First Read - March 31, 2015

WEATHER: Rainy in New York, cloudy in Albany and snowy in Buffalo. New York City, high 41; Albany, high 45; Buffalo, high 38.  


MAGGIE MORAN HONORED: At City & State’s Above & Beyond event last week, Maggie Moran from M Public Affairs received the prestigious chairperson award and delivered a speech:

CITY & STATE TV: Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and Alex Beauchamp from Food and Water Watch discuss an effort to pass a GMO labeling bill that would force all genetically-modified food to be labeled in stores:

HANNA Q&A ON TRANSPORTATION: Rep. Richard Hanna discusses his opposition to raising the gas tax and his support for the federal Amtrak funding bill that recently passed the House, in a Q&A with City & State:



* The tentative budget deal agreed to by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers did not include policy changes he tried to tie to include, reflecting a changed dynamic in Albany, The New York Times writes:

* Many school districts will have to quickly revise their evaluation agreements with teachers unions in order to get increased school aid as part of the state budget deal, The Wall Street Journal reports:

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is disappointed in some of the items left out of the state budget deal, such funding to fight homelessness that does not appear to have made the final plan, the Journal reports:

* The New York City Housing Authority will receive $3 billion in aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair and upgrade city public housing projects damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the Daily News reports:

* The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is investigating the fatal explosion in New York City’s East Village last week, signaling the possibility of criminal charges in connection with the blast, the Journal reports:

* A new office to connect people facing noncriminal legal issues with lawyers would be created under a bill to be introduced in the New York City Council, including in housing and immigration court, the Daily News writes:

* Assemblyman William Scarborough is asking a federal judge to dismiss evidence the FBI gleaned from his cellphone records in a criminal case alleging he wasn't in Albany while claiming reimbursements, the Times Union reports:

* The Queens Library, criticized for the free-spending ways of its former CEO, held its first public budget hearing Monday night as its new leaders pledged an era of accountability, the Daily News writes:

* A former municipal hospital administrator who used her position to help family members land jobs in the system has agreed to pay a $12,000 fine, the Post reports:

* Five long-struggling Buffalo public schools could wind up in the hands of a state-mandated receiver after next school year if efforts to transform them into successful community schools fail, The Buffalo News reports:

* Training for New York City cab drivers and city workers will soon include a dramatic video about five families who lost loved one in crashes as part of de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, the Post reports:



* Doctors in New York City’s economically depressed neighborhoods are in the vanguard of an experiment to transform New York State’s health care services for the poor, the Times writes:



New Yorkers are being taken for a ride. Across the five boroughs, getting home to your family in a snowstorm or getting to the airport during rush hour can end up costing you hundreds of dollars as a result of predatory “surge pricing” practices by e-hail app companies. Demand a #FairFareNYC by supporting City Council Intro 556. Regulation should not be left to the very companies taking advantage of consumers during volatile times. Much like New York's longstanding price-gouging laws, New Yorkers should demand transparent and fair business practices in the e-hail sector.Find us on Twitter @fairfarenyc.




* The Times writes that Cuomo made too many concessions, with the minimum wage, campaign finance reform, mayoral control and the DREAM Act left out of the budget deal agreed to over the weekend:

* The Post writes that Cuomo has some real wins, such as disclosure of outside income, but overall he got a lot less out of this year’s state budget than he started out asking for, with no “game-changers” included in the deal:

* Newsday writes that ethics reforms included in the state budget deal are a big step forward for Albany, but that it’s unclear how they will play out and how big of a raise lawmakers will get in return:

* The Buffalo News writes that state leaders had a chance to enact serious ethical reforms in the budget agreement, but again fell woefully short:



Join MCNY and City & State for a Graduate Information Session Thursday, April, 9.  Advance to the next stage in your career and hear exactly what you need to do, from the experts that can get you there. Metropolitan College is bringing together industry experts in education, emergency management, business, media, health services and government. Find out how they got their start and how a Master’s degree from Metropolitan College can help get YOU started in as little as one year.  Availability is limited, so RSVP HERE.




* New York City Council Deputy Leader James Vacca discussed his endorsement of the Move NY Plan to ease congestion in the downtown Manhattan core in an interview with City & State's Sarina Trangle:



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

Assistant Scheduler/Administrative Assistant for Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Description: Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC is seeking a detail oriented assistant scheduler and administrative assistant.  Responsibilities include handling outgoing and incoming schedule requests, assisting with logistics for local and regional travel, and administrative office duties as assigned.  Excellent organizational, prioritization, time management, communication and computer skills required.  Proficiency in excel and google calendar required.  Previous scheduling and political experience a plus.  

Further info: Please email resume, references and cover letter to:


Deputy Commissioner of Administration

Description: The NYC Department of Investigation is seeking a Deputy Commissioner of Administration with extensive knowledge of the workings of City government to provide strategic/operational leadership to three Assistant Commissioners.  The DC will be a member of the agency’s leadership team and integral to all policy/process decisions related to agency operations.

Further Info: All current City Employees may apply by going to Employee Self Service (ESS)http://cityshare/ess. Click on Recruiting Activities/Careers and Search for Job ID# 186230.

All other applicants, please visit and search for Job ID# 186230.


Deputy Commissioner for Administration, Operations & Finance for the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)

Description:  The Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Finance serves as advisor to the Commissioner on all matters relating to operations and overall management of the agency, including supervision of facilities, budget, human resources and programs as well as a liaison with all other key work units.  The Deputy Commissioner will identify efficiencies, modernizations, and synergies across TLC operational divisions.  Interested candidates should have managerial experience and ability in all areas of program review and administrative management, including employee training and development, resource allocation and optimization, organizational reviews, cost-effectiveness reviews, and the formulation and revision of performance standards, procedures and methods.

Further Info:  Interested candidates may submit cover letter and resume  Search for Job ID# 185071


Executive Director, Brooklyn Arts Council

Description: Brooklyn Arts Council, (BAC) seeks a dynamic and outgoing professional to serve as the public face of the organization, advance the institution and guide its dedicated staff by providing vision and leadership toward the achievement of the organization's philosophy, mission and core values.

Further Info:



HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Anat Gerstein … to LaMon Bland, attorney and lobbyist … to Bronx activist Carlos Ramos … to Assemblyman David McDonough … to Bob Liff, senior vice president at George Arzt Communications … and to business analyst and author Ron Insana.


MOVING ON: Javier Lacayo, former communications director for New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, is now press secretary for Public Advocate Letitia James.



New York government prepares as the traditional employment design transforms and longtime employees exit. Talent Management may be the answer to understanding how to transition from the mindset of those seeking a lifetime career to those seeking lifetime careers. Government agencies need to look to analyze and then adapt practices based on changing workforce conditions and demands. Accenture has identified a number of key areas to channel focus, including: Succession planning, strategic hiring, job classification streamlining and advanced training.

Click here for more information on Accenture’s presence in New York




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

The New York State Senate and Assembly are both in session.

8:30 a.m. - Crain’s hosts event with New York City Council members Julissa Ferreras, Brad Lander, Mark Levine and Jumaane Williams, New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, Manhattan.

8:30 a.m. - New York City Public Advocate Letitia James gives remarks at the OHEL Legislative Breakfast, 1345 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan.

9 a.m. - New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray attends OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services Legislative Breakfast, Bernstein Global Wealth Management, 1345 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan.

9 a.m. - SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and StriveTogether Managing Director Jeff Edmondson host a conversation about their recent book, The New York Times Conference Center, 620 Eighth Ave., 15th Floor, Manhattan.

9:15 a.m. - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Community Arts Breakfast, Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, 41 Broad St., Manhattan.

10 a.m. - New York City Council Members Ben Kallos, Laurie Cumbo and Robert Cornegy and others call on the city to assist parents seeking to return to the workforce through a "Back to Work" bill and five-point plan, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Finance Committee meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

10:40 a.m. – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul attends a speech by U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University, followed by a closed-press meeting with Carter, Dineen Hall, Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom, 950 Irving Ave., Syracuse.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features state Sen. Jose Peralta, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Byrgen Finkelman and Renate Hartman, members of Affirming Transgender Rights, and Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, WCNY.

11:30 a.m. - Rep. Nita Lowey hosts Federal Railroad Administration Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg at a press conference about dangers posed by grade crossings, Metro-North rail crossing at Roaring Brook Road, Chappaqua.

11:40 a.m. - The Brian Lehrer Show features New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, WNYC.

12 p.m. – Hochul tours the Institute for Veterans & Military Families, Barclay Hall, 150 Crouse Drive, Syracuse.

12:30 p.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Cities meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 708, Albany.

1 p.m. - James presides over a New York City Council stated meeting, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

1 p.m. -   New York Communities for Change, Citizen Action NY, Strong Economy for All and Make the Road NY demand that state lawmakers eliminate the yacht tax break from the budget, North Cove Marina at World Financial Center, 285 South End Ave., Manhattan.

2:30 p.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts a press conference with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, Red Hook East, Joseph Miccio Community Center, 110 W. 9th St., Brooklyn.

3 p.m. - The New York State Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, State Capitol, Albany.

5:45 p.m. - Local 372 President Shaun D. Francois makes a special an announcement on a living wage for Local 372 school crossing guards, DC 37 Headquarters, 125 Barclay St., Manhattan.

6:45 pm - Brewer speaks at a meeting of the National Women's Political Caucus New York City chapter, 4 W. 43rd St., Manhattan.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. - Inside City Hall features UFT president Michael Mulgrew, New York City Councilman Brad Lander, Councilwoman Darlene Mealy, and the NY1 Wise Guys featuring former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey and former Assembly Speaker Mel Miller, Time Warner Cable News NY1.

7:15 p.m. - McCray hosts a Change Makers in the Arts panel, Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

8:15 p.m. – An 11th District Congressional debate features Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, City Councilman Vincent Gentile and Green Party Candidate James Lane, GEC Building, 260 68th St., Brooklyn.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. - Capital Tonight features State Sen. Jose Peralta, Bob Lowry from the New York State Council of School Superintendents, FPI’s Ron Deutsch and Robert McKeon of TREND, Time Warner Cable News.



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KICKER: “There’s obviously a lot of unfinished business. There are some areas where we thought things could have been handled differently, but there’s some very good news here, too.” – De Blasio on the state budget agreement, via the Journal.