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2022-06-15 12:13:03 By : Ms. Lorna Guo

Erin Durkin and Anna Gronewold's must-read briefing informing the daily conversation among knowledgeable New Yorkers

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By ERIN DURKIN, ANNA GRONEWOLD and JULIAN SHEN-BERRO 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams will finally give his blessing to Gov. Kathy Hochul today in her campaign for a full term. He’ll make his endorsement this morning, less than two weeks out from the June 28 gubernatorial primary and three days before early voting kicks off.

Adams and Hochul are natural allies — both new chief executives taking over at a time of crisis, both moderate Democrats battling headwinds from the left. And in sharp contrast to the feud between former Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Hochul has served as a champion for Adams’ priorities in Albany even if that did not necessarily mean he would get what he wanted from the Legislature.

Still, Adams had been playing a little hard to get when it comes to his endorsement, withholding it even as Hochul locked down other big-name supporters. That ends today, when the mayor bestows his backing at a rally in Manhattan.

Hochul is already the heavy favorite in polls, but faces New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on her left and Rep. Tom Suozzi on her right. Adams’ backing could help her lock down support among his base of working-class Black voters in the city.

They’ll seal their alliance ahead of a flurry of campaign activity for the rest of the week, with a lieutenant governor’s debate set for tonight and the second and final Democratic gubernatorial primary debate tomorrow.

IT’S WEDNESDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know ... By email: [email protected] and [email protected] , or on Twitter: @erinmdurkin and @annagronewold

WHERE’S KATHY? Making a joint appearance with Adams and discussing early childhood funding.

WHERE’S ERIC? Appearing on NY1, making a joint appearance with Hochul, speaking at a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event and a Bob Woodruff Foundation event, making an economic development announcement, testing maternal health technology, and speaking at Tribeca Talks and a Brooklyn Navy Yard steam center graduation.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: New York Playbook will not publish on Monday, June 20 for Juneteenth. We’ll be back in your inboxes on Tuesday. Please continue to follow POLITICO New York.

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“Adams Announces Plan to Fix New York City’s Growing Housing Crisis,” by The New York Times’ Matthew Haag, Dana Rubinstein and Andy Newman: “Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday unveiled a multiyear plan to address New York City’s growing housing crisis, pledging to make rentals and homeownership more affordable, to help homeless people find permanent housing and to invest in the New York City Housing Authority, the largest public housing entity in the United States. The housing plan outlines five major housing initiatives, including expanding affordable housing by creating new incentives for developers to build residential units and new efforts by the city to preserve existing below-market units. It also pledged to improve conditions in public and private homes, to make modest increases in the city’s programs that subsidize and support homeownership, and to expand access to homeless shelters. While Mr. Adams’s plan mentions the city’s major housing issues, many of its solutions lack details and will require additional work.”

With federal takeover looming, judge signs off on city's plan to fix Rikers, by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin: A federal judge signed off on the city’s plan to turn around violence-plagued Rikers Island — giving Mayor Eric Adams’ administration at least five months reprieve from a potential federal takeover of the jail. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain issued an order in Manhattan federal court Tuesday approving the Department of Correction’s action plan for Rikers, where six inmates have died so far this year. “This action plan represents a way to move forward with concrete measures now to address the ongoing crisis at Rikers Island,” she wrote.

“'Harsh’ City Funding Cut Deprives Astoria Kids’ Center Of $150K,” by Patch’s Nick Garber: “A reportedly punitive move by the City Council speaker to lock out several lawmakers from a new pot of city funds will deprive a beloved Astoria youth center of thousands of dollars it expected to receive, according to local leaders. The city’s new $101 billion budget passed Monday night in a 44-6 vote, with the few dissenters including City Councilmember Tiffany Cabán, who represents Astoria. In apparent retribution for their no-votes, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams chose to lock Cabán and six of her colleagues out of a $41.6 million program known as the ‘Speaker's Initiative to Address Citywide Needs,’ which members could use to fund programs in their neighborhood.”

— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezis raising donations for the Boys & Girls Club in response and expressed shock that “anyone calling themselves a Democrat” would make the move. “I’ve seen a lot of shameful behavior from leadership, but cutting programs for underprivileged kids to score a point? Unbelievable.”

— Council Republicansgot access to the money that progressives were left out of.

— Council’s new NYPD budget oversight tees up future funding battles, by POLITICO’s Joe Anuta: The budget passed late Monday grants City Council significant new oversight of NYPD spending — a concession from the mayor’s office that will empower the department’s critics and sets the stage for future battles over how police are funded. Moving forward, the department must provide more granular detail on how it uses its roughly $5.6 billion, including precinct-level reports about overtime, which it routinely exceeds. And that granularity will make it harder for the mayor to shift money around the department’s ledgers without Council’s blessing.

“No new funding for violence interrupter program, despite Adams' promised expansion,” by Gothamist’s Jake Offenhartz: “The violence interrupters — often local community members who were previously incarcerated — are part of the Crisis Management System, a network of city-funded nonprofit operators that seek to de-escalate conflicts and direct individuals to support services. Mayor Eric Adams has touted the approach as key to curbing gun violence, pledging to bring the teams to every neighborhood at high risk for shootings. On the campaign trail, he said he would find $500 million in savings to redirect to the prevention programs. But in his first budget as mayor, Adams and the City Council kept funding flat for the Crisis Management System. ”

“‘We’re Democrats, not socialists’: Adams vs AOC in proxy war over Albany,” by New York Post’s Carl Campanile and Bernadette Hogan: “Mayor Eric Adams is putting his political muscle behind veteran state Assembly incumbents being challenged by socialist insurgents egged on by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the upcoming June 28 Democratic primary. Adams on Tuesday endorsed the re-election of Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, one of the first black lawmakers to call for changes to the bail law sought by the mayor in Albany. Ocasio-Cortez is backing housing activist Delsenia Glover in the 70th Assembly District against incumbent Dickens. Adams also is appearing Tuesday alongside veteran Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto at a Juneteenth event in Co-Op City. He endorsed Benedetto last week. AOC is backing her former staffer, Jonathan Soto, in the 82nd AD in the northeast Bronx that overlaps with her congressional district.”

“Jordan drops out of state Senate race against Tedisco,” by Times Union’s Joshua Solomon: “State Sen. Daphne Jordan said she is dropping out of a Republican primary with fellow state Sen. Jim Tedisco, upending a pugnacious Capital Region political contest that had quickly divided high-ranking state and local conservatives. ‘I detest the circus atmosphere that Jim Tedisco has caused by moving into my Senate District and his putting self-interest first in seeking a seat from a fellow Republican whom he once called a friend,’ Jordan, a former Halfmoon Town Board member, said in a statement Tuesday morning. ‘I want no part of this sideshow.’”

Zeldin voted with Cuomo less often than most lawmakers, by POLITICO’s Bill Mahoney: “The Republicans were part of the failure here in New York,” said former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. ‘And the establishment like Lee Zeldin was very much a part of that. … They kept voting with Cuomo.’ But a view of Zeldin’s voting record during his time in Albany indicates that he eventually voted with the Democratic governor less than the vast majority of his colleagues. By the time he left the state Capitol in 2014, only two of the 61 senators who served that year sided with the scandal-plagued Cuomo less often than he did.

“AG James: NY’s mental health crisis 'has only worsened,’” by WNYC’s Michelle Bocanegra: “The mental health crisis in New York will continue to exacerbate housing instability and overload hospitals and jails if more isn’t done to provide access to care, says New York Attorney General Tish James, who will be holding a public hearing on the issue next week. Mental health has drawn heightened scrutiny amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as it relates to crime and homelessness. … James will use information from the hearing to ‘explore potential areas of reform’ and ‘inform my office for future investigations into allegations of inadequate mental health treatment.’”

“Jail Visitation Ban Drives Big Profits for Sheriff on Phone Calls,” by New York Focus’ Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg: “The Broome County sheriff’s website states that the visitation ban is ‘due to COVID-19 precautions.’ But many of the state’s jails and all of its prisons have resumed visitations in some form, and Broome has not shown a particular concern with COVID-19 in other areas. In February, New York Focus reported that it had one of the lowest testing rates of any jail in the state. Detainees and advocates suspect a less noble reason for the continued prohibition on visits: For each call Rudy makes, the jail takes a cut of the profits. Between January and October 2021, the Sheriff’s department took in well over half a million dollars from detainee phone calls and tablet use, according to records obtained by the local nonprofit Justice and Unity for the Southern Tier (JUST), which runs a visitation program at the jail.”

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Caring Majority Rising, which launched in 2020 to push for greater investments in the home care industry, has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Williams and Democratic lieutenant governor hopeful Ana Maria Archila.

Caring Majority Rising Co-Director Ilana Berger called Williams and Archilla “two care champions who will fight tirelessly to pass Fair Pay for Home Care in Albany.” “Since Day One, Jumaane and Ana Maria have stood up for home care workers, older adults and disabled New Yorkers,” she said in a statement. “We’re proud to stand with Jumaane and Ana Maria, and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and send them to the Capitol.” — Shannon Young

#UpstateAmerica: A Guilderland mountain lion sighting has reignited the debate about whether cougars still roam the state.

“New York Republicans won’t return Paladino cash after his outrageous ‘Hitler’ praise,” by New York Daily News’ Michael McAuliff and Shant Shahrigian: “A politician who voiced admiration for Hitler has given thousands of dollars to Republican members of New York State’s congressional delegation — but they appear to have no intention of giving back the campaign cash. … Prior to the uproar, Paladino, a supporter of former President Donald Trump with a history of making outrageous statements, gave considerable contributions to Republican lawmakers. Those include Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, who reps Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. He gave her $2,800 in 2020 and $1,000 the year before, according to campaign finance records. ‘The donations in question were from the 2020 campaign, that money was spent then and the books have been closed on that campaign,’ Malliotakis campaign spokesman Rob Ryan said in an email when asked whether she would return the funds.”

“NY high court nixes Trump appeal, clearing way for testimony,” by The Associated Press: “New York’s highest court rejected former President Donald Trump’s last-ditch effort to avoid testifying in the state attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practices on Tuesday, clearing the way for his deposition next month. The state’s Court of Appeals said there was no ‘substantial constitutional question’ that would warrant its intervention in the matter following an intermediate appellate court’s ruling last month enforcing a subpoena for Trump’s testimony.”

— A lawsuit filed against Glock by one of the victims in the Sunset Park subway shooting could be a test case for the new state law that makes it easier to sue gun companies.

— Adult lap swim and other programs will not be returning to city pools as they open for the summer due to a shortage of lifeguards.

— Restaurants are still waiting for permanent outdoor dining rules.

— The City Council is considering a package of bills to boost resources for survivors of domestic violence.

— The Buffalo community has spent the past month grappling with “what ifs” in the aftermath of the Tops supermarket shooting.

— A commuter surge is coming back to New York City after depressed foot traffic on subways and buses during the pandemic, a new study found.

— Under a new state law, students with disabilities can extend their individualized education plans by an additional two years to account for pandemic disruptions in learning.

— Buffalo Bills owner Kim Pegula is receiving treatment for unspecified health issues.

— Happy the elephant at Bronx Zoo is not a person, New York’s top court ruled Tuesday.

— New state staffing rules could mean more than 400 new full-time jobs at the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region’s Kaleida Health.

— City sheriffstowed a dozen Weed World vehicles for outstanding parking tickets.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: CNN’s Dana Bash, Bianna Golodryga and Karl de Vries … AP’s Evan Vucci … NYT’s Clifford Levy … MSNBC’s Will Rabbe … Dan Schwerin ... Sophie Vaughan … Richard Edelman … Marie Harf … Alyssa Farah Griffin … Milt Spaulding … Rebecca Rutkoff 

MAKING MOVES — Stephonn Alcorn is returning to Blackstone to be VP for policy and operations where he’ll be primarily focused on Blackstone’s U.S. housing portfolio. He most recently was associate director for racial justice and equity on the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. … Jordan Kowalski has joined the STARZ Originals publicity team as a manager for series publicity. She most recently was a publicist at CBS Entertainment Publicity. … Reginald Belon is joining the Commerce Department as a scheduler. He previously was director of operations for Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).

WEEKEND WEDDING — Claudia Thieme, a senior director at KATLA, and David Cogut, a partner at Pegasus Capital, married in Capri, Italy on Saturday at the Caesar Augustus Hotel. They met in 2018 at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in New York City. Pic by Allan Zepeda ... Another pic

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“New York Office Occupancy Hits Pandemic Era Milestone at More Than 40% Full,” by The City’s Greg David: “New York’s recovery from the pandemic reached a milestone last week when city office occupancy topped 40% for the first time since the March 2020 shutdown. The closely watched Kastle Back to Work Barometer increased to 41.2% last week, up almost five percentage points compared to the week of May 30 to June 3. The security company Kastle Systems measures office occupancy via entries into thousands of private office buildings in 10 cities, including New York”.

“Tenants, landlords press rent board on pending hikes as final vote approaches,” by WNYC’s Gwynne Hogan: “Tenants’ groups are mounting a last-ditch attempt to stave off steep rent hikes for NYC's stabilized apartments — increases that some tenants say will force them out of their homes. The board, which sets the rents for more than one million rent-stabilized apartments, will vote June 21 on potential increases of between 2% and 4% for one-year leases, and between 4% and 6% for two-year leases — some of the biggest jumps in a decade. Tenant groups and advocates are calling for the board to hold rents flat, given the rising cost of household goods, flat wages, and a city’s unemployment rate that is still stubbornly higher than pre-pandemic levels. But landlords say their costs are also going up, and the status quo is not enough to keep them in business or keep their buildings in good repair.”