their positions ahead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget rollout, especially with a deficit that could total $4 billion or more and fears of the impact of federal policy changes, City & State reports.



* New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, an outspoken liberal, said he was opening an exploratory committee to challenge Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in the 2018 election, The New York Times reports.

* U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer called on the federal government to step in to help prevent a repeat of the chaos at John F. Kennedy International Airport after a blizzard left many travelers stranded at the airport without their luggage, The Wall Street Journal writes.

* A potential plan to help fund the MTA would forgo tolling on the East River bridges and the Fix New York City panel created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to propose collecting tolls in a high congestion area of Manhattan, the Daily News writes.

* Cuomo asked the U.S. Department of the Interior to exempt New York from a controversial new plan to expand offshore drilling, one week after the department issued an exemption to Florida, the New York Post reports.

* There will be three key numbers when Cuomo reveals his 2018-19 budget plan on Tuesday: the $4.4 billion deficit, the 2 percent state spending cap and the final tally of personal income tax revenue, the Times Union writes.

* More news below …



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* Despite the sustained attacks on Washington Republicans by Cuomo and other top state Democrats, federal filings show the state GOP actually outraised the state Democratic Party in 2017, the Daily News reports.

* The opioid crisis is having a devastating effect on New York City’s homeless population, driving up the number of homeless people who died in fiscal year 2017 to a record number, Politico New York reports.

* Pharmaceutical companies would have to collect unused prescription drugs and dispose of them in an attempt to help curb addiction and to keep water supplies uncontaminated under a bill proposed by state Sens. Kemp Hannon and Tom O’Mara, the Daily News writes.

* More NYPD officers have been sent into the New York City subway system to address the large number of homeless people sleeping on trains during cold winter nights, the police said, the Times reports.

* Republican gubernatorial candidate Joel Giambra is proposing that legalized and tightly regulated marijuana sales represent the best way to address the state’s massive infrastructure and mass transit needs, The Buffalo News reports.

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Queens Borough President Melinda Katz delivers her 2018 State of the Borough address on Friday, January 26 at 10:00am at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School in Astoria. RSVP at or call 718.286.2661.




* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has many strong candidates from which to choose a new schools chancellor, but he needs to commits himself to a vigorous system of reforms and give the new chancellor the latitude and support to pursue them, the Times writes.

* New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres and Speaker Corey Johnson need to exercise discipline in choosing targets for their newly expanded oversight committee by focusing on corners underlit by other watchdogs and steering clear of cheap politics, the Daily News writes.

* The big question when Cuomo unveils his budget plan on Tuesday is whether he will be be looking out for his pals and his political interests, or New York and the state’s best interests, the Post writes.

* Local and state government should focus on discouraging sexual harassment in the first place, rather than finding new sources – other than taxpayer money – for politicians’ settlement payments, the Times Union writes.



Join City & State NY for the P3 Summit & Awards on January 31 at New York University for a day-long, dynamic program of candid discussion and thought-provoking presentations on the complexities of public-private partnerships and the ways to successfully execute and manage P3s. Hear from top leaders and experts like Patrick Foye, President of MTA and Robert Galvin, Chief Technology Officer of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. For more details on programming and tickets please click here.




* President Donald Trump’s incendiary words about immigration have dampened the prospects that a broad spending and immigration deal can be reached by the end of the week, raising the possibility of a government shutdown, the Times reports.

* Top Democrats said 50 senators have endorsed a legislative measure to restore net neutrality and override the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to deregulate the broadband industry, The Washington Post reports.



City & State Announces Partnership with Leading Recruitment Firm Phillips Oppenheim

City & State and Phillips Oppenheim are starting a new joint-venture offering recruitment services to City & State’s loyal clients by finding the highest caliber of talent for their open positions. Attracting top talent, and retaining that talent, is essential to the success of any company. The collaboration will offer customizable solutions to ensure we find the best person for each position our clients are looking to fill. Focusing on top leader searches including: CEOs, Executive Directors, Development Directors, COOs, CFOs, External Affairs Directors and Marketing and Communications Directors; we will bring the best value to organizations seeking candidates for these critical hires. If you are interested in learning more about the services being offered, please contact either Tom Allon  or Jane Donaldson.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Republican fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher … to state Sen. Joseph Griffo … to New York Post columnist Richard Johnson … to Time magazine reporter Melissa Chan … to Matt Gewolb, assistant dean and general counsel at New York Law School … and to Assemblywoman Diana Richardson.

MOVING ON: Sydney Kashiwagi is the new City Hall reporter at the Staten Island Advance … Jasaun Boone, former senior vice president for Beaudoin & Co., will be the new chief of staff for the Department of State in New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy’s administration … and Jill Anderson, former executive vice president and chief commercial officer at the New York Power Authority, is joining the leadership team of Southern California Edison.

CONGRATULATIONS: To Lenny Markh, chief of staff to Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, and Mariya Markh, aide to New York City Councilman Alan Maisel, on the birth of their daughter, Rebecca.

Have a birthday, career change, birth or death to announce? Email us:



City & State Jobs

Account Executive, Marino PR

Marino, a full-service strategic communications firm, is seeking an account executive to join its industry-leading land use and economic development practice. Minimum 2 years of experience in PR or government required. Experience working in a campaign-style environment and some understanding of NYC’s ULURP process preferred. Responsibilities include project management, drafting/distribution of press materials, development of campaign materials and research.

Vice President, Kasirer

Kasirer, a public affairs, lobbying and advocacy firm in New York City, is seeking to add a talented professional to its growing team. The VP will work closely with the firm’s current corporate and real estate clients as well as look to expand the corporate and real estate practices of the firm. Must have a broad base of relationships in the City Council, the Mayor’s Administration, and with intergovernmental staff at key City agencies. Click here to apply.




The state Legislature is in session.

8:30 a.m. – New York City first lady Chirlane McCray is honored at the Kennedy Forum’s fourth annual meeting, “Bending Towards Justice: A Summit For Mental Health Equity,” and delivers remarks at the Leadership Breakfast, Hilton Chicago, Grand Ballroom, 720 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois.

9:30 a.m. – The New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee holds a public hearing, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. – Rep. Joe Crowley holds a press conference to discuss the his plan to improve the lives of working families and middle-class New Yorkers, Vaughn College, 8601 23rd Ave., Queens.

10 a.m. – “The Brian Lehrer Show” features the NAACP’s L. Joy Williams, the Women’s March Alliance’s Katherine Siemionko, The New York Times’ Charles Blow, New York Immigration Coalition’s Murad Awawdeh, filmmaker Michael Moore and more, WNYC.

10 a.m. – The Assembly Committee on Local Governments and the Committee on Cities hold a joint budget oversight hearing, Roosevelt Hearing Room C, Legislative Office Building, second floor, Albany.

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

10 a.m.State Sen. Leroy Comrie, Assembly members Alicia Hyndman and Clyde Vanel as well as New York City Council members I. Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams host a “Day of Action” to help seniors and people with disabilities meet the deadline to reduce their property taxes, Majority Family Life Center, 115-15 Farmers Blvd., Queens.

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

11 a.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts a media availability to discuss progress on building and protecting affordable housing and tenants across the city, Cypress Hills Senior Residences, 137 Jamaica Ave., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul attends inauguration of New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, New Jersey.

12 p.m. – Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams honors local volunteers for hurricane relief in Texas and Puerto Rico as “Heroes of the Month,” Brooklyn Borough Hall, Rotunda, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

12:30 p.m. – The New York City Parks and Recreation Department and the FDNY hold a parks enforcement patrol ice safety training session and on-ice rescue demonstration, Lasker Rink, Central Park, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his 2018 executive budget address, New York State Museum, Clark Auditorium, 222 Madison Ave., Albany.

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

3 p.m. – The state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.

5 p.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer hosts a Staten Island workforce forum, Brighton Heights Reformed Church, 320 St. Marks Place, Staten Island.

5:30 p.m. – State Sen. John DeFrancisco holds a fundraiser, Fort Orange Club, 110 Washington Ave., Albany.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Inside City Hall” features de Blasio and the NY1 Wise Guys, NY1.

7:30 p.m. – Stringer delivers remarks at the Staten Island Community Board 2 meeting, Sea View Hospital, Lou Caravone Community Service Building, 460 Brielle Ave., Staten Island.

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Join NYN Media for Nonprofit BoardCon on January 24th at the Museum of Jewish Heritage for a day of informational session on the collaboration between boards and staff. We will have executive leaders of New York’s nonprofits and board members engage in lively discussions ranging from: Responsibilities, Governance, Diversity, Recruitment and Retention and more. For more details and ticketing please click here.



KICKER: “Trump, you better get your best gloves out and order you three Big Macs rather than two, because we’ve got a fighter from New York.” – Rev. Al Sharpton, on U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s potential presidential run in 2020, after she gave a rousing speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, via the Daily News