Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Appears Live on the Brian Lehrer Show

March 9, 2018

Brian Lehrer: It’s the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC. Good morning, everyone, and we’ll dive right in today with our Friday Ask The Mayor segment. I’ll ask the Mayor some questions, and you’ll ask the Mayor some questions. 212-433-WNYC – if you want to be one of those people – 433-9692 or tweet a question with the hashtag #AskTheMayor.

Hi, Mr. Mayor, welcome back to WNYC.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, Brian.

Lehrer: And most of my questions to you today will be schools related. First, can you give us your morning after take on that school safety town hall you held in Midtown last night? The press reports indicate you wanted to talk and did talk mostly about mental health and national gun control, but what turned out to be controversial was black and Latino students unhappy with metal detectors and the behavior of School Safety officers – both of which sometimes make them feel more suspected than protected. Politico NY says you got sarcastic and testy with a few of the off topic questions.

Here’s one of the students –

[…]

Question: In my school, I feel like as a person of color – I feel like the School Safety officers they’re there more to watch me instead of to help me.

[…]

Lehrer: So what happened there last night, now that you’ve had a chance to sleep on it?

Mayor: Brian, I thought it was an extraordinary meeting. And I really appreciated the students that were there, the ideas they put forward, the concerns they put forward. I thought they were really deeply insightful. You know with all due respect to Politico, I think anyone who watched that hour and a half or two hour meeting would’ve seen that my view of the students – I said repeatedly to them I had been a student activist in high school, Chirlane had been a student activist in high school – I really respected what they said. I frequently asked them what they thought, what they wanted to see different. I took a lot of surveys of the room spontaneously to ask them what their experiences have been, so you know I really think when people are reporting this they should look at the totality of what happened.

The students said some things that I think were sobering. They clearly need to have a better relationship with School Safety officers. One of the things we agreed to on the spot is that School Safety officers in each school will sit down with students to hear their concerns and start more of a dialogue. The Chief of Community Affairs for the NYPD – recently named Chief Nilda Irizarry Hofmann – supervises School Safety. She was there, and she’s going to take the lead in making sure we have that kind of dialogue school by school. I think that’s something that should’ve been happening already. This meeting is going to spark that.

I think the intense desire for more mental health services and more social and emotional support was very powerful, both to Chirlane and me, and it says that we have to go much deeper. One of the questions I asked the whole group is did they know who to turn to if they or a loved one or a friend had a mental health issue, and most of these students did not. New York City understand where to turn. I want to remind all of your listeners, if you’re ever in doubt on where to turn on a mental health issue you can call 888-NYC-WELL. And that is 24 hours a day and any kind of mental health issue can be addressed there by a trained counselor who can then connect you to ongoing support, and that’s true for students as well. But Brian, I thought it was a very helpful meeting, and it really helped me to see that there’s a lot of changes we have to make.

Lehrer: On metal detectors, the stat in the Wall Street Journal today is that of the 1,500 or so school building in the city, 93 have metal detectors. What are the criteria for making those placements? I read that there was a few dozen students protesting outside chanting, ‘hey ho, metal detectors have to go.’ Do there have to be a certain number of weapons incidents first, or how does that work?

Mayor: Well, it’s ultimately decided by the NYPD working with the school leadership, and the fact that it is 93 out of about 1500 speaks volumes. The norm in New York City public schools is that we have our School Safety agents in the schools, and I think they do a great job protecting our kids. We have the NYPD from the local precinct working more and more with the schools outside and that is particularly as a result of neighborhood policing strategy. So what we found in the vast majority of schools is we have not needed metal detectors, and the best form of prevention – this is what Chief Hofmann said last night – is that communication between students and parents and teachers with School Safety and with the NYPD to identify if there’s any kind of problem that needs to be addressed, and restorative justice initiatives which we’re deepening throughout the school system to help students actually resolve some of their conflicts or issues peacefully and through dialogue. That’s been proven to have a really big impact, so we’re going to do a lot more of that – but that’s the norm, metal detectors are not.

Now what happens in terms of those criteria is when there is either one or more incidents or a particular type of threat – sometimes it might be gang related or something else – the decision is made if they need full time scanning, if they need random scanning, meaning somedays of the week, or what we did as part of the Parkland tragedy is we’re doing unannounced scanning at all middle and high schools. That means once in a while for a day there will be scanning, and that is simply as a deterrent and to send a message to anyone who may be considering anything negative, but by and large what people have to understand is they’re very individualized decisions by schools, and they’re not permanent decisions. They’re constantly evaluated. Schools can – we can make a decision, NYPD working with the schools, to take out scanning or to put it in for a period of time depending on what’s going on.

Lehrer: So, to those students protesting against metal detectors outside the meeting yesterday, do you think they’re unrepresentative? And if they took a vote in those 93 schools students would want the metal detectors to stay?

Mayor: I think it’s a mix. I think, first of all, the fact that in about 1,400 school buildings there are not metal detectors is the first thing to know. In the 93 where there are, I’m sure there’s a mix of opinion. I’m sure there’s some students that think it makes them safer and others that are very uncomfortable. I’m sure the parents feel the same way, and the teachers – I’m sure there’s a mix. But the point is we have to balance the factors. In the end, job one in public service is protecting people’s lives, and when we think there’s a situation that demands scanning we will use it. But again we don’t use it permanently. I think if you say ‘do I understand why students would prefer not the experience it?’ Of course. Of course. What we have to do in each case is decide what will protect their safety, and when we get to the point of deciding scanning is no longer necessary in a school we’re very comfortable taking it out. When we think it has to be added to a school for a period of time we’re very comfortable with that as well.

Lehrer: Another schools topic before we get to some calls. The specialized high schools admission results, as you know, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, etcetera still with only about 10 percent black and Latino admits compared to 67 percent of the citywide student population. Still based on the one day, high stakes test – not a student’s overall record. You ran in 2013 promising change, and I know you’ve tried to get test prep to more students, things like that. Do you now conclude that what’s been done so far has not worked, and something more radical is needed?

Mayor: Absolutely, Brian. Look, we put the additional test prep for kids who needed some extra help in place. We put the availability of the admissions test – you know making it more accessible for kids of all backgrounds – I was hoping it would have more impact, but I did not have a doubt for a moment the core problem is the single high stakes test. I don’t believe in that kind of high stakes testing. I think it’s been discredited and proven to be counterproductive here and all over the country. It’s an anachronism that must be ended.

Unfortunately, that can only be done through the legislature in Albany. I think that’s idiotic to begin with that the way we test our students for our schools here in New York City needs to be approved by the legislature in Albany. And I’m not saying that to be negative towards the members of the legislature. I’m saying that as a matter of the rights of New York City to determine its own destiny. Why on earth can we not make out own decisions about testing because the people of this city certainly do not believe in high stakes testing?

So look – I think we’ve got to try once again to go to Albany and say these – the student bodies in these specialized high school is absolutely unrepresentative of the New York City population. And the single high stakes test is the reason, and we cannot have some of the very best schools in our school system, some of the very best schools in the country be de-facto exclusionary. It does not represent the values of this city. So we’ve got to get rid of that test. Let’s choose young people who get into Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech and Bronx Science based on the totality of their talent and ability and potential, which is not determined just by a single test.

Lehrer: The Times articles on this says that you haven’t made it a priority in Albany. If you accept the premise, is it just that there are so many big things going on that you haven’t been able to push this one above while you’re trying to get, you know, bigger massive policies through the state legislatures?

Mayor: No, it’s more than that. I mean, look, we are always juggling a very, very rich set of things we’re trying to get done in Albany, and we know we can’t get them all done at once. But this one is more the political reality. We’ve understood the unwillingness of the State Senate to act on things like this. And that doesn’t mean we don’t keep trying. Sometimes we’ve had breakthroughs.

We had some progress for example on getting speed cameras around schools but nowhere near as many as we should and that’s, again, the political reality we face with the State Senate.

Now, that reality I think could well change in November, and then a lot more potential change for this city can happen. But it’s not something we give up on. We go back each year. We keep trying. We look for an opening. Sometimes that opening occurs.

I think if it’s not this year, I’m very hopeful that it will be next that we can get action on this.

Lehrer: Dale in the East Village, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Dale.

Question: Hi, good morning, Mr. Mayor. This is not quite on the topic of concern with guns and schools and that but I live in the East Village in Manhattan – are you there?

Mayor: Yes, absolutely.

Question: Oh, I’m sorry – and I’m a member of a block association here, and I wanted to say we’re really disappointed in your appointment of Ariel Palitz as the new nightlife mayor. In an East Village town hall meeting last year you told us the nightlife mayor would be a neutral person with no ties to the nightlife industry, and she’s far from being neutral and unbiased. She was a bar owner in the East Village, is currently been running a consulting firm for liquor license applicants, and when she was a member of the Community Board 3 licensing committee she would vote in favor of the applicants at least 75 percent of the time. So, we’re wondering how did she get appointed as the new nightlife mayor when she is very far from being a neutral, unbiased party.

Mayor: Well, look first of all I don’t – I respect your question, but I don’t believe you characterized what I said at that town hall meeting properly. I said that we want to balance all the elements. We do not want to favor you know just one piece of the equation or the other, we’re trying to create this nightlife industry that works for the city and helps enhance the city. Look, communities have very real concerns when it comes to nightlife. Those have to be addressed, and we have to do it better. And we think actually having a nightlife director will help us to do it better.

At the same time it’s a very important industry. It’s part of the life of the city and the identity of this city, the economy of this city, so we have to strike a positive balance. I think nightlife is one of the things that makes New York City great. It has to be done in a way that respects communities. I think Ariel Palitz is someone who can do that. She is a person who has lived in this city all of her life. She’s been a community board member as you said, she’s obviously shown objectivity because there’s been plenty of times as you indicated where she’s found that someone from the industry had to do something different as well.

So we talked to a lot of people. This was a job that so many people wanted, and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback on her that she is that person who can find a fair approach.

Lehrer: Here is an education question, I think, from Diane in Brooklyn. Diane, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello.

Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. How are you?

Mayor: Good morning, Dianne.

Question: I’m calling because the Office of Adult and Continuing Education, which is a division for adults 21 and up, part of the Department of Education – is seriously being undermined and attacked by the superintendent Ms. Rose Marie Mills. The students are not receiving the services that they need, the materials that they need, the books they need, the computers they need. I asked and instructional facilitators and teachers have no say in any of the decisions made within the administration, and there’s a feeling of discontent and animosity from the administration towards the teachers and in some case towards the students. And we’ve been going under this administration going on six years now, Mr. Mayor, and we really, really, really need some help.

Lehrer: Mr. Mayor, go ahead.

Mayor: Diane, I honestly have not heard that particular concern raised before, and I take it seriously. I just am not familiar with the specifics. So if you would give your information to WNYC, I’m going to have a senior member of my team follow up with you because I want them to understand what these concerns are and see if there’s something we have to do differently. So, I appreciate the call.

Lehrer: Diane, hang on –

Question: Thank you.

Lehrer: We’ll get your contact information.

And Mr. Mayor, next education topic from me – the Daily News reports that your new pick for Schools Chancellor, Richard Carranza, who has led the Houston and San Francisco systems, ruined the career of a rising star in the San Francisco school system after she called him out for flirting at a conference according to a bombshell lawsuit as the Daily News calls it. It says, “Educator Veronica Chavez said Carranza victimized her as part of a series of moves he made to snub women employees when he was superintendent in San Francisco in 2013.” The Daily News quotes Ms. Chavez’s attorney saying, “She still works as a teacher in San Francisco, but Carranza effectively derailed her career progression. She was once seen as a rapidly ascending educator in the district.”

Did Mr. Carranza disclose this lawsuit to you in the application process?

Mayor: Absolutely, Brian. And he also explained that he was not the subject of the lawsuit and no allegations, no legal action was taken, no disciplinary action, nothing related to him.

And look, I would just remind you, don’t believe everything you believe in the Daily News. He has an exceptional history as an educator. He did an outstanding job – seven years in San Francisco and helped to greatly improve the results in that system, helped to close the achievement gap for students of color, they had leading test scores in the State of California, had greatly increased graduation rates while doing extraordinarily important things like reducing suspensions and installing restorative justice approaches. He went to Houston. He, in the midst of Hurricane Harvey, led that school system back, got it on its feet in two weeks, was regarded as one of the people who helped Houston most to come of that crisis. He’s done extraordinary work, and I think this is really an unfair characterization by the Daily News.

Lehrer: You’re saying that the lawsuit was against the district but not against him?

Mayor: Yeah, exactly right.

Lehrer: So, this is a closed matter as far as you’re concerned?

Mayor: We researched it carefully, and that’s what it is.

Lehrer: [Inaudible] in Harlem, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello.

Question: Good morning. Thank you for taking my call. Good morning, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor: Good morning.

Question: My question is about plastic bags because we seem to be drowning in them. I was – I don’t know if you saw the editorial in last Sunday’s paper by Joseph Curtin about how Ireland has reduced plastic bags about 90 percent etcetera, etcetera. But I don’t know where to recycle plastic bags in New York. I know the law says if you have a store that has a chain of more than five and you have 10,000 square feet you should be able to take recycled bags.

But Whole Foods doesn’t. Duane Reade does but the receptacle is used as a garbage can and Staples will take them and they’re very nice, and I say well, where do they go, and they go, we don’t know. And you practically have to body tackle a cashier to get them to not give you a plastic bag, so it’s scary. Where do we recycle them?

Mayor: Well, this is the whole problem and I think you’ve spoken eloquently in describing what the reality is. And I did read that column, you said, I think, it was Joseph Curtin, is that right? That was absolutely fantastic, and it pointed out how this city is way behind many other cities in the world on this issue and the State of New York as well, and we’ve got to fix this.

Plastic bags are made of petroleum products therefore they exacerbate the crisis of global warming. Let’s be really clear, this is a city that’s acting very aggressively on the question of fossil fuels. We are divesting our pension fund investments from companies that own fossil fuel resources. We are suing five of the biggest petroleum companies for what they have done to the climate and we need to act across the board. When you heard the word plastic, think fossil fuels, think petroleum because that’s what it’s made of.

And we’ve got to stop using them and that’s just the front end of the process – exactly what you said on the back end – then you’ve got all these bags foisted on people half time. It’s become a very bad norm in our society. What happens? They end up either on our streets as litter or then end up in landfills which is costly and horrible for the environment. They don’t biodegrade. They destroy the sea life in the oceans.

I mean it’s really a whole host of reasons why this is bad for all of us and there’s an alternative. It’s the alternative that was used just a couple of generations ago – a reusable bag, a burlap bag, a canvas bag, any number of kinds of bags.

And we’ve said previously – I’ve said it when the previous legislation was discussed by the Council, whatever we do we’re going to have to make bags available to folks who can’t afford their own and get everyone into the habit of just using a permanent bag. But plastic has got to go and I think a ban is the way to go at this point.

Lehrer: So what are the political obstacles at this point? Because some other cities have banned the plastic bags or started charging for them as you know.

Mayor: Every city and state has a different reality. I think, again, I have talked about the neocolonial dynamic here in this state – the fact that the State of New York, 43 percent of the state’s population, the economic engine of the state, the number one contributor to the State budget in terms of revenue, that we can’t make a decision on a whole host of things. I think it’s outrageous and I think this is the kind of thing that needs to be changed over time.

New York City should be able to determine this and we’re looking to see if there’s anyway if some action at least can be taken with the City Council. It’s something I’ll be speaking with Speaker Johnson about.

But on the previous effort the Council made which was a small fee on plastic bags that was delayed in Albany by the State government. And you know again, I just don’t understand why the State of New York would want to hold back an effort to clean the environment and to stop the global warming crisis. That’s what it’s about.

Lehrer: Manuel, who is a retired school principal who served in the Bronx. Manuel, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor.

Question: Good morning. I’m a retired assistant principal from P.S. 24 in the Bronx and my question to the Mayor is – the year before I retired I called up to report that the local Assemblyman, Jeffrey Dinowitz, had his chief of staff come into the school to scrutinize kids registering. Over 100 kids had [inaudible]. This was proven by the city’s special investigator and there was no action taken against the Assemblyman. The Assemblyman continued to have free access to the school, come and go as he wanted.

He sent his people in to try to stem the influx of minority children into our schools – who he calls outsiders and I want to know why no action was taken. I suppose it’s the same reason that there’s no real action taken on the specialized schools that it’s politically no expedient.

Lehrer: Are you familiar with the issue, Mr. Mayor and Jeffrey Dinowitz’s alleged role?

Question: Well, there’s more [inaudible] –

Mayor: Yeah, I’m not familiar with the details but I’ll just state the obvious –

Lehrer: Hang on. Hang on one second. Manuel you’re saying there’s a lawsuit?

Question: Yes. I’m suing the DOE and I’m suing Jeffrey Dinowitz as well because I was forced after that – after the whistleblowing came in, after I reported it – I have an impeccable career. Suddenly after that occurred, I was forced to retire.

Lehrer: Mr. Mayor.

Mayor: Again, I’m obviously not going to speak to a lawsuit or to your personnel issue. No disrespect I just don’t know the details. I can’t speak to that. I can only speak to the very broad reality.

The admissions process is sacrosanct. It is not something that should be interfered with in any way and obviously we believe in schools that are diverse and we believe in fairness in admissions. I don’t know any of the details of what happened here. We’ll certainly look into it but I just wanted everyone to hear the broad goal. We want that process to be both fair and we do not want any way, shape, or form, discourage diversity in schools. We’d like to see more diversification in our schools.

Lehrer: On school diversification and integration, you haven’t been aggressive enough for some activists in this area and I think have fallen back on saying school segregation is largely a [inaudible] of housing segregation and you’re going to fight it that way. Have you changed your position on that or did I characterize it accurately?

Mayor: I don’t think you characterized it fully. Let me try real quick. The problem with segregation in our society is based on structural racism. It’s based on 400 years of history. It’s based on economics and that manifests certainly in terms of housing both in terms of how people either chose to go to certain areas or were forced to and just economic mobility. Those were the core issues because so much of what happens with education is based on pre-existing geography. People go to their neighborhood school and their school is in a district which has a community that grew over time to have a certain character.

So, I think the answer to the way I look at this is – what is everything we can do through the schools and then what can’t we do throughout the schools. What we can do for sure – fix the way we admit kids to the specialized schools, make it based on multiple measures. That will unquestionable in my mind create more diversity.

Change some of the practices with high schools and middle schools that I think were inadvertently creating exclusion. There used to be certain rules related to whether you had to come and visit the school as part of the admissions process in advanced and a certain outreach effort that in many cases inadvertently encouraged too narrow a base of students to apply.

We’re looking at the entire admissions process to encourage diversity and then there’s also the question of school zones. And a very good example of the West Side of Manhattan where Community Education Council 3, I thought did an extraordinary job of saying we want diverse schools, we’re going to rework our schools zones and address school quality issues that might have been exacerbating some of the problem and they did both at once in a way that was very, very positive.

And the final point is if we really want to encourage diversification we need to improve schools across the board and that’s what the Equity and Excellence plan is about. I think there’s an unstated piece of this debate – do you really think you’re going to get diversified schools if parents of all backgrounds don’t want to send their kid to a certain school? No. We have to create a reality where every school is more effective and more appealing to parents.

We see it numerically. We see increased graduation rates, improved test scores. We see, obviously, AP – we’re putting Advanced Placement courses in every high school. We’re putting computer science education across the whole school system.

There are things that are going to really help make every school better but in the end it’s about parent and student choice and voting with their feet. The first thing we have to do to create diversification is improve schools across the board.

Lehrer: Let me ask you a NYCHA question. The Governor now says he will declare a state of emergency to expedite repairs and a sarcastic article in the Daily News says that on the morning after the Governor announced that intention, Mayor de Blasio suddenly realized Thursday that he speed up boiler repairs at the city Housing Authority after initially saying the job would take years and couldn’t start until July. So, did you change your position yesterday and what’s your understanding of what the Governor’s state of emergency would do?

Mayor: No change of position. Don’t believe everything you read in the Daily News. Let’s look at the facts. Since this administration began the approach to public housing, the approach to NYCHA has been the polar opposite of previous administrations. The previous administrations tried not to invest in public housing and tried to keep their distance. I embraced the role the city has to play in helping our public housing even though it’s supposed to be federally funded we know the federal government’s been walking away.

We know the State of New York has done next to nothing for NYCHA so it comes down to the City. So, we’ve invested $2.1 billion in capital funding for NYCHA since my administration started – $1.6 billion in new expense funding on top of that.

There’s no administration in the history of the city that did anything like that previously. And my view is simple. We’ve been trying to constantly improve the operations at NYCHA. There’s the NextGen NYCHA plan, Next Generation plan that saved NYCHA from bankruptcy. We improved safety at NYCHA. We’ve been fixing roofs and we have a billion dollar roof fixing plan.

All this was happening before the horrible cold snap a few months ago and that cold snap rightfully drew a lot of attention to the heat issue but people need to also look at everything that was already on the way and a huge amount of investment was being made in heating before that.

Here’s the bottom line on the State of New York. The recent action is essentially symbolic and political. It’s not really going to help us to change much. What would help us a lot is what’s called design-build. That’s authorization to greatly speed the process of doing major capital efforts.

That’s what I’ve asked the Governor and the legislature for repeatedly. That’s what we need to get done in the upcoming State budget. That could shave a year or more off of our ability to put in new boilers and heating systems and all sorts of other repairs. That’s where the action is.

And the $250 million that the State of New York still owes NYCHA from the 2015 and 2017 State budgets. Literally, Brian, money that was authorized by the legislature, signed by the Governor. $250 million, quarter billion dollars still not delivered to NYCHA, and some of that money was dedicated three years ago and we haven’t seen it.

So, if the State wants to help, how about sending us the money that you were already supposed to send us.

Lehrer: Did you present a revised timeline yesterday saying that the repairs that you said would start in July could start faster – sooner?

Mayor: What was presented yesterday – here it is. It’s totally consistent with everything we’ve been trying to do over four years but it is based on some new approaches that got innovated actually not in NYCHA but elsewhere. In the midst of the Build it Back initiative over the last couple of years, and this really culminated in 2017, we determined a different way to go about some of our construction efforts and a different way to coordinate City agencies.

We found some ways to streamline a process that honestly had not been evident before and what we found in Build it Back that we recognized could be migrated over to NYCHA to speed up some of NYCHA’s efforts as well. So, that is an improvement but it’s not different from the entire approach, the strategic approach we’ve been bringing to NYCHA from the beginning.

Look at the Next Generation NYCHA plan and you’ll see – which was issued back in 2014 – you’ll see that template for change at NYCHA was put together then but it’s been refined as we go along. And this approach was borrowed from another success in another area and brought over to NYCHA.

Lehrer: We’re almost out of time. Let me ask you one more substantive question and one politics question. We had a segment this week with advocates for setting up a safe injection site or more than one for opioid users as a harm reduction strategy. We also had Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner, the former New York City Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley who is trying one in Philly. And my understanding is he has not yet taken a position on trying this in New York.

Here is advocate, Kassandra Frederique, from our show:

Kassandra Frederique: You know, we’re waiting for the feasibility study. We keep saying soon and what we recognize is that soon is too long and that you should definitely ask him when he’s sending it out and advocates have already given him a three week deadline. So, here’s the weekend. So, two weeks – let’s get it done.

Lehrer: So her question is, when are you sending out the feasibility study?

Mayor: Yeah, anyone who’s paid attention over the last four years, when I saw soon it means something is imminent. It’s a very complex issue. It’s a very serious proposal. This is something that could make a major impact but it comes with tremendous legal complexities and challenges, and other challenges. It’s not a simple matter so it’s still being evaluated. There will be discussion of it coming up but I just don’t want anyone to think this is a panacea. The opioid crisis is extremely multifaceted and complex. 

The things we’re doing right now to get people treatment and to stop the flow of opioids into communities and to make sure that people know where to turn if they need help. And again 8-8-8-NYC-WELL is a place you can call is you or a loved one has an opioid addiction. You can get services and support.

That’s the core of what we have to do but we take this seriously and will have something to say on it soon.

Lehrer: And lastly, can I get a comment on you on Cynthia Nixon seriously considering a challenge to Governor Cuomo from the left in the Democratic primary this year? She’s an ally of yours. Might you endorse her?

Mayor: Again you need to talk to her about what she wants to do. I don’t know what her decision is going to be. I haven’t been involved and I just want to be clear she is someone who obviously is going to make up her own mind about what she wants to do. I haven’t been involved in that process and I don’t know what she’s thinking at this point.

Lehrer: And then you would have an open mind for who to endorse in a Democratic primary?

Mayor: I’ve said I’ll talk about everything with 2014 State elections when the time comes –

Lehrer: 2018.

Mayor: – I’m not ready to speak to any of it right now. Sorry, yes, 2018. Thank you for the update.

[Laughter]

2018. I’ll speak to that later on but I’m not going to comment on any of the elections happening around the state at this point.

Lehrer: Mr. Mayor, as always, thank you very much. Talk to you next week.

Mayor: Thank you, Brian.

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