VOTERS IMPACT ELECTIONS

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.

Aired on November 6, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> 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.

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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