August 4, 2017: TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Previously aired on March 22, 2017. 

Former undocumented immigrant turned New York Congressman Adriano Espaillat wants all immigration enforcement officers to wear body cameras to protect the civil rights of all being questioned, whether in this country legally or illegally. We have the details. Do you hate traveling through Penn Station or LaGuardia Airport?  We share a sneak peek at what these two transit hubs will look like when completed and the treasures they will become. The fight is on to keep small businesses and mom-and-pop shops open in Manhattan. Find out about a new relief plan that might keep these businesses afloat.

TRANSCRIPT

TONIGHT WITH FEAR OF DEPORTATION HIGH FORMER UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT TURNED CONGRESSMAN HAS A PLAN TO ENSURE EVERYONE'S CIVIL RIGHTS ARE RESPECTED.

HE IS HERE WITH THE DETAILS FOR MOST NEW YORKERS PEN STATION AND LAGUARDIA ARE LIKE HELL.

YOUR SNEAK PEEK AT THE FUTURE IN JUST A MOMENT.

AND THE CITY COUNCILMAN IS FIGHTING TO KEEP SMALL BUSINESSES OPEN IN MANHATTAN.

HE'LL TELL US HOW AND WHY IT MATTERS TO ALL OF US.

ALL OF THAT AND MORE AS METROFOCUS STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS METROFOCUS.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA.

YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY AND BY PFENG SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO METROFOCUS.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

ICE AGENTS USING METHODS TO EXTRACT INFORMATION FROM IMMIGRANTS.

ARRESTING THEM AT COURTHOUSES AND DROPPING OFF CHILDREN AT SCHOOL AND EVEN LOCAL CHURCHES.

THESE ARE CLAIMS MADE IN A RECENT STATEMENT.

HE ALSO ADDED MY CONSTITUENTS ARE TERRIFIED, BOTH UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS AND GREEN CARD HOLDERS ARE TERRIFIED TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES AND AS PRESIDENT TRUMP PLANS TO HIRE 15,000 NEW BORDER PATROL AND IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT AGENTS HE HAS INTRODUCED THE BODY CAMERA ACCOUNTABILITY ACT AS A MEASURE TO INCREASE ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE AGENCY.

THE CONGRESSMAN REPRESENTS NEW YORK'S 13th DISTRICT WHICH IS COMPRISES OF UPPER MANHATTAN AND THE BRONX AND JOINS ME FROM WASHINGTON.

WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

WHAT IS IT THAT SOME OF YOUR CONSTITUENTS ARE EXPERIENCING IN TERMS OF THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH ICE AGENTS.

HAS IT CHANGED?

IS IT MORE FREQUENT?

WHAT IS HAPPENING?

PEOPLE ARE VERY AFRAID.

I JUST HEARD OF SOMEONE COMING BACK FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND WAS APPROACHED AS HE EXITED THE PLANE BY SOME VERY AGGRESSIVE AGENTS THAT DEMANDED HIS PASSPORT IMMEDIATELY AND SO HE HAD NOT EVER SEEN THAT BEFORE BUT ALSO WE HAVE SEEN DOCUMENT THE CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHERE ICE AGENTS HAVE FOLLOWED SCHOOL BUSES -- WHERE THEY ARE ON CHURCH GROUNDS I HAVE SEEN PHOTOS OF THE STRUCKS ON CHURCH GROUNDS.

THIS IS HIGHLY IRREGULAR AND TROUBLING BECAUSE IT'S SENT A CHILLING EFFECT ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND MANY OF MY CONSTITUENTS ARE VERY AFRAID.

SOME OF THEM WON'T EVEN COME OUT DURING DAYLIGHT AND WILL ONLY COME OUT IN DARK.

THIS IS NOT AMERICA AND WE WANT TO BRING AMERICA BACK TO WHERE IT SHOULD BE.

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE INCREDIBLY UNUSUAL INCIDENCES THAT ARE HAPPENING ARE THEY ALSO INCREASING WITH FREQUENCY AS WELL?

THAT'S CORRECT.

NOT ONLY THE AGGRESSIVENESS OF IT BUT MORE CASES, YOU HEAR ABOUT THEM ON A DAILY BASIS AND WE MET RECENTLY WITH GENERAL KELLY THAT HAD HOMELAND SECURITY AND THERE SEEMS TO BE A DISCREPANCY.

ON ONE HAND HE FEELS HIS AGENTS, HIS OFFICERS ARE ADHERING TO THE LETTER OF THE LAW AND YET WE'RE HEARING THESE VERY SERIOUS AND CONCERNING COMPLAINTS FOR OUR CONSTITUENT SYS.

SO YOU INTRODUCED THIS BILL THAT OF COURSE WOULD PUT CAMERAS, BODY CAMERAS ON THEM.

FIRST OFF WHAT ARE YOU HOPING THESE CAMERAS CAN PROVIDE?

THEY WILL DETER ANY AGGRESSIVE OR ILLEGAL ACTION FROM THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY.

IT WILL BRING ABOUT I THINK A GREAT LEVEL, GREATER LEVEL OF TRUST WHICH WILL BE GOOD NOT ONLY FOR THE OFFICERS INVOLVED IF THEY'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG EVERYTHING WILL BE DOCUMENTED AND THIS IS A GOOD NEUTRALIZER AND IT'S NOT A BACK BREAKER OR A VERY EXPENSIVE ENDEAVOR.

HOMELAND SECURITY GOT $2.8 BILLION PROPOSED BY THE TRUMP BUDGET SO THEY HAVE LOTS OF MONEY AND THIS IS NOT A VERY EXPENSIVE ENDEAVOR.

43 OUT OF 63 MAJOR CITIES HAVE ALREADY IMPLEMENTED SOME FORM OF BODY CAMERA PROGRAM ACROSS THE UNITED STATES AND I'M ASSUMING WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT POLICE DEPARTMENTS WHAT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT PUSH BACK AND SAY IS WITH THESE BODY CAMERAS ALL WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO IS SEE WHAT IT IS THAT'S HAPPENING ON THE GROUND WITH POLICE INTERACTION WITH CIVILIANS BUT NOT NECESSARILY.

THAT DOESN'T EQUAL ANY KIND OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND PUNISHMENT FOR THE PEOPLE THAT GO TOO FAR SO IS THAT SOMETHING YOU HOPE TO PUSH?

WELL T BODY CAMERA PROGRAM IS NOT, IT WILL NOT RESOLVE ALL THE PROBLEMS AND WILL GET UP TO A 20 DAY SUSPENSION INCREMENTALLY.

THERE IS LANGUAGE THAT WILL ENSURE THAT IF SOMEBODY DELIBERATELY TURNS OFF THE CAMERA AND GOES AHEAD AND CONDUCTS AN ACT THAT GOES OUTSIDE OF THE LAW THAT HE OR SHE WILL BE SUSPENDED AND WE NEED MEASURES TO BE TAKEN.

BUT THIS IS A GOOD FIRST STEP.

OKAY.

PUTTING THAT FIRST STEP ASIDE I WANT TO TURN TO THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A CONGRESSMAN BUT YOU'RE NOT NEW TO GOVERNMENT.

YOU DID SPEND SEVERAL YEARS IN THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE.

I'M WONDERING FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE WHICH GOVERNING BODY IS MORE CHALLENGING OR MORE REWARDING TO WORK IN.

20 YEARS IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND IT WAS A VERY EXCITING PLACE FOR ME.

IT WAS LIKE A GOOD AAA BALL TEAM BUT THIS IS THE MAJOR LEAGUES.

IT'S MORE EXCITING TO BE IN THE ALL YOU STAR GAME WHERE MATTERS IMPACT THE ENTIRE NATION AND COMMUNITIES ARE EFFECTED EITHER POSITIVELY OR NEGATIVELY FROM EACH ACTION THAT WE TAKE.

ALL RIGHT IN BOTH CASES YOU WERE IN A MINORITY.

THE DEMOCRATS MANAGE TO BE IN THE MINORITY IN THE STATE SENATE AND YOU'RE DEFINITELY THE MINORITY AS A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN.

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE AT LEAST DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE FOCUSSING ON.

WELL, YOU MAY FORGET THAT I WAS ALSO IN THE MAJORITY FOR 14 YEARS IN THE LOWER HOUSE SO I HAD THE BENEFIT TO ENJOY THE MAJORITY AND KNOW WHAT ARE SOME OF THE POSITIVES THAT YOU GET WHEN YOU'RE IN THE MAJORITY AND ALSO SIX YEARS IN THE STATE SENATE IN THE MINORITY AS I AM HERE IT PUSHES US TO BE MORE CREATIVE AND DO MORE WITH LESS AND GET THE TOOLS NECESSARY TO DELIVER FOR THE DISTRICT AND EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE YOU THROW A MEAN ELBOW AS WELL.

I'M HAPPY TO BE HERE AND I'LL BE FIGHTING FOR MY DISTRICT.

CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE MORE CREATIVE BILLS OR PERHAPS MEAN ELBOWS COMING OUT OF THE DEMOCRATIC HOUSE?

I THINK YOU'LL BE ABLE TO SEE BOTH DURING THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

WE ARE PUSHING BACK ON THE REPEAL EFFORTS WE HAVE SEEN HOW THE COURTS HAVE PUSHED BACK AS WELL AND WE'RE LOOKING TO DISSECT THE BUDGET IN PARTICULAR WAYS TO ENSURE THAT THE LANGUAGE OF IT DOESN'T HURT MY CONSTITUENTS.

I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT GREAT CHALLENGE AND I WILL FIGHT FOR THE DISTRICT THAT ELECTED ME TO FIGHT FOR THEM.

AND GIVE US INFORMATION ABOUT THIS THAT WE MIGHT BE SEEING FROM ICE JAENTS.

CONGRESSWOMAN EVETTE CLARK FROM BROOKLYN AND WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO MAKING SURE THAT IT GETS DONE.

NEW YORK IS DEFINITELY IN THE HOUSE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN FOR INVITE MEGATO YOUR SHOW.

PEN STATION IS THE TRAIN VERSION OF LAGUARDIA.

IT'S DECREPID.

WHY ARE YOU SO NEGATIVE ON PENN STATION?

IT'S TERRIBLE.

THAT'S WHY.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO SAY WHAT IT IS.

THE GOVERNOR HASN'T HELD BACK WHEN IT COMES TO TELLING US WHAT HE REALLY THINKS.

BOTH TRANSIT HUBS TWO OF THE BUSIEST IN THE COUNTRY HAVE BEEN ON THE RECEIVING END OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AS LARGE SCALE RENOVATIONS TAKE SHAPE.

A SEPARATE SHAPE FOR AMTRAK AND PART OF THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CURRENT STATION A $1.6 BILLION PLAN.

THEY'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MULTIBILLION DOLLAR UPDATE OF ITS OWN.

SO WILL THESE PROJECTS GET DONE ON TIME AND IS THE STATE DOING ENOUGH TO OVERHAUL THE CITY'S AGING INFRASTRUCTURE?

HERE NOW WITH ANSWERS IS AN EXPERT ON LARGE SCALE PROJECTS LIKE THESE.

HE IS A PROFESSOR IN THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND HE JOINS US NOW FROM THE COLUMBIA CAMPUS.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

NOW AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER BOTH PENN STATION AND LAGUARDIA HAVE BEEN COMPARED TO THIRD WORLD FACILITIES AND AS WE HEARD THE GOVERNOR IS NOT A BIG FAN OF EITHER OF THE FACILITIES TO SAY THE LEAST.

DO YOU AGREE WITH THESE ASSESSMENTS?

THEY'RE BOTH DISASTERS.

AND IT'S IN NEED OF A MAJOR OVERHAUL.

WHY DO THESE TWO FACILITIES GET SO BAD AND WHY ARE THE RENOVATIONS COMING NOW?

PART OF THE PROBLEM IS ITS VERY EXPENSIVE AND TAKES A LONG TIME TO DO AND OFTEN PROJECTS LAST LONGER THAN THE ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT START THEM SO THERE'S VERY LITTLE INCENTIVE FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS IN THIS SORT OF ANTITAX ERA TO PUT PUBLIC MONEY IN AND INVEST IN THESE KIND OF FACILITIES.

IS THAT WHY YOU HAVE WRITTEN THAT PUBLIC OFFICIALS HAVE IGNORED OUR INFRASTRUCTURE PROBLEMS?

YEAH.

PART OF THE PROBLEM AND I DON'T THINK THE GOVERNOR IS TO BLAME FOR THIS.

I GO BACK TO RONALD REAGAN THAT DEFINED GOVERNMENT AS THE PROBLEM BUT FOR INFRASTRUCTURE LIKE AIRPLANES AND ROADS AND BRIDGES YOU HAVE TO HAVE GOVERNMENT INVESTING IN THOSE RESOURCES.

THERE CAN BE PRIVATE SECTOR CONTRIBUTIONS AND PENN STATION IS DEPENDING ON A LOT OF COMMERCIAL AND REVENUES TO OFFSET THE COST OF THE CAPITAL AND YOU STILL NEED A VISION AND INVESTMENT BY GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNMENT FUNDING SOURCES HAVE BEEN CROWDED OUT IN THIS ANTITAX ERA AND IN THE OLD DAYS THE GOVERNOR AND MAYOR OF NEW YORK COULD COUNT ON MONEY FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND WE DON'T HAVE A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ANYMORE SO IT'S HARD TO GET THAT RESOURCE NOW.

DO YOU THINK THAT THE GOVERNOR IS SPENDING ENOUGH MONEY AND DO YOU THINK THE PLANS GO FAR ENOUGH?

THE GOVERNOR IS ALSO UNDER ANTITAX PRESSURE.

EVERYBODY WANTS THE BENEFITS AND NOBODY WANTS TO PAY THE PRICE AND THE GOVERNOR HIMSELF IS CAUGHT BETWEEN WHAT HE KNOWS IS THE NECESSITY OF THE STATE TO BUILD IN ORDER TO BE GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE T. UNITED STATES SEEMS TO THINK THAT WE CAN DO EVERYTHING WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

IT HAS TO BE THE ENGINE BUT GOVERNMENT ALSO HAS TO PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE AND WE'RE HAVING TROUBLE DOING THAT IN THIS COUNTRY.

NOW ONE CRITIC SAID THAT THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSAL SPECIFICALLY FOR PEN STATION IS LIKE PUTTING LIPSTICK ON A PIG BECAUSE THE REAL PROBLEMS THERE ARE INFRASTRUCTURAL PROBLEMS AND THE ABILITY TO GET PEOPLE IN AND OUT.

DO YOU AGREE?

EVERY TRANSPORTATION EXPERT WILL TELL YOU THE UNDERGROUND TRAIN TRACKS DOWN THERE ARE A MAZE BETWEEN AMTRACK AND THE CITY AND THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD.

IT'S A MESS AND OF COURSE DESTROYING THE ORIGINAL PEN STATION.

NOW ONE OF YOUR COLLEAGUES BELIEVES THAT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN WHICH OF COURSE IS ON TOP OF PEN STATION SHOULD BE GUTTED AND THAT HE HAS A PROPOSAL THAT USES THE BUILDING FOUNDATION TO BUILD A STATION THAT COULD POTENTIALLY RIVAL GRAND CENTRAL STATION IS THAT THE WAY TO GO AND IS IT FEASIBLE?

IT'S ALSO GORGEOUS BUT I DON'T KNOW IF THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO TAKE ON ALL THE KNICKS FANS AND RANGERS FANS AND BILLY JOEL FANS AND DEPEND ON THE GARDEN AS A FACILITY.

THE REAL QUESTION WOULD BE THEN WHERE WOULD YOU MOVE A 20,000 SEAT ARENA IN MANHATTAN IN THIS DAY AND AGE HOW ABOUT TO BE ABLE TO RENOVATE THESE FACILITIES.

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE TO USE IT EVERY DAY?

I THINK THAT MAKES IT ENORMOUSLY COMPLICATED.

IT ALSO MAKES THE LOGISTICS AND PRICES VERY HARD TO REALLY FIX.

THE OTHER ISSUE THAT IS PART OF THE PROBLEM WITH PEN STATION IS YOU NEED ANY KIND OF BUILDING AND COMMERCIAL VENUE AND EIGHT PIERS THAT A LOT OF THE COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL INVESTORS ARE NOT REALLY CONFIDENT THAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN BUILD ANYTHING SO THEY'RE WAITING TO SEE IF ANYTHING GETS CONSTRUCTIVE BEFORE THEY SAY THEY'LL COMMIT TO PUTTING SOME MONEY IN.

IT'S A VERY COMPLICATED UNDERTAKING AND VERY CROWDED PLACE.

SO THAT'S NOT A REASON TO GIVE UP BUT IT'S A REASON TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A LOT MORE DIFFICULT THAN PEOPLE THINK IT WILL BE.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES WHEN IT COMES TO COMPLETING THE PROJECTS ON TIME AND ON BUDGET?

WELL, THE FIRST THING IS BUILDING ANYTHING IN NEW YORK CITY THAT'S JUST IN MANHATTAN.

IN QUEENS YOU HAVE A VERY BUSY AIRPORT.

THE GRAND CENTRAL PARKWAY WHICH IS VERY CLOSE TO LAGUARDIA AND UNDER THE NEW DESIGN WOULD BE CLOSER.

IT HAS TRAFFIC A LOT OF THE TIME.

WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO TRUCK IN THE PIECES OF MATERIAL FOR CONSTRUCTION YOU KNOW, MAYBE YOU COULD GET SOME OF IT IN BUT IT'S AN ENORMOUSLY COMPLICATED ENTERPRISE AND IT'S VERY HARD TO PREDICT HOW LONG THINGS ARE GOING TO TAKE.

IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE TALKING TO YOU.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

♪♪

THE CRT CURRENTLY APPLIES TO MANY MANHATTAN BUSINESSES PAYING OVER $250,000 A YEAR IN RENT REQUIRING THEM TO FORK OVER AN EXTRA 3.9% CHARGE ON THAT RENT TO THE CITY.

THE TAX WAS INTRODUCED IN THE 1960s AND PHASED OUT IN THE 1990s AND MOST MANHATTAN BUSINESSES STILL PAY THE CRT WHICH GENERATED NEARLY $800 MILLION IN REVENUE LAST YEAR.

CRITICS CLAIM THAT THE TAX IS UNFAIR OUT DATED AND A COSTLY BURDEN THAT FORCES NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESSES TO CLOSE.

NOW MEMBERS ARE CONSIDERING LEGISLATION THAT WOULD END THE CRT FOR BUSINESSES PAYING LESS THAN $500,000 A YEAR IN RENT.

OUR NEXT GUEST IS THE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER THAT'S ONE OF THE LEADING VOICES SUPPORTING THE PROPOSED CHANGE AND HE JOINS US NOW.

COUNCILMAN, WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

SO WHY SHOULD AVERAGE NEW YORKER THAT ISN'T A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE?

WHAT'S AT STAKE FOR THEM ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

NEW YORKERS BELIEVE IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS.

THEY BELIEVE IN SMALL BUSINESSES THAT THEY PATRONIZE EVERY SINGLE DAY.

UNFORTUNATELY FOR MANY OF THE SMALL BUSINESSES IN MANHATTAN THEY'RE JUST GETTING CRUSHED WITH THE ODITY OF ATTACKS.

IT'S THE SECOND SIGNIFICANT TAX THESE BUSINESS VERSUS TO PAY THEY HAVE TO PAY REAL ESTATE TAXES ON THEIR RENT AND IT'S SO BIZARRE IT ONLY EXISTS IN ONE OTHER JURISDICTION IN ALL THE UNITED STATES AND FOR NEW YORKERS THAT CARE ABOUT THESE SMALL BUSINESSES AND DON'T WANT MANHATTAN TO LOOK AND FEEL LIKE A MALL OR BE OCCUPIED BY BANKS OR DRUGSTORES THIS IS A CONCERN FOR THEM SO WE'RE LOOKING TO TRY TO TAKE AIM AT THIS TAX AND TRY TO PROTECT THE SMALL BUSINESSES.

BY THE WAY, WHY DID THEY LEAVE IT FOR MOST BUSINESSES BELOW 96th STREET?

IT'S SUPPOSED TO APPLY ONLY TO LARGER BUSINESSES AND IT WAS PHASED OUT BUT THEY LEFT THIS IMPORTANT AREA BECAUSE SO MUCH MONEY WAS BEING GENERATED FROM THE TAX THAT I FELT THE CITY FELT THAT THEY WERE INCAPABLE OF DOING AWAY WITH IT ENTIRELY.

YOU ACTUALLY CALLED FOR THE CRT, FOR IT TO BE COMPLETELY ABOLLISHED.

WHY ISN'T THAT ON THE AGENDA?

THAT'S EXACTLY WHERE WE SHOULD BE HEADED.

THE CITY GENERATES AN EXTRAORDINARY SUM OF MONEY.

ABOUT $780 MILLION A YEAR FROM THIS TAX SO IT'S A HARD ONE TO DO AWAY WITH IN ONE SWOOP.

THAT SAID WE ARE TRYING TO HELP THE SMALLEST BUSINESSES IN THE CATEGORY.

THE ONES PAYING BETWEEN 250,000 AND $500,000 A YEAR IN RENT WHICH MAY SOUND LIKE A LOT BUT THESE ARE YOUR SMALL BUSINESSES, A LOT OF RESTAURANTS, PEOPLE THAT THIS TAX IS ACTUALLY IMPACTING THEM IN A MATERIAL WAY SO WE'RE TRYING TO GIVE THEM AN INCREASED EXEMPTION.

WHAT HAPPENED OVERTIME IS THE RENT HAVE GONE UP SO SIGNIFICANTLY THAT MANY MORE BUSINESSES ARE JUST OVER THE LEVEL WHERE THEY CURRENTLY WOULD GET AN EXEMPTION.

SO THEY'RE GETTING HIT.

WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG?

WELL REMEMBER THIS HAS A PRICE TAG AND ONE NOW SUPPORTED NOT JUST BY MANHATTAN MEMBERS BUT MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL REPRESENTING DISTRICTS ALL AROUND THE CITY WHO UNDERSTAND THE PLIGHT OF SMALL BUSINESSES AND UNDERSTAND UNFAIR TAX WHEN THEY SEE ONE AND ALSO KNOW THAT THESE SMALL BUSINESSES ARE EMPLOYING CONSTITUENTS ALL AROUND THE CITY.

THE BILL HAS BEEN AROUND FOR PROBABLY A LITTLE MORE THAN A YEAR THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS IS NOT ONE THAT IS ALWAYS SPEEDY BUT WE FEEL LIKE WE ARE NOW IN A POSITION TO BE ABLE TO MOVE FORWARD AND TO FINALLY GET THIS DONE.

AS YOU KNOW, COUNCILMAN, SOME SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS SAY THAT'S GREAT BUT NOT NEARLY ENOUGH BECAUSE THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THEY HAVE TO PAY THEY'RE STILL GOING TO BE CLOSING THEIR BUSINESSES.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT THAT?

THERE'S A VIERTY OF DIFFERENT POSSIBILITIES.

AND TO TRY TO MINIMIZE THE STORE FRONT AREA THAT FACES THE STREET SO AS TO DISINCENTIVIZE AND FUNDAMENTALLY THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WOULD LIE IN ALBANY THIS IS IN OUR HAND AND THAT'S WHY WE WANT TO DO IT.

THIS IS A NEAR TERM PROPOSITION FOR US WE PASS THE BUDGET BY LAW AT THE END OF JUNE BECAUSE THIS AT THIS POINT IS AS MUCH A BUDGETARY CONVERSATION AS ANYTHING WE NEED TO CONSIDER IT IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS YEAR'S BUDGE.

WE HAVE A LOT OF COUNCIL SUPPORT.

WE DON'T YET KNOW WHERE THE MAJOR STANDS ON THE SUBJECT.

THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE TESTIFIED THAT THERE WAS AN ARGUMENT THAT WE SHOULD BE RAISING THE EXEMPTION.

BUT WE THINK THIS SHOULD BE DONE AND WE HOPE THE MAJOR SUPPORTS IT TOO.

YOU TOLD MY COLLEAGUE THAT YOU WERE CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR MAJOR.

WHAT'S THE STATUS?

HAVE BEEN SO PRIVILEGED TO REPRESENT THE EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN FOR 11 YEARS AND CHANGE AND I'M THINKING ABOUT THE WAY THAT I CAN BEST CONTINUE TO SERVE THE CITY THAT I LOVE SO MUCH.

I'M THINKING ABOUT THE OPTIONS.

YOU'RE MAKING PLANS.

I'M THINKING ABOUT IT AND SORTING THIS OUT IN THE NEAR TERM AND I WILL BE HAPPY TO COME BACK AND TALK WITH YOU ABOUT IT AT A LATER DATE.

LET ME ASK YOU THIS, WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS MAYOR IN OFFICE THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO CONSIDER TAKING HIM ON?

ONE IS THE AMOUNT OF RESERVES THAT WE ARE PUTTING ASIDE IN THE BUDGET.

I HAVE BEEN SOUNDING THE ALARM FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS NOW THAT WE ARE SPENDING TOO MUCH.

WE INCREASED THE BUDGET LAST YEAR BY 2 BILLION AND INCREASE THE BUDGET BY ANOTHER $1 BILLION THIS YEAR.

IT'S THE FACT THAT THE MAYOR HAS NOT GONE BACK TO COMPEL HIS AGENCY HEAD TO FIND SAVINGS.

REAL SAVINGS.

REAL EFFICIENCIES IN THEIR BUDGET TO HELP US THINK THROUGH WHETHER THERE'S OLD PROGRAMS UNUSED PROGRAMS AND THINGS THAT DON'T DESERVE CONTINUITY THAT CAN HELP US PUT MORE MONEY AWAY OR SPEND ON THE THINGS THAT WE NEED AND WE MUST SPEND ON TODAY SO THERE'S A CONCERN IN THAT DIRECTION.

ALL RIGHT.

OKAY.

PLEASE COME BACK AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.

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