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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Hosts Media Availability to Discuss Immigration Summit

December 8, 2014

Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh-GH6J9Srs

Mayor Bill de Blasio: [inaudible] thank my colleagues from around the nation. We had an extraordinary conversation today, and there was an extraordinary commitment to action, and this is – I just want to take a moment to editorialize – this is a very special group of leaders that I had the honor to spend the last few hours with – incredibly purposeful about addressing the needs of their communities, but also building a larger national coalition for the changes we need.

Let me just introduce the mayors who are here with us – Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo; Mayor Javier Gonzalez of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Mayor Tony Harp of New Haven; Mayor Edwin Lee of San Francisco; Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle; Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta; Mayor Pedro Segarra of Hartford; Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma, Washington; and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio – and thank them all for their participation. We had about 20 mayors here today, all of whom have a profoundly progressive vision for addressing the needs of our total communities. All of the people who live in our communities – immigrant and non-immigrant alike, folks who are documented, folks who are undocumented – they're all residents of our cities, they're all parts of our communities, and there was a real sharp focus today on making sure that this historic moment, with the president's executive action – that we work in tandem to serve our people, and to reach the millions of people who will benefit from the president's action.

We were honored to have here as well the commissioners of Immigrant Affairs and the similar officials from each city – the folks who do the work every day, and are perfecting the strategies to make the president's executive action come alive in localities all over this country.

We also made clear, amongst ourselves, as we built our strategy, that the president's action is a strong beginning – again, will affect millions – it's also a gateway to something much greater, to comprehensive immigration reform, the thing that's been worked on for years and years in this country. The consensus on the room today is that that reform is actually closer because of the president's executive action, that that is a game changer that's reopening the discussion in the right way, and that we have a chance to forward those efforts for reform. We know there will be a backlash in this debate. There always is. We know there'll be voices of division, we know there'll be those who say that reform can't happen – but we believe, as more and more of our fellow Americans see families kept together, families given a chance to realize the American dream, and all that that means for our economic growth, and our strength as a nation, we believe more and more people will come to the realization that a larger reform is needed.

You know, there's almost 12 millions Americans who are faced with all the challenges of being undocumented, and who live lives that just aren't as full and complete as they could be, and so many of them are our constituents, and we know the president's action is going to change things for so many of them. And we as local leaders have already been working, in every way we could, to try to address the needs of our people. Some of the cities here pioneered the municipal ID program that we're so proud to be picking up on now, and implementing in January. So many cities here and beyond have worked to limit ICE detainers to make sure that folks who only committed the most minor crimes were not taken away from their family members, and families weren't torn apart. These cities have been in the forefront of trying to help children who came here out of tragedy, and treating them as children in need, and with the respect that they deserved. We've seen it. So many of the cities represented here have led the way through action, and now we'll lead the way through action again, by implementing the president's executive action effectively and quickly.

We put forward a very simple vision of how we're going to proceed together. It's called the Mayor's Challenge, a five-point plan around the implementation, and then building beyond it for a larger reform. We talked about having a war room structure amongst us – so literally, the mayors all over the country, working together to build support for comprehensive reform; literally figuring out together how we're going to bring more mayors into this effort, how we're going to reach out to senators and congress members who so far have not supported reform, and move them along. We're going to work on the ground, where real change happens at the grassroots – with clergy, with business leaders, with advocates – to move the discussion in a positive manner.

We're going to have a social media campaign. We're going to have a day of action in January, where mayors all over the country act in tandem. We're going to have a mayors' lobby day on Capitol Hill in February. There's going to be a series of actions to build support for bigger reform, and all along to defend the action that the president has taken, which really is such a huge step forward and something that gives us hope that bigger change is coming.

I want you to hear from a few of my colleagues who will epitomize much of what we talked about and their commitment to change. Then we'll be happy to take your questions on this topic – and then separately I'll talk to our media here on other topics after – but I want you to hear the resolve and the focus that these great leaders have and the common strategy, the common sensibility that came out of this meeting. Even though these are mayors from all over the country, all different kinds of cities, there is tremendous commonality, tremendous shared resolve today. In the spirit of everything we believe in, I'd like you to hear a summation of what was talked about here en español, and I would like Mayor Segarra of Hartford to come forward and offer his thoughts in both English and Spanish.

[Mayor Pedro Segarra speaks]

Mayor: Thank you very much, mayor. I want to call up Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle. I've spoken with admiration for what Seattle has achieved in terms of addressing income inequality. Seattle is also a city that has done extraordinary work reaching out to its very diverse population and to its immigrants. And one of the things we talked to all of us about today was forging deeper coalitions – and Mayor Murray has been particularly successful in bringing together coalitions of different stakeholders for bold change, including bringing his business community into the work of addressing the needs of the people throughout his community. Welcome, Mayor Ed Murray.

[Mayor Edward Murray speaks]

Mayor: I said humbly in the meeting earlier that we borrow great ideas from a lot of these cities. And when we looked around at how cities have worked with immigrant communities effectively, we looked, of course, to San Francisco, which has such an extraordinary history of innovating how to serve people, how to bring them into the fullness of life in that city – a city renowned for its progressive policies. I want to thank San Francisco for the model that it's been. I also want to give an honorable mention to our neighbor New Haven, Connecticut, for the work Mayor Harp and everyone has done there on municipal ID, which was so important to our efforts to create the ID program here. But I want to bring forward Mayor Lee. I think San Francisco has a particularly powerful story, which is something we can all emulate, about making a city of immigrants really a city that includes everyone equally. Mayor Lee –

[Mayor Lee speaks]

Mayor: We had today mayors from all over the country – and certainly having the most important city in the south represented was very important to all of us. And Kasim Reed not only is the mayor of Atlanta – he is someone who has been truly visionary in his approach to this issue. In a city that is growing and changing all the time, he has been ahead of the curve, creating a more inclusive environment. I think my colleagues would agree, he also had some of the strongest ideas in the room about how to move us forward and how to organize the power of mayors to have a transcendent impact. It's my honor to introduce Mayor Reed.

[Mayor Reed speaks]

Mayor: Thank you. Thank you very much, Mayor Reed. With that, we're going to welcome your questions on this topic, and you can direct them to any and all of us – on this topic. Yes.

Question: Mayor de Blasio, what [inaudible] about the people who are not helped by this executive action, thousands of people who [inaudible] parents and loved ones who could be deported at any moment – is there any hope for that? And what's your advice?

Mayor: Oh, I think there's absolutely help. I think you went from a few weeks ago, where almost five million people had not seen progress, and now progress is happening – five million people, that's absolutely extraordinary. We stand by the president for taking such a bold action, and I think the consensus of the room is, this is a beginning – this is a beginning. That what we really need – the president's called for it – is legislative action. We need the congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform, but in the absence of congressional action, it was right for the president to take executive action. The fact that we went from zero to five million with the stroke of a pen is a transcendent historical moment for this country – that's why we got together. Because we want to organize in the immediate aftermath of that. We want to not only make sure that we are implementing this executive action in our cities where the rubber meets the road. We see it as an organizing moment. We see it as a moment to now take that next step, because there's momentum for it.

Question: Was the meeting more like, strategizing how to use the executive order, or was it more like, about what we should do going forward, and also like, is there anything concrete that any of you could say, you know, like, you're in Atlanta, you learned this Seattle – you know, just any lessons that you could share.

Mayor: I'll start, and then I'd love people to come in – whoever would like to – about what you got out of this meeting. This meeting had two central goals – one, to figure out how we can rapidly implement this executive action. There's a lot of work to be done here. It has to succeed, because it will help millions of people. It's part of moving the debate forward, too, to have this launch successfully. Second, we see it as an absolutely sharp moment to now change the larger debate, and what Mayor Reed said – it was one of the very specific takeaways – we are literally going to take a list of all the mayors in this country, and we're going to reach out to them systematically, particularly those that we all have individual relationships with, on both sides of the aisle, and we're going to build this coalition, because we think there's more and more of a consensus in this country that this change has to happen, and we think the voices of mayors could be crucial to that process. Anyone want to talk about things that you took from the meeting?

Mayor Reed: Well, we visited with Secretary Johnson, from the Department of Homeland Security, and Valerie Jarrett, and really went through the president's executive order in detail. And so, for example, we talked about the change in the standard, that went from the retainer – or retention order – now to a request. So that has real meaning to police departments across the United States of America. So, our relationship with the Department of Homeland Security, when we have people in custody, will change. That's very important for mayors to know, because that will allow us to make sure that our police officers are out chasing felons, rather than breaking up families. So that was one concrete example. We had a detailed conversation about New York's efforts, and New Haven's efforts, and the ramifications of providing identification, and all of the positive outflows that come from people getting identification. But rather than just having a bumper sticker conversation, we were able to talk about how you actually implement it, what will be the likely fallout, for example, to that. We talked about how you stand up a functioning office of immigrant affairs, which many cities, certainly in the south, have never had before, because we haven't dealt with this issue in a proactive manner – although in the state of Georgia, we will be in the top ten states that are impacted by the president's order. So, for example, there'll be 170,000 people in Georgia impacted by this order. So, you could go from city to city to city, where one of the mayors up here had led in a decisive fashion, whether it's creating a Welcoming Cities working group – where you have 21 of the most talented individuals on the issue, to then make putting forth 20 recommendations that you go forward and execute. So those are some of the concrete conversations that we had today, and some of the takeaways, that you can walk out of this room – because we had staff available – and begin to execute on.

Mayor: We're going to stay on this. And others who want to add – please. We're going to give you a little height here. Hold on – artificial height.

Mayor Strickland: Thank you. One of the things that we learned as well is that some cities were hit harder by the recession than others. So if you're in a city that's not experiencing growth at the rate you would like, this is an opportunity to help provide positive growth. It's a way to get more people into your city, have a better workforce, and to also really encourage entrepreneurship. For a lot of cities that are smaller or midsize, we're really trying very hard to create a culture of entrepreneurship, and we know that a lot of immigrants tend to start their own businesses, so there's really an economic impact that's positive for cities, that we can take advantage of with this order.

Mayor: Just – just, hold on, hold on, just want to make sure everyone knows that Marilyn Strickland, mayor of Tacoma, Washington.

Question: I'm just curious if you can synthesize, exactly – because, maybe people might wonder how these 20 mayors are going to have like a uniform plan, to be [inaudible] or is it going to be according to the needs and size of that city – if you can explain exactly how this works in conjunction [inaudible]?

Mayor: Sure, I want to – I'll start, and if anyone wants to add, feel free. Two points – on the implementation, every city is going to figure out the best way to implement executive action. But what better way to start than to have the secretary of Homeland Security, and the senior advisor of the White House, help guide us through the executive action – answer our questions, help us think about the implementation approach – and for us to be immediately comparing notes on how we're going to go about it. So, what we have here is a strategic group that can help each other figure out the best way to do this. Every city will be different, every city will use some different tools, but we are agreed this is something that's going to have a huge positive impact for our communities, and we need to do it quickly. Second, what is something we will do absolutely in common, is to build a coalition of mayors, to do a day of action together in January, to do a lobbying day in Washington in February, all with the purpose of taking the historic moment of the executive action, and turning it into something bigger. And we believe the voices of mayors have really not been heard in this immigration debate, sufficiently. You know, I think there's a sleeping giant here, which is America's mayors, representing tens of millions of people, you know, who are going to be involved together in common cause, and I think that is going to add momentum to this discussion.
Hold on, one, two. Go ahead.

Question: Were there other mayors also invited to this summit who couldn't make it – why – I guess, why these mayors in particular?

Mayor: Well, these are some of the best, first of all, I'd just like to say very subjectively. The – yeah, we quickly put together a list. Obviously, look, the executive action was something a lot of us were hoping to see, but it was not clear when it would happen until it happened. We did know at the point of contact it was very important to build support for the executive action, and take the moment and build upon it. So, we were resolved that once it happened, we needed to gather people quickly. We also knew that on tight notice – short notice, in the middle of the holidays, not everyone could make it. So a lot of people did want to come here, a lot of people are supporting this effort, and will be a part of the effort, but couldn't make it. But we also focused on cities that have a large immigrant population, and particularly a large undocumented population, because the part of this effort that is about implementing the executive action is particularly pertinent to those kinds of cities. So, we did choose cities with those characteristics. We urged people to get here quickly. These leaders were able to do it. A lot of others will be participating in the weeks ahead.

Question: Mr. Mayor, do [inaudible]

Mayor: All right, let him go first, and I'll go second. [Laughter]

Mayor Segarra: The question was what I would tell Republican leaders and mayors, with regards to changing their position on immigration reform. [Mayor Segarra speaks in Spanish]

Mayor: Now, in a less poetic language, I will say – we reached out to some Republican mayors who fit the criteria of this particular gathering, cities that had a very substantial number of immigrants, and particularly undocumented immigrants – and this is a beginning. We, again, saw this as a quick convening of like-minded people who are going to get to work. Now, we're going to expand the circle greatly. So, everyone talked about the mayors they were going to start reaching out to you – again, Mayor Reed had a particularly strong vision for how we could reach out fellow mayors, and divvy up the names, and start a real conveyor belt, if you will, of making sure we're checking in constantly and reaching more and more mayors. So, we're going to reach mayors all over the country, both parties, independents, et cetera. But one thing I emphasize is – to borrow a phrase from the past – this will be a coalition of the willing. This will be people who want to support the president on the executive action, and want to build a pathway to a comprehensive immigration reform action by the congress.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Those who are not yet supporting comprehensive immigration reform – so, members of the senate, members of the house, who are not yet supporters of comprehensive immigration reform.
Yes.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: I'll start simply, and then again, any of my colleagues want to join in and talk about their realities. Look, I think a couple of things – one, yes, there are some organizations that are very much doing important work, serving immigrants who will clearly be a part of this. Last night we had a reception to kick off this gathering. Cardinal Dolan joined us. The Catholic Church has been extraordinarily supportive, and Catholic charities have been extraordinarily supportive of efforts to help immigrants. They're going to be right in the middle of the effort to implement the executive action. So, yes there are some preexisting relationships in communities. I think we're going to have to use some local resources to get this right, but I think the impact will be very positive for our cities. Every family thats life is improved, thats future is improved because of the president's action, is going to be a benefit to our cities. It's going to stabilize our communities. It's going to make people economically stronger and build our economy. So, we think this is a – whatever short term expense is going to help us build a better future.
Anyone want? Mayor Brown of Buffalo.

Mayor Brown: So I was –

Mayor: And it's not snowing. [Laughter] He's very happy about that.

Mayor Brown: We cleaned all that up. I was elated to receive Mayor de Blasio's call for implementation of the president's executive action. In my city, there are over 73 languages spoken in our public schools. Now our population is 8 percent people who are foreign-born – and growing. Buffalo is a city that is experiencing tremendous economic development right now. And since 2012, there's been over $5 billion dollars of economic development projects. We want to make sure that the members of our immigrant community are able to be full beneficiaries and participants in the growth that we're seeing now in our community. This is an amazing time for us when you recognize the fact that Buffalo is a city since 1950 that has lost population every census period. It is projected that for the first time since 1950, in the 2020 census, Buffalo will show its first population growth – and part of that is being fueled by the growth of immigrants and refugees in our community. So, the president's executive order will benefit thousands of members of my city, and as those members of our community are being benefitted, it will further strengthen the city of Buffalo. So, I was elated to receive the call from Mayor de Blasio. I again want to commend Mayor de Blasio for his leadership on this issue, and like my colleagues that are standing behind me, I'm going to be taking the names of mayors from across the country that I know, and I will be making calls to convince them that this is a tremendous opportunity, not only for their cities – this is a tremendous opportunity for our nation.
Mayor: Again, any of my colleagues who haven't had a chance to speak who want to jump in, don't be shy, at this or any other question. Okay. Yes.

Question: What are the most immediate effects of the order here in New York, and how will it [inaudible]?

Mayor: I'm going to start, and I don't know if Nisha Agarwal is in the room. Nisha, come stand by me, and you can add depth and nuance to my statements. Look, I think the reality is, you've got some specific opportunities for families right now to take steps towards normalizing their status, and when – in doing that, we believe that helps families stay together, which is obviously a crucial positive in all the work we do in government, and it also helps people stabilize their economic circumstance. So, there's deadlines coming up, families are going to need help filling out paperwork – they're going to need legal assistance, they're going to need specific information to figure out how to go about it, and the city of New York will be able to do that, working with faith-based organizations, non-profits, et cetera. Do you want to fill in a few more blanks on this?

Commissioner Nisha Agarwal, Office of Immigrant Affairs: Thank you. So, we've been trying to do some analysis to figure out exactly how many people in New York City would be affected. We estimate somewhere between 114,000 to 121,000 people may be eligible for some of the programs that President Obama announced. And our role will be to help coordinate some of those services; including coordinating our city agencies, many of whom will be able to help individuals with the documents they need to make out their applications for the programs that President Obama announced; doing the coordination of legal services providers, community-based organizations, faith organizations – that Mayor de Blasio spoke about – and most importantly, getting the word out to the immigrant community about what this program is, what it isn't, and how to avoid any fraudulent providers who might want to take advantage of people. So we have a comprehensive plan that we're developing, and will be executing on very soon.

Mayor: Can you talk about the deadlines, and for which type of opportunities?

Commissioner Agarwal: Sure, so the first – the expansion of DACA, which is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that's happening will really kick in in February. So we need to start ramping up – now, really.

Mayor: Can you explain who qualifies?

Commissioner Agarwal: And the people who qualify are individuals who came when they were young – when they were under the age of 16 – and are undocumented, and will get a reprieve from deportation for now three years – previously it was two – and the ability to work legally in the country. So that kicks in in February. And then in May or so, we're expecting the deferred actions for parents to kick in. And this is for parents of U.S. citizens, as well as legal permanent residents. And they too will get a three-year reprieve from deportation actions, as well as the ability to work legally in the country.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: I'll start, and I'm sure Nisha can fill in more. Look, I think this is a beginning. It has been explicitly stated to be a beginning. I think it is the pathway to comprehensive immigration reform which would benefit those same individuals greatly. That's the ultimate goal. But that being said, I have some faith that, once this is started, that future presidents will not turn away from it. I think there is already a groundswell of support, and that means, practically speaking, this would become a permanent reality. The fear is not unfounded, but I think in practice, the right thing to do is take advantage of this opportunity. Let me let Nisha add to that.

Commissioner Agarwal: Sure, the only thing I'll add is, when Secretary Johnson was here, he said, and he emphasized, that this program has to be presented to people as a benefit, and all the benefits that accrue from it, and the reason we know to believe them, to sort of put our faith in what they've said, is because we just had this experience of implementing DACA – the kind of [inaudible] DACA that happened two years ago, and we have amazing stories of young people who are working, who have drivers licenses, who have all these other benefits that came from the same kind of deferred action program. And so, those are the stories that should inspire us, and I think reduce some of the fear.

Question: Mr. Mayor, will you be seeking federal funding for fraud prevention, [inaudible]

Mayor: You know, I think, right now, our focus is on getting this up and running with existing resources, and with the help of non-profit partners, faith partners, et cetera. I think we think right now we can do that effectively. The congressional budgeting approach takes time, and is unwieldy, and you know, we believe that this is something we have to address right now. So if we see an opportunity for additional federal support – of course, like so many other areas we deal with – housing and mass transit and education, et cetera – we're always looking for additional federal support. But even if that is not forthcoming, this will do so much good for our people, and we believe it can be implemented effectively with some of the tools we have, and our faith and non-profit partners have.
Anything else on this topic? Going once. Going twice. I'm stopping at twice, because I have to say goodbye to my colleagues, because they all have to get back to their cities, and then I will come right back to you and answer off-topic questions.

[Commotion]

Mayor: All right – we good? Anyone who needs to have a conversation, please go to one of these elegantly-hued rooms – peach room, blue room, various rooms. Okay, we are off topic. Go.

Question: [inaudible] story today [inaudible] property tax [inaudible]. I was wondering if you have any plans [inaudible] next year?

Mayor: I think we have to make sense of the property tax dynamics first. And it's certainly a conversation we'll be having with the City Council and other stakeholders. As I think you know, it's an enormously complex reality, kind of cobbled together over years, with some obvious problems in terms of lack of transparency and some inequities in it. And we want to figure out how to unpack that and address it, but that will not happen quickly or easily. It's a complicated endeavor – it does deserve attention – and we'll certainly do it with the City Council, but do not expect anything right away.

Question: Early this morning, several protesters [inaudible] disrupt traffic on Staten Island [inaudible]. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how the last couple days of protests are affecting motorists and [inaudible] express buses, who get stuck in traffic, given that the [inaudible]?

Mayor: I think the impact has been minimal. I think in terms of our economic dynamics, we have plenty of reports from all over the city that our economy is doing very nicely right now. Our tourism levels are high. People are coming into the city to shop. Everything is moving as normal. These disruptions are very temporary. In fact, I think what the NYPD has done is brilliant. I give tremendous credit to Commissioner Bratton and Chief O'Neill for the way they've handled this. They've respected people's right under the First Amendment to express their views. They've kept the peace. They've kept order. We had only a handful arrests the last two days, which is extraordinarily impressive given all of the activity that's happening. So I think [inaudible] New Yorkers should be very proud of – that our police have handled the situation effectively, fluidly, intelligently, and people have had their chance to speak, and, again, disruption has been kept to a minimum.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Look, I think it's a meaningful proposal. I mean, it's certainly something we should look at as an option. There is a real frustration being felt deeply in our communities about how these investigations go and how the outcome occurs. I think new ideas about how we might approach things better are worth looking at, so I certainly think that should be looked at. I remind anyone who's looking at the current situation in New York City that there's still a lot to play out, both with the justice department investigation and the NYPD's own investigation. But I think there's a lot of desire to look and see if there are other options that should be considered for the future, and it's certainly a worthy proposal.

Question: Mayor, are you perhaps [inaudible]?

Mayor: I have an Office of Emergency Management weather travel advisory that's going out. And it is going to be a Nor'easter. There'll be heavy rain. At this moment, we don't see anything worse than that. So people should take precautions while driving, obviously, and beware of the driving conditions – it'll be tougher. But to date – and we'll be monitoring this very very closely – we don't see anything more than the heavy rain at this moment.

Phil: Couple more, guys.

Question: [inaudible] talked to Dante about the police [inaudible]. Can you shed any light on his reaction to the events [inaudible]?

Mayor: Yeah. I've said that I think when Dante was young, when he was just becoming a teenager, you know, the conversation was a difficult one and a complicated one, because you're trying to say to a young person who obviously looks up to police, you know, be careful and be smart and respect the police, but also recognize that there are these realities to be grappled with – and that's a tough conversation to have with a young man. I think, since then, as I said the other day, Dante's 17 years old. He's very intelligent, he's very knowledgeable – I don't think there's a lot new to him, if you will. I think he's seen these situations – he's come to his own conclusions. But the real fact here is the changes that we have to make are – looking forward to a day when parents don't have to have that talk with their kids. You know, I – ever since I talked about it on Wednesday, I cannot tell you – just dozens and dozens and dozens of people called me, emailed me, come up to me on the street and said I had that conversation with my child, I wish I didn't have to. Even some of the folks who are gathered here today talked to me about their experiences when they were young. This is a national reality – it's not just a New York reality. And I think – I've also met people who were shocked to hear that, you know, any parent would have to have such a conversation. And that, unfortunately, is further evidence of how much more we all have to learn from each other, how much more we have to transcend some of the different experiences people had, but the goal is to get to a day when no parent feels they have to have that conversation.

Question: [inaudible] City Council blocking traffic [inaudible]?

Mayor: It's the right to protest – it's part of our values as Americans. I mean, I obviously, you know, last year, thought what was happening with the potential closure of a hospital was worth having an arrest for it as part of civil disobedience. I certainly respect any fellow elected officials who come to that conclusion as well.

Question: [inaudible] Rudolph Giuliani [inaudible] crime in the black community committed by other [inaudible] people like you [inaudible] guilty white liberals [inaudible]?

Mayor: I really make it a point not to respond to comments like that. The facts are just so clear. There is a historic problem in this country. We have to come to grips with it and we have to deal with it. Here in New York City, we are dealing with it. We have, I think, a visionary police leader in Commissioner Bratton. I don't think you're going to find a more effective, more experienced police leader anywhere in the country. What does he believe in? He believes in retraining our police force. He believes in the use of body cameras. He believes in a whole host of reforms to bring police and community closer together. Whenever I talk to my fellow mayors, they are talking incessantly about the need to bring police and community closer together, not just because it will avoid tragedies – it will also make us safer. It's very much about how you get to a safer society. So, I think that the focus that these incidents have brought up is something that we have to deal with. I think ignoring it or denying it is counterproductive. And there is an absolute consistency between addressing some of the racial challenges in our society and moving us to a safer society. Look at what we did with stop and frisk – we greatly reduced the number of stops and we made the city safer simultaneously. We're working to bring police and community together. This is the productive model. Anyone who wants to live in the past can do that, but this is the productive model.

Question: [inaudible]

Mayor: Oh – NYPD is always prepared, I can guarantee you that, and – I guess we have our British colleagues too. This is like watching a movie – you're like "I don't know which British service it is, but I am sure one of them is protecting our visitors." No – we're, you know, obviously appreciative of the visit by the royal family, and the NYPD is very very proficient at dealing with protest and will be effective in dealing with it. Last call.

Phil: Thanks, guys.

Mayor: All right, thanks everyone.


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