First Read Tonight – January 23, 2018

WEATHER: Mostly clear in New York City, scattered showers in Albany and a chance of rain and snow showers in Buffalo. New York City, low 36; Albany, low 27; Buffalo, low 22.



* As the journalism field loses jobs, relies more on freelancers and confronts the closure of news outlets like DNAinfo and Gothamist, a growing number of media companies are securing union representation from the Writers Guild of America East, Bob Hennelly writes.



* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid prescription drugs, joining a national campaign to hold the companies responsible for costs related to the deadly opioid epidemic, The New York Times reports.

* New York City has opened only half of the 20 shelters that de Blasio set as a target for 2017 to tackle the city’s homelessness crisis, a slow start to his larger goal of opening 90 shelters over five years, the Times writes.

* NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye did not tell the truth during her sworn testimony about lead paint inspections before the City Council last month, wrongfully claiming that the employees conducting inspections had a certain certification, the Daily News reports.

* Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Boone, in his opening statement, accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s longtime adviser and close friend Joseph Percoco of using his position to line his pockets, trading his influence for $300,000 in bribes, the Daily News reports.

* Cuomo announced that the state would use its share of Medicaid money to provide health insurance for DACA recipients if the federal government terminates the immigration program, Politico New York reports.

* More news below …



City & State's 2018 Digital New York will convene NY's technology, information and digital leaders for a full day of dynamic presentations on the complex, innovative ideas that will improve the delivery of services to both citizens and government agencies. The event will feature speakers like Anne M. Roest, the Commissioner of NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Miguel Gamino, Chief Technology Officer, NYC, Jeffrey Nordhaus Executive Vice President of Broadband and Innovation Empire State Development and Joshua Breitbart, Special Advisor for Broadband, Office of the NYC Mayor. For more information on the event please click here.



* Cuomo’s proposal to allow the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to collect property taxes in neighborhoods served by mass transit would usurp New York City’s power to raise its own revenue, according to the de Blasio administration, Bloomberg reports.

* The passage of a key state deadline for calling special elections means that Republicans will retain control of the state Senate during budget negotiations in the upcoming months, Gannett Albany reports.

* A bill approved in the Republican-controlled state Senate would mitigate the impact of new federal tax law by allowing taxpayers to deduct their full payment of property taxes and restore other deductions, though Cuomo is pursuing a different tack, State of Politics reports.

* A coalition of state lawmakers, anti-poverty advocates and government watchdogs called for the formation of a task force to make sure that New York’s population is fully accounted for in the 2020 census, fearing the loss of federal aid from an undercount, the Times Union reports.

* An investigation is underway after Rikers Island jail supervisors waited nearly an hour before calling an ambulance for an inmate who was writhing in pain, five days before the 51-year-old man died, the Daily News reports.

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City & State Announces Partnership with Leading Recruitment Firm Phillips Oppenheim

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* U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for several hours last week as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and former FBI director James Comey was interviewed by the office last year, the Times reports.

* U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer informed the White House that he was retracting the offer he made last week to give President Donald Trump $1.6 billion more in border wall funding than Trump had asked for this year, Politico reports.

* Former Vice President Joe Biden said that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped the Obama administration from speaking out about Russian interference in the 2016 election by refusing to sign a bipartisan statement of condemnation, Politico reports.



Join NYN Media for Nonprofit BoardCon on January 24th at the Museum of Jewish Heritage for a day of informational session on the collaboration between boards and staff. We will have executive leaders of New York’s nonprofits and board members engage in lively discussions ranging from: Responsibilities, Governance, Diversity, Recruitment and Retention and more. For more details and ticketing please click here.




* Tenants of a Financial District residential building in lower Manhattan are opposing the addition of a new elevator to make a subway stop handicapped-accessible, and hired an analyst who found the elevator could pose a security risk, though the NYPD disagrees, the Times reports.

* Nonprofits like 100 Suits for 100 Men and The Lower Eastside Girls Club are where quarterback Colin Kaepernick has put his activism into action through a pledge to donate $1 million to social justice initiatives big and small, NYN Media reports.

* The approaching trial of Chanel Lewis for the killing of Karina Vetrano in Howard Beach, Queens, has generated fresh questions about what justifies a police officer to stop someone, and whether an illegal stop taints the information officers get from it, even if it’s just a name, the Times writes.



Join City & State NY for the P3 Summit & Awards on January 31 at New York University for a day-long, dynamic program of candid discussion and thought-provoking presentations on the complexities of public-private partnerships and the ways to successfully execute and manage P3s. Hear from top leaders and experts like Patrick Foye, President of MTA and Robert Galvin, Chief Technology Officer of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. For more details on programming and tickets please click here.




7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Inside City Hall” airs, NY1.

8 p.m. and 11 p.m. – “Capital Tonight” features Assemblyman David Buchwald, Spectrum News.



8:15 a.m.New York Nonprofit Media hosts its Second Annual Nonprofit Boardcon, an all-day event featuring panels on improving the relationship between a board of directors and staff as well as assessing board performance, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Manhattan.

8:30 a.m. – The MTA holds a safety meeting, MTA Boardroom, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. – The state Senate Finance Committee and Assembly Ways and Means Committee hold a joint hearing on the 2018-2019 executive budget in relation to housing, Legislative Office Building, Hearing Room B, Albany.

10 a.m. – The MTA board meets, MTA Boardroom, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – State Sen. Jesse Hamilton and Assembly members Marcos Crespo and Yuh-Line Niou join AARP and other groups to announce policy solutions on disparities in health, economic security and livability hurting New York’s communities of color, City University of New York Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., Manhattan.

10 a.m. – The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission launches its citywide Accessible Dispatch Program, Brooklyn Borough Hall, second floor rotunda, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. – The state Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering holds a public hearing on the potential of sports betting in New York, Legislative Office Building, Van Buren Hearing Room A, Albany.

12 p.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a public bill signing, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

1:30 p.m. – Rep. Claudia Tenney donates her salary from the first day of the government shutdown to the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, 726 Washington St., Utica.

2:30 p.m. – The state Legislature holds a joint public committee hearing on the 2018-2019 executive budget proposal in relation to workforce development, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

7 p.m. – Rep. Tom Suozzi hosts a town hall meeting, Dix Hills Jewish Center, 555 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills.


TOP TWEET: One of my favorite things about the Capitol are the semi-permanent displays of shredded documents left lying around.

-Nick Reisman @NickReisman