MetroFocus: May 20, 2021

WHO’S RUNNING FOR MAYOR: SHAUN DONOVAN 

The primary for the New York City Mayoral election is quickly approaching. As part of our Metrofocus spotlight series on Who’s Running For Mayor, we’re sitting down with each of the major candidates to discuss who they are and how they plan to improve the city. Shaun Donovan was Budget Director and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President Obama’s Administration and before that, he ran New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development under Bloomberg. Secretary Donovan is the only candidate with significant Washington experience, and he is hoping that his national experience and connections, his knowledge of the inner workings of city agencies, and a career spent working to create more affordable housing are what New Yorkers are looking for in their next mayor.

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.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> OGOOD EVENING AND WELCOME T 'METROFOCUS.'

THE PRIMARY FOR THE NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL ELECTION IS QUICKLY APPROACHING.

WE'RE SITTING DOWN WITH EACH OF THE MAJOR CANDIDATES TO DISCUSS WHO THEY ARE AND HOW THEY PLAN TO IMPROVE THE CITY.

2021 DEMOCRATIC MAYORAL CANDIDATE SHAWN DONOVAN WAS BUDGET DIRECTOR AND SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

BEFORE THAT HE RAN THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING PRESERVATION DEVELOPMENT IN THE BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION.

HE IS HOPING THAT HIS EXPERIENCE AND CONNECTIONS, HIS KNOWLEDGE OF AGENCIES AND A CAREER SPENT WORKING TO CREATE MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS WHAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR IN THEIR NEXT MAYOR.

SECRETARY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

RAFAEL, GREAT TO BE WITH YOU.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.

LET ME BEGIN, AS I ALWAYS DO, WITH THE TWO BASIC QUESTIONS.

WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY AND WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?

WE ARE REBUILDING FROM THREE DIFFERENT CRISES AT THIS MOMENT.

A HEALTH PANDEMIC, AN ECONOMIC PANDEMIC AND THE PANDEMIC OF INEQUALITY.

WHAT I HEAR ALL OVER THE CITY IS THAT NEW YORKERS WANT SOMEONE WHO CAN REBUILD OUR CITY BUT ALSO HELP REIMAGINE IT AS A CITY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE.

AS A LIFELONG NEW YORKER WHO'S WORKED TO BRING THE CITY BACK FROM CRISIS AFTER CRISIS, WHETHER IT'S IN THE WAKE OF 9/11, WHETHER IT WAS THE WORK I DID IN THE WAKE OF THE RECOVERY FROM SANDY OR THE WORK THAT I DID SIDE BY SIDE WITH DR. FAUCI AND OUR MILITARY LEADERS TO PREVENT A PANDEMIC WHEN EBOLA AND ZIKA HIT THAT COULD HAVE COST 30,000 NEW YORKERS THEIR LIVES.

I BELIEVE I'M UNIQUELY QUALIFIED TO LEAD THE CITY BACK FROM CRISIS.

THAT'S CENTRAL.

I HEAR IT FROM EVERY NEW YORKER.

THEY WANT CHANGE, BUT THEY ALSO WANT EXPERIENCE.

I'M A PUBLIC SERVANT.

> WE COULD DO THE WHOLE HALF HOUR ON WHAT YOU'VE DONE SINCE YOU LEFT NEW YORK AND WENT TO WASHINGTON.

CONCEPTUALLY, WHY DOES THAT EXPE EXPERIENCE, QUOTE, WASHNOT MAKE A WASHINGTON INSIDER?

IF THAT WERE MY ONLY EXPERIENCE, THAT MIGHT BE AN ISSUE.

HERE'S THE THING.

I'M A LIFELONG NEW YORKER.

I'M THE SON AND GRANDSON OF IMMIGRANTS I LOVE THIS CITY DEEPLY.

AS A KID I SAW HOMELESSNESS EXPLODING ON OUR STREETS.

I SAW THE SOUTH BRONX AND OTHER COMMUNITIES CRUMBLING, BURNING TO THE GROUND.

I STARTED VOLUNTEERING IN A HOMELESS SHELTER IN COLLEGE.

WHEN I FINISHED ED SCHOOL, I C BACK TO WORK FOR A NONPROFIT, REBUILDING THOSE CITIES I'D SEEN BURNING AS A KID.

YES, I HAD NATIONAL LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE, BUT I LED AT THE CITY LEVEL.

MAYBE EVEN MOST IMPORTANTLY, I HAVE DEEP, DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMMUNITIES HURTING THE MOST.

THOSE ARE THE COMMUNITIES I'VE SPENT MY ENTIRE CAREER WORKING IN.

PARTICULARLY BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE BEEN LEFT BEHIND AGAIN AND AGAIN IN OUR CITY AND ARE CERTAINLY STRUGGLING THE MOST FROM THESE INTERTWINED CRISES WE'RE FACING RIGHT NOW.

LET ME QUICKLY DISPENSE FROM THE ISSUE JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY WANTED ME TO ASK YOU ABOUT, THE THING THAT MANY NEW YORKERS WHO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE RACE ARE LINKING YOU TO NOW.

THAT IS THE ANSWER YOU GAVE TO THE 'NEW YORK TIMES' EDITORIAL BOARD WHERE ONE OF THEM ASKED YOU IF YOU HAPPEN TO KNOW WHAT THE MEDIAN SALES PRICE FOR A HOME IS IN BROOKLYN RIGHT NOW, YOU SAID THAT THE PRICE WAS $100,000 WHEN IT'S ACTUALLY $900,000.

THAT'S PRETTY WIDE OFF THE MARK, ESPECIALLY FOR A FORMER HUD SECRETARY, WHO LIVES IN BROOKLYN.

SO THE QUESTION IS THIS, HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THOSE CRITICS THAT SAY, LOOK, THIS ANSWER SHOWS A SERIOUS DISCONNECT WITH THE REALITIES THAT NEW YORKERS ARE EXPERIENCING, THE PEOPLE THAT YOU WANT TO LEAD?

RAFAEL, LET ME BE VERY CLEAR.

I MISHEARD THE QUESTION.

I THOUGHT IT WAS FOCUSED ON ASSESSED VALUE.

I'D LITERALLY BEEN LOOKING AT THAT A FEW HOURS BEFORE, AND I MADE A MISTAKE.

IT WAS AN HONEST MISTAKE.

HERE'S THE THING.

I GET IT.

I UNDERSTAND WHY THE ANSWER GOT ATTENTION, BECAUSE LOOK, WE'RE FACING THE WORST HOUSING CRISIS I'VE EVER SEEN IN THIS CITY.

WE HAVE MORE PEOPLE ON THE VERGE OF EVICTION THAN ANY TIME IN OUR LIFETIMES.

WE HAVE MORE PEOPLE SLEEPING ON OUR STREETS AND IN SHELTERS THAN ANY TIME SINCE THE DEPRESSION.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I SAW AS A KID THAT MADE ME ANGRY.

HOW IN THE WEALTHIEST CITY IN THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY ON EARTH WE ALLOW OUR NEIGHBORS TO SLEEP ON THE STREETS.

THIS IS WHAT LED ME TO DO 30 YEARS IN HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS.

WE NEED A MAYOR WHO ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDS HOW TO SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS.

WE NEED SOMEBODY IN CITY HALL WHO KNOWS HOW TO PREVENT HOMELESSNESS, HOW TO FIGHT HOMELESSNESS, MAKE HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE.

WHEN I WAS HOUSING COMMISSIONER, WE BROUGHT DOWN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE SLEEPING ON THE STREETS AND IN HOMELESS SHELTERS BY ALMOST A THIRD.

WE CUT STREET AND FAMILY HOMELESSNESS BY 25%. WE EVEN ENDED HOMELESSNESS FOR VETERANS IN 80 CITIES.

I HAVE THE ONLY REAL CLEAR, COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY THAT WOULD ALLOW US TO REDUCE HOMELESSNESS AND MAKE HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE.

AS SILLY AS THIS WHOLE ANSWER WAS, THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS IT COULD BE POLITICALLY DAMAGING.

IT WENT VIRAL AND IT HAPPENED AT A TIME WHEN PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE RACE.

THIS IS THE WAY YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED TO THE VOTERS IN THE PRIMARY.

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THAT?

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT THAT, IF YOU ARE?

WHAT I COULD DO IS MAKE THE POINT THAT NOBODY ELSE IN THIS RACE HAS DEAD MEDICAIDED THEIR WHOLE CAREER TO MAKING HOUSING MORE FORDABLE IN THIS CITY.

AGAIN, IT'S ON THE TOP OF EVERYBODY'S MIND.

RAFAEL, I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT EVERY CANDIDATE COME FORWARD AND SAY HOW THEY'RE GOING TO SOLVE THIS, NOT JUST SOUND BITES.

THIS IS WHY I'VE PUT FORWARD THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE PLANS ON HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS.

WE'RE RUNNING THE CAMPAIGN OF IDEAS.

I PUT OUT A MORE THAN 200 PAGE BOOK OF PLANS ON HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS.

WE SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT REAL PLANS TO MOVE THIS CITY FORWARD.

WE'RE GOING TO GET TO THE HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS SPECIFICALLY IN A MOMENT.

RIGHT NOW LET'S MOVE ON AND TALK ABOUT, YOU SAID, QUOTE, ONCE THE HEALTH PANDEMIC IS BEHIND US, THE ECONOMIC AND EQUITY AND WILL STILL BE IN FRONT OF US.

FIRST OF ALL, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WHEN YOU TAKE OFFICE IN JANUARY 1st, 2022, IF YOU'RE ELECTED, THAT THE HEALTH PANDEMIC WILL BE BEHIND US, AND IF IT'S NOT, WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT?

IT SHOULD BE BEHIND US IF WE HAVE THE RIGHT LEADERSHIP.

MY REAL CONCERN IS THAT THE MAYOR HASN'T DONE THE WORK, THIS ADMINISTRATION HASN'T DONE THE WORK TO REACH THOSE WHO DON'T YET HAVE VACCINES, THAT ARE STRUGGLING THE MOST ECONOMICALLY AND WHERE TRUST IS THE LEAST WITH THIS CITY GOVERNMENT.

WHAT I'VE SAID FROM THE BEGINNING IS WE SHOULD HAVE SET ASIDE A PORTION OF THE VACCINES FOR THOSE COMMUNITIES.

I'VE SEEN OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT THOSE WHO ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE BEFORE A CRISIS HITS ARE ALWAYS HURT THE WORST BY IT.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO AT THIS MOMENT IS REALLY ENSURE THAT WE'RE PUTTING OUT MOBILE VACCINATION SITES, THAT WE'RE GOING INTO COMMUNITY ROOMS IN OUR PUBLIC HOUSING AND PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND SETTING UP THE INFRASTRUCTURE WE NEED TO REACH THOSE WHO AREN'T YET VACCINATED.

SO MANY ESSENTIAL WORKERS ARE FINDING IT HARD TO DO THAT.

THAT'S GOING TO BE CRITICAL BETWEEN NOW AND JANUARY NEXT YEAR IF WE'RE GOING TO GET THE PANDEMIC UNDER CONTROL.

WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS YOU WOULD TAKE AS MAYOR TO DEAL WITH THE EQUITY PANDEMIC?

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET ALL NEW YORKERS BACK TO WORK?

FIRST, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THIS IS THE SAFEST CITY.

MY SAFEST CITY COMMITMENT WOULD DO EXACTLY THAT.

EVERY TIME YOU DROP YOUR KID OFF AT SCHOOL, YOU GET ON THE SUBWAY, YOU GO TO THE OFFICE, YOU GO OUT TO EAT OR TAKE IN A SHOW OR ANYTHING ELSE, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TESTING, THE TECHNOLOGY, ALL OF OUR TRACING THAT THIS IS THE SAFEST CITY.

THAT'S GOING TO GIVE NEW YORKERS CONFIDENCE.

IT'S ALSO GOING TO GIVE TOURISTS CONFIDENCE.

I WOULD ALSO DO EVERYTHING I COULD TO BRING THE CITY BACK ALIVE.

IT IS SO SAD TO WALK AROUND OUR NEIGHBORHOODS.

I WAS OUT IN MANY DIFFERENT NEIGHBORS IN QUEENS AND MANHATTAN YESTERDAY.

VACANT STORE FFRONT AFTER VACAN STOREFRONT.

I WOULD FILL THOSE WITH ART AND CULTURE AND POPUP RESTAURANTS.

I'LL NEVER FORGET AS A KID THE 'I LOVE NEW YORK CAMPAIGN.'

WE NEED A NEW I LOVE NEW YORK CAMPAIGN TO SAY THAT NEW YORK IS ALIVE AND FUN AND THAT NEW YORK IS NEW YORK AGAIN.

SO THAT WILL BE A CRITICAL PIECE OF BRINGING THE CITY BACK.

THE OTHER THING I WOULD SAY IS WE NEED A MAYOR WHO UNDERSTANDS HOW TO TAKE -- I WOULD CALL THIS A NEW, NEW DEAL MOMENT.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF INVESTMENT FROM WASHINGTON THIS YEAR.

TOO OFTEN IT DOESN'T REACH THE FOLKS THAT NEED IT MOST, OUR SMALL BUSINESSES, IMMIGRANTS AND MANY OTHERS HURTING THE MOST THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC.

WE NEED A MAYOR WHO REALLY UNDERSTANDS HOW TO WORK WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS, BUT ALSO REALLY UNDERSTANDS THE NONPROFIT GROUPS, OUR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, HOW TO PARTNER WITH THEM SO ENSURE THAT AID GETS QUICKLY TO FAMILIES, SMALL BUSINESSES SO WE CAN HAVE A REVIVAL IN OUR COMMUNITY.

I HAVE UNIQUE EXPERIENCE TO DO THAT NATIONALLY AND LOCALLY.

AS YOU KNOW ALBANY JUST RAISED TAXES ON THE WEALTHIEST NEW YORKERS.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO?

WOULD YOU AS MAYOR CONSIDER RAISING TAXES ON THE WEALTHY RESIDENTS TO HELP OUR TROUBLED FISCAL OUTLOOK?

I BELIEVE EVERYBODY NEEDS TO DO THEIR FAIR SHARE.

THE CHANGES WE SAW IN ALBANY, A SURCHARGE ON THE WEALTHIEST, I THINK, CAN BE A PART OF GETTING US BACK ON TRACK.

BUT I ALSO WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAX AND REGULATE OUR WAY TO RECOVERY.

WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON THREE THINGS.

FIRST, WE NEED A MAYOR WHO CAN ENSURE THAT NEW YORK CITY GETS ITS FAIR SHARE OF FEDERAL HELP AT THIS NEW NEW DEAL MOMENT.

A LOT OF NEW YORKERS DON'T KNOW THIS.

WE SEND $23 BILLION MORE TO D.C.

EVERY YEAR THAN WE GET BACK IN RETURN.

THAT HAS TO END.

WE NEED TO REALLY HAVE A PARTNERSHIP TO ENSURE THAT WE'RE GETTING A HUGE SHARE OF THAT FEDERAL AID TO NEW YORK, NOT JUST THIS YEAR BUT ON AN ONGOING BASIS TO ENSURE WE CAN RECOVER FINANCIALLY AND NOT JUST THROUGH TAXES AND REGULATION.

SECOND, WE NEED A MAYOR WHO KNOWS HOW TO MAKE GOVERNMENT WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY, TO BRING TECHNOLOGY IN.

WE HAVE NOT FOCUSED ON MAKING SURE WE'RE DOING WHAT WORKS IN GOVERNMENT, MAKING IT MORE EFFICIENT.

THEN WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE PARTNERING WITH ALL OF NEW YORK CITY, THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO BRING IN REVENUES IN INNOVATIVE WAYS.

CONGESTION PRICING IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR US.

I'M THE ONLY CANDIDATE WHO'S MANAGED A $4 TRILLION BUDGET.

WE FACED THE WORST BUDGET DEFICIT SINCE WORLD WAR II WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK OVER.

BY THE TIME I FINISHED, WE REDUCED THAT DEFICIT WHILE STILL MAKING BIG INVESTMENTS IN HEALTH CARE, IN HOUSING, IN JOBS, ALL OF THE THINGS WE NEED TO DO IN NEW YORK.

AS YOU KNOW, MAYOR de BLASIO RELEASED HIS BUDGET PROPOSAL WHICH AS UP TO $98 BILLION AND IS BANKROLLED BY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF COVID RELIEF FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE PROPOSAL SPENDS $10 MILLION MORE THAN THE CURRENT BUDGET.

WHAT DO YOU THINK TO HAVE PROPOSAL?

DOES IT HAVE THE RIGHT PRIORITIES?

IS IT RESPONSIBLE?

DOES IT USE COVID RELIEF DOLLARS WISELY?

I HAVE TO SAY THAT WHILE THERE ARE MANY, MANY IMPORTANT STEPS THAT THIS BUDGET TAKES, THERE ARE TWO BIG ISSUES.

ONE IS THAT IT'S STRUCTURED IN A WAY THAT IT'S GOING TO LEAVE YAWNING GAPS IN THE OUT YEARS, AS MUCH AS $12 BILLION IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS OF GAPS WITHOUT ANY REAL PLAN.

WE NEED A MAYOR WHO UNDERSTANDS HOW TO PUT US ON A PATH TO FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY WHEN WE SAW THE BIGGEST FALL IN PROPERTY TAX RECEIPTS LAST YEAR, ALMOST 10% LOWER LAST YEAR, THE SINGLE BIGGEST ONE-YEAR DROP WE'VE EVER SEEN.

THERE REALLY IS NO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE BEYOND THE SPENDING THIS YEAR.

THAT'S A BIG PROBLEM.

SECOND WE SHOULD RECOGNIZE THAT TO MAKE GOVERNMENT WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY IS GOING TO BE A BIG PART OF THIS.

I HAVE UNIQUE EXPERIENCE.

THE OTHER PIECE OF THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BRING IN FEDERAL PARTNERSHIP IS NOT JUST THIS YEAR.

WITH THE RIGHT MAYOR, WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE ON AN ONGOING BASIS OF THE INVESTMENTS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAKE.

WE NEED $40 BILLION TO FIX PUBLIC HOUSING IN THIS CITY.

PART OF THAT MIGHT COME FROM A COVID RELIEF BILL, BUT I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS A CLEAR PLAN TO BE ABLE TO GET TO MORE THAN $30 BILLION OF FEDERAL AID TO FIX PUBLIC HOUSING.

WE HAVE MORE NEW YORKERS THAT LIVE IN PUBLIC HOUSING THAN LIVE IN ATLANTA, GEOGEORGIA.

I'VE WORKED MY WHOLE CAREER IN PUBLIC HOUSING.

THIS IS A REAL OPPORTUNITY TO FIX THAT PROBLEM.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE, OUR RESTAURANTS, WHEN COVID EMERGED, I WENT AND RAISED A MILLION DOLLARS.

I PARTNERED WITH RESTAURANTS IN SOME OF THE HARDEST HIT COMMUNITIES TO COOK HOT MEALS AND DELIVER THEM TO HOMES.

WE COULD GET FEMA DOLLARS AND OTHERS INVESTED INTO RESTAURANTS TO GET PEOPLE WORKING AGAIN, TO FEED THOSE GOING HUNGRY.

BUT IT'S GOING TO TAKE SOMEBODY WHO UNDERSTANDS HOW TO BUILD THOSE PARTNERSHIPS GOING FORWARD.

IT 'S GOOD TO BE A WASHINGTO INSIDER AS MAYOR OF NEW YORK.

IT'S BOTH.

YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND AND HAVE THE RELATIONSHIPS BUT I BUILT THAT PARTNER BECAUSE I CALLED COMMUNITY LEADERS IN THE SOUTH BRONX.

SO IT'S BOTH.

IT TAKES LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND D.C. KNOWLEDGE.

SURE.

YOU MENTIONED TOURISM.

OF COURSE, IT'S A CRITICAL PART OF AN ECONOMIC RECOVERY.

ALMOST ALL EXPERTS SAY IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR TOURISM TO GO BACK TO PRE-PAND LEVELS IF WE DON'T CONTROL THE RISE IN SHOOTINGS AND VIOLENCE WE'VE SEEN OF THE PAST YEAR AND IF WE CONTINUE TO SEE INCIDENTS LIKE WHAT WE SAW IN TIMES SQUARE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND THE RAMPAGE IN THE SUBWAY JUST LAST WEEK WHERE FOUR PEOPLE WERE STABBED AND ONE LOST HIS EYE.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO REVERSE THIS CRIME TREND WHILE AT THE SAME TIME TRANSFORMING THE NYPD INTO A BODY THAT IS TRUSTED BY ALL COMMUNITIES, PARTICULARLY POOR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR IN THE CITY?

ABSOLUTELY, RAFAEL.

IT HAS JUST BEEN TRAGIC TO SEE THE VIOLENCE IN OUR STREETS, SUBWAYS.

LOOK, I GREW UP IN THE CITY IN THE '70s AND '80s.

I KNOW WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN WE LOSE CONTROL OF PUBLIC SAFETY.

IT'S BAD NOW.

IT'S GETTING WORSE AND WE NEED A MAYOR WHO UNDERSTANDS HOW TO CREATE BOTH SAFETY AND RESPECT.

THIS ISN'T AN EITHER/OR.

WE NEED TO MAKE SURE EVERY SINGLE POLICE OFFICER FOCUSES ON GUN CRIME WHILE AT THE SAME TIME BUILDING RESPECT, ESPECIALLY WITH OUR BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES.

I BELIEVE WE NEED TO DO THREE CLEAR THINGS.

FIRST, WE NEED REAL REFORM, TRAINING ON DEESCALATION, MENTAL HEALTH AND OTHER STEPS.

I DO BELIEVE THAT OUR POLICE OFFICERS OUGHT TO REFLECT OUR COMMUNITIES.

RIGHT NOW MORE THAN HALF OUR POLICE OFFICERS LIVE OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK.

I WOULD WORK TO CHANGE THAT AS MAYOR.

BUT WE ALSO NEED TO REDUCE WHAT WE'RE ASKING THE POLICE TO DO.

WE'RE ASKING THEM TO SET UP BARRICADES IN OUR OPEN STREETS PROGRAM AND TICKET MOTORISTS, PATROL THE HALLWAYS OF OUR SCHOOLS, BE MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS WITH THE HOMELESS WHEN REALLY THEY NEED TO BE FOCUSED ON GUNS AND VIOLENCE KRCRIME.

I WOULD SHIFT THEIR FOCUS TOWARD THAT.

I WOULD WORK TO SPEED UP GUN CASES IN THE CITY.

IT TAKES TWICE AS LONG TO PROSECUTE FELONYIIES HERE IN TH CITY THAN THE REST OF THE STATE.

WE'VE GOT TO STOP THE FLOW OF GUNS INTO OUR CITY.

WE'RE NOT MANUFACTURING THEM IN NEW YORK OR SELLING THEM.

THEY ARE COMING IN FROM ROGUE GUN DEALERS OUT OF STATE.

THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THAT IS TO HAVE A MAYOR WHO CAN BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN WASHINGTON, BUT ALSO WITH OTHER MAYORS AND GOVERNORS AROUND THE REGION AND THE COUNTRY TO BUILD A STRONG COALITION AGAINST GUNS TO GO AFTER THOSE ROGUE DEALERS.

THOSE ARE ALL KEY PIECES OF MY STRATEGY.

WE'VE GOT TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE AND HOPELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

I HAVE THE MOST AGGRESSIVE, PROGRESSIVE PLAN TO BE ABLE TO INVEST UP TO $3 BILLION INTO OUR COMMUNITIES TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF INCARCERATION AND VIOLENCE.

I KNOW THIS CAN WORK.

WHEN I WAS HOUSING COMMISSIONER IN THE CITY, I TOOK HOUSING RESOURCES, GAVE THEM TO FOLKS COMING OUT OF RIKERS.

A YEAR LATER 90% WERE STABLY HOUSED, HADN'T REAOFFENDED.

IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT POLICING.

IT IS ABOUT WHAT WE DO TO INVEST IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND BREAK THE CYCLE OF CRIME AND VIOLENCE.

VERY QUICKLY, SOME OF YOUR OPPONENTS HAVE SAID THAT DEFUNDING THE POLICE IS NOT WHAT THE CITY NEEDS AND NOT WHAT THE RESIDENTS WANT, WHILE OTHER OF YOUR POSSIBILITIES ARE CALLING FOR DEEP, DEEP CUTS IN THE NYPD.

WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THIS ISSUE?

WE HAVE TO BE CLEAR THAT FOCUSING, REDUCING WHAT WE'RE ASKING THE POLICE TO DO, REALLY FOCUSING ON GUNS AND VIOLENT CRIME IS THE THING WE NEED TO DO ON POLICING.

WE CAN INVEST, AS I'VE JUST SAID, INTO OUR COMMUNITIES.

HERE'S THE THING.

WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THE POLICE BUDGET, BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT MORE BROADLY WE HAVE TO PUT JUSTICE IN OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

RIGHT NOW WE'RE SPENDING OVER $400,000 PER PERSON PER YEAR IN OUR CORRECTIONS SYSTEM AT RIKERS AND GETTING BAD RESULTS.

SO THERE IS A REAL OPPORTUNITY TO REINVEST IN OUR COMMUNITIES FROM OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE BUDGET MORE BROADLY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME FOCUSING ON GUNS AND VIOLENT CRIME.

THREE MINUTES.

I WANT YOU TO TOUCH ON THIS BUT IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE QUICK.

YOU ALREADY TALKED ABOUT NYCHA.

QUICKLY IN ABOUT A MINUTE, WHAT COULD YOU DO, WHAT WILL YOU DO TO HELP SOLVE THESE CRISES?

FIRST, WE HAVE TO KEEP FOLKS IN THEIR HOMES BECAUSE WE STILL HAVE HALF A MILLION NEW YORKERS OUT OF WORK, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE WE'RE TAKING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF FEDERAL MONEY JUST LIKE I DID AFTER THE GREAT RECESSION WHERE I CREATED PROGRAMS THAT KEPT MILLIONS OF FAMILIES IN THEIR HOMES, WE NEED TO DO THAT RIGHT NOW.

WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE'RE GETTING THE HOUSING COUNSELLING AND LEGAL AID TO FOLKS TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES AND WE NEED TO BUILD MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

I'VE GOT THE MOST AGGRESSIVE PLAN, $4 BILLION A YEAR OF CITY CAPITAL AND FEDERAL MONEY THAT WOULD DO THAT.

THEN TO END HOMELESSNESS.

WE HAVE A MAYOR WHO THINKS WE'RE GOING TO SOLVE HOMELESSNESS JUST WITH SHELTERS, WHEN IN FACT IT'S AN ISSUE OF MENTAL HEALTH, AN ISSUE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE.

JUST AS WHEN I LED HOMELESSNESS IN THE CITY AND NATIONALLY, YOU HAVE TO BRING EVERY AGENCY TOGETHER.

EVERY TIME SOMEBODY LEAVES RIKERS OR THE MENTAL HEALTH WING OF ONE OF OUR HOSPITALS, DIRECT THEM IMMEDIATELY TO SUPPORTER HOUSE ING TO BREAK THAT CYCLE O HOMELESSNESS AND HOPELESSNESS.

THAT'S REALLY THE SOLUTION THAT I USED TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM HERE IN THE CITY AND NATIONALLY.

IT'S WHAT WE NEED NOW.

RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A MAYOR WHO'S NOT FOCUSED ON THAT.

WE NEED TO REIMAGINE OUR RIGHT TO SHELTER AS A RIGHT TO HOUSING.

LESS THAN A MINUTE.

I WANT TO GET TO THIS.

YOU'VE INTRODUCED A FASCINATING PLAN TO PROMOTE WHAT YOU CALL 15-MINUTE NEIGHBORS.

IN LESS THAN A MINUTE, WHAT IS A 15-MINUTE NEIGHBORHOOD AND HOW WILL YOU BRING THOSE ABOUT?

HERE'S THE PROBLEM.

RIGHT NOW YOU CAN PREDICT THE LIFE CHANCES, EVEN THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A CHILD BY THE ZIP CODE THEY GROW UP IN.

THAT IS FUNDAMENTAL WRONG.

WE HAVE TO END OUR PANDEMIC OF INEQUALITY.

HERE'S WHAT A 15 MINUTE NEIGHBORHOOD IS.

EVERY NEW YORKER SHOULD HAVE WITHIN 15 MINUTES OF THEIR FRONT DOOR, A GREAT SCHOOL, A JOB THAT SUSTAINS THEIR FAMILY, TRANSPORTATION, BUT ALSO THE HEALTH CARE THEY NEED TO GET TESTED, TO GET A VACCINE AND FRESH FOOD, A PARK, ALL THE THINGS TO LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE AS WELL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, SECRETARY.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO END IT THERE.

THANK YOU.

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

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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