First Read - August 20, 2015

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy in New York City and Albany and heavy rain in Buffalo. New York City, high 83; Albany, high 87; Buffalo, high 78.

CITY & STATE TV: The Campaign for Fair Latino Representation’s Javier Nieves says his organization is bypassing the mayor and instead meeting with agency commissioners to discuss underrepresentation of Latinos in the administration: http://goo.gl/UVifLS

NEW THIS MORNING:

* A “local Democratic insider” tells Business Insider that Public Advocate Letitia James is considering challenging New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in the 2017 Democratic mayoral primary: http://goo.gl/aYKyGf

* The redevelopment of Willets Point as currently conceived is in jeopardy after New York City did not join developers in appealing a court decision that bars converting a parking lot next to Citi Field into a mall, The New York Times reports: http://goo.gl/4ZkSjb

* New York City will offer 4,500 half-day prekindergarten slots this year, addressing concerns from some parents that their children weren’t ready for full-day classroom experiences, The Wall Street Journal reports: http://goo.gl/UpKhP7

* Mayor Bill de Blasio convened a special task force, which includes City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, to find a legal way to ban topless performers from Times Square, the Daily News writes: http://goo.gl/oyocn7

* In a 40-minute interview with WNYC, de Blasio discussed the inaction on a Central Park horse carriage ban, the “vision” city officials are crafting for Uber and the effects of affordable housing and gentrification: http://goo.gl/JwH7EP

* In an interview with the Observer, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina discussed state Sen. John Flanagan’s criticism of her, her problems with standardized testing and how long she plans to stay on: http://goo.gl/EAwYFR

* A recent visitor of West Africa who was rushed to Bellevue Hospital yesterday with Ebola-like symptoms was determined by doctors to not have the deadly disease, the Post writes: http://goo.gl/ZLd5iT

* Officials said Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is preparing an aggressive counter-offer to keep General Electric in the state after Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited the company’s local headquarters, the Connecticut Post reports: http://goo.gl/S8YFsE

* A Rikers Island correction officer was the first person to be arrested on a recently enacted corrupting the government law for allegedly smuggling loose tobacco to inmates and accepting over $8,000 in bribes, the Post writes: http://goo.gl/PAIZt0

Submit your nomination for our NYC 40 Under 40 Rising Stars Class of 2015! Deadline: September 10th: goo.gl/JvWXN6

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A Message From High Achievement New York

Editorial boards all agree: opting kids out of tests is harmful to their future success. Major newspapers from across the state are rarely all so aligned. But on this issue the right answer is clear, assessing children's progress toward achieving college and career readiness makes sense. Tell the cynical voices urging test refusal to stop. Read the opinions here: http://goo.gl/oTVtLv

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EDITORIAL PAGES:

* Now that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has shown he is willing to discuss the development of the Gateway Program rail tunnels under the Hudson River, Cuomo must come to the table as well, the Times writes: http://goo.gl/6lQZtP

* The selection of Kriner Cash as superintendent of the Buffalo School District signals big changes ahead, and that is just what the troubled school district needs to overcome a desperate situation, The Buffalo News writes: http://goo.gl/frqwMY

* The Daily News’ Josh Greenman writes that de Blasio has made some major changes, but he needs to fix his sometimes clumsy stagecraft and embrace the no-nonsense persistence New Yorkers want to see in their mayor: http://goo.gl/Z5JP6Z

* The Post’s Bob McManus argues that when it comes to his work, de Blasio is “a bit of a dope” who calls for transformative ideas but can never implement any of them into reality: http://goo.gl/eFSgbp

* De Blasio signaled in a WNYC interview that he has given up on driving carriage horses out of New York City, a move that would have been largely unpopular and destroyed jobs in the process, the Daily News writes: http://goo.gl/4w2xM9

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The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness is a think-tank focused on the impact of public policies on poor and homeless children. Join us for our 4th Biennial Beyond Housing Conference: January 13-15, 2016. Learn more about speakers, scholarships, and additional information at beyondhousing.icphusa.org

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CITY & STATE TV:

* Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Stephen Eide discusses his latest report on crime in New York City, which shows crime declining overall while shootings and murders are on the rise: http://goo.gl/ulLzGM

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CITY & STATE CAREERS - WHO’S HIRING: Advertise your employment opportunities with City & State Careers. Email sdiliberti@cityandstateny.com or call 646-442-1617 for info. Follow us on Twitter @Careers_CS and Facebook at City & State Careers.

Director of Policy, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy

The Director of Policy plays a leading management role in SCAA’s policy and advocacy efforts. Works with diverse allies and partners; conducts analyses and develops policies that positively impact the status of vulnerable New Yorkers, including children and families. Strong writer and relationship builder needed.

Director of Site & Property Management, Battery Park City Authority

Will establish and oversee service contracts for operating systems, structural elements, elevators, and other facility features for each of the BPCA Buildings and Facilities and coordinate service activities with BPCA tenants and base buildings. Will arrange for and oversee repairs to building elements, structural features and operating systems for which BPCA is responsible.

Editor-at-Large, New York Nonprofit Media

The only print and digital publication covering NY nonprofit news seeks an editor to drive the direction of the publication’s editorial content, work with reporters and freelancers, oversee print and digital platforms, contribute articles, and serve as the face of the publication. Ideal candidates has in-depth knowledge of the NY nonprofit industry with a strong understanding of NYS/NYC government.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Yolanda dela Cruz Gallagher, a Queens Democratic district leader.

MOVING ON: Professional Women in Construction NY has appointed Chelsea LeMar as executive director … and Jean Gutbrodt has retired as LCA pressroom manager after 17 years on the job.

CONGRATULATIONS: Jessica Schumer, daughter of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, was engaged to boyfriend Mike Shapiro, an economic policy adviser to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

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Organized Labor Print Issue Spotlight, August 31: City & State will publish our annual organized labor print spotlight featuring editorial on living wage reporting by City agencies, the 421a negotiations and more + Q&A's with Bob Linn, Assemblymember Peter Abbate, U.S. Labor Commissioner Tom Perez and more. For targeted advertising opportunities please contact Aholt@cityandstateny.com.

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TODAY’S SKED:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Oneida County and the New York City area.

8 a.m. - Volunteer firefighters assemble for the 143rd annual convention of the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York, Desmond Hotel & Conference Center, 660 Albany Shaker Road, Albany.

8:15 a.m. - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer appears on “Buen Día New York”, Listen: WADO 1280 AM, or http://wado1280am.univision.com/

9 a.m. - Rep. Elise Stefanik hosts coffee with your congresswoman event, Potsdam Town Hall, 18 Elm St., Potsdam.

9:30 a.m. - Cuomo holds cabinet meeting, Radisson Hotel, 200 Genesee St., Utica.

10 a.m. - Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announces over $3 million in Fiscal Year 2016 funds from Brooklyn Borough Hall to construct and preserve hundreds of affordable housing units across Brooklyn, 442 Logan St., Brooklyn.

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Educators 4 Excellence New York holds its annual member summit, NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square S., Manhattan.

10 a.m. - The Brian Lehrer show features state Education commissioner MaryEllen Elia and former New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who was recently appointed monitor for the East Ramapo school district and New York City Councilman Brad Lander on segregation in city schools, WNYC. Listen here: www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/

11 a.m. - Cuomo makes announcement, Quad-C Building, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 330 Technology Drive, Utica.

11 a.m. - Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul tours restoration projects in downtown Utica, Clark City Center, 185 Genesee St., Utica.

1 p.m. - Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts press conference, 34-11 Beach Channel Drive, Queens.

1 p.m. - Hochul and Empire State Development Chairman Howard Zemsky convene Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council meeting, State Office Building, 207 Genesee St., Utica.

1:15 p.m. - Stefanik tours St. Lawrence County Community Development Program, 1 Commerce Lane, Canton.

2 p.m. - Hochul tours Griffiss Air Force Base to showcase Cuomo’s investments in new businesses and industries as part of Capital for a Day initiative, 584 Phoenix Drive, Rome.

2:30 p.m. - Stefanik visits Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, 53 Main St., Canton.

3:15 p.m. - Stefanik tours Frazer Computing, 6196 U.S. Highway 11, Canton.

4 p.m. - Hochul convenes cabinet debrief meeting, Radisson Hotel, 200 Genesee St., Utica.

6:30 p.m. - New York City Democratic Committee holds summer cocktail party, 32BJ headquarters, 25 W. 18th St., Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. - Stringer, state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Victor Pichardo and others hold worker’s rights forum, Gymnasium at the Church of St. Simon Stock, 2191 Valentine Ave., Bronx.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. - Inside City Hall features Eva Moskowitz of the Success Charter Network, and a tour of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Time Warner Cable News NY1.

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Find your next great career at www.CityandState.Careers! We feature jobs in and around New York government, advocacy, communications, business, and more. Also be sure to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter set to launch this fall. Questions/comments? Contact SDiliberti@cityandstateny.com

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KICKER: “The fact is that there is this feeling that working people in communities of color have been left out of this highfalutin power circle and Tish would get them in there.” – A “local Democratic insider” on why Public Advocate Letitia James, who is considering running in the 2017 mayoral election, could win, via Business Insider.