Cynthia Nixon on How She Would Fix New York City’s Subways

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-I want to ask about this,
because, you know, obviously, if you’re running against a
Republican right now, they would probably be attacking
your lack of experience, but you’re in this situation
where even progressives, who like your ideas,
are concerned about it. How do you address this
fact that you aren’t coming from
a political background, especially at a time where
someone’s in The White House who didn’t have
a lot of experience, and it looks like
it’s not going great? -Well, but what I want to say
is — Donald Trump is, first and foremost,
a real-estate developer, right? Who ran to give himself
and people in his tax bracket a huge income-tax break. I mean, I’m somebody
who grew up the daughter of a single mother in a
five-flight one-bedroom walkup, somebody who has
spent the last 17 years and used my celebrity
to fight for LGBTQ equality and for women’s rights
and abortion rights and most especially
to fight for better funding and more equal funding
for New York’s public schools. And I think that that’s the
kind of progressive fighter that New York needs
leading it right now. We already have a corrupt
corporate Republican in the White House. We don’t need a
corrupt corporate Democrat opposing him in Albany. -So, I want to get to an
issue that we both agree and I think everybody
in the city agrees — the subways
are — they’re not good. [ Laughter ] That’s one, I think,
you’ve addressed. And, obviously, you know,
the subway is a lifeblood for a lot of people
that have to get to work. This a serious issue. -The subway is literally
what New York City runs on. -It’s literally what it runs on. And how do you even go about
trying to address this issue that
not just through — to be fair, has been
deteriorating for years, not just due to
the Cuomo administration. -Yes, but look at
what’s happened in the last seven years. Delays have tripled
under Andrew Cuomo. We’ve got the
worst on-time record now of any major transit system
in the entire country. -We did have that pizza rat.
That was a nice moment. That happened on his watch. He was the first governor
to have a pizza rat. -But he has watched
the steady decline. He’s siphoned off hundreds
of millions of dollars for pet projects that have
absolutely nothing to do with transportation. And the fact of the matter is — like so many of
the issues that we face, the problems that we face in
New York, we know the solution. But, right now, we have
a governor who doesn’t have the political will
to make it happen. -The solution being we need more
money put into the subways. -The solution being we have
a really comprehensive plan for how to fix them, to replace
the 1930s-era signals, to replace the trains
from the ’60s and the ’70s, to run cars closer together
so that we can get more trains on the system so we’re all
not jammed in like sardines. But Andrew Cuomo doesn’t want to
enact a tax on millionaires, because they’re some of
his biggest donors and he doesn’t want
to alienate them. And his they’re not
people who ride the subway. He himself is not someone
who rides the subway. He’s been on the subway twice
since taking office. As somebody who’s on
the subway every day and knows firsthand
how terrible it is and how it’s getting
worse and worse month by month, this is not something we have
a choice about fixing, the New York City subway, and this is not something
that we can delay fixing. It’s only going to get harder and more expensive
to fix the longer we wait. -Is it — has it been
disappointing for you or is it what you expected
that a lot of establishment Democrats
are throwing their support behind Governor Cuomo? You know, people like Joe Biden and people like Hillary Clinton
are supporting him. Is that what you expected
or a disappointment? -This is exactly
what we expected. This is a total
insurgent campaign. This is a
people-powered campaign. And this is a campaign that we’re talking
to people about issues. We’re talking
to people about things that they care about,
like legalizing marijuana. I know your audience
doesn’t care about that issue in particular. [ Cheers and applause ] But we have to legalize
marijuana for a lot of reasons, but also because
it’s a racial-justice issue, because people across
all ethnicities and races use marijuana
at roughly the same rates, but 80% of the arrests
are of black and Latino people. And it’s just
the tip of the iceberg of the justice reform
that we need to do. We need to stop the overpolicing
of communities of color. We have to
stop mass incarceration. And when we’re talking about
mass incarceration, we’re talking about
mass incarceration of people of color. -And the subway
is also mass incarceration, if you’ve been on it recently. -At the moment.
At the moment, it is. -At the moment, it is.
It’s all very exciting. It’s very exciting to
you have here, both because of
the political message that you’re pushing forward —
Also, we were talking backstage. I do want to
mention this briefly. I had never seen
“Sex and the City.” My wife made me
start watching it this year. We’re on Season 4.
-I’m so sorry. Yes. -I’m very much enjoying it.
-Good, good, good. -But I’m really bothered, because I feel like I have a
really good impression of Steve. -Really?
-Yeah. But I feel like it’s a problem,
because I feel like the window is closed, as far as that
being an effective tool. Like, no one is dying to hear
a Steve impression right now. But I feel like
since you’re here, I have a unique
opportunity to do it. -I would be so thrilled.
-Okay, great. Are you ready? -I wish we — Do we have
a Brooklyn Bridge, you know, photo that we can — -This is close enough, I feel.
-It’s close enough. -Yeah, yeah yeah.
-All right. Go ahead. All right. Okay. -[ As Steve ] What’s going on
with us, Miranda? I mean, I can’t figure out
what we’re doing. Should we get a dog? -That’s very good.
-Thank you. That means a lot.
You made me feel very good. You just made me feel very good.
-That was beautiful. -Thank you so much
for being here. Give it up for
Cynthia Nixon, everybody.

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