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Affairs and Appointments – Week of January 5 – 10, 2009

Affairs and Appointments – Printable pdf
Week of January 5 – 10, 2009

New York State

New York City

City Council Hearings


Special Section: New York State: State of the State

1-7-2009: Prepared Speech Text Full Speech

1-7-2009: Health Care Briefing Sheet

1-7-2009: Energy Briefing Sheet

1-7-2009: Education Briefing Sheet

1-7-2009: Economic Development Briefing Sheet

1-7-2009: Building Communities Briefing Sheet

Paterson Announces record Level of Recovered Wages Returned to New Yorkers

January 5, 2009
GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES RECORD LEVEL OF RECOVERED WAGES RETURNED TO NEW YORK WORKERS IN 2008

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that a record level of illegally underpaid wages were recovered for New York workers in 2008. Through enhanced enforcement of existing labor laws, the New York State Department of Labor collected and disbursed $24.6 million for more than 17,000 workers across the State. These recovered wages represent the largest amount of collected and distributed monies in the Labor Department’s 100 years of existence.  Full Story

Paterson will tour Upstate: Governor’s First Stop: Watertown

January 5, 2009
GOVERNOR PATERSON WILL TOUR UPSTATE New York FOLLOWING STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS: Governor’s First Stop: Watertown

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that he will hold a series of town hall meetings across Upstate New York in the weeks following his first State of the State address. The first of several town hall meetings and events will be held this Sunday, January 11 in Watertown, and is open to the public. Governor Paterson will spend a portion of the next six weeks traveling throughout Upstate New York to hear the concerns of everyday residents and to deliver his agenda for the coming year as we confront historic economic challenges. Full Story

DiNapoli Releases November 2008 Pension Fund Report

January 5, 2009
DINAPOLI RELEASES NOVEMBER 2008 PENSION FUND REPORT

The $153.9 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) in November expanded its emerging manager program by $200 million and closed four investment transactions totaling about $3.5 million, according to a monthly transaction report State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released today.  Full Story

AG Cuomo Announces Agreement with Brokers Who Discriminated Against Minority Customers

January 5, 2009
ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING AGREEMENT WITH MAJOR MORTGAGE BROKERS WHO DISCRIMINATED AGAINST MINORITY CUSTOMERS

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced results of a landmark investigation with the New York State Department of Banking into discriminatory practices in the mortgage brokerage industry.  In the first law enforcement action of its kind in New York State, two mortgage brokerage companies – HCI Mortgage and Consumer One Mortgage – will collectively pay $665,000 in restitution to approximately 455 Black and Latino borrowers who were illegally charged higher fees than similarly-situated White borrowers.  The companies collectively operate more than 20 branches throughout New York State.  The Attorney General also filed a lawsuit in federal district court against another mortgage brokerage company – U.S. Capital Funding, LLC – that engaged in similar discriminatory practices. Full Story

State of the State: Paterson Oulines plan for New York

January 7, 2009
STATE OF THE STATE: GOVERNOR PATERSON OUTLINES PLAN FOR A STRONGER NEW YORK

In his first State of the State address, Governor David A. Paterson outlined his plan for a stronger New York including the need to confront the current fiscal crisis head on. He laid out a progressive policy agenda to help working families during these difficult times including calling for one of the most ambitious clean energy plans in the nation, setting a “45 by 15” goal that 45 percent of New York State’s electricity needs will be met through improved energy efficiency and greater use of clean renewable energy by 2015. This goal will also create 50,000 new jobs for New Yorkers. Governor Paterson also announced that he will introduce legislation to expand family health coverage to cover family members up through the age of 29 and he laid out a five-point plan to address the growing obesity epidemic that now affects one in four children in the State of New York.  Full Story

Statement from State Comptroller DiNapoli on Governor Paterson’s State of the State Address

January 7, 2009
STATEMENT FROM STATE COMPTROLLER DINAPOLI ON GOVERNOR PATERSON’S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

In the past, governors would inspire us with their State of the State addresses, and then deliver more somber news in their budget proposals.

This year, we’ve already heard the bad news. Last month, the Governor presented us with his budget plan. He has struggled to present a balanced budget in the face of an unprecedented financial crisis.

The Governor’s budget has more than enough pain to go around. No one said this would be easy. When you’re dealing with a $15 billion budget gap, there’s obviously going to be a lot of painful choices. Full Statement

Bloomberg details City’s Winter Pothole Blitz

January 5, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND DOT COMMISSIONER SADIK-KHAN DETAIL CITY’S WINTER POTHOLE BLITZ

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced today that pothole-filling season is in full swing citywide. With extreme winter weather impacting the City’s more than 6,000 miles of streets, pothole season kicked off last month, and on any day up to 40 DOT crews are fanned out across the five boroughs filling potholes. In the last five weeks alone, DOT has filled 20,805 potholes citywide, with more than 80,000 potholes repaired in the last six months.  To reduce the occurrence of potholes, 1,000 lane miles will have been paved by the close of the fiscal year, the most in seven years.  Full Story

Thompson Rallies Against City’s Plan to Re-Open Brooklyn Jail

January 6, 2009
THOMPSON RALLIES AGAINST CITY’S PLAN TO RE-OPEN BROOKLYN JAIL

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. joined with elected officials and community activists on January 6th to rally against the City’s plan to re-open and expand the Brooklyn House of Detention.  The rally took place on the steps of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn prior to the presentation of oral arguments in the lawsuit to block the City’s plan.  Thompson was joined at the event by fellow plaintiffs Council Members David Yassky and Letitia James, State Senator Daniel Squadron, lead counsel Randy Mastro and dozens of community members opposed to the re-opening of the jail facility. Full Story

Public Advocate Gotbaum Statement on City Island Fire

January 6, 2009
PUBLIC ADVOCATE GOTBAUM STATEMENT ON CITY ISLAND FIRE

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum said, “My heart goes out to the survivors of this morning’s fire and their families. I applaud Ladder 53 for responding so quickly and courageously. Without them, the consequences of this devastating fire could have been far worse. The city must reverse course on its decision to close several firehouses overnight in a few weeks, including Ladder 53. Public safety has to be this city’s top priority and every neighborhood is entitled to the fastest possible response time in the event of a fire.

We applaud the heroism of New York’s firefighters and hope they are fully and properly funded in order to protect all New Yorkers.” Full Statement

Council Votes to Improve NYPD’s Reporting of Firearm Discharges

January 7, 2009
COUNCIL VOTES TO IMPROVE NYPD’S REPORTING OF FIREARM DISCHARGES

At today’s Stated Council meeting, the New York City Council will vote on legislation that will increase NYPD’s reporting requirements when one of their officers discharges a firearm. 

IMPROVED FIREARM DISCHARGE REPORTING

  • The legislation will require the NYPD to submit an annual report to the Council detailing: the circumstances surrounding incidents where officers fire their weapons;
  • a precinct by precinct and borough by borough breakdown of incidents;
  • the reason for the firearm discharge (i.e. – accidental, adversarial, etc.);
  • the race, gender and age of any individual engaged in adversarial conflict with an officer or third party that results in a firearms discharge. 

The data will be presented in a manner that facilitates comprehensive analysis and will allow the Council to track the NYPD’s activities year to year.  It will detail the number of shots fired and any casualties that result from the incidents.  Full Story

Statement by Bloomberg on Obama’s Creation of a Chief Performance Officer

January 7, 2009
STATEMENT BY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA’S CREATION OF A CHIEF PERFORMANCE OFFICER

“Creating the position of Chief Performance Officer demonstrates President-elect Obama’s real commitment to changing Washington by ensuring lofty campaign ideals are not forgotten when governing begins. A key reform my Administration brought to New York City is an aggressive Mayor’s Office of Operations that holds all City agencies accountable for performance.  Full Statement

Bloomberg and QuinnUrge parents of 4 year olds to sign up for universal Pre-K

January 8, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, CHANCELLOR KLEIN, AND SPEAKER QUINN URGE PARENTS OF FOUR-YEAR-OLDS TO SIGN UP FOR FREE UNIVERSAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN SEATS IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn today announced a deadline extension until January 30 for free universal pre-Kindergarten (UPK) seats, and urged parents to sign up their children for UPK programs. More than 4,000 seats remain open at public schools, child care centers contracted by the Administration for Children’s Services, and community-based organizations across the five boroughs. All children who turned four years old between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2008, are eligible for UPK. Programs can be half-day (two and a half hours, AM or PM) or full-day (six hours and twenty minutes).  Full Story

Statement by Bloomberg on Obama’s Speech on the Economy

January 8, 2009
STATEMENT BY MAYOR BLOOMBERG ON PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA’S SPEECH ON THE ECONOMY

“The President-elect wisely invited mayors from our nation’s largest cities to attend this important address and I was proud to attend and represent New York City.  He gave a great speech and understands our cities have to be a central focus of any recovery plan.  This was the opening salvo of a long, difficult battle to reform the way this country spends money and to get the economy moving again.  He understands he is going to have to lead the charge and it is not going to get done without both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and both sides of the aisle working together.  Full Statement

Statement by Speaker Christine C. Quinn, and Council Members Regarding the Settlement in lawsuit over Arbitron ratings system

January 7, 2009
STATEMENT BY SPEAKER CHRISTINE C. QUINN, AND COUNCIL MEMBERS REGARDING THE SETTLEMENT IN LAWSUIT OVER ARBITRON RATINGS SYSTEM

We are pleased by today’s settlement of the Attorney General’s lawsuit requiring Arbitron to overhaul a deeply flawed ratings system that dramatically underreports listenership for ethnic and minority radio stations.  The requirement that Arbitron pay for a study to “determine and cure measurable bias” in their ratings system is a particularly heartening aspect of the settlement. Full Statement

Bloomberg and Philadelphia Mayor Nutter make Friendly Wager

January 9, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND PHILADELPHIA MAYOR NUTTER MAKE FRIENDLY CHEESECAKE-VERSUS-CHEESESTEAK WAGER ON SUNDAY’S NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAME

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter made a friendly wager on the outcome of the NFC divisional playoff game between the Giants and Eagles. The game is 1 p.m. on Sunday at Giants Stadium. The winner will advance to the NFC Championship game. If the Giants win, Mayor Nutter will send a sampling of five cheesesteaks from five popular cheesesteak shops across Philadelphia. If the Eagles win, Mayor Bloomberg will send a giant, New York-style cheesecake from the Carnegie Deli in Manhattan.  Full Story

Statement by Bloomberg on the Death of DEP Employee Gennaro Montello

January 9, 2009
STATEMENT BY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON DEATH OF GENNARO MONTELLO OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMETAL PROTECTION

“This morning, Gennaro Montello, a Sewage Treatment Worker with the Department of Environmental Protection, died from injuries sustained in an accident at the Owl’s Head Waste Water Treatment Plant in Bay Ridge.  The steel supports of a temporary conveyor belt collapsed and fell on top of Mr. Montello and he was immediately transferred to Lutheran Hospital in Sunset Park. Unfortunately, despite doctors’ efforts, Mr. Montello died shortly before noon today.  Full Statement

Council Members, Civic and Hispanic Religious Leaders Announce Gathering to Secure Immigration Reform

January 9, 2009
COUNCIL MEMBER MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO, COUNCIL MEMBERS, CIVIC AND HISPANIC RELIGIOUS LEADERS ANNOUNCE GATHERING TO SECURE IMMIGRATION REFORM

Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, joined by Bishop Miguel Alvarez of the Confraternidad de Lideres Counciliares (CONLICO), Rev. Gabriel Salguero of the Latino Leadership Circle and Rev. Raymond Rivera of the Latino Pastoral Action Center announced a large-scale community meeting aimed at drawing attention to families who must live the fear of deportation due to our nation’s broken immigration system.  Leaders discussed the growing movement of Hispanic Evangelicals that are calling for immigration reform across the country, and highlighted a January 10th event in New York City where thousands of U.S. citizens will gather to hear testimonies, pray and sign petitions asking for comprehensive immigration reform. Full Story

Public hearings for Week of January 12th, 2009

Zoning & Franchises Tony Avella, Chair
Tuesday, January 13, 9:30 AM
Committee Room – City Hall
Details: See Land Use Calendar Available Thursday, January 8, 2009, in Room 5 City Hall. see agenda

Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Jessica S. Lappin, Chair
Tuesday, January 13, 11:00 AM
Committee Room – City Hall
Details: See Land Use Calendar Available Thursday, January 8, 2009, in Room 5 City Hall

Planning, Dispositions & Concessions Daniel R. Garodnick, Chair
Tuesday, January 13, 1:00 PM
Committee Room – City Hall
Details: See Land Use Calendar Available Thursday, January 8, 2009, in Room 5 City Hall. see agenda

Public Safety Peter F. Vallone, Jr., Chair
Tuesday, January 13, 1:00 PM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details:
Res 106 – Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to increase the punishment for endangering the welfare of a child and to designate this crime as a felony.

Res 107 – Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to amend the Penal Law so that those who kill a child as a result of recklessness are eligible for a significant prison term.

Res 108 – Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to create the new crime of aggravated murder of a child, which should mandate a sentence of life without parole.

Res 145 – Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to address the legal loopholes that allow dangerous and deadly drivers to drive under the influence of drugs or to drive with a suspended or revoked license.

Res 152 – Resolution calling upon the New York State Department of Transportation to broadcast all AMBER Alerts on its Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) and Traveler Information Stations (TIS).

Res 807 – Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to amend the definition of drug, as used in the sections of the Vehicle and Traffic Law that relate to the offenses of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to permit the arrest and charging under those sections of individuals under the influence of chemical compounds found in products that can be abused as inhalants. see agenda

Education; Youth Services Lewis A. Fidler, Robert Jackson, Chairs
Wednesday, January 14, 10:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details:
Oversight – GED Preparation and Testing Procedures
Res 930 – Resolution calling upon the Department of Education to amend its holiday display policy for New York City’s public elementary and secondary schools, to allow a crèche or nativity scene to be displayed during the winter holiday season in the same manner it allows other religious symbols, including the menorah and star and crescent, to be displayed. see agenda

Land Use Melinda R. Katz, Chair
Wednesday, January 14, 10:00 AM
Committee Room – City Hall
Details: All items reported out of the subcommittees AND SUCH OTHER BUSINESS AS MAY BE NECESSARY

Transportation John C. Liu, Chair
Wednesday, January 14, 1:00 PM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details:
Int 705 – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to removing restrictions on a taxicab operator’s choice of a credit/debit card processor.

Int 880 – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to displaying a passengers’ bill of rights in for-hire vehicles. see agenda

General Welfare Bill de Blasio, Chair
Wednesday, January 14, 1:00 PM
Hearing Room – 250 Broadway, 14th Floor
Details: Oversight – DHS’s Restructuring of Services to the Street Homeless Population in New York City. see agenda

Housing & Buildings Erik Martin Dilan, Chair
Wednesday, January 14, 1:00 PM
Committee Room – City Hall
Details: Int 878 – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the application of the New York city construction codes to general contractors, demolition contractors and concrete contractors obtaining safety registration numbers. see agenda

Fire & Criminal Justice Services Miguel Martinez, Chair
Friday, January 16, 1:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: Oversight – Reviewing FDNY’s Decision to Implement Fire Company Closures