First Read - October 7, 2015

WEATHER: Cloudy with a chance of showers in Western New York. Mostly sunny in the rest of the state. New York City, high 73; Albany, high 69; Buffalo, high 64. 



* Republican Erie County Executive candidate Ray Walter introduced a proposal that he says will spur investment in Erie County’s struggling neighborhoods, something he says has not happened under incumbent Democrat Mark Poloncarz:

* City & State holds its fifth annual On Energy conference, with broad looks at the energy and environment sectors, and distinguished guests like state Energy Czar Richard Kauffman. Watch live here starting at 8:30 a.m.


* Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy Charter Schools, accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of breaking his pledge to find space for seven new elementary charter schools in time for them to open in August, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* Bertha Lewis, a longtime ally of de Blasio, is knocking statistics the mayor issued last week claiming city contracts with minority-and women-owned businesses exceeded $1.6 billion, which puts it on pace to reach its 10-year goal, the Post reports:

* State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli pointed out that the federal investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion" is coming four years after the governor and Legislature took away some of his oversight powers regarding SUNY spending, the Times Union writes:

* Its reputation may have been battered by scandal, convictions and periodic crisis, but the state Senate has one thing going for it over Albany’s often similarly beleaguered state Assembly: a new website, The New York Times reports:

* The Fire Department of New York has begun diversity training for all 10,800 firefighters, part of an initiative to make the overwhelmingly white and male force more welcoming to racial minorities and women, the Journal writes:

* There are now more than 30,000 Uber drivers working in New York City — a number that has shot up by 15 percent in just the past four months since de Blasio announced he was no longer pushing to cap the number of Uber drivers, the Post reports:

* During a debate to be the next Staten Island district attorney, Republican Joan Illuzzi and Democrat Michael McMahon attacked each others records and qualifications, highlighting their differences, NY1 reports:

* State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched a probe into the country’s two most popular fantasy gambling websites – DraftKings and FanDuel – in wake of stories about employees using insider information to win huge payouts, the Post reports:


* The definition of “proficient” on common core tests differs from state to state even if the test scores are exactly the same, adding to the frustration over the already controversial program, the Times writes:

* While Cuomo blasted legislative earmarks during campaigns, investigated them as attorney general and promised to 2012 to banish them, as governor he is approving “pork” spending that skews to support powerful incumbents, Politico New York reports:


ROAD TO SOMOS: Our Road to Somos e-brief kicks off this Thursday! Tune in for top news and updates on City & State’s San Juan coverage and events. Learn about advertising opportunities by contacting



Prepare to Lead! Baruch College's School of Public Affairs is NYC's only public graduate school dedicated to public administration. Our Master of Public Administration (MPA) & Executive MPA degrees are ranked among the best in the nation. Our Master of Science in Higher Education Administration (MSEd-HEA) is designed to help you begin or advance a career in higher education. Programs feature full and part-time options. Our public affairs faculty apply an interdisciplinary, experiential approach to teaching. ATTEND OUR OPEN HOUSE on WEDNESDAY, OCT. 7. For more information, click here.




* Am New York applauds the alternative effort by the police department and mayor's office to provide performance and professional development opportunities to subway and street performers but keeps subways under control:

* De Blasio and New York City Chancellor Carmen Farina must stop denying space to charters, putting taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in rent and open the doors wider for schools that have been proven to benefit students, the Daily News writes:

* De Blasio has reason to worry about a challenge in 2017 from U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jefferies and desperately needs African-Americans to see him looking out for their interests – so they’ll be less likely to abandon him in two years’ time, Bob McManus writes in the Post:

* Much more than speed needs to be discussed before the state Public Service Commission signs off on Charter Communication’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable – a deal that would effectively trade one near-monopoly for another, the Times Union writes:



After 30 years of covering NYC Health + Hospitals employees with their MetroPlus Gold Health Plan, it was announced this week that MetroPlus Gold will now be available to all employees of New York City, non-Medicare eligible retirees, their spouses or qualified domestic partners, and eligible dependents. "We're very excited to be able to bring a new affordable option to New York City employees who will now be able to benefit from a quality health plan at the lowest possible cost," said MetroPlus Chief Operating Officer Seth Diamond. Eligible employees can enroll during the annual election period and at point of hire.




* Advocates for smoke-free housing discussed the progress being made on the issue at a recent City & State event. Click to watch excerpts from the forum featuring Dr. Mary Bassett and Councilman Donovan Richards:



CITY & STATE CAREERS - WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email sdiliberti@cityandstateny.comor call 646-442-1617. Visit www.CityandState.Careers to view all jobs.

Senior Policy Associate for Research and Data Analysis, CCC

Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York is seeking to hire an associate to lead the Keeping Track of New York City’s data program including oversight of all data collection and analysis; production of data-driven products, and continued development of the program. For a full description of responsibilities, view the posting here.

Government Relations Associate, Kasirer Consulting

Seeking energetic, smart, hard-working associate to support senior public affairs team. Some NYC government/political experience strongly preferred. Responsibilities: develop relationships with government officials/staffers; coordinate city budget follow up for nonprofit clients; research and write strategy/policy memos and briefing papers; manage lobbying compliance requirements; oversee internship program; cover City Council hearings; coordinate client testimony at hearings, etc.

Policy Associate for Health and Mental Health, Citizens’ Committee for Children

CCC is a multi-issue, independent child advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring every NY child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. Responsibilities include qualitative and quantitative analysis, community education, and state and city legislative and budget analysis related to children’s health and mental health.

Government Affairs Attorney/Lobbyist, Wilson Elser

Albany office seeking experienced government affairs attorney/lobbyist with JD from accredited law school, admitted to practice in NY, 5+ years in government affairs/legislative experience, experiences working with state agencies, superior communication skills. Submit credentials to



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Assemblyman Charles Barron … to Corey Bearak, government and public affairs counsel … to Kat Stoeffel, journalist … to Greg Hanlon, journalist … to Joe Lhota, Sr. Vice President of NYU Langone Medical Center … to Johanna Greenbaum, vice president Park Tower group … and to Celeste Morris, president of MorrisAllsop Public Affairs.



ICPH will soon release a new report that examines what existing data reveals about homeless families and the services they receive—and where gaps exist in knowledge. The American Almanac of Family Homelessness introduces ICPH’s State Family Homelessness Rankings, a resource that compares states’ efforts and reveals how well states are doing in meeting the needs of homeless families and children. 




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany and Genesee County.

8:30 a.m. – City & State hosts our fifth annual On Energy event with a broad look at the energy and environment sector in New York and the region featuring Richard Kauffman, Nilda Mesa and Kathryn Garcia, Baruch College, 55 Lexington Ave., 14th Floor, Manhattan. 

9:30 a.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appears live on 1010WINS, Listen:

10 a.m. - Cuomo hosts New York’s third Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit, Hart Lounge, Egg Center for Performing Arts, Albany.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Aging meets, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan. 

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

10 a.m. - “The Brian Lehrer Show” features Glenn Greenwald, co-founding editor of The Intercept, and Greg David, director of the business and economics reporting program at The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, WNYC.

10:45 a.m. - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer holds press availability highlighting the Community Composting Grant Program with the Citizens Committee for New York City and Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board, Chenchita’s Community Garden, 1691 Madison Ave., Manhattan.

11 a.m. - De Blasio delivers remarks at the annual FDNY Memorial Day Ceremony, Fireman’s Monument, 100th Street and Riverside Drive, Manhattan.

11 a.m. - The New York Ethics Review Commission holds public hearing, Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Ave., Albany

11 a.m. - State Senator Tony Avella, Members of the Task Force on the Delivery of Social Services in New York City, Commissioner of Department of Homeless Services Gilbert Taylor and others hold public forum on homeless population, 250 Broadway, 19th floor, Manhattan. 

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features Superintendents Larry Spring and Richard Hughes, Rob Simpson, CEO of CenterState and Bruce Gyory, WCNY. 

11:30 a.m. - New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray discusses the neighborhood revitalization New York City Home Repair Program, 322 Beach 28th St., Far Rockaway.

11:45 a.m. - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. leads press conference to call for an end to New York City's Tale of Two School Systems, City Hall steps, Manhattan. 

12 p.m. - Street vendors hand-deliver new report revealing how New York City’s permit cap hurts the economy, Across from 250 Broadway, Manhattan. 

12 p.m. - New York City Councilman Mark Treyger and other elected officials announce the beginning of universal six-day service across the borough, Coney Island Library, 1901 Mermaid Ave., Second Floor, Brooklyn.

1:30 p.m. - De Blasio holds public hearing and signs Intros. 850-A, 643-A, 706-A, 753-A, 758-A, 766-A, 768-A, 784-A and 767-A, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

2:15 p.m. - Cuomo makes an announcement, Genesee Community College, Stuart Steiner Theater, 1 College Road, Batavia.

5 p.m. - Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul tours the Albany Institute of History and Art to showcase cultural institutions in the Capital Region, 125 Washington Ave., Albany.

6:05 p.m. - New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and Chris Widelo, Associate State Director of AARP for New York City, hold a telephone town hall to discuss financial security issues with AARP members. 

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. - “Inside City Hall” features former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and former United States trade representative Ron Kirk, Time Warner Cable News NY1.



THREE! Only 3 days left to snag your early bird tickets to our New York City 40 Under 40 Rising Stars Class of 2015 celebration! We’re hosting it at the very fitting Jay Z 40/40 Club. Featuring VIP boothsopen barhors d’oeuvres, entertainment and more, October 21st is bound to be a party. Purchase your early bird tickets today.



KICKER: “It’s a job well done by what’s normally seen as the most dysfunctional state government in America.” - John Kaehny, executive director of Reinvent Albany, on the state Senate’s new website design, via the Times.