MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: May 3, 2021

Our Frontpage Forecast panelists Rutgers University Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Saladin Ambar, CUNY Professor and former President of the New York City Board of Elections, J.C. Polanco and Gotham Gazette Executive Editor Ben Max bring us the latest headlines from across the tristate to across the nation.

AIRED: May 04, 2021 | 0:28:32
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

>>"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.

WELCOME TO THE "METROFOCUS"

FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

THIS WEEK, OUR WEEKLY LOOK AHEAD

AT LOCAL AND NATIONAL HEADLINES

AND THEIR POTENTIAL IMPACT ON

THE TRI-STATE AREA.

TONIGHT, WE'LL COVER A BIG

SHAKEUP IN THE NEW YORK CITY

MAYORAL RACE AS SCOTT STRINGER

LOSES KEY ENDORSEMENTS OVER

ACCUSATIONS OF SEXUAL

HARASSMENT.

WE'LL TALK ABOUT A MAJOR

MILESTONE IN THE CITY'S

REOPENING AND RECOVERY AND WHY

MANY WORKERS SAY IT'S JUST TOO

SOON.

AND WHY IS NEW YORK STATE LOSING

A CONGRESSIONAL SEAT?

MANY ARE POINTING THE FINGER AT

GOVERNOR CUOMO.

JOINING US ARE PROFESSOR EMBAR,

AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF

POLITICAL SCIENCE AT RUTGERS.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME,

JENNA.

>> WE'RE JOINED BY JC PALONKO.

WELCOME.

>> GLAD TO BE WITH YOU.

>> WE HAVE BEN MAX, THE

EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE GOTHAM

GAZETTE.

WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

>> GOOD TO BE BACK.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS SHAKEUP

IN THE MAYORAL RACE.

I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE

BEEN WAITING FOR THE CANDIDATES

TO SORT OF FALL OFF FOR ONE

REASON OR ANOTHER, BUT THIS

ACCUSATION AGAINST SCOTT

STRINGER, I THINK, CAUGHT A LOT

OF PEOPLE BY SURPRISE.

VERY QUICKLY, CAN YOU JUST

REMIND US WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED.

>> JEAN KIM, WHO WAS A VOLUNTEER

ON SCOTT STRINGER'S 2001

CAMPAIGN FOR NEW YORK CITY

PUBLIC ADVOCATE, SAYS THAT

DURING THE EFFORTS AROUND THAT

CAMPAIGN HE GROPED HER, HE

KISSED HER IN AN UNWANTED

FASHION, HE REPEATEDLY SAID

SUGGESTIVE AND INAPPROPRIATE

THINGS TO HER AND CONTINUED TO

PRESS HER ON A SEXUAL

RELATIONSHIP THAT SHE WAS

TELLING HIM SHE DID NOT WANT TO

HAVE.

STRINGER HAS DENIED THOSE

ALLEGATIONS.

HE HAS SAID THEY HAD AN OFF AND

ON CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIP AND

HIS TEAM HAS CALLED THE

LEGITIMACY OF HER CLAIMS INTO

QUESTION.

SHE HAS STOOD BY THEM.

SHE SAID THEY DID NOT HAVE ANY

CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIP AND WAS

VICTIMIZED BY HIM.

IN THE AFTERMATH HE HAS LOST

MANY ENDORSEMENTS.

HE HAD QUITE A LIST OF THEM AS

HE ROLLED OUT HIS MAYORAL

CAMPAIGN, WHICH HIS WHOLE ADULT

LIFE HAS BEEN BUILDING TOWARDS

AND HE HAS BEEN WORKING TOWARDS

FOR DECADEDECADES.

MANY GROUPEDS HAVE BACKED AWAY.

THE FALLOUT HAS BEEN QUITE

SWIFT.

>> FIRST OF ALL, ANY SITUATION

LIKE THIS, IT IS CERTAINLY

TRAGIC AND TRAUMATIC, BUT THIS

IS A POLITICAL RACE.

SO NOTHING HAPPENS IN A VACUUM.

I'M WONDERING JUST FROM YOUR

READ IF THERE'S ANYTHING TO BE

MADE FROM THE TIMING OF THIS

COMING OUT.

>> I THINK WE'RE GETTING CLOSER

AND CLOSER TO THAT IMPORTANT

JUNE DATE FOR THE PRIMARY.

IT'S INTERESTING, MY SYMPATHIES

TO THE ACCUSER HERE, BECAUSE

THIS IS TOUGH AND COMING OUT

PUBLICLY, I KNOW, TOOK A LOT OF

COURAGE.

THE ISSUE I THINK HERE FOR MANY

OF US AS AMERICANS IS WE ARE FOR

THE LAST FEW YEARS NOW WATCHING

A WHOLE DIFFERENT WAY FOR US TO

NOW ANALYZE WHETHER OR NOT

SOMEONE IS TRULY GUILTY OF AN

ALLEGATION.

THERE HASN'T BEEN AN

INVESTIGATION.

THERE HASN'T BEEN EVIDENCE

BROUGHT FORTH OTHER THAN THE

ALLEGATION.

AND THE ALLEGATION IS

INTERESTING, BECAUSE NOW WHAT

WE'RE DOING IS, WE'RE CHANGING

THE STANDARDS OF HOW WE PROVE

SOMEONE IS GUILTY, EITHER IN THE

COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION OR A

COURT OF LAW.

NOW THE WAY WE'RE DOING THIS,

SCOTT STRINGER IS ABSOLUTELY

GUILTY OF THIS 2001 ALLEGATION,

BUT WE HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING.

THIS MAN HAS BEEN FOR DECADES

WORKING TOWARD HIS MOMENT IN

HISTORY AND HAS LOST EVERYTHING.

IMIMP

IMPORTANT ENDORSEMENTS ARE GONE.

NOW AN ALLEGATION IS A

CONVICTION IN THE COURT OF

PUBLIC OPINION.

>> IS THAT A FAIR POINT?

DOES THAT CONCERN YOU AS WE

NAVIGATE THIS POST ME TOO WORLD

THAT AN ALLEGATION CAN BE THAT

DAMNING?

>> IT CERTAINLY SEEMS TO BE THE

CASE IF YOU LOOK AT RECENT

HISTORY AND WHAT HAPPENED WITH

SENATOR AL FRANKEN AND OTHERS.

IT'S NOT 1992 ANYMORE WHEN BILL

CLINTON COULD SIMPLY DISMISSAL

GAS S

ALLEGATIONS AND ALL THINGS BE

MADE BETTER.

WE'RE IN A DIFFERENT ERA NOW.

I THINK JC IS RIGHT.

HE SAID TWO THINGS VOTERS WILL

HAVE TO ASSESS.

THE FIRST IS LEGITIMATE AND

POWERFUL RIGHTS OF ACCUSERS TO

TELL THEIR STORY AND TO BE

BELIEVED AND HEARD.

BY BELIEVED, THAT MEANS BEING

TAKEN SERIOUSLY AND NOT CAST

ASIDE, AS SO MANY WOMEN

THROUGHOUT AMERICAN HISTORY

WERE.

HAVING SAID THAT, WE ALSO HAVE A

DEMOCRACY WHERE DUE PROCESS

MATTERS.

THE POLITICS OF THIS IS WHERE WE

HAVE TO COME BACK TO.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN SAID PUBLIC

OPINION IS EVERYTHING.

THE TRUE TEST IS WHAT DO NEW

YORK VOTERS THINK.

ANDREW CUOMO IS BETTING THEY'LL

VIEW HIS ALLEGATIONS AS SORT OF

AN ASIDE, AN ATTACK ON HIS

CHARACTER.

AND TRUMP MANAGED TO WIN.

WE'LL SEE IF STRINGER IS ABLE TO

DO SOMETHING SIMILAR AND BRING

IT TO THE VOTERS AND SUSTAIN HIS

STATUS IN THE POLLS AND HOLD ON

FOR DEAR LIFE.

BUT WE DO FACE A BIT OF A CRISIS

HERE OF COMPETING IDEALS IN OUR

DEMOCRACY.

A, THAT WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN SO

OFTEN AND HISTORICALLY

MARGINALIZED HAVE AN EXPECTATION

THEY'LL BE TREATED SERIOUSLY

WHILE ALL AMERICANS HAVE AN

EXPECTATION THEY'LL BE TREATED

FAIRLY IN TERMS OF DUE PROCESS

AND BE CONSIDERED INNOCENT UNTIL

PROVEN GUILTY.

THAT'S WHERE THE TENSION LIES.

>> OBVIOUSLY THIS IS NOT

NECESSARILY THE BEST THREE-MAN

PANEL TO SUSS ALL THIS OUT, BUT

I APPRECIATE MY COLLEAGUES'

POINTS HERE AND I THINK SEVERAL

OF THEM ARE WELL-STATED.

I DO THINK THOUGH, IN CONTRAST,

WE DID SEE AN ALLEGATION AGAINST

JOE BIDEN IN THE PRESIDENTIAL

CAMPAIGN THAT WAS, YOU KNOW,

INITIALLY TAKEN WITH A LOT OF

GUSTO AND THEN VETTED SOMEWHAT

AND WASN'T REALLY HELD AGAINST

HIM, BECAUSE THERE WERE REAL

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ACCUSER TARA

REED'S STORY AND MOTIVATIONS.

I DON'T THINK WE'VE SEEN A 100%

BLANKET CHANGE IN THIS.

THERE IS A LOT OF ROOM TO

QUESTION WHETHER SOME OF

STRINGER'S SUPPORTERS SHOULD

HAVE WAITED A WHILE LONGER TO

HEAR HIM OUT AND POTENTIALLY SEE

IF THERE WAS GOING TO BE A QUICK

INVESTIGATION OF SOME KIND.

YOU KNOW, AGAIN, THIS IS

POLITICS AND THIS IS PUBLIC

OPINION AND THESE POLITICAL

FIGURES, THESE ORGANIZATIONS

HAVE SET A NEW BAR, ESPECIALLY

ON THE LEFT HERE IN DEMOCRATIC

POLITICS, AND THEY ARE LIVING BY

IT.

OBVIOUSLY THERE'S ROOM TO

QUESTION THAT, BUT THEY ARE AT

LEAST TRYING TO STAY CONSISTENT

NOW THAT THEY'VE APPROACHED

ANDREW CUOMO IN A CERTAIN WAY

AND ARE RESPONDING TO THIS

ALLEGATION AGAINST STRINGER IN

THE SAME WAY.

>> WELL, THANK YOU, BEN, FOR

ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE DO HAVE A

THREE-MAN PANEL EVEN THOUGH I

APPRECIATE ALL THREE OF YOU

GENTLEMEN, BUT I DO WANT TO

ADDRESS ONE OTHER ACCUSATION OF

SEXISM, LET'S SAY, NOT

NECESSARILY SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

THAT IS FROM CATHERINE GARCIA.

SHE HAS MADE IT VERY, VERY CLEAR

THAT SHE DOES NOT APPRECIATE

MAYORAL CANDIDATE ANDREW YANG

INSINUATING OR FLAT-OUT SAYING

THAT HE'D LOVE TO MAKE HER HIS

SECOND IN COMMAND IF HE WINS THE

MAYORAL ELECTION AND THAT SHE IS

NOT IN THE RACE TO BE SECOND IN

LINE.

SO I'M WONDERING IF, AT LEAST DO

YOU THINK THAT IS SOMETHING THAT

WOULD BE FALLING ON VOTERS?

WOULD THAT BE HITTING IN A WAY

SIMILAR TO AN ACCUSATION OF

SEXUAL HARASSMENT, THIS KIND OF,

YEAH, YOU'D BE GREAT AS NUMBER

TWO?

>> I THINK IT REALLY DEPENDS HOW

THE CANDIDATES AND THE CAMPAIGNS

AND THE SUPPORTERS OF THOSE

CANDIDATES FRAME IT.

WHAT WE'LL SEE IN THE MANY

TELEVISION CAMPAIGN ADS WE'RE

ABOUT TO BE INUNDATED WITH IN

THE NEW YORK CITY AREA INCLUDING

SCOTT STRINGER.

BUT I THINK A LOT OF IT DEPENDS

ON HOW CATHERINE GARCIA INTENDS

TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON SOME OF THE

COMMENTS MADE, ESPECIALLY IN THE

"NEW YORKER" WHERE SHE TALKED

ABOUT HOW ANDREW YANG AND SOME

OTHERS TALKED TO HER TOTALLY

SEXIST.

ALSO, A LOT OF THIS WINDS UP

BEING PROUBACKGROUND FOR VOTERS

WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S YOUR

QUALIFICATION TO BE MAYOR AND

WHAT'S YOUR VISION FOR THE CITY.

CATHERINE GARCIA IS TRYING TO

TIE TOGETHER THAT SHE'S VERY

QUALIFIED, AND SHE HAS A STRONG

VISION AND SHE'S BEING

DIMINISHED BECAUSE MEN THINK

ONLY MEN CAN BE MAYOR OF NEW

YORK CITY.

>> JC, AT THE BEGINNING WE SAW

ANDREW YANG SORT OF BLAST OUT OF

THE GATE AS THE FRONT RUNNER,

BUT HE SEEMS TO HAVE LOST SOME

OF THAT MOMENTUM A LITTLE BIT.

FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DO

YOU SEE?

>> NEW YORK CITY DEMOCRATS HAVE

TO BE RESPONSIBLE.

THE NUMBERS AREN'T IN THE FAVOR

OF ANYONE ELSE OTHER THAN A

DEMOCRAT WINNING THE MAYORAL

RACE.

THE NUMBERS ARE CLEAR THAT

THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE THAT THE

WINNER IS GOING TO COME OUT OF

THIS JUNE PRIMARY.

DEMOCRATS, IF THEY'RE GOING TO

CLOSE THEIR PRIMARIES AND NOT

ALLOW ANYONE ELSE TO VOTE, THEY

HAVE TO COME OUT WITH MORE THAN

17% OF THEIR VOTE TO COME OUT

AND PARTICIPATE IN THE

DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.

AND WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS

TO RUN?

CATHERINE GARCIA IS ONE OF THE

MOST INCREDIBLY QUALIFIED

CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR RIGHT NOW.

TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO HASN'T EVEN

VOTED IN A MUNICIPALITY ELECTION

SINCE 1994 WHEN HE MOVED HERE,

TO SOMEHOW SAY THAT THE LADY IN

CHARGE OF OUR CITY SANITATION,

CAN YOU IMAGINE, YOU'D BE A GOOD

NUMBER TWO?

IT'S NOT A PROBLEM WITH MEN.

IT'S A PROBLEM WITH YANG.

YANG HAS TO START GETTING REAL

ABOUT SOME OF THE MISTAKES HE'S

MAKING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

THAT WOULD HAVE DERAILED ANYONE

ELSE.

FROM BEING IN A MIDTOWN DELI AND

SAYING HE'S IN A BODEGA, THEY'RE

NOT AFFECTING HIS POLL NUMBERS

THAT MUCH.

WHAT IS UP WITH NEW YORK CITY

DEMOCRATS ALLOWING THESE

MISTAKES TO FLY BY?

>> WHAT IS UP WITH NEW YORK CITY

DEMOCRATS?

>> SOME OF THE PHENOMENON OF

RANK CHOICE VOTING AND NATIONAL

NAME RECOGNITION COMING IN, YOU

KNOW, NEW YORK STATE AND THE

CITY HAS A TRADITION OF HAVING,

QUOTE, UNQUOTE, INTERLOPERS COME

INTO OUR MOTOPOLITICS AND DICTA

TERMS, GOING BACK TO BOBBY

KENNEDY, HILLARY CLINTON.

I THINK THE DIFFERENCE IS VOTERS

STATEWIDE COULD SEE BOBBY

KENNEDY AND HILLARY CLINTON

PERHAPS NOT EVEN AS NEW YORKERS,

BUT PEOPLE WHOSE POLITICS AND

AUTHENTIC SELVES FIT HAVE BEEN

THE NEW YORK POLITICAL CULTURE.

I'M NOT SO SURE PEOPLE FEEL THAT

WAY EN MASS ABOUT ANDREW YANG.

TO YOUR POINT, THOUGH, THE

CHALLENGE IS HE HAS THAT STRONG

BASE.

THAT'S WHAT I THINK JC IS

GETTING AT.

YET IT'S SOMEWHAT UNNERVING TO

NEW YORKERS WHO HAVE LIVED IN

THE CITY FOR A LONG TIME TO SEE

SOMEONE WHO, YEAH, CAN'T QUITE

PLACE AN ACTUAL AUTHENTIC BODEGA

FROM A RECENT FACSIMILE.

IT'S A REAL CHALLENGE.

>> HE HAS SOME OF THE BEST

POLITICAL CONSULTANTS IN THE

CITY.

THAT'S ANOTHER BIG DEAL FOR HIM.

THAT'S WHY HE'S TEFLON DON THIS

PRIMARY.

>> AND HE HAS SOME REALLY STRONG

POLITICAL SKILLS.

THIS IS A TALENTED POLITICIAN.

I THINK WHAT WE'RE GETTING AT

HERE IN THE YANG/GARCIA

CONVERSATION WHICH APPLIES TO

SEVERAL OTHER CANDIDATES IN THE

RACE AND MANY OTHER RACES IS

THERE'S A DIFFERENT SKILL SET

FOR GOVERNING AND FOR POLITICS

AND THERE'S DIFFERENT QUALITIES

THAT MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL IN A

POLITICAL CAMPAIGN THAN IN

RUNNING SOMETHING, WHETHER IT'S

CITY GOVERNMENT OR ONE OF THE

PRIVATE SECTOR VENTURES WHERE

YANG HAS HAD VERY LIMITED

SUCCESS UNTIL HIS PRESIDENTIAL

CAMPAIGN, WHICH PROPELLED HIM

QUITE FAR, AT LEAST IN THE

PUBLIC REALM EVEN THOUGH IT

DIDN'T TRANSLATE INTO VOTES.

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS AT

PLAY HERE WITH NEW YORK CITY

DEMOCRATS AND YANG IS THAT HE'S

CLEARLY BETTER KNOWN TO THOSE AT

LEAST BEING POLLED THAN ANY OF

HIS COMPETITORS.

HE HAS A VERY STRONG SENSE OF

LIKABILITY, THAT HE'S A NICE GUY

WITH BIG IDEAS WHO WANTS TO GIVE

PEOPLE MONEY, AS HIS

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN WAS

FOCUSED ON.

SO THE REAL QUESTION BECOMES,

YOU KNOW, AS THE UNDECIDEDS

START TO PAY ATTENTION, EVEN AS

SOME OF THE FOLKS WHO HAVE SAID

THEY SUPPORT YANG OR OTHER

CANDIDATES START TO REEVALUATE

THEIR OPTIONS, WHERE DO THINGS

FALL IN THE FINAL WEEKS OF THE

CAMPAIGN LEADING TO THE JUNE

VOTE.

YOUNG'S PERCENTAGE IS BELOW THE

PERCENTAGE OF UNDECIDED BUT HE

HAS SOME ADVANTAGES INCLUDING

THAT HE DOESN'T HAVE THAT MUCH

OF A LOCAL RECORD TO PICK APART.

>> YOU MADE AN EXCELLENT POINT

OF THE DIFFERENT SKILL SET IN

RUNNING FOR OFFICE AND ACTUALLY

GOVERNING, BECAUSE THAT BRINGS

US TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHO A LOT

OF NEW YORKERS FEEL DOES NOT

HAVE THAT SAME EQUAL SKILL SET

AND THAT IS MAYOR de BLASIO.

HE HAS SAID TODAY THAT ALL CITY

WORKERS WERE GOING TO BE GOING

BACK TO WORK.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT I THINK

80,000 PLUS PEOPLE INTO SOME

VERY OLD CITY BUILDINGS, WHICH

WEREN'T NECESSARILY BUILT FOR

THIS POST PANDEMIC WORLD WE'RE

SLOWLY MOVING INTO.

FIRST OFF, THE MAYOR'S ASSERTION

THAT IF CITY WORKERS GO BACK TO

WORK, THAT THAT WILL SHOW A SIGN

TO THE REST OF NEW YORK CITY

BUSINESSES THAT IT'S OKAY TO GO

BACK TO WORK, BECAUSE THERE IS A

CONCERN ABOUT OFFICE SPACE IN

MANHATTAN.

BEN, I WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE.

SHOULD THE MAYOR BE PUSHING FOR

CITY WORKERS TO GO BACK WHEN YOU

STILL SEE SO MANY CITY

BUSINESSES REALLY NOT READY TO

ADDRESS THAT UNTIL AFTER LABOR

DAY.

>> I DON'T KNOW THAT I FEEL 100%

CONFIDENT SAYING IT'S COMPLETELY

RIGHT OR WRONG.

THERE ARE ARGUMENTS FOR DOING

IT.

THERE ARE ARGUMENTS FOR WAITING

A LITTLE BIT LONGER.

WE SEE THE COVID NUMBERS GOING

WAY DOWN, WHICH IS VERY

ENCOURAGING.

WE SEE THE VACCINE NUMBERS GO

WAY UP, WHICH IS VERY

ENCOURAGING.

THERE MIGHT BE ROOM FOR WAITING

ANOTHER MONTH, LET'S SAY.

THE CITY HAS BEEN EVALUATING ALL

THEIR BUILDINGS FOR SPACING AND

VENTILATION AND THINGS LIKE

THAT.

NOW IT'S UP TO THE MAYOR TO

ENSURE THAT SAFETY.

BUT A LOT OF PLANNING HAS GONE

INTO IT AND SOME ACCOMMODATIONS

ARE BEING MADE FOR WORKERS WHO

AREN'T COMFORTABLE GOING BACK

IN.

THAT'S ONE OF THE BIG QUESTIONS

OF THIS WHOLE PROCESS, IS IF

ENOUGH ACCOMMODATIONS ARE BEING

MADE FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT

COMFORTABLE.

BUT IN TERMS OF THE QUESTION OF

A SIGNAL TO THE REST OF THE

CITY, IT'S ABSOLUTELY AN

IMPORTANT ONE, WHETHER IT

HAPPENS NOW OR IN ANOTHER MONTH.

IT'S ABSOLUTELY VITAL THAT THE

CITY'S MANHATTAN LIFE ESPECIALLY

GETS GOING AGAIN.

NOT ONLY IS IT A SIGNAL TO

COMPANIES TO BRING THEIR WORKERS

BACK, BUT IT'S ALSO A

STIMULATION TO THE ECONOMY IN

TERMS OF GETTING PEOPLE BACK ON

TRANSIT, GETTING PEOPLE BUYING

FROM THE LOCAL LUNCH SHOPS AND

ALL THAT AGAIN.

SO IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR CITY

GOVERNMENT TO DO THIS.

THE TIMING ABSOLUTELY COULD BE

DEBATED.

>> OF COURSE.

PROFESSOR, I KNOW YOU'RE NOT

WORKING IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT

JUST FROM A POLITICAL STANDPOINT

DOES THIS SEEM LIKE THE RIGHT

KIND OF STEP FORWARD TO BE

TAKING AS THE LEADER OF THE

CITY?

>> TO BE BLUNT, GOD ONLY KNOWS.

THIS IS ANOTHER TENSION, JENNA.

WE ALLUDED TO ONE BEFORE, THE

TENSION BETWEEN THE RIGHTS OF

THE ACCUSED AND ACCUSERS.

THIS IS A TENSION IN TERMS OF

HEALTH, IN TERMS OF PHYSICAL

HEALTH AND THE PERSONAL

WELL-BEING OF PEOPLE WHO ARE

WORKING IN THE CITY, BUT ALSO

THE ECONOMY AND THE WELL-BEING

OF THE CITY OVERALL.

YOU KNOW, DON RUMSFELD USED TO

SAY, NOT THAT I'M ONE TO QUOTE

DON RUMSFELD, BUT HE USED TO SAY

WE DON'T HAVE A METRIC FOR

GAUGING WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE

CREATING MORE TERRORISTS THAN WE

ARE KILLING TERRORISTS.

AND I DON'T HAVE A METRIC AND

I'M NOT SURE THE SCIENTISTS AND

THOSE DOING THE STUDIES OF COVID

AND WHERE WE ARE IN NEW YORK

KNOW THE METRIC FOR WHETHER OR

NOT WE ARE CREATING MORE HUMAN

MISERY BY KEEPING PEOPLE HOME

VERSUS RETURNING PEOPLE TO THE

WORKPLACE.

IF WE HAD THAT METRIC, WE COULD

JUDGE.

I DON'T THINK WE REALLY KNOW.

I'M NOT QUALIFIED TO JUDGE, BUT

I DO KNOW THAT IS WHAT BILL de

BLASIO AND MAYORS AROUND THE

COUNTRY ARE HAVING TO GRAPPLE

WITH.

CAN WE SEND WORKERS BACK SAFELY?

CAN WE KEEP THEM HOME IN A

MANNER THAT'S GOING TO SOMEHOW

ALLOW US TO RESURRECT OUR

ECONOMY?

I THINK THIS IS REALLY WHAT

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

YES, THE BODEGAS, THE HOT DOG

GUY, THE DELIS AND THE

RESTAUR

RESTAURANTS AND CAN WE DO IT IN

A WAY WHERE THERE'S BALANCE AND

HARMONY THERE SUCH THAT LIVES

ARE PROTECTED, PEOPLE ARE

HEALTHY, BUT ALSO THE ECONOMY IS

MANAGED WELL.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT TIPPING

POINT IS.

PERHAPS BEN IS RIGHT, MAYBE IT'S

A MONTH FROM NOW.

I DO KNOW THAT MAYOR de BLASIO

AND OTHERS, CERTAINLY THE

BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS PRESSING

HIM TO MAKE THE BET THAT PUTTING

PEOPLE BACK IN THE WORKFORCE AND

BACK IN THOSE OFFICES IS GOING

TO BE FINE AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE

FOR THEIR BOTTOM LINE, BUT ALSO

THE OVERALL ECONOMY OF THE CITY.

>> JC, YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?

>> I HEAR MY COLLEAGUES AND I

HEAR YOU JENNA.

I'M THINKING HOW IMPORTANT IS

HIS JOB OF MAYOR OF 80,000

EMPLOYEES AND ALMOST $100

BILLION BUDGET, THE SAFETY OF

ALMOST 10 MILLION PEOPLE WHO

LIVE AND WORK HERE DAILY.

I JUST THINK THAT THERE'S A

MOMENT IN TIME NOW FOR NEW

YORKERS TO REALLY ASK WHAT ARE

YOU QUALIFICATIONS TO BE MAYOR

OF NEW YORK CITY?

CAN YOU HANDLE THE QUESTIONS?

CAN YOU REALLY TAKE CARE OF

80,000 PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU,

CAN YOU MANAGE THE CITY.

I'M BEGINNING TO THINK IT'S TIME

THAT NEW YORKERS START PAYING

ATTENTION AND ASK THE QUESTION

ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO BE MAYOR,

BECAUSE THIS OPENING IS GOING TO

BE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

SHOW ME YOUR RESUME, WHAT HAVE

YOU DONE LATELY.

THOSE ARE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.

RIGHT NOW NEW YORK NEEDS THIS,

AS BEN HAS MENTIONED.

BUT I THINK THERE'S ANOTHER

ISSUE WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT.

WE KNOW IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR THE

MAYOR IS GOING TO BE FOCUSED ON

THAT.

BUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR, A LOT OF

BUSINESSES HAVE CLOSED UP, LEFT

THEIR LEASES BEHIND AND SEEN

THEIR WORKERS ARE MORE EFFICIENT

WORKING FROM HOME.

THAT'S GOING TO BE A BIG IMPACT

ON OUR NEW YORK CITY ECONOMY.

IT'S GOING TO BE HARD FOR A LOT

OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN VERY

EFFICIENT WORKING FROM HOME TO

HAVE TO COME BACK INTO THE CITY

AND THOSE BUSINESSES ONCE AGAIN

INVESTING IN THAT OFFICE SPACE.

I WONDER HOW LONG-TERM AN IMPACT

THIS PANDEMIC HAS BEEN FOR THE

NEW YORK CITY ECONOMY AND

WHETHER IT'S TIME THAT WE MAY

HAVE TO, ESPECIALLY THE LIBERALS

IN NEW YORK CITY, TO THINK ABOUT

SOME OF THOSE ECONOMIC

OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE HAVE LET

GO, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN

BROOKLYN,MAYBE QUEENS WITH

AMAZON.

WE MAY HAVE TO LOOK OTHER PLACES

TO GET SOME ECONOMIC STIMULUS IN

NEW YORK CITY.

>> I THINK EVERYONE WOULD AGREE

THIS IS SO FAR FROM COMPLETE.

THERE ARE JUST SO MANY

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ON THE

TABLE.

I AGREE WITH YOU, JC, THAT

DEFINITELY WHOEVER THE NEXT

MAYOR IS DOES NEED TO BE ABLE TO

ADDRESS ALL OF THESE VERY

COMPLICATED ISSUES.

WE'RE COMING UP ON THE END OF

OUR TIME, BUT I DON'T WANT TO

LEAVE WITHOUT BRINGING UP THE

FACT THAT THE CENSUS SHOWED THAT

NEW YORK LOST A CONGRESSIONAL

SEAT.

WHILE SOME OTHER STATES LIKE

FLORIDA, TEXAS, I UNDERSTAND

GAINED A FEW, WE'RE DOWN A

CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATE.

JC, YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FACT

THAT THE DEMOGRAPHICS ARE

SHIFTING VERY MUCH IN NEW YORK

STATE?

AND DOES THE GOVERNOR BEAR ANY

RESPONSIBILITY?

>> I THINK THE GOVERNOR, I THINK

THE LEGISLATURE.

I THINK WE HAVE TO BE HONEST,

IT'S VERY EXPENSIVE TO LIVE IN

NEW YORK.

IF YOU'RE A RETIREE, IT'S VERY

EXPENSIVE.

THINK ABOUT HOW HIGH TAXES ARE

IN NEW YORK.

YOU CAN GO TO TENNESSEE OR

FLORIDA WHERE THERE'S LESS TAXES

LIKE SO MANY HAVE.

THEY LEAVE BECAUSE THEY CAN HAVE

A BETTER WAY OF LIFE AND THE

FACT THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO PAY

SUCH HIGH TAXES MAKES THEIR

DOLLAR GO LONGER.

WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT HOW HIGH

TAXES ARE IMPACTING US.

I THINK THOSE 89 PEOPLE WHO DID

NOT RETURN THEIR CENSUS WHERE WE

BEGGED THEM HERE ON THIS PROGRAM

TO FILL OUT THE CENSUS.

89 OF YOU COST US A CONGRESS

MEMBER.

SHAME ON YOU.

>> YOU KNOW, A COUPLE THINGS.

ONE, THE SHIFT IN CONGRESSIONAL

SEATS AWAY FROM NEW YORK HAS

BEEN A MANY DECADES LONG TREND.

SO THIS IS NOT A RECENT THING.

NEW YORK'S POPULATION IS

ACTUALLY HAS STILL GROWN SINCE

THE LAST CENSUS.

NOW, THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS HAVE

BEEN TROUBLESOME ON THAT FRONT

BUT THERE'S ALSO QUESTIONS ABOUT

IMMIGRATION AND HOW THE TRUMP

ADMINISTRATION IMPACTED

IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED

STATES, WHICH WE KNOW OFTEN

INCREASES NEW YORK STATE AND NEW

YORK CITY'S POPULATION.

BUT TO THE SPECIFIC QUESTION OF

THE GOVERNOR, YES, THERE'S

QUESTIONS AROUND POLICY, TAXES,

ET CETERA, AND COST OF LIVING,

BUT ALSO IN TERMS OF THAT 89

NUMBER, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN

NEW YORK THAT COST THE STATE

THIS ONE SEAT, THERE WERE

THOUGHTS THAT NEW YORK WAS GOING

TO LOSE TWO SEATS.

SO FOR SOME, TO ONLY LOSE ONE

WAS SOMEWHAT OF A VICTORY.

BUT EVEN THEN LOSING THE ONE,

GOVERNOR CUOMO CLEARLY DID NOT

FOLLOW THROUGH ON SEVERAL

PROMISES TO FUND CENSUS OUTREACH

EFFORTS AND TO TURN STATE

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES INTO CENSUS

OUTREACH EFFORTS ON THEIR OWN.

NOW, THE PANDEMIC WAS OBVIOUSLY

HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIME, BUT

NEW YORK CITY DID IT AND NEW

YORK STATE AND THE GOVERNOR DID

NOT FOLLOW THROUGH ON THOSE

PROMISES AND THAT QUITE CLEARLY

COST NEW YORK THIS SEAT.

>> OF COURSE.

PROFESSOR AMBAR, WE HAVE ABOUT A

MINUTE LEFT.

I DO WONDER WHAT JC MENTIONED AT

THE BEGINNING ABOUT RETIREES IN

OTHER STATES, DOES THAT MATTER

AT ALL THAT NEW YORK IS SENDING

SO MANY OF OUR RETIREES TO OTHER

STATES' ECONOMIES?

THEY'RE NOT STAYING HERE.

>> LET ME BE A GLASS HALF FULL

GUY FOR PROGRESSIVES.

YOU GOT TWO SENATORS, DEMOCRATS,

OUT OF GEORGIA.

PART OF WHAT HAPPENED IS THAT'S

PART OF THE SUNBELT

RECONFIGURATION OF THE NATION'S

DEMOGRAPHICS.

PEOPLE ARE MOVING HISTORICALLY,

FOR DECADES NOW TO THE SOUTH AND

TO THE WEST AND TO THAT SUNBELT.

THAT'S SORT OF, YOU KNOW, BEEN

HARMFUL TO THE ECONOMY AND THE

DEMOGRAPHICS AND POLITICAL POWER

OF STATES LIKE NEW YORK AND MANY

IN THE INDUSTRIAL BELT.

BUT IT ALSO HAS PERHAPS BEGUN TO

MOVE AWAY FROM A SUNBELT THAT

HAS BEEN DEFINED BY CONSERVATISM

TO MAYBE ONE THAT'S GOING TO

BECOME A LITTLE MORE PROGRESSIVE

IN THE FUTURE.

THAT'S ALL I GOT FOR YOU.

>> I'M HAPPY TO END A ROUNDTABLE

ON A GLASS HALF FULL.

THAT IS DEFINITELY GOOD FOR US.

I WANT TO THANK MY GUESTS TODAY,

PROFESSOR AMBAR, JC POLLANCO AND

BEN MAX, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OFGAZ.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME

ON THE "METROFOCUS" ROUND TABLE.

>>"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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