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

May 4, 2018

Brian Lehrer: It’s the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, good morning everyone. And we begin as usual on Friday with our weekly Ask the Mayor call in. My questions and yours for Mayor Bill de Blasio at 2-2-4-3-3-WNYC, 4-3-3-9-6-9-2. Or you can tweet a question with the hashtag #AskTheMayor. And I think he’s going to make some news here at the top with his first public comments about his new proposal to open four safe injection sites in New York City as pilot programs for a year with the goal of reducing the number of opioid overdose deaths. Members of City Council have been pushing for this. The Mayor had impaneled a group to look into it and he has his report now. So the harm reduction movement, which tries to minimize the public health impact of drug abuse rather than just trying to treat it as a criminal justice issue, would be happy about this. And we’ll talk about other issues too. Hi Mr. Mayor, welcome back to WNYC.

Mayor de Blasio: Good morning, Brian.

Lehrer: Will you start by outlining that proposal?

Mayor: Yes. And we’re saying very purposefully that these are overdose prevention centers because we want to make sure everyone understands what the goal is here. We have an opioid crisis that is astounding. The number of people we are losing to overdose every year is many times the number of people we lose to homicide or to traffic crashes. And we’ve got to use every possible tool to address it.

We looked long and hard at this question, it’s a very complex question. I’ve been indicating that for a few weeks now because there are very substantial law enforcement and legal issues, quality of life issues, there’s all sorts of concerns, but in the final analysis what’s clear to me is this will save lives. We will see a number of people who would otherwise have died of an overdose be in a setting where they can be saved. And most importantly, these overdose prevention centers come with a whole host of physical health, mental health, drug treatment, etcetera services that allow people to get help and potentially change their lives for the better.

The current status quo is unacceptable. We are losing hundreds and hundreds, in cases in some years thousands, to overdoses that often are extraordinarily tragic because on top of everything else they’re very lonely. People dying because no one knows even that they’re addicted, or no one knows they’re at that moment using drugs. Where literally we lose people in their homes, in their basements, in the bathroom of a McDonalds or a Starbucks alone with no help. That can’t go on. And overdose prevention centers give us a chance to actually change that.

Now there’s real challenging work to be done so we created this notion on a one-year basis as a pilot program, as a research study. We said there are three conditions – requires approval from the State Health Department which we have requested; requires the approval of the District Attorney in the relevant borough. And requires a community process to make sure all of those valid community concerns are addressed, and, ultimately, the approval of the local Council member.

Now we think that’s a balanced approach. Four sites have come forward that currently are needle exchange programs and have the expertise to handle this. Those are the only four sites we’ll be discussing at this point.

Lehrer: Now the four sites – do I have these right? Washington Heights, Midtown West, Longwood in the Bronx, and Gowanus in Brooklyn?

Mayor: Yes, they say Gowanus. As a Brooklynite I would call it Park Slope. It’s Fourth Avenue, a few blocks south of the Barclays Center. Truly not near the Gowanus Canal.

Lehrer: Nowhere in Queens?

Mayor: No. The providers, the coalition that has been advocating for this approach in an effort to study it, offered four specific sites, and only in – they happen to be only in three boroughs. They are existing needle exchange programs that would also provide this overdose prevention work.

Lehrer: So those sites are already doing needle exchange?

Mayor: Correct. And Brian, very importantly, and we – again this was a long, thoughtful, careful process with our Health Department, our Police Department, a lot of other key stakeholders. But I want to make the parallel to needle exchange. Needle exchange when it was first introduced two decades ago was very controversial –

Lehrer: And that was the height of the AIDS epidemic and the needle exchange was to reduce the likelihood of the spread of HIV.

Mayor: Correct. And it succeeded in doing that. But at the time there were real challenges because it wasn’t legally acceptable at the time. And the City of New York, and ultimately the State of New York in a very similar fashion to what we’re describing here, decided to take a step to allow this type of approach to be tested. It proved to be very, very effective, over time gained broader acceptance.

But I want to be very clear. What we have to go through here is a careful, smart process. I want to emphasize the City of New York will not running these centers directly, will not be funding them. But just as we saw in the needle exchange movement there was an initial effort by the healthcare providers, the non-profit organizations to prove that it could work. Once it was proven it became something that was used much more widely and saved a huge number of lives.

Lehrer: No site on Staten Island, although from the statistics I’ve read Staten Island has the highest rate of any of the boroughs of opioid overdoses. Why not?

Mayor: Well again, we need to prove that this approach can be implemented effectively, that it will achieve the goals of saving lives. You know, the research shows that in these centers all over the world, they’re in Canada, they’re in a lot of European countries, they’re in Australia, there’s not been – from what I’ve understood a single overdose death in one of the centers despite their existence for many, many years and many people having utilized them. That’s very promising of the possibility of saving a lot of lives here.

But we have to show this can work here, and we have to show it can work in a way that is not harmful to the surrounding neighborhood. I’m convinced with a strong NYPD presence and strong coordination with local elected officials and stakeholders we can achieve that.

That’s the one year pilot – the one year research study. After that we can decide where to go from there. But – and either it’s working or it’s not and we can make other decisions. But really the point here is we needed a scenario where there were providers who were able to provide this capacity for overdose prevention and were willing to come forward. There are a lot of challenges, they were willing to accept those challenges. And again, we needed a scenario where on top of the State’s sign off there would be sign off by the District Attorney in that borough.

Lehrer: Do you already have the sign off of the three DA – three relevant DAs, or indications that they would approve this? And what about the four members of City Council?

Mayor: So on the District Attorneys, conversations yesterday – I think I’m summarizing correctly that District Attorneys Vance, in Manhattan, Eric Gonzales, in Brooklyn, are both supportive. The District Attorney in the Bronx Darcel Clark is open and is going to study it. The Council members, obviously two of them, Corey Johnson and Steve Levin, have been very outspoken both have expressed a strong support. I spoke to Council member Ydanis Rodriguez. He’s going to study it. He certainly understands why there’s value to this pilot project, but he wants to study it as well. I have not yet spoken to Council Member Rafael Salamanca whose district it is in the Bronx so I can’t speak to his view yet.

Lehrer: And what about the federal government? From what I’ve read they could try to stop it. And we know that Attorney General Sessions and his Justice Department has been more into drugs as a law enforcement problem.

Mayor: Well, on the one hand that’s a true statement. On the other hand the Trump administration and Attorney General Sessions have spoken often about opioids as a national crisis. And I would think if there is an effort that might save a lot of lives, that’s been proven around the world, and also by the way is potentially also going to be starting quite soon, there’s already been approvals in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle. I would think the federal government would look at that and say this is something to stand back from and give it an opportunity to be tested.

You know that was true with needle exchange, there was not intervention from the federal government even though at the time it was also federally illegal. There was not intervention – hasn’t been intervention on states that legalized marijuana even though again that’s federally illegal.

So I think there’s some real history in Democratic and Republican administrations of a hands-off approach, to let the localities experiment and see what they think makes sense. Remember the whole needle exchange history happened during both – certainly George W. Bush and I think even some of the earliest manifestations were during his father’s administration. So there’s some real history of the federal government not interfering. I think that could be quite pertinent here.

Lehrer: And just one other thing on this and then we’ll go to calls. This is the Ask the Mayor segment if you’re just tuning in on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, as we do every Friday from 10:00 am to 10:30 am with Mayor Bill de Blasio. 2-1-2-4-3-3-WNYC. What about nimby? Are you going to have to – are you preparing for backlash from communities, even though these needle exchange sites already exist, for taking this next step?

Mayor: By definition there’s going to be a lot of concern. And what our job is in this case is – I think is to educate all community members and stakeholders about the goal first and foremost of overdose prevention and saving lives. You know over time this kind of approach could save hundreds of lives, and that I think will be something everyone cares about.

Remember the opioid crisis is tragically across the board. It effects every kind of community, every kind of income level, every demographic. I think there’s a growing awareness that we’re losing so many lives and I think a lot of people would be open for that reason.

The second point would be we’re going to do this in a way that’s very much consistent with our approach to addressing community concerns. So for example the NYPD is going to be a part of the planning from the very beginning. We’ve had a number of conversations with Commissioner O’Neill about this. There’s going to be a strong police presence in the areas around these sites to make sure that things are handled properly. We do not want quality of life disrupted. We will not tolerate any illegality outside these sites.

So I think there will be some concern for sure Brian, but I believe we can make very clear the kinds of checks and balances needed to make this work for communities as well.

Lehrer: Tom in Brooklyn you’re on WNYC with the Mayor. Hi Tom.

Question: Hi, good morning. How are you?

Mayor:  Good morning.

Lehrer: Go ahead Tom, what’s your question?

Question: My question was really geared to what improvements could be made regarding the landlords – regarding in the landlords-tenants court situation. For – especially for like smaller landlords. What I’ve noticed is there always seems to be much more services available for the tenants and the backlog of the cases being seen by the judges is really deplorable. I went to court in the last week and the judge pulled out a newspaper prior to the lunch being – the lunch hour being served. After the lunch hour was served the judge basically just adjourned all the cases in the afternoon. This was my third time going to court. Haven’t received any rent from this tenant for numerous months and it just seems that it puts so much pressure on the smaller landlords that are trying to work so hard to keep their property and maintain their property. And then when they adjourn these cases and have such a delay in the court systems it just makes it financially insolvent for these smaller landlords.

Lehrer: So you don’t like the fact Tom that the – that tenants will get free legal aid from the City but not the small landlords? Correct?

Question: Exactly. Exactly.

Lehrer: Mr. Mayor?

Mayor: Yes Tom it’s a very good point. Just for comparison or for reference, what is the size of the building in question here?

Question: It’s – it was a three family unit.

Mayor: Three family, okay. I think Tom makes a good point. I think there’s two points actually. One, we’ve got to make sure there’s fairness all around. Look I’m deeply concerned about the minority of landlords who are unscrupulous and attempt to illegally evict tenants and that’s been true with some of the bigger landlords especially. I think the smaller landlords, as Tom describes, you know we need to make sure that they’re not treated unfairly. And unfortunately just like there are some unscrupulous landlords, there are some unscrupulous tenants as well and we don’t want to see a hardworking small landlord with a three family house not get their rent when they deserve it.

So we’ve got to figure out how to address both sides of the spectrum better. Very proud of the fact that working with the City Council we have Right to Counsel now so that means that all tenants who feel they are being treated unfairly or illegally in terms of harassment or eviction have access to legal help. I think that’s long, long overdue. And bluntly that’s the vast majority of the reality of unfortunately tenants being treated inappropriately by unscrupulous landlords. But I do think it’s fair to say, particularly for smaller landlords, we’ve got to figure out how to make sure that their rights are respected.

And I think there’s a second point that Tom raises which is the reality of housing court. This is one I’ve been wanting to focus more on. It’s a good thing to focus on in a second term when we have a little more time. Housing court, I think Tom’s right, is too slow and might need some fundamental changes to make it more effective, faster, fair to everyone involved. I’m going to ask my team to put together some ideas about how we can improve housing court. I’m sure we have to work with the State on that as well. But I do think we have to make sure the outcomes are fair to everyone involved.

Lehrer: We’ll definitely follow up with you on that one. Sounds like a promise to launch a new initiative. Peter in Astoria, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor. Hi Peter.

Question: Hey, thanks a lot. You know there’s a lot to complain about Mr. Mayor and I think you’re very brave for doing this every week. I’m only going to call in on things that really affect me. Real estate tax reform on one through five families. Campaign promise, I know it’s hard. Another issue that I’m having is when I take my child to the playground and there’s somebody smoking marijuana 10 feet away from him. The City Council members, a few of them, are complaining that there is an inequity, people of color are getting busted more for smoking marijuana outside. A sociologist would say, you know, why is this happening? Is it racist cops? Or is it people of color don’t have a place to smoke marijuana inside? I don’t care if you smoke marijuana Mr. Mayor, but if you’re smoking it 10 feet away from my two-year-old, it’s a big issue for me. And I imagine it would be a big issue for Mr. Reynoso and all the other City Council members that are bringing this to you attention.

Lehrer: Mr. Mayor?

Mayor: Okay. I want – I’ll speak to that first and then I want to go the first point you raised as well real quick. It’s illegal; until the law is changed, it’s illegal. Now, we’ve said clearly, low level possession of marijuana, which used to be subject to arrest we do not arrest for anymore per say. If someone is doing other offenses on top of that, has an outstanding warrant we arrest. But we don’t arrest for low level possession, that was a major change and I think an important one that we needed to make. But smoking marijuana in public is illegal, will be enforced. A lot of people in the city – I think you’re sort of hitting a chord here that I hear from a lot of New Yorkers, don’t want that in front of their children, don’t want that in front of themselves. Now, if we go through a discussion in this city and the state, and decide to legalize it, it’s a different discussion. But for today it’s not legal, and we will enforce. As you know what we’ve tried to do is give officers more discretion. They have different tools, whether it is in different cases depending on the offence, warnings, summonses, arrests – depending on the specific offence. So you know, we’re trying to get the message across that if you don’t engage in legal behaviors you’re not going to have a problem. If you are engaging in something, there will be enforcement; we’ll try to only use the level of enforcement necessary. But smoking marijuana in public is just not a smart idea and it will lead to consequences it’s as clear as that. We’ve got a huge number of community complaints about that.

The first point on property tax, just emphasizing – very, very shortly we’ll be announcing the next steps on addressing property tax reform. It is complicated as you said, but it has to be done. Once we put together this effort and it comes out with formal proposals that’s when people are really going to have to get involved to work to make that the City Council and the state legislature act on it. But the exact focus is what you said is fairness for everyday New Yorkers that right now have in many cases very unclear tax reality when it comes to property taxes and what appears to be a very inconsistent often unfair reality. We want to address that while still keep the city revenue neutral in the process which is challenging but I think can be done.

Lehrer: Patrick in Crown Heights, you’re on WNYC with the Mayor, hi Patrick.

Question: Good morning, gentlemen. Greetings and thanks for taking my call.

Lehrer: Certainly.

Question: It has been reported in the media Mr. Mayor that are opposed to the parole of Herman Bell.

Mayor: Opposed to what sir?

Lehrer: The parole of Herman Bell.

Mayor: Okay, yes.

Question: 62 percent of all inmates in New York have some violent component to their charges, I mean their conviction. How can one maintain a position ostensibly that you oppose to ending mass incarceration if someone with his record served 45 years in prison who has gone before a parole board staffed by a professional behavioral specialist who examined him repeatedly and has made a determination that this man has expressed remorse and sincerely redeemed his life. How can we maintain a commitment to end mass incarceration if you’re not prepared examine cases of [inaudible] in which people who have committed admittedly horrific crimes have generally transformed their lives.

Lehrer: Let me get you an answer Patrick, hang on. Mr. Mayor, go ahead.

Mayor: Yeah Patrick, look, I do believe in ending mass incarceration, I do believe in redemption, I believe in a lot things you and I imagine you and I would believe in common. But this case is particular that needs to be seen for what it is. He is someone who laid and ambushed purposely to assassinate a New York City police officer and then did the same thing in California both of which are documented, both of which he was found guilty of. It’s not anywhere near a typical case, and I don’t believe that offence which strikes at the heart of our entire society and he did it not once but twice. It’s unacceptable to me, so this is my own beliefs. I don’t believe in the death penalty for example. But I do believe there are certain situations where someone should be imprisoned and never have an opportunity for parole and I think the pre-meditated assassination of police officers is one of those cases.

Lehrer: The State Senate republican controlled reacted to this case of parole by approving a bill or a package of bills to make it harder for cop killers and certain other violent felons to get out of prison. Have you looked at that package and do you have a position on it?

Mayor: I have not looked at that package. But I again this is not just someone who killed a police officer but did it more than once – again pre-meditated. This is the definition of the word assassination. It’s not in the midst of an unplanned you know conflict. I think there is a very particular category; I did not think he belongs out of jail, out of prison I should say. But I have not looked at that legislation, I can’t comment until I do.

Lehrer: Susan in Gramercy Park you’re on WNYC with the Mayor, hi Susan.

Question: Yes, thank you, thank you. Mr. Mayor my husband and I live in a rental apartment that has central air conditioning. I am fully aware of the laws that govern when and the length of time that heat has to be given. This is the 21st Century and I think that there should be laws governing when the air conditioning can go on. My husband is 84, I am 75. I keep the shades closed to keep the sun out. It is already 82 degrees in the apartment by the end of the month which they never turn it on prior to either Memorial Day if we’re lucky or June 1. It gets as high as 87 degrees and I really think it is high time that some laws are passed that they have to give air-conditioning if it reaches certain temperatures.

Mayor: Susan, thank you for the call. I think you got a good point here. Especially appreciate the point about it being the 21 century where we should be able to regulate things more effectively. I agree with you, the – we know as a fact that fact of both public safety and health that overheating is tremendously dangerous. You’re right I think the skew, the focus has been more on heat in winter for understandable reasons but in the age of global warming especially we should be more and more focused on the danger of overheating to seniors in particular. So I think you’re onto something here. I will have, if you’ll give your information to WNYC, ill have folks follow up with you. But I will speak to both the Health Department and the Housing Department to see what we can do to tighten up those regulations and to make it contingent upon what the temperature; the real temperature is inside a building. Because you’re right, something should trigger the use of air-conditioning that’s about the temperature more than the date.

Lehrer: That would be a massive change in the law. Wouldn’t it? If just as apartments are required to be heated when the temperature falls below certain levels in the winter, that you would be requiring all apartments to have air conditioning? We don’t have anything like that.

Mayor: I want to caution Brian, that’s not how I heard Susan’s question. I heard Susan’s question, she said they had central air; it’s like where the capacity is there.

Lehrer: Yes, in her case.

Mayor: Well, yeah, I think it’s in a lot of people case. Where the capacity is there, and I am hearing this for the first time I have to say I don’t remember anyone bringing this up to me previously but I want to speak to it, because I think it’s a good point. If a building has the capacity to provide air-conditioning already it makes sense, and we’ll study this. I don’t have all the facts in front of me, we’ll study it. But it makes sense to make sure that people are not overheated. Now if a building doesn’t have air-conditioning, I am not suggesting we have to force everyone to get air conditioning, that’s a whole separate discussion. But where it exists why shouldn’t we correlate the rules to the actual reality inside the building.

Lehrer: We’re having your new Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza join us Monday for the first time on this show. And he’s approached the issue of school desegregation I guess a little differently from you so far in at least one way. He seems to me be more freely using the word segregation to apply for schools. I think you’ve said here and elsewhere in the past that calling the schools segregated, places blame on them unfairly when it’s largely a function of housing segregation. Clarify that if you want, but is he causing you to change your thinking on the use of the word at all?

Mayor:  No, we’re – look we’ve talked about this. We’re very kindred; we both believe that everything we’re doing has to be about social justice. One of the reasons I am so happy he is our Chancellor is that animates all his work. I am very explicit about this. The reason we have segregation in our society is about structural racism, is about 400 years of American history and a lot of things that should have been done  differently in American history. It’s about economics first and foremost and the fact that economic opportunity is still not open and consistent across different racial groups and ethnic groups and that’s the first problem. That leads to housing segregation and that in turn leads to a situation where our classrooms are not diverse. So I think I’ve said it very openly and I want to challenge my advocate friends who I think are coming from a noble place and they should fight for more diverse classrooms. But begin at the beginning, talk about the root cause and don’t act like the schools themselves can solve this problem alone because they cant. I do believe our efforts to create more economic fairness and equality will help address this problem. I believe our affordable housing efforts will help address this problem. But what I also want to say is I see something very positive happening Brian.

We’ve got some models now that are working. In School District 3 on West Side of Manhattan, and at School District 1 in the Lower East Side, and Chinatown and surrounding areas we’ve got some real new powerful tools for diversifying classrooms while keeping the quality of instruction high and in fact improving school simultaneously. That’s what we’ve got to do to really win the day on this matter. Because what I don’t want to see is people end up with more diverse classrooms but don’t get what all parents want which is that the schools keep improving everywhere and across the board. We have to achieve both simultaneously. In fact I think that we will have an environment that is conducive to more diverse classrooms if we continue our efforts to improve school quality across the board. That’s what they did in the West Side of Manhattan I think brilliantly with the rezoning plan and we’re going to now try to take this model to scale because there is a lot of other places we could do that to positive effect.

Lehrer: I read the Times article on the new school report on kindergarteners which found 40 percent of kindergarteners in the City do not attend the nearby school to which they would be assigned just by address. That’s 27,000 five-year-olds funneling through the City each day, they say, and I would imagine that those families are not moving their five-year-olds in pursuit of integration but against it which would indicate the schools themselves, or the system, has some responsibility, yes?

Mayor: Well, no I want to be careful. I was a public school parent until very recently. I don’t think parents are moving their kids around “against diversification or desegregation”. I think the imperative of all parents is to try and find their child a school that will work for them. It is a statement on the fact that parents have too little confidence in a number of schools and that’s why our Equity and Excellence agenda has to succeed at improving the quality of schools across the board and making this commonplace in the City that parents will think, my zoned school, my local elementary school is good for my kid. That changes the whole discussion because then we can succeed at diversification efforts with a positive level playing field.

But, no, I want to also caution that study which I have not totally reviewed but we need to know more about where the kids went, did they go to a different type of community or did they just go to a neighboring community that’s just the same. Do the kids stay from kindergarten on in that school or do they go to another school as they get a little older? Studies tell us something but it does not tell us the whole picture.

Lehrer: And here is a caller with a reaction to the Safe Injection Sites proposal, Daniel in Park Slope, you are on WNYC. Hello.

Question: Hi, thank you – thank you for taking my call. This question for the Mayor is I live in Park Slope, and we have been talking with wife about this, there’s a lot schools around the site they want to put near the Barclays Center and the concern is about the safety and the people who are going to frequent that place. I think it’s going to be an interruption with the way of life we used – we already have in Park Slope. It’s about quality of life.

We already understand the human side that it’s understandable that these people need help but I think you still should move that place to a different place where there are not schools because it’s a family place, Park Slop, and this is going to be very interruptive with the way of life. There is a lot of concern about safety with these people, which actually we understand that they need help, but at the same time we’re concerned for the people who are not using those types of drugs, how’s it going to be in my life now on?

Mayor: Right, well Daniel first of all thank you for calling in but specifically recognizing we’re talking about a lot of humans in tremendous danger who are unfortunately in the thrall of an addiction. Addiction tragically is a human reality and it’s something we all need to be educated more on, this is my wife Chirlane talks about this all the time that we got to understand the nature of addiction. It is not a character flaw. It’s a human reality, addiction has taken over, you know, some of the most extraordinary people in our society unfortunately have at one point or another been in the thralls of addiction and we got to help people out of addiction.We need to get them to where they can get the treatment. We got to stop overdose deaths. You cannot save someone and turn their life around if you lose them to overdose, you know, all the possibilities are ended if someone one day overdoses alone and there is no one there to save them.

So that’s why as a matter of saving lives, we’ve got to see if this approach will work and will help contribute to turning around this crisis. As to the community realities that Daniel raises, I’m very sympathetic, I mean I live in that community, I know the location very well and everything around it very well. And again, I can see through the eyes of parents with kids in nearby schools, but I can say as someone has historically lived in the Park Slope community and will be returning very soon, I think this is something we should try but I will tell you, Daniel and everyone listening, we’re going to have a strong presence of the NYPD and other agencies around these overdose prevention centers to ensure that quality of life is not disrupted, to ensure there is not illegal activity tolerated outside these centers. The folks going in and out – it’s no different than what’s happening right now, this is currently a needle exchange program. So people are going in and out similarly dealing with addiction sadly. And that has not had a negative impact on the quality of life in the community, and I know that because I’ve been living in the community for – since 1992 and this center that we’re talking about there has been there for quite a while.

But the central point to Daniel’s question is we will be working with the NYPD from the very beginning to ensure there is a safe environment, an orderly environment around these overdose prevention centers. We will not tolerate anything less. That’s absolute.

Lehrer: And does that acknowledge that there might be a different public safety threat than from people just going there to get needles which they might take to wherever to use the drugs. Different than going into a safe injection site location and actually shooting up there and coming out high on opioids right there?

Mayor: Obviously we’re concerned that if people are high, you know, that’s a concern right there that we have to make sure that they’re safe as we – as would be true bluntly all over the city right now, right this minute. And we’ve got to make sure the sites address that property. Make sure, to the maximum extent possible, people are kept inside the building for the appropriate period of time, you know, that all the services and medical capacity is there.

But, you know, of course it’s a natural human concern what might happen when folks eventually come out. And we want to be clear that we’re going to ensure a safe and orderly environment. We also want to make sure that these centers have sufficient hours and sufficient staffing to handle those who might come to them.

So this is, again, going to be a careful process. I think I mentioned we’re expecting a community process of about six months to twelve months around each of these centers to really bring in stakeholders, bring in NYPD and other agencies. Really figure out how to make this work with the providers. Answer the questions, get prepared, and we need the support of the local Council member. And I think that will allow us to address these issues properly. And we’re talking, again, about a one year pilot, a research study to prove whether this can work and whether this can save lives here.

Lehrer: Alright, and we’re out of time for today. Thanks as always Mr. Mayor, talk to you next week.

Mayor: Thanks, Brian.

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