MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: May 13, 2021

This week, as part of our Who's Running For Mayor series, we're sitting down with each of the major candidates to discuss who they are and how they plan to improve the city. Joining us tonight is Kathryn Garcia, former Commissioner of The New York City Sanitation Department and 2021 Democratic candidate for mayor who just landed a big endorsement by The New York Times.

AIRED: May 13, 2021 | 0:28:35
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY --

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN

GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ,

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE

AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND

BY --

JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND

JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP

MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH

WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

>>> GOOD EVENING.

AND WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

THE NEW YORK CITY MAYORS RACE IS

ONLY A FEW WEEKS AWAY.

WE'RE SITTING DOWN WITH EACH OF

THE MAJOR CANDIDATES TO DISCUSS

WHO THEY ARE AND HOW THEY PLAN

TO IMPROVE THE CITY.

2021 DEMOCRATIC MAYORAL

CANDIDATE KATHRYN GARCIA IS A

NEWCOMER TO ELECTORAL

POLITICIANS BUT SHE IS A VETERAN

IN NEW YORK CITY GOVERNMENT WITH

EXPERIENCE OVERSEEING MANY

INITIATIVES OVER THE PAST

DECADE.

SHE HAS THE REPUTATION OF A

FIXER, EQUIPPED TO HANDLE JUST

ABOUT ANY ISSUE PLAGUING NEW

YORK CITY AT THE MOMENT.

COMMISSIONER GARCIA IS NOW

HOPING TO STEP OUT OF THE

BACKGROUND AND INTO THE

SPOTLIGHT AS SHE RUNS ON THE

PREMISE THAT HER EXTENSIVE

KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE INNER WARK

I

WORKINGS OF CITY GOVERNMENT IS

EXACTLY WHAT NEW YORK CITY IS

LOOKING FOR IN THEIR NEXT MAYOR.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> LET'S START WITH THE BASICS.

WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR MAYOR

AND WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE

YOU?

>> I AM A LIFELONG NEW YORKER

AND I DEEPLY LOVE THIS CITY.

I'M RUNNING FOR MAYOR BECAUSE WE

NEED A CITY THAT'S MORE LIVABLE,

MORE AFFORDABLE WHERE EVERYONE

FEELS SAFE IN THEIR

NEIGHBORHOODS REGARDLESS OF THE

COLOR OF THEIR SKIN.

I KNOW I HAVE THE SKILLS TO GET

THAT DONE, WHICH IS WHY I GOT

INTO THIS RACE.

WE NEED TO HAVE VISION, BUT WE

NEED TO BE ABLE TO EXECUTE ON

THAT VISION.

>> AS I SAID IN THE

INTRODUCTION, YOU HAVE EXTENSIVE

EXPERIENCE IN CITY GOVERNMENT,

BUT I WONDER IF YOU COULD

ELABORATE ON YOUR EXPERIENCE AS

COMMISSIONER OF SANITATION.

HOW DID YOUR TENURE ESPECIALLY

DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE

PANDEMIC PREPARE YOU FOR THE JOB

OF MAYOR?

>> BEING THE COMMISSIONER OF

SANITATION, WHICH BY THE WAY I

DO LOVE THAT DEPARTMENT AND ALL

THE PEOPLE WHO WORK IN IT AND

WAS THRILLED TO GET THEIR

ENDORSEMENT EARLY ON, BUT IN THE

MIDDLE OF THE PANDEMIC THERE WAS

NO QUESTION THAT WE HAD TO

CONTINUE TO WORK, THAT WE

COULDN'T ZOOM IN COLLECTING

REFUSE.

AND WE SAT DOWN WITH OUR

PARTNERS IN LABOR TO FIGURE OUT

HOW TO DO CHANGES IN OUR

OPERATION, WHETHER OR NOT THAT

WAS CHANGING THE SHIFT TIMES,

MAKING IT SO THAT THERE WAS LESS

MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE BETWEEN

GARAGES, BECAUSE WE WERE TRYING

TO POD THEM TO THE BEST THAT WE

COULD AND PROTECT THEM FROM

GETTING SICK SO THEY COULD DO

THEIR JOB.

IT WAS BEING AGILE, BECAUSE WE

KNOW THAT NEW YORKERS NEED

SERVICE.

THEY NEED THE SERVICE THAT

GOVERNMENT PROVIDES AND WE COULD

HAVE LET IT ALL FALL APART.

THE BEST STORY I HEARD WAS FROM

SOMEONE IN THE SOCIAL SERVICE

WORLD WHERE I WAS DOING WORK ON

DELIVERING A MILLION MEALS A DAY

SAYING WHEN I HEARD THE GARBAGE

TRUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE

NIGHT, I KNEW IT WOULD BE OKAY.

IT WAS WHAT WE NEEDED TO GET

DONE.

>> YOU SAID YOU WERE PROVIDING A

MILLION MEALS A DAY.

I SHOULD ADD THAT YOU WERE ALSO

GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF

FEEDING THE NEEDIEST NEW YORKERS

WHILE YOU WERE RUNNING THE

SANITATION DEPARTMENT DURING THE

HEIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC WHERE

PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS

WHAT.

>> YEAH.

>> THAT WAS, BY ALL ACCOUNTS, A

SUCCESS.

IN THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER YOU

HAVE BEEN CALLED A DEFENT MANAG,

NEW YORK CITY'S GO-TO MANAGER,

THE MOST EFFICIENT EXECUTIVE IN

NEW YORK CITY GOVERNMENT.

FAIRLY OR NOT, THESE ARE THINGS

THAT HAVE RARELY BEEN SAID ABOUT

THE MAYOR WHOM YOU MOST RECENTLY

WORKED FOR, MAYOR de BLASIO.

HE ARGUABLY HAS THE OPPOSITE

REPUTATION.

DO YOU AGREE WITH THE NEGATIVE

ASSESSMENT OF MAYOR de BLASIO'S

EXECUTIVE SKILLS?

AND IF SO, HOW COULD YOU WORK IN

THIS ADMINISTRATION FOR SIX

YEARS?

>> THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION.

IT IS ABOUT BEING A LEADER THAT

LISTENS TO THE DATA, BUT ALSO

LISTENS TO THE TEAM AND PUTTING

IN PLACE THE STRUCTURE TO MAKE

EVERYONE SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE

THAT'S HOW YOU DO THE DELIVERY

OF A MILLION MAEALS A DAY, THATS

HOW YOU DO THE COLLECTION OF

OVER 10,000 TONS OF REFUSE

TODAY.

IT IS GIVING PEOPLE THE TOOLS TO

BE EFFECTIVE AND LISTENING TO

THEM SO WE GET THE JOB DONE FOR

NEW YORKERS.

I HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT APPROACH

TO MY MANAGEMENT THAN THE

CURRENT MAYOR DOES.

>> HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO WORK IN

THAT ENVIRONMENT?

DID YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF

SOMEBODY WHO WAS COMPENSATING

FOR PERHAPS THE WEAKNESSES IN

EXECUTION?

>> WELL, PART OF IT WAS COMING

FROM A REAL PLACE OF MANAGING AN

AGENCY EXTREMELY WELL AND SEEING

SANITATION EXECUTE ON WHAT IT

NEEDED TO EXECUTE AND JUST

DRIVING THE GOAL POSTS OF WHAT

WE NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH WHETHER

OR NOT THAT WAS ROLLING OUT THE

LARGEST ORGANICS PROGRAM OR

BANNING STYROFOAM OR CHANGING

THE TECHNOLOGY AT A DEPARTMENT

AND REALLY FIGHTING FOR THAT IN

THIS ADMINISTRATION TO GET IT

DONE.

I JUST KEPT PLUGGING ALONG AND

PUSHING AHEAD.

YOU ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES AND GET

THE WORK DONE.

YOU

>> YOU ALSO WORKED IN THE

BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION.

WHAT LESSONS, POSITIVE OR

OTHERWISE, DID YOU TAKE FROM

MAYOR BLOOMBERG'S APPROACH TO

THE JOB?

>> IT WAS A LOT ABOUT FOCUSING

ON DATA, ON COLLABORATION ACROSS

AGENCIES.

ONE OF THE FUN THINGS I DID IS

SET UP A SANITATION

FOUNDATION,WORK WITH A FASHION

DESIGNER TO TALK ABOUT TEXTILE

WASTE.

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT

COLLABORATIONS, YOU DO A BETTER

JOB AS MAYOR.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT COVID.

HOPEFULLY THE COVID PANDEMIC'S

HEALTH THREAT WILL LARGELY BE

OVER AS A HEALTH THREAT BY THE

TIME YOU ASSUME OFFICE ON

JANUARY 1st, 2022 IF YOU'RE

ELECTED MAYOR.

BUT IF GOD FORBID WE GET ANOTHER

WAVE AS A RESULT OF THE INDIA

VARIANT THAT'S SUPPOSED TO BE

MUCH MORE LETHAL AND IS FINDING

ITS WAY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD,

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LIKELY

RESPONSE?

WOULD YOU CONSIDER LOCKING THE

CITY DOWN YET AGAIN?

>> I AM VERY VOCAL THAT WE WILL

BE THROUGH THE WORST OF COVID BY

JANUARY 1st.

VACCINES NEED TO GET INTO ARMS.

WE HAVE TO BE AS CREATIVE AS

POSSIBLE TO GET EVERYONE

PROTECTED SO WE END UP WITH HERD

IMMUNITY IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT

FUTURE.

I'M GOING TO FOLLOW THE SCIENCE.

WE HAVE TO BE AGILE.

WE HAVE TO MOVE BACK AND FORTH.

HOPEFULLY AT THIS POINT WE HAVE

FAR BETTER SURVEILLANCE ABOUT

WHAT'S COMING.

WE WERE BLIND BACK IN JANUARY

AND FEBRUARY OF LAST YEAR ABOUT

HOW MUCH VIRUS WAS HERE AND WHAT

WE NEEDED TO DO, WHICH IS WHY WE

WERE LATE ON THE LOCKDOWN.

WE HAVE A MUCH BETTER IDEA OF

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE CITY

THROUGH TESTING, THROUGH

VACCINATIONS AND THROUGH REAL

SURVEILLANCE AT THE HOSPITALS.

BUT I WOULD FOLLOW THE

INFORMATION, BUT MY INTENTION IS

TO FOCUS ON GETTING THIS ECONOMY

BACK UP AND RUNNING.

PEOPLE NEED JOBS.

WE HAVE BEEN HAMMERED BY THE

ECONOMIC FALLOUT AND PEOPLE NEED

TO GET THEIR LIVES BACK.

SO WE HAVE TO BE PROTECTIVE, BUT

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FOLLOW

THE SCIENCE.

>> TALKING ABOUT THE ECONOMY,

THE ECONOMIC WOES OF THE

PANDEMIC ARE GOING TO BE WITH US

FOR QUITE A WHILE.

WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS YOU

INTEND TO TAKE IN ORDER TO BRING

OUR ECONOMY BACK, TO GET PEOPLE

BACK TO WORK?

>> OPENING THE ECONOMY IS

ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL.

WE NEED TO LEAN INTO THE THINGS

THAT MAKE US SPECIAL, ART,

CULTURE, RESTAURANTS, MUSIC, AND

ENSURE THAT WE ARE SUPPORTING

THAT INDUSTRY.

I AM EXCITED ABOUT THE SAVE OUR

STAGES FUNDING THAT'S GOING TO

COME DOWN FROM THE FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT.

I'M EXCITED ABOUT THE

RESTAURANTS ACT.

BUT WE KNOW WHEN THIS ECONOMY

OPENS UP AND WE MAKE THIS A MORE

LIVABLE CITY, WE BRING PEOPLE

BACK TO THEIR OFFICES, WE BRING

PEOPLE BACK AS TOURISTS, WHICH

SUPPORTS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF

JOBS, BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO BE

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE AND

MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE DO HAVE

CAREERS AS WE MOVE FORWARD,

WHETHER OR NOT THAT'S COMING OUT

OF OUR HIGH SCHOOLS OR CUNY.

WE'LL HAVE ONE CITY PERMIT SO

YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO EIGHT

DIFFERENT AGENCIES BEFORE YOU

SELL BOWL OF SOUP.

YOU HAVE TO GET FUNDAMENTAL CITY

SERVICES RIGHT.

YOU HAVE TO FEEL SAFE, THE

STREETS HAVE TO STAY CLEAN.

ONE OTHER PIECE OF THIS IS 1 IN

4 WOMEN HAVE STEPPED BACK FROM

THEIR JOBS BECAUSE THEY'RE ZOOM

TEACHERS OR THEY'RE TAKING CARE

OF ELDERS.

FREE CHILD CARE FOR ANYONE

MAKING UNDER $70,000 A YEAR IS

INFRASTRUCTURE.

YOU CAN'T GO TO WORK IF YOU

DON'T HAVE A SAFE PLACE FOR YOUR

KID IN THE SAME WAY THAT IF YOU

NEED TO GET ON THE SUBWAY AND

THE TRAINS AREN'T RUNNING, YOU

CAN'T GET TO WORK EITHER.

>> AS YOU KNOW, ALBANY JUST

RAISED TAXES EES ON THE WEALTHI

NEW YORKERS, A GOOD PORTION OF

THEM I'M GUESSING RESIDENTS OF

NEW YORK CITY.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WAS A GOOD

MOVE GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES?

AND IF YOU'RE MAYOR, WOULD YOU

EVER CONSIDER RAISING THE CITY

TAXES ON THE WEALTHIEST NEW YORK

CITY RESIDENTS TO DEAL WITH OUR

FISCAL COMPLEXITIES?

>> WE HAVE TO HAVE THE REVENUE

TO SUPPORT THINGS LIKE TEACHERS,

TO SUPPORT OUR ABILITY TO

COLLECT WASTE, TO SUPPORT OUR

ABILITY TO ENSURE THAT THE

POLICE IS FUNDED SO THAT WE ARE

SAFE IN THE CITY.

BUT WE SHOULDN'T BE JUST

SPENDING MONEY TO SPEND MONEY.

IF WE HAVE ENOUGH, THEN WE

SHOULDN'T NEED TO RAISE TAXES.

IT'S REALLY THE LAST TOOL IN THE

TOOLBOX, SO IT'S NOT COMPLETELY

OFF TABLE BUT IT IS REALLY NOT

THE FIRST THING I WANT TO DO

BECAUSE I BELIEVE CITY SERVICES

CAN BE DELIVERED MRP EFFICIENT

EFFICIENTLY.

>> DO YOU APPROVE OF THE STATE

RAISING TAXES?

>> I'M ACCEPTING OF THE STATE

RAISING TAXES.

I JUST HOPE THERE ARE NOT

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES THAT

PEOPLE LEAVE.

I'M VERY PROGRESSIVE ON TAXES AT

THE FEDERAL LEVEL, BUT I KNOW

WE'RE IN COMPETITION WITH OTHER

CITIES TO KEEP THE FOLKS HERE

AND TO MAKE SURE WE'RE

ATTRACTING NEW PEOPLE TO LIVE

HERE.

>> SOME NEW YORKERS LEFT IN THE

COURSE OF THE PANDEMIC AND THEY

HAVEN'T RETURNED.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC PLAN TO

TRY TO LURE THESE NEW YORKERS

BACK?

>> OH, I THINK THEY'LL COME

BACK.

I'M NOT THAT CONCERNED.

WE ARE STILL THE GREATEST PLACE

IN THE WORLD TO LIVE AND TO

WORK.

THIS IS A COMPETITIVE PLACE.

BUT I AM VERY CONFIDENT THAT

FOLKS WILL COME BACK AND THAT IT

IS ABOUT BEING A LIVABLE CITY,

BEING A CITY THAT HAS THE BEST

ART, HAS THE BEST RESTAURANT,

HAS THE BEST MUSIC.

THAT BRINGS YOU BACK.

AND I KNOW THAT THEY WILL COME

BACK.

>> AS YOU KNOW, MAYOR de BLASIO

RECENTLY RELEASED HIS FINAL

BUDGET PROPOSAL WHICH ADDS UP TO

$98.6 BILLION BANKROLLED IN PART

BY COVID RELIEF FROM THE FEDS.

THE MAYOR'S PROPOSAL IS $10

BILLION MORE THAN THE CURRENT

BUDGET, AN 11% INCREASE.

IT'S 7% LARGER THAN THE ENTIRE

BUDGET OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA.

PRESIDENT OF THE CITIZEN'S

BUDGET COMMISSION SAID THAT,

QUOTE, THE EXECUTIVE BUDGET

NEEDLESSLY LEAVES THE NEXT MAYOR

TO SOLVE SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS IT

HAS STARTED TO ADDRESS TODAY.

YOU MAY BE THE NEXT MAYOR.

DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT

ASSESSMENT?

>> WE HAVE TO HAVE AN ECONOMY

THAT GROWS.

THAT'S HOW WE'LL GROW REVENUE.

THIS IS A VERY, VERY LARGE

BUDGET.

THERE ARE NEEDS WE NEED TO MAKE

SURE WE'RE TAKING CARE OF,

PARTICULARLY ON THE MENTAL

HEALTH SIDE.

BUT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE'RE

USING THE FUNDING WE GET FROM

THE FEDS EFFICIENTLY.

THIS HAS A LOT OF CLIFFS IN IT

WHERE YOU ARE HIRING PEOPLE WITH

NO REVENUE PLAN POST THE FEDERAL

DOLLARS.

SO I KNOW THAT IS SOMETHING THAT

WE SHOULD ALL BE CONCERNED

ABOUT.

>> THEY SAID PARTICULARLY THE

USE OF THE BILLION DHOLLARS IN

AID THAT CAME TO THE CITY IN

THIS BUDGET, ANDREW YANG SAID

THE MAYOR SHOULD HAVE SAVED 70%

OF THAT AID.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HIS USE

OF THAT AID IN THIS BUDGET?

>> IT IS APPROPRIATE TO MAKE

SURE THAT WE CAN GET BACK ON OUR

FEET, BUT THERE'S ALSO THE NEED

TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE A RAINY

DAY FUND.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT'S AROUND THE

CORNER.

AND BEING PREPARED FOR WHAT'S

AROUND THE CORNER IS WHAT I DO.

I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE

PROGRAMS IN HERE THAT SHOULD NOT

PROBABLY HAVE BEEN PUT IN,

BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A

LONG-TERM FUNDING PLAN.

AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT IN GENERAL

WE ARE ALSO ALREADY A VERY HIGH

TAXED LOCATION AND WE CAN'T TO

MAKE SURE THE MIDDLE CLASS CAN

STAY HERE AS WE MOVE FORWARD.

>> IF YOU'RE I ELECTED MAYOR AN

THIS BUDGET IS PASSED BY THE

CITY COUNCIL, DO YOU HAVE ANY

CONCRETE STEPS YOU WOULD TAKE TO

UNDO THE THINGS YOU DON'T LIKE

ABOUT IT?

>> YOU ALWAYS GET AN

OPPORTUNITY.

THERE'S SOMETHING CALLED THE

JANUARY PLAN.

SO ONCE YOU'RE IN OFFICE, YOU

CAN TAKE A LOOK AT IT.

THERE ARE ADJUSTMENTS DURING A

FISCAL YEAR FOUR TIMES A YEAR.

>> YOU TALKED ABOUT THE

IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM.

OF COURSE, THERE IS NO REVIVING

THE ECONOMY WITHOUT TOURISM, BUT

EVERY EXPERT TELLS US THERE IS

NO REVIVING THE TOURISM IF WE

DON'T GET A HOLD OF THE RISING

CRIME RATES THAT WE'RE SEEING,

PARTICULARLY THE DRAMATIC RISE

IN SHOOTINGS AND MURDERS AND

THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO

GET BACK TO THE NUMBERS OF

TOURISTS WE HAD PRE-PANDEMIC IF

INCIDENTS LIKE THE SHOOTINGS IN

TIMES SQUARE WHERE ONE LITTLE

GIRL, 4 YEARS OLD FROM BROOKLYN

WAS SHOT, ALONG WITH TWO

TOURISTS.

AS MAYOR, WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO

TRANSFORM THIS CRIME TREND WHILE

AT THE SAME TIME TRANSFORMING

THE NYPD?

>> IT'S BEEN A SHOCKING INCREASE

IN GUN VIOLENCE, BUT ALSO A

SHOCKING INCREASE IN ANTI-ASIAN

HATE CRIME AND CRIME ON THE

SUBWAYS.

THAT IS WHY I HAVE A PLAN TO DO

GUN BUYBACKS, TO WORK WITH OUR

FEDERAL PARTNERS TO STOP THE

FLOW OF GUNS.

WE DON'T HAVE A GUN MANUFACTURER

IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

THEY COME FROM OUT OF STATE

ILLEGALLY.

TO WORK WITH THE COURTS TO

DRAMATICALLY SPEED UP THE CASES

FOR GUN VIOLENCE AND TO EXPAND

THE GUN SUPPRESSION UNIT OF THE

NYPD, BECAUSE THEY ARE SOLELY

FOCUSED ON DISRUPTING THE

TRAFFICKERS AND MAKING SURE THAT

WE ARE GETTING GUNS OFF THE

STREET.

WE CANNOT OPEN THIS ECONOMY THE

WAY THAT WE NEED TO WITHOUT

GETTING THAT RIGHT.

BUT IT IS ALSO A POLICE

DEPARTMENT WHERE MANY

COMMUNITIES HAVE LOST TRUST.

REFORM IS POSSIBLE.

THAT MEANS CLEAR AND CONSISTENT

DISCIPLINE THAT IS FAIR TO THE

POLICE OFFICERS AND TRANSPARENT

TO THE PUBLIC.

IT MEANS THAT WE NEED TO RAISE

THE AGE OF OUR OFFICERS TO 25

WHEN THEY'RE NEW RECRUITS TO

HAVE THEM LIVE IN THE CITY,

WHICH THEY'RE NOT REQUIRED TO,

TO REALLY TRAIN THE FRONT LINE

SUPERVISION, THE SERGEANTS AND

LIEUTENANTS BECAUSE THEY'RE THE

ONES THAT SEND THE MESSAGE OUT

WITH THOSE PATROL OFFICERS EVERY

DAY ABOUT WHAT WE WANT IN TERMS

OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TO BE

GUARDIANS AND NOT LAWYERS OF ALL

COMMUNITIES.

I KNOW THAT WE CAN GET THIS DONE

BECAUSE I'VE RUN A UNIFORMED

AGENCY THAT WAS 98% MEN WITH A

LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION THAT

DID CARRY GUNS.

>> THOSE ILLEGAL GUNS WERE

COMING INTO THE CITY A YEAR AGO,

TWO YEARS AGO AND THE CRIME WAS

GOING DOWN.

SO CLEARLY SOMETHING HAS CHANGED

AND IT'S VISIBLE.

YOU KNOW, PEOPLE IN THE STREETS

KNOW THAT THE POLICE ARE NOT AS

AGGRESSIVE BECAUSE THEY FEAR

THAT YOU, THE ELECTED OFFICIALS,

WILL NOT HAVE THEIR BACK.

HOW CAN YOU GUARANTEE THE NYPD

OF

OFFICERS THAT THEY CAN BE AS

AGGRESSIVE AS THEY NEED TO BE,

BUT YOU EXPECT THEM TO STREET

ALL NEW YORKERS WITH CIVILITY

AND RESPECT?

>> YOU KNOW, I AM A MANAGER AND

A LEADER WHO HAS ALSO HAD THE

BACK OF MY EMPLOYEES WHO WERE

DOING THE RIGHT THING.

THEY CAN ASK ANY SANITATION

WORKER WHAT IT IS LIKE TO WORK

FOR ME AND HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT

I WILL HAVE THEIR BACK WHEN

THEY'RE DOING THE RIGHT THING

AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE WHEN

THEY'RE DOING THE WRONG THING.

I'VE ALWAYS BEEN TOUGH, BUT

FAIR.

WE ALSO HAVE TO LOOK AT THE ROOT

CAUSES OF WHAT'S DRIVING THIS AS

WELL.

INSECURE HOUSING, INSECURE FOOD

ACCESS, LACK OF OPPORTUNITY.

WHEN WE START TO FIX THOSE IN

THE LONGER TERM, WE WILL BEGIN

TO GET A REAL HANDLE ON THOSE

ISSUES THAT DRIVE CRIME.

>> THE DAY AFTER THE SHOOTING AT

TIMES SQUARE, ANDREW YANG SPOKE

AT THE SITE OF THE SHOOTING AND

DECLARED THAT DEFUNDING THE

POLICE IS NOT WHAT NEW YORK CITY

NEEDS.

WHAT'S YOUR POSITION ON THE

DEFUNDING THE POLICE MOVEMENT?

>> I HAVE NEVER BEEN FOR

DEFUNDING THE POLICE.

FIRST OF ALL, YOU CANNOT HASHTAG

YOUR WAY TO A SOLUTION.

YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY BE MUCH

MORE THOUGHTFUL.

WE NEED POLICE AS A SERVICE, BUT

THAT MEANS WE STILL GET TO HOLD

THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR PROVIDING

THAT SERVICE AND MAKING SURE

IT'S RESPECTFUL OF ALL NEW

YORKERS.

>> YOU TEMPORARILY SERVED AS

HEAD OF THE NEW YORK CITY

HOUSING AUTHORITY OR NYCHA.

AS MAYOR, HOW WILL YOU REVERSE

THE DECLINE IN THE CONDITIONS OF

THE CITY'S PUBLIC HOUSING AND

ALSO WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO

CREATE MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

IN THE CITY?

>> I SPENT FOUR MONTHS AT NYCHA

AT A MOMENT WHEN THEY WERE JUST

COMING UNDER A FEDERAL MONITOR.

THERE WEREN'T A LOT OF

APPLICANTS FOR THE JOB.

BUT IT IS REALLY SHOCKING TO GO

INTO SOME OF THESE DEVELOPMENTS

AND SEE THE CONDITIONS THAT WE

HAVE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN.

AS I SAID WHEN I GOT THERE AND

UNDERSTOOD HOW SYSTEMICALLY THEY

HAD BEEN UNDERFUNDED FOR SO MANY

DECADES, WHY ARE WE SURPRISED

WHEN WE DIDN'T PUT OIL IN THE

CAR THAT THE ENGINE BLEW UP AND

NOW WE ARE IN A CRISIS?

NYCHA AND THE BLUEPRINT WHICH I

HOPE DOES PASS IN THE STATE

LEGISLATURE BRINGS AN ABILITY TO

LEVERAGE FEDERAL MONEY THAT WE

HAVE ACCESS TO NOW BY CREATING A

HOUSING TRUST THAT CAN GO IN AND

MAKE ALL OF THE REPAIRS THAT

NEED TO BE MADE SO PEOPLE HAVE

NEW KITCHENS AND NEW BATHROOMS

AND ELEVATORS THAT ACTUALLY

WORK.

THIS IS THE PLAN WE SHOULD BE

EXECUTING ON, BECAUSE WE NEED TO

DO IT NOW.

WE ARE PAST TIME THE CRISIS IS

HERE AND NOT MOVING FORWARD.

WE NEED AFFORDABILITY ACROSS THE

BOARD.

WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO BUILD MORE

HOUSING, PERIOD.

WE HAVE BEEN IN A LACK OF SUPPLY

OF HOUSING SINCE ABOUT 1947.

MAKING IT EASIER TO BUILD, BUT

ALSO BUILDING 50,000 UNITS OF

DEEPLY AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR

THOSE MAKING $30,000 OR LESS IN

THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

THAT'S A CRITICAL PIECE.

BUT ALSO BUILDING 10,000 UNITS

OF SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR THOSE

WHO NEED SERVICES AS WELL,

PARTICULARLY OUR STREET

HOMELESS.

SO THAT IS WHAT I INTEND TO DO

WHEN I'M MAYOR.

>> HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE THE

CITY'S PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

SYSTEM, SPECIFICALLY WHAT WOULD

YOU DO TO ENSURE THAT OUR SUBWAY

SYSTEM IS SAFE, EFFICIENT, CLEAN

AND AFFORDABLE?

>> I WILL WORK IN PARTNERSHIP

WITH THE STATE TO GET THE WORK

DONE WE NEED DONE FOR THE SUBWAY

SYSTEM.

THEY ARE THE ARTERIES FOR THE

CITY.

PART OF IT IS JUST GOING SOME OF

THE WORK WE NEED TO BE DONE.

IT'S NOT GLAMOROUS, BUT FIXING

THE SIGNALS SO THEY CAN GET TO

WORK ON TIME.

WHEN WE CAN REALLY DO WHEN I'M

MAYOR IS HELP THE BUSES GET TO

THOSE TRANSIT DESERTS.

WE CONTROL THE STREETS.

WHEN WE GET THINGS OUT OF THE

WAY OF THE BUSES, THEY ACTUALLY

GO PRETTY FAST AND GET YOU TO

YOUR DESTINATION.

THE MAYOR HAS CONTROL OVER THE

STREETS.

WE CAN USE TECHNOLOGY TO TURN

THE LIGHTS GREEN.

WE CAN MAKE IT SO THERE ARE MORE

PROTECTED BUS LANES.

WHAT HAPPENS IN ALMOST EVERY

MAJOR CITY THAT PRIORITIZED

BUSES, THERE ARE A LOT THAT THE

MAYOR CAN DO TO MAKE SURE

EVERYONE IN THE CITY IS GETTING

WHERE THEY NEED TO GO, WHETHER

OR NOT FOR WORK, FOR SCHOOL OR

JUST TO MEET UP WITH YOUR

FRIENDS.

>> WE HAVE LESS THAN FOUR

MINUTES LEFT.

THIS IS THE FIRST MAYORAL

ELECTION IN NEW YORK CITY THAT

IS USING THE RANK CHOICE VOTING

SYSTEM.

ANDREW YANG SAID HE WOULD RANK

YOU SECOND ON HIS OWN BALLOT.

BOTH HE AND ERIC ADAMS SAID THEY

WOULD MAKE YOU A DEPUTY MAYOR.

ARE YOU PLANNING TO USE THE

RANKED SYSTEM TO ALIGN YOURSELF

WITH ANY OF THE OTHER

CANDIDATES?

AND WHAT DO YOU MAKE ABOUT YANG

AND ADAMS COMMENTS ABOUT YOU

WORKING IN THEIR ADMINISTRATION?

>> SO I HAVE NOT PICKED A NUMBER

TWO IN THIS RACE.

I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE NOT GOTTEN

INTO THIS RACE IF I HAD A STRONG

NUMBER TWO.

IN TERMS OF THEIR DISCUSSION TO

MAKE ME DEPUTY MAYOR, I THINK

YOU JUST MADE THE CASE FOR ME TO

BE MAYOR AND LET'S CUT OUT THE

MIDDLEMAN.

>> YOU HAVE ACTUALLY SAID IT'S

SEXIST AND SAID THAT ANDREW YANG

SHOULD STOP TOUTING YOU AS A

POSSIBLE DEPUTY MAYOR.

SEXIST?

>> I SEE IT AS SEXIST.

I WOULD SAY THAT MOST WOMEN DO

AS WELL.

WE'VE OFTEN BEEN CAST AS THE

NUMBER TWO.

WE'RE READY TO ACTUALLY LEAD.

>> COMMISSIONER GARCIA, YOU HAVE

SAID THAT THOUGH NEW YORKERS MAY

NOT KNOW YOUR NAME, THEY KNOW

YOUR WORK.

AS I MENTIONED, THOSE WHO BEST

KNOW YOUR WORK THINK IT'S PRETTY

OUTSTANDING.

IN THE FEW WEEKS REMAINING IN

THIS RACE, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO

LET NEW YORKERS KNOW WHO YOU ARE

AND WHAT YOU'VE DONE?

>> WE GOT A GREAT ENDORSEMENT

FROM THE "NEW YORK TIMES"

YESTERDAY REALLY DOCUMENTING

EXACTLY WHAT OUR MESSAGE IS AND

WHERE THIS CAMPAIGN IS GOING,

BUT WE ALSO ARE DOING WHAT YOU

DO ON A CAMPAIGN.

IT'S GOING OUT AND MEETING

VOTERS.

IT'S CALLING VOTERS, IT'S

TEXTING VOTERS.

IT'S BOOTS ON THE GROUND AS WELL

AS A TON OF VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE

HELPING MAKE IT HAPPEN.

>> SO THIS IS YOUR FIRST

ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN.

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND ABOUT IT IN

ONE MINUTE THAT WE HAVE LEFT --

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND ABOUT IT

THAT IS MOST ENJOYABLE?

WHAT'S BEEN THE LEAST ENJOYABLE

AND THE MOST SURPRISING?

>> SO BEING OUT WITH NEW

YORKERS -- I MEAN, I LOVE NEW

YORK, SO FINDING LIKE I'M GOING

TO GO MEET THIS SMALL BUSINESS

OWNER WHOSE BUTCHER SHOP HAS

BEEN IN THE FAMILY FOR 100

YEARS, THAT IS FUN.

BEING ABLE TO EAT ALL OVER THE

CITY OF NEW YORK, THAT IS REALLY

ENJOYABLE.

>> AND DANGEROUS.

>> A LITTLE DANGEROUS BUT VERY

ENJOYABLE.

THE CHALLENGE IS MAKING THE CASE

ALWAYS TO NEW YORK CITY

RESIDENTS ABOUT WHY YOU'RE THE

BEST CHOICE TO LEAD THE CITY.

BUT I WOULD SAY I PROBABLY WISH

THAT WE WEREN'T IN A PANDEMIC SO

WE DIDN'T ACTUALLY DO AS MANY

ZOOMS AS WE HAVE DONE OVER THE

COURSE OF THIS CAMPAIGN.

IN-PERSON WOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT

MORE ENJOYABLE.

>> AN INTERVIEW WITH YOU IN

PERSON WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE

ENJOYABLE, BUT I ENJOYED THIS

ONE AS WELL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US

TODAY, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

I'M REALLY THRILLED TO HAVE BEEN

WITH YOU.

>> BYE-BYE.

>> BYE.

>>"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY --

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN

GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ,

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE

AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND

BY --

JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND

JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP

MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH

WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.


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