Naming convention delegates, and its speaker

From: POLITICO New York Playbook PM - Thursday Jan 25,2024 08:16 pm
Your afternoon must-read briefing informing the daily conversation among knowledgeable New Yorkers
Jan 25, 2024 View in browser
POLITICO New York Playbook PM

By Bill Mahoney

With help from Irie Sentner

In this July 24, 2016, file photo, workers prepare for the Philadelphia Convention, a huge and costly buildout effort.

While Republicans won’t choose their delegates until they hold regional meetings after the primary, President Joe Biden has already submitted his. | AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File

While the eyes of presidential primary watchers were on New Hampshire over the past week, the contours of New York’s April 2 vote began to take shape.

Democratic hopefuls are required to submit 15,000 petitions to the state Board of Elections to get on the ballot. Three did: President Joe Biden, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and guru Marianne Williamson.

Republicans have a few paths to ballot access. A candidate who collects petitions was required to submit them by last week, though nobody did that this time around.

But candidates who can argue they have a “nationally known and recognized” campaign can simply submit a certificate to the elections board.

Four have: Former President Donald Trump, former governors Chris Christie and Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did not request to run in New York before ending his campaign over the weekend.

The ballots aren’t quite final yet.

Democrats can have their petitions challenged. And Republicans can get their names off the ballot if they send a request to the board in the next two weeks. It’s a safe bet Christie and Ramaswamy will soon receive calls reminding them of this deadline.

While Republicans won’t choose their delegates until they hold regional meetings after the primary, the Democratic plan is a little different, and Biden has already submitted his.

They include a mix of elected officials present, past and maybe future (including Westchester County Executive George Latimer and former Rep. Mondaire Jones), union leaders (such as the state AFL-CIO’s Mario Cilento and NYSUT’s Melinda Person) and party heads.

But one key selection isn’t yet known.

Then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver took over the job of announcing New York’s vote count to the nation from ex-Lt. Gov. Stan Lundine during the 1996 DNC. Silver’s enthused monotonetook center stage at conventions for nearly two decades.

Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo took on this ceremonial role after Silver’s corruption conviction. But it’s a safe bet that Cuomo won’t be asked to return to this year. So who should be the new national face of New York Democrats?

“Andrea is a historic figure,” state Sen. Jamaal Bailey, a Biden delegate, said in reference to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “Making me choose between Andrea and [Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie] is very difficult. So I’m just going to say either of our legislative leaders would be great; so would the governor.”

“I think Hakeem Jeffries,” said state senator and delegate Roxanne Persaud. “He has reinvigorated our delegation and our party.”

Or maybe it’ll be a surprise until closer to the convention in Chicago in mid-August.

From the Capitol

Governor Kathy Hochul proposes major expansion in hate crimes statute and announces $60 million in funding for at-risk groups.

Gov. Kathy Hochul's announcement to fight hate crimes came after New York saw a 90 percent increase in them between 2020 and 2022. | Susan Watts/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

PROSECUTING MORE HATE CRIMES: Hochul wants to add 31 more crimes to the state’s hate crimes statutes, making it easier to prosecute offenses like gang assault, arson and rape as hate crimes.

Today’s announcement, made with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, comes as New York saw a 90 percent increase in reported hate crimes between 2020 and 2022, the governor said.

City crime statistics also reveal a sharp rise in hate crimes against Jewish New Yorkers following the onset of the Hamas-Israel war.

“Our district attorneys are finding that as there is a rise in hate crimes they want to prosecute, there are a lot of loopholes,” Hochul said at an event in the city. “No one could have contemplated how many crimes like this would be committed.”

Hochul also boasted a proposed $10 million increase to the state’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant program in her budget proposal. The investment would bring the program’s funding to $35 million and enable faith-based nonprofits – like community centers, daycares or other organizations — to make major upgrades to their security systems.

In her remarks at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Hochul condemned the anti-immigrant graffiti scrawled Wednesday in Long Island’s Central Islip community. Graffiti is one of the 31 offenses Hochul is hoping to add to hate crime statutes.

The governor was also asked by a reporter after her speech to address the alleged chemical attack on pro-Palestinian activists at Columbia University, and she was asked if she would meet with the victims just as she had met with Cornell University students following an antisemitic incident.

“If necessary, I want the perpetrators charged with a hate crime or at a minimum some form of assault, because that is not acceptable,” Hochul said. “Will I try to (meet) with everybody? I will attempt to do so. But I don’t know that there are plans to do so at this time.” – Jason Beeferman

CAN CARROLL BE ‘KENOUGH’: Democratic Assemblymember Ken Zebrowski will not seek another term to his Hudson Valley seat. Patrick Carroll, a Clarkstown town board member, wants to fill it.

Carroll announced his bid for the seat hours after Zebrowski signaled he would retire from the Assembly this year.

“Filling my good friend Ken Zebrowski’s shoes will be no easy task, as he has been an outstanding and effective advocate for Rockland families,” Carroll said in a statement.

“I hope to build on Ken’s substantial achievements and will work to protect the suburban quality of life that exists in Haverstraw, Nyack and Clarkstown.” Nick Reisman


Mayor Eric Adams at City Hall announcing “Women Forward NYC."

Mayor Eric Adams announced “Women Forward NYC,” a group of 42 initiatives with $43 million in funding. | Violet Mendelsund/Mayoral Photography Office

‘MEN WHO GET IT CLUB’: After teasing an announcement on gender equity at Wednesday’s State of the City speech, Mayor Eric Adams today rolled out “Women Forward NYC,” a group of 42 initiatives with $43 million in funding with the “ambitious goal of becoming the most women-forward city in America.”

“We are members of the men-who-get-it club,” said Adams, the city’s 110th’s male mayor.

The initiatives will focus on three overarching areas — economic mobility, health and public safety and housing stability — with specific projects ranging from a financial literacy program for the DHS shelter-based girl scout troop to a “women and family-friendly cycling campaign.”

Of the action plan’s $43 million budget, about $25 million would come from new city tax revenue; $14 million from federal grant funding; $3 million from agency budgets and $1 million in private funding from individual and corporate donors. Irie Sentner

TONY HAWK, THE TONY STARK OF SKATE PARKS: Tony Hawk, the legendary skater and founder of The Skatepark Project, is partnering with the city to build four new skateparks in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

The initiative comes from a public-private partnership, and the skateparks are going to be built in communities that have typically lacked access to high-quality spaces for public recreation, the sides announced.

“One of the key things we identified in our ‘New’ New York report is that high-quality public spaces aren’t a luxury —they’re a necessity,” Adams said.

The plan is intended to elevate the city’s status as the East Coast’s skateboarding capital. The parks have the potential to bring in economic growth in underserved areas, according to a press release from the group. — Shawn Ness

On the Beats

Former President Donald Trump points during a rally.

Citizens Union urged New York to follow other states in disqualifying former President Donald Trump from the presidential election. | Joe Maiorana/AP

JAN. 6TH FALLOUT: Citizens Union, the good-government group, is urging the state Legislature to develop a plan to disqualify candidates for engaging in insurrection under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Several states have done so with former President Donald Trump as the case heads to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the group urged New York to do the same. There is legislation in Albany to do so.

“Citizens Union believes, as did the framers of the 14th Amendment, that it is essential to our democracy and the rule of law that persons who served as public officers and participated in an insurrection should be disqualified from holding office. That is especially so because they may then exercise power to do so again, contrary to law and their oaths of office,” the group said.

The issue would usually fall into the hands of the Board of Elections, a bipartisan agency composed of two Republicans and two Democrats, meaning any decision on the matter likely would end in a deadlock. In the event of a deadlocked decision, the group wants to authorize the state attorney general to act as a tiebreaker.

“The fate of our democracy is literally on the ballot this November. And those who have proven they would undermine it by fomenting insurrection should have no place on it,” it said. — Shawn Ness

ADVISING OPIOID TREATMENT SITES: Assemblymember Tony Simone and Sen. Brad Holyman-Sigal are promoting a bill to enhance community oversight on methadone clinics, which are sites where individuals suffering from opioid addictions can receive treatment and medication.

The bill would establish community advisory boards for the clinics, enabling community members to submit recommendations and guidance to the clinics’ providers. Residents, however, would not be given any power to reject or regulate the clinic's activities.

The bill comes as residents of Hoylman-Sigal and Simone’s districts have grown increasingly concerned about safety around the spots, including one clinic on 35th St. and 8th Ave. where residents say drug dealers have congregated to prey on victims seeking addiction treatment.

“Methadone clinics are a life-saving resource for those struggling with addiction, and assist many throughout their recovery,” Simone said. “They are also important members of their communities, and they should actively engage with local stakeholders to ensure that they are operating in the best interests of everyone." — Jason Beeferman

PUBLIC HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE: State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal hosted a virtual press event today to advocate for a law that would require EpiPens to be in public venues across the state. The bill would also require the venue’s staff to be trained to use the devices.

“25 percent of children who have severe reactions did not receive a prior diagnosis. If they don't know that they might be in danger. They can't carry an EpiPen,” Rosenthal said.

The two lawmakers were joined by Lucia Zaremba, a Brooklyn who began advocating for the cause after her brother suffered a severe anaphylactic shock.

Zaremba likened the bill to AEDs being a requirement for public venues to have. She approached Gounardes with her idea, who then introduced the legislation in the Senate. Rosenthal then introduced a companion bill in the Assembly. — Shawn Ness

EDUCATION: Advocates are urging Adams and schools Chancellor David Banks to engage parents more in their efforts to revamp reading instruction in New York City public schools.

Advocates for Children of New York, an advocacy group, released a report with recommendations based on a series of virtual learning sessions with 19 mothers over the summer. The school system rolled out a new reading curriculum mandate in roughly half of the city’s 32 school districts this school year — the first phase of the mandate. Schools have to choose one of three curricula.

The group urged the Department of Education to set clear expectations for principals and offer guidance and coaching to educators on partnering with families — as well as training for teachers and administrators.

Other recommendations include giving families information about the curriculum in their schools and how their children are progressing.

“New York City Public Schools has taken on the critically important challenge of improving the way they teach children to read,” Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children of New York, said in a statement. “Effective partnership with families is an essential component of that work.” — Madina Touré


— Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote an op-ed instructing Democrats to come up with a unifying policy around the migrant crisis. (The Hill)

— A state watchdog asked an Albany court to enforce more than $300,000 in penalties against a Democratic Socialist group. (New York Times)

— Rep. Jamaal Bowman, the progressive New York congressmember, launched his re-election campaign in Yonkers. (Gothamist)


Follow us on Twitter

Joseph Spector @JoeSpectorNY


Subscribe to the POLITICO Playbook family

Playbook  |  Playbook PM  |  California Playbook  |  Florida Playbook  |  Illinois Playbook  |  Massachusetts Playbook  |  New Jersey Playbook  |  New York Playbook  |  Brussels Playbook  |  London Playbook

View all our political and policy newsletters

Follow us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram Listen on Apple Podcast

To change your alert settings, please log in at

This email was sent to by: POLITICO, LLC 1000 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA, 22209, USA

| Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

More emails from POLITICO New York Playbook PM

Jan 23,2024 09:27 pm - Tuesday

NY Heat Act flares up

Jan 22,2024 09:17 pm - Monday

Landfill? More like landfull, foes say

Jan 19,2024 08:42 pm - Friday

Where Hochul will watch Bills-Chiefs

Jan 17,2024 09:06 pm - Wednesday

Helping SUNY Downstate

Jan 16,2024 09:20 pm - Tuesday

The state budget: What they're saying