Mayor Bill de Blasio Speaks His Mind | The New York Times Close Up with Sam Roberts

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♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪>>>I’M SAM ROBERTS OF “THE NEW YORK TIMES,” AND WELCOME TO “THE NEW YORK TIMES CLOSE UP.” NOVEMBER 7th, NEW YORKERS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO CAST OUR BALLOTS TO CHOOSE THE LEADERS FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. MAYOR BILL de BLASIO JOINS US TO OUTLINE HIS AGENDA IN JUST A MOMENT. MY “TIMES” COLLEAGUES DISCUSS THE WEEK’S LEAD STORIES LATER IN THE PROGRAM. BUT FIRST, MAYOR de BLASIO, WELCOME AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. YOU’RE ABOUT TO BE RE-ELECTED ALMOST BY DEFAULT. CRAIN’S NEW YORK BUSINESS SAID THE OTHER DAY THAT YOU’RE RUNNING WITHOUT OFFERING A SINGLE, NEW, IMPORTANT INITIATIVE, NOR ARE ANY OF YOUR OPPONENTS. YOU TALK ABOUT MORE JOBS, BUT IT’S ARGUABLE HOW MUCH A MAYOR CAN DO ABOUT THAT. YOU TALK ABOUT CAMERAS FOR COPS, BUT THAT’S ALREADY IN THE CONTRACT. HOMELESSNESS SEEMS TO BE GETTING WORSE. YOU’RE TRYING TO KEEP IT AT LEAST NOT FROM GETTING WORSE. AND HOUSING WAS TRYING TO KEEP UP RATHER THAN DO BETTER. SO, WHAT WILL THE CITY LOOK LIKE DIFFERENTLY AFTER FOUR MORE YEARS OF BILL de BLASIO?>>SAM, I RESPECT YOU A LOT AND I RESPECT THE QUESTION, BUT I DISAGREE WITH CRAIN’S FUNDAMENTAL. I THINK WHEN YOU’RE AN INCUMBENT AND YOU ARE CONSTANTLY, AS I AM IN MY CASE, LAYING OUT NEW ELEMENTS OF A PLAN TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES, FOR FOUR STRAIGHT YEARS, I’VE BEEN PUTTING INITIATIVES ON THE TABLE AND UPDATING THEM AND IMPROVING UPON THEM. THE NOTION THAT THERE’S NOT SOMETHING BOLD OR IMPORTANT, WHEN WE’RE ALREADY IN THE MIDDLE OF THINGS THAT FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE THE APPROACH IN THIS CITY, I JUST DISPUTE THAT FROM THE BEGINNING. I’LL GIVE YOU THE MOST OBVIOUS EXAMPLE. I ANNOUNCED EARLIER THIS YEAR THAT WE WOULD BUILD ON THE SUCCESS WE HAD WITH PRE-K FOR ALL AND HAVE — >>THAT IS A GREAT EXAMPLE.>>WELL, THEN WE WANT TO GO TO 3-YEAR-OLDS, WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN DONE ON THIS SCALE EVERYWHERE, THAT EVERY 3-YEAR-OLD IN NEW YORK CITY WOULD GET A FREE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. >>LET ME JUST INTERRUPT A SECOND. WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM FOR THAT?>>LET ME GO OVER THAT JUST TO FINISH THE POINT. >>OKAY, SURE.>>I UNDERSTAND WHAT CRAIN’S OR ANYONE ELSE WANTS. IF THAT’S NOT A BOLD VISION, I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S A BOLD VISION. AND THE WHOLE EQUITY IN EXCELLENCE DECISION FOR SCHOOLS IS BUILDING OUT RAPIDLY, A.P. COURSES IN EVERY HIGH SCHOOL, GETTING ALL KIDS READING ON THIRD-GRADE LEVEL. FEWER THAN A THIRD OF OUR KIDS WERE READING ON A THIRD-GRADE LEVEL WHEN I CAME IN THE DOOR. WE WANT TO GET TO ALMOST 100% OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS. YOU KNOW, THESE ARE BIG, SEISMIC CHANGES. SO, WE ARE NOT FAKING PEOPLE OUT BY REPACKAGING THEM EVERY DAY, YOU KNOW. BIG PLANS HAVE BEEN ON THE TABLE IN SOME CASES FOR SEVERAL YEARS IN SOME CASES FOR MONTHS OR WEEKS, BUT IT’S ALL BUILDING ON A BIGGER VISION. TO YOUR QUESTION ON HOW WE PAY FOR IT, WE ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK THAT THE 3K INITIATIVE WOULD GO FROM THE CURRENT TWO DISTRICTS TO EIGHT DISTRICTS OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT THREE YEARS, AND IN THE FOURTH YEAR IN SEPTEMBER OF 2021, WE WANT IT TO BE FULLY UNIVERSAL. THAT FIRST BUILD-OUT TO EIGHT SCHOOL DISTRICTS OUT OF 32 WE WILL HANDLE WITH CITY FUNDS ALONE. THAT LAST JUMP TO 32 FULL DISTRICTS WILL REQUIRE EITHER SOME FORM OF FEDERAL FUNDING, SOME FORM OF STATE FUNDING OR A COMBINATION. THE OBVIOUS QUESTION IS, WELL, HOW IS THAT GOING TO HAPPEN UNDER CURRENT CONDITIONS, AND I REMIND PEOPLE, I DON’T EXPECT CURRENT CONDITIONS BY THE FALL OF 2021. IN FACT, I EXPECT MAJOR CHANGES IN ALBANY AND WASHINGTON BY THAT POINT. BUT THE OTHER POINT IS, SAM, THIS IS — WE SAW IT WITH PRE-K, IT BECAME IRRESISTIBLE AT A CERTAIN POINT. IT BECAME SO POLITICALLY POPULAR AND HAD SUCH A STRONG CONSTITUENCY IT WAS HARD FOR PEOPLE TO SAY NO IN ALBANY. I THINK WE’LL SEE THAT AGAIN. >>AND THEY FOUND THE MONEY. THERE SEEMS TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF DISCONNECT BETWEEN YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND HOW PEOPLE PERCEIVE YOU. RECENT QUINNIPIAC POLL SAID THAT 61% OF THE LIKELY VOTERS FAVORED YOU FOR RE-ELECTION. ONLY 57% SAID YOU DESERVED A SECOND TERM. SOME PEOPLE SAY YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO PAY THE TAXES, THAT SUPPORT THE POOR, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE AN UNCONDITIONAL FAITH IN YOUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS. NOW, THERE WAS A BOOK RECENTLY WRITTEN ABOUT MAYOR BLOOMBERG, AND HE SAID HE WAS SURPRISED WHEN HE ASKED WHETHER THE CITY’S COLLECTIVE SCORN DURING THE BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION BOTHERED THE MAYOR, AND THE MAYOR SAID, HOW COULD IT NOT? DOES IT BOTHER YOU, OR DO YOU THINK THIS IS REALLY A MYTH?>>YOU ADDED A LOT OF PIECES TOGETHER THERE. LET ME TRY MY BEST TO ANSWER QUICKLY. I DO HAVE STRONG BELIEFS, BUT I ALSO HAVE A LOT OF HUMILITY ABOUT THIS WORK I DO. I AM THE FIRST TO SAY IF EITHER I THINK I HAVEN’T HANDLED SOMETHING RIGHT OR IF MY BELIEFS DON’T PLAY OUT THE WAY I THOUGHT. I’VE TALKED FREQUENTLY RECENTLY ABOUT HOMELESSNESS. I THINK IT TOOK ME TOO LONG TO COME UP WITH A BIGGER PLAN. I THINK WE MISSED SOME OBVIOUS SIGNALS EARLY ON OF THINGS THAT WE COULD HAVE DONE BETTER. I’M NOT HAPPY WITH THAT. I’D LOVE TO HAVE GOTTEN THAT ONE BACK. THERE ARE OTHER AREAS, PRE-K I FEEL VERY, VERY GOOD ABOUT AND WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING. WE’RE HUMANS, SO WE’RE GOING TO DO SOME THINGS BETTER AND SOME THINGS WORSE. I LIKE TO BE HONEST ABOUT THAT. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO BELIEF STRUCTURE, I ACTUALLY LIKE PEOPLE WHO HAVE STRONG BELIEFS. I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE CONSERVATIVES AND REPUBLICANS. I RESPECT THEM FOR HAVING A STRONG BELIEF STRUCTURE. I THINK IT’S A BETTER WAY TO LIVE TO HAVE AN ANIMATING PHILOSOPHY, BUT ALSO THE ABILITY TO BE OBJECTIVE ABOUT IT AND TO RECOGNIZE WHEN IT DOESN’T WORK. I RESPECT AND SERVE ALL NEW YORKERS. FOLKS WHO HAVE DONE VERY WELL, I WANT THEM TO ALSO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. I RESPECT THEIR SUCCESS, BUT I THINK THEY NEED TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION IN MAKING SURE THIS IS A FAIR SOCIETY FOR ALL. I BELIEVE THAT’S IN THE INTEREST OF WEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE, TO HAVE A FAIR, INCLUSIVE SOCIETY. SO, IT’S NOT A LACK OF FOCUS ON THEIR NEEDS. IT’S TRYING TO CREATE A SOCIETY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE. BUT DOES IT, TO YOUR QUESTION, DO YOU FEEL THAT? OF COURSE. I HAVE A LOT OF EMPATHY. I GO TO TOWN HALL MEETINGS, TWO, THREE HOURS OF LISTENING TO PEOPLE’S CONCERNS, A LOT OF REALLY PAINFUL STORIES, A LOT OF REALLY PASSIONATE CONCERNS PEOPLE RAISE. I FEEL THEM VERY PERSONALLY, VERY HUMANLY. YOU CAN’T LET THE CRITICISM SLOW YOU DOWN OR THROW YOU OFF, YOU KNOW. IT’S SORT OF LIKE WALK AND CHEW GUM. I’M GOING TO FEEL IT. I’M GOING TO NOTICE IT. I’M GOING TO FEEL IF PEOPLE ARE UNHAPPY. I’VE GOT TO RESPECT THAT, BUT IT’S NOT GOING TO STOP ME FROM DOING THE THINGS I BELIEVE OR MOVING FORWARD. IF YOU’RE TOO SENSITIVE IN THIS JOB, YOU’VE GOT THE WRONG JOB, YOU KNOW. THIS IS NOT A JOB FOR SOMEONE WHO’S OVERSENSITIVE. >>YOU TALK ABOUT STRONG PERSONALITIES AND STRONG OPINIONS. WHY CAN’T YOU AND THE GOVERNOR GET ALONG? THERE’S SO MANY PROBLEMS THAT ARE FACING THE CITY THAT NEED THE STATE’S COOPERATION. SUBWAYS ARE CERTAINLY ONE OF THEM. >>SURE. >>I KNOW THIS IS TERRIBLY NAIVE ON MY PART, BUT WHY CAN’T YOU JUST SIT DOWN AND HAVE A DRINK AND SAY, HEY, YOU KNOW, WE DON’T LIKE EACH OTHER, BUT THE PROBLEMS HERE REQUIRE US TO COOPERATE?>>SAM, YOU’VE SEEN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MAYORS AND GOVERNORS — >>AND IT’S NEVER BEEN PARTICULARLY GOOD. >>CORRECT. SO, LET’S BE CLEAR. I THINK YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT TWO JOBS THAT REALLY REPRESENT DIFFERENT INTERESTS, AND WE’RE 43% OF THE STATE’S POPULATION. WE’RE THE ECONOMIC ENGINE IN THE STATE. WE ALSO PAY A LOT OF THE BILLS FOR THE STATE. I THINK NEW YORK CITY DESERVES RESPECT IN THAT EQUATION AND BALANCE. I HAVEN’T SEEN THAT ENOUGH OF THE TIME. BUT LOOK, I’M A STRONG-WILLED PERSON, THE GOVERNOR’S A STRONG-WILLED PERSON. THAT’S PART OF IT. THE NATURAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOVERNORS AND MAYORS IS PART OF IT. WE’VE SAT DOWN MANY TIMES. WE TALK ON THE PHONE PLENTY.>>WHEN IS THE LAST TIME THE TWO OF YOU TALKED?>>A COUPLE WEEKS AGO. >>OKAY. >>AND WE HAVE SOME REAL DIFFERENCES IN PHILOSOPHY. WE HAVE SOME REAL DIFFERENCES IN APPROACH TO THIS WORK. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE CAN’T TALK. IT DOESN’T MEAN SOMETIMES WE DON’T FIND COMMON GROUND. WE DID FIND COMMON GROUND IN JUNE ON CONTROL OF EDUCATION, AND WE MANAGED TO GET OUT OF THE RUT THAT EXISTS THE LAST YEARS AND DO A TWO-YEAR EXTENSION. I THOUGHT THAT WAS A REALLY GOOD PROCESS AND I THANK THE GOVERNOR MANY TIMES.>>IT’S BETTER THAN ONE YEAR. >>AND IT STARTED A BETTER PATH FORWARD, AND I THANKED THE GOVERNOR PUBLICLY MANY TIMES FOR THAT, AND IT WAS A GOOD PROCESS. NOW, ON OTHER MATTERS, YOU KNOW, I HAVE BEEN BLIND-SIDED MANY A TIME BY SUDDEN ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM ALBANY THAT I THOUGHT WERE INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE CITY, LIKE THIS RECENT DECISION TO HOLD BACK $380 MILLION FROM OUR PUBLIC HOSPITALS, WHICH ARE ALREADY IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS. MADE NO SENSE. THAT WAS MONEY THAT WOULD HAVE REVERTED BACK TO WASHINGTON, HAD WE NOT GOTTEN IT. I DIDN’T TAKE THAT KINDLY. I ADDRESSED THAT AGGRESSIVELY. SO YOU KNOW, ED KOCH USED TO TALK ABOUT IN DEALING WITH THE GOVERNOR, IF THE GOVERNOR DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR NEW YORK CITY, IT’S IMPORTANT TO PRAISE HIM. IF THE GOVERNOR DOES SOMETHING AGAINST NEW YORK CITY’S INTERESTS, STAND UP TO THEM. THAT’S MY CREDO AS WELL. BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW, THE STATE AND THE CITY COOPERATE ON MANY, MANY FRONTS. WE’RE COOPERATING TO WIN AMAZON FOR THIS CITY AND THIS STATE. WE COOPERATE ALL THE TIME. THE MTA, FOR EXAMPLE, SELECT BUS SERVICE HAS BEEN A GREAT, GREAT SUCCESS. THAT’S DONE CITY AND STATE FUNDING TOGETHER AND PLANNING TOGETHER AND WE MAKE IT WORK. SOMETIMES THERE’S DISAGREEMENTS AT THE TOP. IT DOES NOT STOP THE TEAMS FROM CONTINUING TO WORK TOGETHER, IT DOESN’T STOP THE AGENCIES FROM CONTINUING TO WORK TOGETHER. LOOK, I HAVE AN OPEN DOOR. I’VE SAID TO THE GOVERNOR MANY TIMES, ANYTIME HE WANTS TO BRING FORWARD AN IDEA AND WORK ON IT COLLABORATIVELY, I’M LISTENING. >>DO YOU DISLIKE EACH OTHER?>>I DON’T THINK IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. I THINK I’VE BEEN DISAPPOINTED BY SOME OF THE EXPERIENCES I HAD, THINGS LIKE THE 421A ISSUE AND HOW THAT WAS HANDLED, THE ORIGINAL EFFORTS AROUND MAYORAL CONTROL EXTENSION, WHICH I THOUGHT WERE REALLY UNFAIR TO THE CITY, AND REALLY A DOUBLE STANDARD COMPARED TO WHAT WE SAW UNDER MAYOR BLOOMBERG. YOU KNOW, A VARIETY OF REALLY TANGIBLE THINGS THAT LED ME TO FEEL I HAD TO APPROACH THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN I HAD. YOU KNOW, I’M VERY COMFORTABLE IN SAYING I CAME INTO OFFICE EXPECTING A GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AND TALKING TO HIM A LOT, AND I’VE EXPERIENCED SOME DISAPPOINTMENTS, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL. I’M READY TO WORK WITH THE GOVERNOR AND HIS ADMINISTRATION ANY TIME IT’S IN THE INTEREST OF NEW YORK CITY.>>IF HE RUNS FOR RE-ELECTION NEXT YEAR, WOULD YOU SUPPORT HIM?>>I’VE BEEN ASKED THAT BEFORE AND I HAVE A VERY SIMPLE ANSWER IS, IT’S 2017, WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ELECTION, THAT’S ALL I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT IS THIS ELECTION.>>OKAY. YOU BOUGHT TIME ON THAT ONE. LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT SPECIFICS. CONGESTION PRICING, WHICH CERTAINLY NEEDS A NEW NAME IF IT’S GOING TO BE SOLD. WHY DON’T YOU THINK THAT’S A GOOD KA?>>FIRST OF ALL, THERE IS NO PROPOSAL ON THE TABLE AND THIS IS SOMETHING I’M FRUSTRATED WITH THE GOVERNOR ON. HE PROPOSED MOVING THAT DIRECTION, THEN DIDN’T PUT ANY FLESH TO THE BONE AND I DON’T HAVE THAT GREAT LUCK HERE IN THE CITY THAT I COULD OFFER AN IDEA WITH NO DETAILS. I HAVE OFFERED A SERIES OF VERY DETAILED PLANS ON A HOST OF FRONTS. IF HE HAS A VISION, PUT IT ON THE TABLE SO WE CAN ALL ASSESS IT. BUT WHAT WE KNOW FROM THE PAST IS ONLY TWO THINGS — MIKE BLOOMBERG’S PLAN, WHICH I THINK WAS A MISTAKE AND OBVIOUSLY DID NOT FAIR WELL IN ALBANY, WHICH DID NOT ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF BROOKLYN AND QUEENS, EVEN THOUGH BROOKLYN AND QUEENS WERE GOING TO BASICALLY BE THE FIRST GROUP OF PEOPLE PAYING FOR IT, 5 MILLION PEOPLE, ALMOST. DID NOT ADDRESS EQUITY ISSUES, DID NOT ADDRESS SOME OF THE HARDSHIPS THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED FOR LOW-INCOME FOLKS OR FOLKS WHO HAVE MEDICAL CONDITIONS. ALL SORTS OF THINGS WERE LEFT OUT OF THAT PLAN. MOVE NEW YORK CAME IN WITH A PLAN FOUR YEARS AGO I THOUGHT WAS A BETTER PLAN AND MORE CREATIVE BUT STILL DIDN’T ADDRESS THE EQUITY ISSUES. DONE THE WRONG WAY, AN IDEA LIKE THAT IS AN REGRESSIVE TAX. IT’S WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THAT AND A SALES TAX, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT IF YOU’RE UPPER MIDDLE CLASS OR YOU’RE WEALTHY, YOU CAN MERRILY PAY THE TOLL AND YOU WON’T KNOW A DIFFERENCE. IF YOU’RE POOR WORKING CLASS, EVEN MIDDLE CLASS, THAT’S GOING TO TAKE A REAL BITE OUT OF YOU. HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE THAT AND ACT ON THAT? SO, MY ANSWER IS, WHAT I’VE SEEN TO DATE I DON’T LIKE. IF THERE’S A NEW VERSION, A DIFFERENT VERSION, I WOULD CERTAINLY LOOK AT THAT. MY PREFERRED APPROACH IS A MILLIONAIRES’ TAX. AND I REALLY THINK IT MAKES SENSE, AND I WANT TO GIVE YOU A QUICK ONCE OVER ON THE POLITICS OF IT.>>SURE. >>EVEN WITH THE CURRENT STATE SENATE, WHICH IS VERY FOCUSED ON THE SUBURBS — THAT’S WHERE THEIR LEADERSHIP COMES FROM — WE WOULD ONLY TAX NEW YORK CITY MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES MODESTLY, ADDITIONAL CHARGE, MODEST CHARGE ON THE INCOME. THAT WOULD PAY FOR FUNDAMENTAL REPAIRS FOR THE MTA, AND WE COULD BOND WITH THAT MONEY AND GET A LOT MORE IN FOR THE CAPITAL NEEDS, AND THE FAIR FARE. THAT’S THE HALF-PRICED FARE METROCARD FOR LOW-INCOME NEW YORKERS. IT’S A GREAT EXAMPLE OF EQUITY. THOSE HAVE DONE REALLY WELL TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE MUCH LESS FORTUNATE AND HELP ALL OF US GET AROUND.>>IF I MADE $1 MILLION, HOW MUCH MORE WOULD I PAY IN TAXES?>>IT’S A MINIMAL AMOUNT THAT GOES UP BY LEVEL, BUT IT’S A MINIMAL AMOUNT. I’D HAVE TO GET YOU THE EXACT QUOTE, BUT THE POINT IS, IT’S A SMALL SURCHARGE. AND HERE’S THE REASON I THINK IT MAKES SENSE. THE SUBURBAN SENATORS ARE NOT ASKING ANYTHING OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS IN THAT EQUATION. I BELIEVE THAT COULD BE PASSED AND BECOME A RELIABLE SOURCE OF INCOME FOR THE MTA, BUT I ALSO SAY OPENLY WITH PEOPLE, IF IT’S NOT THAT, WHAT IS IT? I OFFER PROPOSALS. GOT A LOT OF SUPPORT IN ALBANY. IF NOT, WE NEED A RELIABLE, ONGOING, MAJOR REVENUE SOURCE FOR THE MTA. IF YOU DON’T LIKE THAT ONE, SHOW US ANOTHER ONE. >>A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. >>YES. >>THAT, AMONG OTHER THINGS, MIGHT REDUCE GERRYMANDERING IN ALBANY AND MIGHT SHIFT POLITICAL POWER MORE TO THE CITY. WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S TOO RISKY AN IDEA?>>YEAH, AND IT SADDENS ME, SAM TO SAY THAT. I THINK IN A BETTER WORLD, WHICH ESSENTIALLY MEANS A WORLD WHERE THE SUPREME COURT HAD NOT MADE THE DECISION THEY MADE IN THE CITIZENS UNITED CASE — IF WE HAD REAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS, THEN I COULD ENVISION A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION THAT ADDRESSED REAL ISSUES. I’D LOVE TO SEE A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO REDISTRICTING. THE STATE SENATE IS REPUBLICAN BECAUSE OF INAPPROPRIATE DISTRICTING. AND OUR CONGRESSIONAL SEATS ARE ALSO NOT FAIRLY DISTRICTED. THAT’S ALSO DETERMINED BY THE STATE SENATE. SO, I’D LOVE A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION UNDER FAIRGROUND RULES. WE DON’T HAVE THAT. IN A CITIZENS UNITED WORLD, SUCH A PROCESS WOULD BE FLOODED BY BIG MONEY, AND I KNOW WHAT IT WOULD MEAN. IT WOULD BE AN ATTACK ON LABOR RIGHTS AND IT WOULD BE AN ATTACK ON REGULATIONS, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS ON BUSINESS THAT ARE PROTECTING ALL OF US BUT WEALTHY INTERESTS WOULD LIKE TO SEE REDUCED, AS WE’VE SEEN ALL OVER THE COUNTRY NOW AND WE’VE SEEN IN WASHINGTON. SO, IT IS SADLY A TRAP, AND MAYBE ONE DAY WHEN WE ACTUALLY HAVE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, THEN WE COULD HAVE AN APPROPRIATE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. >>SCOTT STRINGER SAID YESTERDAY AGAIN HE’D LIKE TO DO IT IN THREE YEARS. YOU SAY TEN YEARS. TEN YEARS SEEMS ALMOST LIKE NOT CLOSING IT AT ALL. YOU WANT TO REPLACE IT WITH FOUR — FOUR RIKERS, IN EFFECT, FOUR JAILS, ONE IN EACH BOROUGH EXCEPT STATEN ISLAND->>I DISAGREE WITH THAT, TOO. IF THIS WERE A DEBATE, I’D BE –>>BUT LET ME ASK YOU, WHY IS THAT BETTER? WHY WILL VIOLENCE, WHY WILL ABUSES, WHATEVER, BE BETTER IF WE SPLIT THAT BIG JAIL ON RIKERS ISLAND UP INTO FOUR IN THE BOROUGHS?>>SO, WE’RE IN THE PROCESS OF CULTURE CHANGE IN OUR CORRECTION DEPARTMENT, AND WE BELIEVE — I BELIEVE THAT A LOT OF THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE. THE FEDERAL MONITOR OBVIOUSLY STRONGLY BELIEVED THAT HAD TO HAPPEN AND KEEPS ON US ON THAT. WE TOTALLY AGREEMENT WITH THE FEDERAL MONITOR. GETTING RID OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR THE YOUNGER INMATES, FOR EXAMPLE. THERE’S A LOT WE CAN CHANGE WITH THE CURRENT CONSTRUCT AND WE HAVE TO. IT’S TEN FULL YEARS OF COURTS WE HAVE TO MAKE A NUMBER OF REFORMS RIGHT NOW. BUT LET’S BE CLEAR, RIKERS WAS BUILT 85 YEARS AGO WITH NO RECOGNITION OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY AROUND HOW TO REDEEM PEOPLE AND TURN THEIR LIVES AROUND. IT WAS BUILT IN A TIME WHEN IT WAS A MUCH MORE PUNITIVE DYNAMIC. MODERN JAILS ARE BUILT FOR REDEMPTION, THEY’RE BUILT FOR REHABILITATION. THEY’RE BETTER ENVIRONMENTS FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE OFFICERS.>>THEY’RE EASIER TO VISIT FOR FAMILIES. >>FOR FAMILIES, FOR SURE, AND THEY’RE MORE EFFICIENT, BECAUSE IF YOU’RE TAKING PEOPLE THROUGH THE COURT SYSTEM, IT’S RIGHT THERE. THERE ARE NOT GOING TO BE QUOTE/UNQUOTE NEW RIKERS, SO DISPELLING THAT POINT. THE TEN-YEAR TIMELINE’S THE REAL TIMELINE. AND YOU KNOW, THIS IS ONE THAT ALWAYS SHOCKS ME, BECAUSE IT’S ONE THING IF YOU HAVE A PUBLIC FIGURE LIKE ME AND THEN THERE’S BEEN AN INDEPENDENT COMMISSION THAT FOUND SOMETHING RADICALLY DIFFERENT. IN THIS CASE, THE INDEPENDENT COMMISSION LED BY JUDGE LIPPMAN, AN EXTRAORDINARY JURIST AND LEADER ON THIS ISSUE, SAID THE EXACT SAME THING, TEN YEARS. WHY? YOU HAVE TO BRING DOWN THE INMATE POPULATION. WE’RE JUST OVER 9,000. IT HAS TO GET DOWN TO 5,000. THAT’S A LOT OF BIG CHANGES THAT WILL BE — CONTINUING TO LOWER CRIME, LOWERING NUMBER OF ARRESTS, ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING, BAIL REFORM, SPEEDING UP THE COURT SYSTEM, WHICH IS A STATE RESPONSIBILITY. AND WE NEED TO SEE PROGRESS. YOU NEED THE NEW FACILITIES. YOU KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO BUILD THINGS IN NEW YORK CITY. THAT PROCESS IS JUST GOING TO BEGIN NOW. BUT WHEN WE HAVE NEW, MODERN FACILITIES, I THINK WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A MORE HUMANE AND EFFECTIVE CORRECTIONS SYSTEM. AND WHEN ALL THAT’S IN PLACE, EVERYONE COMES OFF, AND THEN WHEN WE SHUT IT DOWN, WE NEVER GO BACK. THAT’S THE OTHER THING TO BE CLEAR ABOUT. WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT SHUTTING IT DOWN TO KEEP THE OPTION OF GOING BACK. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT SHUT IT DOWN AND THEN TEAR IT DOWN, IT’S GONE FOREVER. YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE SURE YOU DO IT RIGHT AND THAT THOSE NUMBERS WILL HOLD TO HAVE THAT LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE. >>YOUR SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR WANTS TO IMPROVE INTEGRATION IN THE SCHOOLS. TOUGH WITH SO MANY BLACK AND HISPANIC KIDS IN THE SYSTEM, ABOUT 70%. THEY DEFINE INTEGRATED SCHOOLS, OR AT LEAST MIXED SCHOOLS, OF HAVING ROUGHLY BETWEEN 50% AND 90% BLACK AND HISPANIC. HOW DO YOU DO THAT WHEN THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH WHITES IN EFFECT TO GO AROUND?>>YOU’RE RIGHT THAT THERE’S A BIG STRUCTURAL CHALLENGE. THIS IS PART OF WHAT I’VE SAID TO ADVOCATES, THAT WE CAN DO A LOT BETTER, BUT WE CANNOT CREATE SORT OF THE PERFECT DIVERSIFICATION MODEL BECAUSE IT’S ALL CAUGHT UP IN ECONOMIC HISTORY AND HOUSING HISTORY AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, AND WE HAVE WHOLE SWATHS OF THE CITY THAT ARE PRIMARILY ONE ETHNIC GROUP OR ONE RACIAL GROUP, WHERE THERE’S NOT EVEN OTHER PEOPLE NEARBY TO CREATE THE DIVERSIFICATION WITH. BUT WE CAN DO, WHICH I’M EXCITED ABOUT, IS SOME GREAT WORK AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. WE SAW IT IN THE WEST SIDE. WE SAW IT IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, NOW IN LOWER MANHATTAN TO REZONE SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN A WAY THAT ADDRESSES SCHOOL QUALITY AND DIVERSIFICATION SIMULTANEOUSLY. I THINK THE WEST SIDE EXAMPLE’S A GOOD ONE. WE CAN TAKE AWAY SOME OF THE BARRIERS THAT EXISTED IN THE PROCESS OF ADMISSIONS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND HIGH SCHOOLS, INCLUDING OUTREACH EFFORTS THAT REALLY DID NOT ADDRESS DIVERSITY AND SOME IMPLICIT BARRIERS THAT I DON’T EVEN THINK WERE MEANT NEGATIVELY, BUT DID THAT — GRADING, TOO MUCH IN THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS. IF A FAMILY HAD A PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SCHOOL, FOR EXAMPLE. AND WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO WITH STATE LEGISLATION, WHICH IS TO END THE SINGLE TEST AS A MEANS OF ENTRANCE TO THE SPECIALIZED SCHOOLS. DANTE TOOK THAT TEST, WENT TO BROOKLYN TECH. I’VE SEEN GOOD THINGS COME OF IT, BUT I HAVE TO BE HONEST, I DON’T THINK ANYBODY’S TRAJECTORY SHOULD BE DETERMINED BY A SINGLE STANDARDIZED TEST ON ANYTHING, AND STUYVESANT, SADLY, IS THE NEGATIVE POSTER CHILD, 7% BLACK AND LATINO. THAT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE. >>VERY QUICK, LAST QUESTION. YOU TELL PEOPLE NOT TO BUY AT AMAZON WHEN YOU’RE WOOING THE COMPANY. >>NOW, THAT’S, AGAIN, SAM — I DID NOT SAY THAT. >>OKAY. AND YOU’RE NOT FOR THE YANKEES — >>THAT I DID SAY.>>YOU ARE A RED SOX FAN.>>IS THIS WELCOME CANDOR OR IS IT — >>CANDOR AND AUTHENTICITY ARE ONE THING, MEANING SOMETIMES I SAY THIS TO MY TEAM AS A CHASTISING. THEY SAY WHAT DO YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT SOMETHING, AND I SAY IT AND THEY’RE LIKE, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T SAY IT — I SAID, GUYS, AUTHENTICITY — YOU CAN’T BE SOMEWHAT AUTHENTIC. YOU’RE EITHER AUTHENTIC OR YOU’RE NOT. I BELIEVE PEOPLE REALLY WANT AUTHENTICITY. I BELIEVE THEY VALUE IT. I BELIEVE IN THE DIGITAL AGE, IT IS SO MUCH MORE NOTED THAN IT EVEN WAS IN THE PAST. I’M NOT GOING TO BE SOMETHING I’M NOT. I WAS BORN HERE, A PROUD NEW YORK FAMILY, THEN THEY MOVED TO MASSACHUSETTS BACK WHEN I WAS 5 YEARS OLD AND I GREW UP A RED SOX FAN BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE I GREW UP. I WENT TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS UP THERE. THAT’S WHAT EVERY KID WAS DOING, AND IT BECAME A BIG PART OF MY LIFE. I’M NOT GOING TO CHANGE THAT. AND THEN ON THE SHOPPING, I SAID SOMETHING MUCH SIMPLER. I WAS ASKED, DO I SHOP ON AMAZON? I DON’T SHOP ONLINE FOR ANYTHING, EXCEPT OCCASIONALLY BASEBALL TICKETS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT BUT WHAT I SAID WAS MORE NARROW, AND IT NEEDS TO BE ACCURATELY PORTRAYED. >>OKAY. >>I WAS ASKED AT MANY TOWN HALL MEETINGS LATELY WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE LOSS OF MOM AND POP STORES IN NEIGHBORHOODS. I SAID WE’RE LOOKING FOR PUBLIC POLICY SOLUTIONS. WE DON’T HAVE MANY TOOLS, BUT WE’RE TRYING. I ALSO SAID CONSUMERS, IF THEY VALUE MOM AND POP STORE, SHOP THERE. IT’S NOT THAT STARBUCKS ISN’T GOOD OR AMAZON ISN’T A GOOD THING, IF YOU LOVE YOUR LOCAL STORE, GIVE THEM SOME OF YOUR MONEY, TOO. IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT. >>THEY SHOULD BE AUTHENTIC AS WELL. >>AMEN. >>THANKS TO MAYOR BILL de BLASIO FOR JOINING US. AND WHEN WE RETURN, MY “TIMES” COLLEAGUES JOIN ME FOR “THE BACK STORY.”>>>WELCOME BACK. WHAT KIND OF WEEK HAS IT BEEN? MANHATTAN’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY CY VANCE JR. FOUND HIMSELF ON THE DEFENSIVE. HOLLYWOOD AND WASHINGTON, D.C., UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE TO HOME. AS WE TAPE THE PROGRAM THE YANKEES ARE ON THE BRINK OF BEING IN ANOTHER WORLD SERIES, JOINING ME TO DISCUSS THESE STORIES AND MORE, MY “TIMES” COLLEAGUES, CONTRIBUTING WRITERS CLYDE HABERMAN AND ELEANOR RANDOLPH AND CITY HALL BUREAU REPORTERS WILLIAM NEUMAN AND J. DAVID GOODMAN. WE TALKED EARLIER WITH THE MAYOR ABOUT HIS VISION FOR A SECOND TERM. DOES HE NEED A VISION FOR A SECOND TERM, OR CAN HE JUST DOING WHAT HE’S BEEN DOING FOR FOUR YEARS?>>WELL, HE HAS TO MAKE A CASE TO VOTERS THAT — TO RE-ELECT HIM, THAT HE DESERVES TO CONTINUE, AND HE HAS TO PRESENT THEM WITH A SET OF IDEAS AND PROGRAMS THAT THEY CAN GET ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT, AND HE HAS BEEN VERY CAUTIOUS ABOUT NOT COMING OUT WITH A NEW SET OF PROGRAMS. HE DOESN’T HAVE A DEFINING THEME AS HE DID WHEN HE RAN FOR OFFICE THE FIRST TIME, SO THERE IS A SENSE THAT WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS CANDIDACY BUILT AROUND.>>HE DOESN’T NEED IT.>>HE DOESN’T NEED IT BECAUSE HE IS LEAVING, AND DOES HE LEAVE IT PHILOSOPHICALLY? CAN HE JUST SAY I’M GOING TO DO MORE OF WHAT I’VE BEEN DOING?>>WELL, HE CAN DO THAT, BUT I THINK THAT’S RIGHT, WHAT HE OUGHT TO DO IS JUST ESTABLISH THE PRIORITIES. IT’S PROBABLY ON THAT LIST OF PROMISES HE MADE FOUR YEARS AGO, BUT JUST MOVE THEM UP. I MEAN, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN HE’S TALKING ABOUT HOMELESSNESS, AND HE’S RIGHT, HE HAS NOT DONE VERY WELL ON HOMELESSNESS. SO HE COULD MAKE THAT A PRIORITY, FINDING LOW-INCOME HOUSING. I MEAN, HE SAYS THAT’S WHAT HE WANTS TO DO, BUT HE HASN’T REALLY EMPHASIZED IT IN THE WAY YOU MIGHT EXPECT. >>WELL, HE DOES HAVE A PLAN FOR THE HOMELESS. LIKE, A LOT OF STUFF, YOU KNOW, HE WAS A BIT — WHEN HE SAID THAT — YOU KNOW, HE SORT OF DISAGREED WITH YOUR PREMISE, AS HE OFTEN DOES, THAT HE DOESN’T HAVE ANY KIND OF PLANS FOR THE NEXT TERM. HE DOES HAVE PLANS. HE HASN’T REALLY COME UP WITH NEW THINGS THAT WE HAVEN’T ALREADY EXPERIENCED, SO THE HOMELESS PLAN, HE’S GOING TO CONTINUE TRYING TO FIND PLACES FOR 90 NEW SHELTERS. THAT HASN’T MADE ANY DISCERNIBLE IMPACT, AND HE HASN’T EVEN PROMISED THAT IT WILL. SO, AND ON THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PIECE, HE’S JUST GOING TO CONTINUE ON THAT. I THINK THE ONE THING THAT SEEMS LIKE UNFINISHED BUSINESS, AND HE TALKED TO LENGTH WITH YOU ON THIS, IS TRYING TO TAX THE WEALTHY. HE WANTED TO DO THAT IN 2013, DIDN’T GET IT DONE. HE PROPOSED VARIOUS WAYS OF TRYING TO GET THAT DONE OVER THE FIRST TERM, AND IT SEEMS IF HE WANTS TO RUN FOR SOMETHING ELSE OTHER THAN, YOU KNOW, BEING A TWO-TERM MAYOR, AFTER HE LEAVES THIS OFFICE, HE’S GOING TO NEED SOMETHING THAT CAN APPEAL BROADLY TO DEMOCRATS. AND IT SEEMS LIKE HE’S LOOKING AT THIS TAX THING AS I’M THE BIG-CITY MAYOR THAT RAISED TAXES ON MILLIONAIRES IN THE CITY WITH THE MOST MILLIONAIRES IN THE COUNTRY — >>IF HE CAN GET THEM TO APPROVE IT. >>NOW, THAT’S A BIG IF. >>OBVIOUSLY. >>FOUR YEARS AGO, WE WEREN’T LIVING IN THE WORLD OF TRUMP, AND NOW IT’S VERY POSSIBLE NEW YORK AND A LOT OF OTHER CITIES COULD BE LIVING IN A WORLD OF HURT, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE OF FEDERAL CUTBACKS. NOW, HE HAS TALKED ABOUT THE TRUMP EFFECT, BUT A FEW PROGRAMMATIC OFFERINGS WOULDN’T HURT. >>HOW ABOUT THOSE YANKEES?>>I KNOW, I’M A BIG YANKEES FAN AND HE’S NOT AND ALL THAT, BUT I THINK WHAT HE MISSES WHEN HE SAYS HE’S BEING AUTHENTIC AND DISSING THE YANKEES AS HE REPEATEDLY HAS IS, HE’S DISSING MILLIONS OF NEW YORKERS WHO ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THIS TEAM. AND LEADERS ARE SUPPOSED TO SHOW UP, EVEN IF THEY DON’T REALLY CARE. YOU SHOW UP AT FUNERALS AND CHURCHES YOU DON’T BELONG TO OR HOUSES OF WORSHIP YOU DON’T BELONG TO IF YOU’RE A LEADER. YOU DO ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT ARE NOT NECESSARILY TRUE TO YOURSELF. AND THIS DIGGING IN, AS IF THERE’S SOME HIGHER CALLING ON IT IS FRANKLY OFFENSIVE. AND I THINK TO AN AWFUL LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE CITY WHO CARE ABOUT SUCH THINGS.>>BLOOMBERG WAS A RED SOX FAN->>HE WENT TO THE YANKEE STADIUM — >>WENT TO THE YANKEE STADIUM. AS WE’RE TAPING, WE DON’T KNOW YET, BUT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD HAVEN’T HAD THIS KIND OF SUCCESS IN EIGHT YEARS. YOU’RE NOT TIPPING THE HAT ENOUGH — HE’S THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK.>>HE’S HIDING BEHIND THIS IDEA OF AUTHENTICITY, AND IT’S NOT AUTHENTICITY, IT’S INFLEXIBILITY, IT’S RIGIDITY TO SAY THIS IS WHAT I’M GOING DO AND I’M NOT GOING TO GO TO THE GAME. GO TO THE GAME.>>GO TO THE GAME! YOU DON’T HAVE TO ROOT FOR THEM.>>YOU’RE NOT A 10-YEAR-OLD ANYMORE WHO, YOU KNOW, LIVES AND DIES — YOU’RE A GROWN-UP WHO — >>LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE CANDIDATES RUNNING AGAINST HIM. WHY ARE THEY?>>I THINK THEY HAVE DIFFERENT REASONS. I’VE BEEN FOCUSING ON BO DIETL FOR A PROFILE I’LL BE WRITING ABOUT HIM. IT’S A WIN-WIN FOR HIM. HE’S GOT A BUSINESS, A PUBLIC PERSONA, HE WAS A FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR, IS OFTEN IN THE “NEW YORK POST,” ALTHOUGH THEY HAVEN’T BEEN COVERING HIM THAT MUCH IN THIS ELECTION AND IT HELPS HIS BUSINESS AND PERSONA TO BE RUNNING. SO, THAT’S ONE. IF HE LOSES, HE’S GOT THAT. IF HE WINS, HE’S MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, SO THERE’S REALLY NO DOWN SIDE. HE LOVES MIXING IT UP. HE GOES OUT ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK AND IT’S LIKE A SCENE EVERYWHERE HE GOES. IT’S LIKE A REALITY TELEVISION SHOW. IN FACT, HE GOES AROUND WITH A CAMERA WITH A MIKE IN HIS LAPEL AND IS CREATING A SCENE WHEREVER HE GOES. AND I THINK IT’S A LITTLE DIFFERENT FOR NICOLE->>AND IT’S A WIN WIN FOR NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS WHO IS A LITTLE KNOWN ASSEMBLYWOMAN TO MOST NEW YORKERS NOW WANTS TO RUN FOR SOME SORT OF OTHER OFFICE, WHETHER IT’S CONGRESS OR STATEN ISLAND BOROUGH PRESIDENT. SHE NOW HAS A VISABILITY SHE DIDN’T HAVE MONTHS AGO. >>AND FOR THE MOST PART, THEY ARE SPENDING OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. >>THAT’S TRUE. >>YOU KNOW, de BLASIO’S AD, THE LATEST AD THAT’S COME OUT, IT’S REALLY INTERESTING. HE DOESN’T MENTION BO DIETL OR NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS BUT HE SORT OF STARTS OFF ATTACKING TRUMP AND THEN TALKS ABOUT HOW NEW YORK IS DIFFERENT FROM WASHINGTON AND DIFFERENT FROM THE TRUMP CLIMATE THAT WE KNOW SO WELL AT THIS POINT. >>WELL, YOU TALK ABOUT VISION, NEITHER OF THEM REALLY HAVE PUT FORWARD A VISION. AND YOU KNOW, PEOPLE KNOCKED THE DEBATE THE OTHER DAY, BUT THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THE DEBATE WASN’T THE CAT CALLS FROM THE AUDIENCE, IT WAS THE FACT THAT THERE WAS ONE GUY UP THERE WHO’S THE MAYOR WAS WELL VERSED IN ALL THE ISSUES AND HAD IDEAS AND TWO WHO ARE ONLY UP THERE TO CRITICIZE THE MAYOR. >>WE’VE GOT ONE MORE DEBATE COMING UP. THANKS TO MY “TIMES” COLLEAGUES, CLYDE HABERMAN, ELEANOR RANDOLPH, WILLIAM NEUMAN AND J. DAVID GOODMAN. MY FINAL THOUGHTS AND “CODA” RESUMES NEXT WEEK, AND FOR “THE NEW YORK TIMES” AND CUNY TV, I’M SAM ROBERTS. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪

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