Video Archive

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Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York

Bharara   January 23, 2015
Video here.

Thomas Prendergast, Chairman, Metropolitan Transportation  Authority

prendergast (2)November 21, 2014
Video here.



Robert Linn, Commissioner, Office of Labor Relations

October 31, 2014Linn Pic
Video here.



Carl Weisbrod, Chairman, New York City Planning Commission

September 5, 2014
Video here.

Mark Peters, Department of Investigation

May 9, 2014
“Corruption Fighting in New York City: The Next Step”
Video here.

Zachary Carter, Corporation Counsel for City of New York

April 11, 2014
“The Law Department: Future Plans”
Video here.

New York City’s Five Borough Presidents, Eric Adams, Gale Brewer, Leroy Comrie, Reuben Diaz, Jr., James Oddo

“Honoring New York City’s Five Borough Presidents: Discussion Borough Priorities”
Video here.

Patrick J. Foye, Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Foye1November 21, 2013
“Infrastructure and Public/Private Partnerships: ‘Bridging’ the Gap”
Video here.



Judith S. Kaye, Former Chief Judge of New York

Judith Kaye PicOctober 18, 2013
“Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court”
Video here.



David N. Dinkins, Former Mayor of New York City

dinkinsSeptember 27, 2013

Video here.




Christine C. Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council

QuinnFebruary 25, 2013
Video here.

Q&A with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn



Seth W. Pinsky, President, NYC Economic Development Corporation

PinskyBreakfastJanuary 25, 2013
Video here.

“Growing New York City’s Economy”



Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H., New York City Health Commissioner

FarleyBreakfastNovember 9, 2012
Video here.

“Using Policy to Promote Health in the Bloomberg Administration”



Cyrus R. Vance Jr., District Attorney of New York County

Vance cyrusOctober 5, 2012
Video here.

“A Conversation with the Manhattan DA”



Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the NY Court of Appeals

jonathan lippmanSeptember 21, 2012
Video here.

“Privilege and Duty: The New Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirement in New York”



 Ronald E. Richter, Commissioner of the NYC Administration for Children’s Services

Richter_RonaldApril 20, 2012
Video here.

“Transforming Juvenile Justice for New York City’s Youth”



Richard J. Davis (Former Chair of the Commission to Combat Police Corruption) and Hon. Harold Baer Jr. (U.S. District Judge and Member of the Mollen Commission)

Davis_RichardMarch 20, 2012
Video here.

“The Mollen Commission to Investigate Allegations of Police Corruption, and Its Aftermath”



Michael F. Armstrong, Former Chief Counsel of the Knapp Commission

Armstrong_MichaelFebruary 10, 2012
Video here.

“Police Integrity: Revisiting the 1972 Knapp Report”



John C. Liu, New York City Comptroller

Liu_JohnNovember 18, 2011
Video here.

“The Role of the Comptroller in City Government”

NYC Comptroller John C. Liu spoke at the CityLaw Breakfast on November 18, 2011, where he proclaimed progress in the Comptroller’s oversight of the public’s money in the two years he had been in office. In order to increase transparency of the City’s accounting, he has added “Checkbook NYC” to the comptroller’s
website, which allows people to monitor the City’s expenditures. He said he had elevated the role of auditing in the Comptroller’s office, leading to the discovery of “hundreds of millions” of dollars in wasted money found at City agencies. Noting that the City managed over $100 billion in pension assets, Liu stated that the investing system was long overdue for reform, and needed to diversify its investment portfolio.Addressing recent questions of the propriety of certain contributions to his campaign, Liu said that the allegations were “quite embarrassing,” and that citizens deserved a “full accounting” of his campaign finances.


 Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President, MTA Capital Construction

Horodniceanu_MichaelOctober 14, 2011
Video here.

“Status of the MTA’s Mega Projects”

On October 14, 2011, Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction, spoke at New York Law School. He discussed the status of the MTA’s mega projects, including the Fulton Street Transit Center, Second Avenue Subway, LIRR East-Side Access into a new terminal at Grand Central, the No. 7 Subway Extension, and the new South Ferry Terminal Station. The MTA created Capital Construction in 2003 to oversee the mega projects, which constitute the largest transit expansion program in the nation. Horodniceanu described the unique challenges involved in each project, which range from blasting under Grand Central Terminal to preventing tunnel boring machines from freezing in winter weather.


Dennis Walcott, Chancellor, New York City Schools

Walcott_DennisSeptember 23, 2011
Video here.

“Educators, Families, Communities: Working Together to Prepare All NYC Students for College and Careers”

On September 23, 2011, Chancellor of New York City Public Schools Dennis Walcott discussed his goal of shifting the discussions surrounding the Department of Education back to the students by “lower[ing] the noise and temperature that distract from our focus.” Walcott also addressed his desire to bring reform to the City’s middle schools. He announced his intention to open 50 more middle schools by 2014, while phasing out failing schools. Walcott also proclaimed his desire to increase the involvement of parents and families in all schools, and described innovative programs instituted by some administrators. Walcott noted that, if the Department of Education were an independent city, with its students, staff, and property, it would be the ninth largest in the country.


Lillian Roberts, Executive Director, District Council 37

Roberts_LillianApril 15, 2011
Video here.

“Public Employee Unions”

On April 15, 2011, District Council 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts spoke passionately on behalf of public unions, declaring that “public service workers all over this country are under attack.” She decried practices in states such as Wisconsin and Indiana, where she said governors had given tax breaks to the business community, then proceeded to ask public employees for givebacks. Roberts also criticized the Bloomberg Administration’s use of private contractors, which she claimed infringed on civil service jobs and cost more than public employees’ salaries. She argued that civil service testing was the only fair way to allocate jobs, and that “when people in the City aren’t working, we all share the burden.” Roberts also addressed the City’s fiscal difficulties, stating that “we are in a crisis mode we shouldn’t be in,” due in part to uncollected taxes owed by certain businesses.


E.J. McMahon Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

EJMcMahonMarch 11, 2011
Video here.

“The Public Pension Crisis in New York City and New York State”

On March 11, 2011, E.J. McMahon, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, gave a lecture on the public pension crisis in New York. After an overview of the various State and City pension funds, McMahon discussed the “fundamental and structural” reform he believes is necessary to avert fiscal catastrophe. He commented that in New York State, the average public sector pension is twice as large as the average private sector pension. Moreover, only one-fifth of private employers offer the public sector’s defined-benefit pension plan, which guarantees minimum pension benefits. McMahon noted that State and City public employee contributions to pension funds have remained steady since the 1980s, while employer contributions have risen drastically in the past ten years and are expected to rise even more in coming years. Investment losses in the past decade have led to increased contributions by the State and City, with City pension contributions expected to reach $8.4 billion in 2012. Highlighting that New York’s public pension funds are not fully funded, McMahon said that he and a colleague had calculated the State’s unfunded pension liability at $120.5 billion. McMahon concluded that the goals of pension reform are: affordability and predictability for taxpayers, elimination of open-ended long-term liabilities,retirement security and flexibility for employees, and minimal opportunities for pension distortion and gaming. McMahon proposed various models as alternatives to raising employee contributions and/or the minimum retirement age. These included fixing employer contribution rates, sharing risk between employers and employees, and offering a hybrid defined-benefit/defined-contribution plan.


Michael B. Mukasey, Former U.S. Attorney General

Mukasey_MichaelFebruary 4, 2011
Video here.

“The War on Terror: Where We Are and How We Got There”

On February 4, 2011, former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey discussed the history of Islamist terrorism in the U.S. and recent developments in the war on terror. Mukasey defended controversial Bush administration policies and tactics, such as the detainment of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and the use of water boarding as an interrogation technique. Mukasey credited the former CIA Interrogation Program with yielding a “huge trove of information” and preventing successful terrorist attacks on the U.S. for a period of seven years. Regarding the Obama administration’s approach, Mukasey derided its intentions to close Guantanamo Bay and limit interrogation techniques to those in the publicly available Army field manual. Mukasey also remarked that the policy of trying Guantanamo detainees in civilian courts disregards the Military Commissions Act and essentially gives unlawful combatants “a better deal” than lawful military combatants. In closing, Mukasey explored alternative approaches to the war on terror. On the judicial front, he made clear that he was against proposals to indefinitely detain prisoners of war. Instead, Mukasey noted that Congress has the power to create a special court for terrorist cases, in which the military could provide juries and prosecutors. On the executive front, Mukasey commented on the need to focus on the nature of our adversary, which is motivated by a religiously-derived, “militant ideology.” Mukasey urged that we can only prevail over this adversary by staying “a jump ahead” through intelligence gathering, including invaluable human intelligence gathering that is uninhibited by a limited interrogation program.


Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor, The City University of New York

Goldstein_10.22.10October 22, 2010
Video here.

“The 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission Recommendations”

Matthew Goldstein, CUNY Chancellor and Chair of the 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission, discussed the commission’s recommendations at the Center’s October 22, 2010 breakfast. Goldstein spoke about the use of technology as “a defining principle” of the 2010 commission, which webcast hearings and meetings, and made use of social networking resources like Twitter and Facebook. Goldstein discussed the operating principles he established for the commission, and the importance of “not biting off more than we could chew.” Goldstein said the commission decided to bundle its recommendations into two initiatives because of this year’s ballot design, over which it had no control. Goldstein claimed that time constraints prevented the commission from formulating recommendations on non-partisan elections, land use, and government structure; he noted, however, that the commission was able to “create a bundle of material for the next commission.”


Judith S. Kaye Of Counsel Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Formerly Chief Judge of the State of New York

Judith Kaye PicAugust 27, 2010
Video here.

“Juvenile Justice: Now Is the Moment”

On August 27, 2010, Judith S. Kaye, attorney and former Chief Judge for the State of New York, addressed the topic of juvenile justice. Kaye remarked that the United States, once a leader in juvenile justice, is almost third-world in its punitive approach to juvenile crime. She cited data that incarceration is more likely to lead to recidivism than rehabilitation, and that the U.S. has failed to constructively use science about adolescent behavior and brain development. Commenting on the current high interest in juvenile justice, she urged audience members to “seize the moment” and consider more ways to end “the deadly cradle-to-prison, school-to-prison, placement-to-prison pipelines.” She expressed particular enthusiasm for school-justice partnerships such as school-based youth courts “where offenders are heard and sentenced by their peers.”


Norman Siegel, Civil Rights Attorney Ross Moskowitz ’84 Partner Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP

siegelmoskowitz breakfast42710April 27, 2010
Video here.

“The Use (or Misuse) of Eminent Domain in NYC”

At the City Law breakfast on April 27, 2010, civil rights attorney Norman Siegel stated the use of eminent domain in New York State was frequently “a misuse,” and discussed his recommendations to make the law more equitable. Siegel said the current law favored developers, and took issue with the state’s ambiguous definition of “blight,” which he said invited selective enforcement. He also suggested changing the process for challenging eminent domain actions, and recommended barring consultants from serving both private developers and government simultaneously. Siegel discussed his role in the challenge to an eminent domain plan for the expansion of Columbia University. Partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, Ross Moskowitz countered that while eminent domain was “a power that people love to hate,” it was an important tool to “take care of community-based problems.” Moskowitz added that the vast majority of properties in state-sponsored redevelopments were acquired through “negotiated purchases.”


Edward Skyler, Deputy Mayor Operations

skyler_edwardApril 16, 2010
Video here.

“Can Government Work?”

On April 16, 2009, departing Deputy Mayor of Operations Ed Skyler discussed the accomplishments of the Bloomberg Administration, and some of the challenges it faces as it enters its third term. Skyler noted the administration’s successes in the “nuts and bolts” aspects of governance, such as snow clearing, as well as achievements like ending the institution of “rubber rooms” for teachers. Skyler passionately addressed the issue of gun control, expressing disbelief that the federal government had not yet closed the “gun show loophole,” which allows people to purchase guns without a background check. Skyler also discussed the effect of the financial downturn on the City’s budget, and the need for health care and pension reform.


Michael E. McMahon ’85, Congressman U.S. Representative for the 13th Congressional District of New York

McMahonFebruary 5, 2010
Video here.

“Healthcare, Afghanistan, and Veterans”

On February 5, 2010 Congressman Michael E. McMahon, who represents Staten Island and South Brooklyn, discussed his efforts to improve mental health screening and care for veterans, saying that, for returning soldiers, “the struggle doesn’t end when the camouflage comes off.” McMahon also addressed the health care debate, and his decision to vote against the plan. He voted against the health care bill because it would reduce federal payments to New York City hospitals. McMahon also argued that New Yorkers needed to raise their voices against the “populist anger” directed towards the financial services industry, noting the sizeable amount of jobs and taxes the industry generated.


Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor Health and Human Services

linda gibbsNovember 20, 2009
Video here.

“Social Services: The Next Four Years”

Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, spoke at the November 20, 2010 City Law Breakfast. Gibbs stated that recent accomplishments, including banning trans-fats, have contributed to increased life expectancy for New Yorkers. Gibbs addressed the issues facing the Administration in a time of budget cuts, and the “difficult political strategy” of cutting underperforming programs instead of making across-the-board cuts. Gibbs also discussed the need for procurement reform, and the cost-savings realized when non-profits issue group RFP’s when purchasing supplies.


Robert D. LiMandri, Commissioner, NYC Department of Buildings

Robert LiMandriOctober 16, 2009
Video here.

“New Initiatives at Buildings”

On October 16, 2009, Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri addressed Buildings’ efforts in raising standards, both for the Department and for the construction industry. LiMandri discussed the Department’s latest attempt to combat corruption, which includes the use of GPS technology to track inspectors during their shifts, and highlighted the creation of a new concrete unit to ensure the structural integrity of buildings. LiMandri also stated that the $29 million invested in infrastructure and technology projects during the Bloomberg administration has “opened the Department’s doors virtually to anyone who uses a computer.”


Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, NYC Department of Transportation

Janette-Sadik-KhanSeptember 18, 2009
Video here.

“Transportation Initiatives”

On September 18, 2009, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan spoke about DOT’s sustainable transportation programs, and the possibility and necessity of reducing environmental impact while increasing the quality of life. Sadik-Khan discussed the progress on a rapid bus system, curb side parking pricing, the promotion of bicycling, the use of streets as public spaces, and DOT’s role in the creation of a visually appealing City. She noted that “streets don’t need to be the same way at all times,” and pointed with pride to DOT’s accomplishment in creating 200 miles of bike lanes in the course of the past three years.


Joel Klein, Chancellor, NYC Department of Education

joel kleinApril 3, 2009
Video here.

“Education Reform: NYC and the Nation”

On April 3, 2009, Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein rhetorically asked whether any parent in the room would be willing to have their child randomly assigned to a New York school. He went on to talk about the inequities in different schools within the City’s system. He stated that entirely different outcomes had been demonstrated for similar students in different schools, and that the only way to eliminate poverty in America was to fix education in America, not vice-versa. Klein argued that the solution was entirely doable, but dependent on political will. Klein also stressed the importance of turning a “cultures of excuses” into one of accountability. On the issue of mayoral control, Klein argued that it would be “a singular and extraordinary mistake to go back to the days of divided authority.”


Mark Page, Director, NYC Office of Management and Budget

mark pageFebruary 6, 2009
Video here.

“Budget Challenges: FY2010”

On February 6, 2009, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mark Page discussed the challenges the City faces in Fiscal Year 2010. Page explained that debt services and pensions, which accounted for 30% of City funds, and rise at a steady rate, “limits maneuverability.” Page stated that in an inevitable cycle of economic contraction, “you will pay more for less,” and expressed the difficulties of managing and changing people’s expectations.


Joseph Parkes, S.J.,  Chairman NYC Campaign Finance Board
Amy M. Loprest, Executive Director NYC Campaign Finance Board

Parkes & LoprestNovember 7, 2008
Video here.

“Campaign Finance in New York City: Looking Ahead to November 2009”

On November 7, 2008, Joseph P. Parkes, S.J., and Amy M. Loprest, Chair and Executive director of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, respectively, discussed the continuing relevance of the Campaign Finance Board, and its necessity in “fostering democracy at the local level.” They spoke of recent reforms to the campaign finance rules which increase the participation of small donors in elections, and put greater “pay to play” restrictions donors who do business with the City.


Eric Lane Senior Fellow Brennan Center for Justice Distinguished Professor Public Law and Public Service at Hofstra Law School

ERIC LANEOctober 17, 2008
Video here.

“Exorcize the Term Limit Demon”On October 17, 2008, Eric Lane, Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Public Service at Hofstra University, and Senior Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, spoke of the need to remove mandatory term limits, which he called a “democratic fantasy,” that “weighs against consensus and compromise” in legislative bodies.


Christopher O. Ward, Executive Director, Port Authority of NY and NJ

christopher wardSeptember 12, 2008
Video here.

“Challenges at the Port Authority”



Martin F. Horn, Commissioner, NYC Department of Correction

martin hornMarch 28, 2008
Video here.

“Incarceration in a Democracy”

On March 28, 2008, Department of Correction Commissioner Martin F. Horn addressed the topic of incarceration in a democracy. Horn lamented the portrayal of prison systems in popular culture, called for the City to abandon its reliance on Riker’s Island, which he called “stigmatizing, demonizing and isolating,” and called the percentage of imprisoned people with histories of mental illness “a national shame.”


Robert B. Tierney, Chair, Landmarks Preservation Committee

robert tierneyFebruary 15, 2008
Video here.

“Perspectives on Preservation”



Christine C. Quinn, Speaker, NYC Council

QuinnJanuary 18, 2008
Video here.

“Responsible Governing: Making City Government More Accountable to the People It Serves”

On January 18, 2008, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn discussed bringing accessibility and transparency to the Council. Quinn stated that the City’s campaign finance law was the country’s “golden standard,” highlighted the importance of lobbying reform law, and described passing the budget as Council’s “second most important job, after constituent services.”

Elliot G. Sander, Executive Director and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

November 9, 2007
Video here.

“A Vision for the MTA”



Anthony E. Shorris, Executive Director, Port Authority of NY and NJ

anthony ShorrisNovember 19, 2007
Video here.

“Across the Hudson: The Port Authority and the Region’s Future.”



Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair, NYC Board of Standards and Appeals

Meenakshi SrinivasanSeptember 21, 2007
Video here.

“New Challenges at the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals”



Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner, NYC Department of Investigation

Rose Gill HearnApril 13, 2007
Video here.

“City Watchdog: DOI’s Effort to Combat Municipal Corruption, Fraud and Waste”



Patricia J. Lancaster, Commissioner, NYC Department of Buildings

patricia-j-lancasterMarch 16,2007
Video here.

“A New City: Rising Real Estate Prices and Regulatory Reform”



William C. Thompson Jr., NYC Comptroller

William C. Thompson JrJanuary 19, 2007
Video here.

“Smart Growth and Affordability: Meeting the Needs of New York City’s Future”



Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor, Health and Human Services

linda gibbsNovember 17, 2006
Video here.

“Health and Human Services Agencies in the Bloomberg Administration’s Second Term”



Shaun Donovan, Commissioner, Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Shaun DonovanOctober 20, 2006
Video here.

“Meeting the Challenges of Affordability: Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan”



Adolfo Carrión Jr., Bronx Borough President

Adolfo Carrion jr.September 26, 2006
Video here.

“The Importance of Economic Development in Growing a Stronger City”



Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, NYC Law Department

Michael A. CardozoMarch 24, 2006
Video here.

“New York City in the Courts: Thoughts of the Corporation Counselon the Judicial Selection Crisis and other Pressing Issues”



Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President

Scott StringerFebruary 24, 2006
Video here.

“His Vision for the Borough”



Congressman Jerrold Nadler, U.S. House of Representatives

Jerrold NadlerFebruary 20, 2006
Video here.

“SAFETEA-LU & the view from Washington: insuring safety, security, mobility and redundancy in the 21st Century”.



Honorable Sheldon Silver, Speaker, NY State Assembly

Sheldon SilverNovember 22, 2005
Video here.

“Issues in the Upcoming Legislative Session”



Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

Adrian BenepeOctober 21, 2005
Video here.

“Rebuilding the Parks of Lower Manhattan”




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