November 8, 2017
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good afternoon, everyone.
So, yesterday, the people of New York City delivered a message loud and clear, they delivered a mandate. It’s a mandate for fairness to make this the fairest big city in America. I’m very humbled to accept that mandate and to turn it into a reality. People want this to be a more just place. They want this to be an inclusive place, a place of opportunity for all.
And there’s a deep sense all over the city that we need to keep what is great about New York, great for generations to come. It needs to be a place for everyone and it needs to be an open place not a place that becomes exclusive.
And that’s the mandate I’m ready to act on right away and we’ll have more to say in the days to come about additional plans and visions to achieve these goals. But I just want to express how appreciative I am to all the people of New York City, particularly all those who voted, for your faith and your confidence. And I am humbled as I start on the pathway to a second term.
Now, New Yorkers have seen a number of changes in the last four years. They’ve seen that real change can happen and can happen quickly. They want more and I intend to give them more.
We have seen extraordinary progress both in driving down and in bringing police and community together. There’s a lot more to do to become a safer city and to become a more unified city. And I really do envision a day where the whole nation looks to New York City as the model for a positive relationship between police and community.
We have to change our school system much more. I do not accept the status quo in education today. I have seen real progress. We’ve made real progress. Better graduation rates. Better test scores. I’m particularly proud that almost 70,000 kids are going to full-day pre-K now but we’ve got a lot more to do.
We have to achieve 3-K in the next four years. We have to lay an even strong foundation for our children. We have to get our kids reading on grade level by third grade. We need the school system to look entirely different in the coming years. It’s come a long way but there’s much, much more to do. And that is the mission I will be most focused on. That will be the issue I put my greatest passion and energy into.
And obviously New Yorkers are desperately concerned to ensure that this remains a city that they can live in, that they can afford. We have been speeding up the pace of all of our affordable housing efforts and job creation efforts. It’s going to make a real difference in people’s lives.
This morning I went to Downtown Brooklyn to thank voters, to thank them for their faith and their confidence. And it was a wonderful experience just to express my appreciation to people.
But one woman came up to me who told me she had applied for the Housing Connect lottery to get an affordable apartment, that she was desperate. She didn’t know if she would be able to stay in the city. She didn’t know what was going to happen to her and her child – a single mother. And she literally had tears in her eyes because she was chosen through the lottery. She’s in a three-bedroom apartment now. She said her life has been turned around and she had trouble getting the sentences out because it was so emotional for her that she feared losing what she had and she feared losing her very own city.
And now she now she knows she has affordable housing for years and decades to come. We have to do a lot more of that and we have to protect the affordable housing that people are in right now. There’s a lot to do here.
There’s a lot to do in Albany going forward. We have to strengthen our rent laws and if this were a more just world we would be able to achieve greater self-determination for New York City when it came to our rent laws. But either way you slice it, they must become stronger to protect affordable housing for millions of rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants.
Now, we’ve put out a clear vision of what’s next, how we’re going to expand the affordable housing plan from 200,000 apartments to 300,000 apartments. It was originally going to serve half-a-million people. Now it’s going to serve 750,000. Obviously, Right to Counsel law making a huge difference, all of our efforts to stop evictions, what we’ve brought in terms of fairness to the rent process with the Rent Guidelines Board, all this is going to continue. This will make a big difference in people’s lives.
But there’s more we have to do. I am going to go back and fight for the mansion tax in Albany. I think it is a fair idea to ask those who buy very expensive homes to pay a little more so that seniors could have affordable housing. I am going to fight for the millionaire’s tax in Albany so that those who have done very, very well and live in New York City pay a little more in income tax so that everyone else can get around and that we can have the Fair Fare – the half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers so they can have opportunity too. These will be crucial initiatives going forward.
We’re going to make sure there’s even greater trust and accountability in the relationship between police and community with body cameras on all our officers over the next two years – all our officers on patrol. And I think that’s something that is going be deeply felt in this city. A lot of people – and I talk to them about it around the city – consider that one of the greatest steps forward we can take. And I think it will be a crucial part of really bonding police and community together once and for all.
So, there’s a lot to do. But I want to say I’m once again optimistic. I’m optimistic because I’ve seen so much change happen. I’m optimistic because I’ve brought my vision to the people twice, and I’ve said we need to make big and serious changes and bold changes, and both times I got a very strong mandate.
Yesterday – winning almost two-thirds of the vote sends a clear message that New Yorkers want more change and they believe this administration can deliver.
So, I am particularly honored as a Democrat to say that I am the first Democrat re-elected mayor in 32 years. The last one was Ed Koch, a mayor who did so much for this city. This is, as I said last night, it’s the beginning of a new era in this city and I’m very clear about that.
What we saw around the country last night and we saw here is that people are waking up. They want change. They’re getting more involved. They’re going to reclaim their democracy.
And I think between the last election and this, you see a clear picture of what the vast majority of New Yorkers want, what their values are, what they really believe in. I think it will be the beginning of an era of progressive Democratic administrations in this city, and continued change in this city that’s going to be very good, that’s going to right a lot of wrongs of the past.
So, I’m honored to be at the beginning of that era. We have a lot to do. I want to thank, again, everyone who voted regardless of who you voted for. I want to thank everyone who voted and participated. I think a lot more people who have voted and participated if we hadn’t had the rain storm in the late afternoon, into the evening.
But much more important than the rain, a lot more people would have voted and participated if we didn’t have some of the most backward election laws in the whole country, and it’s a disgrace.
And I am sick of my state being one of the last in the country to achieve electoral reform and I’m going to put my heart and soul into this fight in Albany in the coming months, and I know a lot of New Yorkers are going to join in.
There’s tremendous passion on this point. We are one of only 13 states that does not allow early voting. Early voting is the greatest preventative measure to make sure people are not excluded because of the weather or because work went late or because the subway broke down. If you don’t have early voting, you’re implicitly allowing the disenfranchisement of a huge number of voters.
If you don’t have same-day registration, you’re keeping a vast number of people out of the process. You know the numbers. There’s a million people in this city who are eligible but not registered, two million in the state eligible not registered because the political class has attempted to exclude them consistently for decades.
And this is a Democratic problem and a Republican problem. This is a continuation of some of the bad history of Tammany Hall that still haunts this state. We cannot accept it any longer. We need to come into the 21st Century. We need to say that every New Yorker who wants to vote should have the right to vote. It should be easy. It should be something that people can do naturally, not have to struggle to do.
So, that is going to be one of the big focus points in our Albany agenda starting in January.
Look, despite the obstacles, despite the weather, despite the fact that there was a lot of coverage that said the election was a sure thing, people still came out in strong numbers. In fact, turnout for this election exceeded the election four years ago. And just to give you perspective, the number of New Yorkers who voted in this mayoral election exceeds the entire population of eight states in this country meaning the number of people who voted was larger than the population of each of eight states.
That’s a reminder, there’s still a hell of a lot of people who are engaging, and more people who engaging now for a variety of reason but I know that that will be supercharged if we fix our electoral laws.
So, I hope you can hear in my voice that I am ready to get to work right away. I’m not interested in any victory laps, I just want to get right back to the agenda. I feel a deep sense of urgency.
I am a believer in term limits for executive office. I feel it very strongly. One of the advantages of term limits for executive limits is now I can count down to the last day of 2021 and I’ve got just that period of time, just those four years and seven weeks to get done everything that I am supposed to get done for the people of this city.
I have a sense of mandate and urgency and I know I have a time limit that I have to achieve these goals in. And that’s the message I’m sending my whole team and my team is responding with their typical energy and urgency as well.
So, I want all New Yorkers to know I have heard them loud and clear throughout this election season and through the 43 town hall meetings I’ve been a part of – I’ve been honored to be a part of in neighborhoods all over the city, and there will be more coming up in the coming weeks.
I have heard loud and clear how much people need change. One voter, yesterday, I said to her, “I need your vote.” And she said, “I’m voting because I need you to do what you say you’re going to do.” And she meant it very personally. It was for her life, for her family’s life she needed change particularly when it comes to fighting the affordability crisis. People need change.
So, I heard loud and clear what’s on the mind of New Yorkers, and it’s my job to produce for them.
So, I conclude by saying a couple things. One – again, I am honored to be the Mayor of all New Yorkers whether you voted for me or not, or whether you voted or not. My job is to serve you in all five boroughs.
I think making this the fairest big city in America is in everyone’s interest and it will make this a stronger city for everyone. So, that’s my sense of calling as I go forward.
And before I open up to your questions, I just want to say upfront, I will not be discussing personnel matters today. Obviously, we just had the results of the election. There will be a lot more to say in the weeks ahead and I will stick to my historic rule that you’ve all experienced – when I have something to say on the personnel front, you’ll be the first to hear but today is not the day in terms of this administration, to give you any personnel updates.
Just a few words in Spanish –
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
With that I welcome your questions.
Question: Two things – first, can you tell us to what extent you want to reform the rent laws? And then secondly, last night you said – and I think I’m paraphrasing here – ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet.’ Do you expect to move farther to the left? What did you mean by that?
Mayor: It means that the agenda will deepen. You know, going from pre-K to 3K is a multiplier. 3K is even higher impact, even harder to achieve, even more unprecedented, as one example. Going from a 200,000 apartment affordable housing plan to 300,000 is a big, bold jump. But we’re going to put these things into action. I know you and others have asked ‘well, where is the big transcendent vision?’ I feel like those things are big, transcendent vision items. Putting Equity and Excellence into action. I don’t ask everyone to be experts on education, but if you talk to educators the notion that we’re going to get every child reading on grade level by third grade is a huge stretch goal, profoundly important, incredibly difficult – probably more difficult than any of the other plans, but absolutely necessary. So that’s when I say ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’ that we’re going to go places this city has never gone before, and I think it’s going to make a huge difference.
Now, on the first question – look, obviously I believe we should have self-determination when it comes to our rent laws. I understand how hard that will be to achieve, but in the meantime there’s some real, obvious things we can do. I’m not going to give you the whole layout today. We’ll have plenty of time to talk about the Albany agenda, but clearly addressing the weaknesses in our current rent guidelines and rent laws. Too many apartments are being lost because the legal dynamics allow them to be lost from affordability. We have to change that. We have to change the dollar figures at which apartments go out of rent regulation. We have to address the MCI issue, which I think has been a horrible loophole that many landlords have taken advantage of to put additional costs on tenants unfairly and to have an easy way to get out of rent regulation. So a lot of big changes that I think would have a huge impact on improving affordability in this city.
Question: And you want [inaudible] you want the City to control that or you want Albany to heighten the dollar figure where they can [inaudible]?
Mayor: Again, very simply, I have no illusions – read my lips: I have no illusion – I think the city should determine its own rent laws, but if we don’t get that the thing I think is more reachable and very, very crucial is to improve the rent laws we have and make it easier for affordable apartments to stay affordable and to stop losing them and also to address this abuse of the MCIs by landlords.
Question: Will you and your political team be creating a federal PAC or some other vehicle to raise money for outside political activity – outside the city I mean?
Mayor: We don’t have any plan at this point. Our focus at this point is preparing for the second administration and on the issues that are confronting New Yorkers and preparing for the four years.
Question: Just a follow up – on a totally unrelated note – what big city do you believe is more fair than New York City today?
Mayor: David, I did not go about the question that way. I didn’t take a survey of big cities and ask ‘what’s your fairness quotient?’ I’m saying it as a goal for us. When everything is said and done – we know we’re the safest big city in American. That’s a purely numerical matter. Determining what is the fairest big city, there are some numerical measures and there’s other measures as well. I’m setting a goal for us to reach the heights we can reach, and to know that we’ve done everything – and we already know we’re doing some things no other city has done – and intend to do more.
Question: Did the governor call to congratulate you on your win?
Mayor: No, but it’s just been a few hours.
Question: And do you have – now that your race is behind you – do you intend to get involved in the governor’s race next year?
Mayor: I’m not thinking about that. I’m just – we’re focused on New York City right now.
Question: Mayor, did you communicate or did anyone in your office communicate with the Department of Buildings regarding enforcement actions that should or should or should not be taken at Jona Rechnitz’s hotel?
Mayor: We’ve covered this many times over. There’s nothing more to say.
Question: I don’t think you’ve covered this specifically.
Mayor: I’ve covered it many times over.
Question: Mayor, you said something last night along the lines of ‘I bring you tidings from Virginia and New Jersey and New York City’ but do you really think that Donald Trump really –
Mayor: Oh my god.
Question: – in this election?
Mayor: Yes. Absolutely.
Guys, everyone who read a paper or watched TV or looked online was told this election was effectively over from the start. It rained heavily in the crucial voting time of the day – the time when most people vote, right? There were so many reasons that you could’ve see turnout tank. Now, I do want to say I do believe in my heart that my message, the things I’ve been doing, the things I plan to do did energize a lot of the voters. And I believe in my heart that my campaign team did an amazing job with an organizing model that reached deep into communities that you guys couldn’t see – and I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I mean it was sort of a classic grassroots operation that wasn’t big and showy but really reached deeply into communities and energized turnout. I think those two things were really important, but I have no doubt the Trump factor was important, too. A lot of people have been turned back on to the political process because of their frustration with Donald Trump, and I say with humility I have been a leading anti-Trump voice and clearly have defended New York City against the policies of the Trump administration. I think a lot of the people of this city appreciate that and want to see that continue, so I have no doubt it played a role.
Question: So you mentioned that more people cast ballots yesterday than in the 2013 election, but based on the numbers that are available now – the returns that are in – as a proportionate of active, registered voters the percentage of turnout was actually lower than 2013.
Mayor: Again, I’m telling you – I see first of all a votes a vote. More voters voted than last night, that’s a good thing. More still coming in as you know, so we don’t have the final count yet. I think it’s the beginning of rebuilding turnout to the levels we’d like to get it to. I think there’s a lot of reasons turnout got depressed over decades in this city and in this country. I think we are going to – all of us who care about making change – and I think this should include all Democrats and all progressives need to rebuild that voting culture and that civic participation, and this was a good sign here. It was a good sign obviously in Virginia and New Jersey and Washington state and so many places. I think it’s undeniable that something is turning in the right direction, but it’s a beginning. We have a lot more to do.
Question: Mr. Mayor, on the heels of your victory yesterday there’s a lot of speculation about your aspirations, talk that you might go national. My question to you is what are your aspirations and is there – could at any point you go national either fighting Washington or running for something?
Mayor: Marcia, first, I’ve said many, many times one goal – one goal only – to be mayor of New York City for four more years. In terms of fighting the fights on the issues, it’s my job as mayor of New York City to challenge the Trump administration and challenge republicans in Congress when they do things that hurt New York City. This tax plan, as I talked to the folks at ABNY about the other day, is a direct threat to New York City. I’m going to fight it. I’m going to work with democrat and republican mayors all over the country to fight it. And especially my republican colleagues have been outstanding at using their influence with the moderate republican senators and congress members to really make a difference, and that’s something I need to do to defend New York City’s interest. So of course I’ll do that, but I’m very clear about my focus.
Question: Where did you – you mentioned before that people are waking up and getting more involved. Getting involved how and where?
Mayor: I see it everywhere. I mean look, guys, I think a lot of people went in to yesterday all over the country worried that because people were so discouraged last November 8th and because of the special elections that happened in between that, you know, this was going to be somehow a night where nothing changed. I remind you those special elections – in Georgia and Montana – those were for republican seats, every one of them. They were people Trump chose for his administration, and they were already republican seats. It was amazing they were contested to the degree they were, but this was the first time we actually got to see an election on the bigger dynamics, and it was a clean sweep. I mean look what happened – Jersey, Virginia, the Washington state senate flipping, the Virginia house of delegates that’s still up for grabs. No one – literally no one – thought we’d be talking this morning about the possibility of the Virginia house of delegates flipping. I mean, it’s just across the board. Something powerful is happening. That’s plenty of evidence on its face, but in the meantime just in the last year – before that – the fight to save the Affordable Care Act, the fight already against the tax plan, the women’s marches on January 21st. Something very big is happening.
Trust me. I talked to a lot of you starting in 2012 about the fact that income inequality was becoming a dominant issue. There were a lot of doubting Thomas’s. I hope you came to see that income inequality is really a crucial issue now in America and people care about all over, and they want to fight it. Well, trust me on this one. The Trump election has profoundly changed American politics, but it’s not the only factor – what happened the year or two before that where all the energy that came up on the income inequality issue that was already affecting the whole country, it was affecting big changes all over the country – minimum wage and paid sick leave and all sorts of actions around the country, everything you saw in Bernie Sanders campaign, what you saw in Maine last night in the vote on Medicaid expansion. Something very big is happening. Trust me. And it’s going to play out now. It’s going to be supercharged going in 2018, and it’s going to be – all these groups that have emerged on top of the traditional groups are engaging thousands and thousands of more people in the political process. I see it all the time.
Question: Do you want to lead the charge?
Mayor: I want to be a part of it. I want to help it along because it’s good for New York City, and it’s good for our country.
Question: Have you spoken yet to the Governor-elect of New Jersey?
Mayor: I look forward to it. I think he’s fantastic, and I look forward to working with him, but I expect to talk to him later on today or tomorrow.
Yes, way back?
Question: Mr. Mayor, you’re going to need the City Council to help implement the agenda of making it a fairer city. What are you looking for generally in a City Council speaker over the next term?
Mayor: Look, I want to see a progressive. I want to see someone who shares values and vision as we had with Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito. I think that was a very positive, productive partnership. I mean you guys saw we had the earliest budget in many years. In general, we found a lot of very positive agreement. There was a lot less friction. I’d like to see that continue. Obviously someone I feel, you know, we can work with on a regular basis. I do not have a candidate. I’ll be talking to all the candidates. I’ll be talking to a lot of councilmembers, but we’d really like to see that kind of partnership.
Question: IDNYC, you’ve said you’re planning to delete these records to protect people. It’s been nearly a year now since you first tried. Did you miscalculate by creating this database of vulnerable people that you now don’t seem to be able to get rid of?
Mayor: We did not know Donald Trump would be elected president. We worked under the world we knew then, which there was no prospect of any such problem based on what we knew, and we worked really closely with the NYPD to figure out a secure card and to determine what would be the right security steps to take. But you know, again, one thing I would urge everybody to think about a bit as we go through the journey going forward. People learn through experience, and over the course of the three years that was the timeline that was set for then being able to remove those records and destroy them, we learned that we did not need to keep them as backups. So from the beginning of this year we no longer required it, and as soon as the court case is concluded we will destroy that information, and I believe we will prevail in the court case.
Question: Mr. Mayor I want to go back to the beginning where you were talking about your mandate.
Question: You know, there was this very low voter turnout and of those who did turn out there are those who did not support you. So how do you begin to persuade those folks –
Mayor: I just – I have to stop you. Guys, an election is an election. People decide they wanted to participate. Now again, the state has broken electoral laws that is a generic, painful, wrong reality. It has to be fixed, but it does not negate the million plus people who came out to vote and they gave a very clear mandate.
I’m just not going to, you know – you can go back through every election in history and parse it and question it and re-litigate it but we have one unified system. Everyone’s offered the opportunity and the people who participate make the decision. So this is a clear, strong mandate. But I’ll tell you something, if we fix the voter laws you’re going to instantaneously see a lot more involvement.
Question: Your comment on there’s one City Council race where it appears that an incumbent may have lost, Elizabeth Crowley, and the man who challenged her, Robert Holden, is someone who has been a very outspoken critic of the administration and you know, part of some of those protests [inaudible] hotel in Maspeth. I’m wondering what you think of him joining the City Council potentially –
Mayor: I don’t know him. I mean, he’s obviously a Republican and we don’t share values and I’ll try and work with him, although I suspect we won’t see eye to eye on most issues. That race is still being looked at and there may be a recount there. But, look, I don’t know what happened there because the overall trend in the city went the other way. So I don’t know what happened there.
Question: Just to follow up quickly on David’s question before I ask my question on the federal path, you said you don’t have any plans at this point. Was that something that was under discussion by –
Mayor: I have no plans, that’s all I want to say.
Question: My actual question is, in a city where Dems outnumber Republicans six to one, how is the two to one margin of victory a mandate?
Mayor: I don’t know what your definition of an election is but my definition is that people decide to participate and whoever gets the most votes wins. And if you have two thirds margin that is a clear, strong mandate. And that came from everyone participating, Democrats, Independents, Republicans. So I think it’s unquestionably – I’m not shocked if your paper wants to denigrate it in some way, shape, or form but it’s a clear mandate and I’m thrilled to see that turnout is starting to go up.
Question: [Inaudible] so many more Democratic in the city –
Mayor: Go ahead.
Question: The public hospital system is facing deficits of probably two billion or more dollars. Can you issue an ironclad promise that you’re not going to close any of these hospitals?
Mayor: I’ve said it many times, all the facilities are going to be kept open. We’re going to do a lot of different things with them because healthcare is changing and we have to reach communities in new ways. But we’re going to keep the facilities open.
Question: Mr. Mayor, good afternoon, you spoke about the – your agenda for the next four years, you said schools, affordable housing, job creation, but so far I haven’t heard anything about what appears to be your toughest task that you’ve committed yourself to which is closing Rikers Island. So my question is what measures are you going to take to make that happen starting now?
Mayor: Well it begins with the land use process and the Council, and I think the fact that really a very admirable, noble thing happened in Queens, I think it deserves a lot of both respect and deserves coverage. That a group of Councilmembers came together proactively, including the Councilmember who represents the Queens House of Detention, and said this site should be used for an expanded facility. We want to start that land use process immediately and we want to start the processes in the other three boroughs immediately as soon as they can be begun. Everyone knows land use, just to – the land decision making process through ULURP is on a clock and that clock will have to run its course, and everyone knows that construction in New York City does not happen overnight.
But that’s the first step and it’s going to happen aggressively. We continue to act on bail reform, on alternative sentencing initiatives, we continue to drive down arrests to begin with and drive down crime, that’s happening as we speak, you’ve seen it. I don’t know if you were at the last briefing on the monthly statistics but it’s happening more all the time. That’s affecting the flow into the correction system.
The x-factor is getting the State to speed up trials which is solely a State responsibility. We need to push them on that and they need to step up on that. If they’ll speed up the trials that’s going to reduce the daily population of the correction system importantly. But first, number one ideal is move the ULURP process for those sites.
Question: Mr. Mayor, you mentioned yesterday and today again that you hope that this is the beginning of a new era of Democratic and progressive rule in New York City. You also just mentioned the Tammany machine and its impact on voting laws. I mean, Republicans didn’t just lose yesterday in New York City with the exception of that seat in Queens, they lost abysmally. I mean do you think that one party rule, no matter who is winning, is really the best thing for the city?
Mayor: Look, when I evoked – Tammany per se doesn’t exist anymore, we know that. But the reason I evoked it is that same mentality still pervades in Albany. Meaning, exclude inconvenient voters. Right? Unfortunately a lot of the political class would like to keep the voting base really small. And that’s Democratic and Republicans both. And that’s wrong. You should want to constantly expand the number of people who are voting and talk to them and convince them, not repress the growth of the voting population. So that’s why I evoke that very old-school idea which I think is still sadly current.
But do I think Democratic leadership across the board would be best for the state? Of course I do. The Democratic Party is not a monolith; you can turn to Yoav and explain this to him, that Democrats actually have a whole range of ideas and concerns and they don’t all think alike and they don’t all vote in lock step. We don’t do block voting in the Democratic Party. People all make their own decisions. So, I think if you have the Democratic Party in charge of the Assembly and the Senate, Governorship, County Executives, Mayor of New York City, City Council of New York City, you’re going to have a more progressive city and state, you’re going to have a city and state that’s run better, but there’ll still be plenty of debate. There’ll still be plenty of differences.
Question: Republicans did have control of the mayorship for almost 20 years –
Mayor: Yes I was here.
Question: Right. Depending on how – as was I. Depending on how you count it. But, so they’re not winning anymore in that way. What advice do you have for Republicans who are hoping to win in New York City?
Mayor: I don’t think I’ll be offering them a lot of advice. I, look, I think one thing to recognize is that they’ve lost two elections in a row, but they won elections they should have never of won to begin with in 93 and in 2001. And therefore we should never take it for granted, never rest on our laurels. We have to build a progressive movement in this city and we have to build a stronger Democratic Party in this city and we have to involve a lot more people. So, I’m only going to give advice to Democrats.
Question: At the end of your term you’ll be about 60-years-old, presumably you’ll have your health –
Mayor: Thank you Marcia. Thank you. That was the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me. That was so good. That was a step forward Marcia. We’re going to bond over that.
Question: Presumably you’ll also have the passion then that you have now so, I wonder if you plan on doing something else following your term or if you’ll retire from political life –
Mayor: I’m going –
Question: – be quite and do nothing?
Mayor: Thank you. Go to the old folks’ home for former mayors. Way too far ahead. Right now it’s about preparing for the next term and the things we have to do for New York City. I do not have the luxury of thinking that far ahead.
Question: Two questions for you, one I want to go back to the Crowley race. Your team helped out in other races that were also somewhat competitive. Did you provide any help to Crowley’s race? And the candidate who might win is actually a registered Democrat. He ran as a Democrat in the primary –
Mayor: But ran as a Republican.
Mayor: And I just want to stop you there and say I don’t understand Democrats who’d run as Republicans. So if you can run as a Republican in Donald Trump’s America, you just bought the whole label. I don’t know the guy, I’ll try and work with him, but he just signed up for something very troubling in my book. I don’t know who helped him and who didn’t honestly so.
Question: Well back to the rental laws –
Question: Do you plan on taking it up when they expire or –
Mayor: Again, I’m offering you an idea, not a game plan yet. We will be coming forward with an Albany agenda. This is the number one issue on the minds of New Yorkers, I think we can all agree on that. There’s a lot we can do right here in the city, the thing we can’t do is fix the fundamental rent regulation laws here and we can’t fix the MCI issue here. It has to be done in Albany. I’m going to be working for that to be done the first available opportunity. If it can be done ahead of the expiration it should be, if it has to wait to the expiration then that’s when we’ll do it. But I’m telling you, if we want to reach all the people we need to reach that’s one of the most essential things we can do.
Okay let’s wrap up.
Unknown: Two more guys, two more.
Mayor: Go ahead.
Question: [Inaudible] minds of many New Yorkers is obviously the subway system and last night in your speech you talked about the need, that got a lot of applause, the need for the subway system to start working. I’m wondering if you think these election results help you as you try to make the case for quicker repairs. And beyond the millionaire’s tax what immediately are you going to be doing to improve the situation for commuters.
Mayor: Thank you, that’s a very good question. The first, absolutely having a mandate helps. You know, I think if you would just got to a survey of people who run for office and say how would you feel about winning two thirds of vote in an election, you would get a uniform ‘I’ll take that’ from people who run for office. So, a strong mandate always helps and it always creates energy. And I ran one of the biggest – one of the biggest planks I ran on was the millionaire’s tax and you saw the polling. It’s tremendously popular.
So I think that is going – I think the two facts will affect peoples’ minds in Albany. One, they saw the polling too. They understand it’s tremendously popular. Two, I think my election helps propel it forward, but the number one reason to do it is fairness, and that we need a sustainable source of revenue for the MTA. But I’ll give you another good reason, there’s no other plan on the table. There’s literally no other plan on the table and the issue has to be addressed.
Now this is about fixing the long term needs of the MTA and that can be done literally in a matter of month a plan could be approved and we could get right to work. This is literally the only option on the table, and it’s not my option alone. Its Senator Gianaris and Assembly member O'Donnell and a lot of other people. So, I think you’ll see real momentum for it. Right now, again, MTA has the resources for the immediate plan; the State should give them back the $456 million they owe them. We will help in every way with the police coverage if they need any additional police coverage, we’ll do that out of our pocket. Any additional emergency services, we’ll do that out of our pocket. Any additional work to address homelessness in the subway, we’ll do that out of our pocket, no question.
But in terms of fixing the next few months, they clearly have enough resources for that. Let’s agree on the long term plan. That’s the thing that will really change the picture.
Question: [Inaudible] do you intend to continue riding the subway –
Question: – on a semi-regular basis. I know in the lead up to the election you –
Mayor: I will indeed, absolutely.
I’ll see you more in the next few days. We’ll have plenty of time. Thanks everyone.