THE STATE OF THE CITY

January 12, 2019 at 4:30 am

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his progressive agenda during his sixth annual address yesterday. But, was his goal to attract a national audience for a run at presidency in 2020?

Aired on January 11, 2019.

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>> ONCE AGAIN, WE'RE THE SAFEST
BIG CITY IN AMERICA.
THE ERA OF MASS INCARCERATION
DID NOT BEGIN IN NEW YORK CITY,
BUT IT WILL END IN NEW YORK
CITY.
AND WE ARE GETTING CLOSER EVERY
SINGLE DAY TO THAT GREAT DAY
WHEN WE WILL CLOSE RIKERS ISLAND
FOR GOOD.
NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY
HAS A PLAN TO BRING BRAND-NEW
EVERYTHING TO 175,000 NYCHA
RESIDENTS.
FROM NEW ROOFS TO KITCHENS AND
BATHROOMS.
WE HAVE DUNLD THE NUMBER OF
CERTIFIED MINORITY AND WOMEN
OWNED BUSINESSES AND AWARDED
THEM MORE THAN $10 BILLION IN
CITY CONTRACTS.
>> GOOD EVENING AND WELL TO
METROFOCUS I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.
MAYOR GLASS O DELIVERING HIS
SIXTH STATE OF AT THE TO A CROWD
ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE.
AFTER MAKING BOLD MOVES
REGARDING HEALTH CARE FOR ALL
NEW YORKERS APPEAR PAID TIME OFF
FOR WORKERS THIS WEEK THE MAYOR
MADE HIS CASE FOR NEW YORK TO A
BELLWETHER CITY.
WAS THE MESSAGE TO A NATIONAL
AUDIENCE WITH A LOOK TO THE RUN
FOR THE WHITE HOUSE?
AND WITH HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS HOW
BIG ARE THE CHALLENGES HE FACES?
JOINING ME TO DISCUSS IS THE
EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF GAGT OM
GAZETTE.
BENITZ GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK ON
METROFOCUS.
>> MY PLEASURE.
>> WHAT WAS IT THAT STUCK OUT TO
YOU?
A LOT OF PEOPLE HEARD THIS
SPEECH AND THOUGHT ARE YOU
TALKING TO US OR THE COUNTRY.
>> AFTER A SOMEWHAT SLEEPY LAST
YEAR AND A HALF TWO YEARS EVEN,
ALSO INCLUDING CONTROVERSY OVER
THINGS AROUND NYCHA, FOR
EXAMPLE, THE MAYOR SEEMS TO HAVE
WOKEN UP A BIT HERE EARLY IN
2019 AND PUT A LOT OF NEW
PROPOSALS ON THE TABLE.
IN SPEECH CERTAINLY FIT THE
THEMES OF FIGHTING INEQUALITY
AND MAKING THE CITY THE FAIREST
BIG CITY IN THE COUNTRY HE TALKS
ABOUT.
ALTHOUGH HARD TO GAUGE
SOMETIMES.
BUT IT WAS A RETURN TO WHERE HE
STARTED AND SOMETHING
INTERESTING AFTER A COUPLE OF
YEARS WHERE HE HASN'T PUT A LOT
NEW ON THE TABLE.
THERE ARE SOME NEW PROPOSALS
HERE.
>> WE DEFINITELY AS I MENTIONED
IN THE INTROWE SAW THINGS ROLL
OUT EARLIER.
WHAT WAS IT THAT STUCK OU TOUT
AS THE PROPOSAL HE PUT FORWARD.
>> AS YOU SAID HE REITERATED THE
CALL TO EXPAND HEALTH CARE
COVERAGE TO EVERY NEW YORKER WHO
DOESN'T HAVE IT AND ENCOURAGE
PEOPLE TO USE THE CITY HOSPITALS
MORE AND THE CITY HEALTH
INSURANCE PROBLEM, METRO PLUS,
AND ALSO THIS PLAN PUSHED TO
MANDATE PAID VACATION DAYS WHICH
HAS BEEN A BILL THAT'S BEEN
SITTING AROUND THE CITY COUNCIL
A FEW YEARS AND HE DECIDED NOW
TO BACK IT.
OERP THAT HE TALKED ABOUT MORE
PROTECTIONS FOR WORKERS,
ESPECIALLY FREELANCERS.
HE TALKED ABOUT TENANT
PROTECTIONS TO PREVENT EVICTIONS
EVEN MORE.
>> I WAS GOING TO SAY WE SAW HIM
SIGN THE BILL.
>> EXACTLY, AN EXECUTIVE ORDER
TO CREATE A NEW OFFICE IN THE
MAYOR'S OFFICE.
THEN HE TALKED ABOUT EXPANSION
OF 3 K, FERRY, AND NEW MEASURES
TO INCREASE BUS SPEEDS.
THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS
AFFECTING SO MANY PEOPLE'S DAILY
LIVES, THE MAYOR HAS REALLY NOT
DONE ENOUGH ON CLEARLY OVER THE
TENURE AND SEEMS TO TAKE AN
INCREASED INTEREST IN BUSES.
THOSE ARE A FEW OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS.
BUT HE WENT THROUGH A LOT OF
TOPICS.
>> HE DID TP TOWARDS THE END OF
THE SPEECH HE FOCUSED ON TOPICS
HE WILL TAKE NORTH TO ALBANY.
>> HE OUTLINED US PIECES OF THE
ALBANY AGENDA.
WE KNOW EVERY YEAR AT THE GIPG
OF THE YEAR THE MAYOR GOES AND
TESTIFIES BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE
AND OUTLINES WHAT HE WANTS TO
SEE FROM ALBANY AND THEIR
SESSION.
ESPECIALLY WITH AN EYE ON THE
BUDGET.
HE WILL BE DOING THAT.
BUT HE GAVE US A PREVIEW.
ONE OF THE KEY THINGS HE TALKED
ABOUT WAS WANTING THE RIGHT
REGULATORY SYSTEM TOR LEGALIZING
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA.
THAT'S GOING TO BE A STATE
DECISION.
BUT HE HAS THINGS HE THINKS NEED
TO BE PART OF IT BUT ALSO VOTING
REFORM, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM,
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, SOME OF
THE THIMGS THINGS THE MAYOR
TALKED ABOUT A LONG TIME AND A
LOT OF DEMOCRATS TALKED ABOUT.
AND NOW WITH A NEWLY FULLY
DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED ALBANY
THERE IS MORE CHANCE OF PASSAGE.
I DO WANT TO QUICKLY GO BACK TO
HOW YOU FRAME THING HERE.
>> OKAY.
>>S WHICH IS ABOUT THE MAYOR'S
FOCUS.
INCHES HE IS VERY HAPPY TO BE
TALKING ABOUT A PROGRESSIVE CITY
THAT'S SORT OF AN EXAMPLE ACROSS
THE COUNTRY.
BUT I HIGHLY DOUBT THAT THE
MAYOR IS GOING TO THROW HIS HAT
IN THE RING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL
RACE.
WE SHALL SEE WHAT THE NEXT YEAR
HOLDS.
BUT PEOPLE ARE MAKING THOSE
DECISIONS NOW.
WE SAW ELIZABETH WARREN JUMP IN.
OTHER PEOPLE WILL DO THAT.
I DON'T SEE THE MAYOR DOING
THAT.
KNOW HE CERTAINLY LIKES TO TRY
TO BE A TRENDSETTER AND THIS
GOAL OF MAKING IT THE FAIREST
BIG CITY IN THE COUNTRY IS
SOMETHING HE ALREADY SAID HE
PLANS TO GO AROUND THE COUNTRY
TALKING ABOUT.
>> I WAS GOING TO SAY HE IS
CLEARLY ELEVATING THE PLATFORM.
SPEAKING OF MAYOR IN ALBANY OF
COURSE THE BIG THREE LETTERS
EVERYBODY WANTS.
THE MTA.
HE DID TALK ABOUT PROMOTES ON
THE TABLE FOR THAT.
>> SO VERY IMPORTANT THAT HE IS
DOING MORE OF WHAT HE CAN
CONTROL AROUND THE BUSES BECAUSE
THE MAYOR DOES CONTROL THE CITY
STREETS.
AND THAT'S PART OF THE MTA IS TO
WORK WITH THE MTA ON BUSES.
BUT HE REALLY STRESSED HE WANTS
TO SEE A PLAN FOR MTA FUNDING IN
THE STATE BUDGET BY APRIL 1st.
HE CAN INFLUENCE THIS.
BUT HE SOUNDED WARMER TO
CONGESTION PRICING EVEN AS HE
SAID HE STILL FAVORS AN
INCREASED TAX ON HIGHER EARNERS
TO FUND THE MTA BUT IT'S A
COMBINATION OF THINGS.
SO WE'LL SEE WHERE STATE
LAWMAKERS LAND ON THAT.
>> WELL, OF COURSE THE DEVIL IS
ALWAYS IN THE DETAILS.
AND THOSE DETAILS ARE IN THE
BUDGET.
HE DID MAKE IT A POINT TO TELL
EVERYONE TO CIRCLE APRIL 1st ON
THE CALENDAR BECAUSE THAT'S WHEN
THE STATE BUDGET IS DUE.
IS THERE ANY INDICATION AS TO
WHAT WE CAN EXPECT HOPEFULLY
FROM A DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED
STATE LEGISLATURE AND A DEMOCRAT
GOVERNOR WHO MIGHT NOT HAVE HAD
THE BEST INTEREST OR THE BIGGEST
INTERESTS IN THE MAYOR'S SPEECH
TODAY.
>> GOVERNOR CUOMO DIDN'T SEEM TO
BE LISTENING HE DID A RADIO
APPEARANCE WHILE THE MAYOR WAS
SPEAKING WHICH GIVES AN UNDERCUT
TO THE MAYOR -- THE ATTENTION
THE MAYOR WAS GETTING.
BUT THAT WON'T REALLY AFFECT THE
LEGISLATIVE PROCESS I DON'T
THINK MUCH.
SO I THINK WE ARE SEEING CLEARLY
THINGS RELATED TO VOTING AND
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM MOVE
QUICKLY.
WE'RE SEEING NEW GUN CONTROL,
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS
SPANNED EXPANDED IN THE STATE.
WHEN IT COMES TO, YOU KNOW,
ISSUES THAT ARE REALLY OF
IMPORTANCE TO THE CITY I THINK
SOME OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE
REFORM WILL BE REALLY
INTERESTING TO SEE.
THERE IS G GOING TO BE BATTLES
OVER EDUCATION FUNDING.
THOSE ARE A COUPLE OF THE
MARQUIS THINGS TO WATCH.
THE MTA IS OBVIOUSLY CERTAINLY
AT TOP OF LIST AS YOU INDICATED.
I ALSO WANT TO ADD IT WAS
INTERESTING SOME OF THE THINGS
THE MAYOR DIDN'T GET GET TO.
HE MADE A BRIEF MENTION OF
AMAZON COMING TO THE CITY.
YOU WOULD THINK IF THIS IS
SOMETHING THE MAYOR WAS REALLY
EXCITED ABOUT HAVING LANDED THIS
DEAL TO BRING IN AMAZON CAMPUS
TO QUEENS THAT HE WOULD HAVE
HIGHLIGHTED IT A BIT MORE IN THE
SPEECH.
HE DID MAKE BRIEF MENTION.
BUT STRANGE THAT HE WOULDN'T HIT
THAT HOME A BIT MORE AS HE
TALKED ABOUT OPPORTUNITY FOR
PEOPLE, AND YOU KNOW CREATING A
CITY WHERE IT'S EASIER TO LIVE.
WELL JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT AMAZON
ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PART OF THE
PICTURE.
HE ONLY BRIEFLY MENTIONED IT.
SAME WITH NYCHA, A BRIEF MENTION
BUT DIDN'T GO INTO THE DETAILS
OF A PLAN THAT HE ROLLED OUT IN
DECEMBER FOR THE NEXT PHASE OF
NYCHA.
SOMETHING HE DOESN'T SEEM TO
WANT TO TALK ABOUT MUCH.
>> WELL WE ONLY HAVE SECONDS
LEFT.
CAN WE EXPECT THE CITY COUNCIL
TO BE ONBOARD WITH THE NEW
AGENDA?
>> I THINK IT'S A GREAT
QUESTION.
AND I THINK WE NEED TO SEE WHAT
THE REACTION IS FROM THE CITY
COUNSEL SPEAKER COREY JOHNSON
AND OTHER COUNSEL MEMBERS.
THERE ARE A FEW THINGS OUTLINED
THAT HAVE BEEN PRIORITIES,
PROTECTION STUFF, A RETIREMENT
SAVINGS PLAN FOR WORKERS WHO
DON'T HAVE ONE.
WE NEED TO SEE WHERE IT GOES
EXACTLY.
AND THE PAID VACATION DAYS AS I
SAID WAS A CITY COUNCIL BILL
THAT'S BEEN AROUND A WHILE.
THERE IS PIECES IN THERE.
WE'LL SEE WHERE THE KPLVGT
COMES.
>> BENITZ ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO
HAVE YOU ON.
AND WE DEFINITELY WILL FOLLOW TO
SEE WHERE THE GREAT PLAN THAT
WAS LAID OUT BEFORE US WHAT
ACTUALLY HAPPENS IN REALITY.
>> THANKS.
>> THANK YOU.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

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

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