This Week in New York – Proposed NYC Charter Amendments, New Borough-Based Jail Facilities & NYC Political Podcast 

The New York Note

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Proposed NYC Charter Amendments for November & Charter Revision Commission’s September Hearings

On Tuesday, the 2018 Charter Revision Commission established by Mayor de Blasio voted to adopt a resolution directing the Commission's staff to prepare draft language for inclusion on the November 2018 general election ballot, which will ask voters whether the NYC Charter should be amended to:

  1. change the NYC Campaign Finance System by decreasing contribution limits for Citywide, Borough-Wide, and City Council candidates and by increasing the amount of public matching funds available to candidates participating in the City's public financing program as well as making matching funds available to candidates earlier in the election year
  2. establish a Civic Engagement Commission that would, among other things, provide technical assistance services to Community Boards, launch a new citywide participatory budgeting program, and take actions to increase voter registration
  3. implement term limits for appointed members of Community Boards, mandate the Borough Presidents to produce an annual report on Community Board appointments, require each Community Board create and maintain a website, and provide Community Boards with access to technical assistance services to be provided by the proposed Civic Engagement Commission (provided such a Commission is established pursuant to the above mentioned ballot question
  4. require the Civic Engagement Commission (provided such a Commission is established pursuant to the above mentioned ballot question) and the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs to jointly develop a plan for enhancing language assistance services for those participating in civic engagement activities and voting

The 2018 Charter Revision Commission is expected to vote to approve final language for the ballot questions by September 7, 2018.

On Wednesday the 2019 Charter Revision Commission established by the NYC Council announced a series of public hearings to take place in each Borough throughout the month of September. See below for the 2019 Charter Revision Commission's September public hearing schedule (venues for each hearing will be announced shortly):

  • September 12th at 6pm -- Bronx Public Hearing
  • September 17th at 6pm -- Brooklyn Public Hearing
  • September 20th at 6pm -- Queens Public Hearing
  • September 24th at 6pm -- Staten Island Public Hearing
  • September 27th at 6pm -- Manhattan Public Hearing

The 2019 Charter Revision Commission is expected to continue to solicit public feedback and review the Charter in its totality until early next fall. Voters will be asked to determine whether to implement this Commission's proposed amendments and other changes to the City Charter in November 2019.


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Plans Released for New Borough-Based Jail Facilities

On Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio released the city's plan to build four borough-based jail facilities, in the administration's first major step to closing Riker's Island since the mayor declared he would close the controversial jail back in 2017. In the plan released this week, the city named four sites to place the new correctional facilities in each borough, with the exception of Staten Island, aimed at housing inmates closer to their families and communities. The administration cited safety concerns for inmates, their visitors and correctional staff, among other larger institutional challenges as the rationale for closing Riker's Island and building the new facilities. In addition, the new community-based jails will include parking, ground floor retail and on-site support services. The administration has asserted that providing quality education, healthcare and recreational activities will allow incarcerated populations to more easily and successfully return to their communities following the completion of their sentences. The sites identified by the city will now undergo public review through the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).


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Council Scheduled to Resume Activity the Week of September 3rd

According to the New York City Council's official calendar, the Council is not currently scheduled to hold any hearings next week. The Council is scheduled to resume committee activity the week of September 3rd.


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The Beltway Briefing – Special New York Politics Edition

Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies Practice Director Katie Schwab and Government Relations Principal Rose Christ participated in a podcast to share their insights into the NYC political climate. To listen to the podcast, which also features Cozen O’Connor’s Ken Fisher, please click below.



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Labor and Employment Conference Invitation

On Thursday, September 13 all Cozen O’Connor clients are invited to participate in “New York City in 2018: An Update on Labor and Employment Issues Affecting Employers.” The conference is filled with a robust schedule of leading attorneys discussing important topics and issues facing employers. Please see below for details including a full agenda and RSVP information, or click here.

An Update on Labor and Employment Issues Affecting Employers

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Breakfast/Registration: 8:00 -- 8:30 a.m. Seminar and Lunch: 8:30 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception: 5:00 -- 6:00 p.m.

Convene 780 Third Avenue Midtown East, Concourse Level 2 Hub Conference Room New York, NY 10017

Join Cozen O'Connor attorneys as we discuss hot labor and employment legal issues that in-house counsel, management, and HR professionals are facing in 2018.

Also featuring special speakers: Justin Mulaire, EEOC, New York District Office Richard Aborn, President, NYC Citizens Crime Commission

Topics include:

  • Employer Investigations and Considerations in the #MeToo Era -- Susan Eisenberg and Justin Mulaire
  • Restrictive Covenants in 2018: New Legislative Initiatives and Antitrust Enforcement --Jonathan Cavalier and David Reichenberg
  • Trump Administration Part 1: Updates from the NLRB and OSHA -- Robert Hawkins and John Ho
  • Managing Medical Issues with Employees: Medical Marijuana and Sick/Family Leave Laws --George Voegele and Sionne Rosenfeld
  • Live From New York, It's A Whole New Slate of Employment Regulations -- Michael Schmidt
  • Lunch Keynote Address: The Latest Cybersecurity Threats and Initiatives -- Richard Aborn
  • Evolving Issues in Discrimination Law: LGBTQ, Equal Pay and More --Julie Trester and Jennifer Queliz
  • Trump Administration Part 2: Latest Wage and Hour Trends -- David Barron and Jennifer Williams
  • In-House Counsel/Human Resources Roundtable: What is Keeping Us Up At Night 
  • Dusting Off Your Docs: Considerations for Your Handbooks, Separation and Confidentiality Agreements, and More -- Debbie Friedman
  • Trump Administration Part 3: Trending Immigration and Benefits Issues -- Jay Dorsch and Scott Bettridge


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Rose Christ

Co-Chair, New York Practice, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

(212) 883-2248

Katie Schwab

Co-Chair, New York Practice, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

(212) 883-4913

Related Practices

Please contact Katie Schwab or Rose Christ of Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies with any questions you may have regarding this note or if you’re interested in ways to engage on these issues.