MetroFocus: August 3, 2020

METROFOCUS’ WEEKLY FRONT PAGE FORECAST

Every Monday night, we’ll bring you a look ahead at the news making local and national headlines this week and how it impacts the tri-state. This week our panel features political commentator and CUNY Professor J.C. Polanco, noted author, associate professor of political science at Rutgers University and a senior scholar at that school’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, Dr. Saladin Ambar and NY Daily News editorial board member, Laura Nahmias.

TRANSCRIPT

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

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANNIGAN.

EVERY MONDAY NIGHT WE'RE GOING TO BRING YOU A LOOK AHEAD AT THE NEWS MAKING LOCAL AND NATIONAL HEADLINES THIS WEEK AND HOW IT IMPACTS THE TRI-STATE.

TONIGHT WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS REOPENING PLANS, THE CONGRESSIONAL FIGHT OVER UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, AND AS BLACK LIVES MATTER MARCHES CONTINUE, WHY SOME CITY OFFICIALS ARE CALLING FOR NYC COMMISSIONER DERMOT McSHAY, TO LOSE HIS JOB.

LET'S GET STARTED.

JOINING ME TONIGHT IS LAURA NANL EOS.

HELLO.

MEMBER OF 'NEW YORK DAILY NEWS' EDITORIAL BOARD.

WELCOMING AGAIN J.C. POLANCO.

HOW ARE YOU?

GREAT TO BE HERE.

POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, COLLEGE PROFESSOR AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE NYC BOARD OF ELECTIONS.

AND PROFESSOR SALADIN AMBAR.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY AND SENIOR SCHOLAR AT EAGLETON INSTITUTE OF POLITICS.

AND HE'S ALSO AN AUTHOR.

THE SO WELCOME TO MY GUESTS.

THANK YOU.

NOW, FIRST LET'S START WITH THE CRITICAL ISSUE OF RESOURCES AND STABILITY.

LEADERS IN THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE ARE STILL AT ODDS OVER EXTENDING THINGS LIKE THE INSURANCE THAT THE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, I SHOULD SAY, THE ADDITIONAL $600 A LOT OF AMERICANS WERE RELYING ON EVERY WEEK.

FIRST, LAURA, I WANT DO START WITH YOU AND JUST ASK, WHAT ON EARTH IS THE HOLDUP?

WELL, PART OF THE HOLDUP IS THAT CONGRESS, PARTICULARLY THE CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS IN THE WHITE HOUSE, GOT A PRETTY LATE START ON DECIDING WHAT IT WAS THEY WANTED TO DO ABOUT A NEW PACKAGE OF BENEFITS, PERHAPS IN THE BELIEF THAT THE VIRUS WOULD HAVE BLOWN OVER BY NOW AND REAUTHORIZATION OF SOME OF THE AID WOULDN'T BE NECESSARY.

BUT THEY ONLY BEGAN NEGOTIATING AND REALLY DRILLING DOWN INTO DETAILS IN EARNEST IN THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS EXPIRED AT THE END OF -- ENHANCED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS EXPIRED AT THE END OF LAST WEEK.

SO WE'RE ON THE PRECIPICE OF SEEING 12 MILLION PEOPLE WHO WERE PROTECTED BY A MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS ABOUT TO LOSE THOSE PROTECTIONS AND THE EXTRA $600 A WEEK THEY WERE ABLE TO USE TO KEEP PAYING THEIR RENT.

AND WHAT SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING IS IT THERE'S AN IDEOLOGICAL CONVERSATION GOING ON BETWEEN THE REPUBLICANS AND THE DEMOCRATS IN WHICH SOME REPUBLICANS ASSERT THAT PAYING PEOPLE THAT EXTRA $600 A WEEK ENDS UP BEING MORE THAN WHAT THEY WERE EARNING BEFORE, AND IT'S A DISINCENTIVE FOR THEM TO EVER RETURN TO WORK.

IT'S LIKE SORT OF A RED HERRING AT THIS MOMENT WHEN THERE'S SO MUCH VIRUS AND SO MUCH ILLNESS IN SO MANY STATES, WE ARE CRITICAL TO STAY HOME FROM WORK, WE WANT TO MAKE IT ECONOMICALLY A BETTER DEAL FOR THEM TO STAY HOME FROM WORK, BUT THAT SEEMS TO BE GETTING LOST IN THE SHUFFLE HERE.

AND THEY'RE JUST NOT -- WE SEE THIS A LOT FROM CONGRESS.

NOT A TREMENDOUS SENSE OF URGENCY ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OF MILLIONS, TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO ARE ABOUT TO LOSE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF INCOME AND SAFETY FROM EVICTIONS, AND IT'S, YOU KNOW, WE SEE CONGRESS IS OFTEN OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE NEEDS AND THE ROUTINES OF REGULAR AMERICANS.

AND THIS MIGHT BE THE LATEST EXAMPLE OF THAT.

DR. AMBAR, I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO WEIGH IN ON -- BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH LAURA JUST SAID TO IMPACT, BUT JUST WHAT YOU SEE AS AT LEAST WHAT SO MANY PEOPLE ARE RELYING ON AS NECESSITY.

I THINK LAURA REALLY SAID IT WELL, PARTICULARLY IN THE SECOND HALF OF HER STATEMENT.

IDEOLOGICALLY, THERE SEEMS TO BE NO PROBLEM WITH CONGRESS, PARTICULARLY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WITH BAILING OUT LARGE CORPORATIONS, WE SAW THAT IN 2008 WITH THE GREAT RECESSION.

THERE SEEMS TO BE AN IT FA KNIT AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR THE CONTINUATION OF AMERICA'S WARS AROUND THE WORLD.

BUT WHEN IT COMES TO WORKING PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES, PEOPLE WANT TO GET OUT THEIR SLIDES AND RULERS AND START TO REALLY CUT AND MEASURE VERY CAREFULLY.

TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THIS IS AN HISTORIC PANDEMIC WITH MASSIVE LOSS OF LIFE, MASSIVE LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSEHOLD ABILITY TO EARN A LIVING, AND $600 A WEEK IN THE EYES OF SOME IN CONGRESS APPEARS TO BE TOO MUCH.

AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT PART OF THE WORLD THEY'RE LIVING IN, CERTAIN LIAR IN THE EAST COAST, NEW YORK ALL THE WAY DOWN THIS CORRIDOR AND IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD THAT IS NOT A LIVING WAGE, FRANKLY, PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE STRONG CHILDREN.

SO I THINK WE'RE DEALING WITH AN IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE AS WELL AS A POLITICAL STRUGGLE AND THE BELIEVE WORKING CLASS PEOPLE ARE SOMEHOW TRYING TO GAIN THE SYSTEM, SOMEHOW LOOKING TO CUT CORNERS AND GAIN AN EDGE BUT WE DON'T SEEM TO HAVE THAT KIND OF WORRY ABOUT CORPORATIONS THAT DON'T PAY TAXES AND THE LIKE.

SO THIS IS REALLY A CONTINUATION OF THIS ONGOING BATTLE ABOUT PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT AND WHAT'S THE BEST KIND OF SOCIETY WE WANT TO LIVE IN, FRANKLY.

J.C., I WOULD LOVE TO GET YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THIS.

BECAUSE WHILE WE HAVE HEARD THE DRUM BEAT OF PEOPLE MAKING MORE MONEY ON UNEMPLOYMENT AND THAT'S A DISINCENTIVE TO GO BACK TO WORK, PEOPLE HAVE ALSO SAID THIS IS MONEY GOING RIGHT BACK INTO THE ECONOMY, AND THAT'S WHAT THE ECONOMY NEEDS MOST NOW.

FIRST OF ALL, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE HOLDUP FOR THE SECOND STIMULUS PACKAGE.

FIRST OF ALL, IT'S DEVASTATING TO KNOW PROFESSOR LAURA MENTIONED A LITTLE EARLIER THE DEVASTATING LOSS OF LIVES AND JOBS AND LIVELIHOOD DRAINED FROM THIS PANDEMIC.

MY HEARTS ARE WITH THEM AS I'M THINKING OF THEM TODAY.

BUT WE HAVE TO REMEMBER WE'RE AN INCREDIBLE COUNTRY.

WHEN I HEAR SO MANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS THAT ARE WRONG, I JUST WANT TO REMIND YOUR VIEWERS THAT WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD YOUR RENT, WE SUBSIDIZE YOUR RENT.

IF WE CAN'T AFFORD HEALTH CARE, FOR MANY OF YOU, WE SUBSIDIZE YOUR HEALTH CARE.

IN NEW YORK CITY ALONE WE SPEND $30,000 PER PUPIL ON OUR SCHOOLS.

WE SPEND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON SOCIAL SERVICES AND SAFETY NET.

OUR COUNTRY IS AMAZING IN MAKING SURE OUR MOST VULNERABLE ARE TAKEN CARE OF AND THERE'S A LOT MORE TO DO.

IN THIS CASE HERE, THIS IS DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.

WHAT VIEWERS ARE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW IS DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.

DIFFERENCES OF PHILOSOPHY, DIFFERENCES OF OPINION, DIFFERENCES OF GEOGRAPHY.

$600 IN NEW YORK CITY IS NOT THE SAME AS $600 IN WYOMING AND THE FACT WE'RE CLAIMING $600 AS THIS FIGURE, WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THESE PEOPLE ANSWER TO CONSTITUENTS WHO VIEW THAT NUMBER QUITE DIFFERENTLY THAN WE DO.

THESE PEOPLE GET ELECTED BY PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE WITH GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS AS THEY CONTINUE THEM TO BE AT $600.

WHILE WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THE PEOPLE MAKING THESE DECISIONS, THEY HAVE TO ANSWER TO OTHER PEOPLE, VOTERS IN THE DISTRICT.

THE WAY THE CONGRESS IS DESIGNED THE DIFFERENT IDEOLOGIES ARE BEING PRESENTED, IT'S A CONTEST OF IDEAS IN WASHINGTON AND, QUITE FRANKLY, WE'RE BEING REPRESENTED BY PEOPLE IN CONGRESS WHO ALLOWED FOR PEOPLE IN WYOMING AND CALIFORNIA AND TENNESSEE TO WALK OUT WITH MUCH MORE MONEY THEY SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED UNDER THE FIRST SET OF THE STIMULUS THAT HE WITH THE OUT A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO.

IT'S INCREDIBLE TO KNOW PEOPLE AND PLACES WHO DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A PANDEMIC WALKED OUT WITH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN BENEFITS WHILE OUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION, EVEN THE GOVERNOR WAS UPSET THIS HAPPENED.

THERE'S A LOT OF BLAME TO GO AROUND.

WE CAN BLAME SOME REPUBLICANS AND BLAME SOME DEMOCRATS THAT ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN.

BUT WE SHOULD KNOW DIVERSITY OF OPINION IS A GOOD THING.

PEOPLE ARE ARGUING WITH DEMOCRACY IN ACTION AND ABOVE THE ECONOMY, THEY HAVE TO TACKLE IT.

SENATOR ROMNEY IS TRYING TO FIND A SOLUTION BY WHICH WE CAN EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR PEOPLE CONSIDERING WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THEIR INCOME WAS LOST BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC.

THESE ARE THOUGHTFUL ANSWERS, AND I HOPE WE CAN GET SOMEWHERE FAST.

BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING.

YES, AND SPEAKING OF SUFFERING -- I'M SORRY.

WAS SOMEBODY ELSE GOING TO ADD IN?

NO, I COULDN'T HELP BUT THINK ABOUT THE IDEA THAT WE'RE -- POLITICIANS ARE ANSWERING TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS.

AND, YEAH, THEY ARE, BUT IT'S THE CORPORATE CONSTITUENTS.

IT'S FOLKS WHO ARE FUNDING THEIR CAMPAIGNS.

IT'S FOLKS WHO ARE ENABLING THEM TO STAY IN POWER.

I WISH THAT WE WERE REALLY RESPONSIVE TO VOTERS AND ORDINARY PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY.

AND AS A FEW COLLEAGUES OF MINE WHO WROTE YEARS AGO IN A PAPER IN PRINCETON, WE'RE MORE LIKE AN OLIGARCHY TODAY THAN FRANKLY WE ARE A DEMOCRACY.

THAT'S JUST THE SAD TRUTH OF THE MATTER.

IF WE LOOK AT OTHER ADVANCED, INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD, THIS IS NOT THE DEBATE THEY'RE HAVING.

THERE'S FAR LESS CONCERN ABOUT SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH A LIVABLE WAGE DURING A MAJOR PANDEMIC THAN THERE IS HERE.

AND I FEAR THAT WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS LESS DEMOCRACY IN ACTION THAN OLIGARCHY IN ACTION.

IT REALLY TROUBLES ME, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU.

SOMEONE GREW UP WITH A PARENT ON WELFARE, WORKING CLASS FAMILY, I THINK ABOUT PEOPLE IN NEW YORK AND AROUND THE COUNTRY NOW WHO ARE REALLY STRUGGLING AND FOR NO REASON OF THEIR OWN, HAVE TO SUFFER THROUGH A PANDEMIC AND BITE THEIR TEETH DAY TO DAY TRYING TO STRUGGLE JUST TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.

I WISH WE WERE ANSWERING --

I DO WANT TO GIVE THE FLOOR BACK TO J.C. BECAUSE OLIGARCHY, THAT'S A PRETTY STARK ALLEGATION.

THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT WE LIVE IN A PLACE WHERE SPECIAL INTERESTS HAVE A BIG SAY.

FOR ME TO DEBATE THAT WOULD BE RIDICULOUS.

BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER HE'S CONGRESS MEMBERS REPRESENTING RURAL AREAS OF OUR COUNTRY THAT HAVE BEEN SUFFERING A LONG TIME HAVE TO ANSWER TO THE CONSTITUENTS THEY REPRESENT.

THEY'RE CONCERNED ABOUT PRIMARIES COMING FROM THE RIGHT MANY TIMES.

YOU GO BACK TO THE CONSTITUENTS YOU HAVE BEEN WITH ALL OF THIS TIME, THEY WILL TAKE MORE MONEY FROM THE POCKET SO I CAN RESPONSE PEOPLE A FEW HUNDRED DOLLARS EXTRA A MONTH IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, YOU'RE GOING TO GET PUSHBACK.

WHEN WE SEE THAT HAPPENING ON BOTH THE RIGHT AND LEFT, THESE PEOPLE ARE ANSWERING TO CONSTITUENTS.

WHEN HE SEE LIBERAL CONGRESS MEMBERS PUSHING FOR THINGS THAT DON'T EVEN MAKE ANY SENSE OR IRRESPONSIBLE AND CAN'T BE FUNDED, WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THE REASON THEY'RE PUSHING THESE THINGS IS THEY'RE AFRAID OF PRIMARIES COMING FROM THE LEFT.

IT'S NOT JUST THE BIG CORPORATIONS.

I HAVE TO GIVE THE FLOOR TO LAURA.

LAUER WHAT, WHAT WERE YOU GOING TO SAY?

IF YOU THINK, YES, THEY MIGHT BE IN RURAL PLACES AND DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COUNTRY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS THAT ARE ANSWERABLE TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS AT LARGE BUT IT'S ALSO THEIR JOB TO LEAD AND TO INFORM AND TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT THE GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, FIRST OF ALL, ARE WRITTEN BROADLY BECAUSE OF EASE OF DISTRIBUTION.

THE TAILORING EACH UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT TO EACH PERSON'S INDIVIDUAL JOB IS A LABOR-INTENSIVE TASK FOR 30 MILLION PEOPLE.

AND PEOPLE IN RURAL COUNTIES OF THE UNITED STATES AND EVEN GIGANTIC CORPORATIONS ALSO GET GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS.

MEDICARE IS A HUMONGOUS TAXPAYER FUNDED EXPENSE THAT IS, FRANKLY, RUNNING OUT OF MONEY.

FARMS, GIGANTIC CORPORATION FARMS GET HUGE SUBSIDIES.

THEY SUBSIDIZE IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM AFLOAT BECAUSE KEEPING THEM AFLOAT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF EVERYBODY OF THIS COUNTRY.

AND THIS SITUATION IS NO DIFFERENT.

IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CONGRESS MEMBERS, IN MY OPINION, TO EDUCATE AND TO TALK TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS ABOUT WHY EVEN THOUGH THIS MIGHT NOT BE THE MOST PERFECT SOLUTION, HELPING PEOPLE, EVEN IF YOU'RE ERRING A LITTLE ON THE SIDE OF HELPING TOO MUCH, IS PROBABLY A BETTER SOLUTION FOR THE ECONOMY AND EVERYONE IN AMERICA THAN JUST LETTING PEOPLE FAIL BROADLY AND BECOME HOMELESS, AND ALL OF THE ATTENDANT PROBES THAT WOULD GO ALONG WITH THAT.

OKAY.

I JUST VERY QUICKLY WOULD LIKE TO REINTRODUCE EVERYONE FOR SOMEBODY WHO MIGHT BE JOINING US RIGHT NOW.

I'M SPEAKING WITH LAURA NAHMIAS, 'NEW YORK DAILY NEWS' EDITORIAL BOARD.

J.C. POLANCO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND COLLEGE PROFESSOR AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE NYC BOARD OF ELECTIONS.

AND PROFESSOR SALADIN AMBAR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY AND SENIOR SCHOLAR AT THE EAGLETON INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AS WELL AS AN AUTHOR.

> SO I THINK THE FACT OF THE CONVERSATION WE HAD JUST ABOUT THE BENEFITS WAS SO IN DEPTH THAT IT REALLY ILLUSTRATES NOT ONLY THE CRISIS AND THE URGENCY OF THIS MOMENT BUT ALSO THE DIFFERENT HE COMPETING FACTORS.

AND SO I DO WANT TO CIRCLE BACK TO A POINT THAT I BROUGHT UP LAST WEEK, AND J.C., YOU WERE HERE FOR THAT CONVERSATION.

AND THAT, OF COURSE, WAS THE FACT THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE FACING EVICTIONS.

THE MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS HAS ALLOWED -- HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO EXPIRE AND NOW SOME OF PROCESSES ARE MOVING FORWARD AND BEING ARE BEING REMOVED FROM THE HOMES THEY WERE IN.

J.C., I WANT TO START WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU DID REMIND US OF A VERY IMPORTANT POINT AND THAT IS A LOT OF LANDLORDS ARE NOT NECESSARILY BIG CORPORATIONS BUT THEY'RE MOM AND POPS.

THAT'S A FACT.

IN NEW YORK CITY WE HAVE ABOUT 60,000 UNIT THAT'S GO UNRENTED BECAUSE A LOT OF THESE MOM AND POPS DON'T RECEIVE FUNDING NECESSARY AND DON'T GET SUBSIDIES BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN ALLOWED TO PHASE OUT WITH UPDATING AND MAINTAINING THESE PLACES.

WE HAVE IDEAS THAT THE LANDLORDS ARE JUST COLLECTING MONEY, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF PEOPLE.

THERE ARE SOME AND THOSE HAVE TO PAY THE PRICE FOR WHAT THEY DO BUT FOR THE MOST PART, THAT'S NOT THE CASE.

I'M REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT A COUPLE OF THINGS.

FIRST, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MORTGAGES, OIL, GAS, ELECTRICITY, INSURANCE AND ALL OF THE OTHER PAYMENTS THESE MOM AND POP LANDLORDS HAVE TO PAY EVERY MONTH IN ORDER TO HAVE A PLACE THAT IS INHABITABLE FOR PEOPLE TO RESIDE IN WITH THEIR FAMILIES?

WHO'S GOING TO PAY THAT BILL?

WE HAVE TO BE MINDFUL WHEN WE'RE DECIDING THAT, THERE ARE PEOPLE RIGHT NOW WITHOUT THE MEANS TO PAY THEIR RENT.

THIS IS A TIME WHEN PEOPLE HAVE TO BE SMART ABOUT THE SOLUTION.

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT MORATORIUMS BECAUSE THESE MORTGAGES HAVE TO BE PAID.

THE INTEREST ON THE MORTGAGES HAVE POB PAID.

IF THE MONEY ISN'T THERE, PEOPLE HAVE PLACES FALLING APART, DELAP TATED, AND WE HAVE TO HAVE A CONVERSATION.

W ARE WE TALKING ABOUT PAYING EVERYONE'S RENT WHO FALLS UNDER A CERTAIN GROUP, DOES THAT MEAN MORE MONEY COMING OUT.

STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT DOESN'T HAVE MONEY TO PAY THESE BILLS ALREADY, WE'RE GOING TO ASK TAXPAYERS AND THE GOVERNMENT TO SUBSIDIZE ALL OF THE RENT NS INSURANCE AND MORTGAGES?

THAT WOULD BE INSANE.

PROFESSOR, I WOULD LOVE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS EVICTION MORATORIUM, WHERE IT COULD LEAD A LOT OF FAMILIES AND SOME OF THE POINTS J.C. JUST BROUGHT UP.

I THINK J.C. MAKES A VALID POINT ABOUT THE SPECIFICS AND ISOLATING POLICY MEASURES TO HANDLE SMALL BUSINESSES, MOM AND POPS IN NEW YORK THAT ARE GOING TO BE THREATENED WITH LOSING THEIR LIVELIHOODS.

I GET THAT.

I WANT TO JUST DRAW BACK TO THE LARGER POINT, WHICH IS THAT, YOU KNOW, IN A PANDEMIC, WE'RE FACING, WHAT, SOMETHING ON THE SCALE OF 50 TIMES WHAT HAPPENED ON 9/11 NATIONALLY IN TERMS OF DEATH.

WE HAVE TO REALLY PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE.

WE NEED A MARSHAL PLAN FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

WE NEED A COLD WAR MINDSET, WHICH JOHN F. KENNEDY SAID I WILL PAY ANY PRICE, BEAR ANY BURDEN TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

WE CAN'T HAVE A MINDSET THAT SAYS WE'LL PAY SOME OF THE PRICE FOR SOME OF PEOPLE, SOME OF THE BURDEN FOR SOME OF OUR CONSTITUENTS WHEN SO MUCH IS AT STAKE.

I JUST WANT TO DRAW BACK TO THE LARGER POINT, THAT IN THE PANDEMIC THAT IS SCHEDULED TO HAVE OVER PERHAPS 250,000 PEOPLE DIE IN THIS COUNTRY BY THE END OF THIS YEAR, WE'RE BEGINNING TO TALK CIVIL WAR NUMBERS, WE'VE GOT TO HAVE A MINDSET OF A D-DAY PHILOSOPHY WHERE ALL HANDS ARE ON DECK AND WE WILL MANAGE THE CRISIS AT THE MICRO LEVEL WITH THE MOM AND POPS AND IN THE SMALLER LEVEL WITH INDIVIDUALS WHO CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY RENT, WE WILL MANAGE THIS CRISIS IN THAT SAME KIND OF WAY.

OTHERWISE, WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO IS KIND UP, I THINK, I FEAR, DIVIDING THE COUNTRY INTO THOSE WHO ARE DEEMED AS WORTHY OF BEING HELPED OUT OR QUOTE/UNQUOTE BAILED OUT AND THOSE WHO DON'T FIT THAT CRITERIA.

I KNOW HISTORICALLY THAT TENDS TO NOT FAVOR THOSE WHO ARE TRULY MARGINALIZED.

LAURA, I WOULD LOVE TO GET -- TO KNOW IF YOU AT 'THE DAILY NEWS' HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON ROUGHLY HOW MANY NEW YORKERS THIS EVICTION PROCESS COULD BE AFFECTING, AND WHICH NEIGHBORHOODS OR AREAS WE CAN SEE THE IMPACTS HIT THE HARDEST?

THE NATIONAL EVICTION MORATORIUM IS ACTUALLY ON MORTGAGES THAT ARE HELD BY FEDERALLY BACKED BANKS, I BELIEVE.

SO --

LAURA --

-- WE HAVE DIFFERENT PROBLEMS HERE IN NEW YORK.

CAN YOU HEAR ME?

YES, I CAN HEAR YOU.

WE HAVE DIFFERENT PROBLEMS HERE IN NEW YORK OR AN ADDITIONAL PROBLEM WHICH IS THAT OF RENTERS, I BELIEVE $100 MILLION OF THE C.A.R.E.S. ACT STIMULUS WAS ALLOCATED TOWARDS SORT OF A RENT RELIEF PROGRAM THAT ALLOWED RENTERS IN NEW YORK TO APPLY IF THEY MEET CERTAIN COVID-RELATED HARDSHIP, CRITERIA TO GET SOME OF THEIR RENT SUBSIDIZED BUT THERE'S GREAT CONCERN THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY WOULD NOT COME ANYWHERE CLOSE TO MEETING THE NEED.

AND THERE IS A GREAT CALL COMING FROM HOUSING ADVOCATES FOR SOME KIND OF ADDITIONAL TARGETED RENT RELIEF IN TERMS OF RENT SUBSIDIES TO BE INCLUDED IN WHATEVER THE NEXT ROUND OF THE STIMULUS IS.

BUT J.C. IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

THE SMALL LANDLORDS ARE IN A LOT OF CASES BOUND BY MORTGAGE CONTRACTS AND IT CANNOT BREAK AGREEMENTS THAT THEY MADE WITH LARGE BANKS OVER WHOM THE STATE HAS NO CONTROL IN SOME SITUATIONS.

SO A POLICY PROPOSAL FROM WASHINGTON WOULD NEED TO ADDRESS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NOT ONLY THE LANDLORDS AND RENTERS PERHAPS OR HOMEOWNERS IN TERMS OF SOME SORT OF MORTGAGE RELIEF OR FOR RENT RELIEF, BUT ALSO FIND SOME WAY TO PATCH THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE BANK AND THE LANDLORD AND OWNERS AND THOSE PAYMENTS AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THEM.

THERE'S BEEN VERY LITTLE DISCUSSION OF THAT IN THE BROAD STROKES.

WELL, OF COURSE, WHILE WE'RE ALL STILL STRUGGLING WITH THIS NATIONAL HEALTH CRISIS, THE PANDEMIC, IT MAKES PUBLIC POLICY COME SO MUCH INTO STARK RELIEF.

WITH THAT IN MIND, OF COURSE, THERE'S THE OTHER BIG PUBLIC ISSUE IN NEW YORK CITY, AND THAT IS THE REOPENING OF NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

I WOULD LIKE TO GO BACK AND JUST GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT WE DO KNOW THAT'S HAPPENING, WHAT WE DON'T KNOW THAT'S HAPPENING AND WHY THE NEED EXISTS TO REOPEN THE SCHOOLS.

I THINK WE WANT TO REOPEN SCHOOLS SAFELY, AND I THINK LAURA CAN AGREE ON THIS, WE HAD SO MUCH ISSUES IN THE NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL BEFORE THE PANDEMIC.

ISSUES OF DIVERSITY IN THE CLASSROOM COME TO MIND, ISSUES OF FUNDING SOME PROGRAMS, ISSUES OF STUDENTS NOT PERFORMING TO WHERE THEY SHOULD BE PERFORMING.

NOW WHEN WE ADD THE PANDEMIC TO THIS, WE'RE DEALING WITH THE FACT TEACHERS HAVE TO CHANGE THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE THEY'VE COME FROM.

CLASSROOM LEARNING TO DISTANCE LEARNING, AND THAT'S VERY DIFFICULT.

WE NEED TO KNOW THE CITY, WHAT IS BEING DONE TO TRAIN TEACHERS TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN IN AN EFFECTIVE MANNER SO EDUCATION DOESN'T FALL TO THE CRACKS?

WHAT WILL BE DONE WITH KIDS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AND IPs THAT CAN'T LEARN THROUGH COMPUTERS?

I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO KNOW.

AND I THINK THE ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN VERY COY ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN, TWO DAY ON, ONE DAY OFF TO CLEAN, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE CONDUCIVE TO PARENTS.

PARENTS HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN.

I'M A HOME SCHOOL PARENT.

DO WE HAVE TO STAY HOME AND BE WITH OUR CHILDREN?

THESE THINGS ARE NOT BEING TALKED ABOUT.

AND WE NEED IT A SOLUTION WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FALL REGARDING TEACHER ONLINE EDUCATION.

I THINK THESE QUESTIONS HAVE TO BE ANSWERED AND WE HAVE TO LOOK INTO DIVERSITY IN THE CLASSROOM.

THE MAYOR AND ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE NOTHING TO INFORM US AND AS LAURA SAID IN A PRESS CONFERENCE, NOT EVEN MARKET GOALS, RIDICULOUS.

WE NEED ANSWERS.

IT'S NOW AUGUST.

WE HAVE TO HAVE THESE ANSWERS NOW.

PROFESSOR, THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE WHERE POLITICIANS NEED TO CREATE THE POLICY THAT WE NEED TO ANSWER SOME OF THESE INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT QUESTIONS J.C. JUST BROUGHT UP.

HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

THIS IS A WICKED PROBLEM, THERE'S NO QUESTIONS ABOUT IT.

SCHOOLS ARE SO ESSENTIAL FOR MANY REASONS, EDUCATION FOR MOST AND ALSO PARENTS ARE WORKING IN OUR WORLD.

WE'RE NOT IN THE FARMS OF THE 19th CENTURY.

PEOPLE HAVE TO GO TO WORK AND EARN A LIVING AND IT'S A TREMENDOUS BURDEN FOR PARENTS TO KNOW THEY HAVE TO BE HOME WITH THEIR CHILDREN AND THEY HAVE TO HAVE THEM THERE WITHOUT BEING PRESENT.

IT IS A WICKED, VICIOUS PROBLEM.

BY THE SAME TOKEN, WE DON'T WANT TO PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH OUR CHILDREN.

WE DON'T WANT THEM IN AN UNSAFE ENVIRONMENT.

PART OF WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT IS WE'RE PULLING THE CARPET BACK AND LOOKING AT SOME OF THE DEBRIS AND INSECTS OF OUR SYSTEM THAT DOESN'T HAVE DECENT CHILDCARE, AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE AROUND.

WE DON'T HAVE A SYSTEM THAT CAN BEAR THE BURDEN OF PARENTS WHO ARE WORKING AND HAVE TO EARN A LIVING WHILE THEIR CHILDREN MAY NEED TO BE AT HOME.

THIS IS A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM.

IT'S A DIFFICULT PROBLEM.

WE CERTAINLY NEED ANSWERS, AND I HAVE CHILDREN WHO ARE SCHOOL AGE AND IT IS WORRISOME.

EITHER WAY YOU CUT IT, IT'S WORRISOME TO KNOW THEY'RE IN SCHOOL BECAUSE YOU'RE FEARFUL OF THEM CONTRACTING THE VIRUS, BUT IT'S ALSO WORRISOME TO KNOW THEY'RE AT HOME, WHERE, FRANKLY, THE EDUCATION AT BEST IS STILL NOT GOING TO BE WHAT IT WOULD BE ORDINARILY IF THEY COULD BE IN THE PRESENCE OF A TEACHER WHO KNOWS THEM ON A VERY PERSONAL LEVEL.

SO IT'S TROUBLING AND WE CERTAINLY NEED ANSWERS.

LAURA, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS TO WHAT WE AT LEAST OFFICIALLY KNOW ABOUT REOPENING OF NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND WHAT'S STILL UP IN THE AIR?

WE'VE HEARD SO MUCH PUSHBACK FROM TEACHERS WHO ARE EXPRESSING CONCERN ABOUT BEING IN A ROM WITH EVEN 12 KIDS THAT MIGHT BE ABLE TO GIVE THEM THE VIRUS.

WE KNOW MAYOR de BLASIO AND THE SCHOOL CHANCELLOR, RICHARD CARRANZA, RELEASED A PLAN THAT SAYS SOME IN-PERSON LEARNING CAN TAKE PLACE IF VIRUS TRANSMISSION RATES ARE BELOW 3%, WHICH IS LOWER RATES THAN WHAT WAS RECOMMENDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF A ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION.

BUT WITH A DISEASE THERE'S NO CURE OR VACCINE FOR, EVEN THAT LEVEL OF RISK IS TERRIFYING TO SO MANY TEACHERS, TO SO MANY PARENTS, TO ELDERLY RELATIVES WHO MIGHT BE LIVING WITH SMALL SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN.

WHAT WE KNOW ISN'T TAKING PLACE IS A CREATIVE DISCUSSION AROUND HOW WE CAN LET THE SCIENCE GUIDE A SCHOOL REOPENING PROCESS SO IT'S NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL SORT OF SITUATION BUT SOMETHING MORE FLEXIBLE AND MORE CREATIVE THAT ACTUALLY ADDRESSES WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF WHO THIS VIRUS ATTACKS, WHO IS MOST SUSCEPTIBLE AND WHICH STUDENTS ARE HURT THE MOST BY THE MOST CURRENT LEARNING REGIME?

AND THAT TENDS TO BE THE YOUNGER CHILDREN.

'THE DAILY NEWS' ADVOCATED, FOR INSTANCE, FOR INSTANCE LETTING POSSIBLY OLDER STUDENTS DO MORE REMOTE LEARNING, THEY CAN BENEFIT MORE FROM IT, AND USING THE SPACE VACATED BY THE OLDER STUDENTS IN HIGH SCHOOL, PERHAPS, TO LET ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND PRE-Ks SPACE OUT MORE, TO MAKE MUCH SMALLER CLASS SIZES, WHICH WOULD HELP POTENTIALLY PARENTS AND TEACHERS FEEL SLIGHTLY MORE COMFORTABLE WITH DOING THE KIND OF IN-PERSON TEACHING THAT THOSE CHILDREN REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BENEFIT FROM AND THAT IS SO HARD TO MAKE UP FOR BY DOING SCHOOL OVER THE INTERNET.

OKAY, UNFORTUNATELY, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE.

WE ARE OUT OF TIME.

I HAVE BEEN SPEAKING WITH LAURA NAHMIAS, MEMBER OF THE 'NEW YORK DAILY NEWS' ED TOERLD BOARD, J.C. POLANCO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CLES PROFESSOR AND FOMER PRESIDENT OF THE NYC BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND PROFESSOR SALADIN AMBAR, ASSOCIATE OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY AND SENIOR SCHOLAR AT THE EAGLETON INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AS WELL AS AN AUTHOR.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK MY GUESTS FOR JOINING ME.

OF COURSE, WE WILL BE HAVING ANOTHER CONVERSATION NEXT WEEK ON THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL HEADLINES.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU.

BY SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

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