MetroFocus: January 10, 2022

FRONTPAGE FORECAST 

Tonight we welcome the President of the New York State Young Democrats Jovan Richards, CUNY BMCC faculty member and former president of the New York City Board of Elections J.C. Polanco, and the Executive Editor of City Limits Jeanmarie Evelly, for a look at the news that will be making headlines this week.

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, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS' FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

IN THIS WEEK'S LOOK AHEAD AT THE MAJOR HEADLINES, NEW YORK CITY'S DEADLIEST FIRE IN DECADES LEAVES NEW YORKERS HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED?

AT LEAST 19 PEOPLE ARE DEAD IN THE BRONX, INCLUDING NINE CHILDREN AND DOZENS MORE ARE INJURED.

WHAT WE'RE LEARNING ABOUT THE HEROIC RESCUE EFFORTS, THE INVESTIGATION AND WHAT'S BEING DONE TO HELP.

WE'LL ALSO ADDRESS THE STATE OF THE STATE AND THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR AFTER GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL'S BIG SPEECH LAST WEEK.

AND WE'LL DISCUSS THE RED FLAGS RAISED BY NEW YORK'S NEW POLICE COMMISSIONER OVER NEW CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM.

THIS COMING ON THE HEELS OF MANHATTAN'S NEW TOP PROSECUTOR SAYING HE WANTS TO EITHER DOWNGRADE OR NO LONGER PURSUE CERTAIN OFFENSES.

AND WE'LL REFLECT ON THE PASSING OF ACTOR SIDNEY POITIER.

THE HUMANITARIAN, FORMER NEW YORKER, BECAME THE FIRST BLACK PERFORMER TO WIN THE BEST ACTOR OSCAR.

> SO LET'S GET THE CONVERSATION STARTED BY WELCOMING BACK OUR PANEL OF TRISTATE EXPERTS.

UP FIRST WE HAVE JOVAN RICHARDS.

JOVAN IS PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK STATE YOUNG DEMOCRATS.

JOVAN, WELCOME BACK TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

WE'RE ALSO JOINED AGAIN BY OUR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR EXTRAORDINAIRE J.C. POLANCO.

J.C., OF COURSE, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE NEW YORK BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND NOW TREATS AS BMCC.

ALWAYS A PLEASURE.

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU TOO.

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WELCOME TO JEANMARIE EVELLY, THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF 'CITY LIMITS' THE WEBSITE WHERE YOU CAN FIND ALL OF THE REPORTING.

THANK YOU, JENNA.

HAPPY TO BE HERE.

> I WANT TO START WITH THE ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING FIRE THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE BRONX.

JEANMARIE, JUST FROM YOUR REPORTING, WHAT'S THE LATEST WE'RE HEARING IN REGARDS TO WHAT STARTED THE FIRE AND HOW IT GOT SO BAD?

YES, SO AS YOU SAID, THIS WAS A REALLY, REALLY HORRIFIC INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE YESTERDAY IN THE TREMONT SECTION OF THE BLANC AT 131st STREET.

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR, MAYOR ERIC ADAMS IS SUPPOSED TO GIVE A BRIEFING MIDDAY BUT WHAT WE HEARD SO FAR IS THE FIRE STARTED IN THE APARTMENT ON THE THIRD FLOOR HAVING TO DO WITH A MALFUNCTIONING SPACE HEATER THAT THE TENANTS THERE WERE USING.

AND WHAT THEY'RE SAYING, WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING INTO NOW IS WHETHER OR NOT THE DOOR OF THE APARTMENT WAS SUPPOSED TO CLOSE AUTOMATICALLY.

THERE WAS -- THE FIRE ITSELF I BELIEVE WAS CONTAINED TO THE APARTMENT WHERE THE ACTUAL BLAZE STARTED BUT THE SMOKE SPREAD VERY QUICKLY THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING AND THAT'S WHERE MOST OF THE DAMAGE AND THE DEATHS CAME FROM.

AND THERE IS THE DOORS OF THE APARTMENT BUILDING ARE SUPPOSED TO SELF-CLOSE TO RETAIN FIRE LIKE THIS AND THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING INTO, WHAT THE MAYOR SAID THIS MORNING THEY'RE CHECKING INTO WHETHER THERE WAS A MALFUNCTION WITH THE DOOR ITSELF BECAUSE THE DOOR REMAINED OPENED AND THAT'S WHAT ALLOWED THE SMOKE TO SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING.

J.C., THIS, OF COURSE, WAS NOT NITRO HOUSING BUT IT WAS AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND POPULATED BY IMMIGRANT FAMILIES IN THE BRONX.

WHAT IS THIS TELLING US ABOUT THE STATE OF OUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AND A LOT OF WHAT JEANMARIE LAID OUT IN WHAT THESE PEOPLE MIGHT CONSIDER TO BE MODERN SAFETY PRECAUTIONS?

MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE THOSE THAT WE LOST IN THE FIRE AND INJURED IN THE HOSPITAL TODAY.

I GREW UP JUST A COUPLE BLOCKS AWAY FROM THERE.

I KNOW THAT BUILDING VERY WELL.

THAT BUILDING IS WITHOUT FIRE ESCAPES.

THERE'S NO RETROFITTED SPRINKLER SYSTEM IN THE BUILDING.

THE BUILDING WAS POORLY DESIGNED.

WHAT HURTS A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THIS SITUATION IS GROWING UP IN THE BRONX, I'VE SEEN FIRES MY WHOLE LIFE, FIRES IN HAPPILAND, BY THE WAY, A COUPLE BLOCKS FROM THERE WE LOST 87 SOULS AND THIS ONE REALLY HITS HOME.

IT'S IMPORTANT WE THINK ABOUT HOW WE RETROFIT THESE UNITS.

JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE LOOK LIKE ME AND ARE POOR AND IMMIGRANT DOESN'T MEAN WE PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEEDS TO KEEP THEM SAFE.

WE SHOULD HAVE HAD FIRE SPRINKLERS THERE.

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE CITY COUNCIL WILL DO ABOUT RETROFITTING BUILDINGS THAT ARE OLDER AND DO NOT HAVE FEIS ESCAPES?

WE HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO NOT ONLY THE BRONX BUT THROUGHOUT THE CITY WHERE PEOPLE IN THE THOUSANDS LIVE IN THESE CONDITIONS.

I WOULD HATE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT AND HATE TO SEE INACTION BY THE GOVERNMENT.

SO WE REALLY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE IN THESE OLDER BUILDINGS BECAUSE PEOPLE DEPEND ON THESE.

AS RENTS CONTINUE TO INCREASE, PEOPLE AGAIN ON THESE BUILDINGS FOR THEIR LIVELIHOODS.

IT'S IMPORTANT THE CITY MAKE IT A PRIORITY.

LET'S NOT RENAME STREETS AND START FOCUSING ON RETROFITTING RENTAL UNITS SO PEOPLE ARE SAFE IN TIMES OF FIRE.

JEANMARIE, ALREADY WE'VE SEEN SOME OF THE ELECTED OFFICIALS REPRESENTING THAT DISTRICT, ALREADY SPEAKING OUT ABOUT HOUSING CONDITIONS.

CONGRESSMAN RICHARD TORRES COMES TO MIND, BEEN VERY VOCAL ABOUT HOUSING ISSUES, ESPECIALLY IN HIS HOME DISTRICT.

I'M WONDERING, IT'S VERY, VERY EARLY, BUT IS THERE ANY KIND OF URGENCY OR MOMENTUM TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES THAT J.C. JUST LAID OUT?

YEAH, I THINK OBVIOUSLY THEY WILL DO A FULL INVESTIGATION AND SEE WHAT SOME OF THE PROBLEMS WERE AND WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED.

BUT ANY TIME AN INCIDENT LIKE THIS HAPPENS AND THERE'S SUCH A LOSS OF LIFE AND CHILDREN INVOLVED, THERE'S GOING TO BE A RECKONING WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO PREVENT THIS AND WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE TO PREVENT THIS IN THE FUTURE?

AND AS J.C. MENTIONED, NEIGHBORHOODS THAT OBSERVE GET OVERLOOKED AT THINGS LIKE SAFETY UPGRADES, MAYBE TIME WILL TELL DEPENDING ON WHAT THE SITUATION OF THIS BUILDING WAS.

BUT CLEARLY IT'S AN IMMENSE TRAGEDY AND WHATEVER THEY CAN DO TO CAUSE THE CITY COUNCIL AND ELECTED OFFICIALS TO LOOK AT WHAT OUR HOUSING CONDITIONS ARE AND ARE THERE THINGS WE CAN DO TO PREVENT STUFF LIKE THIS IF HAPPENING AGAIN.

OF COURSE, WHEN IT COMES TO ADDRESSING ISSUES LIKE THIS, ONE OF THE BIG THINGS THAT WILL COME INTO PLAY IS MONEY AND WHO'S GOING TO PLAY FOR IT.

THAT LEADS ME INTO OUR NEXT TOPIC, JOVAN.

GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL GAVE HER ADDRESS, HER STATE OF THE STATE -- HER FIRST STATE OF THE STATE SPEECH LAST WEEK.

AND I'M WONDERING IF YOU HEARD ANYTHING IN REGARDS TO HOUSING COME UP IN HER ADDRESS?

SHE DID ADDRESS HOUSING FOR A SHORT TIME DURING HER ADDRESS.

AND SHE HAD PRIOR -- SHE MADE A SIZABLE PRIORITY TO ENSURE HOUSING IS AFFORDABLE FROM NEW YORK CITY ALL THE WAY UPSTATE.

SO HOUSING IS A BIG DEAL.

AND YOU CAN IMAGINE THAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE QUITE A BIT OF LEGISLATION PASSED WITH THE NEW YORK LEGISLATURE THIS YEAR.

OF COURSE.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT STOOD OUT TO YOU THOUGH IN HER SPEECH?

LIKE WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT SHE REALLY MADE IT A POINT TO FOCUS ON?

SHE ADDRESSED EVERYTHING FROM CLIMATE CHANGE TO JOBS TO THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATE, MAKING SURE NEW YORK CITY IS BACK TO BEING A VIABLE RESOURCE AND REVENUE SOURCE FOR THE STATE AS WELL AS THE UPSTATE OF WHAT WE HAVE UPSTATE.

YOU HEARD EVERYTHING FROM JOB CREATION, JOB DEVELOPMENT, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND, OF COURSE, COMING OUT OF THIS PANDEMIC ON THE OTHER SIDE.

SO THE GOVERNOR LAID OUT A VERY, VERY BIG, BOLD PLAN FOR THE STATE OF NEW YORK.

WELL, OF COURSE, I AS A JOURNALIST DID MY DUE DILIGENCE AND WATCHED THE SPEECH, BUT JEANMARIE, I'M WONDERING HOW DO YOU -- HOW DID YOU VIEW HER SPEECH?

WAS IT MORE OF A TRADITIONAL STATE OF THE STATE SPEECH OR PERHAPS MORE OF A STUMP SPEECH?

BECAUSE SHE IS RUNNING FOR ELECTION AND 2022 WILL BE A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION YEAR IN NEW YORK.

YES, IT WAS INTERESTING, ON TWO FRONTS, ONE THAT YOU MENTIONED SHE'S IRONICALLY RUNNING FOR A FULL ELECTION COME JUNE.

SO I THINK SHE WAS BEING CAREFUL TO BE -- SHE'S IN THIS POSITION WHERE SHE'S GOT SOMEONE ON THE LEFT RUNNING AGAINST HER AND ALSO SOMEONE FURTHER TO THE RIGHT RUNNING AGAINST HER.

I THINK THIS WERE CERTAIN PARTS SHE WAS TRYING TO SORT OF APPEAL TO BOTH SIDES AND SORT OF TREAD THAT MODERATE IN THE MIDDLE.

SHE DIDN'T BRING UP THINGS LIKE THE EVICTION MORATORIUM WE WERE TALKING ABOUT HOUSING ON, SOMETHING A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE WAITING TO SEE WHETHER OR NOT SHE MAKES ANY MOVE TO EXTEND THAT.

I ALSO THINK IT WAS A LITTLE LIKE MORE SUBDUED STATE OF THE STATE THAN MAYBE WHAT WE'RE USED TO SEEING IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS, OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC AND OMICRON UPTICK CONTRIBUTED TO THAT.

BUT HER PREDECESSOR IS RIGHT, GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO IN HIS STATE OF THE STATE SPEECH SORT OF WAS OVER THE TOP IN PRODUCTION IN A LOT OF WAYS AND IT DIDN'T HAVE THIS PARTICULAR VIBE TO ME THIS TIME AROUND.

J.C., SAME QUESTION TO YOU, DID YOU SEE THIS AS AN ALBEIT TEMPERED BUT TRADITIONAL STATE OF THE STATE SPEECH OR STUMP SPEECH FROM GOVERNOR HOCHUL?

A COMBINATION OF BOTH I THINK, JENNA.

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS JEANMARIE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, THIS IS NOTHING LIKE WE'VE SEEN BEFORE.

THIS WAS SUBDUED AND LACKLUSTER.

YOU WOULD EXPECT IT LIVELIER.

THERE ARE A LOT OF PLANS AND IDEAS HOW TO REVAMP NEW YORK CITY AND NEW YORK STATE.

SHE'S PUTTING HERSELF IN POSITION SHE HAS TO ADDRESS ISSUES THAT WILL AFFECT HER IN THE PRIMARIES.

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS ACROSS NEW YORK CITY AND CITY CRIME IS A PROBLEM.

ISSUES OF JOB DEVELOPMENTS ARE ISSUES.

TAXES ARE TOUGH ON TOWNS AND VILLAGES ACROSS NEW YORK AND UNFUNDED MANDATES SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE BUT THESE ARE THINGS THAT ARE NOT SEXY TO TALK ABOUT AT DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES BUT WILL AFFECT HER A GREAT DEAL.

HOW WE WILL FIX THIS REFORM ISSUE, GET REAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM IN, REDUCE TAXES AND BRING JOBS BACK.

WE LOST 335,000 PEOPLE TO OTHER STATES JUST LAST YEAR, 1.5 MILLION IN THE LAST 12.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT HOW WE BRING THESE PEOPLE BACK.

I HEARD VERY LITTLE HOW THEY INCENTIVIZE BUSINESSES TO COME BACK TO NEW YORK.

I THINK THIS WILL BE A PROBLEM FOR HER CONSIDERING NEW YORK NEXT YEAR IS GOING TO LOOK FOR SOMEONE THAT'S GOING TO TALK ABOUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM THE EVER-INCREASING ISSUES WITH CRIME.

WE SAW 3,500 PEOPLE RELEASED ON JAIL REFORM WHO CAME BACK AND COMMITTED CRIMES AGAIN.

I THINK IT'S A PROBLEM WHERE WE JUST IGNORED THOSE ISSUES.

HER NOT TALKING ABOUT HOW TO FIX THIS BAIL REFORM ISSUE, HOW TO DECREASE TAXES AND BRING JOBS BACK TO NEW YORK.

THESE ARE IMPORTANT ISSUES.

I THINK DEMOCRATS SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO UPSTATE A LITTLE MORE BECAUSE WE'RE USING PEOPLE, WE'RE LOSING JOBS AND I DIDN'T HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT HOW TO CREATE JOBS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK.

J.C., YOU TALKED SO MUCH ABOUT BAIL REFORM WITH US ON 'METROFOCUS' AND THAT DIRECTLY LEADS ME INTO THE OTHER TOPIC AND THAT, OF COURSE, WOULD BE CHANGE IN POLICE COMMISSIONER AND THE CHANGE THAT THE POLICE COMMISSIONER INTENDS TO BRING AND, OF COURSE, NEW MANHATTAN D.A.

HOW DO YOU SEE THAT FACTORING INTO THE WAY THIS CITY HANDLES CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE?

WELL, I DO BELIEVE THAT IT'S IMPORTANT WE RECOGNIZE I THINK WHAT'S GOING TO BE AN INCREDIBLE NYPD COMMISSIONER.

WE HAVE A MAYOR WHO WON BECAUSE HE WAS TOUGH ON CRIME.

AND I THINK WE'RE GOING TO SEE A MAJOR CONFLICT.

I THINK THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAS A MAJOR ISSUE WHEN HE DECIDES WHAT CRIMES HE'S NOT GOING TO PROSECUTE FOR.

HE DOESN'T HAVE THAT KIND OF POWER TO JUST DECIDE WHICH LAW HE IS GOING TO ABIDE BY.

I THINK YOU WILL SEE MAJOR CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE MAYOR, POLICE COMMISSIONER AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN MANHATTAN WHO JUST DECIDES THE CRIME WE SEE IN OUR CITY IS NOT A SERIOUS AND SHOULDN'T BE CURTAILED.

I THINK IT'S A MAJOR ISSUE FOR DEMOCRATS NEXT YEAR STATEWIDE.

JOVAN, I WANT TO BRING YOU BACK INTO THE CONVERSATION AND ASK WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON NOT ONLY THE CHANGES WE MIGHT BE SEEING TO AT LEAST THE WAY CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS HANDLED IN NEW YORK CITY AND WILL THAT BE A PROBLEM FOR GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL, BUT ALSO THE FACT THAT AS WAS MENTIONED, SHE HAS A CHALLENGER FROM THE LEFT?

TO THE OFFICE ON THE RIGHT AS WELL, REPRESENTING TOM SUOZZI, SHE DOES HAVE A PRIMARY.

AND REWINDING FOR A SECOND, YOU DID SEE A TICK OR BUMP IN HER POLLING NUMBERS SINCE HER STATE OF THE STATE, WHICH WAS LIKELY.

BUT GOING BACK DIRECTLY TO THE QUESTION REGARDING CHANGES, I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A LOT OF CHANGES.

I DON'T THINK SHE WAS ABLE TO ADDRESS EVERYTHING IN HER STATE OF THE STATE BUT THERE'S A LOT HAPPENING.

OUR STATE IS FOREVER CHANGING AND WE'RE NOT A STATE THAT IS EVER PLATEAUED.

SO YOU CAN SEE CONSISTENT CHANGES FROM TODAY, IT WILL BE A NUMBER OF CHANGES, MYRIAD OF CHANGES, SHE'S PROBABLY NOT ADDRESSED BUT WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN.

JEANMARIE, FROM YOUR TAKE, BECAUSE OF COURSE WE CAN'T FORGET ABOUT TOM SUOZZI.

NOT TOM SUOZZI, I'M SO SORRY, BUT LEE ZELDIN, THERE WE GO, A DIFFERENT GOP CHALLENGER.

AND I'M WONDERING IF THAT IF YOU SEE ANY OBVIOUS OPEN SPACES TO ARE HER RIVALS TO ATTACK HER AT LEAST ON THE RIGHT OVER SOME OF THE THINGS SHE'S SAYING SHE SUPPORTED OR PERHAPS DIDN'T SAY AT ALL?

I THINK SHE MADE A VERY BIG POINT OF TRYING TO TALK ABOUT THE SAME SORT OF -- MY DOG IS GROWLING OUT SOMETHING.

HOLD ON.

I APOLOGIZE FOR THE NOISE.

QUITE ALL RIGHT.

SHE MADE A BIG POINT OF TRYING TO SEPARATE HERSELF FROM HER PREDECESSOR ANDREW CUOMO.

ETHICS IS ONE THING SHE FOCUSED ON A LOT AND THAT COULD BE SOMETHING HER RIVALS COULD SEIZE ON, THIS IDEA SHE COMES FROM, EVEN THOUGH SHE DOES SEPARATE HERSELF FROM CUOMO, SHE WAS HIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND THAT SHE IS STILL IN THE POSITION BECAUSE OF THE CORRUPTION, RIGHT, AND KIND OF ISSUES WE'VE SEEN IN ALBANY OVER THE YEARS.

I THINK HER SPEECH DID FOCUS ON THAT AND SHE TOOK A LOT OF PAINS TO REALLY TRY TO TALK ABOUT HOW THIS WILL BE A NEW ERA FOR NEW YORK.

SHE TALKED ABOUT WANTING TO GET RID OF JAY COPE, THE MUCH EMBATTLED WATCH DOG AGENCY AND REFORM THAT.

THAT WAS ONE AREA SHE HARPED ON A LOT AND HER RIVALS WILL LOOK FOR AS SORT OF PAINTING HER AS AN ALBANY INSIDER.

J.C., WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE CHALLENGE FOR THE REPUBLICANS IN NEW YORK TO TAKE TO GOVERNOR HOCHUL TO PERHAPS MAKE THIS A MORE COMPETITIVE CAMPAIGN?

YOU MENTIONED THE POPULATION PARTICULARLY UPSTATE BUT WE'VE ALSO SEEN THE SORT OF SHIFT IN POPULATION WHERE THERE'S BEEN A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO MOVED OUT OF NEW YORK CITY AND RELOCATED PERHAPS IN SOME OF THE SUBURBS SURROUNDING IT.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS A CHALLENGE THAT YOU THINK MIGHT BE REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT?

YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THIS LAST NOVEMBER, LONG ISLAND DEMONSTRATED HOW THE REST OF NEW YORK IS VIEWING THE CRIMINAL -- THE SO-CALLED CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM LEGISLATION THAT WAS PASSED IN ALBANY.

THEY GOT RID OF DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, GOT RID OF COUNTY EXECUTIVES, GAVE COUNTY MAJORITIES TO REPUBLICANS.

IF YOU LOOK OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK CITY, YOU HAVE INCREDIBLE REPUBLICAN GAINS.

IN THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL, WE HAVE 300% INCREASE IN CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT ARE NOW IN THE GOP.

THE ISSUE THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW, WHAT CAN HAPPEN THIS YEAR SO THAT A REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE CAN CONNECT WITH ENOUGH NEW YORK VOTERS IN ORDER TO WIN?

I THINK THAT ONCE WE RECOGNIZE THE ISSUE OF CRIME AND THE FACT THE MAJORITY IN THE SENATE IN ALBANY AND ASSEMBLY VOTED IN FAVOR OF SOME OF THE MOST INCREDIBLY IRRESPONSIBLE BAIL REFORM LEGISLATION THAT'S IMPACTING THE ENTIRE STATE, I THINK IT MAKES A GOOD CAUSE FOR WHY YOU MAY HAVE A REPUBLICAN THAT CAN WIN.

REMEMBER, REPUBLICANS WIN OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK CITY, IF A REPUBLICAN PICKS UP 33% OF NEW YORK CITY, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE THE FIRST REPUBLICAN FOR GOVERNOR PATAKI TO GET ELECTED.

BUT IF YOU DO THAT, YOU CAN CONNECT WITH NEW YORK CITY VOTERS.

THE TONE HAS TO BE ONE VERY SIMILAR TO PRE-TRUMP GIULIANI, THREE TERMS OF PATAKI, SIMILAR TO BLOOMBERG, THE KIND OF REPUBLICANS THAT CAN CONNECT WITH MODERATE AND CENTRIST VOTERS.

I THINK THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE FOR THAT TO HAPPEN.

BUT BEFORE I STOP TALKING, I APOLOGIZE, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THERE'S A PRIMARY ON THE LEFT AND I CONTINUE TO BELIEVE PUBLIC ADVOCATE GENTLEMAN MONTY WILLIAMS WILL DO WELL IN BUFFALO, SYRACUSE, ALBANY AND NEW YORK CITY AND HE MAY SURPRISE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT JUST THINK HOCHUL WILL WALK INTO A PRIMARY VICTORY.

OF COURSE.

WE DO HAVE TWO VERY IMPORTANT ELECTIONS ON THE LEFT COMING UP.

JEANMARIE, I WANT TO TURN BACK TO YOU THOUGH, BRING THIS BACK MORE TOWARDS NEW YORK CITY.

NOW NEW YORK CITY MAYORS ARE KNOWN FOR ALWAYS HAVING SOME SORT OF ISSUE, CONTROVERSY HAPPENING, AND OUR NEW MAYOR SEEMS TO BE REALLY PUTTING IN EXTRA WORK TO DO THAT.

ALREADY HE HAS HAD TWO CONTROVERSIAL APPOINTMENTS TO HIS TEAM THAT HAVE ALREADY RAISED SOME EYEBROWS AND WATCHDOGS ARE EXPRESSING CONCERN.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO OUR VIEWERS WHAT THOSE ARE?

SURE.

WELL, ONE OF THE LATEST THAT I THINK WAS REPORTED ON FRIDAY, MIGHT HAVE BEEN IN 'THE NEW YORK POST' ORIGINALLY, WAS THAT HE APPOINTED HIS OWN BROTHER TO SERVE AS DEPUTY COMMISSIONER IN THE NYPD.

AND IT WAS SORT OF DONE IN AN UNDER-THE-RADAR WAY.

THE LAST I HEARD, HE WAS LOOKING TO GET THE CITY'S CONFLICT OF INTEREST BOARD TO I GUESS, YOU KNOW, GIVE IT AN OKAY.

BUT OBVIOUSLY, HIRING YOUR FAMILY IS NOT SOMETHING THAT'S ALWAYS LOOKED UPON IN A GREAT LIGHT.

AND ESPECIALLY NOT COMING OUT IN THE OPEN WITH IT AND GETTING AHEAD OF THAT, IT'S NOT GREAT WHEN WHEN REPORTERS FIND OUT PROBABLY BEFORE YOU MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT.

THERE WILL BE A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT, OBVIOUSLY.

HE'S DEFENDED THE DECISION, I KNOW THAT, AND IS SAYING THAT, YOU KNOW, HE -- HE IS GONNA BE ABOVE BOARD AND IT'S ALL GOING TO BE OUT IN THE OPEN BUT OBVIOUSLY I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF QUESTIONS THAT ARE GOING TO BRING HIS FAMILY IN.

WE WILL SEE.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT POSITION WILL ENTAIL BUT HE WAS SIGNED UP AS DEPUTY COMMISSIONER TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT SO I GUESS WE'LL SEE.

AND THEN I KNOW THAT THERE'S BEEN AN EQUAL CONTROVERSY OVER HIS OTHER -- ANOTHER APPOINTMENT HE MADE RELATING TO ONE OF THE TOP FEEDERS HAVING BEEN INVOLVED IN PAST SCANDALS.

I'M NOT SUPER CAUGHT UP ON ALL OF THE DETAILS AND WE HAVEN'T REPORTED ON THAT YET BUT I KNOW IT WAS BANKED WITH -- I DON'T KNOW IF ANY OF OUR FELLOW PANELISTS WANT TO FILL IN ON THE DETAILS THERE.

JOVAN, I JUST WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE AND ASK IF YOU THINK THE NEW MAYOR IS MAKING ANY MISSTEPS WITH THE PUBLIC?

AGAIN, HE'S A NEW YORK CITY MAYOR SO, OF COURSE, HE'S GOING TO BE SOMEWHAT BOMBASTIC AND OUTSPOKEN BUT THERE'S ALREADY BEEN A FEW INSTANCES WHERE PEOPLE ARE EXPRESSING DEEP CONCERN ABOUT WHAT HE HAS PLANNED.

I THINK HE'S MADE A FEW MISSTEPS BUT IT IS DAY TEN ON THE JOB.

OF COURSE, ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISSTEPS HE MADE IS WHEN HE CALLED CERTAIN CAREERS LOW SKILLED.

AND TALKED ABOUT THEN NOT BEING ABLE TO ADVANCE.

OBVIOUSLY, THAT WAS A MISCHARACTERIZATION OF WHAT HE REALLY MEANT BUT THE WAY HE SAID IT AND HOW HE SAID IT ACTUALLY, IT COUNTS AND IT THE MAERS.

IT MATTERS.

APPOINTING YOUR BROTHER TO A DEPUTY COMMISSIONER'S POSITION IS NOT PROBABLY THE SMARTEST THING TO DO INTO YOUR FIRST 100 DAYS OR AT ALL REALLY.

BUT THERE'S BEEN QUITE A NUMBER OUT THERE.

SOME PEOPLE ARE STILL UPSET HE TOOK THE OATH AT MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR'S DAY.

BUT HE'S ONLY BEEN ON THE JOB TEN DAYS, YOU KNOW.

THERE'S A LEARNING CURVE.

I THINK HE'S GOING TO GET THERE VERY QUICKLY.

J.C., BEFORE WE MOVE ON TO OUR FINAL TOPIC, I WOULD LIKE YOUR TAKE ON MAYOR ADAMS.

I THINK MAYOR ADAMS WILL BE PHENOMENAL, I REALLY DO.

I THINK HE MADE INCREDIBLE APPOINTMENTS.

WE SAW FORMER COUNCIL MEMBER AIR IG ALDRIDGE, WE SAW AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF WOMEN FINALLY APPOINTED TO DEPUTY MAYOR POSITIONS, ROBERTO PEREZ IS NOW IN CHARGE OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS.

THERE'S AN ALL-STAR CAST OF APPOINTMENTS MAYOR ADAMS HAS MADE.

NOT EVERYONE WILL BE HAPPY WITH THEM.

I THINK THIS ONE RAISES RED FLAGS HAVING A BROTHER.

THIS IS A RETIRE NYPD OFFICER, I BELIEVE A RETIRED NYPD SERGEANT AND THE MAYOR SAID CHECK IT OUT, GO THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATIONS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST BOARD AND SEE IF IT'S SOMETHING I CAN DO.

APPOINTING BROTHERS IS NOT SOMETHING WE HAVE NOT SEEN IN HISTORY.

WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT RFK WAS JFK'S ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THAT'S JUST ONE OF THOUSANDS OF EXAMPLES OF THESE SITUATIONS.

I THINK THAT LEAVING IT OPEN FOR AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

ALL RIGHT, WELL, LISTEN, BEFORE WE CONCLUDE OUR CONVERSATION, WE WOULD BE REMISS IF WE DID NOT MENTION THE PASSING OF ACTOR, HUMANITARIAN, ACTIVIST SIDNEY POITIER.

SO J.C., I WANT TO START WITH YOU AND JUST GET YOUR TAKE ON WHAT HIS ACTIVISM AND WHAT IT MEANT TO HAVE TAKEN ON THAT ROLE OF ACTIVIST AND NOT JUST AS WE KNOW TODAY CELEBRITY?

I THINK HE CEMENTED AS A HISTORY TEACHER, ONE OF THE THINGS I TALK ABOUT A GREAT DALE IS THE AFRICAN DIE ESPRA IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

HE'S NOT FROM HERE, HE'S FROM THE BAHAMAS.

HE'S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF OUR CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THROUGH THE ARTS.

WHAT HE DID THROUGH HIS FILM AND ACTIVISM WAS JUST ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE AND GIVES A LOT OF FOLKS LIKE MYSELF WHO ARE AFRICAN LATINOS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE IN THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, UNDERSTANDING WE TOO ARE PART OF THE BLACK DIASPORA.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

JOVAN, ANY THOUGHTS ON THE LATE SIDNEY POITIER AND THE IMPACT HE LEFT?

MANY THOUGHTS TO BE HONEST.

GROWING UP AS A CHILD ACTOR AND SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO LIVE THAT DREAM, SIDNEY POITIER WAS THE IDOL THAT EVERY YOUNG BLACK ACTOR, EVERY YOUNG BLACK MAN LOOKED UP TO BE.

THERE WOULD BE NO SAMUEL L.

JACKSON, THERE WOULD BE NO DENZEL WASHINGTON, THERE WOULD BE NO MICHAEL B. JORDAN WITHOUT A SIDNEY POITIER.

HEY, THERE MIGHT NOT EVEN BE A MORGAN FREEMAN WITHOUT THE GREAT SIDNEY POITIER.

NOT JUST HIS ADVOCACY BUT HIS TALENT WAS SUPERIOR AND SECOND TO NONE.

BE HE STEPPED INTO HOLLYWOOD, STEPPED INTO BROADWAY, WHICH WAS REALLY HARD TO DO.

HE REALLY WAS THE IDOL AND HE SITS AT THE TOP OF A VERY, VERY BIG HILL.

I CAN HONESTLY SAY ONE OF THE BEST, ONE OF THE GREATEST.

HE WAS THERE, NOT ONLY SUPPORTED BUT FINANCED A LOT OF ACTIVISM.

HE WORKED WITH DR. KING.

HE WAS THERE ON THE MARCH FOR WASHINGTON.

HE WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST GIANTS THAT WE HAVE EVER SEEN, ACTIVIST, ACTOR, HUMANITARIAN.

HE WAS THE QUINTESSENTIAL PERFORMER AND HE WILL BE MISSED.

HE WILL BE MISSED.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

AND THAT WILL BE FELT ALL ACROSS, I THINK, DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES, NOT JUST, OF COURSE, THE ACTING WORLD, WHICH IS VERY, VERY BIG IN NEW YORK.

JEANMARIE, WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME, I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU ABOUT SIDNEY POITIER BUT CAN YOU SHARE WITH US PRIOR TO WHAT TOOK PLACE IN THE BRONX WITH THE FIRE, IS THERE ANY OTHER BIG STORY WE CAN EXPECT FROM THE 'CITY LIMITS' THIS WEEK?

WE HAVE A COUPLE OF STORIES WE'RE LOOKING INTO, WE'RE STILL BREAKING DOWN SOME OF THE STATE OF THE STATE POINTS BECAUSE I THINK THERE WERE SOMETHING LIKE 200 TOTALS IN THE STATE OF THE STATE.

WE HAVE A STORY COMING OUT THAT WILL NARROW IN ON HER HOUSING PROPOSAL, INCLUDING HER CALL TO OVERHAUL THE 421A TAX BREAK, FOR THOSE FOLLOWING HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, IT'S A VERY CONTROVERSIAL PROGRAM.

WE'LL HAVE THAT COMING UP.

AND CONTINUE TOLE FOLLOW THE FIT MONTH OF ERIC ADAMS AND SEE HOW HE HANDLES HIS SECOND WEEKISH, TEN DAYS.

OKAY.

WHAT WAS THAT?

SORRY, JEANMARIE, I DIDN'T MEAN TO CUT YOU OFF.

BUT I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OF MY RICHARDS, JOVAN RICHARDS, J.C. POLANCO AND EVELLY JEANMARIE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING ON THE 'METROFOCUS' FORECAST.

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, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

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