April 4, 2017: TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

RIKERS: THE END GAME

Violence against inmates at Riker’s Island notorious jail have increased despite recent reforms.  Mayor de Blasio has now promised to shut down the facility in 10 years, but is that too long a time?  Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson is here with reaction.

 

#STANDWITHTHIRTEEN

Hundreds of people rallied at City Hall to fight the proposed Federal budget cuts to the arts, libraries, and PBS. The rally organizer Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer tells us what’s next.

 

IN MOMMA’S FOOTSTEPS: LORNA LUFT

Lorna Luft shares memories of her mom Judy Garland, her battle against breast cancer, and previews her upcoming show this week at Feinstein’s/54 Below.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS.'

NEW YORK STATE PASSES AN EMERGENCY BUDGET WHILE SOME VERY STICKY ISSUES REMAIN.

WE HAVE THE LATEST.

THE NYPD STANDS VIGILANT AND UPPING THEIR GUARD IN THE WAKE OF THE LATEST TERROR ATTACK IN RUSSIA WHILE BUCKING PRESIDENT TRUMP AND IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT.

PLUS, VIOLENCE AGAINST INMATES AT RIKERS INCREASES DESPITE CALLS FOR ITS CLOSURE.

CITY COUNCIL WOMAN VANESSA GIBSON WANTS THE FACILITY SHUT NOW.

SHE'S HERE WITH HER TAKE ON SHUT ERRING THE MEGAJAIL.

AFTER THE ARTS RALLY, COUNCIL MAN JIMMY VAN BRAMER IS BACK STANDING WITH 13 AND HIS PLANS ON WHAT COMES NEXT AFTER YESTERDAY'S GATHERING AT CITY HALL, THE FIGHT AGAINST BUDGET CUTS AGAINST THE ARTS AND PUBLIC TELEVISION LIKE THIS VERY SHOW.

AND ON THE LIGHTER NOTE, THE AMAZINGLY TALENTED DAUGHTER OF JUDY GARLAND WILL BE HERE WITH MEMORIES OF LIFE WITH MAMA LIZA AND A PREVIEW OF HER UPCOMING SHOW.

ALL THAT AND MORE AHEAD AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAPHAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

BEFORE WE GET TO TONIGHT'S LEAD STORY, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND OUR REGION.

A GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN, AT LEAST FOR NOW, HAS BEEN AVOIDED IN ALBANY AFTER THE STATE LEGISLATURE MOVED TO PASS A PAIR OF EMERGENCY SPENDING BILLS.

IT MEANS STATE GOVERNMENT CAN CONTINUE TO FUNCTION AS THE SENATE AND THE ASSEMBLY CONTINUE THEIR NEGOTIATIONS OVER A FALL BUDGET.

HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, SECURITY HAS BEEN INCREASED AT SUBWAY STATIONS WITH ADDITIONAL POLICE AND OFFICERS AND CANINE TEAMS DEPLOYED.

IT'S ALL IN RESPONSE TO THE METRO ATTACK IN ST. PETERSBURG WHICH LEFT MORE THAN A DOZEN DEAD IN THE RUSSIAN CITY ON MONDAY.

THE NYPD IS ALSO CONFIRMING THAT SINCE THE START OF THE YEAR THEY HAVE NOT HEEDED MORE THAN 100 REQUESTS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DETAIN PEOPLE.

THAT IS DESPITE PRESSURE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE WITH THE PRESIDENT VOWING TO WITHHOLD FUNDING FOR SANCTUARY CITIES THAT DON'T COOPERATE WITH HIS DEMANDS.

AND A DISTURBING REPORT FROM RIKERS ISLAND.

NEW FIGURES FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS SUGGEST VIOLENCE AGAINST INMATES IN THE JAIL IS ON THE RISE.

DESPITE REFORMS THAT INCLUDED THE INTRODUCTION OF VIDEO CAMERAS AND NEW GUARD TRAINING.

LAST WEEK THE MAYOR CONFIRMED THAT HE IS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNOR AND THAT IT IS HIS PLAN NOW TO CLOSE THE INFAMOUS JAIL.

I WANT TO MAKE CLEAR THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN 85 YEARS SINCE RIKERS ISLAND OPENED IN 1932 THAT THE OFFICIAL POLICY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK WILL BE TO END OUR EFFORTS ON RIKERS ISLAND AND CLOSE THE JAILS THERE.

THIS HISTORIC PROMISE FORECLOSURE COMES AS MAYOR De BLASIO FACES REELECTION.

ONCE HAVING CALLED IT A NOBLE CONCEPT AND UNREALISTIC, De BLASIO'S HOPE NOW IS TO SHUTTER RIKERS OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS.

THOUGH DETAILS ARE SCARCE, LIKELY THE CITY WILL LOOK AT REDUCING CRIME AND IN TURN THE NUMBER OF INMATES IN JAIL BY PUTTING MANY PRISONERS BACK ON THE STREET UNDER SUPERVISED RELEASE.

AND THE CITY MIGHT ALSO CONSIDER DECRIMINALIZING PROSTITUTION AND LOW-LEVEL OFFENSES SUCH AS POSSESSION OF POT IN PUBLIC VIEW AND FAIR BEATING.

AS OF RIGHT NOW, FEW DETAILS ABOUT THE MAYOR'S PLAN ARE KNOWN, BUT WITH RIKERS CLOSED, WHERE EXACTLY WILL THESE INMATES GO?

DOES IT MEAN MORE JAILS?

HOW CONCERNED SHOULD NEW YORKERS BE ABOUT A RISE IN CRIME?

AND ULTIMATELY, HOW WILL THE CITY TACKLE THIS MASSIVE UNDERTAKING?

JOINING ME NOW WITH HER ANSWERS TO THE RIKERS PROBLEM IS NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL WOMAN VANESSA GIBSON, A DEMOCRAT WHO REPRESENTS THE SOUTH BRONCOS.

COUNCIL WOMAN, WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST REACTION TO HEARING THE MAYOR'S PLAN TO CLOSE RIKERS?

SO, LAST YEAR MY SPEAKER ANNOUNCED IN HER STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS A RIKERS ISLAND COMMISSION LED BY FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE AND MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERS FROM THE ADVOCACY WORLD, JAIL REFORM, CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, ATTORNEYS, CIVIL SERVICE PROVIDERS AND I'M REALLY AMAZED THAT IN LESS THAN A YEAR THEY HAVE COME FORTH WITH ITS RECOMMENDATIONS.

WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT RIKERS ISLAND FOR A VERY LONG TIME SO LET'S UNDERSTAND THERE IS A LOT OF INTERNAL CONVERSATIONS THAT ARE HAPPENING.

AND THIS PAST WEEKEND'S ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE MAYOR AND THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER ABOUT A TEN-YEAR PLAN TEN YEARS TO CLOSE RIKERS ISLAND I AM APPLAUDING THE EFFORT.

THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF WORK DONE JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT WE LOOK AT CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM FROM A NEW DIRECTION, FROM A HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE.

WE LOOK AT BOROUGH BASED FACILITIES.

WE LOOKED AT REDUCING IT FROM 9500 TO 5,000.

THIS IS A MASSIVE UNDERTAKING.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND IT WILL TAKE QUITE A BIT OF TIME.

THERE ARE A LOT OF MOVING PARTS.

THERE'S A NUMBER OF SERVICES THAT ARE PROVIDED FOR DETAIN EASE ON THE ISLAND.

THE STAFF, THE CIVILIAN STAFF, MEDICAL STAFF, CORRECTIONS OFFICERS.

BUT WE BELIEVE AS A CITY IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

RIKERS ISLAND IS INHUMANE.

THERE ARE SO MANY CONDITIONS OF MEN AND WOMEN AND WHAT THEY DEAL WITH BEING ON RIKERS ISLAND.

OBVIOUSLY THE TRAGIC STORY OF KA LEAF BROADER, ONE OF THE RESIDENTS IN MY COUNTY OF THE BRONX.

I'M GRATEFUL THAT IT'S HAPPENING NOW.

WE HAVE TO BE A PART OF THE CONVERSATIONS AS A CITY COUNCIL WORKING WITH THE ADMINISTRATION AS WELL AS D.O.C., BUT WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.

SO, WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH THE CLOSURE OF RIKERS ISLAND, WE DO HAVE TO HAVE JAIL FACILITIES.

AND THE IDEA AROUND DETAINEES BEING CLOSER TO THEIR COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY COME FROM, WHERE THEY'RE BORN AND RAISED, HAVING A FAMILY TIES, THAT IDEA WILL BRING ABOUT BOROUGH-BASED FACILITIES.

EACH OF THE BOROUGHS WILL HAVE THEIR OWN FACILITY TO HOUSE THEIR OWN RESIDENTS.

RIGHT NOW IF YOU LOOK AT RIKERS ISLAND, A GREAT POPULATION COMES FROM MANHATTAN, BRONX AND BROOKLYN.

AND CERTAINLY EACH OF THE BOROUGHS IS NOW GOING TO LOOK AT CAPACITY.

SOME ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE BRONX BECAUSE WE ARE IN OVER CAPACITY IN OUR COURT SYSTEM SO I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE CRIMINAL COURT ITSELF, NEEDING MORE JUDGES AND MORE SUPPORT STAFF TO ADJUDICATE THESE CASES.

I AM BIG ON PREVENTION AND LESS DETENTION AND LOOKING AT ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION.

FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE CHARGED WITH LOW-LEVEL NONVIOLENT OFFENSES.

MORE COMMUNITY JAILS.

THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF PUSH BACK.

ABSOLUTELY.

I'M GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE WHO PUSH BACK.

WOULD YOU BE COMFORTABLE HAVING ONE OF THOSE JAILS

I THINK IT'S OBVIOUSLY VERY PREMATURE TO EVEN TALK ABOUT JAIL SITINGS TO ME RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I THINK THERE IS SO MUCH THAT WE HAVE TO LOOK AT.

WE CANNOT JUST, YOU KNOW, SYSTEMICALLY REDUCE THE POPULATION RIGHT NOW FROM 9500 TO 5,000.

WE HAVE TO SAY WHERE ARE THESE DETAINEES GOING TO GO.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT THEY'RE BEING CHARGED WITH.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE CASE PROCESSING TIME FROM ARREST TO ARRAIGNMENT.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE COURT SYSTEM ITSELF AND WORK WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS.

SO, FOR ME I RECOGNIZE THAT BECAUSE IN MY BOROUGH OF THE BRONX, I REPRESENT FROM FAMILY, CRIMINAL TO HOUSING ALL IN THE 161st STREET CORRIDOR.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT POTENTIAL SITINGS THAT IS SOMETHING I WILL BE PART OF HAVING THE CONVERSATION ON.

I WILL ALSO REMEMBER THAT THE BARGE, WHICH IS IN HUNTS POINT IS A FULL FLEDGED JAIL AS WELL.

THERE ARE 500 INMATES ON THAT FACILITY AS WELL.

THERE ARE CONVERSATIONS WE HAVE TO HAVE.

I THINK AS A CITY, I ALWAYS SAY WITH EVERY CITY WIDE ISSUE WE HAVE TO LOOK AT CITY WIDE PROBLEMS FROM A CITY WIDE PERSPECTIVE.

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE SAYING ALL OF THIS IS IN THE PRELIMINARY STAGES.

YES, YES.

I WANT TO PIVOT FOR A SECOND BECAUSE YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH STATE POLITICS.

YES, I AM.

THE ISSUE OF RAISE THE AGE, IT WAS VERY CONTENTIOUS, IT HELD UP THE BUDGET PROCESS FOR A WHILE.

WHERE ARE YOU ON THE RAISE THE AGE FROM A STATE PERSPECTIVE?

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AN ADVOCATE FOR RAISE THE AGE.

I WORKED WITH MY FORMER COLLEAGUES AS A FORMER MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY.

THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

NEW YORK AND NORTH CAROLINA WERE THE ONLY REMAINING STATES IN THIS COUNTRY THAT REFUSE TO PASS RAISE THE AGE LEGISLATION.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT 16 AND 17-YEAR-OLD YOUNG ADULTS WHO ARE BEING CHARGED AS ADULTS IN A CRIMINAL COURT PROCEEDING FOR LOW-LEVEL AND NON-VIOLENT OFFENSES.

THAT IS SIMPLY WRONG.

IT'S NOT THE WAY TO GO.

IT JUST FILTERS A CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN OF COLOR, FROM LOW INCOME IMMIGRANT BACKGROUNDS AND THAT'S NOT WHAT WE ARE AND NOT WHO WE ARE AS A SOCIETY.

SO, IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

IT'S THE HUMANE THING TO DO TO ADJUDICATE THESE CASES IN FAMILY COURT.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT INDIVIDUALS BEING CHARGED WITH NONVIOLENT OFFENSES.

THEY ARE NOT CRIMINALS, THEY ARE NOT REPEAT OFFENDERS.

THEY'RE 16 AND 17-YEAR-OLDS THAT MAKE A MISTAKE AND WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES.

SO, I'VE BEEN A HUGE FAN OF THIS AND I APPLAUD ASSEMBLY SPEAKER CARL HASTY AND ALL OF THE ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATS FOR STANDING FIRM ON THIS.

WHEN WE SAY RAISE THE AGE, RIGHT, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL CLASSIFICATIONS OF CRIME ARE INCLUDED IN RAISE THE AGE BECAUSE THE CONTENTIOUS ISSUE WITH SENATE REPUBLICANS ARE SOME OF THE MORE VIOLENT OFFENSES THAT THEY WANT EXCLUDED FROM RAISE THE AGE.

RIGHT.

SO, THERE ARE A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS, I DO UNDERSTAND THERE IS THERE IS A POTENTIAL AGREEMENT.

I'M HOPING AT THE END OF THIS BUDGET PROCESS AND THE REASON I RAISE THE AGE LEGISLATION AS PART OF BUDGET IS BECAUSE WE HAVE TO SUPPORT FAMILY COURTS.

WE KNOW FAMILY COURTS ARE OVERCAPACITY AND SO WHATEVER WE DO WITH RAISE THE AGE WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE CAPACITY OF THOSE BOROUGH AND THOSE LOCAL COURTS IN THOSE PARTICULAR MUNICIPALITIES TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DEAL WITH 16 AND 17-YEAR-OLDS COMING TO FAMILY COURT AS OPPOSED TO CRIMINAL.

BUT IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

IT'S THE HUMANE THING TO DO.

WE WANT TO SAY TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, YOU'RE NOT A CRIMINAL BECAUSE YOU'RE A PERSON OF COLOR.

YOU HAVE POTENTIAL.

YOU HAVE THE TUNLT, AND WE WANT TO GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY AND NOT LEAD THEM INTO A LIFE OF CRIME.

ALL RIGHT.

WE WILL DEFINITELY LOOK FORWARD TO WHAT THE DETAILS ARE IN THE BUDGET.

COUNCIL WOMAN GIBSON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO JOIN US.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

MORE TO COME.

PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PROPOSED BUDGET IS AN UNPRECEDENTED AND VICIOUS ASSAULT ON THE ARTS, THE HUMANITIES, LIBRARIES.

IT IS A BROAD ATTACK ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN AMERICAN IN THIS COUNTRY.

AND LET ME REMIND YOU THAT HE HAS COME FOR ARTISTS AND THE CULTURAL COMMUNITY TODAY.

BUT FIRST THE PRESIDENT CAME AFTER MEXICANS.

THEN MUSLIMS.

AND THEN IMMIGRANTS.

INCLUDING THE UNDOCUMENTED.

THEN IT WAS THE TRANSYOUTH OF OUR COUNTRY.

AND THEN THE HEALTH OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WITH TRUMPCARE.

AND NOW HE COMES FOR US.

BUT HE WAS DEFEATED ON TRUMPCARE, WASN'T HE?

[CHEERING AND APPLAUDING]

WE WON ON TRUMPCARE.

BECAUSE OF RALLIES JUST LIKE THIS, PEOPLE TAKING TO THE STREETS SAYING THAT WE WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS, THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE, WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS.

A PUBLIC TELEVISION, PUBLIC RADIO, A FREE PRESS, A CHALLENGING PRESS IS IMPORTANT AND FUNDAMENTAL TO OUR DEMOCRACY.

WE DEFEND THAT.

THE CULTURAL CLASS, ACTORS, SINGERS, DANCERS, PAINTERS, THINKERS.

WE DEFEND THAT.

THAT IS WHO WE ARE.

DO YOU AGREE WITH ME?

[CHEERING AND APPLAUDING]

PRESIDENT TRUMP TALKS A LOT ABOUT MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, BUT YOU CAN NEVER MAKE ANYTHING GREAT BY CRUSHING ITS SOUL.

YOU DON'T MAKE A COUNTRY GREAT BY CRUSHING ITS SOUL AND DEVASTATING ITS HEART.

THAT IS WHAT THE ARTS ARE TO US.

THAT IS WHAT CULTURE MEANS TO US.

THAT IS WHAT THE HUMANITIES MEAN TO US.

SO, WE WILL FIGHT YOU, PRESIDENT TRUMP.

WE WILL RESTORE THE NEA, THE NEH, THE IMLS, THE CORPORATION POUR PUBLIC BROADCASTING.

WE WILL RESTORE SANITY TO THIS COUNTRY.

THAT WAS COUNCIL MAN JIMMY VAN BRAM ERAS HE LED HUNDREDS OF PROTESTERS AT A RALLY MONDAY AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PROPOSAL TO GUT FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES, INCLUDING PBS.

I WAS THERE AS LAWMAKERS, CULTURAL LEADS LEADERS AND ARTISTS LIKE FORMER TALKING HEAD DAVID BERN MADE THE CASE BUDGET CUTS WILL HAVE SERIOUS ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES ON THE CITY.

AND INSISTED THAT CRITICAL FUNDING BE KEPT IN PLACE.

THERE WERE A LOT OF PASSIONATE VOICES THERE, AND SOME OF THE AR ARTISTS THAT I SPOKE TO HAD A LOT TO TELL ME.

THESE ARE NOT FRILLS.

THERE ARE HARD NUMBERS IN PLACE AS TO THE JOBS WE PROVIDE, THE UNIONS WITHIN OUR INDUSTRY.

AND TO FRAME IT AS AN ECONOMIC ARGUMENT, TO BE AGAINST THE ARTS IS TO BE AGAINST BUSINESS.

ABSOLUTELY.

ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS I EVER SAW WAS AN IRISH STEP DANCING THING.

AND I LOOKED STE SCREEN LIKE, OH, MY GOD, ALL THE PEOPLE MOVING THEIR LEGS SO FAST.

I CAN'T DO THAT.

BUT IT INSPIRED SOMETHING IN ME.

SERIOUSLY, SERIOUSLY, I DON'T KNOW WHY IRISH STEP DANCE, BUT I SAW IT ON PBS AND IT WAS A GATEWAY FOR ME.

WITH BUDGET CUTS IN WASHINGTON AHEAD OF US, THE QUESTION IS WHAT'S NEXT.

WHAT CAN SUPPORTERS OF THE ARTS AND PUBLIC BROADCASTING DO TO PROTECT OUR FUNDING WHICH ALTOGTHER AMOUNTS .02 OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET?

AND JOINING ME ONCE AGAIN IS COUNCIL MAN JIMMY VAN BRAMER.

COUNCIL MAN, WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

WHAT IS THE REACTION YOU'RE HEARING?

PEOPLE WERE TELLING ME THAT WAS AMONG THE LARGEST PROTESTS THEY'VE EVER SEEN AT CITY HALL.

AND CERTAINLY THE LARGEST PROTEST ON BEHALF OF THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES AND LIBRARIES.

SO, IT WAS WIDELY SUCCESSFUL, GOT A LOT OF KORJ, GENERATED A LOT OF INTEREST.

AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO STAY MOTIVATED BECAUSE THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG FIGHT.

AND THIS WAS JUST THE FIRST AND I HOPE MANY, MANY SALVOS AGAINST THE PRESIDENT'S CUT TO THE ARTS.

ALL RIGHT.

YOU MENTIONED LONG FIGHT, AND I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE DEFINITELY PUSHING BACK.

ONE OF THEM IS COMMENTER JOHN STOSSEL WHO RECENTLY WROTE IN AN OP-ED, QUOTE, GOVERNMENT HAS NO BUSINESS FUNDING ART.

WHEN POLITICIANS DECIDE WHICH IDEAS DESERVE A BOOST, ART IS DEBASED.

LET PEOPLE PAY FOR THE ART THEY REALLY WANT INSTEAD OF THE ART FOR WHICH GOVERNMENT DECIDES AND THEN THEY SHOULD PAY.

SO, WHAT'S YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT ARGUMENT?

THAT'S A LEVEL OF IGNORANCE THAT IS REALLY HARD TO COMPREHEND.

GOVERNMENT NOT INVESTING IN THE ARTS IS GOVERNMENT NOT INVESTING IN ITS PEOPLE.

IT'S NOT INVESTING IN ITS SOCIETY.

AND TO SAY THAT EVERYONE SHOULD JUST PAY FOR WHATEVER ART THEY CONSUME, WHAT OF ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY FOR THE ARTS THAT THEY CONSUME?

SO, I THINK THAT STOSSEL IS A FAR-RIGHT CONSERVATIVE THINKER AND I THINK THAT'S BEING GENEROUS TO CALL HIM A THINKER ON THIS.

BUT I THINK THE TRUTH IS ART, CULTURE, THE HUMANITIES, LIBRARY, THEY SUSTAIN US.

SOCIETIES ARE ACTUALLY VALUED BASED ON HOW MUCH THEY INVEST IN THOSE IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT SECTORS.

THAT'S REALLY SHORT-SIGHTED.

THE ARTS, THE HUMANITIES, THEY DRIVE ECONOMIES, THEY CREATE JOBS.

THEY SUSTAIN PEOPLE.

THEY'RE ASPIRATIONAL.

THAT'S WHAT'S IMPORTANT.

AND GOVERNMENT HAS A VERY, VERY DECIDED ROLE TO INVEST.

WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS I DID THINK WAS INTERESTING THEY RALLY WAS THERE WAS A LOT OF EMPHASIS ON NOT JUST HOW IT AFFECTS NEW YORK CITY, BUT HOW IT AFFECTS THE REST OF THE COUNTRY.

OF COURSE, THIS IS GOING TO BE HAVING BEING DECIDED IN WASHINGTON, AND THERE'S REPRESENTATIVES FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY THERE.

SO, I'M WONDERING, HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN ABLE TO REACH OUT TO THE NEW YORK DELEGATION TO TALK TO THEM, TO HELP PUSH THEM TO MAINTAIN THIS FUNDING?

ABSOLUTELY.

JUST ON SUNDAY WE HAD A MAJOR PRESS CONFERENCE.

WE HAD SENATOR WHO IS LEADING THE FIGHT IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ON BEHALF OF THE U.S. SENATE.

CONGRESSMAN NADLER ALSO JOINED US THERE.

WE HAVE ALREADY SENT A LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP.

BUT SENATOR JILL BRAND HAS ALSO SENT A SIGN-ON LETTER TO HER COLLEAGUES IN THE SENATE AND IN THE HOUSE ENCOURAGING FOLKS TO SIGN UP FOR THIS FIGHT TO DEFEND THE ARTS.

SO, WE ALREADY HAVE THAT GOING ON.

AND WE'VE ALSO MADE THE CASE THAT THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT NEW YORK CITY.

IN FACT, THE NEA FUNDS SMALL RURAL AND SUBURBAN ARTS ORGANIZATIONS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, RED STATES AND BLUE STATES.

SO, THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN ISSUE.

THIS IS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF US ALL.

THIS IS ABOUT WHAT WE AS A SOCIETY AND AS A COUNTRY BELIEVE.

AND WHETHER OR NOT JOHN STOSSEL ASIDE, WE VALUE THE ARTS, WE VALUE THE HUMANITIES, WE VALUE LIBRARIES AND WE VALUE THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING.

I KNOW THE GOVERNMENT HAS A ROLE TO PLAY IN THAT.

WELL, LAST QUESTION AND UNFORTUNATELY GOOD PLANNING ALWAYS MEANS HAVING A PLAN B.

SO, GOD FOR BID THIS FUNDING IS CUT, DOES THE CITY HAVE ANY KIND OF PLAN TO KEEP THESE INSTITUTIONS FUNDED?

FIRST, WE'RE NOT GIVING UP.

NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.

WE DEFEATED TRUMP ON TRUMPCARE, AND I BELIEVE WE'LL DEFEAT HIM HERE AS WELL.

HAVING SAID THAT, THE FEDERAL BUDGET IS NOT DECIDED UNTIL THE FALL.

THE CITY IS PLANNING.

THE MAYOR PROPOSED AN EXECUTIVE BUDGET.

WE ARE ACTUALLY SAVING SOME MONEY.

WE ARE ACTUALLY HOLDING BACK RESERVES IN ANTICIPATION FOR WHAT COULD BE, BUT THE TRUTH IS WHAT'S BEING PROPOSED NOT JUST IN THIS AREA, BUT IN SO MANY OTHERS COULD BE SO DEVASTATING FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

IT'S GOING TO BE HARD TO FULLY WITHSTAND THOSE CUTS.

BUT, YES, THE CITY IS TRYING TO DO ITS BEST TO BUDGET PRUDENTLY, GIVEN ALL THE UNKNOWNS.

WELL, WHAT COMES NEXT?

BECAUSE THERE WAS A LOT OF ENTHUSIASM AND A LOT OF PASSIONATE THAT RALLY.

SO, VERY QUICKLY, WHAT IS IT THAT NEW YORKERS CAN DO?

WELL, FOLKS CAN WRITE TO THEIR CONGRESS MEMBERS AND THEIR SENATORS, POST CARDS, PHONE CALLS, CONTINUE THE RALLIES, CONTINUE THE STREET PROTESTS, CONTINUE ALL OF THAT FACE-TO-FACE ACTIVITY.

GO TO CONGRESSIONAL TOWN HALL MEETINGS AND SAY I CARE ABOUT THE ARTS, I CARE ABOUT PUBLIC BROADCASTING, I CARE ABOUT LIBRARIES.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD AND FIGHT.

WE SHOULD NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.

LISTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AGAIN AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU LEADING THIS FIGHT IN NEW YORK.

♪ ♪ ♪

I FEEL LIKE WE SHOULD BE STANDING AND APPLAUDING.

SINGER AND A CELEBRATED LIVE PERFORMER, STAGE, TELEVISION, ACTRESS, RECORDING ARTIST AND EMMY NOMINATED PRODUCE IR.

PROBABLY BEST KNOWN FOR BEING THE DAUGHTER OF JUDY GARLAND AND HALF SISTER OF LIZA MINELLI.

SHE PERFORMS REGULARLY AROUND THE WORLD AND IN NEW YORK.

AS WELL AS RECENTLY IN LONDON.

A REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT, ESPECIALLY AFTER HER RECENT THREE-YEAR BATTLE WITH BREAST CANCER.

SHE JOINS US NOW AND IT'S A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU.

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT FASCINATING FAMILY.

YOUR OWN FASCINATING CAREER.

AS WE MENTIONED YOU ARE COMING OFF OF A THREE-YEAR BATTLE, BREAST CANCER BATTLE AND YOU'VE BEEN VERY PUBLIC AND OPEN TALKING ABOUT IT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO HELP PEOPLE.

TAKE ME BACK TO WHEN YOU FIRST DISCOVERED OR FIRST SUSPECTED THERE WAS A PROBLEM.

AND WHEN YOU THEN TALKED TO A DOCTOR AND HOW YOU REACTED TO THE NEWS.

WELL, I KNOW THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE FEARS OF THINGS AND THEY COULD HAVE FEARS OF TIGHT CLOSE SPACES, FEARS OF AIRPLANES.

MY FEAR WAS ALWAYS DOCTORS.

SO, I NEVER WAS PROACTIVE IN MY HEALTH CARE.

I WAS SCARED.

AND I HAPPENED TO MENTION TO A GIRLFRIEND OF MINE THAT I FOUND THIS AND SHE SAID, NO, YOU'VE GOT TO GO RIGHT AWAY.

I SAID, NO, I DON'T.

AND SHE SAID, NO, YOU REALLY DO.

SO, I WENT AND I HAD A MAMMOGRAM AND THE RADIOLOGIST DIDN'T HAVE THE GREATEST BEDSIDE MANNER AND HE SAID TO ME, WELL, IF I WERE A BETTING MAN I'D BET THIS IS CANCER.

AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF HE SAID YOU NEED A BIOPSY.

I SAID, NO, I NEED TO GO TO NEW YORK AND PERFORM.

HE SAID, NO, NO, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS.

SO, I HAD THE BIOPSY DONE AND THEN THE NEXT DAY I WAS HAVING A PEDICURE.

HE CALLED ME ON THE PHONE AND HE SAID, IS THIS LORNA?

I SAID, YEAH.

HE SAID, YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER.

THAT'S HOW IT STARTED.

I HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO DO.

I HAD NO IDEA WHERE TO GO.

I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE ANY OF THIS.

YOU ENDED UP REACHING OUT TO SOME FRIENDS INCLUDING ONE VERY WELL KNOWN FRIEND, CLOSE FRIEND OF YOURS.

YES, MY BEST FRIEND IS BARRY MANILOW.

HE SAID THERE IS A MAN YOU MUST SEE.

HIS NAME IS DR. DAVID EGIS I WENT TO SEE DR. EGIS.

HE PUT A TEAM TOGETHER AND SAT ME DOWN AND EDUCATED ME.

WITH EDUCATION I WAS LESS FEARFUL.

AND

INTERESTING MESSAGE FOR PEOPLE TO GET.

WHEN SOMEBODY EXPLAINS IT TO YOU AND MAKES YOU SEE WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN STEP-BY-STEP, AND HE EXPLAINED IT TO ME IN A WAY OF I HAVE TO BE POSITIVE WITH MY ATTITUDE.

AND I HAD TO PUT ON, AS HE CALLED IT, MY WAR PAINT.

AND I HAD TO SAY, LET'S GO GET THIS.

AND LET'S GO KICK IT.

AND I GOT THROUGH IT AND I WENT THROUGH RADIATION AND I THOUGHT I WAS GOOD TO GO.

AND I WAS REALLY IN A CELEBRATORY STATE AND IT CAME BACK.

YOU WENT THROUGH SURGERIES, AND NOW YOU'RE GOOD.

AS WE KNOW AT THIS STAGE, YOU'RE GOOD.

RIGHT NOW I'M CANCER FREE.

WHICH IS WONDERFUL NEWS.

LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT A COUPLE THINGS, IF I CAN.

IN TERMS OF A FAMILY, I SAW THAT WHERE YOU HAVE SAID YOU KNOW, MARVELOUSLY TALENTED MOTHER JUDY GARLAND.

YOU SAID YOU DON'T LIKE IT WHEN SHE'S DESCRIBED AS A TRAGIC FIGURE.

AND WE SEE THAT OFTEN, JUDY GARLAND, A TRAGIC FIGURE.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT IT THAT BOTHERS YOU?

IT'S NOT TRUE.

HOW DO YOU MEAN?

WELL, SHE HAD TRAGEDIES IN HER LIFE, BUT SHE WASN'T TRAGIC.

SHE WAS FUNNY.

SHE WAS INCREDIBLY SMART.

WE ALL KNOW HOW GIFTED, HOW GIFTED SHE WAS.

BUT SHE WASN'T TRAGIC.

SHE WASN'T THE PORTRAIT THAT HAS BEEN PAINTED OVER THE YEARS BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE HAVE DONE THAT BECAUSE IT'S A BETTER STORY.

AND I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT TO MYSELF, BUT THAT'S NOT THE WHOLE STORY, AND IT'S NOT THE TRUTH.

AND PEOPLE WHO REALLY, REALLY KNEW HER WILL TELL YOU SHE WAS TRULY ONE OF THE FUNNY EST HUMAN BEINGS THEY HAD EVER ENCOUNTERED.

AND YES WE SHALL HAVE TRAGEDIES IN OUR LIFE, BUT IT DOESN'T MAKE US TRAGIC.

AND I THINK BECAUSE I AM THE DAUGHTER OF A LEGEND, AND THERE IS A VERY SMALL CLUB OF US, THERE ARE A LOT OF CHILDREN THERE ARE CHILDREN OF STARS, THERE ARE CHILDREN OF CELEBRITY.

THERE ARE VERY FEW CHILDREN OF LEGENDS.

AND WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP OUR PARENTS IN A CERTAIN LIGHT, AND THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO DO.

WE TALKED ABOUT LIZA AND HOW SHE'S DOING.

WE ALWAYS HEAR THE STORIES OF THE TWO OF YOU.

I'VE HEARD YOU SAY ANY NUMBER OF TIMES YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL RELATIONSHIP.

WE DO.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO KNOW YOUR HEALTH IS GOOD.

THANK YOU.

YOU'RE OUT PERFORMING.

I WAS WATCHING THE LEAD IN AND I FELT LIKE I SHOULD STAND UP AND APPLAUD.

IT'S A PLEASURE MEETING YOU.

I'VE BEEN A FAN A LONG TIME.

THANK YOU.

LOOK FORWARD TO CATCHING YOU SOMETIMES.

ABSOLUTELY.

BE WELL.

THANK YOU.

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