LOCAL & NATIONAL HEADLINES

March 05, 2019 at 4:30 am

March didn’t disappoint, dropping various sums of snow in our area. Loved by the far-left and reviled by the right, will freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s next title be Mayor of New York City? A program spearheaded by New York City’s first lady aimed to help to New York’s mentally ill. But, after spending a billion dollars has there been any benefit? A bill seeking to make revenge porn a crime is now poised to become a law in New York State. We have the details.

Send your weather photos to us at photos@metrofocus.org.

Aired on March 4, 2019. 

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>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS," I'M JENNA
FLANAGAN.
IT WAS A SLUSHY START TO THE
WEEK WITH PLENTY OF SNOW AND
SHOVELING IN PARTS OF THE
TRI-STATE AS ANOTHER WINTER
STORM BLANKETED THE REGION,
KNOCKING OUT POWER FOR SOME AND
CLOSING SCHOOL FOR PLENTY.
DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU LIVE,
MOTHER NATURE DUMPED ANYWHERE
FROM A COUPLE OF INCHES TO
NEARLY A FOOT OF FRESH POWDER IN
TIME FOR THE MORNING COMMUTE.
LEAVING MANY NEIGHBORHOODS
LOOKING AND FEELING LIKE A
WINTER WONDERLAND.
JUST A REMINDER, BE SURE TO
SHARE YOUR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS,
JUST LIKE THESE.
WITH PHOTOS AT METROFOCUS.ORG.
YOU MIGHT EVEN SEE THEM ON THE
SHOW.
BACK HERE IN THE CITY THERE'S
ANOTHER STORM BREWING, ONE THAT
PROMISES TO RESHAPE CITY
GOVERNMENT FOR YEARS TO COME.
THE 2021 RACE FOR MAYOR MIGHT
SEEM FAR OFF, BUT THERE'S
ALREADY SPECULATION OVER WHO
WILL REPLACE BILL de BLASIO, ONE
POSSIBILITY ALEXANDRIA
OCASIO-CORTEZ, THE FRESHMAN
CONGRESSWOMAN WHO HAS BEEN
PRAISED BY THE FAR LEFT FOR HER
PROGRESSIVE POLICIES AND DERIDED
BY THE GOP FOR HER SOCIALIST
WAYS.
IT'S JUST MONTHS INTO HER FIRST
TERM INTO CONGRESS REPRESENTING
THE BRONX AND QUEENS, BUT COULD
AOC SAY FAREWELL TO WASHINGTON
FOR NOW AND BECOME THE FIRST
WOMAN TO BE MAYOR OF NEW YORK?
IT'S A POSSIBILITY OUR FRIENDS
OVER AT CITY AND STATE RECENTLY
TOOK A LOOK AT AND FOR MORE
LET'S BRING IN EDITOR IN CHIEF
JOHN LANCE.
JOHN, WE WILL COME BACK TO THE
PROGRAM.
>> GLAD TO BE HERE.
>> LET'S FIRST START WITH THE
POSSIBILITY OF MAYOR AOC.
WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?
>> WELL, SURE, IT'S A LONG TIME
UNTIL 2021 TO BE CLEAR, BUT, YOU
KNOW, IT'S IN THAT TIME A LOT OF
THINGS COULD HAPPEN AND SHE HAS
DEVELOPED A LOT OF SUPPORT,
SHE'S REALLY POPULAR, SHE HAS A
HUGE TWITTER FOLLOWING.
COULD THAT TRANSLATE INTO A
MAYORAL RUN, WE DON'T KNOW, BUT
IT'S A REAL POSSIBILITY.
I MEAN, THE FIELD -- THERE'S
REALLY JUST FOUR FRONT RUNNERS
AT THIS POINT, THE CITY
COMPTROLLER, SCOTT STRINGER,
BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT ERIC
ADAMS, BRONX WORE ROW PRESIDENT
AND COREY JOHNSON.
THOSE ARE FOUR MEN AND THERE IS
A LOT OF ATTENTION AS TO HOW
MANY WITH EM ARE SERVING IN
ELECTED OFFICE.
COULD SHE MAKE A STRONG RUN?
I THINK SO.
>> WHAT ARE THE AL WILL HE
THINKS THAT SHE WOULD FACE?
SHE SEEMS TO BE A POLARIZING
FIGURE IN D.C., BUT HERE IN NEW
YORK THAT WOULD BE A DIFFERENT
CASE.
>> SURE.
WELL, NEW YORK IS VERY HEAVILY
DEMOCRATIC SO THERE IS AN
ADVANTAGE FOR DEMOCRATS, SHE
COULD WELL FIND A LOT OF
SUPPORT.
ONE BIG QUESTION, THOUGH, IS
SHE'S NEVER RUN FOR A CITY WIDE
OFFICE BEFORE, OBVIOUSLY, SHE'S
ONLY A FEW MONTHS INTO HER FIRST
TERM IN CONGRESS, BEFORE THAT
HAD NEVER RUN FOR ANYTHING, WAS
REALLY LITTLE KNOWN.
BUT, AGAIN, HER DISTRICT SPANS
PART OF THE QUEENS, PART OF THE
BRONX, TO GO FROM THAT TO
ACTUALLY WINNING A CITY WIDE
POST YOU HAVE TO PICK UP STATEN
ISLAND OR AT LEAST DO REASONABLY
WELL THERE, I THINK STRINGER IS
THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS WON A CITY
WIDE OFFICE BEFORE.
SO SHE WOULD HAVE A KIND OF A
TOUGH HILL TO CLIMB.
>> ARE THERE ANY ARGUMENTS THAT
PEOPLE ARE ALREADY PROPOSING
THAT WOULD GO AGAINST THIS IDEA
AND SAY IT'S ACTUALLY NOT A GOOD
IDEA AND WHERE SHE IS SHE WOULD
ACTUALLY HAVE MORE OF AN EFFECT?
>> SURE, I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE
HAVE NOTICED SHE'S HAD A REAL
IMPACT, AGAIN, AS A FIRST-TERM
MEMBER OF CONGRESS USUALLY
THAT'S SOMETHING WHERE YOU'RE
KIND OF IN THE BACKGROUND, NO
ONE HEARS FROM YOU THAT MUCH,
YOU WAIT YOUR TURN, BUILD UP
SENIORITY OVER THE YEARS,
FINALLY MIGHT GET A
CHAIRMANSHIP.
SHE'S BEEN ABLE TO JUMP OVER ALL
OF THAT.
SHE HAS A HUGE VOICE, SHE HAS A
TWITTER FOLLOWING, SHE'S CALLED
FOR HIGHER TAX RATES AND THAT'S
GOTTEN A LOT OF COVERAGE.
SHE CALLED FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL.
YOU HEAR EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT
A GREEN NEW DEAL, BUT ALSO HOW
MUCH DOES SOCIAL MEDIA TRANSLATE
IN A MAYORAL RACE?
WE JUST SAW A CANDIDATE FOR
PUBLIC ADVOCATE.
HAD A HUGE TWITTER FOLLOWING,
MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE, SEVERAL
TIMES LARGER.
ONLY GOT LIKE 2.5 PERCENTAGE
POINTS OF THE VOTE.
SO WILL THAT TRANSLATE?
IT'S HARD TO SAY.
>> I'M WONDERING NOW IF WE'RE
ALREADY LOOKING AHEAD TO THIS
2021 RACE BECAUSE SO MUCH OF OUR
CONVERSATION IS ABOUT 2020
ALREADY.
>> WELL, THAT'S ANOTHER GOOD
POINT.
2020, WHO KNOWS WHAT'S GOING TO
HAPPEN IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE.
IF TRUMP IS OUT AND YOU HAVE A
DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT, WOULD
THERE STILL BE THIS STRONG
GRASSROOTS PROGRESSIVE SUPPORT
THAT'S TURNING OUT TO THE POLLS,
YOUNGER PEOPLE, THAT MIGHT
DISSIPATE SOMEWHAT, CONCEIVABLY
HURT HER IF SHE DID RUN.
>> SHE WILL THEORETICALLY BE ON
THE TICKET AGAIN TO RUN TO
CONTINUE REPRESENTING HER
DISTRICT.
I DO WANT TO TURN NOW FROM
NATIONAL/LOCAL POLITICS TO
THRIVE NYC.
THIS WAS AN INITIATIVE THAT WAS,
OF COURSE, STARTED BY THE MAYOR
WIFE TO HELP PEOPLE STRUGGLING
WITH MENTAL ILLNESS AND THERE
HAS BEEN CRITICISM OF IT IN
TERMS OF HOW MUCH IT'S ACTUALLY
BEEN ABLE TO HELP.
>> SURE.
THERE IS A NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL
HEARING JUST LAST WEEK, THERE
WAS A LOT OF SCRUTINY ON HOW
MUCH MONEY IS GOING INTO IT AND
IT SEEMS THAT THERE'S NOT REALLY
THE REPORTING THE TRANSPARENCY
AROUND WHAT ARE THE RESULTS.
SOME OF IT'S HARD TO TELL, YOU
KNOW, YOU TRY TO RAISE MORE
AWARENESS AROUND MENTAL HEALTH,
I THINK THAT'S AN INITIATIVE
THAT MOST PEOPLE AGREE WITH,
RIGHT?
YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT
THERE ARE RESOURCES OUT THERE
FOR YOU.
IT'S HARD TO ASSESS REALLY, YOU
KNOW, WHAT KIND OF NUMBERS ARE
THERE TO SHOW IMPROVEMENT.
BUT SOME OF IT IT'S WORKING WITH
DIFFERENT AGENCIES, AT THIS CITY
COUNCIL HEARING THEY WEREN'T
ABLE TO PROVIDE ENOUGH
EXPLANATION TO SATISFY COUNCIL
MEMBERS.
IT'S A LOT OF MONEY, MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS.
SCOTT STRINGER THE CITY
COMPTROLLER SUBSEQUENTLY WENT
AFTER IT AND SAID HE'S REALLY
GOING TO ANALYZE THIS PROGRAM
AND SEE IF --
>> IS IT A MATTER OF HAVING MORE
OVERSIGHT OR DOES THERE NEED TO
BE MUCH MORE TRANSPARENCY IN
TERMS OF EXACTLY HOW THESE
DOLLARS ARE BEING SPENT AND WHAT
ARE THE OUTCOMES OF THOSE
DOLLARS?
>> I THINK IT'S MOSTLY
TRANSPARENCY, SHOWING SOME
ACCOUNTABILITY, HERE IS WHERE
IT'S GOING TO, LET'S GET SOME
EXPLANATIONS, LET'S MAKE SURE
THE MONEY IS BEING SPENT IN THE
RIGHT WAY, TAXPAYER DOLLARS.
>> OF COURSE.
AND NOW, OF COURSE, GOING FROM
THRIVE NYC, ANOTHER VERY
CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE IS THE ISSUE
OF REVENGE PORN.
WE'VE SEEN LEGISLATION
INTRODUCED AT SEVERAL DIFFERENT
LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT TO ADDRESS
THIS, BUT WHAT IS IT THAT WE'RE
SEEING AT LEAST FROM THE STATE
GOVERNMENT RIGHT NOW?
>> SURE.
JUST THIS PAST WEEK BOTH HOUSES
OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE DID
VOTE, I BELIEVE, UNANIMOUSLY TO
MAKE THIS A CRIME, IF YOU DO
REVENGE PORN.
IF YOU'RE POSTING PHOTOS OF
SOMEONE YOU KNEW.
IT USED TO BE THERE WASN'T
REALLY ANY RECOURSE, YOU COULD
SEE THIS GO ONLINE AND THERE
WASN'T ANYTHING TO BE DONE ABOUT
IT.
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, NEW YORK
IS KIND OF BEHIND THE GAME ON
THIS.
I THINK IT'S THE 42nd STATE TO
GET THIS DONE.
FIRST THIS WAS INTRODUCED, I
THINK, FIVE YEARS AGO.
AT THAT POINT NEW YORK WAS ON
THE FOREFRONT OF THIS,
IDENTIFIED IT AS A PROBLEM, BUT
THERE WAS SOME CONCERNS, WOULD
INTERNET PROVIDERS, SOCIAL MEDIA
PROVIDERS WOULD THEY BE LIABLE
FOR THIS, WOULD THERE BE EXTRA
COSTS FOR THEM.
I THINK A KEY DIFFERENCE NOW IS
THERE'S NO LONGER A REPUBLICAN
MAJORITY IN THE STATE SENATE.
THAT BODY WAS MORE ALIGNED WITH
BUSINESS INTERESTS AND I THINK
HELD THIS UP.
NOW YOU HAVE DEMOCRATS
CONTROLLING BOTH HOUSES AND IT'S
GOING FORWARD AND LOOKS LIKE THE
GOVERNOR WILL SIGN IT.
>> ALL RIGHT.
AND THEN LASTLY I DO WANT TO
CIRCLE BACK TO CONGRESSWOMAN
OCASIO-CORTEZ BECAUSE THERE HAS
BEEN A LOT MADE ABOUT HER
RESIDENCY.
WE KNOW THAT SHE IS NOW OPENING
SOME DISTRICT OFFICES AND THAT
IS GETTING SOME ATTENTION, BUT
HOW MUCH OF -- WHERE LEGALLY
DOES IT STAND FOR A
REPRESENTATIVE TO LIVE AND THEN
HOW MUCH DOES THAT PLAY
POLITICALLY FOR SOMEBODY?
>> SURE.
WELL, IN THIS CASE IT'S ACTUALLY
FASCINATING BECAUSE HER
PREDECESSOR, THE CONGRESSMAN JOE
CROWLEY DID HAVE A RESIDENCE
NEAR D.C.
I THINK THAT HURT HIM
POLITICALLY AND POSSIBLY PLAYED
A FACTOR IN HER KNOCKING HIM OUT
OF OFFICE, THOUGH TECHNICALLY
YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO LIVE
WITHIN YOUR DISTRICT AS A MEMBER
OF CONGRESS.
ONE EXAMPLE IS CONGRESSWOMAN
VELAZQUEZ, SHE'S STILL IN THE
COMMUNITY.
TO BE CLEAR, ALEXANDRIA
OCASIO-CORTEZ DOES LIVE IN HER
DISTRICT.
THERE WAS SOME QUESTIONABLE
REPORTING ABOUT THAT, BUT EVEN
IF SHE DIDN'T, IT WOULDN'T
REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
MY GO HE IS IS IF YOU'RE CLOSE
ENOUGH, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT, IT
PROBABLY ISN'T A POLITICAL
ISSUE.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WELL, THEN, PERHAPS ONE OF THOSE
ISSUES THAT AT LEAST DRIVES
SOCIAL MEDIA BECAUSE WE SEE A
LOT OF THAT HAPPENING.
LISTEN, I WANT TO THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR JOINING US AGAIN.
WE OF COURSE LOOK FORWARD TO OUR
CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT'S
HAPPENING AT THE STATE AND THE
CITY LEVEL AND ESPECIALLY WITH
2020 AND 2021 COMING UP.
>> GLAD TO BE HERE.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
THANK YOU.

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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