Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Public Hearing for and Signs Intros 902-A, 1004-A, 448-A, 1037-A, 831-A, 1118, 1119, and 809-A; Holds Public Hears for Intros 209-A and 1006-A

May 10, 2016

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Okay, we've got a lot to do today. Welcome, everybody. Our first bill is a real win for our environment – it's a real step forward for the people of New York City and for our environment.

Intro 209-A, requires certain stores to charge a minimum of five cents for each single-use carryout bag given to a customer. This includes both paper and plastic bags. The sponsored member is Councilmember Brad Lander, the co-prime sponsor is Margaret Chin. This will apply to all grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail stores across our city. But it will not apply to restaurant takeout and delivery orders; will not apply to no-handle bags used to package produce meat, fish, and dairy products. It will not apply to bags that pharmacies use for prescription medications. Now, I want to focus on plastic bags in particular. Every year, New Yorkers throw away billions – that is a stunning figure – one city – billions of plastic bags, and that all has a negative effect on our environment. By the way, those plastic bags are made of petroleum, and that also has a negative impact on an environment that has to get away from the use of fossil fuels. It clogs – these bags clog our storm drains, get stuck in our trees, litter our streets, and many, many end up in our landfills – so, we literally pay money to ship them out of town and put them in the ground, which is a lose-lose for everyone.

We must reduce the use of plastic bags for the good of our environment. In our OneNYC plan, we committed to zero waste to our landfills by 2030. Reducing plastic bag use is a major part of achieving this goal. This bill strikes the right balance between environmental concerns and economic ones. It reduces reliance on single-use bags and encourages the use of – excuse me, reduces reliance on single-use bags and encourages the use of reusable ones. And I want to remind everyone that it was only a few decades ago in the scheme of human history that plastic bags became available, before that everyone used reusable bags. Generation upon generation used reusable bags. And we're going back to something that worked and was much, much better for our environment.

Now, we have put safeguards in place, and I want to commend the City Council for looking at the big picture, it safeguards our most vulnerable consumers who can't afford this fee. The fee will be waived for food stamp users and emergency food providers like food pantries. And we're making sure New Yorkers know the benefits of this effort by launching a public awareness campaign. Over the next year, we will give away over 100,000 reusable bags in concert with our nonprofit and industry partners. In fact, the bill allows a reusable bag giveaway to happen every April beginning in 2017. So, this will be an annual thing to make sure that these reusable bags are readily available. By encouraging more New Yorkers to say to no to single-use and yes to reuse we will create a cleaner and greener city for us all. I want to commend Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the entire City Council for the action they have taken. And now it is my pleasure to introduce our Sanitation commissioner, Kathryn Garcia.

[…]

Mayor: I want to thank everyone who testified – and to our students, all of you, you have provided further proof that the future of New York City will be in good hands. So, we thank you very much and we look forward to a signing ceremony very soon. Thank you very much.

Alright, we have a lot today, so let's go to the next one. And this next bill is part our city's ongoing effort to modernize regulations for our businesses. This is Intro 1006-A, which removes – this is a real interesting one – removes the requirement that motion picture projectionists obtain a license from the City. The sponsor is Councilmember Rafael Espinal. Currently, these projectionists must obtain a license from the Department of Consumer Affairs to get licensed now. Applicants must pass a safety exam on the proper use of 35 millimeter film projectors – equipment that often involves highly flammable film.

Today, nearly all movie theaters in New York City and across the nation use digital film projection, so it is easy to see why that requirement is outdated. However, some of our most beloved theaters continue to project non-digital film. So, it is important to note that eliminating requirements to obtain a license will not compromise safety. Together, State regulations and a rigorous New York City fire code will ensure that non-digital film is used, handled and stored safely. I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Julie Menin, Small Business Services Commissioner Greg Bishop, again, Councilmember Rafael Espinal, the sponsor of the bill and the chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs. Now, I want to do this once again – the acting Commissioner for the Department of Consumer Affairs Alba Pico.

[…]

Mayor: Okay, thank you. Now, we're going to go onto the next piece of legislation, which is Intro 902-A. This is a bill that's near and dear to my heart, and I really want to commend Councilmember Matteo for this. This is a bill that will keep our little leaguers safe. And I've spoken many times about the one true sport of baseball, and little league is a very, very big part of our family's experience, but there's always the question of keeping our kids safe while they do something they love, and something that's so good for them in so many ways.

Intro 902-A requires the City to provide defibrillators to youth baseball league using Parks Department ball fields or leasing fields from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. It also requires the City provide training for coaches and umpires on how to use them. Again, the lead sponsor is Councilmember Steve Matteo; the co-prime sponsor, Councilmember Corey Johnson.

I was a little league parent for many years. I was also a little league coach in the 7-8 Precinct Youth League in Brooklyn, and I know how much this legislation means to parents all over the City. Again, this is a sport that means a lot to us. We have to know our kids are safe, and Councilman Matteo understood that from his own experience, understood what it would mean to parents and to children, and the bill gives parents one more thing that they can feel good about, one less thing to worry about. So, it's an important step forward. We know – and we've seen too many cases of sudden cardiac arrest happening even in our young people, and we need these tools available to protect them. And this will be in time for next year's season. The little leagues using Parks Department and DCAS ball fields will have these life-saving devices at their fingertips.

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; our Parks Commissioner, Mitch Silver; our Department of Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett. And now, I want to introduce our DCAS Commissioner, Lisette Camilo.

[…]

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 902-A into law]

Mayor: Okay. Now, we've got another important piece of legislation and it is going to help protect the livelihoods of hardworking men and women in this City. Intro 1004 strengthens the 2002 Displaced Building Service Worker Protection Act. The sponsor is Councilmember Robert Cornegy. This law mandates that if a building changes ownership, the building service workers – the doormen, the maintenance workers and others – must be retained by the new owners for 90 days. After that 90-day transition period the new employer is required to evaluate these employees and offer continued employment if their work is satisfactory. In other words, a change in employer should not prevent good employees from being able to put food on the table. This bill adds the type of employees covered by the law including security officers and fire safety directors. It also extends the same protection to employees of a building service contractor when a contract is terminated. Adding these provisions to the law will allow us to protect even more of the hardworking New Yorkers who keep our buildings running every day.

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; and now, introduce the sponsor of the legislation, Councilmember Robert Cornegy.

[…]

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 1004 into law]

Mayor: And this legislation is now law.

[Applause]

Okay. Now we have two bills that will help protect property owners from receiving unfair penalties and violations in the wake of a disaster. Intro 1037-A codifies existing practices within the Department of Buildings. It requires that owners or occupants of buildings not be subject to civil or criminal penalties for building code violations immediately after a disaster or for conditions awaiting repair by a disaster recovery program; the sponsor is Councilmember Mark Treyger. This bill also gives displaced property owners who are undergoing construction as part of the recovery program the right to use affirmative defense if they receive a Sanitation violation. That means if they receive a ticket for failing to clean up debris or garbage on their sidewalk or failing to shovel snow, they will not have to pay the penalty. Intro 448-A also codifies existing practices within the Department of Buildings. It requires that owners or occupants of buildings not be subject to a civil or criminal penalty for violations resulting from work done by the City in response to a natural or manmade disaster. The sponsor is Councilmember Alan Maisel. We've seen firsthand the kind of damage inflicted by a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, and the aftermath of such a disaster the last thing that homeowners need are fines and violations that are because of the destruction brought on their properties by Mother Nature, or again because of a manmade disaster. So, this is so important to focus on the fact that our obligation is to help people rebuild in the aftermath of a disaster, and not to penalize while they're already suffering. I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. And now it is my pleasure to introduce the Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler.

[…]

Mayor: Alright, let's sign the bill – bills I should say.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intros 1037-A and 448-A into law]

Mayor: Both of these pieces of legislation are now law.

[Applause]

Okay, now we have a bill that will help reduce crime and promote fairness. Intro 809-A requires the NYPD to prepare an annual report identifying the top 35 high crime areas in the City, and requires support-service agencies to identify what City services are available in those areas. The sponsor is Councilmember Vanessa Gibson. And we know that all New Yorkers need access to the basics in life – to jobs, to education, to opportunity, and to be able to put food on the table, pay for medicines, etcetera, and they deserve basic quality social services. This bill will allow us to see where those critical services are lacking. In response, my administration will develop a coordinated plan to target resources where they are needed most, whether it's more support for victims of domestic violence, or more youth employment opportunities, or help for those applying for food stamps, we will focus our resources on where the areas of need are. This will help us to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and now introduce the mayor's – the Director, I should say, of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, Liz Glazer.

[…]

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 809-A into law]

Mayor: Okay. Next bill is Intro 831-A, sponsored by Councilmember Jumaane Williams. Unfortunately, the Council member is not able to be with us today due to an illness, and we want to all wish him speedy recovery. Intro 831-A will create a more equitable fee structure at the Department of Buildings. Fees paid to the City for major development have not been adjusted in a quarter century – since 1991. We've seen a boom in construction over the past couple of decades – more development projects and bigger, more complex projects. Today, it costs the City significantly more to ensure that projects are safe and compliment with building codes, so we must make sure that fees for large and complicated development are updated to reflect this evolution.

This bill increases the permit filing fees for larger, more complex projects that involve buildings that lease seven stories, or at least 100,000 square feet. At the same time, it decreases fees for one-, two-, and three-family homes. This legislation will make acquiring necessary permits fairer for everyone. I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and, of course, Chair Jumaane Williams.

I'll now introduce our commissioner for Buildings, Rick Chandler.

[…]

Mayor: Let's sign it.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 831-A into law.]

Okay. Now, we have, finally, Intros – I'm sorry – Intros 1118 and 1119, regarding tax exemptions for certain buildings. The sponsor is Councilmember Jumaane Williams. Intro 1118 extends J-51 benefits through June 30, 2019.

In New York City, much of our housing is in older buildings, including affordable housing, and much of it's in need of a great deal of repairs, whether it's new heating, new plumbing, or new windows. The J-51 program provides local real estate tax exemptions and property tax abatements to owners of multi-family residential buildings who make capital improvements. These tax breaks relieve owners and their tenants of an increase in their properties assessed value that usually results from these improvements. While these benefits don't only apply to affordable housing, they are one essential tool for maintaining and preserving affordable apartments.

Intro 1119 extends that 488-A program through December 31st, 2019. The 488-A program provides local real estate tax exemptions and bailment benefits to certain buildings to encourage the rehabilitation of single-room occupancy buildings. Like the J-51 program, this helps incentivize improvements and keeps housing affordable.

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilmember Jumaane Williams, Finance Commissioner Jacque Jiha, and HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. And I'm just going to say a few words in Spanish before I sign the last pieces of legislation. This will refer to all of the legislation that we have acted on today.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

So, with that, I'm going to sign the last two pieces of legislation, then we're going to take a break to clear out the room, and then I'll come back and speak to our colleagues from the press.

Let's sign these last pieces of legislation.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intros 1118 and 1119 into law]

[…]

Mayor: Let me just open it up with a quick update – a couple of hours ago I spoke to the new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and really had a wonderful conversation. He's a very impressive guy who won an outstanding victory – a huge vote of confidence in him by the people of London. As everyone knows, his opponent, unfortunately, attempted a very divisive campaign, and the people of London, I think, did something important for all people in democratic societies by standing up and choosing someone who represented their hopes, not their fears, had a great progressive vision for his city. He's someone who's focused on issues, as we have, of affordable housing, and fairness, and equity.

And I had the honor of meeting Mayor Khan when I was in Manchester, England at the Labour Party Conference two years ago. I thought at that point he was obviously an up and coming leader, and we had a great conversation about our shared values and the vision we had for our respective cities.

So, I just want to congratulate him publicly, and I think his election is a very, very positive sign for this world of the ability of people to make progress despite all the negativity and the divisiveness around us.

Now, there was a poignant moment in the conversation where he talked about Donald Trump, and the fact that, according to someone who's obviously going to be the nominee of one of our major parties for President of the United States, the Mayor of London would not be allowed to come to this country. Now, Trump quickly said he would make an exception for one person – the Mayor of London, England – but Mayor Khan was quick to say that that just puts the lie to the whole approach that Trump has taken. We need to respect all people. We need to respect democratic values, and excluding people based on their faith is fundamentally un-American, and doesn't conform with any vision of democracy.

And I just want to quote from him, because I think Mayor Khan said something very, very positive and very helpful. He said, "Trump's ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe. It risks alienating mainstream Muslims and London has proven him wrong."

So, I really want to wish him the best of luck. I extended to Mayor Khan an invitation to come visit us here in New York, and told him that we were ready to work with him on a host of issues of common concern, and that all the officials of our government look forward to supporting his new administration in every way we can.

So, I just wanted to open with that – happy to take any questions on that or anything else.

Yes?

Question: Mr. Mayor – a couple of questions on the plan to end AIDS [inaudible]. Even with the money that you decided to spend in the [inaudible] fiscal year [inaudible] it would seem that your ability – the ability of this plan to be successful is, at best, limited. I'm wondering if you could comment on that, if you see that. Similarly, we got a bunch of documents [inaudible] on last year's discussion about funds for the plan to end AIDS, and among the documents – a number of them strongly suggest that there's a level of distrust between some folks in your administration and the Cuomo administration. I wonder if that's had an impact on your ability. Do you perceive that? And has that had an impact on your ability to govern the City of New York?

Mayor: No. There are areas where we disagree, there's no two ways about that, and some of those agreements are very important – disagreements are very important matters. But, well, first of all, governors and mayors have often disagreed – that's not new. I've said many times, even when we fundamentally disagree, we all keep working on the things we can work on, and our staffs keep working together. But on this issue, I think it's straightforward, the City of New York has made a very clear financial commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic. We're going to stand by that commitment. We're going to implement it in every way we can. You're right to say the State must keep it's word. The State must provide the funds they commitment to. We haven't seen it – we did not see that in the State budget. There is a second bite of the apple with the legislative session – that'll go into next month. And I think anyone who cares about this issue has to demand action from the State.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: We can't achieve – of course we cannot achieve the same goals without the State. That is the simple answer. The City will do everything we can on our own, but if we're really about the work of ending the epidemic, that requires the State of New York to be an energetic participant and to keep its financial commitments.

Dave?

Question: Mayor, on Friday most of us saw the letter, I think, from your attorney regarding JCOPE. But can you explain to us your thoughts of why you don't want to participate in that investigation? And also, just overall, what you think of JCOPE?

Mayor: I'm not an expert on JCOPE. I can certainly say that the difference between its mandate and the way it has comported itself is quite clear. And Mr. Laufer's letter details that in great – great specificity, great clarity. Again, I'm not going to editorialize about motive. Just – I would urge all of you to look into these fascinating interconnections and potential motives and the cast of characters because we keep seeing the same thing over and over. Here's a case where JCOPE seems to be way beyond its jurisdiction and its purview and its whole reason for existence – and seems to be applying different standards only to one entity in the entire State, which is the Campaign for One New York. So, I think Mr. Laufer is entirely right to say we will cooperate happily on anything involving the actual purpose of JCOPE, and we have for a year. And we're very happy to cooperate with other types of investigations. We've said clearly, we want to in any way we can provide information and be helpful to any investigation and we look forward to the speedy conclusion of any and all investigations. But when an entity goes beyond its legal purview, possibly for the wrong motivations, there's a point at which you say enough is enough.

Question: You've said in the last few days, especially on the radio when you were talking, you feel like you've been treated unfairly compared to a lot of other different entities. I take it you are referring to the Governor – that he's got a pass on some of these things and you're not?

Mayor: I will just say it broadly, go back and look at everything from what's happened at the State level with committees that pursued policy goals, but didn't disclose their finances. Look at what's happened on the federal level with massive amounts of money being poured into elections and referenda with no disclosure. Those are fundamental problems in a democracy. Everything that we have been a part of we've been adamant about the importance of disclosure. So, I think there is a double standard. I think everyone – look, everyone here has a job to do and I respect it, but I think when people are not even telling you where money is coming from that that's even a higher level problem. Further, we've said from the beginning, we are willing and able and happy to cooperate with any and all investigations because we want to get down to the bottom of any of the outstanding issues. And then lastly, if you look at the history and it is all documented, when we decided to work on something we went to the Conflicts of Interest Board and asked for guidance. And then we followed that guidance very, very carefully and had lawyers checking every step along the way to make sure that the guidance was understood and was respected. That's a high level of adherence to ethical standards. Again, if that were the norm in government in this State and around the country we would be having a very, very different discussion. So, I have said many times I believe New York City has achieved much more than most places in terms of high ethical standards, lots of oversight entities, lots of checks and balances; obviously the best campaign finance system of any city in the country, and I believe in all that and we're going to continue to live by those standards.

Question: Just a follow-up on that question, Mayor. Was there something that made your administration or made your lawyer change his mind about dealing with JCOPE? Because that morning, on Friday, you went on the radio and said you were going to cooperate with any and all investigations, and just a few hours later this letter from the attorney saying –

Mayor: No, I think it is quite consistent, look at the letter. We cooperated quite a while with JCOPE on the part of their efforts that actually related to their purview. No one is questioning – there's so many other entities – what they do and it's consistent with what they're doing, we're again happy to cooperate and I've told everyone who works for me that I want the fullest cooperation, but JCOPE has started to go into areas that have nothing to do with its stated mission. Again, Mr. Laufer laid that out in extraordinary detail, how it has deviated from its legal mandate; again, not applying the same standard to anyone else. And again, look at the cast of characters and who hired them and what they come out of. It's a very interesting story. So, we simply drew a line and said on the legitimate purview we have and will cooperate, but on matters that are not part of the purview legally that is a different matter entirely.

Marcia?

Question: Mr. Mayor, the JCOPE people went into court last night and they sought an order to show cause to compel you campaign to cooperate.

Mayor: Well, let's be careful. I think you're talking about the Campaign for One New York.

Question: Sorry – to compel the Campaign for One New York to cooperate. I wonder how you feel about the fact that they are trying to force you to do something that you don't want? And when I put the question to the head of JCOPE today about the obvious charges in your letter about being politically motivated; they claim that they have seven Democrats and seven Republicans and it is bipartisan. I wonder if you believe their – what they are saying?

Mayor: No, I don't. I think it is quite clear a double standard is being held. I think it is quite clear there are other motivations, and if they want to go to court then go to court. We think it is quite clear that they are beyond their purview unlike any other investigatory body. And we have seen these games played before, and we're not going stand for it. We very much want to see a speedy conclusion of all the legitimate investigations and we'll cooperate, but when something is being done for other reasons other than the legal mandate of that entity that's a whole different discussion.

Question: [Inaudible] they said specifically the Governor is not pulling any strings and that they had to get a majority vote in order to issue you a subpoena, which would imply that they need at least one Democrat.

Mayor: Yeah, I find the notion of someone's party registration being the only thing to talk about – I don't find that pertinent. I think the history of how JCOPE was created and who it responds to is quite clear.

Question: Outside today, Hakeem Jeffries and Ruben Diaz held a press conference saying that the City doesn't have enough funding for summer job programs for kids. Those two are mentioned as possible 2017 challengers. Are you worried about reelection with these probes and the feds looking into your fundraising? Does it make you nervous?

Mayor: No, because I know we've done things the right way. And everything I described to you a moment ago – you know, I have to tell you after years in government we can only hope for people in government to seek proactive ethical guidance from a body like the Conflicts of Interest Board; and to consistently ask what are the right ways to do things and then constantly and consciously follow-up. That's what we're supposed to be doing and, of course, again to disclose everything. I said to you guys the other day, people who disclose everything they're doing obviously feel comfortable with what they are doing. I feel comfortable with what we're doing. I feel that we have followed the letter and spirit of the law and everything we've done is appropriate. And as more and more facts come out I think you're going to see that we made our decisions with the people's interests in mind. And lots of folks who wanted something for themselves didn't get it in that the people's interest came first. So, I am very, very comfortable that we've done things the right way. And I think the people of this City will understand that. And I also believe, I said it on the radio the other day, people make decisions – voters make decisions based on what you have achieved for them. They are looking at whether their schools are getting better, whether the City is safe, whether there are more jobs, whether it is a fairer City. That's how they are going to make their decisions, I'm quite convinced.

Anna?

Question: Are you at all concerned that the City's plan to give vasectomies to Staten Island's deer is going to be tainted by support from NYCLASS, which is linked to at least one or two of these investigations?

Mayor: No, this is a very common sense plan of a way to address a real issue on Staten Island – which is the deer population – in a humane way. Governments all over the country are recognizing the importance of doing things in a humane fashion, and it is a smart plan. And that is one part of the plan; obviously we're going to educate folks on the best ways to not encourage deer to come near their property. There's a whole set of things we're doing, but it is very consistent with, I think, the most modern thinking of how we deal with animal issues.

Question: Can you explain [inaudible] makes rat repellant, [inaudible] how they got a meeting with you after giving $100,000 to the Campaign for One New York? And how he got a contract soon with the Parks Department? And whether you had any [inaudible]?

Mayor: So again, any matter under investigation I'm not going to go into play-by-play on. Bottom-line is everything was done appropriately and they are people I came to know through the work I do, but we are very, very clear about holding high standards about how all our decisions are made.

Question: Mayor, did you ever, for the Campaign for One New York, personally solicit donations from anybody who had a matter pending before the City?

Mayor: I think I've explained this a lot of times, and I'm happy to explain it again. So, everything we did was based on Conflicts of Interest Board guidance, which is a living, breathing thing, meaning that our lawyers have to look at their guidance and apply it consistently to anyone that we might be approaching for support. And there are very clear guidelines of how you look at the question of whether someone is on the doing-business list, or what their status is, and how to approach it. So, we follow that guidance consistently.

Question: Can you say a little bit more about how that process worked? How did you and the team working –

Mayor: Yeah, I'm not going into the mechanics, I'm just going to repeat the basic concepts. We went to the Conflicts of Interest Board upfront, something that, again, a lot of people in government don't do, we received legal guidance, and the appropriate lawyers, depending on what situation we're talking about, applied that guidance, determined the right approach to each and every individual. That's how it worked.

Question: But [inaudible] you did make personal phone calls to some of the donors, right?

Mayor: Again, I said we took the guidance and we've lived by it.

Question: Following up on Jeffries and Diaz being on the steps of City Hall while you're signing bills in here – just the two of them standing out there, did you interpret that as the political equivalent of a baseball brushback pitch? What message did you receive from them standing out here while you're inside?

Mayor: Well, I'm a baseball fan, and we did a great bill today providing protection for our little league kids. I'm very familiar with brushback pitches – it didn't feel like a brushback pitch to me. We're here doing the people's business. I've said to you many, many times, and I want to reiterate – if folks want to run for this great office, you know, bring it on. We're very, very confident of the work we're doing, what we're getting done for every-day New Yorkers, and what kind of impact it's going to make. So, you know, I am comfortable. Anyone has the right to talk about anything they want to, but, in terms of the work we're doing, we're confident.

Question: Mr. Mayor, what's your definition of business before the City? Because it's clear there are several contractors who had business before the City –

Mayor: There's a legal definition.

Question: What's your definition?

Mayor: I don't make up laws, my friend. It's a legal definition. This is, again, why I want to pause – the concept here, I don't know why people are struggling with it so much. I'd like you to pay attention to this and go look at it yourselves. We believe in the laws. We follow the laws, and the concept of asking for guidance from the ethical experts proactively – I want you to recognize what that means. They can say, yes, you can do something you believe is a good thing to do – no, you can't, or you can only do it in this fashion. That's totally the right way to handle it – it's to follow their guidance. They give the definitions based on the law, and then we follow through. I didn't – I'm not a lawyer, I don't try and interpret the law. I ask legal experts to then interpret the guidance, interpret the law, and live by that on a consistent basis. I'm not saying this to be difficult. I understand anyone trying to come up with their own definition, but it's like so many other matters in life – you know, we all could come up with our own definitions, but, when there's a governing law, we should really look to the definition of the law and use that. So, that's what we live by every time.

In the interest of generosity, this small paper over here, the New York Times, has a question.

Question: I just wanted to ask what – thank you for acknowledging me – what affect all these investigations have on your fundraising and whether or not you've sold out your birthday party?

Mayor: We're getting a great response to the birthday party. There's still some tickets, which is normal with any big event. We encourage people to come. You should tell people all about it. And, you know, we've got a lot of folks who support the vision of this administration and are energized to get going now on what will be a very vigorous reelection effort. So, I feel very good about the direction we're going in.

Thank you, everyone.

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