This Week in New York – Amazon's New Headquarters Planned for Long Island City, Calls to Eliminate Office of the New York City Public Advocate & Next Week's City Council Hearings  

The New York Note

November 16, 2018

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Amazon's New Headquarters Planned for Long Island City

On Tuesday, Amazon announced it will be dividing its second headquarters between Long Island City in Queens and Crystal City, located just outside of Washington, DC. Elected officials including United States Senator Charles Schumer and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz applauded the decision in a statement with other elected officials, saying the tech giant will bring many jobs and stimulate economic activity in the area. New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson argued in a separate statement that Amazon failed to engage with the community and left the city council entirely out of the negotiation process. He also criticized the tax incentives and other public investments that Amazon will receive in the deal, resulting in approximately $2 billion dollars, could be used for more immediate and critical needs such as affordable housing and infrastructure repairs.


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Calls to Eliminate Office of the New York City Public Advocate

On Wednesday, Brooklyn City Council Member Kalman Yeger introduced legislation to abolish the office of the New York City Public Advocate. Introduction 1240 would remove all references to the office in the city’s charter and would appoint the city’s comptroller as the successor in the event that mayor’s office becomes vacant. The bill is co-sponsored by Council Members Ritchie Torres, Robert Holden, Mark Gjonaj and Ruben Diaz, Sr. The bill comes at a time when the race to replace Tish James (the current public advocate recently elected as New York State’s next attorney general) is in full swing. Earlier this week, a crowded field of candidates vying for the position spoke at a forum to distinguish themselves from their opponents. NYS Assembly Member Michael Blake reiterated his consistent support for social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion rights which seemed to take aim at the perceived frontrunner in the race, Council Member Jumaane Williams who has been publicly criticized on his inconsistent positions relating to those issues. Although she has not formally announced her candidacy, former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito spoke at the forum, touting her tenure in the council by highlighting her leadership on the effort to close Riker’s Island and passing sick day leave legislation. Brooklyn City Council Member Rafael Espinal also spoke at the forum in his first public appearance since announcing his candidacy. Other notable candidates include Manhattan Council Member Ydanis Rodriquez and NYS Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell. Mayor Bill de Blasio is required to set the formal date for the special election at least three days after the New Year and must occur within 45 days.


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Next Week's City Council Hearings

Next week, the New York City Council will hold several hearings before breaking for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Committee on Human Rights will meet to discuss a bill prohibiting employment discrimination based on an individual’s reproductive health choices. The Committee on Governmental Operations will hold an oversight hearing on the 2018 Elections and the Committee on Women will meet to discuss the NYC Commission on Gender Equality. For a full list of next week’s Council hearings, please click here.



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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.