First Read - May 26, 2015

WEATHER: Mostly sunny in New York City with a chance of thunderstorms in Albany and Western New York. New York City, high 84; Albany, high 87; Buffalo, high 71.  


CITY & STATE TV: Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda responds to rumors that he is running for Bronx district attorney and talks about whether incumbent Robert Johnson is a good DA, in an interview with Editor-at-Large Gerson Borrero:

PRICE OF PRESERVATION: City officials claim the Linden Plaza homes in Brooklyn retained Mitchell-Lama status when they were refinanced in 2008, despite dramatic rent increases, but tenants it was in name only:

JOBS AND AFFORDABILITY: As Albany reconsiders the 421-a tax break, we should reject the false choice between affordable housing or good jobs—since they can and must go together, ALIGN’s Matt Ryan writes in City & State:



* Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorability and approval ratings fell to new lows, while voters overwhelmingly say state corruption is a problem and support the property tax cap, Start-Up NY and the SAFE Act, a Siena poll finds:

* Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, aimed at reducing pedestrian deaths to zero, has had mixed results in its first year, with traffic deaths down but only by 4 percent in problem corridors, the Daily News writes:

* The head of the city’s largest transit union is upset with de Blasio over a street-safety program that has left several bus drivers arrested, with the organization set to run an ad depicting the mayor handcuffing a driver:

* New York City Public advocate Letitia James argues that parents should have more control in the direction of the school system in a report issued to de Blasio and the state Senate, the Daily News writes:

A study  finds that New York City children exposed to higher levels of pollution and who come from deeper poverty are more likely to have lower IQ’s, giving them less potential to earn as adults, the Post writes:

* The popularity of career and technical education high schools, which give students practicable knowledge and put them on the path to middle wage jobs, is on the rise, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* There has been an uptick in interest in issues surrounding postpartum depression since a state law creating guidelines for checking on the mental health of new mothers went into effect, The New York Times writes:

* Former City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who’s running for a Queens judgeship, has a trail of combative tweets and Facebook posts that have raised eyebrows, given his job as an aide to the governor, the Daily News writes:

* The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is relying on private dollars to develop a $14.5 million retail concourse in a corridor leading to the 59th Street-Columbus Circle subway station, the Journal reports:

* Detective investigators were not given bonuses by their employer, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, despite others in the department getting checks of between $1,800 and $2,000, the Daily News writes:



* The push for mayoral control of Buffalo Public Schools may appear to have little chance of becoming law this year on the surface, but could get pushed through as part of the “Big Ugly,” The Buffalo News writes:

* The deaths of mathematician John Nash and his wife, who were thrown from a taxi while not wearing seat belts, highlights a debate over whether seat belts in for-hire cars should be mandatory, the Times writes:



For too long, New Yorkers have lived with a broken housing system. Seventy years of rent control has not solved the housing shortage nor helped with affordability. New York needs new solutions, ones that support the operations and rehabilitation of apartments and ones that don’t subsidize the wealthy. Let’s Rethink Housing. Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP): Housing Advocates Since 1966. Join our mailing list at




* The Times writes that to save New York City’s public housing, de Blasio needs to “find a ton of money, then put it where his mouth is,” and that after decades of neglect it will remain a perplexing challenge:

* Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute writes in the Post that New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s push to decriminalize “nuisance” offenses would lead to an increase in more serious crimes:

* The Post writes that raising the minimum wage for fast food workers will only lead more small businesses and restaurants to close their doors, as has happened in Seattle where the minimum wage is now $15 an hour:

* The Times Union writes that the state’s use of tax-form fundraising should be more transparent so that donors can see exactly how their charity is being used:

* The Buffalo News writes that steps to roll back parts of the education reforms passed as part of the state budget in an Assembly bill passed last week should not lead to a complete reversal of course:



With New York City facing an affordable housing crisis, the 421-a program, which is set to expire on June 15th, is critical to creating 80,000 affordable housing units. Nothing should get in the way of creating the affordable housing and local jobs we need. Learn more.




* New York State Budget Director Mary Beth Labate speaks at the forum hosted by AARP and City & State unveiling a new report on savings by baby boomers and GenXers:

* New York City Housing Authority Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye sat down with City & State Executive Editor Michael Johnson to discuss her plans for the embattled housing authority:



WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities in City & State First Read, email or call 646-442-1662.  


Executive Assistant, Albany Lobbying Firm

Description: Albany-based lobbying firm seeks Executive Assistant comfortable working in fast-paced environment.  Successful candidate has administrative support experience and proficiency in Microsoft Office. Responsibilities: opening office, directing calls, monitoring daily news of interest, managing primary lobbyist’s schedule and call list, outgoing and incoming meeting requests, and general support for firm’s lobbyists.

Further Info: To receive more information about this opportunity, please send resume and any other qualifying documentation to


Senior Advocacy Advisor for State Affairs, UJA-Federation of New York

Description: The Senior Advocacy Advisor for State Affairs will organize and execute activities that will deepen UJA-Federation’s relationships with government and community leaders, enhance the government resources available to UJA-Federation beneficiary agencies, and be UJA-Federation’s primary lobbyist in Albany. As appropriate, the Senior Advisor will work with lay representatives and senior professionals of the Financial Resources Division and the Department of Government and External Relations to develop appropriate public affairs programming and advocate efforts that enhance the ability of UJA-Federation agencies to serve the poor and vulnerable. This position will require significant travel to and time in Albany during the legislative session.

Further Info: To apply, please send resume and cover letter to:


Labor Relations Specialists – Long Island/Hudson Valley Region, CSEA

Salary: $54,587 w/ excellent benefits/career ladder

Description: Hudson Valley and Long Island Regions of New York State CSEA, New York's leading union, is seeking resumes for Labor Relations Specialists serving the Long Island areas of Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Hudson Valley areas of Ulster, Westchester, Sullivan, Orange, Rockland, Dutchess and Putnam counties. Requires knowledge of labor relations, ability to negotiate/administer contracts, resolve employer/employee conflicts. Operate independently & schedule workload. Drivers license/car for business use.

Further Info: To view the full job description and apply, please visit:


Executive Director, AfterSchool Works! NY: the New York State Afterschool Network

Description: ASW:NYSAN seeks a dynamic leader committed to educational equity, youth development and advancing opportunity for New York’s youth.  The Executive Director will help shape and implement strategies that strengthen the capacity and commitment of the state, communities, programs, and professionals to increasing access to high-quality programs beyond the traditional classroom.

To view the full listing:



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Eric Wollman, a member of the New York County Lawyers Association election law committee … to New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin … and to Sean Crowley, a partner in the government relations practice at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron.


IN MEMORIAM: John Murphy, a former congressman who represented Staten Island for 18 years, has died.



Join the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY Festival, exploring questions of transparency and surveillance, expression and suppression, participation and dissent, and the enduring quest for visibility in the city. The conference features a Mayoral Panel and an address by The Honorable Julián Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who will be introduced by NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The keynote is at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 29, at the Great Hall at the Cooper Union. FREE with RSVP.




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in the New York City area, New York City and Albany with no public schedule.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, and the Committee on Finance hold an executive budget hearing, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - The Brian Lehrer Show features Daily News Albany Bureau Chief Ken Lovett and NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly, WNYC.

11 a.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is joined by Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina to make an announcement, The Michael J. Petrides School Library, 715 Ocean Terrace, First Floor, Building B, Staten Island.

11 a.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Education meets, 250 Broadway, 16th Floor Committee Room, Manhattan.

11 a.m. - New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray holds a live Facebook Q&A,   

11 a.m. - Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul joins Broome County Executive Debbie Preston and local officials to tour small businesses in downtown Binghamton, Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, 1 Stuart St., Binghamton.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features Siena Poll's Steve Greenberg, state Sen. Brad Hoylman and AARP New York's Legislative Representative Bill Ferris, WCNY.

12 p.m. - New York Councilman Brad Lander, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and community stakeholders hold a rally to raise the headcount and conditions for school crossing guards, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

12 p.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Health meets on health services in city correctional facilities, 250 Broadway, 14th Floor Committee Room, Manhattan.

12 p.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Court and Legal Services meets on an office of civil justice, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

12 p.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Parks and Recreation holds executive budget hearing, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

1 p.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Transportation meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

1:30 p.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection holds executive budget hearing, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

1:30 p.m. - UFT President Michael Mulgrew is joined by elected officials and parent representatives to urge the state Legislature to retain the current cap on charter schools, outside DOE headquarters, Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers St., Manhattan.

2 p.m. - New York City Public Advocate Letitia James stands with elected officials, advocates, daycare providers, parents and children to call on the Administration for Children’s Services to save day care centers, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

6 p.m. - Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams inducts the new class of members for Brooklyn's eighteen community boards, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

6:30 p.m. - Brewer speaks on "Preserving the Fabric of Our Neighborhoods" panel at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.



The United Spinal Association, Taxis for All Campaign, Disabled in Action of Metropolitan NY, and the 504 Democratic Club invite you to attend a legislative breakfast on Wednesday May 27th to discuss the need for a safe, 100% wheelchair accessible fleet of taxis and liveries throughout New York City. May 27th10 - 11:30am, City Hall Restaurant, 131 Duane Street. RSVP to:



KICKER: “Ultimately, the mayor is causing the arrest of bus operators and he cannot for a second lay any claim that this was the intention of Vision Zero. He’s completely lost touch.” – John Samuelsen, head of the transit union, via the Daily News.