TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

The gubernatorial race heats up as Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces off against Cynthia Nixon ahead of the Democratic primary on September 13th. We have a preview of tomorrow night’s debate at Long Island’s Hofstra University. The hit Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen” is the inspiration behind a unique educational experience for NYC public high school students. How will the loss of net neutrality impact you and your family? New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman is here to share his perspective.

Aired on August 28, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

WE'VE GOT YOUR PREVIEW.

YOU WILL BE FOUND.

STUDENT'S GET AN EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN THE ARTS THAT ONLY BROADWAY CAN DELIVER.

THE HIT PLAY, 'DEAR ENVAN HANSEN' IS THEIR CANVAS, IT'S A SEGMENT YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS.

> PLUS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE.

HOW WILL NET NEUTRALITY AFFECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

> THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

Announcer: THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO AND HIS CHALLENGER CYNTHIA NIXON GO HEAD TO HEAD.

THE GOVERNOR'S AGREEMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DEBATE CAME AFTER THREE MONTHS OF ACCUSATIONS FROM THE NIXON CAMPAIGN THAT HE WAS AFRAID TO ENGAGE HER.

A RECENT POLL REVEALED THAT -- CUOCO MOW -- HER PERFORMANCE WILL HELP CLOSE THAT GAP.

BUT CAN HE ZO IT?

JOINING US TO HELP ANSWER THAT AND OTHER QUESTIONS ARE NEW YORK ASSEMBLY MEMBER DICK GODFREED, A SURROGATE FOR THE CAMPAIGN -- ENDORSED CYNTHIA NIXON.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM, BOTH OF YOU.

SPEAKER, LET ME BEGIN WITH YOU.

GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS CONVINCING LEAD AS WE APPROACH THIS PRIMARY.

WHAT DOES CYNTHIA NIXON NEED TO DO, HAVE TO DO IN THIS DEBATE TO REDUCE THAT GAP?

WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD CONTEST THAT I THINK POLLS IN THIS DAY AND AGE ARE WAY OFF.

THERE'S A SET OF VOTERS THAT POLLS ARE NOT CAPTURING.

THOSE ARE NEW VOTERS, ENGAGED VOTERS, VOTERS WHO WANT TO SEE A CHANGE HAPPEN.

AND WE SAW THAT WHEN IT CAME TO THE ELECTION OFFAL -- COR AT THE SCENE.

CYNTHIA NIXON HAS A VISION FOR THIS STATES THAT TRULY INCLUSIVE, BASED ON PROGRESSIVE VALUES, ONE THAT SPEAKS TO EVERY CORNER OF THIS STATE.

SO I'M EXCITED ABOUT HER CANDIDACY.

I'VE BEEN WITH HER ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL.

I HAVE SEEN PEOPLE REACT TO WHAT SHE HAS LAID OUT.

SHE HAS AN EXTENSIVE PLATFORM ON HER WEBSITE.

I AGREE WITH EVERY SINGLE POINT.

AND IT'S ONE THAT REALLY SPEAKS TO THE CORE VALUES OF WHAT WE SHOULD BE ABOUT AND WHAT WE ARE ABOUT AS A STATE.

WELL, THE DEBATE WILL OBVIOUSLY BE CONTROLLED BY THE MODERATORS, BUT WHAT WILL SHE BE TRYING TO FOCUS ON?

WHAT'S HER LINE OF ATTACK?

NO LINE OF ATTACK.

IT'S ABOUT THE FACT THAT SHE HAS A VISION THAT'S UNWAVERING AS PROGRESSIVE VALUES.

THE CHALLENGE AND CONCERN MANY OF US HAVE HAD WITH GOVERNOR CUOMO OVER THE YEARS IS THAT HE ONLY DOES THINGS THAT ARE PROGRESSIVE WHEN HE IS PUSHED UP AGAINST THE WALL.

I'VE BEEN FRUSTRATED AS A PROGRESSIVE OVER THE YEARS, HAVING BEEN 12 YEARS IN OFFICE, EIGHT OF THOSE YEARS UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THIS GOVERNOR IN WHICH HE BULLIES, HE'S PETTY, AND HE DOESN'T LIKE PEOPLE TO HAVE A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION WITH HIM.

THAT IS NOT THE LEADERSHIP THAT WE NEED.

WE NEED A LEADERSHIP THAT'S GOING TO BRING THE CITY TOGETHER.

AND IT ALL STARTED WITH PRE-K, WHEN THE MAYOR DE BLASIO TALKED ABOUT WANTING TO HAVE PRE-K THAT DEMONSTRATED THE LACK OF LEADERSHIP.

CYNTHIA NIXON'S PLATFORM BRINGS THE COMMUNITIES TOGETHER, WHEN IT COMES TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, INVESTING MORE IN EDUCATION TO CREATE AN EQUAL PLAYING FIELD AND TO REALLY INVEST IN THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN.

THAT IS WHERE IT ALL STARTS.

IT STARTS WITH EDUCATION.

AND SHE HAS BEEN FIGHTING ON BEHALF OF OUR CHILDREN IN THIS STATE FOR DECADES.

ASSEMBLY MEMBER GODFREED, IF THIS IS THE LINE OF ATTACK, WILL THE GOVERNOR RESPOND?

I THINK WHAT THE GOVERNOR OUGHT TO DO IS FOCUS ON THE THINGS THAT HE'S BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN A STATE WHERE THERE HAS BEEN REPUBLICAN CONTROL OF THE STATE SENATE, AND YET HE GOT THE MARRIAGE EQUALITY LAW PASSED IN HIS FIRST YEAR, HE GOT THE SAFE ACT, THE STRONGEST GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION IN THE COUNTRY, ENACTED TO A REPUBLICAN STATE SENATE.

NOBODY EVER THOUGHT THAT COULD HAPPEN.

HE GOT PAID FAMILY LEAVE ENACTED, UNIVERSAL PRE-K STATEWIDE.

I DON'T KNOW IF ANYONE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE.

WE HAVE THE STRONGEST AFFORDABLE CARE ACT EXCHANGE OF ANY STATE IN THE COUNTRY.

HE'S BEEN STRENGTHENING THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW.

HE BANNED NATURAL GAS FRACKING IN THE STATE.

I DON'T THINK ANY STATE THAT HAS NATURAL GAS TO BE FRACKED HAS HAD A GOVERNOR WHO'S BANNED IT.

THE PUERTO RICAN RELIEF EFFORT, THE TENANT PROTECTION UNIT SET UP IN STATE GOVERNMENT, THE WAY HE HAS PUSHED THE CITY ON REFORMING THE CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY.

I THINK ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE THINGS THAT HE HAS FOUGHT FOR.

I DON'T THINK I MENTIONED THE HIGHEST MINIMUM WAGE IN THE COUNTRY.

IT TAKES AN EXPERIENCED GOVERNOR.

IT TAKES A GOVERNOR WHO'S WILLING TO MAYBE BE TOUGH OCCASIONALLY TO GET THESE THINGS DONE.

THE SPEAKER DIDN'T MENTION THIS, BUT IN THE DEBATE, THE COLLAPSE OF THE SUBWAY SYSTEM IS LIKELY TO ARISE.

AND HE WILL BE --

SURE.

THE FINGER WILL BE POINTED AT HIM AS THE PERSON IN MARGE OF THE MTA, RECENTLY, AND HE'S RELATIVELY FRESH FROM HIS STATEMENT THAT AMERICA WAS NEVER THAT GREAT.

UP.

HOW IS HE GOING TO RESPOND TO THESE TWO THINGS?

WITH A COUPLE OF MOMENTS OF EXCEPTION, NEW YORK STATE HAS REALLY NEVER GIVEN THE MTA THE KIND OF SUPPORT THAT IT NEEDS.

HE HAS PUT FORTH A $30 BILLION PLUS CAPITAL PLAN TO THE MTA, WHICH IS GOING TO TAKE AN ENORMOUS EFFORT TO GET FUNDED AND GET ENACTED.

AS A DAILY SUBWAY RIDER, WHAT I LIKE TO SEE MORE DONE ON THE MTA, YES, I WOULD.

BUT --

HE'S BEEN THE GOVERNOR FOR EIGHT YEARS SO PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY YOU'RE IN CHARGE OF THE MTA.

THAT'S CERTAINLY A FAIR QUESTION.

YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN A POLITICAL NERD SINCE I WAS IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, WHICH WAS A LONG TIME AGO, I'VE WATCHED A LOT OF GOVERNORS AND PRESIDENTS AND MAYORS, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.

THERE'S NEVER BEEN ONE OF THEM WHERE I WOULD HAVE SAID EVERYTHING I WANTED THAT GOVERNOR TO DO OR THAT MAYOR TO DO, HE WAS OUT THERE DOING.

I WANT TO JUST, AGAIN, A LOT OF THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE ASSEMBLYMAN HAS MENTIONED DID NOT COME WILLINGLY FROM THE GOVERNOR.

IT CAME OUT OF A LOT OF PRESSURE.

I'M THINKING PARTICULARLY ON THE WOMEN'S EQUALITY ACT THAT WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO CODIFY, ROE V. WADE, WITHIN STATE LAW.

THAT IS SOMETHING MANY OF US HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR FOR A LONG TIME.

NO LEADERSHIP WAS DEMONSTRATED TO MAKE THAT A REALITY.

VOTING REFORM, WE'RE ONE OF THE WORST STATES WHEN IT COMES TO VOTING LAW.

OUR TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE,s AS MUCH AS THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO MAKE IT A CITIZEN RESPONSIBILITY, HE HAS BALKED FROM HIS RESPONSIBILITY.

CYNTHIA NIXON HAS AN INCLUSIVE VISION WHERE WE ALL FEEL VALIDATE AND HAD WHERE OUR VOICE WILL BE RESPECTED.

DRIVER'S LICENSES FOR ALL IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL, SHE WILL ALSO HONOR THAT.

IS THAT --

PEOPLE HAVE TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES WHEN IT COMES TO THAT ISSUE.

SHE HAS MADE HER STATEMENT ON IT.

I SUPPORT HER.

AND SO I BELIEVE THAT, AGAIN, THE DEBATE, SHE'S GOING TO DEFINITELY PRESENT A VISION.

AGAIN, I'VE BEEN SEEING THE SUPPORT ON THE GROUND.

PEOPLE ARE REALLY VERY MUCH ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT HER CAMPAIGN.

AND I BELIEVE THAT THAT IS THE VOTE THAT'S GOING TO COME OUT, ONE THAT IS NOT REFLECTED THIS THE POLLS.

ASSEMBLY MEMBER GODFIELD IN 2014 GOVERNOR CUOMO REFUSED TO DEBATE AT ALL HIS OPPONENT.

IN FACT, HE SAID THAT DEBATES COULD BE 'A DISSERVICE TO DEMOCRACY.'

WHAT HAS MADE HIM CHANGE HIS MIND THIS TIME AROUND?

I DON'T KNOW.

I LIKE IT WHEN CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT AND GOVERNOR AND MAYOR DEBATE.

I'VE OCCASIONALLY HAD ASSEMBLY REELECTION DEBATES, WHICH I'VE ENJOYED.

YOU KNOW, I THINK CANDIDATES SOMETIMES USE A CALCULATION AS TO WHAT WOULD BE THE THING TO DO, A LEVEL OF CALCULATION, I DON'T KNOW, WAY ABOVE MY PAY GRADE.

I THINK -- I THINK WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS THAT THE GOVERNOR TODAY IS COMMITTED TO THIS DEBATE.

I THINK GETTING HIS MESSAGE OUT, AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE, IS GOING TO BE GOOD FOR HIM.

SO I -- I'M PERFECTLY SATISFIED THAT THERE WILL BE ONE DEBATE.

YOU KNOW, THIS ISN'T A PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY OR PRESIDENTIAL RACE.

AND I THINK BOTH OF THEM WILL HAVE MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO GET THEIR MESSAGE OUT, TO BE PRESSED ON QUESTIONS.

NEW YORK STATE IS ONE OF THE MOST UNEQUAL STATES, UNFORTUNATELY, IN THIS COUNTRY, AND I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THOSE THAT WANT TO REPRESENT THIS STATE TO MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE TO THE POPULATION AND THE ELECTORATE THEY WANT TO REPRESENT.

THE ONLY REASON THE GOVERNOR ACCEPTED IT IS BECAUSE IT'S COMPLETELY ON HIS TERMS.

HE HAS COMPLETELY DECIDED WHAT STATION IT'S GOING TO BE ON.

ALL ON HIS TERMS, PRE-RECORDED, IT WILL NOT BE LIVE.

THE NIXON CAMPAIGN DID NOT PARTICIPATE --

SHE AGREED TO IT.

BUT THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER DEBATES THAT HAVE ALSO BEEN PRESENTED WHICH THEY HAVE REBUFFED.

THE ONLY WAY THE GOVERNOR WOULD ACCEPT THIS IS IF HIS TERMS WERE MET.

HE'S TOTALLY CONTROLLING THE SETUP AND THE WAY IT'S DONE.

IT'S ALSO A PRE-RECORDED DEBATE WHICH I HAVE NOT SEEN THAT HAPPEN.

WHICH IS INTERESTING.

AND SO, AGAIN, I THINK THE ELECTORATE MERITS RESPECT IN HEARING FROM CANDIDATES THAT WANT TO REPRESENT HIM OF WHAT THE FUTURE FOR THIS STATE HOLDS.

WE'RE ONE OF THE MORE UNEQUAL STATES.

WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO.

I'M EXCITED ABOUT THE VISION CYNTHIA NIXON HAS LAID OUT.

IN LESS THAN 30 SECONDS, I'M GOING TO ASK BOTH OF YOU, IS THIS DEBATE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE OVERALL RACE?

I THINK IT WILL.

I THINK IT'S AN IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE GOVERNOR TO GET HIS MESSAGE OUT, RAISING MINIMUM WAGE -- IMPORTANT WAY TO ADDRESS INEQUALITY.

DEBATES GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

DEBATES ARE IMPORTANT.

I'M NOT SURE IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I'M SURE THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO WILL WATCH WHO PROBABLY ARE NOT AWARE OR FAMILIAR FULLY WITH THE PLATFORM OF EITHER ONE OF THE CANDIDATES.

BUT I THINK DEBATES ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO SEE THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE TWO, TO HEAR WHAT THEIR PLATFORM IS, AND THEIR VISION AND I'M HOPING, YES, IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN FAVOR OF CYNTHIA NIXON.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

> BROADWAY SENSATION 'DEAR EVAN HANSEN' IS DOING MORE THAN SELLING TICKETS, IT'S CHANGING LIVES.

IT HAS PARTNERED WITH ARTS CONNECTION, A NEW YORK CITY-BASED NONPROFIT TO BRING THE BRIGHT LIFE IN ACTION OF THE GREAT WHITE WAY TO DOZENS OF NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL KIDS EVERY SUMMER.

WE FOLLOWED THE JOURNEY OF THREE STUDENTS AS THEY MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH THE PROGRAM OF SEEING THE PROGRAM FIRSTHAND, AND HOW THEY CREATED ART.

IT WAS A TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE FOR THESE THREE VERY TALENTED AND SELF-AWARE YOUNG PEOPLE.

THIS IS LIKE SOMETHING I WOULDN'T HAVE THOUGHT OF DOING.

USUALLY I JUST LIKE DREW AND LIKE SKETCHED, BUT LIKE FOR MYSELF, LIKE A STRESS RELIEVER.

WHEN I WAS LITTLE I USED TO TELL LIKE EVERYBODY, OH, I'M GOING TO BE AN ACTRESS WHEN I GROW UP.

NOW I HAVE THAT FEELING AGAIN.

I DRAW MORE THAN JUST SWIRLS, BUT WHEN I DRAW SWIRLS IT'S LIKE ALL OF MY ANXIETY, ALL OF MY FEELINGS, ALL OF MY STRESS JUST COMES OUT ONTO THE PAPER.

IT RELAXES ME A LOT.

AND IT DISTRACTS ME FROM EVERYTHING ELSE HAPPENING IN MY LIFE.

WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME WHAT I WANT TO DO, I SAY I WANT TO BE AN ARTIST.

BUT IT'S MORE THAN THAT, AND IF THIS IS WHAT I'M TALENTED AT I WANT TO BE ABLE TO INSPIRE PEOPLE IN THIS WAY.

I ALWAYS COME BACK TO ART, WHETHER IT'S LIKE VISUAL OR PERFORMING, BECAUSE THERE'S JUST LIKE SOMETHING ABOUT LIKE WHEN I'M PAINTING OR WHEN I'M SINGING THAT MY BRAIN KIND OF GOES ON AUTO PILOT AND I'M AWARE OF WHAT I'M DOING, BUT I'M ABLE TO LIKE EXPRESS EVERYTHING THAT I CAN'T REALLY LIKE NECESSARILY WRITE DOWN COMBINING THEATER AND ART.

IT'S HELPED ME GET THROUGH LIKE A LOT, AND 'DEAR EVAN HANSEN' ESPECIALLY.

A SHOW LIKE THIS REALLY RESONATES WITH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BECAUSE WHERE YOU ARE, THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU, YOU WANT TO CONNECT SO BAD WITH THEM, BUT YET YOU FEEL ALONE.

♪ ON THE OUTSIDE --

IT IS A CLASSIC COMING OF AGE STORY IN SO MANY WAYS.

A BOY, A HUMAN BEING WHO'S NOT YET AN ADULT, ENCOUNTERS A PROBLEM AND OVERCOMES IT ULTIMATELY.

MOST OF YOUNG AMERICA FEELS VERY ALONE AND MISUNDERSTOOD.

YOU HAVE TO PRR TRAY YOUR LIFE THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

WE'RE SHOWING THE REAL STUFF THAT'S GOING ON.

IT'S REALLY ABOUT COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CHILD OR YOUR PARENT.

IF YOU'RE A PARENT, OR YOU'RE A CHILD, YOU'RE GOING TO BE AFFECTED BY WHAT YOU SEE ON STAGE.

SO IT IS VERY BASED, IT'S ABOUT PARENTS AND CHILDREN.

'DEAR EVAN HANSEN,' A SHOW ON BROADWAY, THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE, ONE OF THE REASONS.

WE PUT ARTISTS IN SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES TO WORK WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE AND WE GIVE THEM ART MATERIALS TO CREATE A SPECIFIC ARTWORK BASED ON THE THEMES OF THE PRODUCTION.

IT DEALS A LOT WITH ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION SO IT'S NICE TO BE IN A SHOW THAT SHOWS THAT THAT'S A REAL THING.

OFTENTIMES WE'RE EMBARRASSED BY IT.

MOST OF MY CAST MATES HAVE ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION.

I HAVE A LOT OF ANXIETY.

I RELATED TO THAT A LOT.

IT MADE ME FEEL A LOT LESS ALONE.

THEY HAD US MAKE A COLLAGE.

I MADE THAT BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH IN MY HEAD.

SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I'M UNDER WATER AND LIKE I'M TRYING TO BREATHE AND GO UP TO THE SURFACE, AND I CAN'T AND IT'S JUST LIKE AN OVERWHELMING FEELING ♪ WHEN IT ALL FEELS SO THICK

MY MOM IS A SINGLE MOTHER, SHE RAISED ME AND MY TWO SIBLINGS ALONE.

MY DAD LEFT JUST LIKE EVAN'S DID.

THAT'S WHY I RELATE TO THAT FEELING OF EVAN GOING TO HIS MOM AND BEING VULNERABLE.

YOU'RE GOING TO CREATE A FROZEN PICTURE THAT WHATEVER IT IS TO YOU GUYS REPRESENTS THIS THEME.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT THIS MIGHT BE PORTRAYING?

YES.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT, LOVE THAT.

I ALWAYS COME BACK TO ARTS, WHETHER IT'S LIKE VISUAL OR PERFORMING BECAUSE THERE'S JUST LIKE SOMETHING ABOUT LIKE WHEN I'M PAINTING OR WHEN I'M SINGING THAT MY BRAIN KIND OF GOES ON AUTO PILOT AND I'M AWARE OF WHAT I'M DOING BUT I'M ABLE TO LIKE EXPRESS EVERYTHING THAT I CAN'T REALLY LIKE NECESSARILY WRITE DOWN.

♪ EVEN IF YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN THAT BARELY IN THE BACKGROUND KIND OF GUY ♪

I REALLY LIKE ACTING BECAUSE OF YOU CAN LIKE GO INTO A WHOLE DIFFERENT WORLD AND BE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON.

♪ THAT THE WORLD'S PASSED YOU BY ♪

AND WITH ART YOU PUT LIKE YOUR MIND ON PAPER.

WE'RE LOOKING AT KIDS WHO ARE TALENTED IN ONE ART AREA, AND WE'RE ASKING THEM TO LOOK AT A SECOND ART AREA, AND LEARN ABOUT IT AND LOOK AT IT THROUGH THE LENS OF WHAT THEY'RE INTERESTED IN AND WHERE THEIR EXPERTISE LIES.

A LOT OF THE KIDS, THIS IS THEIR FIRST BROADWAY EXPERIENCE AND THEN AFTER THEY'VE SEEN THE PLAY THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A TALKBACK WITH MEMBERS OF THE CAST.

COMING TO SEE THEIR FATHER IN THIS.

THEY'RE GETTING INSIGHTS INTO THE PLAY THAT MOST THEATER GOERS NEVER HAVE.

RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION.

OKAY, COOL.

LIKE, WHAT'S THE MOST LIKE IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU'VE DRAWN FROM THE SHOW?

WE ALL HAVE THESE FRAILTIES.

WE ARE ALL SO FLAWED.

WE ARE ALL HOT MESSES.

AND YOU CAN SEE IT IN EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THESE CHARACTERS.

THE CHARACTER I CONNECTED WITH THE MOST WAS DEFINITELY EVAN.

I'VE FELT THAT BEFORE, HAVING LIKE SO MANY PEOPLE AROUND YOU, BUT STILL FEELING ALONE.

YOUR JOB AS AN ACTOR IS JUST TO LIKE TELL THIS STORY, SERVICE THIS PLAY AS BEST AS YOU CAN, AS HONESTLY AS YOU CAN AND HOPE THAT PEOPLE RESPOND TO IT AND SEE THEMSELVES ON STAGE.

THE ABILITY TO SEE A PRODUCTION AND TALK ABOUT IT AND LEARN ABOUT IT, THEN TO GO BACK AND CREATE WORK BASED ON WHAT THEY'VE SEEN.

I THINK IT'S REALLY BEEN PHENOMENAL FOR THE KIDS WHO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED.

WHAT IS THIS --

I'M SO EXCITED.

IT'S NOT EASY TO GO THROUGH REALLY HARD THINGS IN LIFE.

AND DEAL WITH IT IN A HEALTHY WAY.

LIKE SOME PEOPLE JUST LIKE KEEP IT IN.

LIKE MY MOM, ESPECIALLY, LOVES THAT WE'RE ABLE TO FIND SO MUCH LIKE CREATIVITY AND PASSION IN ART.

GO LISTEN TO A SONG, YOU BROKE UP WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND, PAINT.

IT'S JUST -- IT FEELS LIKE A HEALTHY WAY AND A PRODUCTIVE WAY BECAUSE IT'S WHAT I LOVE DOING TO GET IT OUT.

THEY EXPRESS THROUGH THEIR ART A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE THEMES IN THE SHOW AND HOW IT AFFECTS NOT ONLY THEM BUT THE WORLD AT LARGE.

THEIR VERBALIZATION OF WHAT THE SHOW HAS MEANT TO THEM AND HOW THEY'VE EXPRESSED IT IN THE ART HAS BEEN VERY INTERESTING TO US.

ONCE WHEN I GOT DOWN TO PAINTING I WAS VERY RELAXED AND I LIKE FELL IN LOVE WITH THE FEELING AND NOW I FEEL LIKE I WANT TO KEEP ON WORKING ON ART.

I WANTED TO GET SOMETHING VERY RELATABLE, LIKE SOMETHING WITHOUT WORDS THAT'S JUST ON MY CANVAS, THAT SHOWS A LOT OF AMBIGUITY WITH GOOD AND BAD.

BEFORE THIS MUSICAL I WOULD MAKE NEGATIVE WORDS INTO ARTWORK.

THAT'S HOW I WAS FEELING SOMETIMES.

AND NOW IT'S JUST CHANGED THE POSITIVITY, I'M GOING TO MAKE A LOT MORE POSITIVE ARTWORK, AND I REALLY WANT TO DO ARTWORK WHEN I GROW UP.

FOR ME, THE SATISFACTION COMES FROM GIVING KIDS AN AUTHENTIC ARTS EXPERIENCE THAT THEY CAN LEARN AND GROW FROM AND SEEING THEM TAKE THAT EXPERIENCE AND RUN WITH IT AND BE BETTER INFORMED INDIVIDUALS WHEN THEY'RE FINISHED.

SEEING MY OWN KIDS LIVE THEIR DREAMS IS LIKE THE GREATEST GIFT FOR ME.

WATCHING THEM, YOU KNOW, ABLE TO HAVE THOSE POSSIBILITIES, I THINK, YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE BEST THING.

THERE'S NOTHING BETTER FOR ME.

MORE THAN ANYTHING, THAT'S WHAT I WANT FOR MY KIDS.

WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'LL BE IN FIVE YEARS?

I'M 16 RIGHT NOW.

I'LL BE 21.

I HOPE TO BE IN COLLEGE IN THE CITY MAJORING IN PSYCHOLOGY AND THEATER, DOUBLE MAJOR.

I HOPE TO STILL BE CREATING ART, AND JUST HELPING PEOPLE FEEL NOT ALONE WITH MUSIC AND PSYCHOLOGY.

YEAH.

NET NEUTRALITY, IT'S A BASIC PRINCIPLE THAT ALL TRAFFIC ON THE INTERNET SHOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY REGARDLESS OF THE SITES YOU VISIT.

A FEW MONTHS AGO -- REPEALED NET NEUTRALITY RULES, REIGNITING COMPETITION BETWEEN SERVICE PROVIDER, THE HOPE IT WOULD MAKE IT FASTER AND CHEAPER FOR SMALLER COMMUNITIES.

IN TURN, CONSUMERS FEARED PROVIDERS WOULD DISRUPT THE INTERNET BY BLOCKING BASED ON PAYMENT OPTIONS.

NOW, NO ONLY ARE 20 NEW 125I9S INCLUDING NEW YORK FILING LAWSUITS, THERE ARE ALSO LEGISLATORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND RIGHT HERE IN NEW YORK FIGHTING FOR LAW AND ORDER ONLINE.

NEW YORK STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLEMAN IS HERE TO TALK ABOUT THIS.

THIS IS A COMPLICATED ISSUE, IT'S SOMETIMES DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO FULLY GRASP BOTH SIDES OF THIS.

IN THAT INTRODUCTION I SAY, WELL, THE FCC SAID WE'RE GOING TO DO AWAY WITH THIS BECAUSE WE WANT TO STIMULATE COMPETITION AND MAKE BETTER PRODUCTS AVAILABLE, ALSO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNDERSERVED AREAS.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA.

TELL ME WHAT THE OPPOSITE ARGUMENT IS THEN AS TO WHY THAT'S NOT AS GOOD AN IDEA IN YOUR OPINION AS IT MIGHT SOUND?

WELL, YOU HEAR THIS OFTEN WHEN IT PERTAINS TO OTHER INDUSTRIES, THAT SOME IN GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARLY THOSE IN CONTROL OF CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE RIGHT NOW, WANT TO DEREGULATE.

AND I GUESS YOU HAVE TO ASK CONSUMERS OVERALL WHETHER DEREGULATION OF BANKS, OF THE TELECOM INDUSTRY, OF AIRLINES, HAVE SOMETHING GOOD FOR CONSUMERS.

I WOULD PROFFER NOT SO MUCH.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE PROPOSING TO DO WITH THE INTERNET.

BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, NOT ONLY WILL THEY ALLOW BIG TELECOM TO RAISE PRICES AND SLOW DOWN THE SPEED OF SERVICE, BUT THEY WILL ALSO ALLOW BIG TELECOM TO DECIDE WHAT YOU WATCH, AND WHAT YOU CAN READ.

AND THAT'S THE MAJOR CONCERN.

POLITICALLY, WE HEAR OFTENTIMES WHEN -- AND WE'VE SEEN THIS IN OTHER ADMINISTRATIONS.

BUT WE HEAR OFTENTIMES, ESPECIALLY WITH THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, THAT THERE IS A CONCERTED EFFORT TO DO AWAY WITH OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN PROMULGATED, RULES, REGULATIONS.

FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE HERE, AS A STATE SENATOR LOOKING DOWN TO WASHINGTON, DO YOU THINK THAT'S, IN FACT, SO HERE?

WELL, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT WASHINGTON HAS BEEN CAPTURED BY A WHOLE NEW CLASS OF SPECIAL INTERESTS SINCE THE OBAMA TEAM LEFT.

AND THAT WOULD INCLUDE THE BIG TELECOM LOBBYISTS WHO HAVE BEEN WAGING A VERY, VERY STRIDENT CAMPAIGN TO REPEAL THE NET NEUTRALITY REGULATIONS PASSED IN 2015.

GIVE ME SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS IF YOU WILL, OF YOUR PROPOSAL HERE.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IN OUR LEGISLATION IS ESSENTIALLY REVERSING WHAT THE FCC DID LAST YEAR, WHICH IS MOVE THE REGULATIONS FOR NET NEUTRALITY AND REGULATION OF THE TELECOM INDUSTRY FROM TITLE II TO TITLE I.

WE'RE BASICALLY REVERSING THAT AND SAYING THAT IT IS AND SHOULD BE A PUBLICLY REGULATED UTILITY.

IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK STATE THAT IT BE SO, JUST LIKE OUR HIGHWAYS OR OUR ELECTRIC COMPANIES, WE HAVE AN INTEREST IN PROTECTING THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF NEW YORKERS BY REGULATING.

AS YOU AND I HAVE SAID FROM THE BEGINNING IT'S A COMPLICATED ISSUE.

WE APPRECIATE YOU COMING ON AND GIVING US THE BENEFIT OF YOUR THOUGHTS.

SENATOR, THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND WE'LL TALK TO YOU DOWN THE ROAD.

THANKS SO MUCH.

> BEFORE WE SAY GOOD NIGHT, A PERSONAL INVITATION FROM ME TO YOU.

I'D LIKE TO INVITE YOU TO JOIN ME AND MY FRIEND JAMIE FLOYD, HOST OF WNYC'S 'ALL THINGS CONSIDERED' FOR A TIMELY EVENT HAPPENING AT THE 'Y,' ON THURSDAY AUGUST 30th THE TOPIC RACE AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA'S LEGAL SYSTEM NOW AND IN THE AGE OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT THROUGH THE LENS OF OUR EARLIEST AND MOST FUNDAMENTAL CASES, SOME NEARLY 100 YEARS BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR, IN WHICH SLAVES SUED THEIR WHITE OWNERS FOR THEIR FREEDOM.

THEN, AS NOW, THE OVERLYING QUESTION, CAN A PERSON OF COLOR GET A FAIR TRIAL IN AMERICA?

HAVE THINGS ACTUALLY BECOME MORE FAIR OR LESS FAIR, OR JUST FAIR IN A DIFFERENT WAY?

AND WHY DO WE SO EASILY FORGET YESTERDAY'S TRIALS WHEN CONSIDERING ISSUES OF RACE AND JUSTICE IN TODAY'S COURTS?

THE THEME, A FAMILIAR ONE FOR ME, HAVING JUST PENNED 'CHARIOT ON THE MOUNTAIN,' A BOOK ABOUT KITTY PAYNE, A SLAVE WHO SUED HER OWNER 15 YEARS BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE CIVIL WAR.

AND I'D ALSO LIKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET YOU TO SAY HI.

IF YOU'RE IN THE AREA, COME ON DOWN TO THE 92nd STREET 'Y' AT 7:00 P.M. ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 30th FOR AN IMPORTANT AND TIMELY CONVERSATION.

FROM ALL OF US HERE AT 'METROFOCUS,' HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.

Announcer: 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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