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Affairs and Appointments Week of April 13 –17

Affairs and Appointments
Week of April 13 –17

New York State

New York City

City Council Hearings


Special Item: NYT City Room Explores the History of Manhattan

From the City Room:

This week, Michelle and James Nevius, the authors of “Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City,” will be answering questions about the history of Manhattan from Henry Hudson’s arrival in 1609 to the present. If you have ever walked by a building in the borough and wondered about its origins, or whether a historic event really took place where you think it did, or any other little-known fact, they will know the answers. Both in their book and on their guided tours, the authors try to link the history of Manhattan to places that can still be visited today. One of their goals is to focus on the patterns that emerge as a neighborhood or street changes over time.

Continue reading here.

Governor Paterson Announces Marriage Equality Legislation

GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES MARRIAGE EQUALITY LEGISLATION – COUPLES BILL RECOGNIZES FUNDAMENTAL CIVIL RIGHT OF MARRIAGE

From Governor David A. Paterson’s Press Release:

Governor David A. Paterson today introduced landmark civil rights legislation that will end legal discrimination against same-sex couples in New York State. The Governor’s marriage equality Program Bill recognizes the fundamental civil right of marriage and would grant same-sex couples the same legal recognition afforded to partners of the opposite sex. The Governor was joined by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, federal, state and local lawmakers, and prominent advocates to make the announcement.

“Marriage equality is about basic civil rights and personal freedom,” Governor Paterson said. “Too many individuals face legal discrimination every single day. Too many loving families do not receive the legal recognition they deserve. Anyone who has ever faced intolerance of any kind knows the solemn importance of protecting the rights of all people. That is why we stand together today to embrace civil rights for every New Yorker. We stand together today for marriage equality in the State of New York.”

The bill would amend the Domestic Relations Law to give same-sex couples the opportunity to enter into civil marriages. It would mandate that all provisions of State law be construed to encompass same-sex marriages, consistent with the legislation’s intent, regardless of whether they use gender-specific or gender-neutral terms. As a result of this legislation, same-sex spouses would enjoy the same legal status and treatment under New York law as heterosexual couples, on issues such as property ownership, inheritance, health care, and insurance coverage.

Continue reading the Governor’s press release here.

Read here City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn’s statement on Governor Paterson’s introduction of marriage equality legislation.

Read here Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s statement on Governor Paterson’s civil rights proposal.

Read here NYC Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr.’s statement on Governor Paterson’s bill.

Read here coverage from the New York Times’ City Room blog on the Governor’s bill – and here for coverage of State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.’s attempt to organize opposition to the Governor’s bill.

Attorney General Cuomo Announces New Criminal Charges In Pay-To-Play Kickback Scheme At The New York State Comptrollers Office

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO ANNOUNCES NEW CRIMINAL CHARGES AND GUILTY PLEA FROM HEDGE FUND MANAGER IN PAY-TO-PLAY KICKBACK SCHEME AT THE NEW YORK STATE COMPTROLLERS OFFICE

From the Attorney General’s press release:

NEW YORK, NY (April 15, 2009) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced charges against Raymond B. Harding, a past Chair of the former New York State Liberal Party, and a guilty plea from hedge fund manager Barrett Wissman for their alleged involvement in a pay-to-play kickback scheme at the Office of the New York State Comptroller.  The felony complaint alleges that Harding obtained over $800,000 in illegal fees on State pension fund investments as a reward for opening up a State Assembly seat for then Comptroller Alan Hevesis son and for over 30 years of prior political endorsements.  The felony complaint filed today in New York County Criminal Court charges that Harding committed multiple felonies in violation of the Martin Act, the New York securities fraud statute.

Cuomo also announced that hedge fund manager and classical music impresario Barrett Wissman has pled guilty to a Martin Act felony for his role in the pay-to-play scheme and will pay $12 million in penalties and forfeiture to New York State over a period of three years. Wissman, formerly associated with Texas-based hedge fund Hunt Financial Ventures (HFV), will be sentenced at a later date.

Todays announcements arise from a two-year, ongoing investigation into corruption involving the New York State Comptrollers Office and the State pension fund (the Fund).  The charges to date allege a complex criminal scheme involving numerous individuals operating at the highest political and governmental levels under Comptroller Hevesi, in which the State pension fund was used as a piggy bank for the Comptrollers chief political aide and a favor bank for political allies and other friends.

Continue reading the press release here.

Comptroller DiNapoli Announces Results for State Fiscal Year 2008-09

COMPTROLLER DINAPOLI ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR STATE FISCAL YEAR 2008-09

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today reported that New York State finished the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2008-09 with a General Fund balance of $1.9 billion, which was $434.5 million more than was anticipated in the Financial Plan, primarily due to the receipt of $1.8 billion in federal stimulus funds.

Because of the deteriorating economy, projected total tax collections were lowered by $3.6 billion throughout the fiscal year. The State Financial Plan, updated in January, anticipated total tax collections of $60.8 billion. However, the state still ended the year $448.4 million below January projections and $533.2 million below total collections from SFY 2007-08.

Continue reading the Comptroller’s press release here.

Governor Paterson Creates Action Initiative To Address Addiction

GOVERNOR PATERSON CREATES ACTION INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS ADDICTION

Governor David A. Paterson today announced the creation of the Addictions Collaborative to Improve Outcomes for New York (ACTION) initiative to address alcohol, drug and gambling addictions that affect nearly 2.5 million New Yorkers. The Governor issued Executive Order No. 16 to direct the partnership of 20 State agencies with non-profits and the private sector and coordinate addiction resources in the areas of public health, safety, welfare and education. The Governor made the announcement at the re-opening ceremony of Reality House, Inc., a substance abuse and HIV treatment facility in Queens.

“The effects of addiction are devastating, not only for individuals with addictions and their families, but for society as a whole,” Governor Paterson said. “The ACTION initiative represents a new way to look at how addiction impacts various public systems and will focus the collective efforts and resources of those systems on developing a comprehensive approach toward addressing this pervasive problem.”

The ACTION initiative will be chaired by Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services Joseph Baker and will be coordinated by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). The ACTION Council will include commissioners from the 20 participating State agencies and collaborate with non-governmental stakeholders, community-based organizations, addiction treatment providers, academic institutions and businesses. The Council will focus on organizing various resources to better develop strategies that improve efforts to identify, treat and prevent addiction.

Continue reading the Govenor’s press release here.

Governor Paterson’s Applauds Decision to Sustain New York’s Objections to the Broadwater LNG Project in Long Island Sound

GOVERNOR PATERSON’S APPLAUDS DECISION OF U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY TO SUSTAIN NEW YORK’S OBJECTIONS TO THE BROADWATER LNG PROJECT IN LONG ISLAND SOUND

From the Governor’s press release:

United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today notified Governor David A. Paterson that the Secretary of Commerce has sustained New York’s objections to the application by Broadwater Energy LLC and Broadwater Pipeline LLC to construct a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit for imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the Long Island Sound. Governor Paterson voiced his strong opposition to the project, and in April of last year, outlined the initial steps his administration would take to meet the growing demand for energy on Long Island and the New York City metropolitan region while preserving the Long Island Sound as a valuable estuary. At the time, the New York State Secretary of State determined that the Broadwater proposal was inconsistent with enforceable policies of the Long Island Sound Coastal Management Program. One of the primary concerns raised by New York State was the industrialization of the Long Island Sound.

Continue reading the press release here.

Stringer Exploring Run for the Senate

STRINGER EXPLORING RUN FOR THE SENATE

From the NYT City Room blog:

Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, has created a federal committee to explore challenging Kirsten E. Gillibrand, the newly appointed United States senator, in the Democratic primary next year.

Mr. Stringer filed papers with the Internal Revenue Service on to create the exploratory committee on Monday, according to an aide. The move means that Mr. Stringer is free to raise and spend money on polls, travel and staff but cannot declare himself a candidate.

Mr. Stringer, who has been talking to political consultants in recent weeks as he seeks to assemble a campaign team, is among a growing group of potential challengers considering a run against Ms. Gillibrand, who was appointed to the Senate in January by Gov. David A. Paterson.

Continue reading here.

Mayor Bloomberg Releases 2009 New York City Card

MAYOR BLOOMBERG RELEASES 2009 NEW YORK CITY CARD

From the Mayor’s press release:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today released the fourth annual New York City Card, a credit card sized guide for New York’s political donor community detailing pending Federal and State issues and priorities.  This year’s card lists five of the City’s top Federal and State agenda items, including the elimination of the Unincorporated Business Tax, the reauthorization of mayoral control of the public school system, and repealing the Tiahrt amendments, which restrict use of gun trace data – a critical tool in stopping the flow of illegal guns….

The five priorities listed on this year’s New York City Card are:

  1. Economy: Urge Congress to establish a direct infrastructure funding stream to cities, and the State to reduce or eliminate the Unincorporated Business Tax for 17,000 small businesses and freelancers.

  2. Education: Urge the State to reauthorize mayoral control of the public school system – the key to the City’s success in dramatically increasing graduation rates and raising test scores.

  3. Illegal Guns: Urge Congress to repeal the Tiahrt Amendments, which restrict use of gun trace data – a critical tool in stopping the flow of illegal guns.

  4. 9/11 Health: Urge Congress to fund a long-term World Trade Center health care program for responders, workers, and community members.

  5. Poverty: Urge Congress to support a Federal Urban Innovation Fund to fight poverty. The fund could be modeled after the NYC’s Center for Economic Opportunity which is helping families climb the economic ladder.

Read the Mayor’s full press release here.

City Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

CITY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HOLDS STEADY

From the NYT City Room blog:

New York City’s job market appeared to stabilize in March after a surge of unemployment since last fall, according to figures the State Department of Labor released on Thursday.

After taking its biggest one-month jump on record in February, the city’s unemployment rate held steady at 8.1 percent in March, the report showed. The number of unemployed residents of the city increased by about 3,000 last month to 325,000, the most in more than a decade, it showed.

The number of New Yorkers with jobs also increased slightly, according to the data. But March is traditionally a month when many businesses, like stores, hotels and restaurants, are hiring to prepare for a surge of visitors. So far this year, tourism has been much lower than in the past few years.

Labor officials warned that the leveling of the rate of job losses may be only temporary.

Continue reading here.

Panel Urges Creation of Day Laborer Centers

PANEL URGES CREATION OF DAY LABORER CENTERS

From the NYT City Room blog:

After several years of public hearings and research, a committee of experts from the public and private sectors recommended on Thursday that the New York City government support the development of more one-stop, job-and-education centers for day laborers.

The panel also urged the city to provide better health and safety education for day laborers; to increase its support for organizations that provide English-language classes for workers, most of whom are immigrants from non-English-speaking countries; and to encourage more coordination between community groups and government agencies to enforce labor and human rights laws on behalf of day laborers.

The recommendations were in a 10-page report that offered few specifics for achieving those goals. But members of the committee, which included immigration advocates, city officials, religious leaders and academics, hailed the report has an important step forward in trying to manage a burgeoning day laborer population in the New York metropolitan area, estimated to number 5,800 to 8,300, according to the report.

Continue reading here.

See the panel here, and the full 10-page report here.

Thompson and NYC Pension Funds Prompt World Fuel to Protect LGBT Workers

THOMPSON AND NYC PENSION FUNDS PROMPT WORLD FUEL TO PROTECT LGBT WORKERS

From the Comptroller’s press release:

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. and the New York City Pension Funds today announced that another Fortune 1000 company – World Fuel Services Corporation – has agreed to revise its policies to specifically ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The Miami, FL-based company is among 30 targeted by Thompson and the Funds in an effort to improve workplace equality. To date, 72 companies have agreed to adopt the changes, 17 of which agreed to do so in recent months. Of those 17, eight already barred discrimination based on sexual orientation and now agreed to include gender identity.

The Pension Funds are the: New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, Teachers’ Retirement System of New York (TRS) and New York City Board of Education Retirement System.

“Equal treatment requires commitment to understanding that all workers should receive the same protections, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Thompson said. “Every year, we encounter greater numbers of companies that adopt these measures because they realize that discrimination and bias have no place in the workplace.”

Continue reading the press release here.

View the World Fuel resolution here.

Thompson Updates Online System To Help New Yorkers Track Mta Service Cuts Impact On Their Routes

THOMPSON UPDATES ONLINE SYSTEM TO HELP NEW YORKERS TRACK MTA SERVICE CUTS IMPACT ON THEIR ROUTES

From the Comptroller’s press release:

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. has updated his online system of maps and charts to help New Yorkers determine how the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) service cuts would affect them in just a few months.

“The MTA has approved draconian transit service cuts that will take effect as early as June 28th,” Thompson said. “Transit riders should know exactly what they will face if Albany lawmakers do not step in. In the interim, riders can prepare for the planned cuts by searching my online system to determine the impact on their commutes.”

Thompson’s system – accessible at www.comptroller.nyc.gov – allows users to input a ZIP code to see a table and map of what the proposed MTA cuts would mean to their neighborhoods. Users also can search by subway line or bus route to see a table of the more than 300 cuts.

The updated site now includes information about separate MTA Bus Company cuts on City Island in the Bronx and in Queens. The site also includes an easy-to-use sharing feature where New Yorkers can invite others to use the system to assess the impact on their travels, either with a direct e-mail or by posting it on Facebook or other social networking pages. The site also links to KeepNewYorkMoving.com, a site where riders can urge State legislators to fund transit.

Continue reading here.

View the online tracking system here.

Expanded Workforce1 Career Centers Achieved Impressive Job Placements Through First Quarter of 2009

EXPANDED WORKFORCE1 CAREER CENTERS ACHIEVED IMPRESSIVE JOB PLACEMENTS THROUGH FIRST QUARTER OF 2009

From Mayor Bloomberg’s press release:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber and Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh today announced that nearly 5,000 New Yorkers were placed in jobs through NYC Workforce1  Career Centers during the first quarter of 2009 – a 23 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2008.

Read the full Mayoral press release here.

Public hearings for Week of April 20th, 2009

Zoning & Franchises Tony Avella, Chair

Monday, April 20, 9:30 AM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 16th Floor
Details: See Land Use Calendar Available Wednesday, April 15, 2009, in Room 5 City Hall Please see the link for meeting agenda: http://council.nyc.gov/downloads/pdf/land_use_public_hearing_4_20_09.doc

 

Civil Service & Labor Miguel Martinez, Chair

Monday, April 20, 10:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: Int 714 – By Council Members Brewer, Dickens, Fidler, Gennaro, Gentile, James, Katz, Koppell, Liu, Martinez, Weprin, Gerson, Vallone Jr., and Oddo – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to healthcare expenses for certain 9/11 workers.
see agenda

 

Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Jessica S. Lappin, Chair

Monday, April 20, 11:00 AM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 16th Floor
Details: See Land Use Calendar Available Wednesday, April 15, 2009, in Room 5 City Hall

 

Planning, Dispositions & Concessions Daniel R. Garodnick, Chair

Monday, April 20, 1:00 PM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: See Land Use Calendar Available Wednesday, April 15, 2009, in Room 5 City Hall

 

Veterans James Sanders, Jr., Chair

Monday, April 20, 1:00 PM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 16th Floor
Details: Oversight – Needs and Concerns of Veterans in New York City
see agenda

 

Immigration * Addition Kendall Stewart, Chair

Monday, April 20, 1:00 PM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 14th Floor
Details: Res 1595 – By Council Members Eugene, Brewer, Comrie, Dickens, Jackson, James, Mark-Viverito, Stewart, Avella, Vann, Foster, Arroyo, Barron, Dilan, Gentile, Liu, Martinez, Reyna, Rivera, White Jr., Mealy, Palma, Weprin, de Blasio, Mendez, Koppell, Nelson, Gerson, Fidler, Sears, Katz, Felder and Yassky – Resolution supporting H.R. 522, which urges the U.S. government to designate nationals of Haiti eligible for Temporary Protected Status under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
see agenda

 

Land Use Melinda R. Katz, Chair

Tuesday, April 21, 10:00 AM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 16th Floor
Details: All items reported out of the subcommittees AND SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS MAY BE NECESSARY

 

Consumer Affairs Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Chair

Tuesday, April 21, 10:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: Proposed Int 708-A – By Council Members Comrie, Reyna, Dilan, Fidler, Gonzalez, James, Koppell, Liu, Martinez, Nelson, Stewart and Gerson – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to rates for the towing of motor vehicles.
see agenda

 

Juvenile Justice Sara M. Gonzalez, Chair

Tuesday, April 21, 10:00 AM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 14th Floor
Details: Oversight – Safety and Security Protocols of DJJ Facilities
see agenda

 

Environmental Protection James F. Gennaro, Chair

Tuesday, April 21, 1:00 PM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 14th Floor
Details: Proposed Int 21-A – By Council Members Gennaro, Avella, Brewer, Fidler, Foster, Gentile, James, Liu, Mark-Viverito, Martinez, Nelson, Recchia Jr., Sanders Jr., Sears, Weprin, White Jr., Mendez, Yassky, Koppell and Vallone Jr. – A Local Law – To amend the New York city charter and the administrative code of New York, in relation to developing a comprehensive program for the remediation and reuse of brownfields.
see agenda

 

Housing & Buildings Erik Martin Dilan, Chair

Tuesday, April 21, 1:00 PM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: Int 889 – By Council Members White Jr., Comrie, James, Palma, Seabrook, Stewart, Nelson, Gerson and Mark-Viverito – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to responsibilities of entities commencing action to recover real property in foreclosure actions. Int 956 – By Council Members White Jr., Garodnick, Avella, Brewer, Comrie, Fidler, Jackson, James, Liu, Palma, Sears, Stewart, Vann and Weprin – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to responsibilities of notification to tenants by entities commencing action to recover real property in foreclosure actions. Int 959 – By Council Members Garodnick, Brewer, Comrie, Fidler, James and Nelson – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to responsibilities of entities commencing action to recover real property in foreclosure actions. Proposed Res 1725-A – By Council Members White Jr., Comrie, Fidler, Gentile, James, Seabrook, Nelson and Vann – Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign into law S.1182 and A.5358, which require the holder of a mortgage who prevails in a foreclosure proceeding to maintain the property involved in the foreclosure action in a safe and habitable condition until it is disposed of.
see agenda

 

Parks & Recreation * Addition Helen D. Foster, Chair

Wednesday, April 22, 10:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: Proposed Int 896-A – By Council Members de Blasio, Lappin, Barron, Brewer, Gerson, Gonzalez, James, White Jr. and Mark-Viverito – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring signage warning of heat dangers of playground mats.

 

Fire & Criminal Justice Services * Addition James Vacca, Chair

Wednesday, April 22, 10:30 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: Proposed Int 937-A – By Council Members James, Gonzalez, Martinez, Comrie, Dickens, Fidler, Foster, Mark-Viverito, Palma, Sanders, Jr., White, Jr. and Seabrook – A Local Law – To amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to requiring the commissioner of the department of correction to report on census data and security indicators involving adolescents in city jails.
see agenda

 

Finance * Addition David I. Weprin, Chair

Wednesday, April 22, 11:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: Preconsidered Res____ – By Council Member Weprin – Resolution approving the new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Fiscal 2009 Expense Budget. AND SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS MAY BE NECESSARY

 

Rules, Privileges & Elections * Addition Diana Reyna, Chair

Wednesday, April 22, 11:30 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: M 1353 – Communication from the Mayor – Submitting the name of Betty Y. Chen to the Council for its advice and consent regarding her reappointment to the City Planning Commission, Pursuant to Sections 31 and 192 of the City Charter. M 1354 – Communication from the Mayor – Submitting the name of Nancy G. Chaffetz to the Council for its advice and consent regarding her appointment to the New York City Civil Service Commission, Pursuant to Sections 31 and 813 of the City Charter. Preconsidered M____ – Communication from the Mayor – Submitting the name of Margery H. Perlutter to the Council for its advice and consent regarding her reappointment to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Pursuant to Sections 31 and 3020 of the City Charter. Preconsidered M____ – Robert L. Cohen, M.D., candidate for appointment by the Council to the New York City Board of Correction pursuant to § 626 of the New York City Charter. If Dr. Cohen is appointed, he will be eligible to serve for the remainder of a six-year term expiring on October 12, 2011. AND SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS MAY BE NECESSARY
see agenda

 

Stated Council Meeting

Wednesday, April 22, 1:30 PM
Council Chambers – City Hall

 

Education; Transportation John C. Liu, Robert Jackson, Chairs

Thursday, April 23, 10:00 AM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 14th Floor
Details: Int 121 – By Council Members Nelson, Avella, Dickens, Gentile, Sanders Jr., Stewart, Weprin and Liu – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the placement of two-way radios, cellular phones and tracking devices on school buses.
see agenda

 

Small Business David Yassky, Chair

Thursday, April 23, 10:00 AM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 16th Floor
Details: Proposed Int 762-A – By Council Members Oddo, Ignizio, Comrie, Felder, James, Jackson, Yassky, White Jr. and Gerson – A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to small business regulatory flexibility.
see agenda

Cultural Affairs, Libraries & International Intergroup Relations; Parks & Recreation Helen D. Foster, Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Chairs

Thursday, April 23, 10:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: Oversight – Challenges Preserving New York’s Living Collections
see agenda

Health Joel Rivera, Chair

Thursday, April 23, 1:00 PM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 14th Floor
Details: Oversight – Health Insurance Options for Young Adults
see agenda

 

Fire & Criminal Justice Services * Addition James Vacca, Chair

Friday, April 24, 10:00 AM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 16th Floor
Details: Oversight – Implementation and Impact of Revised Board of Correction Minimum Standards
see agenda