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MetroFocus: March 20, 2019

THE RISE OF HATE, LIBRARIES, BUDGETS, AND POTENTIAL BANKRUPTCY, FILMS BY KIDS!

AIRED: March 20, 2019 | 0:27:15
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> TONIGHT ON "METROFOCUS" --

HATE IS ON THE RISE AGAIN.

BOTH HERE AT HOME AND ABROAD

WITH DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.

TODAY IN NEW ZEALAND FUNERALS

CONTINUE FOR THE 50 VICTIMS OF

LAST WEEK'S MASS SHOOTINGS AT

TWO MOSQUES.

THE ACCUSED KILLER A

SELF-DESCRIBED WHITE

NATIONALIST.

THE YOUNGEST VICTIM, JUST 3

YEARS OLD.

THE RIGHT WING PUBLICATION

ADVISES THE READERS ON HOW TO

SPOT A JEW AND HERE IN NEW YORK

CITY A POSTER OF RUTH BADER

GINSBURG WAS DEFACED WITH THE

WORDS DIE JEW, AN EXPLETIVE AND

A SWASTIKA.

IN A MOMENT A LOOK AT THE

PERSONAL SIDE OF ANTI-SEMITISM

IN THE CONVERSATION ABOUT WHITE

NATIONALISTS WHO FEEL EMBOLDENED

SINCE THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT

TRUMP.

>>> A FRIGHTENING THOUGHT, A

MASSIVE STORM SURGE KNOCKING OUT

A THIRD OF LOWER MANHATTAN

WITHIN THE NEXT 30 YEARS.

THE POSSIBILITY IS REAL AND SO

IS THE SOLUTION.

>>> ANALYSTS WARN THAT NEW YORK

CITY CAN BE HEADED TO

BANKRUPTCY.

THE MAYOR DID CALL FOR CITY

AGENCIES TO TIGHTEN THE BUDGETS

BUT IS IT TIME TO TIGHTEN THE

PURSE STRINGS OF LIBRARIES?

A DISCUSSION IS JUST AHEAD.

>>> PLUS, FILMS BY KIDS.

FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN

MASTER FILMMAKERS JOIN FORCES

WITH TEENAGERS FROM AROUND THE

WORLD WHO WANT TO SHINE A LIGHT

ON THE MOST CRITICAL GLOBAL

ISSUES.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS

"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY --

JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ

ROSALIND P. WALTER

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG

AND BY --

CORPORATE FUNDING FOR

"METROFOCUS" WAS PROVIDED BY

MUTUAL OF AMERICA.

YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS,

STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS

COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE

FUTURE.

>> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

THERE'S A TROUBLING RISE IN HATE

CRIMES BOTH HERE IN THE CITY

AROUND AROUND THE COUNTRY AND

THAT HAS SURFACED OVERSEAS WHERE

FUNERALS STARTED THIS WEEK IN

NEW ZEALAND FOR THOSE KILLED

DURING MASS SHOOTINGS AT TWO

MOSQUES THAT LEFT 50 DEAD.

THE ACCUSED MURDERER IS A

SELF-DESCRIBED WHITE

SUPREMACIST.

IT IS NOT THE FIRST ACT OF HATE

WE HAVE SEEN THIS MONTH.

JUST LAST WEEK, THE RIGHT WING

POLISH NEWSPAPER RAN A FRONT

PAGE STORY INSTRUCTING READERS

ON HOW TO RECOGNIZE A JEW.

AND BACK HERE IN BROOKLYN, THE

NYPD IS INVESTIGATING AFTER THIS

SUBWAY POSTER OF SUPREME COURT

JUSTICE BADER GINSBURG HAD THE

WORDS DIE JEW.

AS OF MARCH 10th, 86 HATE CRIMES

WERE REPORTED IN THE CITY.

A 62% SPIKE FROM LAST YEAR.

FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT'S

DRIVING THE HATE, JACK FORD

CAUGHT UP WITH THE EDITOR FROM

"THE NEW YORK TIMES," AND AUTHOR

OF "SEMITISM, BEING JEWISH IN

AMERICA IN THE AGE OF TRUMP."

HE ASKED ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE

OF THE BOOK'S TITLE AND THE

PARENTHESIS THAT SURROUND IT.

>> DURING THE 2016 CAMPAIGN I

WAS ON TWITTER AS I OFTEN AM.

I SENT SOMETHING OUT ON TWITTER

AND I GOT A REPLY BACK FME CALL

TRUMP.

ALL IT WAS IT SAID HELLO

WISEMAN.

BECAUSE MY NAME WAS IN THREE

PARENTHESIS.

I REPLIED TO HIM AND CARE TO

EXPLAIN?

HE CAME BACK SAYING, WHAT HOLD

THE VAUNTED INTELLIGENCE, IT'S A

DOG WHISTLE.

I HAVE BELLED THE CAT FROM MY

FELLOW GOYIM.

WHAT IT IT IS THOSE THREE

PARENTHESIS WERE USED TO MARK

JEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND THEN

THESE NEAT KIND OF SWARMS OF

NEO-NAZIS HAD THIS SPECIAL

SOFTWARE CALLED THE COINCIDENCE

INDICATOR AND THEY COULD DOCH F

TARGETS THAT WERE BELLED TO GO

AFTER.

SO THOSE ACTUALLY SIGNIFY WHO

WAS TARGETED ONLINE.

>> IS IT HYPERBOLIC TO SAY A

MODERN DAY ARM BAND?

>> THAT'S WHAT THEY CALL IT

ACTUALLY.

>> THEY DO?

>> THIS IS OUR WAY OF SLAPPING

THE YELLOW STAR ON THEIR CHEST

SO THAT'S CERTAINLY WHAT THEY

WOULD CALL IT.

>> LET ME TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE

ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES THEN.

AS A JOURNALIST, YOU'RE

ACTUALLY -- YOU'RE FAR MORE

PUBLIC AND AS YOU SAID YOU'RE

ENGAGED ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

WHAT DID YOU FIND THEN THAT YOU

WERE BEING SUBJECTED TO?

>> THE UGLINESS OF THE

ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE HATE

REALLY TOOK ME ABACK.

OBVIOUSLY WE KNOW THERE'S

BIGOTRY IN THIS COUNTRY BUT

HAVING YOUR FACE, YOU KNOW,

PHOTOSHOPPED ON A PICTURE OF

SOMEBODY OF A CONCENTRATION CAMP

VICTIM OR SOMEBODY KNEELING DOWN

ABOUT TO BE SHOT IN THE BACK OF

A HEAD BY A NAZI OR BEING IN A

GAS CHAMBER WITH A DONALD TRUMP

FIGURE IN NAZI REGALIA ABOUT TO

TURN ON THE GAS, IT WENT ON AND

ON.

THERE WAS ONE GUY WHO SENT ME AN

IMAGE OF THE VERY FAMOUS GATES

OF AUSCHWITZ, BUT INSTEAD OF

SAYING WORK MAKES YOU FREE IN

GERMAN IT SAID MOCKEN AMERICA

GREAT AMERICA.

IT WAS A WEIRD MOTIF OF THE

HOLOCAUST AND TRUMPISM OVER AND

OVER.

IT TOOK ME ABACK THAT I REALLY

TRIED TO SEND IT OUT INTO THE

WORLD TO SHOW WHAT WAS OUT

THERE.

>> WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE WHAT

YOU'RE DOING AS A WAY OF

FIGHTING BACK, PUSHING BACK OR

WERE YOU JUST TRYING TO

ILLUMINATE THIS?

>> YOU KNOW, I THINK I WAS I

WOULD SAY I WAS PUSHING BACK.

MY MAIN GOAL WAS TO SHOW THE

LEVEL OF HATRED OUT THERE AND

THAT HAD BEEN STIRRED UP DURING

THIS CAMPAIGN.

AND I WILL ADMIT -- IN SOME WAYS

I WAS PLAYING INTO THE KIND OF

NEO-NAZI TRAP HERE BECAUSE --

>> HOW?

>> YOU KNOW, LOOK, I HAVE A LOT

MORE FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER OR ON

FACEBOOK THAN THEY DO.

AND SO BY SENDING IT OUT I WAS

SOMEWHAT AMPLIFYING THEIR

MESSAGE.

SO I DID IT IN BURSTS BUT DIDN'T

DO IT IN THE SUSTAINED WAY.

IN FACT, THE HEAD OF THE

ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE SAID I

GET WHAT YOU'RE DOING, JONATHAN,

MAYBE COOL IT DOWN FOR A WHILE.

>> BECAUSE OF THAT?

YOU WERE GIVING A VOICE TO THE

FOLKS WHO DIDN'T HAVE THE VOICE

THAT YOU OR OTHERS DID?

>> I THINK THAT WAS HIS THOUGHT.

YOU KNOW, IT WAS IMPORTANT TO

RAISE AWARENESS, BUT THAT AT

SOME POINT YOU MAY BE GIVING

THEM TOO MUCH OF A PLATFORM.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

>> IT'S SOMETHING I WRESTLED

WITH A LOT.

I HAVE A WHOLE CHAPTER ABOUT HOW

TO CONFRONT THIS RISING WHITE

NATIONALISM.

AND THERE ARE CERTAINLY VERY

STRONG, SMART VOICES WHO SAY THE

BEST WAY TO DO IT IS TO JUST

IGNORE IT BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE

JUST WANT THE ATTENTION.

I REMEMBER TALKING TO A RABBI IN

WASHINGTON SAYING, YOU HAVE TO

LOOK TO THE TORAH, TO THE

RELIGIOUS BOOKS.

WHEN THE JEW FINDS INJUSTICE

STAND UP TO INJUSTICE.

IF YOU LOOK TO OUR OWN

TEACHINGS, YOU COME AWAY WITH

THINKING WE DO HAVE TO FIGHT

BACK.

WE SHOULDN'T JUST PUT OUR HEADS

IN THE SANDS AND HOPE IT GOES

AWAY.

>> WHAT IS IT YOU WANTED TO DO

WITH THIS BOOK?

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING THAT WILL

COME FROM IT?

>> YOU KNOW, I WANTED TO SEND

OUT A WAKE-UP CALL BECAUSE I

FEEL LIKE THERE HASN'T BEEN A

LOUD ENOUGH RESPONSE TO IN

RISING BIGOTRY.

I THINK THAT JEWS AND MUSLIMS

AND LATINOS AND IMMIGRANTS AND,

YOU KNOW, ALL OF THESE PEOPLE --

ALL OF THESE GROUPS THAT HAVE

BEEN TARGETED IN THE LAST COUPLE

OF YEARS REALLY NEED TO SPEAK

TOGETHER.

THIS ISN'T A QUESTION OF NOW

DECIDING WHO'S GOT IT WORSE.

IT'S REALLY A QUESTION OF

UNIFYING AROUND THIS NOTION OF

DEMOCRATIC PLURALISM.

THAT WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

AND THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A

WHITE HOMELAND.

AND WE HAVE TO STAND UP FOR

THAT.

>> AGAIN CALLED "SEMITISM BEING

JEWISH IN AMERICA IN THE AGE OF

TRUMP."

IT'S VERY PROVOCATIVE WORK.

THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME

WITH US.

>>> FINANCIAL ANALYSTS ARE

WARNING THAT NEW YORK CITY IS

JUST A SINGLE RECESSION AWAY

FROM BANKRUPTCY.

YET, DESPITE THE WARNINGS MAYOR

de BLASIO HAS PROPOSED TO

INCREASE THE BUDGET BY

$3 BILLION.

AND EVEN THOUGH AT THE SAME TIME

THE MAYOR DID CALL FOR CITY

AGENCIES TO CUT THEIR BUDGETS,

IS IT TIME TO TIGHTEN THE PURSE

STRINGS EVEN MORE ACROSS THE

BOARD OR SHOULD INSTITUTIONS

SUCH AS PUBLIC LIBRARIES BE

EXEMPT FROM ANY POTENTIAL CUT

BACKS?

JOINING US WITH ANSWERS TO THAT

AND OTHER QUESTIONS IS JIMMY VAN

BRAMER, THE CHAIR OF THE

COMMITTEE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS

AND LIBRARIES.

COUNCIL MEMBER, THANK YOU FOR

JOINING US ONCE AGAIN.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> GIVE US A SENSE OF WHAT

LIBRARIES WOULD DO BEYOND

LOANING BOOKS AND GIVING QUIET

SPACE FOR STUDY.

>> WELL, LIBRARIES ARE THE

COMMUNITY CENTERS AND REALLY THE

HUBS OF NEIGHBORHOODS ALL ACROSS

NEW YORK CITY AND ALL ACROSS THE

COUNTRY.

THEY ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN BOOKS

AND MATERIALS, ALTHOUGH I MYSELF

STILL LOVE TO READ BOOKS, SO DO

MANY OTHERS.

IT IS WHERE IMMIGRANTS COME TO

LEARN HOW TO READ, WRITE AND

SPEAK ENGLISH FOR FREE.

IT IS WHERE PEOPLE WHO ARE

LOOKING FOR JOBS GO FOR RESUME

WRITING WORKSHOPS AND TO BE

ASSISTED IN THAT SEARCH.

IT'S WHERE HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS

GO OFTEN TO FIND A WARM PLACE TO

SIT.

IT'S WHERE SENIORS GO.

IT IS WHERE EVERYTHING GOOD IN A

NEIGHBORHOOD THAT CAN HAPPEN

REALLY COMES TOGETHER.

SO LIBRARIES ARE MORE IMPORTANT

THAN EVER.

THEY WILL ALWAYS I BELIEVE BE

CRITICAL CIVIC INSTITUTIONS AND

A PART OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE

THAT MAKES FOR GOOD COMMUNITY.

>> MAYOR de BLASIO HAS ALREADY

ALLOCATED IN HIS PROPOSED

BUDGET, HE HAS ALLOCATED

$388 MILLION FOR THE NEW YORK

CITY LIBRARIES.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT BUT IT'S

ACTUALLY A CUT FROM THE PREVIOUS

YEAR, CORRECT?

>> YEAH.

SO WE'RE LOOKING AT ABOUT A 3%

CUT FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM.

AND ABOUT $2.5 MILLION FOR

QUEENS AND BROOKLYN, MORE FOR

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

WHICH HAS THREE BOROUGHS.

LIBRARIES ARE ESSENTIAL EVERY

DAY, IN ALL TIME.

I WOULD ARGUE THIS IS NOT THE

TIME TO CUT BACK ON THE VITAL

PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THE PUBLIC

LIBRARIES PROVIDE.

IN FACT, WE SHOULD ACTUALLY BE

SEEKING TO EXPAND THOSE

SERVICES.

>> AND THE LIBRARIES ARE WITH

YOUR SUPPORT THEY'RE ASKING FOR

$35 MILLION MORE.

WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO USE WITH

THAT MONEY?

>> WELL, ONE OF THINGS THEY WANT

TO DO IS TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE

THE SERVICE BUT EXPAND THEIR

SERVICES IN WAYS THAT WOULD

ALLOW PEOPLE TO GET MORE HELP

AND MORE ASSISTANCE.

SO CERTAINLY THEY NEED TO KEEP

PACE WITH THE RISING COSTS.

LIBRARIES ARE NOT IMMUNE TO THE

COSTS OF MATERIALS AND STAFF

TIME AND ALL OTHER KINDS OF

EXPENSES, BUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO

IS TO SEE IF WE CAN INCREASE THE

HOURS AND DAYS OF SERVICE.

IN ORDER TO DO THAT, YOU NEED

SOME MORE RESOURCES TO BE ABLE

TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO GET TO THE

LIBRARY WHEN THEY NEED IT.

LIBRARIES OPEN DURING THE MIDDLE

OF THE DAY IS CERTAINLY HELPFUL

TO SOME OF OUR CITIZENS BUT MANY

FOLKS ARE WORKING AND CAN ONLY

GET TO THE LIBRARIES LATE IN THE

EVENINGS OR WEEKENDS.

>> CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, BUT

I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT

MAYOR de BLASIO HAS BEEN PRETTY

FRIENDLY TO THE LIBRARIES AND

HE'S CONTINUALLY INCREASED THE

BUDGET EXCEPT FOR THIS YEAR.

HAVE THE LIBRARIES USED THE

MONEY THAT THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN

WISELY?

>> OH, MY GOODNESS, YES.

FIRST OF ALL, LET ME SAY I

BELIEVE THE CITY COUNCIL HAS LED

THE FIGHT FOR THE LIBRARIES'

BUDGETS TO BE INCREASED BUT I

WILL BEGRUDGE THE ADMINISTRATION

FOR HAVING SHOWN SUPPORT FOR

LIBRARIES AS WELL.

AND LIBRARIES USED THE MONEY

WELL?

LIBRARIES GIVE YOU THE BEST BANG

FOR YOUR BUCK IN MUNICIPAL

GOVERNANCE.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE AMOUNT OF

PEOPLE SERVED, WE ARE TALKING

ABOUT TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE

STREAMING INTO THE LIBRARIES IN

NEW YORK.

OVER 200 LIBRARIES.

WHEN WE SEE THE USAGE, WHEN WE

SEE THE DIFFERENCE THEY'RE

MAKING IN THE LIVES OF

IMMIGRANTS, IN THIS CITY, AND

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ALL

IMMIGRANTS, RIGHT?

THIS IS A SANCTUARY CITY.

LIBRARIES WERE THE ORIGINAL

SANCTUARY IN THE SANCTUARY

CITIES, ALLOWING UNDOCUMENTED

AND DOCUMENTED ALIKE TO COME IN

AND GET BOOKS, TO READ, WRITE

AND LEARN HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH

FOR FREE.

THAT'S IMPORTANT IN A CITY LIKE

OURS THAT CLAIMS TO BE

PROGRESSIVE.

>> AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION

AS YOU WELL KNOW, SOME FINANCIAL

EXPERTS ARE SAYING NOW THAT

WE'RE JUST ONE RECESSION AWAY

FROM BANKRUPTCY AND IN HIS

BUDGET PROPOSAL THE MAYOR WAS

PRETTY GRIM IN THE OUTLOOK.

FIRST OF ALL, DO YOU AGREE WITH

THOSE ASSESSMENTS OF OUR

ECONOMIC SITUATION?

>> I DO NOT AGREE THAT WE ARE

CLOSE TO BANKRUPTCY.

I AGREE WITH THE MAYOR THAT THE

BOND RATING WAS RATED HIGHER AS

A SIGN OF OUR PRUDENCE AND

FISCAL STRENGTH IN THE CITY.

OBVIOUSLY WE NEED TO BE PRUDENT

IN THE FACE OF THE POTENTIAL FOR

THE ECONOMY TO SLOW DOWN.

I THINK WE HAVE DONE THAT WITH

ESTABLISHING SOME RESERVES OVER

THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS WITH THE

COUNCIL AND THIS MAYOR WORKING

TOGETHER.

CERTAINLY WE CAN DO MORE, BUT

IT'S IMPORTANT NOT TO CUT THE

SERVICES THAT THE MOST

VULNERABLE NEW YORKERS RELY ON.

>> YOUR COMMITTEE OVERSEES ARTS

AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN THE

CITY.

ACCORDING TO THE CITY OF

CULTURAL AFFAIRS THE BUDGET FOR

2019 WAS THE HIGHEST EVER AT

$189 MILLION.

IT HAS BEEN CUT FOR FISCAL YEAR

2020.

IS THAT AN AREA THAT YOU CAN SEE

IF NECESSARY SOME POTENTIAL

CUTS?

>> SO CULTURE AND THE ARTS LIKE

LIBRARIES REALLY SUSTAINS US AS

A CITY.

CULTURE AND THE ARTS ACTUALLY

DRIVES INCOME TO THE CITY OF NEW

YORK.

WE KNOW 65 MILLION TOURISTS A

YEAR COME TO NEW YORK CITY.

77% OF THEM RATE CULTURE AND THE

ART AS THE FIRST OR SECOND

REASON WHY THEY COME TO THIS

CITY AND THAT GENERATES BILLIONS

IN REVENUE.

YOU CUT THE ARTS, YOU'RE CUTTING

OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR

FACE.

>> ALL RIGHT.

COUNCIL MEMBER VAN BRAMER, THANK

YOU FOR JOINING US AGAIN.

>> THANK YOU.

>>> CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD

ARE USING FILM AS A TOOL FOR

GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING.

BY KIDS HAS TEAMED UP WITH 13 TO

CREATE A TV SERIES CALLED "FILMS

BY KIDS" TO GIVE A VOICE TO

KIDS.

THE SERIES IS ENTERING THE

SECOND SEASON AND NARRATED BY

EMMY AND GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATED

ACTRESS, ASHLEY JUDD.

>> THESE TEENAGERS HAVE

COMPELLING STORIES TO TELL.

FROM THE DEVASTATION OF CLIMATE

CHANGE, TO LIFE AFTER ESCAPE --

>> I ESCAPED FROM SYRIA.

>> AND LIFE AFTER INCARCERATION.

FIND OUT WHAT THEY'D LIKE US TO

KNOW ABOUT THEIR WORLD IN THEIR

OPEN VERY FILM.

FILMS BY KIDS.

>> HERE THEN TO TALK ABOUT ALL

OF THIS, THE SERIES EXECUTIVE

PRODUCER HOLLY CARTER.

NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.

>> WONDERFUL TO BE HERE.

THANK YOU.

>> LET ME START WITH THE

ORGANIZATION BY KIDS.

TELL ME HOW IT CAME ABOUT AND

WHAT IT DOES.

>> THE SHORT STORY IS THAT I HAD

BEEN A PRINT JOURNALIST OUT OF

THE GATE IN MY CAREER, I WAS AT

"THE NEW YORK TIMES."

THEN WITH MY OWN KIDS I BEGAN TO

SEE THAT CHILDREN ARE THE BEST

REPORTERS BECAUSE THEY TELL IT

STRAIGHT AND THEY'RE COMPLETELY

AUTHENTIC.

SO, YOU KNOW, THIS IDEA THAT WE

WOULD GIVE A KID THE AUTHORITY

TO TELL THEIR OPEN STORY

PARTICULARLY FROM COUNTRIES

AROUND THE WORLD WHERE THE MEDIA

DIET HERE AND PARTICULARLY THE

SCHOOL DAY IS NOT FILLED WITH

GLOBAL STORIES, BUT THIS WAS OUR

WAY OF BALANCING WHAT OUR KIDS

ARE LEARNING ABOUT THE REST OF

THE WORLD AND NOT JUST BALANCING

BUT REALLY GIVING THEM THE

ABILITY TO LEARN TO BE

EMPATHETIC WHICH IS AT THE HEART

OF WHAT WE DO.

>> SO TALK ABOUT THE CREATION

THEN, THE PARTNERSHIP WITH 13

AND HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

>> WHAT A GREAT PARTNERSHIP.

WE COULDN'T BE LUCKIER.

WHEN I FIRST CAME TO MEET WITH

THE PARTNERS AT WNET, THREE OUT

OF THE FIVE FILMS OF SEASON ONE.

IT TOOK US EIGHT YEARS TO MAKE

THOSE FIRST FIVE.

IT'S TAKEN US TWO YEARS TO MAKE

THE NEW SEASON.

AND WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE

KIND OF LEGS THAT THE FILMS GET

PARTICULARLY IN THE EDUCATION

SPACE.

OUR MANDATE IS TO MAKE OUR YOUNG

PEOPLE MORE EMPATHETIC AND

GLOBAL CITIZENS.

WE DO A LOT OF HARD WORK WITH

THE HELP OF PBS LEARNING MEDIA,

TO DO APPROPRIATE WONDERFUL,

ENGAGING EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL.

WE HAVE A NUMBER OF OTHER

PARTNERSHIPS THAT MEAN THESE

FILMS AND THE WRAP AROUND

EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL IS REACHING

A LOT OF PEOPLE.

>> TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS OF

PUTTING THESE FILMS TOGETHER.

THE NOTION OF COMBINING THE

KIDS, IF YOU WILL, WITH

EXPERIENCED FILMMAKERS.

>> WE SIT AND COME UP WITH A

GLOBALLY RELEVANT STORY THAT WE

WANT TO TELL.

THINK SOMETHING LIKE CLIMATE

CHANGE OR DISPLACEMENT.

WE THEN PICK A COUNTRY WHERE

THAT HAS NOT BEEN ON THE FRONT

PAGE OF THE PAPERS OR IN THE

NEWSPAPER MUCH IF AT ALL.

WE THEN PAIR WITH A NONPROFIT ON

THE GROUND THAT HELPS US WITH

FINDING A GROUP OF KIDS FROM

WHOM WE PICK THE LUCKY ONE.

>> I HAD A CHANCE TO WATCH THE

FILM OF THE FIRST STORY.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE

FIRST STORY.

>> SO THE FIRST STORY IS OF A

FILM MADE BY NOW 19-YEAR-OLD

MIKE MARTIN WHO AT THE AGE OF 17

WAS SENT TO RIKERS FOR FIVE

MONTHS.

WE WENT LOOKING FOR A FILM THAT

WOULD HELP EVERYBODY, BUT

PARTICULARLY YOUNG AMERICAN

STUDENTS TALK ABOUT ISSUES

AROUND RACE, POVERTY, JUVENILE

JUSTICE REFORM.

WE WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO PARTNER

WITH AN ORGANIZATION HERE IN NEW

YORK CALLED FRIENDS OF THE

ISLAND ACADEMY.

WE FOUND MIKE FROM A GROUP OF

KIDS.

HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE WILLING

TO REALLY EXPERIENCE SOMETHING.

I MEAN, IT'S INTENSE.

>> IT IS.

>> HIS MENTORS ARE NOT ONE, BUT

TWO SPECTACULAR FILMMAKERS.

THEY WORKED TOGETHER OVER THE

COURSE OF A LITTLE MORE THAN A

MONTH.

AND WE HAVE A LOCAL COMPOSER WHO

DID SPECTACULAR MUSIC.

YOU WILL SEE IN HIS FILM THAT

PART OF THE FILM WAS HIM TAKING

A RAP SONG THAT HE HAD REALLY A

POEM AND BASHIRRY JOHNSON HAS

HELPED HIM RECORD IT IN THE

STUDIO AND IT BECOMES REALLY AN

INTEGRAL PART OF THE FILM.

WHICH IS AMAZING BECAUSE WE'RE

BY KIDS, WE ARE ALL ABOUT USING

SHORT FILM TO TEACH OTHER PEOPLE

THROUGH MENTORSHIP.

SO TO HAVE MIKE LEARN NOT ONLY

LEARN HOW TO BE A FILMMAKER BUT

TO BE A MUSICIAN.

>> THESE ARE PROFESSIONAL

QUALITY FILMS.

THESE ARE NOT KIDS TAKING OUT

THEIR CELL PHONES AND SHOOTING

SOMETHING.

WHAT I THINK YOU'RE DOING IS

MARVELOUS SO CONGRATULATIONS TO

YOU AND EVERYBODY FOR WORKING

ON.

WE LOOK FORWARD NOT ONLY TO THE

SECOND SEASON, BUT HOPEFULLY

MORE SEASONS.

>> SEASON THREE COMING SOON.

>> THANK YOU.

>>> AND A REMINDER FOR YOU FILMS

FOR KIDS THROUGH MARCH 24th ON

13.

GO TO METRO FOCUS.ORG FOR MORE

INFORMATION.

>>> CLIMATE CHANGE MAKES

HEADLINES DAILY BUT IF CURRENT

PREDICTIONS ARE TO BELIEVED,

ONE-THIRD OF LOWER MANHATTAN

WOULD BE OVERRUN BY A STORM

SURGE IN 30 YEARS.

ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY THIS

CAN HAPPEN IF NO STEPS ARE TAKEN

TO PROTECT THE DISTRICT AND

POINTS NORTH.

SINCE HURRICANE SANDY FLOODED

LOWER MANHATTAN AND THE POWERFUL

STORMS THAT HAVE FOLLOWED, MAYOR

de BLASIO WANTS TO BE READY.

HE IS PROPOSING BUILDING AN

ADDITION TO THE LOWER MANHATTAN

COASTLINE BY 500 FEET TO FORTIFY

AND PROTECT IT.

TONIGHT, WE'RE TAKING A CLOSER

LOOK AT THIS PROPOSAL AS PART OF

OUR SERIES ON THE CHALLENGE OF

CLIMATE CHANGE.

JOINING ME IS ANNIE McDONOUGH

FROM CITY AND STATE NEW YORK.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> SO FIRST LET'S START OFF WITH

THIS PROGRAM THAT THE MAYOR

PRESENTED TO NEW YORK AND TO THE

WORLD LAST WEEK.

QUICK SYNOPSIS AGAIN, WHAT IS IT

THAT HE WAS PROPOSING?

>> SURE.

SO IT'S THE STUDIES RELEASED

LAST WEEK WHICH FOUND BY 2050,

37% OF PROPERTY IN LOWER

MANHATTAN WOULD BE AT RISK OF

STORM SURGE.

THAT BY THE YEAR 2100 IT WOULD

BE ALMOST HALF OF PROPERTY IN

LOWER MANHATTAN.

SO THE CLOCK IS REALLY TICKING

FOR BUILDING UP RESILIENCE

MEASURES IN LOWER MANHATTAN.

AND THESE HAVE BEEN TALKED ABOUT

FOR A WHILE SINCE HURRICANE

SANDY.

BUT THE REAL HIGHLIGHT OF THIS

PLAN THAT THE MAYOR INTRODUCED

IS SORT OF A BIT RADICAL.

IT'S TO BUILD OUT A SECTION OF

LOWER MANHATTAN AROUND FINANCIAL

DISTRICT IN SOUTH SEAPORT.

ABOUT 500 FEET OF EXTRA LAND

BASICALLY.

WHICH IS EQUIVALENT TO TWO SMALL

CITY BLOCKS AND IT WOULD BE

ELEVATED LAND UP TO 20 FEET AT

THE HIGHEST POINT WHICH IS WELL

ABOVE THE SEA LEVEL RISE AND

IDEALLY THAT IS WHAT WOULD

PROTECT THE PART OF THE CITY

FROM STORM SURGE.

AND THE REST OF THE MEASURES ARE

A BIT MORE TRADITIONAL.

SORT OF AROUND THE TIP OF LOWER

MANHATTAN, BUILDING UP FLOODBAT

LIKE THAT.

>> HOW IS THIS AT LEAST RECEIVED

BY ENVIRONMENTALISTS,

SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS WHO WOULD

BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING THIS

INTO ACTION?

>> SO I THINK PART OF THE PRISM

IS THE PROCESS OF DECIDING THIS

IS THE ONLY VIABLE OPTION FOR

THIS PART OF THE CITY WHICH IS

FINANCIAL DISTRICT AND SOUTH

STREET SEAPORT.

IS THAT THE PROCESS -- THE CITY

HAS ENGINEERS AND CLIMATE

SCIENTISTS WORKING ON IT, BUT

IT'S NOT CLEAR IT'S THE BEST

PROGRAM.

IT IS PARTICULARLY LOW, IT IS

ABOUT EIGHT FEET ABOVE THE

CURRENT SEA LEVEL WHICH IS LOWER

THAT UP THE REST OF LOWER

MANHATTAN.

AND THERE ARE OTHER SORT OF

BARRIERS, LIKE SUBWAY TUNNELS.

SEWERS, OTHERTI BUILDING BARRIEF

THE EXISTING LAND DIFFICULT.

BUT I MEAN, AS FAR AS CLIMATE

ACTIVISTS AND GROUPS, THEY'RE

WELCOMING THIS RADICAL ACTION

THAT'S WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN

CALLING FOR FOR A LONG TIME.

IT'S A MATTER OF WHETHER IT WILL

GET DONE.

>> LET'S GET DOWN TO THE

DOLLARS.

THIS IS A MULTIBILLION DOLLAR

PROJECT AND THE THING THAT

CAUGHT PEOPLE'S ATTENTION THE

MAYOR INTENDED TO DO IT WITH

FEDERAL DOLLARS.

THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY

PRETTY MUCH PUT THE BRAKES ON

DOING A BRAND-NEW TRANSHUDSON

TUNNEL FROM YOU KNOW THE TUNNEL

FROM NEW JERSEY TO NEW YORK SO

IF THEY CAN'T GET THE

THE TUNNEL, WHY WOULD THIS

ADMINISTRATION KICK IN BILLIONS

OF DOLLARS TO REBUILD LOWER

MANHATTAN?

>> I THINK THAT'S WHAT YOU SAW

THE MAYOR SAY, THE MONEY HAS TO

COME FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

BECAUSE LOWER MANHATTAN IS SUCH

A CENTRAL BUSINESS AREA FOR THE

COUNTRY AND THE WORLD.

BUT HE ALSO SAID BASICALLY THE

NEXT BREATH THAT IT'S NEVER

GOING TO COME FROM PRESIDENT

TRUMP.

SO IT PRESENTS SORT OF A TOUGH

SITUATION.

IF IT DOESN'T COME FROM THE

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, IT COULD

COME FROM PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT

WHICH IS A TOUGH AREA TO BEGIN

BECAUSE THAT WOULD EXTEND THE

PROCESS AND, YOU KNOW, PRESENT A

LOT OF COMMUNITY CONCERNS.

SO THERE'S SORT OF A HINT THAT

HE IS PLACING HIS BETS ON CHANGE

IN OFFICE IN 2020 BECAUSE HE

GETS ASKED ABOUT THAT QUITE A

LOT.

>> EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW WHAT

HE'S GOING TO DO FOR 2020.

>> SURE.

HIS OTHER SORT OF OPTION THAT HE

FLOATED IS EVEN IF PRESIDENT

TRUMP WINS A SECOND TERM, IF THE

SENATE CHANGED IN 2020.

AND CHUCK SCHUMER THE

PRESUMPTIVE LEADER OF THE S

SENATE, THAT COULD HELP IN

SECURING SOME FEDERAL FUNDS.

>> WELL, SO FAR IT'S JUST A

PLAN.

BUT WE OF COURSE WILL SEE HOW

THIS DEVELOPS AND WHAT ACTUALLY

COMES INTO EXISTENCE IN THE NEXT

10, 20 YEARS.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, LISTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH

FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US GET A

BETTER GRIP ON WHAT WE MIGHT BE

SEEING TO HELP PROTECT NEW YORK

FROM THE NEXT BIG HURRICANE.

>> THANK YOU.

>>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE

POSSIBLE BY --

JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ

ROSALIND P. WALTER

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG

AND BY --


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