METROFOCUS: NOVEMBER 6, 2019

Who won, who lost and how will the results of yesterday’s election affect you? We’ll examine the impact your vote may have on the city’s future elections and next year’s presidential race. We’ll take a look at Zachary Wood’s book “Uncensored” to explore insights on poverty, race and higher education from inside America’s colleges. We’ll tell you about an ambitious program that is bridging education and Broadway to create the next generation of theater fans.

Aired on November 6, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS, THE RESULTS ARE IN, WHO WON, WHO LOST, AND HOW WILL IT AFFECT YOU.

VOTING TOOK CENTER STAGE IN NEW YORK AS VOTERS IN NEW JERSEY TOOK ON AIR BNBs.

WE WILL EXAMINE THE IMPACT YOUR VOTES COULD HAVE ON THE FUTURE ELECTIONS AS WELL AS NEXT YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL RACE.

AND A CHAMPION OF FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS TELLS US.

SHARING A VIEW OF RACE, POVERTY AND HIGHER EDUCATION FROM INSIDE AMERICA'S COLLEGES.

AND FROM THE CLASSROOM TO CENTER STAGE, WE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THE PROGRAM BRIDGING EDUCATION AND BROADWAY TO CREATE THE NEXT THEATER FAN ONE STUDENT AT A TIME.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE ON 'METROFOCUS.'

RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METRO FOCUS,'. 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY.

THE --

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' THE VOTE IS IN AND VOTERR -- AND VOTERS HAVE SPOKE.

NEW YORKERS THREW THEIR SUPPORT BEHIND FIVE BALLOT MEASURES, INCLUDING ONE THAT WILL CHANGE HOW WE VOTE IN FUTURE ELECTIONS.

AND IN NEW JERSEY, NEW JERSEY CITY RESIDENTS BACKED STRICTER RELATIONS ON SHORT-TERM RENTALS, A BIG DEFEAT FOR AIR BNB, JOINING US FOR MORE ON ALL OF THIS, AND BEN MAX.

GENTLEMEN, WELCOME.

THANKS.

LET ME START WITH YOU, ANYTHING HAPPEN IN YESTERDAY'S ELECTIONS THAT SURPRISED YOU OR THAT YOU FOUND PARTICULARLY INTERESTING?

WELL, I MEAN, I THINK IT'S INTERESTING THAT ALL OF THE BALLOT MEASURES PASSED YESTERDAY THAT WERE UP AND ONE IS RANKED CHOICE VOTING.

GIVING THE RESIDENTS THE ABILITY TO RANK WHO THEY WANT IN ELECTIONS.

THERE'S AN IDEA THAT IT WILL SAVE MONEY AND TIME, IN TERMS OF YOU KNOW, WHO VOTERS CHOOSE IN SPECIAL ELECTIONS AND SO, THAT WAS DEFINITELY A BIG VICTORY.

SO, BENO THAT ONE, ON RANKED CHOICE VOTING.

THE COVERAGE IS ALL POSITIVE.

SEEMED THAT EVERYONE SUPPORTED IT.

AND A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE THE VOTE, THE MINORITY CAUCUSES AND THE CITY COUNCIL, PUBLICALLY CAME OUT AGAINST IT.

WHY?

YEAH, THAT WAS INTERESTING.

I MEAN, THEY MADE THE ARGUMENT THAT THE BLACK, LATINO AND ASIAN CAUCUS OF CITY COUNCIL, AND SOME WERE SUPPORTING THE MEASURE, AS A CAUCUS THEY CAME OUT AGAINST IT SAYING THAT IT HAD THE POTENTIAL TO SEE FEWER OF THEIR MEMBERS ELECTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL AND TO CITY WIDE SEAT IT IS.

NOW, I DON'T KNOW IF THAT CLAIM HOLDS UP TO SCRUTINY THAT WELL, THAT WAS THEIR POSITION.

AND OTHER CITIES WHERE THEY HAVE ADOPTED THAT, THAT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE THE CASE.

WE HAVE NOT SEEN THE EVIDENCE OF THAT.

I THINK THOUGH, THAT THE CAUCUS IS WORRIED AT THIS POINT, BECAUSE THERE'S SUCH GOOD REPUTATION IN THE CITY COUNCIL, AT LEAST RACIALLY AND ETHNICALLY, THEY DON'T WANT TO SEE LOSSES IN IT AND IT'S WORRY SOME THAT THE SYSTEM THAT WAS IN PLACE HAS BEEN WORKING ON THIS FRONT AND SO LET'S NOT MESS WITH IT.

SO, THERE'S ARGUMENTS AND EVIDENCE THAT IT COULD GO THE OTHER WAY.

AND I THINK THE 2018 STUDY OF CALIFORNIA, THREE OR FOUR CITIES THAT USED RANKED CHOICE VOTING.

YOU DID SEE THE NUMBER OF MINORITY CANDIDATES INCREASED AND THE NUMBER OF BLACK CANDIDATES DIPPED SLIGHTLY.

YOU SAW A MORE ASIAN AND LATINO CANDIDATES BEING ELECTED.

THE ONLY PUBLIC RACE, PUBLIC ADVOCATE, HE WON AND WON BIG.

HE HAS BEEN SAYING HE IS NOT RUNNING FOR MAYOR IN 2021.

WAS HIS IMPRESSIVE VICTORY, COULD THAT CHANGE HIS MIND?

ANYTHING COULD CHANGE ANY POLITICIAN'S MIND AT ANY POINT.

I BELIEVE WHEN HE SAID THAT HE IS REPEATEDLY SAYING HE IS NOT RUNNING IN 2021.

HE SEES THE FIELD, I THINK HE IS HAPPY TO BE PUBLIC ADVOCATE.

I DON'T THINK SO.

BUT, POLITICIANS CAN CHANGE THEIR MIND AT ANY POINT.

WHAT WILL BE INTERESTING IS HOW HE CEMENTS HIMSELF IN THE CITY WIDE ROLE.

HE TO KEEP RUNNING FOR ELECTION HERE.

AND NOW, HE SORT OF GETS TO ESTABLISH HIMSELF AND THE VOICE.

JOE BERELLI, HE IS A RESPECTED POLITICIAN AND A SERIOUS GUY.

EVERYONE PREDICTED THAT THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTION, WAY AHEAD OF TIME THAT HE WAS GOING TO LOSE AND LOSE BIG.

WHY DID HE TAKE IT ON, WHEN A LOT OF THOUGHT HE WOULD TAKE ON MAX ROSE.

A FRESHMAN DEMOCRAT WHO MAY BE IN TROUBLE ESPECIALLY AFTER SUPPORTING THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY.

HE WAS CALLING FOR THE POSITION TO BE -- POSITION TO BE ABOLISHED, IT WAS SURPRISING, HE DID NOT MOUNT MUCH OF A CAMPAIGN IN THE ELECTION AND NOT REALLY SURE WHY.

YOU THINK HE WOULD USE THE RACE AS A PLATFORM TO GET HIS IDEAS OUT THERE FOR WHATEVER RACES HE WANTED TO DO.

IT WAS NOT THE CASE.

IT WAS A LOW-KEY, VERY QUIET RACE.

YOU KNOW, JAMANI DID NOT TAKE CHANCES.

HE AN E-MAIL FROM BERNIE SANDERS THE OTHER NIGHT, ASKING FOR PEOPLE'S SUPPORT.

SO, YEAH, IT'S A LITTLE CONFUSING AS TO WHY MR. BERELLI DID NOT PUT ON MORE OF A CAMPAIGN.

IT SPEAKS TO WHAT THE NEW YORK REPUBLICAN PARTY IS DOING.

TALK ABOUT THAT.

WELL, THE ENROLLMENT DISADVANTAGE IN VOTER REGISTRATION IS REALLY STARK.

SO --

IT'S LIKE 7-1.

RIGHT?

IT'S A HIGHLY, HIGHLY DEMOCRATIC CITY OF COURSE.

FOR ANYONE OTHER THAN A MIKE BLOOMBERG TYPE TO COME IN AND WIN AS A REPUBLICAN CITY WIDE IS CHALLENGING.

YOU THINK IN THE OFF/OFF YEAR ELECTION AND NOT THAT MANY PEOPLE PAYING ATTENTION THAT REPUBLICANS MAY WANT TO TRY TO SNEAK THROUGH.

ONE THING THAT SURPRISED ME IS HOW HIGH THE TURN OUT WAS.

TO GET TO ABOUT 17% OF REGISTERED VOTERS WHEN THERE WAS NOT THAT MUCH GOING ON, I THOUGHT WAS KIND OF INDICATIVE OF THE ATMOSPHERE THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE ENGAGED.

DID EARLY VOTING, THE FIRST TIME IT HAPPENED HERE IN THE CITY AND THE STATE.

DID IT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT, YOU ANY?

NO, I THINK 60,000 PEOPLE DID EARLY VOTING IN THE CITY, SO 700,000 VOTED OVERALL.

IT WAS GOOD TO HAVE THE EARLY VOTING TO GET THE KINKS OUT AND GET THE POLL WORKERS YOS -- POL WORKERS USED TO IT.

ARE THE DAYS, WHY IS IT HAPPENING?

IS IT A DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE?

I THINK SO, AND I THINK THAT THE NEW YORK REPUBLICANS HAVE STRUGGLED A BIT TO SORT OF CRAFT WHAT IS AN URBAN AGENDA?

WHAT IS A CITY AGENDA?

WHERE PEOPLE WANT SERVICES AND GOVERNMENT TO WORK WELL AND THE CONSERVATIVE ARGUMENT IS VERY OFTEN LESS ARGUMENT.

THEY NEED TO MAKE THE PITCH THAT THEY KNOW THE PATH TO MORE EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT.

AND QUEENS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S RACE, KATZ, SOUNDLY DEFEATED HER REPUBLICAN OPPONENT.

ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT IN THAT RACE?

YOU KNOW, I THINK HER REAL CHALLENGE WAS IN THE PRIMARY AGAINST TIFFANY KABAN WHO ALMOST PULLED OUT THE ELECTION AGAINST THE QUEENS DEMOCRATIC MACHINE.

WHAT IT SAYS, IT KIND OF GIVES THE QUEENS DEMOCRATIC MACHINE BREATHING ROOM.

YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE A BIG ELECTION UNDER THEIR BELT.

NOW, MELINDA KATZ WILL HAVE TO GO OUT, SHE WAS PULLED TO THE LEFT IN THE PRIMARY.

AND MADE PROMISES IN TERMS OF HOW SHE WILL HANDLE THE OFFICE.

AND THE QUESTION IS HOW DOES SHE DO THAT AND SATISFY THE VOTERS IN QUEENS WHO TEND TO BE MORE CONSERVATIVE IN CERTAIN PARTS OF QUEENS THAT HELPED TO ELECT HER.

IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW SHE BALANCES THE CONCERNS FROM ADVOCATES WHO HAVE NO INDICATION THAT THEY ARE GOING TO GO AWAY AND PUSHING FOR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS AND HOW SHE HANDLES THE CONCERNS OF HER BASE.

THAT'S THE KEY THING, SEEING IF SHE TURNS HER BACK ON THE PROMISES SHE MADE IN THE PRIMARY.

WHERE SHE GETS A PRIMARY CHALLENGE IN A FEW YEARS.

RIGHT.

EVEN FROM KABAN HERSELF.

THAT COULD BE INTERESTED.

WHO SHE ONLY BEAT BY 55 VOTES.

IN RECOUNT, YES.

AND KATZ HAS A CHALLENGE OF FOLLOWING THROUGH ON THE PROMISES AND MAKING SURE SHE IS DOING HER JOB AS A PROSECUTOR AND PROTECTING CRIME VICTIMS THAT SHE PUT OUT THERE.

ANY RACES OUTSIDE NEW YORK CITY THAT GOT YOUR THAATTENTION?

I WAS KEEPING THE EYE ON THE -- RACE.

SO, HE WON AGAIN IN A COUNTY IN DUCHESS THAT WAS NOT A BIG REPUBLICAN STRONG HOLD BY ANY MEANS.

HE WON AGAIN AND THIS KEEPS HIM IN THE SORT OF DISCUSSION AROUND MAYBE HE RUNS FOR CONGRESS IN THE SEAT UP THERE OR MAYBE HE RUN FORCE GOVERNOR.

THIS DEFEAT FOR AIR BNB IN JERSEY CITY, BIG DEFEAT FOR THEM AND THE REGION.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

IT'S A BIG DEFEAT AS THEY PREPARE TO GO PUBLIC.

THEY SPENT $4 MILLION TO TRY TO DEFEAT THE RESTRICTIONS.

IT'S PART OF A TREND, YOU SAW NEW YORK CRACKING DOWN, PASSING REGULATIONS ON HOW AIR BNB CAN OPERATE.

AND THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK OUTSIDE THE MAJOR CITIES.

THEY ARE STARTING TO LOOK IN OTHER PLACES AROUND THE WORLD TO GROW THEIR BUSINESS.

BUT THERE'S NO QUESTION, COMING IN THE METRO REGION, THAT THIS WAS A MAJOR DEFEAT FOR THEM.

ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY, GIVE US A HINT OF WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE 2020 ELECTIONS?

I THINK THE TURN-OUT TREND AGAIN, SHOWS THAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY ENGAGED, THERE WAS NOT THAT MUCH GOING ON IN NEW YORK CITY.

OR 2021.

AND RANKED CHOICE VOTING WILL BE THE BIG THING.

THAT STARTS IN 2021.

AND ONLY IN SPECIAL PRIMES AND SPECIAL ELECTIONS.

NOT IN GENERAL ELECTIONS.

THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES IS WHERE MOST OF THE ACTION IS.

IT'S INTERESTING YOU DID NOT HEAR ABOUT HICCUPS WITH THE EARLY VOTING.

THIS IS GIVING THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS WITH A HISTORY OF COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS ABOUT THEIR OPERATIONS A CHANCE TO GET IT RIGHT BEFORE THE BIG PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND ALSO IN TO THE BIG MAYORAL ELECTION.

IT COULD INCREASE PEOPLE'S YOU KNOW, ACCESS TO DEMOCRACY, SO IT'S AN IMPORTANT MEASURE.

OKAY, WELL, GENTLEMEN, WE WILL CLOSE WITH THAT, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

> AS PUBLIC DISCOURSE IN OUR COUNTRY, HAS IT BECOME A -- OF ECHO CHAMBERS?

IT'S HARD TO NOT THINK THAT.

YOU VISIT A COLLEGE CAMPUS AND THAT VIEW IS MORE ACUTE.

ZACHARY WOOD FOUND HIMSELF AT THE CREPT ER-- AT THE CENTER OF POLITICAL STORM WHEN HE INVITED A GROUP OF CONTROVERSIAL SPEAKERS TO THE PREDOMINANTLY LIBERAL CAMPUS.

HE BECAME A CHAMPION, NOT SIMPY OF FREE SPEECH, BUT IN THE PROPOSITION THAT WE HAVE TO ACTIVELY ENGAGE WITH IDEAS AND BELIEFS THAT WE FIND IDEAL AND OFFENSIVE.

NOW AT 22, HE HAS WRITTEN A MEMOIR, UNSEMPNSORED, HE JOINS NOW.

ZACH, THANK YOU FOR COMING ON THE SHOW.

IT'S AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU HERE.

GLAD TO BE HERE.

A PUBLISHED MEMOIR PUBLISHED BY A 22-YEAR-OLD AUTHOR, YOU DON'T SEE IT OFTEN.

HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

SNAP YOUR FINGERS AND WISH --

YEAH, SURE.

I WAS FORTUNATE TO GROW UP IN A FAMILY OF EDUCATORS, TO HAVE A MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER WHO PLACED HIGH VALUE ON LEARNING.

AND SO, MY LOVE OF READING LED TO A LOVE OF WRITING.

SO, I HAD ALWAYS HAD AN INTEREST IN WRITING, EXPRESSING MY VIEWS AND MY THOUGHTS ON ISSUES THAT I WAS INTERESTED IN.

AND WHEN I GOT TO WILLIAMS COLLEGE, I DECIDED THAT I WANTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO PUBLIC DISCOURSE.

AND SO, THAT FOR ME MEANT WRITING OP-EDS.

I WAS FORTUNATE TO WRITE AN OP-ED FOR THE WASHINGTON POST COMPLAINING THE CHALLENGES THAT LOW INCOME AND FIRST GENERATION STUDENTS FACE WHEN THEY GO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS AND THAT LED FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE MY STORY.

YOU WERE ACTIVE IN ACADEMIC CIRCLES.

BUT AT LEAST 3/4 OF THE BOOK IS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE THIS EVENT.

WHY?

SO, FOR ME, YOU KNOW, IN WRITING THIS, I WAS THINKING ABOUT WHAT ARE THE EXPERIENCES THAT HAVE SHAPED WHO I AM?

AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST INFLUENCES IN MY LIFE WAS MY MOTHER.

SURE.

AND SO THE FIRST THIRD OF THE BOOK IS ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE WITH HER.

AND ANOTHER SECOND MAJOR INFLU MY FATHER, SO THAT WAS THE SECOND THIRD OF THE BOOK AND THE LAST THIRD IS ABOUT MY TIME AT COLLEGE.

LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR MOTHER.

SHE IS TRULY A PROMINENT CHARACTER IN THE BOOK.

AND I WOULD SAY THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR EARLY LIFE.

TALK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP AND HOW IT AFFECTED YOU?

YOU KNOW, I KNEW MY MOTHER LOVED ME DEARLY.

I KNEW THAT SHE WANTED TO GIVE ME THE BEST AT THE SAME TIME, I KNEW THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS CHALLENGING AND COMPLICATED AND AT 6 OR 7 YEARS OLD, YOU DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT MENTAL ILLNESS IS.

BUT MY MOTHER HAD A DISORDER THAT WAS A COMBINATIONS OF SYMPTOMS OF BIPOLAR AND PSCHITSOPHRENIA.

I HAD TO DECIDE IF IT WAS A GOOD DAY OR BAD DAY.

AND HOW I WAS GOING TO RESPOND TO THAT.

AND IT FORCED ME TO BE COMPASSIONATE AT AN EARLY AGE.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BRING IN WRITERS TO WILLIAMS WHO WERE CONSIDERED HOMO-PHOBIC AND XENOPHOBIC, HATEFUL, HATEFUL WRITERS.

WHY DID YOU THINK IT WAS IMPORTANT TO BRING THEM?

MY MOM RAISED ME TO BELIEVE THAT SELF KNOWLEDGE IS IMPORTANT.

AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT IS HAVING A KIND OF STEAD FAST COMMITMENT TO DEVELOPING A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF HUMANITY.

FOR ME, THAT MEANT THAT I HAD TO UNDERSTAND THE VIEWS AND THE VALUES THAT I ADMIRE, AND ALSO, THE VIEWS AND VALUES THAT I DETEST.

THE VIEWS AND VALUES THAT I HOPE TO RESIST.

THAT I HOPE TO CHANGE.

YOU HAVE TO ENGAGE WITH THEM.

AND YOU CAN'T JUST ENGAGE IN A MODE OF THIS HAS TO BE AN ADVERSARIAL INTERACTION.

YOU CAN LEAD WITH QUESTIONS.

IT OPENS UP POSSIBILITIES FOR YOU TO FIND COMMON GROUND.

FOR ME, I THOUGHT THAT BRINGING THE SPEAKERS WOULD HELP ME BE A BETTER CHANGE AGENT ONE DAY.

WHAT WOULD BE ONE OF THE MOST CONVINCING ARGUMENTS THAT YOU PIERS TOLD YOU AS TO WHY THE SPEAKER SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INVITED.

ONE OF THE MOST COMPELLING COUNTER ARGUMENTS TO THE WORK THAT I WAS DOING WAS THAT, IT WAS ALREADY DIFFICULT ENOUGH TO BE A MINORITY ON CAMPUS.

IT WAS ALREADY DIFFICULT ENOUGH TO BE A POOR STUDENT AT AN ELITE INSTITUTION WHERE THE MAJORITY OF THE STUDENT BODY WAS FAIRLY AFFLUENT, THERE'S ALREADY ENOUGH CHALLENGES, OBSTACLES, MICRO AGGRESSION, TO HAVE TO THEN BRING IN A SPEAKER ON TOP OF THOSE THINGS, THAT YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH IN INTERACTIONS WITH THE DORMS AND DINING HALLS AND IN CLASSES AND TO HAVE SOMEBODY THAT IS ESPOUSING AND SAYING THINGS THAT ARE DISTURBING AND UNSETTLING AND QUESTION THE WAY IN WHICH YOU IDENTIFY AND VIEW YOURSELF -- IT'S AN ADDED WEIGHT.

WHAT ABOUT THE ARGUMENT THAT YOU WERE LEGITIMIZING THEM.

THAT WAS AN ARGUMENT THAT YOU WERE ENDORSING WHAT THEY WERE SAYING BY GIVING THEM A PLATFORM.

MY VIEW IS, THERE'S COSTS AND BENEFITS WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING THAT MATTERS.

WHEN YOU ARE ENGAGED IN A TOPIC WORTH DISCUSSING.

THERE'S CHALLENGES AND ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES TO HAVING TOUGH CONVERSATIONS, TO TAKING MEASURES TO ACHIEVE CHANGE.

I THOUGHT THERE WAS A POTENTIAL FOR THE BENEFITS TO OUT WEIGH THE POSITIVE.

WAS THERE A SPEAKER OR DISCOURSE THAT YOU SAY, WE CANNOT GIVE IT A PLATFORM?

ABSOLUTELY.

WHERE IS THAT LINE?

FOR ME, IF THE SPEAKER IS NOT INTELLECTUALLY SERVICE, SAYING THAT THEY BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY, AND THAT THE WORLD IS BETTER FOR IT, I WILL NOT BRING A FLAT EARTH --

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID THAT HE WOULD CUT OFF FEDERAL FUNDING FOR UNIVERSITIES THAT PROHIBIT FREEDOM OF SPEECH THE WAY HE SEES IT.

DO YOU THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA?

I THINK IT'S A BAD IDEA.

IT'S A BLUNT INSTRUMENT.

WE WANT TO WIN THE ARGUMENT.

WE WANT THE IDEAS TO PREVAIL.

WE WANT TO PERSUADE PEOPLE THAT THIS IS WHY FREE SPEECH MATTERS.

THIS IS NOT AN INSTRUMENT THAT YOU WANT TO USE FORCE.

THAT OPENS UP --

IT'S COUNTER PRODUCTIVE.

AND IT SETS A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT.

YOU TOLD YOUR PEERS WHEN YOU WERE IN COLLEGE, THAT YOUR GOAL WAS TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

IS THAT STILL THE CASE?

THAT IS STILL THE CASE.

I HOPE TO BE A PUBLIC SERVANT ONE DAY.

I'M INTERESTED IN PEOPLE AND PEOPLE'S STORIES AND HELPING PEOPLE HAVE BETTER STORIES AND I CARE ABOUT THE ISSUES.

ALL RIGHT, ZACH, I WISH WE HAD MORE TIME.

IT WAS A FANTASTIC BOOK.

I REALLY RECOMMEND EVERYONE TO READ IT, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU, ABSOLUTELY.

SO, WANT A NEW WAY TO GET HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO LEARN?

SEND THEM TO A BROADWAY SHOW.

STUDIES CONSISTENTLY SHOW THAT STUDENTS THAT ENGAGE IN THE ARTS THAT INCLUDES ATTENDING LIVE PERFORMANCES BENEFIT ACADEMICALLY AND IT'S GOOD FOR THE NEW YORK CITY THEATER BUSINESS TO HAVE YOUNGER AND MORE DIVERSE AUDIENCES BECAUSE THEY ARE BUILDING TOMORROW'S THEATER GOERS.

> SO TWO YEARS AGO, THE BROADWAY LEAGUE LAUNCHED BROADWAY BRIDGES, JOINING US TO EXPLAIN IT ALL IS RACHEL RHINER, THE DIRECTOR OF AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT AND A NEW YORK CITY HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE WHO ATTENDED THE LION KING PERFORMANCE AS PART OF THE PROGRAM.

NICE TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE WITH US.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

RACHEL, LET'S START WITH YOU, WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?

WELL THE BROADWAY LEAGUE IS THE NATIONAL TRADE ASSOCIATION FOR COMMERCIAL THEATER AND WE REPRESENT BROADWAY.

AND WE HAVE MANY DEMOGRAPHIC REPORTS AND WE SEE WHO IS ATTENDING BROADWAY SHOWS AND WE NOTICED THAT NOT EVERY NEW YORKER GOES TO SEE A BROADWAY SHOW AND WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE THAT AND EVERY NEW YORKER GOES TO SCHOOL.

SO, WE DEVELOPED A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE UNITED FEDERATION OF TEACHERS AND BROUGHT TOGETHER INDUSTRY LEADERS TO FIND A WAY TO BRING EVERY SINGLE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT TO SEE A BROADWAY SHOW BEFORE THEY GRADUATE.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN EN -- IT SOUNDS LIKE A HUGE PROJECT.

WE STARTED IN JANUARY 2017 WITH A SMALL GROUP OF SCHOOLS AND CHAPERONES AND STUDENTS WHO WENT TO SEE THE SHOWS.

OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS WE HAVE DEVELOPED A WEBSITE AT BROADWAY BRIDGES.ORG, SO TEACHERS CAN SELECT THE SHOWS ON THE DAYS THEY WANT TO BRING THEIR CLASSES AND HOW MANY STUDENTS, AND THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO, AND WE HAVE BROUGHT 26,000 CHAPERONES AND STUDENTS TO SEE A SHOW IN THE LAST TWO YEARS AND IT GROWS EVERY YEAR.

I MENTION IN THE INTRODUCTION THAT STUDIES SHOWING THAT THERE'S ACADEMIC BENEFITS.

WHAT SORT OF BENEFITS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

ABSOLUTELY, WELL THERE'S ACADEMIC BENEFITS.

THERE'S MANY STUDIES THAT SHOW TEST SCORES IMPROVE, AND THEIR WRITING SKILLS IMPROVE AND THEN THE SECONDARY ONE IS THE RELATIONSHIP ORIENTED PEOPLE RELATIONSHIP, PEOPLE ARE MORE EMPATHETIC AND HAVE MORE RELATIONSHIPS AND A FEEDBACK THAT WE GET FROM TEACHERS IS COMMUNITY BUILDING IN THE SCHOOLS IS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT.

THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SEE A SHOW, HELPS THE STUDENTS REACH OUT WITHIN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY AS WELL.

LET ME COME TO YOU.

OKAY.

HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THIS PROGRAM AND HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN IT?

I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT BEFORE, BUT MY TEACHERS WAS GIVING OUT TICKETS TO THE BROADWAY SHOW AND I THOUGHT COOL, AND I HAD NEVER BEEN BEFORE.

AND I WANTED TO GO, OBVIOUSLY, AND IT WAS COOL.

THIS IS A FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO GO?

YEAH.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOUR FIRST THOUGHTS ARE WHEN THE CAST IS COMING DOWN THE AISLES SINGING.

I DIDN'T EXPECT IT.

I DECIDED IT WAS GOING TO BE LIKE SOMEBODY COMING TO THE STAGE AND SINGING.

BUT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT AND THEN, THERE'S LIKE MUSIC AND THE GUYS CAME IN, AND IT WAS A -- IT WAS AMAZING.

I SAW THE PEOPLE SINGING, I WAS ON THE EDGE.

IT WAS COOL.

WHAT DID YOU SAY TO YOUR FRIENDS?

IT WAS SURREAL, IT WAS MIND BLOWING.

IT WAS BROADWAY.

THEY OUT DID IT.

THAT'S THE RESPONSE THAT YOU WANT TO GET, RACHEL, FROM THE YOUNT STUDENTS S -- FROM THE YG STUDENTS HERE.

THERE'S SOME THAT ARE BASED ON COMPETITIONS TO GET THE STUDENTS IN TO BROADWAY SHOWS.

WE DID A SEGMENT IN TIME BACK WITH REGARD TO HAMILTON, AND WHAT THEY DID TO GET STUDENTS THERE AND STUDENTS THEN PERFORMED BEFORE THE SHOWS ON SOME DAYS.

THIS IS DESIGNED TO BE MORE BROAD BASED.

YOU SAID THE IDEA EVENTUALLY IS TO GET EVERY STUDENT.

TO START OFF WITH, HOW ARE YOU DETERMINING WHICH STUDENTS COME AND HOW IS IT ARRANGED THROUGH THE THEATERS THEMSELVES?

FIRST OF ALL, YOU ARE RIGHT.

THE HAMILTON PROGRAM, MANY BROADWAY NOT FOR PROFITS, TDS, HAD WONDERFUL PROGRAMS.

AND WHAT WE HAVE DONE AT THE BROADWAY LEAGUE IS BROUGHT TOGETHER THE COMMERCIAL PRODUCERS OF SHOWS WHO ARE INDEPENDENT AGENCIES AND CREATED A CONDUIT SO TEACHERS HAVE ONE PLACE TO GO TO HAVE ACCESS TO GET OFFERS FROM BROADWAY SHOWS, AND WE ARE IN A UNIQUE POSITION AS THE TRADE ASSOCIATION THAT WE CAN FIND OUGHT OF THE TICKETS AND WE OFFER THEM FOR $10 FOR THE STUDENTS AND CHAPERONES TO THE SCHOOLS AND WE ARE ABLE TO PURCHASE THE TICKETS WITH SPONSORS AND INDIVIDUAL VENODRS AND THEY ARE ABLE TO SELECT WHAT SHOW THEY WANT TO SEE.

AND THE KEY DIFFERENTIAL POINT IS THAT OUR PROGRAM IS SPECIFICALLY ABOUT ACCESS.

THERE ARE NOT LAYERS.

THERE'S NOT A COMPETITION LIKE YOU SAID.

THERE'S NOT A LOT OF WORK THAT THE TEACHERS HAVE TO DO OTHER THAN COORDINATING THE FIELD TRIP.

BECAUSE OUR POINT IS, IF WE CAN JUST GET THEM IN THE DOOR, AS THE FIRST STEP, THAT THAT WILL OPEN SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO THEM.

NUMBER ONE, ALL OF THE ACADEMIC AND SOCIO BENEFITS THAT WE HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED AND YES, IT HELPS THE BROADWAY COMMUNITY DIVERSIFY OUR AUDIENCE.

BECAUSE THE NEW Y-- NEW YORK PU SCHOOLS ARE SO DIVERSE.

AND THEY LEARN ABOUT NONPERFORMANCE CAREERS, THINGS THAT THEY ARE NOT SURE EXIST.

YOU HAVE TO BE ON STAGE TO BE ON BROADWAY.

THAT IS RIGHT.

DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AFTER BEING EXPOSED TO THIS ONE SHOW, SAYING I WOULD LIKE TO GET BACK AND SEE OTHER THINGS?

EVERYONE WAS LIKE TALKING ABOUT HOW THEY WANT TO WRI-- TH WANT TO BRING THE KIDS BACK.

I GREW UP WATCHING THAT, MULTIPLE TIMES AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT AGAIN.

IT BROUGHT BACK SO MANY MEMORIES.

EVERYONE WAS LIKE, THEY WANT TO BRING THEIR KIDS THERE.

SO THEY HAVE GOT YOU NOW.

AS A BROADWAY PHFAN.

YEAH, IT'S NOT A BAD THING TO BE.

IF THE FOLKS FROM THE SCHOOL, THE TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS ARE WATCHING IT AND SAYING, IT'S A GREAT IDEA.

HOW DO THEY GET INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM?

WELL, OUR GOAL IS TO REACH EVERY SINGLE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL, AND WE DON'T HAVE A CONTACT IN ALL OF THEM.

SO, IF A TEACHER WERE A PRINCIPAL, OR A SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR, GOES TO BROADWAY BRIDGES.ORG, THEY CAN REGISTER, AND THEN, THEY WILL GET ALL OF THE INFORMATION AND THE PASSWORD PROTECTED PORTAL TO PICK WHAT TICKETS THEY WANT TO TAKE THEIR STUDENTS TO.

IT'S A MARVELOUS PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US.

GLAD YOU WERE ABLE TO BE A BROADWAY FAN.

THANK YOU FOR COMING IN WITH US AND TALKING WITH US.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE BROADWAY BRIDGES PROGRAM.

MAKE SURE TO JOIN OUR WEBSITE, AT 'METROFOCUS --

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