First Read – June 27, 2017

WEATHER: Showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms in New York City and showers in Albany and Buffalo. New York City, high 79; Albany, high 74; Buffalo, high 64.



* Kasirer is the state’s new top lobbyist, followed by Brown & Weinraub and Bolton-St. Johns. City & State asked the leaders of these and other top firms how they thrive in the competitive world of lobbying, as well as how the industry is changing.

* The movement to close the Rikers Island complex has gained momentum in no small part due to the work of Glenn Martin, an activist who actually spent time there as an inmate. Martin joined the New York Slant podcast this week to discuss the problems at Rikers, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's role in the controversy and his plan to close the jail.

* With last-minute legislation having passed both houses in the state Legislature, New York City officials are optimistic that they’ll be able to award more contracts to firms owned by women or minorities – as long as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law.

* City & State has hired Frank G. Runyeon as senior reporter, a new full-time staff position focused primarily on coverage of state politics and government with an emphasis on in-depth features and investigative reporting.



* Acting to avert a leadership crisis in New York City’s schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to call a special session of the state Legislature as early as Wednesday and introduce a bill that would extend mayoral control of the city’s educational system for one year, The New York Times reports.

* Buffalo, which has four refugee resettlement agencies that have brought more than 15,000 people to the city since 2002, may be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling temporarily upholding parts of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, The Buffalo News writes.

* By focusing on quality-of-life issues, Republican New York City mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis is highlighting concerns about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s management capabilities that have dogged him during his first term, The Wall Street Journal reports.

* Cuomo held a New York City fundraiser for his 2018 re-election campaign Monday night, but with fiery speeches and former Vice President Joe Biden as a guest, the event seemed more like a 2020 presidential campaign rally, the Daily News reports.

* Carl Paladino is set to testify Tuesday in a hearing against the Buffalo Board of Education, which is trying to expel him for allegedly revealing confidential information discussed in a school board executive session, State of Politics writes.

* More news below …



Honoring those who are making their mark on Brooklyn’s landscape is what the Building Brooklyn Awards are all about. Presented by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and its Real Estate & Development Committee, the 17th annual event takes place July 13, 2017 at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Park. The BBAs recognize the best in recently completed construction and renovation projects that enrich Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and economy. Building Brooklyn Awards also honors individuals who have made significant contributions toward enhancing the business conditions and economic climate of Brooklyn. To see this year’s winners and to register for the event, visit



* The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. is suing the state Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the health commissioner for refusing to reimburse $1.4 million in medical care given to five undocumented immigrants in a city hospital, the New York Post writes.

* Westchester County officials had hoped to opt out of statewide ride-hailing regulations in favor of their own, but the law passed by the state Legislature may prevent counties from enacting additional restrictions, Gannett Albany writes.

* The New York City Council General Welfare Committee will have an oversight hearing to discuss a package of legislation that would extend the amount of time formerly homeless people can receive assistance to help pay their rent, Politico New York reports.

* Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts disavowed a mailer sent by state Sen. Jose Peralta that uses the Planned Parenthood logo and a quote from the group to suggest the embattled member of the Independent Democratic Caucus has their support, State of Politics reports.

* Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages, who was arrested last week on charges related to alleged domestic violence, has been stripped of legislative committee assignments and expelled from the Democratic caucus, but he is unlikely to step down, Newsday writes.



A Message from Bill Samuels:


Once again the Albany backroom bosses failed New York. Legislative leaders packed up and went home passing no meaningful reforms. Even worse, the Four Men in a Room set us back 15 years by not renewing NYC’s mayoral control of schools. Clearly, our only recourse is for New York to say YES to a Constitutional Convention this November. Sign this petition, support a NY People’s Convention, and put We The People back in charge.




* Instead of keeping New Yorkers in their homes, de Blasio’s rent freezes and affordable housing agenda have produced the highest homeless levels New York City has seen since the Great Depression, the Post writes.

* The New York City Council should pass a package of bills to expand Living in Communities vouchers and improve the way they are distributed, in order to prevent vulnerable populations from becoming homeless, Win President and CEO Christine Quinn writes in the Daily News.

* Cuomo’s move to redeploy the New York State Police, largely to monitor the cashless toll system, raises questions of political motivations for him and adequate protection for upstate areas whose ranks have been raided, The Buffalo News writes.



“As a judge, I always assumed that I possessed all the power necessary to ensure a fair and just result in every case over which I presided. But by the time my nearly 30-year tenure as a State Court trial judge in Delaware ended, I realized that I was wrong.” Read more from Former Judge Peggy Ableman, and learn why It’s time to bring Truth, Fairness, and Transparency to Asbestos Litigation in New York.




* Amid the “Summer of Hell,” New York City’s subway system has seen an increase in problems, with no answers – or person to hold accountable – in sight. Second Ave. Sagas’ Ben Kabak joined the New York Slant podcast to discuss who’s to blame and what can be done.



Discover the latest discussions on NY's Transportation & Infrastructure at the State of NY Smart Cities forum. NYSDOT Commissioner Matthew Driscoll will deliver keynote remarks. Featured panelists include Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, Committee on Transportation Chair, Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Design & Construction, and Assemblymember Michael Blake, Subcommittee on Mitchell-Lama Chair. They will explore how transportation fuels infrastructure, business-driven solutions to address urban development issues, and everything on urban planning & smart infrastructure. CLICK HERE to register for the half day forum on July 13th at the NY Academy of Medicine.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Democratic State Committeewoman and 57th Assembly District Leader Olanike Alabi … to Dick Anthony, senior lease negotiator at the New York City Department Citywide Administrative Services … to Carlos Beato, director of the office of state and federal affairs at the New York City Council … to Teresa Gonzalez, principal of DalyGonzalez Consulting … to Trudy L. Mason, vice chairwoman of the state Democratic Committee … to James Parrott, current professor of public policy at Hunter College, and the incoming director of economic and fiscal policy at the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School … to Jessica Ramos, director of Latino media at the New York City Mayor's office … to Nick Rizzo, Democratic district leader for Greenpoint and Williamsburg … to Democratic State Committeeman Matthew Silverstein … to Terri Smith-Caronia, vice president of New York advocacy and public policy at Housing Works … and Frampton Tolbert, deputy director at the Center for Urban Pedagogy.


MOVING ON: Alicia Barton was appointed president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Josh Bocian, most recently a lobbyist with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, has joined McDonald’s as the New York metro region government relations manager … James Parrott will join the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School as director of economic and fiscal policy in July … Brooklyn School of Inquiry Principal Donna Taylor will be stepping down next month to join the state Department of Education.


Have a birthday, career change, birth or death to announce? Let us know and we’ll include it in First Read – just email



City & State Jobs


WHO’S HIRING: We have added new features to improve your experience on the site.  To check out the updates, and view all jobs please visit To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email or call 212-268-0442 ext. 2022.  Don’t forget to create your New Employer profile.

Public Affairs Associate, Metropolitan Public Strategies

MPS is a progressive public affairs firm that has successfully managed some of the most high-profile political, labor, non-profit, corporate and advocacy campaigns on the local, state and national levels. MPS is looking for a talented Public Affairs Associate who has strong research skills, communications experience, and social media fluency.  Click here to learn more and apply.

Creative Director, Metropolitan Public Strategies

MPS is a progressive public affairs firm that has successfully managed some of the most high-profile political, labor, non-profit, corporate and advocacy campaigns on the local, state and national levels. As a leader in digital campaigns, MPS is looking for a talented Creative Director with strong graphic design and strategic marketing experience. Click here to learn more and apply.

Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce seeks VP to lead Strategic Initiatives as part of the Senior Management Team. Responsible for ensuring that programs are meeting target goals, working with Director of Foundation Support and Grants on reporting and implementing marketing efforts, and identifying new funding opportunities. Bachelor’s degree in business-related field or public policy required. Candidate should have experience in program management, strong analytic and writing skills. Fundraising background preferred, but not required. Send resume and cover letter to with the subject line “Vice President.”




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

8 a.m.City & State hosts its sixth annual On Diversity forum that will bring together  more than 250 industry professionals, including keynote remarks by the Rev. Al Sharpton, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Manhattan.

8 a.m. – State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks at an Association for a Better New York breakfast, Sheraton New York, Metro West Ballroom, 811 Seventh Ave., Manhattan.

9 a.m. – Officials from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration launch a faith leader outreach initiative during a Benefits Access Breakfast with faith and community leaders, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, 40 Broad St., fifth floor, Manhattan.

9 a.m. – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James hosts a hearing discussing the potential impacts of the American Health Care Act, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Fiterman Hall, Conference Rooms 1306/1307, 245 Greenwich St., Manhattan.

9 a.m. – New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez keynotes a symposium on The Future of the Medallion System in New York City, New York Institute of Technology, 16 W. 61st St., 11th floor, Manhattan.

9 a.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at La French Touch Conference, 849 Sixth Ave., second floor, Manhattan.

9 a.m. – New York City Councilman Andy King is the keynote speaker at the High School of Contemporary Arts Graduation Ceremony, Auditorium, 800 E. Gun Hill Road., Bronx.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Women’s Issues meets, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Health meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul convenes the Women's Suffrage Commission Meeting, 633 Third Ave., 38th floor conference room, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams and state Sen. Kevin Parker host 10th Annual Job Fair, Brooklyn College Student Union Building, E. 27th Street and Campus Road, Brooklyn.

10 a.m. – The Climate Works for All Coalition, unions and environmental justice advocates host a press conference to urge the city to create jobs by requiring city buildings to upgrade to high energy efficiency standards, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – “The Brian Lehrer Show” features Jennifer Haberkorn, senior health care reporter for Politico Pro; Susan Page, Washington bureau chief of USA Today; Ken Lovett, Albany bureau chief for the Daily News; Mandy Len Catron, American writer teaching at the University of British Columbia; and WNYC reporter Brigid Bergin, WNYC.

10:30 a.m. – Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Sal Albanese holds a press conference criticizing de Blasio’s leadership in failing to negotiate an extension to mayoral control of city schools, 52 Chambers St., Manhattan.

11 a.m. – Win CEO Christine Quinn and New York City Councilman Stephen Levin hold a press conference ahead of the City Council General Welfare Committee’s hearing on a package of bills with Living In Communities voucher reforms, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – New York City Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mitchell Silver joins Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Angela Licata at a ribbon-cutting for the first neighborhood playground to be fully reconstructed under the Community Parks Initiative, Van Alst Playground, 29th Avenue between 14th Street and 21st Street, Queens.

11:30 a.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School graduation, Governor’s Island, Colonel’s Row, Manhattan.

12 p.m. – Officials from the de Blasio administration will host an interactive virtual and augmented reality event to release its plans for a VR/AR lab, New York University Tandon School of Engineering MakerSpace, 6 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn.

12 p.m. – New York City Council members call on the NYPD to adjust noise abatement policy, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

12 p.m. – Dick Dadey of Citizens Union, Evan Davis of the Committee for a Constitutional Convention, Bill Samuels of the New York People’s Constitutional Convention and others host a press conference to launch a campaign in support of a state constitutional convention, state Capitol, third floor, Million Dollar staircase, Albany.

12 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer delivers remarks at the ribbon-cutting for the new Long Island City location for the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless, 30-30 Northern Blvd., Suite B100, Queens.

12 p.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams sits on a panel, Stop the Violence: A Town Hall Conversation from the Block to the Capitol, 131 W. 33rd St., Manhattan.

12:30 p.m. – State Sen. Marisol Alcántara, Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and the New York City Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit meet and greet seniors to encourage them to sign up for rent freeze program, ARC Fort Washington Senior Center, 4111 Broadway, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The New York City Council Committee on General Welfare meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection meets, City Hall, Committee Room, Manhattan.

1:45 p.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the High School for Environmental Studies graduation, Hunter College Assembly Hall, 695 Park Ave., Manhattan.

2 p.m. – Assemblyman Ron Kim and State Sens. Tony Avella and Jose Peralta meet to celebrate the passage of legislation to help small businesses and reform seafood labeling, Korean American Association of Greater New York, 149 W. 24th St. #6, Manhattan.

3:30 p.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the Urban Assembly School of Emergency Management graduation, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Manhattan.

4 p.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice graduation ceremony, 244 E. 163rd St., Bronx.

5 p.m. – Former Gov. David Paterson delivers the keynote address at the New York City Mission Society's Learning to Work program graduation ceremony, Washington Irving Young Adult Borough Center, 40 Irving Place, Manhattan.

5 p.m.De Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray host a reception in celebration of Jewish heritage, Gracie Mansion, Manhattan.

5 p.m. – Queens Borough President Melinda Katz honors the service of 70 members of the borough’s 14 Community Boards during a ceremony, Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

6 p.m. – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers remarks on the future of health care in New York at the Western New York Health Care Panel, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Gaylord Cary Meeting Room, Elm Street and Carlton Street, Buffalo.

6 p.m. – The Seneca Club of Kings County hosts its 118th Anniversary Dinner, 400 Kent Ave., Brooklyn.

6 p.m. – New York City Council candidate Ede Fox joins New York Communities for Change at a rally against the controversial proposal to bring mixed-use residential, commercial and luxury development to the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights, M.S. 61, 400 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn.

6:30 p.m. – Brooklyn Community Board 16 holds a public hearing, 444 Thomas S. Boyland St., Brooklyn.

6:30 p.m. – East Harlem Community Board 11 holds a public hearing, National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

7 p.m. – The New York City Rent Guidelines Board meets to adopt final rent guidelines, Baruch College, Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.

7 p.m. – The West Side Republican Club hosts a meet the candidates forum with Republican mayoral candidates Darren Aquino, Roque De La Fuente and Nicole Malliotakis and city comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner, The Jewish Center, Blue Room, 131 W. 86th St., 10th floor, Manhattan.

7 p.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the Gramercy Arts High School graduation, New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, Manhattan.

7 p.m. – Assemblyman David Weprin presents a commendation at the Queens Centers for Progress Annual Gala honoring Executive Director Charles Houston, Terrace On the Park, 52-11 111th St., Queens.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” features Win President and CEO Christine Quinn, New York City Councilman Stephen Levin, Alfonse D’Amato, Charles Rangel and Keith Wright, NY1.


Send sked items to



HR Conference + Career Fair on August 3rd at Hebrew Union College. New York’s government agencies, nonprofits, and business leaders will discuss best practices for recruitment and retention, building senior management teams, leadership transition challenges, and more! Visit our Career Fair Room to meet recruiting, consulting, and coaching companies and graduate schools offering advanced education programs to take your career to the next level. Click here to register!


KICKER: “Hammering de Blasio is a good way to set yourself up on Staten Island. No matter how hard he tries, they just won’t let him into their hearts.” – Richard Flanagan, an associate professor of political science at the College of Staten Island, via the Journal.