First Read - December 22, 2014

WEATHER: Partly sunny in Western New York. Mostly cloudy in the Capital Region. Cloudy with a chance of showers in downstate. New York City, high 44; Albany, high 39; Buffalo, high 39.


2014 TOP TEN: From the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the uprising in the aftermath of Eric Garner’s death to the election of Melissa Mark-Viverito as the first Latina City Council Speaker, 2014 was filled with stories of intrigue and impact on government. City & State has picked our top 10 stories of 2014:

PARTY PICKS:  With his next pick for the Court of Appeals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo could tap a Republican judge to replace retiring Judge Robert Smith, a move his father made on two occasions when he was governor, City & State writes:



* The killings of two officers in Brooklyn on Saturday set off a bunker mentality across the department, as sentries were posted outside station houses and officers were barred from patrolling alone, The New York Times reports:

* A group of Republican state legislators said New York should require all police vehicles to have bullet-proof glass in the wake of the shootings, Gannett Albany reports:

* Investigators piecing together the events leading up to the fatal weekend ambush said Sunday that the alleged killer had a troubled emotional history that included clashes with his family and a suicide attempt, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* New York protest groups are determining how to continue their push for police reform while responding to the ambush killings of two police officers in Brooklyn, the Times writes:

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged calm, saying that the tense relationship between police and protesters after the Eric Garner grand jury verdict earlier this month needs to cool in the wake of the ambush-style shootings of the two officers, Gannett Albany writes:

* The New York Post’s Fred Dicker picks the biggest winners and losers in state politics in 2014, with Cuomo as the No. 1 biggest loser:

* Former Gov. George Pataki on Sunday said the United States should declare a "cyber war" on North Korea in the wake of the Sony hacking scandal, the Daily News writes:

* Outgoing state Education Commissioner John King is recommending that Cuomo and the state Legislature totally scrap restrictions on how many charter schools can open in New York, the Post writes:

* According to a city investigation, one in three New York City Housing Authority tenants say mold in their apartments returns even after NYCHA claims the problem is fixed, the Daily News reports:

* New data obtained by the Post reveals the NYPD slowed down on ticketing bicyclists this year, while the department increased the number of jaywalking summonses issued:



* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani blamed President Barack Obama for two officers’ deaths. “We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police,” he said, the Huffington Post reports: 

* Investigators believe the incident was a crazed gunman’s assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown—two unarmed black men killed by white police officers, the New York Post reports: 

* PBA President Pat Lynch said there is “blood on many hands”—including de Blasio’s—adding: “Those who allowed this to happen will be held accountable,” CBS local writes: 

* Days after his administration outlined its proposed rules to regulate a new medical marijuana program, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated his opposition to the outright legalization of pot, the Daily News reports: 

* Cuomo will give an inaugural address for his second term at the World Trade Center site in New York City, followed by another in Buffalo, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* The New York Power Authority’s Board of Trustees announced a 2-percent hike in the statewide public power utility’s operating budget for 2015, the Niagara Gazette writes:



* One Washington County entrepreneur is one of many who plan to vie for one of five medical marijuana growing licenses in New York after the state released the draft regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program on Thursday, the Times Union writes:

* Gotham Gazette highlights twelve 2014 moments when de Blasio criticized former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's policies and attempted to show his moves in a new direction:



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* There is no more important job ahead for de Blasio than to lead and unite the city, and he cannot allow it to fracture into opposing camps of those who support outraged protesters and those who stand with aggrieved cops, the Times writes:

* New York City should come together and protect both police and citizens and should not be choosing between funerals; but should be choosing justice and fairness for all, Rev. Al Sharpton writes in the Daily News:

* Thanks to the de Blasio’s bad budgeting, when recession hits (and one always does, sooner or later), cuts to programs that make life better for the poor—like after-school programs and free summer swimming—are certain, Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post:

* Instead of just criticizing the state of the New York City Housing Authority, New York City Councilman Richie Torres and the rest of the city Council should recognize they serve as landlords for more than 400,000 New Yorkers and the public housing crisis is theirs to solve, the Daily News writes:




Time Warner Cable invites you to stop by the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 7, for its annual Opening Day “Open House.” We’ll be there from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the Opening Day of the NYS Legislature and pay tribute to our military service people. Our guests this year are HISTORY and our TWC VetNet employee network. Click here for more information on the event.




* Incoming Assemblyman Charles Barron explains why he believes NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton should be fired and broken windows policing abandoned, and also lays out his agenda for the upcoming legislative session in Albany, including his push for the full implementation of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling:  



WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities in City & State First Read, or call 646-442-1662.  


Assistant Director of State Governmental Affairs, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Competitive benefit package

Location: Based in Manhattan or Albany (TBD).

Description: The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators seeks a new member for our public policy team as Assistant Director of State Governmental Affairs. In coordination with the CSA Director of Political Affairs and the CSA union leadership team, the Assistant Director of State Governmental Affairs will be responsible for developing and managing CSA’s state government affairs and public policy agenda.

Further Info: See full job description and application information at:


Legislative Analyst – Ostroff Associates, Inc.

Description: Albany-based lobbying firm seeking legislative analyst with a minimum of one year experience.  Primary role to support team of lobbyists. Duties include, but are not limited to bill tracking, monitoring governmental activities, research & analysis, writing, and administrative support. Interested applicants must be proficient in LRS, Statewatch, and Microsoft Office Suite.

Further Info: Resume, writing sample, and references may be submitted to


Senior Associate, Progressive Cities

Salary: Competitive

Location: New York City.

Description: Progressive Cities, a rapidly growing communications and campaign strategy firm, has an immediate opening for a senior associate to work with advocacy, labor, and political clients. Key duties include placing news stories on a variety of issues, developing persuasive content and messaging, and helping with continued new business growth.

Minimum 3-5 years of experience working with New York media.

Further Info: To apply, send a cover letter for this specific position, a résumé, three recent story placements, and three writing samples to Dan Morris at


Associate Producer, Politics - NY1 News

Description: Works with Political Director/Senior Political Producer to produce NY1's nightly Inside City Hall program. Line produces, books guests, writes scripts, cuts and catalogues video. Assists reporters, supports general news staff, works with web staff to maintain political unit social media presence. Bachelor’s degree and 2 years newsroom experience required.

Further Info: To view full job description or to apply visit-


Further Info:  Please send your resume and cover letter to and reference“Director of Government Affairs” in the subject line



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Diane Sawyer, former ABC World News anchor … to Michael Saucier, founder and CEO of Soss Communications … to Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes … to Democratic consultantHank Sheinkopf … and to New York State Young Democrats President Michael Corbett.


MOVING ON: Morgan Pehme has stepped down as editor-in-chief of City & State to pursue other opportunities. He can be reached at City & State wishes him the best of luck in all his further endeavors … C&S Managing Editor Michael Gareth Johnson has been named Acting Executive Editor.



More than a lobbying firm.  More than a public relations firm.  For 25 years, Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz (CMW) has provided comprehensive consulting services to businesses, industries, non-profits, start-ups and business leaders, helping them survive and thrive in New York City’s complex media and regulatory environment. Visit our new website at to learn more.  CMW. A Public Affairs Firm for Today.




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

9:45 a.m. - South Bronx Unite, community residents and organizations from the south Bronx rally against the FreshDirect groundbreaking at the Harlem River Yard, St. Anne’s Ave. and E 132nd St., Bronx.

10 a.m. - The Brian Lehrer Show features state DEC Commissioner Joe Martens on the state’s study on the health impacts of hydrofracking, WNYC.

10:20 a.m. – The Geraldo Rivera Radio Show features former New York City Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik, WABC.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features NYSUT President Karen Magee, AARP's Erik Kriss, “Let's Talk Native" host John Kane and Marguerite Wells of the Black Oak Wind Farm Project in Tompkins County, WCNY.

11 a.m. – New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams is a guest on MSNBC with Tamron Hall, MSNBC.

11:30 a.m. - Mount Vernon City Councilman Richard Thomas and community activists hold a press conference to remember the missing during the holidays, 28 E 1st St., Mount Vernon.

12:30 p.m. - U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco III and other community activists and law enforcement hold a press conference to highlight drunk driving prevention and enforcement during the holiday season, Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, 55 New Hempstead Rd, New City.

1 p.m. – Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the Police Athletic League December luncheon about strengthening the bond between police and the community, 320 Park Ave., Manhattan.

4 p.m. – CM Williams is a guest on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, CNN.

5:20 p.m. – The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby features author and columnist Steve Adubato, CNBC anchor Amanda Drury and actor Danny Aiello, WABC.

10 p.m. – CM Williams is a guest on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC.



Get your message in front of New York’s leadership before the 2015 Legislative session in City & State’s State of the State Special Issue. The State of the State issue features 2015 legislative priorities, profiles of newly elected representatives, and special distribution at our State of Our State evening reception and at Governor Cuomo’s address.  Contact Andrew Holt at or 212-894-5422 for advertising and sponsorship information.



KICKER: “Emotions have run very high over the past few weeks. And I understand it, and we’ve all lived through it, but there is also a system that governs us. There’s a justice system.” – Gov. Andrew Cuomo, via Gannett Albany.