Metrofocus: June 14, 2022

2022 RACE FOR NEW YORK GOVERNOR:

ONE-ON-ONE WITH NYC PUBLIC ADVOCATE JUMAANE WILLIAMS

The June 28th primary is just around the corner, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams maintains he is the best candidate to lead New York through the post-Covid era and promises he can make New York City safer. Williams has gained the endorsement of the Working Families Party and is running as the most progressive of the three Democratic candidates. Tonight, Jumaane Williams joins us to share his vision for New York, and why he believes he should be elected to the state’s highest office.

TRANSCRIPT

> THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR IS IN FULL SWING, THE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC ADVOCATE JUMAANE WILLIAMS SHARES HIS VISION FOR BRINGING PROGRESSIVE LEADERSHIP TO THE EXECUTIVE MANSION, THAT AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

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

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

> WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I AM JACK FORD.

TONIGHT OUR 2022 LOOK AT WHO'S RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR CONTINUES WITH DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE JUMAANE WILLIAMS.

MR. WILLIAMS CURRENTLY SERVES AS NEW YORK CITY'S PUBLIC ADVOCATE, AND HE BELIEVES THE STITT AT LARGE IS READY FOR THE PROGRESSIVE BRAND OF POLITICS THAT HE HAS BROUGHT TO CITY HALL OVER THE YEARS.

IN ADDITION TO BEING THE FARTHEST TO THE LEFT OF THE THREE MAJOR DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES, MR. WILLIAMS IS ALSO THE ONLY ONE OF THE GROUP WHO REPRESENT NEW YORK CITY, AND IT REMAINING TO BE SEEN WHETHER THAT COULD HELP OR PERHAPS IN SOME FASHION HURT HIM IN THE UPCOMING PRIMARY ELECTION.

SO JOINING US NOW TO SHARE MORE ON HIS VISION FOR NEW YORK'S FUTURE IS NEW YORK CITY'S PUBLIC ADVOCATE AND DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, JUMAANE WILLIAMS.

MR. WILLIAMS, WELCOME.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

I APPRECIATE IT.

WHY, WHY DO YOU WANT TO BECOME GOVERNOR OF THE STATE?

PART OF THE WORK I'VE DONE AS PUBLIC ADVOCATE FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS, COUNCIL MEMBER FOR ALMOST A DECADE AS AN ORGANIZER, AND BEING ABLE TO HELP GOVERNMENT MOVE AND TAKE ACTION ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE WHO NEED THE MOST HELP, AND WHAT AYE LEARNED WITH ADDITIONAL TOOLS YOU CAN HAVE MORE PEOPLE, AND I'M PROUD OF THE WORK WE'RE DOING ADVOCATING, BUT IT WILL BE SO GREAT TO HAVE -- TO DID THE THINGS I'M ADVOCATING FOR.

I WOULD SAY, EVEN IN THE INTRO, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE HAVE BEGUN TO USE WORDS IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

WHEN WE THINK OF WHAT A PROGRESSIVE IS AND ISN'T, WHAT I HAVE LEARN SECOND DOWN THAT EVERYBODY AT SOME POINT WILL SAY THEY, TOO, ARE PROGRESSIVE, WHETHER THE FORMER GOVERNOR OR CURRENT GOVERNOR.

IN TERMS OF THE VALUES OF EVERYBODY HAVING A HOME, HAVING HEALTH CARE THEY NEED, PEOPLE GOING TO SCHOOL WITHOUT CRUSHING DEBT, AND PEOPLE FEELING SAFE, AND I THINK EVERYONE AGREES TOW THOSE VALUES.

THAT'S WHY WE HAVE HAD SUCCESS EVERYONE IN SPACES THEY THOUGHT WE WOULDN'T.

I THINK YOU MADE A GOOD POINT, PEOPLE ARE FAR TOO COMPLEX TO FIT UNDER A LABEL OR CERTAIN UMBRELLA.

I'M GOING TO GET TO POLICY ISSUES IN A FEW MOMENTS.

I'LL GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT YOUR VIEWS AND CONTRAST YOURSELF WITH OTHER CANDIDATES, BUT LET'S JUST FOCUS ON YOU PERSONALLY.

IF SOMEBODY COMES UP TO YOU, CITIZEN OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND SAYS, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOU, JUMAANE WILLIAMS AS A PERSON, AND WHY I SHOULD VOTE TO YOU FOR GOVERNOR, WHAT THINGS WOULD YOU POINT TO ABOUT YOUR OWN BEING, YOUR OWN PERSONALITY, THAT MIGHT HELP BETTER ASSESS YOU?

I BRING MY ENTIRE BEING, MY LIVED EXPERIENCE TO THE WORK I'M DOING.

I'M A FIRST GENERATION AMERICAN, PRESCHOOL TO MASTERS IN THE NEW YORK PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

I THINK I'M UNIQUELY QUALIFIED.

I HAVE BEEN BLACK FOR A LONG TIME, SO I HAVE THOSE UNIQUE EXPERIENCES AS WE.

I'VE OWNED A BUSINESS.

I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO TRY TO WORK THROUGH -- IN NEW YORK.

AS A NEW DAD, LEARNING ABOUT CHILD CARE WE SPOKE ABOUT JUST BEFORE THIS INTERVIEW.

I'VE DEALT WITH BOTH STREET VIOLENCE AND HOW TO GET POLICE MORE ACCOUNTABLE AND ACCOUNTABLE TO THE COMMUNITIES THEY'RE DEALING WITH.

THOSE EXPERIENCE -- THOSE EXPERIENCES ARE ALL THE THINGS I BRING TO THE TABLE, AND BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE CONVERSATION, WHEN PEOPLE SOMETIMES RECOGNIZE THE WORD PROGRESSIVE, WHAT THEY'RE GENERALLY CONFUSING IS THE ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO WILL PUSH PAST EVEN WHEN THEIR LEADERSHIP IN THEIR HOUSE OR THE GOVERNOR OR THE MAYOR CALLS AND SAYS, I'M GOING TO THREATEN SUCH AND SUCH.

I DON'T WANT YOU TO DO SOMETHING, AND WHO WILL TAKE THE RISK AND SAY, I'M GOING THE DO IT ANY WAY, BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO, EVEN IF IT'S A RISK TO MY POLITICAL CAREER, AND WHO WON'T.

THERE'S A NEW CROP OF FOLKS WHO ARE SAYING, LOOK, I UNDERSTAND THE SEAT I'M HOLDING IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PEOPLE I'M REPRESENTING, SO I'M GOING TO PUSH FORWARD ANY WAY ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK.

THAT'S THE CAMP I BELONG TO, AND QUITE FRANKLY, THAT THREATENS THE STATUS QUO OF HOW THINGS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DONE IN ALBANY, AND IT SHOULD, BECAUSE TO YOUR POINT, PEOPLE UNDERSTAND RIGHT NOW THEY ARE WORSE OFF THAN THEY WERE BEFORE THIS PANDEMIC.

AND SO WHEN WE HAVE PEOPLE SAYING, WE WANT TO RETURN TO NORMAL, PEOPLE ARE SAYING, I DON'T WANT TO RETURN TO NORMAL.

I HAD THESE PROBLEMS BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, AND YOU DIDN'T FIX THEM THEN, AND YOU LET THEM GET WORSE.

I WANT TO NORMALIZE MY LIFE, BUT I WANT A BETTER NORMAL THAN WHAT I HAD BEFORE.

THAT'S WHAT OUR CAMPAIGN REPRESENTS.

ONE THING YOU MENTIONED WHEN WE'RE TALK ABOUT PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS.

YOU MENTIONED IN THE CHARACTER THE FACT THAT TOURETTE YOU'VE EXPERIENCED.

YOU HAVE BEEN CANDID ABOUT THAT IN THE RECENT DEBATE THAT TOOK PLACE.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE OPEN ABOUT THAT IN YOUR CONVERSATIONS WITH THE VOTERS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK?

AS I MENTIONED, ALL OF THIS IS LIVED EXPERIENCE, SO A LOVE THINGS WE DISCUSS FROM GUN VIOLENCE, MENTAL HEALTH -- ISSUES, SMALL BUSINESSES, IT'S NOT THEORETICAL TO ME.

IT'S THINGS I'VE EXPERIENCED.

I REMEMBER ALMOST GETTING KICKED OFF AN AMTRAK BECAUSE I WAS HAVING A PARTICULARLY TOUGH DAY WITH MY TOURETTES AND WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF IF I WASN'T ABLE TO EXPLAIN WHAT WAS GOING ON AND LAW ENFORCEMENT WAS CALLED.

SO THESE EXPERIENCES ARE REAL.

WE'RE ALL DEALING WITH SOMETHING, AND SO I TRY TO SHOW WHAT I'VE DEALT WITH -- TOURETTES SYNDROME AND ADHD HAS INFORMED THE WAY I'VE DONE BUSINESS BUT ALSO THE MOST AMAZING TIMES, PEOPLE INSPIRED SEEING ME UP DOING WHAT I'M DOING.

MANY TIMES WITH TOURETTES THEY'RE DEALING WITH OTHER ISSUES IN THEIR LIVES.

-- BUT -- USED TO BE THE ONLY PERSON WITH TOURETTE SYNDROME IN THE COUNTRY WHEN WE WERE RUNNING.

NOW THERE'S AT LEAST TWO.

THERE'S A YOUNG MAN, JUSTIN FARMER IN CONNECTICUT.

BEFORE HE COULDN'T RUN FOR OFFICE UNTIL HE SAW ME RUN, AND HE RAN, AND HE WON.

IF I COULD LEAD THOSE STORIES AND THE BUSINESS, HOW AMAZING IT WOULD BE.

IT'S AN INTERESTING POINT.

YOU HAVE SAID IN THE PAST THAT SEEING SOMEBODY WHO LOOKS LIKE YOU, SOUNDS LIKE YOU, WHATEVER THAT YOU MIGHT BE, AND KNOWING THAT THAT PERSON CAN ACHIEVE IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT HELPS EVERYBODY ELSE OUT THERE IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

SO THAT'S IMPORTANT.

LET ME COME BACK TO SOMETHING.

YOU MENTIONED GUN VIOLENCE, AND I WANT TO FOCUS ON SOME ISSUES NOW, SOME POLICY ISSUES.

WE KNOW THAT POLLS, FOR WHATEVER THEY'RE WORTH, BUT WE KNOW THAT POLLS HAVE SHOWED US NEW YORK CITY HERE, NEW YORK STATE, THE SHOOTINGS WE SAW IN BUFFALO, ON THE SUBWAY IN NEW YORK CITY, WE KNOW THAT AT THE VERY TOP OF THE LIST OF CONCERNS OF VOTERS IS VIOLENCE, CRIME, GUN VIOLENCE.

SO, MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, AS THE GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO BETTER COMBAT GUN VIOLENCE NOW?

I ALWAYS TRY TO START WITH WHATEVER I HAVE DONE.

SO TEN YEARS AGO IN 2012 I ISSUED MY VERY FIRST REPORT AS A CHAIR TO COMBAT -- TASK FORCE TO COMBAT VIE LESSON IN THE CITY COUNCIL.

WE LAID OUT A PLAN TO COMBAT GUN VIOLENCE.

THAT HAPPENS TO BE THE YEAR THE CURRENT GOVERNOR RECEIVED A A RATING FROM THE NRA.

TOUTED THAT ENDORSEMENT.

THERE'S A DECADE OF DEATH THAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THEN AND NOW THAT I WISH WE HAD SUPPORT ON.

WE PUT THAT OUT, AND PEOPLE FOUGHT US, BUT WE REALLY MADE SOME HEADWAY.

I'M PROUD OF THE LEADERSHIP THAT HELPED GET NEW YORK CITY FROM 2012 WHEN GUN VIOLENCE SPECKS TO 2018 ENTER 2019 WHERE WE WERE THE SAFEST WE EVER WERE IN HISTORY.

IT WAS AN AMAZING TIME.

WHAT WE'VE LEARN SECOND DOWN LEARNED IS DATA MEANS NOTHING TO YOU.

DA TWO PEOPLE MURDERED, DATA MEANS NOTHING IF YOU'RE THE TWO PEOPLE MURDERED.

WE SOUNDED AN ALARM DURING THE PANDEMIC THAT THIS WAS GOING TO GET WORSE.

WE SAW GUNS IN THE STREETS.

WE KNEW EVERY GUN IS ILLEGAL AT SOME POINT.

WHEN YOU HAVE 100 MILLION GUN SALES YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE THEM ON THE STREET.

FOOD AND HOUSING SECURITY, MENTAL HEALTH, EVERYTHING GOT WORSE.

VIOLENCE SPIKED ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

NONE OF THIS IS AN EXCUSE.

YOU DON'T GET AN EXCUSE TO SHOOT AN 11-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN THE BRONX, A 12-YEAR-OLD IN BROOKLYN, A MAN GOING TO BRUNCH ON THE SUBWAY.

THERE HAS TO BE CONSEQUENCES AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THAT.

BUT THERE'S SO MANY THINGS THAT SHOULD HAPPEN BEFORE THAT TO PREVENT THE GUN FROM GOING OFF.

WE NEED TO HAVE A GOVERNOR WHO'S WORKING ON THE ISSUES, WHO HAS LIVED EXPERIENCES FROM THE TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL -- I COULD RATTLE OFF NAMES OF PEOPLE NO LONGER HERE, TO A GUN GOING THROUGH MY MOTHER'S CAR DOOR.

I HAVE HAD EXPERIENCES.

WHAT FRUSTRATES ME IS PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THE RESPONSE TO ONE PARTICULAR ISSUE OR SOMETIMES COMING IN REALLY LATE ON AN ISSUE, AND SO WE'VE SEEN JUST RECENTLY BILLS PASS IN THE ALBANY THAT ARE GREAT AND SHOULD BE SUPPORTED.

TWO THINGS FRUSTRATE ME.

ONE, AFTER THE BUFFALO SHOOTING, THE GOVERNOR SAID BUFFALO IS A FOOD DESERT, IT'S A TRANSPORTATION DESERT.

THAT'S A PROBLEM.

WE HAVE TO FIX.

I WAS SO ANGRY BECAUSE THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN THE GOVERNOR, THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, THE.

DID YOU JUST FIND OUT IT WAS THOSE THINGS OR DID YOU KNOW AND DIDN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?

SECOND IS WHILE THE BILLS WERE GREAT, WE ASKED FOR THEM TEN YEARS AGO.

WHILE THEY WERE GREAT, THEY DON'T ACTUALLY ADDRESS THE REGULAR GUN VIOLENCE THAT HAPPENS ON A DAILY BASIS.

WHAT COULD YOU DO?

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE THE GOVERNOR TO ADDRESS THIS?

ONE THING WE ASKED FOR IS A BILLION DOLLAR TO BE PUT IN FOR GUN VIOLENCE INTERVENTION FOR YOUTH SERVICES AND VICTIM SERVICES.

WE COULDN'T GET THAT.

WHAT WE GOT WAS $1 BILLION FOR A STADIUM TO BE BUILT OUTSIDE OF BUFFALO.

AND THOSE EVIDENCE-BASED MODELS THAT WE KNOW WORK, WE COULD HAVE HELPED SPREAD ACROSS THE STATE, BECAUSE THEY WORKED HERE IN NEW YORK CITY.

WE JUST NEED TO GET THE PROPER FUNDING AND STRUCTURE.

AND THE ONE BILL THAT PROBABLY WOULD HELP SOME OF THE STREET VIOLENCE WAS ACTUALLY THE MICROSTAMPING BILL, WHICH WE ASKED FOR TEN YEARS AGO.

THAT BILL DOESN'T TAKE EFFECT FOR FOUR YEARS.

FIRST THING WE SHOULD HAVE MADE SURE THAT BILL WENT INTO EFFECT RIGHT NOW.

THE REST OF THE BILLS ARE PRIMARILY BASED ON MASS SHOOTINGS, WHICH WE HAVE TO ADDRESS, BUT THE MASS SHOOTS ARE NOT WHAT PEOPLE ARE DEALING WITH ON A DAILY BASIS IN THE BRONX WHERE THAT PRESS CONFERENCE IS HELD.

WE NEED TO HAVE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HOW TO ADDRESS THIS VIOLENCE, MAKING SURE WE'RE WORKING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PROVIDING THAT SERVICE WITH ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY.

BUT MAKING SURE THAT ALL THE OTHER AGENCIES THAT NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS COMPLICATED ISSUE ARE INVOLVED, PROPERLY FUNDED AND TALKING TO EACH OTHER, AND THAT OUR COMMUNITY GROUPS WHO HAVE SHOWN CAPACITY TO PREVENT THIS GUN VIOLENCE FROM HAPPENING ACTUALLY DO.

LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT AN ISSUE THAT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY, IT'S A NEW YORK CITY ISSUE, AND THAT'S THE SUBWAYS.

I THINK YOU'LL AGREE, THE SUBWAYS IN NEW YORK CITY CREATE ALMOST A MICROCOSM OF ALL OF THE ISSUES THAT YOU TOUCHED BASE ON, OF GUN VIOLENCE, OF THOSE WHO ARE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

IT ALL SEEMS TO BE PERCOLATING WITHIN THE SUBWAYS.

WHAT COULD YOU AS THE GOVERNOR DO TO HELP ALLEVIATE THOSE PROBLEMS IN SOME FASHION, WHICH ULTIMATELY, IF WE COULD DO THAT, WOULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE BOTTOM LINE OF CRIME AND VIOLENCE?

I WOULD SAY TRANSPORTATION AS A WHOLE IS DEFINITELY A STATEWIDE ISSUE.

IT MANIFESTS ITSELF IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

BUT AS YOU'RE FOCUSING PRIMARILY ON, THE INTERSECTION OF TRANSPORTATION, MASS TRANSIT, AND VIOLENCE, I WANT TO RESPOND TO THAT.

BY THE WAY, ACROSS THE COUNTRY, WE ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN CRIME AND VIOLENCE IN MASS TRANSIT HUBS.

BUT AGAIN, THAT MEANS NOTHING IF YOU'RE HERE IN NEW YORK AND WE SHOULD BE LEADING.

ONE OF THE EXAMPLES THAT WE SAID IS THAT IF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS UNLIMITED ACCESS TO OVERTIME, WHICH THEY DO, WHY DOESN'T ANY OTHER AGENCY?

WHY DOESN'T THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE?

WHY DOESN'T THE DEPARTMENT THAT WORKS WITH CHILDREN SERVICES?

ALL OF THESE SERVICES ARE NEEDED.

NEW YORKERS PAY THEIR TAXES FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICES TO BE DEALT WITH ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY.

THEY ALSO PAY FOR THE SERVICES OF MENTAL HEALTH AND HYGIENE.

THEY ALSO PAY FOR THE SERVICES OF CHILDREN SERVICES.

THEY PLAY FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT SERVICES THAT THEY SIMPLY ARE NOT GETTING AND WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SHOW IS THERE'S AN INTERSECTION BETWEEN THE LACK OF THOSE SERVICES AND US TRYING TO ASK POLICE TO DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

AND SO WHEN WE HAVE THE FIRST SURGE OF POLICE LAST YEAR, WE SAID, LISTEN, WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE TO HAVE THIS ACUTE SOLUTION TO SOME ACUTE PROBLEM, BUT WHAT ELSE ARE WE GOING TO SEND?

WE'RE SAYING THE SAME THING NOW AS WE'RE GOING TO THE FIFTH SURGE.

AND THE PROBLEM IS YOU'RE SENDING LAW ENFORCEMENT, A POLICE OFFICER SAYING, I WANT TO HELP MY COMMUNITY, AND THEY HAVE A SPECIFIC SET OF TOOLS TO DO THAT.

THOSE TOOL CAN'T SOLVE MENTAL HELP AND CAN'T SOLVE HOUSING ISSUES.

NEW YORKERS KNOW THIS.

WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR IS SOMEONE WHO CAN SAY, HERE'S THE PLAN THAT CAN.

HERE'S THE PLAN THAT SAYS, LET'S HAVE A 988 NUMBER LIKE WE HAVE BEEN TRYING THE GET PASSED SO PEOPLE CAN CALL AND GET A MEDICAL RESPONSE TO SOMEONE HAVING A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS INSTEAD OF A CRIMINAL RESPONSE.

WHAT WE'RE SAYING IS LET'S GET SOME MORE FUNDING SO WE CAN ACTUALLY BUILD AND PRESERVE DEEPLY -- HOUSING AND SUPPORTIVE HOUSING SO WE CAN GET FOLKS OFF.

NOBODY WANTS TO BE RIDING THE SUBWAY WITH SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE'VE SEEN.

BUT WHAT WE DO KNOW IS JUST THROWING LAW ENFORCEMENT AT IT WON'T SOLVE IT EITHER, AND WE KNOW THAT.

SO WE HAVE A TEN-POINT PLAN TO REALLY ADDRESS PUBLIC SAFETY SO PEOPLE CAN ACTUALLY BE SAFE AND IMPORTANTLY, THEY CAN FEEL SAFE.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE ONE OR THE OTHER, AND THEY CAN BE JUST AS BAD.

LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT AGAIN THIS NOTION OF SAFETY, OF CITIZENS FEELING SAFE, BE SAFE, FEEL SAFE.

WE KNOW THAT MAYOR ADAMS HAS ESSENTIALLY STEP IN THE AND SAID, LOOK, I AM FOCUSING ON CRIME, AND I'M GOING TO GIVE POLICE OFFICERS THE POWER, AND I WANT TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE SYSTEM, LOOKING AT THE ISSUE OF BAIL REFORM THAT WE HAVE BEEN WRESTLING WITH FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.

SO, LET ME ASK YOUR OBSERVATION FOR THIS.

WE SAW JUST RECENTLY IN THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO -- SAN FRANCISCO OFTEN REFERRED TO AS PERHAPS THE MOST PROGRESSIVE -- AGAIN WE'RE GOING TO USE THAT TERM.

BUT PERHAPS THE MOST PROGRESSIVE CITY IN THE COUNTRY, AND YET WE SAW SAN FRANCISCO HAVING ELECTED A DISTRICT ATTORNEY WHO RAN ON ESSENTIALLY A PROGRESSIVE CRIME/SOCIAL ISSUE PLATFORM.

NOT ONLY WAS THIS NOT A -- WE DIDN'T RE-ELECT HIM, THEY PULLED HIM OFF OFFICE, RECALLED HIM OUT OF OFFICE, OVERWHELMING AND THE ANSWER WAS ACCORD TO THE POLLS THE PEOPLE OF SAN FRANCISCO WANTED TO FEEL SAFE, WANTED TO BE SAFE, AND THEY FELT THAT THE PROGRESSIVE -- SO-CALLED PROGRESSIVE POLICIES DID NOT GET THEM TO THAT DESTINATION, TO THAT SAFETY.

SO, IF YOU'RE THE GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT, THEN, IN TERMS OF ENSURING SAFETY ON THE PART OF THE CITIZENS?

WE OFTEN TEND TO LOOK AT ONE THING THAT'S HAPPENING -- A BUNCH OF ISSUES.

THAT HAPPENS A LOT AROUND SAFETY, BECAUSE IT'S A SCARY THING.

I WILL SAY, DEMOCRATS HAVE TON A TERRIBLE JOB WHEN IT COMES TO TALKING ABOUT SAFETY, AND WHEN THEY CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT THEY GO TO REPUBLICAN LIGHT TALKING POINT, AND REPUBLICANS ARE BETTER AT THEIR OWN TALKING POINTS.

SO, THE PERSON WHO IS GOING TO BE THE NEW D.A., ACTUALLY, WAS A FORMER REPUBLICAN, FROM MY UNDERSTANDING.

BUT ALSO WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THAT RECALL STARTED ALMOST THE DAY AFTER HE GOT INTO OFFICE.

SO THERE'S BEING MONEY POURED INTO THAT RECALL FROM THE DAY HE GOT INTO OFFICE.

SO ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED WOULD HAVE BEEN BLAMED.

WHAT WE ALSO KNOW IS ANY TIME WE SEE SPIKES IN CRIME, WE TEND TO GO TO, WE HAVE TO LOCK UP AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE, EVEN THOUGH THAT HASN'T WORKED IN THE PAST, EVEN THOUGH DECADES LATER, WE TEND TO APOLOGIZE FOR IT.

SO WE UNDERSTAND THAT PUBLIC SAFETY IS A LOT MORE COMPLICATED THAN JUST ARREST AND LOCK UP.

I ALWAYS SAY THAT IS A PART OF WHAT WE NEED TO DO.

LAW ENFORCEMENT IS A PART OF THE PARTNERSHIP.

IT'S THE REST OF THE PARTNERSHIP THAT DOESN'T GET THE FUNDING THAT IT NEEDS AND THE STRUCTURE THAT IT NEEDS.

SO WHEN THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN, THAT PUTS MORE STRAIN.

AND SO VERY OFTEN PEOPLE SAY, WELL, YOU KNOW, THEY'LL TAKE THAT AS AN EXAMPLE OF, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO HAVE MORE LAW ENFORCEMENT, MORE POLICE, WHEN ACTUALLY IT'S JUST PEOPLE SAY, I WANT TO BE SAFE.

I WANT TO FEEL SAFE, I WANT TO BE SAFE.

IF YOU TELL THEM, THIS IS NOT SAFE, EVERYONE'S GOING TO SAY, WE NEED NOR POLICE.

IF YOU SAY PUBLIC SAFETY IS CREATED WITH MORE POLICE, EVERYBODY'S GOING TO WANT MORE POLICE.

BUT IF YOU BREAK THAT DOWN, AND ACTUALLY A RECENT ROLL IN NEW YORK SAID, WHAT'S THE ONE THING WE CAN DO TO HELP PEOPLE GET SAFE?

SURPRISINGLY, SOME -- THE FIRST THING PEOPLE SAID WAS HOUSING.

THE THIRD THING WAS POLICE.

SO WHAT I TELL PEOPLE IS YOU IMAGINE A SPACE THAT YOU DEEM SAFE RIGHT NOW.

NO ONE EVER TOLD ME A COMMUNITY THAT HAD A POLICE OFFICER ON EVERY CORNER.

THE COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE MOST POLICE AND THE MOST INCARCERATED ALREADY RRK COMMUNITIES THAT PEOPLE DEEM LESS SAFE, AND THAT'S NOT BECAUSE THOSE POLICE DON'T HAVE A JOB TO DO, BECAUSE THEY DO.

AND I WANT THEM TO DO IT AND WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THEM WITH TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, BUT MY QUESTION I GUESS IS HOW WOULD YOU DISPEL THE NOTION OF SOMEBODY IN NEW YORK SAYING, PROGRESSIVE MEANS ULTIMATELY NOT SAFE ENOUGH FOR ME?

BECAUSE IT ALLOWS CRIMINALS TO GET BACK ON THE SECRET, ALL THE THINGS, THE ARGUMENTS YOU'VE HEARD.

HOW WOULD YOU CONVINCE SOMEBODY THAT THE TWO DON'T EQUATE?

WHAT WE'RE DOING RIGHT NOW IS TALKING ABOUT WHAT IS PUBLIC SAFETY AND WHAT IS MAKING PEOPLE FEEL SAFE.

YOU CAN'T DO THAT IN A 60 SECOND ANSWER ON A DEBATE STAGE.

YOU'RE FORCED TO DO IT IN 60 SECOND, AND LEADERS ARE MORE INTERESTED IN GETTING RE-ELECTED THAN KEEPING NEW YORKERS SAFE.

I'M NOT.

I'M ALWAYS GOING TO BE MOST CONCERN ABOUT THE BULLET THAT WENT THROUGH MY MOTHER'S WINDOW, AND THE PEOPLE THAT DIED SINCE HIGH SCHOOL BY GUN VIOLENCE.

WHY I WANT TO GET ELECT SECOND DOWN MAKING SURE YOU AS A NEW YORKER IS SAFE.

THAT'S WHY I SPEND MY CAREER WORKS ON EVIDENCE-BASED MODELS THAT WORK, AND WE HAVE SHOWN IT WORKS IF WE CAN GET THE FUNDING THAT'S NEEDED TO WORK IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERS THAT WE HAVE.

AND WHAT I TELL PEOPLE IS, WHEN IT COMES TO BAIL REFORM, ON DANGEROUSNESS IN PARTICULAR, ALL 49 OTHER STATES USE DANGEROUSNESS RIGHT NOW, AND THEY HAVE VIOLENCE THAT'S WORSE THAN US.

THERE ARE THOSE CITIES THAT NEVER CHANGED THEIR BAIL LAWS AND THEY HAVE MORE VIOLENCE THAN US.

WHEN WE USE THOSE THINGS WE'RE NOT FOCUSED ON WHAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS.

WHEN IT COMES THAT CONVERSATION FOR ME, THE BIGGEST THING IS WHY ARE THE COURTS NOT MOVING THESE COURT CASES?

WE NEED TO BE MOVING THE COURT CASES THROUGH.

YOU MENTIONED NEW YORK CITY.

OFFICERS RISK THEIR LIVES AND TOOK 3,000 GUNS OFF THE STREET.

WE NEED TO GET THE CASES THROUGH.

PEOPLE NEED TO EITHER BE FOUND GUILTY, GO SOME PLACE, COME BACK BETTER THAN THEY WERE, OR COME HOME.

EVERYONE'S SO FOCUSED ON THE WRONG THINGS.

WE'RE NOT PUTTING THE EMPHASIS WHERE THEY NEED 20 GO, AND FROM BUFFALO TO BROOKLYN, I ASSURE YOU THE COMMUNITIES DEALING WITH THE MOST VIOLENCE ARE DEALING WITH THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT.

HAD WE DONE IT FROM BEGINNING WE WOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN AS BAD AS WE ARE.

THAT'S WHAT ANGERS ME.

WE DIDN'T HAVE TO COURAGE TO DO IT.

AS GOVERNOR I WILL GET IT DONE.

I WILL SHOW YOU WITH ONE BUDGET THE DIFFERENCE WE CAN MAKE TO THOSE COMMUNITIES AND NOT TO A STADIUM FOR BILLIONAIRES.

YOU'VE GOT ABOUT THREE MINUTES LEFT.

ONE OF THE AREAS WHERE YOU DIFFERED DRAMATICALLY FROM THE OTHER TWO CANDIDATES IN THE DEBATE WAS THE QUESTION OF CONGESTION PRICING IN NEW YORK.

THE OTHER TWO SAID -- THE GORNER AND MR. SWAZY THEY HAD SE DON'T THINK IT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED.

AND YOU, CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, SAID IT IS TIME TO GET THAT DONE.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE IT IS TIME TO GET THAT DONE AS OPPOSED TO THEM SAYING, WITH ALL THE ECONOMIC PAIN WE'RE GOING THROUGH, THAT COULD BE MORE OF AN IMPEDIMENT THAN AN AID?

SOME OF THOSE, PARTICULARLY THE GOVERNOR'S WERE REMARKABLE ANSWERS, AND AGAIN, IT'S TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT PARTICULAR CONSTITUENT SI YOU NEED TO WIN AN ELECTION AT THE POLLS AS OPPOSED TO WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION WAS ABYSMAL FOR CLIMATE CHANGE.

NO FUNDING FOR THE CLIMATE ACT, NO BAN ON THE BAD CRYPTO MINING THAT WE SEE, THE ONE TYPE OF CRYPTO MINING.

AND NOW CONGESTION PRICING.

AS MORE PEOPLE ARE COMING AND DRIVING BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, IT'S BAD FOR THE CLIMATE.

WE ALSO DON'T HAVE THE FUNDING WE NEED TO HAVE CLEANER AND ON-TIME RUNNING TRAINS AND BETTER BUS SERVICES.

THIS IS A NO-BRAINER.

I HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING THIS SINCE I WAS A COUNCIL MEMBER AND IT WAS UNPOPULAR.

IT'S MORE POPULAR NOW.

AS WE COME OUT OF THE PANDEMIC WE SHOULD NOT BE GOING BACK TO WHERE WE WERE.

WE NEED A NEW NORMAL.

AND I THINK IT'S A TRAVESTY THAT BECAUSE IT'S ELECTION TIME THE GOVERNOR WILL SAY WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO IT WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR, BECAUSE SHE KNOWS SOME PARTS OF CONSTITUENCY DON'T LIKE IT.

IT'S WHAT WE NEED.

REMARKABLE THAT'S WHAT WE GOT.

GOT ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT.

QUICK QUESTION FOR YOU.

I MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTION YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON WHO REPRESENTS NEW YORK CITY IN THIS ELECTION.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEBODY FROM OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK CITY WHO IS THINKING, WELL, DO I REALLY WANT SOMEBODY WHO'S A NEW YORK CITY-CENTRIC PERSON TO BE LEADING THE STATE?

HOW DO YOU ANSWER?

I THINK WHAT EVERYBODY REALIZES IS THAT YOU DON'T NEED A SPECIFIC PERSON FROM A SPECIFIC AREA, WHAT YOU NEED IS SOMEBODY TO REPRESENT EVERYONE, AND WHAT I FOUND IS THAT HOUSING IS A HUGE ISSUE ALL ACROSS THIS STATE, FROM BROOKLYN TO RURAL AREAS WHERE PEOPLE CANNOT HAVE THEIR CHILDREN STAY WITH THEM.

TRANSPORTATION, FROM MASS TRANSIT TO -- EVEN THE INTERNET, WHERE RURAL AREAS COULDN'T HAVE -- GET ON THE TELEMENTAL HEALTH THEY NEEDED BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE IT.

TO SCHOOLS AND SAFETY, ALL THOSE THINGS ARE SIMILAR, ALTHOUGH THEY LOOK DIFFERENT IN THE STATE AS WE TRAVEL, SO WE HAVE TO HONOR THOSE DIFFERENCES.

THE GOVERNOR WANTS 100,000 UNITS BUILT AND PRESERVED TO DEAL WITH THE HOUSING CRISIS.

WE WANT A MILLION.

100,000 IS NOT ENOUGH FOR ONE OF THE BOROUGHS IN NEW YORK CITY, SO I KNOW IT'S NOT ENOUGH FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE IN SYRACUSE, BUFFALO, AND ROCHESTER.

WHAT YOU WANT IS SOMEONE WHO'S GOING TO REPRESENT NEW YORKERS, HARD WORKING NEW YORKERS, WORKING MIDDLE CLASS NEW YORKERS, NOT BILLIONAIRES AND MILLIONAIRES WHO HAVE ALWAYS BEEN REPRESENTING NEW YORK.

JUMAANE WILLIAMS, THE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC ADVOCATE.

DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR TAKING SOME TIME, SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS AND VISIONS WITH US.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

YOU BE WELL.

YOU TOO.

THANK YOU.

TAKE CARE NOW.

♪♪

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

©2022 WNET. All Rights Reserved. 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019

WNET is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID: 26-2810489