MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: October 12, 2021

Our Frontpage Forecast panelists Conservative Color Coalition chair and host of the cable news show “Saturday Agenda” Joseph Pinion, Democratic political strategist Na’ilah Amaru and Deputy Editor at The City, Alyssa Katz discuss late breaking headlines from across the tristate and the nation.

AIRED: October 12, 2021 | 0:28:32
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI 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,

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION.

>>> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO

"METROFOCUS."

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

OUR LOOK AHEAD AT THE MAJOR

HEADLINES BEGINS TONIGHT WITH

THE DECISION SHAKING UP THE

WORLD OF EDUCATION AND NEW YORK

POLITICS.

MAYOR de BLASIO'S PHASE OUT OF

THE CITY'S GIFT AND TALENT

PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WHO CRITICS

CONTRIBUTE TO RACIAL SEGREGATION

IN NEW YORK'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

PARENTS ARGUE IT HAS GIVEN

OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INTO BETTER

SCHOOLS, THUS LIFTING THEM OUT

OF POVERTY.

IF THE PROGRAM IS SCRAPPED, THE

CONTROVERSY AND MUCH.

WORK, WILL FALL ON THE SHOULDERS

OF THE CITY'S NEXT MAYOR, EITHER

DEMOCRAT ERIC ADAM OR REPUBLICAN

E

ERIC SEWELL.

SO EACH ARE MAKING THEIR FINAL

PITCH FOR VOTES THAT START LATER

THIS MONTH.

MEANWHILE, MAYOR de BLASIO IS

EMBROILED OVER ANOTHER

CONTROVERSY OVER HIS REFUSAL TO

PAY THE CITY BACK OVER $300,000

HE SPENT ON NYPD SECURITY DURING

HIS FAILED 2019 PRESIDENTIAL

RUN.

THE MAYOR SAID AS WE FOLLOWING

ADVICE FROM THE NYPD AND

SHOULDN'T HAVE TO FOOT THE BILL.

SO LET'S GET STARTED AND WELCOME

BACK THREE NEW YORK VOICES WHO

ARE EXPORTS AS HOW THINGS WORK

HERE AND IN THE TRISTATE.

UP FIRST WE HAVE JOSEPH PINION.

JOSEPH IS A GOP STRATEGIST,

SHARE OF THE CONSERVATIVE COLOR

COALITION AND HOST OF THE CABLE

NEWS PROGRAM "SATURDAY AGENDA."

JOSEPH, WELCOME BACK TO

"METROFOCUS."

>> GOOD TO BE HERE WITH YOU.

>> WE'RE ALSO JOINED BY NAY

ALLAH AMARU, A DEMOCRATIC

POLITICAL STRATUS, ADVANCING

PROGRESSIVE POLICY.

SHE'S ALSO THE FORMER EXECUTIVE

DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK CITY

COUNCIL'S BLACK, LATINO AND

ASIAN CAUCUS.

WELCOME BACK TO "METROFOCUS."

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> AND TO ROUND OUT OUR

ROUNDTABLE WE'RE JOINED BY

ALYSSA CATS, DEPUTY EDITOR OF

THE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIVE

NEWS SITE "THE CITY."

ALYSSA, WELCOME BACK TO THE

SHOW.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME BACK.

>> ALYSSA, I WANT TO START WITH

YOU BECAUSE IT SEEMS LIKE MAYOR

de BLASIO ALWAYS SEEMS TO FIND

HIMSELF IN SOME KIND OF

CONTROVERSY, AND OF COURSE WE'LL

GET TO THE NYPD STATEMENT SOON

BUT I WANT TO START WITH THE

PHASING OUT OF THE GIFTED AND

TALENTED PROGRAM.

WHAT HAS HE SAID IS HIS

REASONING BEHIND THAT, AND WHAT

DO YOU MAKE OF THE TIMING?

>> YES, THE -- I'LL START WITH

THE TIMING, WHICH IS VERY

INTERESTING GIVEN THAT de BLASIO

HIMSELF HAD CONVENED A TASK

FORCE, AT THIS POINT IT WAS AT

LEAST TWO YEARS AGO, IF NOT

LONGER, TO REALLY TAKE A CLOSE

LOOK AT THESE PROGRAMS WHICH

HAVE CHILDREN TAKING EXAMINES AT

THE AGE 4 THAT COULD DETERMINE

THE REST OF THEIR CAREER.

SO de BLASIO DID THIS AS PART OF

KIND OF A CONSENSUS THAT THIS

WAS NOT A GREAT WAY TO ENSURE A

GOOD EDUCATIONAL OUTCOME FOR

ANYONE.

IT'S NOT JUST A VIABLE SYSTEM.

BUT de BLASIO DID THIS IN THE

FINAL WEEKS OF HIS LIMITED

SECOND TERM AND I THINK IT WAS

INFURIATING CERTAINLY TO THE

PEOPLE WHO WORKED VERY HARD ON

HIS TASK FORCE AND TO THE MANY

FAMILIES WHO WERE REAL

CHILLY

CONCERNED IN SANS THE SYSTEM HAD

REALLY BAKED IN SEGREGATION,

THAT THESE PROGRAMS WERE

OVERWHELMINGLY IN SCHOOLS THAT

ARE MORE WHITE AND ASIAN THAN

THE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE, AND YOU

ALSO HAD ENTIRE GIFTED AND

TALENTED SCHOOLS THAT WERE EVEN

MORE KIND OF HYPER EXCLUSIVE.

AND THERE HAD BEEN A POINT WHERE

THERE HAD BEEN A CHOICE, RIGHT?

AND FOR MANY YEARS, YOU HAD SOME

ADVOCATES SAYING DO AWAY WITH

THE SYSTEM AND OTHERS SAYING,

YOU KNOW, MAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY

AVAILABLE MORE WIDELY.

BRING IT TO DISTRICTS -- TO

EVERY DISTRICT IN THE CITY

BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY DISTRICTS

WHO HAVE FEW OR EVEN NO GIFTED

AND TALENTED PROGRAMS.

AND INSTEAD de BLASIO LONG AFTER

HIS TASK FORCE RECOMMENDED IT

SAID LET'S DO AWAY WITH THIS

ENTIRELY AND THAT LEAVES IT UP

TO THE NEXT MAYOR TO ACTUALLY

ACT OR NOT.

>> OKAY, SO THEN WITH ALL OF

THAT IN MIND, NAILAH, I WANT TO

GET YOUR TAKE ON DOING AWAY WITH

THIS PROGRAM AND ARE THE CRITICS

RIGHT THAT IT WAS CONTRIBUTING

TO BE COMPLETELY DONE AWAY WITH

SEGREGATION IN THE PUBLIC

SCHOOLS?

>> I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT

KNOWLEDGE, I THINK HOW HIGHLY

SELECTEDIVE THE GIFT AND

TALENTED PROGRAM IS, 2,500

STUDENTS EVERY YEAR ARE

ADMITTED, AND THAT'S WITH A

PUBLIC SCHOOL ENROLLMENT OF OVER

60,000 STUDENTS.

WITH THAT SAID THE ARGUMENT HAS

BEEN THIS LEADS TO DE FACTO

RACIAL SEGREGATION IN OUR

SCHOOLS, SO THE PUSH TO MOVE

TOWARDS THE NEW PROGRAM de

BLASIO IS ADVOCATING FOR FOR NYC

IS THAT NEW PROGRAM WILL CREATE

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL OF THE

STUDENTS WHO SPECIALIZE IN

ACCELERATED LEARNING COMPONENTS.

AND THEY'RE ALL IN THE SAME

CLASSROOM.

I THINK THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE

HERE IS WE HAVE NOT YET THROUGH

THE TASK FORCE, THROUGH PUBLIC

DISCOURSE IN LIGHT OF THIS

DECISION REALLY COME TO A

CONSENSUS IN TERMS OF IS THIS

ABOUT DECREASING THE STANDARDS,

RIGHT, WHICH IS ONE SIDE OF THE

ARGUMENT OR SHOULD IT BE ABOUT

INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES FOR

STUDENTS, WHICH IS THE NARRATIVE

THAT IS MAYOR IS PUSHING

TOWARDS?

I DO THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO

ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE HAS NOT

BEEN A PUBLIC DISCOURSE, YOU

KNOW, ON THIS ISSUE IN LIGHT OF,

YOU KNOW, WHAT THE MAYOR HAS IN

TERMS OF TWO MONTHS LEFT IN HIS

ADMINISTRATION, WHICH IS

ESSENTIALLY CREATING ANOTHER

POTENTIAL MESS FOR THE INCOMING

MAYOR IN JANUARY OF NEXT YEAR TO

TRY AND NAVIGATE AND PUSH

THROUGH IN TERMS OF WHAT IS BEST

FOR OUR STUDENTS AND CAN IT BE

IMFLORIDA FAYED INTO AN

EITHER/OR CONVERSATION OR AS

SIMPLE AS CREATING A NEW PROGRAM

IN TERMS OF IS THIS GOING TO BE

BETTER OR THIS JUST ANOTHER

PROGRAM THAT STILL CONTINUES

INEQUITIES WE'RE FACING WITH THE

GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM AS

IS.

>> JOSEPH, WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON

THE MAYOR'S PLAN TO ELIMINATE

THIS PROGRAM?

>> OH, LOOK, I THINK IN MANY

WAYS IT SEEMS TO DOUBLE DOWN ON

THESE FAILED NARRATIVES.

NUMBER ONE, THIS NOTION THAT WE

HAVE TO TEAR DOWN SOME SECTORS

OF SOCIETY IN ORDER TO UPLIFT

OTHER SOCIETY, THAT TO ME

BECOMES A VERY REAL PROBLEM.

YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROVIDE

EQUITABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL

THE CHILDREN OF THIS CITY,

INCLUDING THOSE WHO ARE ON A

FASTER TRACK AND THOSE WHO ARE

LAGGING BEHIND.

SO I THINK WHEN WE START TALKING

ABOUT WHAT OUR OBJECTIVES SHOULD

BE, OUR OBJECTIVES SHOULD BE TO

DEAL WITH THE HARSH REALITY,

YES, WE HAVE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN

NEW YORK CITY THAT ARE MORE

SEGREGATED THAN AT THE HEIGHT OF

JIM CROW BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO

DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT STUDENTS

ACROSS THE BOARD BY AND LARGE

ARE NOT READING AT GRADE LEVEL

AND NOT DOING MATH AT GRADE

LEVEL AND THIS NOTION THAT WE'RE

GOING TO DECONSTRUCT THE SECTOR

OF THE EDUCATION THAT IS

ACTUALLY WORKING IN THE NOTION

WE'RE GOING TO ACCELERATE THE

EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES FOR ALL

PEOPLE IN MANY WAYS STRAINS IT

BECAUSE THE DATA IN MANY WAYS

DOES NOT SUPPORT THAT LEVEL OF

OUTCOME AND THE HARDER TRUTH IS

THAT IT REALLY SEEMS TO BE MORE

VIRTUAL SIGNALING THAN ANYTHING

BECAUSE TO MY COLLEAGUE'S POINT,

THE MAYOR HAS WEEKS, NOT YEARS

LEFT, ON HIS CURRENT TERM.

>> SO THEN TAKING THE NOTION OF

PERHAPS VIRTUE SIGNALING,

ALYSSA, I WANTED TO GET YOUR

TAKE ON WHERE DO WE KNOW OF

WHERE THE TWO MAYORAL CANDIDATES

STAND IN TERMS OF PERHAPS

INHERITING ALL OF THIS EXTRA

WORK TO DO AND ELIMINATING THIS

PROGRAM AND PERHAPS

RECONFIGURING THE WAY THAT THE

SCHOOLS ARE DECIDING WHICH KIDS

GO TO WHICH HIGH SCHOOL

EVENTUALLY?

>> SO, REALLY, YES, I THINK

WE'RE LOOKING AT BOTH GIFTED AND

TALENTED AND ENTIRE ADMISSIONS

PROCESS, AS YOU SAY.

I THINK WE KNOW ERIC ADAM HAS

BEEN VERY CLEAR THAT HE

DOESN'T -- IS NOT SO READY TO

THROW OUT THE EXISTING SYSTEM.

HE HASN'T SAID ABSOLUTELY I WILL

NOT GET RID OF IT NOR OHAS HE

SAID HE IS PREPARED TO GET RID

OF IT.

AND WHAT NAILAH SAID BEFORE THAT

de BLASIO'S PROPOSING OF A

CLASSROOM, I SHOULD SAY I'M NOT

A PROPONENT OF THAT, BUT I AM AN

ALUM OF THE GIFTED AND TALENTED

PROGRAM THAT HELPED CREATE THE

MODERN SYSTEM AND I WOULD SAY IT

WOULD BE REALLY HARD TO

REPLICATE THE KIND OF EDUCATION

I GOT IN THAT PROGRAM WITHIN A

CLASSROOM WITH A HUGE SPECTRUM

OF LEARNING NEEDS AND NEEDS --

JUST REALLY TEACHERS ALREADY

WORK SO MUCH TO DIFFERENTIATE.

I DON'T THINK IT'S REALISTIC TO

IMPLEMENT.

I COULD BE WRONG.

I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING MORE

OF WHAT de BLASIO'S PROPOSING

BUT I THINK THAT WOULD BE A BIG

BURDEN FOR ANY ADMINISTRATION.

I'M NOT SURE WHERE CURTIS STANDS

BUT I'M PRETTY SURE HE'S NOT SET

IN ANY WHIEZ PREPARED TO GET RID

OF THE GIFTED AND TALENTED

PROGRAM.

>> I GUESS MY FINAL QUESTION ON

THIS TOPIC, NAILAH, DO YOU THINK

AS PERHAPS JOSEPH POINTED OUT

VIRTUE SIGNALING, THIS COULD BE

AN ATTEMPT FOR THE MAYOR TO

SIGNAL TO OTHER VOTERS WHERE HE

STANDS ON CERTAIN ISSUES SHOULD

HE CHOOSE TO RUN FOR ANOTHER

OFFICE?

WE'RE NOT SAYING ANYTHING

OFFICIALLY BUT YOU SHOULD THE

POSSIBILITY HAPPEN?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

I THINK THAT TO SOME DEGREE

THESE TYPE OF ISSUES ARE ALSO

CIRCLING PARTICULARLY ON A

POTENTIAL CAMPAIGN.

I THINK WHAT IT SHOWS IS, AGAIN,

BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN THAT

HISTORIC DIVISION IN TERMS OF

WHERE FOLKS, PARTICULARLY VOTERS

OF COLOR, NEIGHBORHOODS OF COLOR

WHO BENEFIT FROM THESE GIFTED

PROGRAMS AND WHO DOES NOT DOES

FALL ALONG VERY SPECIFIC RACIAL

LINES, AND IT COULD BE VIRTUAL

SIGNALING IN THAT HE'S PREPARING

HIMSELF THAT NEEDS SUPPORT,

PARTICULARLY FOR THE BLACK

ELECTORATE IN NEW YORK CITY,

WHICH HISTORICALLY GAVE HIM HIS

WIN BACK IN 2014 AND STRONGLY

SUPPORTED HIM FOR HIS

RE-ELECTION AND STILL AN

INCREDIBLY STRONG ENDORSEMENT

FOR NEW YORK CITY POLITICS AS

FOR THE STATE , AND COULD VERY

AGAIN BE THE VIRTUE PUBLIC

SIGNALING THIS ULTIMATELY COMING

OUT AS AN EFFECTIVE FUNDAMENTAL

CHANGE IN HOW WE EDUCATE OUR

STUDENTS HERE IN THE CITY IS

NOTHING MORE THAN POTENTIAL PLUG

FOR A CAMPAIGN HE HAS YET TO

PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE.

>> JOSEPH, FULLY ACCEPTING AND

ACKNOWLEDGING THAT NONE OF US ON

THIS PARTICULAR ROUNDTABLE ARE

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS, BUT DO

YOU THINK THAT THAT IS GOING TO

BE A TOP ISSUE FOR WHOEVER

BECOMES THE NEXT MAYOR, IS

HAVING TO PERHAPS REIMAGINE HOW

THE CITY'S PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

WORKS?

CONSIDERING THAT SO MANY PEOPLE

HAVE POINTED OUT ALL OF THE

PITFALLS WHERE IT'S NOT WORKING?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

I MEAN FIRST AND FOREMOST, I

THINK SOCIETY AT LARGE NEEDS A

REIMAGINING.

TOO OFTEN SWWE SEEM TO BE WILLI

TO RETROFIT 19th CENTURY AND

20th CENTURY SOLUTION YOUS FOR A

21st CENTURY WORLD, WHETHER

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT OUR

INFRASTRUCTURE OR EVEN

CONCLUSION OF THE SECOND AVENUE

SUBWAY LINE, WHICH IS AGAIN JUST

DRAGGING THE 20th CENTURY INTO

THE 21st CENTURY AND NOW LOOKING

AT THE STATUS OF OUR EDUCATIONAL

SYSTEM AND OUTCOME IT'S

DELIVERING FOR OUR CHILDREN,

IT'S QUITE CLEAR THAT THE STATUS

QUO IS NOT WORKING.

ULTIMATELY I THINK IT IS OUR

RESPONSIBILITY, AND CERTAINLY

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE NEXT

MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, TO

FIGURE OUT WHAT ARE THE BEST

PRACTICES THAT WORK TO MAKE SURE

THAT CHILDREN CAN READ AT GRADE

LEVEL, CAN DO MATH AT GRADE

LEVEL, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, ARE

BEING EQUIPPED WITH THE TOOLS

THEY NEED TO BECOME THE BEST

VERSION OF THEMSELVES?

AND I THINK THAT IS WHILE SALE

CHANGE THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

HOPEFULLY THE LEADERSHIP GET

MOVING FORWARD WILL UNDERSTAND

THE WORLD IS CHANGING, THE

SOLUTIONS THAT WE PROVIDE FOR

THE WORLD NEED TO EVOLVE ALONG

WITH IT.

>> ALL RIGHT.

WE ARE GOING TO LEAVE THE

EDUCATION DEBATE THERE BUT IT

WILL BE A SUBJECT WE WILL

DEFINITELY BE REVISITING IN THE

FUTURE.

ALYSSA, I WANT TO GO BACK TO YOU

AND BRING UP -- BECAUSE I DID

MENTION THE MAYOR SEEMS TO

CONSTANTLY FIND HIMSELF

EMBROILED IN CONTROVERSIES AND

THIS LATEST ONE SEEMS TO BE A

BIT MESSY, AM I CORRECT IN

SAYING THAT IT'S MESSIER, OR AM

I NOT?

GIVE US YOUR TAKE ON MAYOR de

BLASIO AND HIS SECURITY BILL.

>> YEAH, RIGHT, A REPORT CAME

OUT LAST WEEK FROM THE CITY

DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION, AND

THIS CONCERNS SOMETHING MANY OF

US MAY HAVE PUT OUT OF OUR

MINDS, BUT THIS WAS THAT MAYOR

de BLASIO BRIEFLY RAN FOR

PRESIDENT IN 2020, RIGHT?

WE MAY REMEMBER HE WENT TO IOWA.

HE I THINK WENT TO A COUPLE OF

OTHER PLACES ON THE CAMPAIGN

TRAIL.

AND WHEN HE DID THAT, AND MY

NEWS ORGANIZATION "THE CITY"

WROTE ABOUT THIS AT THE TIME, HE

BROUGHT WITH HIM AN NYPD POLICE

DETAIL AND PRESUMABLY THAT

DETAIL NEEDED TO BE PUT UP IN

THOLES AND TRAVEL AROUND AND

AIRFARE AND SO ON.

SO REPORTERS I WORK WITH LOOKED

AT THAT, CAME UP WITH AN

ESTIMATE.

WE FOUND OUT THIS ESTIMATE WAS

PRETTY CLOSE, IN FACT THE BILL

WAS HIGHER THAN WE EVEN

REALIZED.

IT WAS OVER $300,000.

BUT I THINK THE IMPORTANT POINT

HERE, AND TO YOUR POINT ABOUT de

BLASIO CONSTANTLY STIRRING UP

CONTROVERSY, de BLASIO AND HIS

FAMILY AND SOME STAFFERS REALLY

BRAZENLY USE THE NYPD IN KIND OF

TWO WAYS, AND IT'S PARTLY ABOUT

THE MONEY, BUT THEY END UP

USING -- THE REPORT FOUND de

BLASIO'S FAMILY HAD REALLY USED

THE NYPD AT TIMES ALMOST LIKE A

CHAUFFEUR AND MOVING SERVICE

WITHOUT REALLY ANY KIND OF CLEAR

LINES DESPITE THAT WE HAVE

GOVERNMENT ETHICS LAWS SAYING

YOU CAN'T JUST USE GOVERNMENT

RESOURCES FOR YOUR OWN PRIVATE

PURPOSE.

AND HIS OWN SUBORDINATES WOULD

GET IN TROUBLE IF THEY DID SUCH

THINGS.

BUT HE AND HIS FAMILY DID THAT.

WHEN IT CAME TO POLICE DETAIL,

APPARENTLY, MY ORGANIZATION HAD

REPORTED LAST WEEK, de BLASIO

HAD SOUGHT ADVICE FROM THE

CITY'S OWN ETHICS BOARD, WELL,

CAN I PRETTY PLEASE BRING THESE

OFFICERS?

AND THEY SAID FORGET ABOUT IT,

AND HE DID IT ANYWAY AND GOT

CAUGHT.

SO THERE'S A LOT MORE TO IT BUT

WHEN YOU'RE ASKING WHY IS de

BLASIO CONSTANTLY CAUSING

CONTROVERSY, IN THIS CASE I

THINK IT'S CLEAR, HE'S ACTING AS

IF THE RULES DO NOT APPLY TO

HIM.

THAT WHATEVER HE'S DOING,

WHETHER IT'S RUNNING FOR

PRESIDENT OR LIVING UNDER GRACIE

MANSION IS JUST TOO IMPORTANT

FOR THESE SORT OF INCONVENIENT

DETAILS TO APPLY.

AND IT'S UNDERSTANDABLY

UPSETTING TO MEMBERS OF THE

PUBLIC.

>> JOSEPH, I WANT TO GET YOUR

TAKE ON THE SECURITY DETAIL

ISSUE.

I MEAN, WE'VE SEEN AT LEAST IN

THE PAST FEW YEARS SEVERAL OTHER

POLITICIANS AT DIFFERENT LEVELS

OF GOVERNMENT PERHAPS FLOUT

RULES AND SAY, WELL, I DON'T

HAVE TO DO X, Y AND Z.

I JUST WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE ON

THIS.

>> I MEAN, LOOK, RULES ARE

RULES.

EITHER WE BELIEVE IN THEM OR WE

DON'T.

EITHER WE'RE A NATION OF LAWS OR

WE'RE NOT.

THE LEVEL OF HUBRIS ON DISPLAY

FROM BILL de BLASIO IS AS

SHOCKING AS IT IS PREDICTABLE

BECAUSE AS MY COLLEAGUE HAS

NOTED, THESE TYPE OF ISSUES SEEM

TO FOLLOW HIM AROUND FROM PILLAR

TO POST.

SO TO BE CLEAR, THE ONLY PERSON

THAT WANTED TO SEE BILL de

BLASIO BE PRESIDENT OF THESE

UNITED STATES WAS BILL de

BLASIO.

IT SEEMS HE COULD NOT FIND A

VOTER ANYWHERE, AND I THINK IF

HE WAS GOING TO BE DOING WHAT

SEEMS LIKE THE RIGHT THING TO

DO, IT WOULD BE TO USE SOME OF

HIS OWN CAMPAIGN CASH OR GET

SOME OF HIS OWN CAMPAIGN DONORS

TO NOT HAVE THE PEOPLE OF NEW

YORK CITY BEARING THE BURDEN FOR

HIS OWN MISADVENTURES IN IOWA IN

THE MIDST OF US TRYING TO DEAL

WITH A COVID-19 CRISIS.

SO I THINK THAT TO ME IS THE

REAL ISSUE.

I THINK IT SPEAKS TO A LOT OF

THE ISSUES THAT PEOPLE ACROSS

THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM HAVE HAD

WITH MAYOR de BLASIO, AND I

THINK AFTER YS HE GEARS UP FOR

APPEARS TO BE A LONG-SHOT RUN AT

GOVERNOR, IT'S THE TYPE OF THING

HIS OPPONENT IN THE DEMOCRATIC

PRIMARY WILL ATTEMPT TO USE TO

SEAL THAT.

>> I THINK THE REPORT

ACKNOWLEDGED HE USED PUBLIC

RESOURCES FOR POLITICAL AND

PERSONAL PURPOSES.

IT'S UNFORTUNATE THE MAYOR HAS

STRONGLY DENIED THE REPORT'S

FINDINGS AND HAS SAID, YOU KNOW,

THERE ARE INACCURACIES WITHOUT

SPECIFICALLY OUTLINING WHAT THE

INACCURACIES IN THE REPORT ARE.

I THINK IT SHOWS AGAIN THE

DANGERS OF WHEN THERE'S A

PATTERN OF CONDUCT OR CULTURE

THAT USE PUBLIC RESOURCES FOR

POLITICAL PURPOSES AND PERSONAL

BENEFIT.

THE ISSUES THAT LEAD TO

DESTABILIZING GOOD GOVERNMENT

AND TRUST THAT GOVERNMENT WOULD,

ON BEHALF OF NEW YORKERS, AGAIN,

ALWAYS DISAPPOINTING BUT NEVER

SURPRISING WHEN THESE SITUATIONS

COME OUT TO LIGHT.

AND, YOU KNOW, HOPEFULLY AS WE

MOVE FORWARD AND MEDIA, YOU

KNOW, KEEP SHINING THE LIGHT ON

THESE TYPES OF ISSUES IN OUR

GOVERNMENT AND HOW OUR RESOURCES

ARE USED BY ELECTED OFFICIALS,

THAT WE CONTINUE TO HOLD THEM

ACCOUNTABLE AS BEST THAT'S WE

CAN SO THESE TYPES OF PRACTICES

DO NOT CONTINUE IN THE FUTURE.

>> WELL, DEPENDING ON WHOEVER

BECOMES THE NEXT MAYOR WILL AT

LEAST GET A GOOD LOOK AT BOTH OF

THEM BECAUSE THEY DO HAVE THEIR

FIRST DEBATE COMING UP NEXT

WEEK.

ALYSSA, I WANTED TO START WITH

YOU BECAUSE SO MUCH OF THE

POLITICAL CONVERSATION IN NEW

YORK TENDS TO CENTER AROUND AN

ASSUMPTION, MORE OR LESS, EITHER

SPOKEN OR UNSPOKEN, THAT ERIC

ADAMS WILL WIN THIS CONTEST.

BUT YOUR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

DID AN ENTIRE DEEP DIVE ON WHO

IS CURTIS LEEWAD THE PERSON AND

THE FACT HE DOES HAVE A

SUPPORTING BASE THAT COULD MAKE

THIS CONTEST A LOT MORE

INTERESTING.

I WANTED TO GET YOUR TAKE ON

CURTIS THE CANDIDATE AND WHAT

YOU EXPECT TO SEE FROM BOTH MEN

IN THE FIRST SPACE?

>> YES, HE'S A REALLY

INTERESTING CHARACTER AND AS

YOUR VIEWERS MAY KNOW IF THEY

ALSO WORK "NEW YORK ONE," THAT'S

A GOOD EXAMPLE, OR LISTEN TO

TALK RADIO, HE'S REALLY AS WE

TALK ABOUT IN THE PIECE HAS BEEN

A MEDIA PRESENCE AND KIND OF

TALK SHOW FIGURE FOR YEARS.

AND AS FOLKS POINTED OUT AND

SPOKE WITH OUR REPORTER AT THE

CITY, IT'S KIND OF ACTUALLY WHAT

IS CONDUCTING HIS CAMPAIGN.

HE'S CONSTANTLY KIND OF DRUMMING

UP ATTENTION TO HIMSELF IN

ISSUES WHERE HE'S SAYING THE

DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT,

INCLUDING ERIC ADAMS, HAVE

REALLY NOT BEEN RESPONSIVE.

SO ONE GREAT EXAMPLE OF THAT IS

THAT HE -- NOT ONE, BUT TWO

PRESS CONFERENCES, ON THE PUBLIC

STREETS OF NEW YORK CITY, HE AND

SOMEONE EMOTIONALLY KIND OF

DISTURBED SHOWS UP ON THE SCENE,

DOESN'T SEEM TO BE PREARRANGED

AND ACTUALLY ENGAGES WITH THAT

PERSON AND TRIES TO KIND OF WORK

WITH HIM IN SOME RESPECTFUL WAY

TO KIND OF HIGHLIGHT THAT

EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED PEOPLE ARE

NOT GETTING THE HELP THAT THEY

NEED, FOR EXAMPLE.

AND I DO THINK THERE'S -- WE

DON'T KNOW HOW BIG THAT

CONSTITUENCY IS OF VOTERS, AND

WE KNOW, OF COURSE, DEMOCRATS

OUTNUMBER REPUBLICANS AT ROUGHLY

6-1 IN VOTER REGISTRATION.

THERE'S DEFINITELY SOME

DISAFFECTED DEMOCRATS AND

GROWING INDEPENDENTS WILL OPT

FOR HIM.

I KNOW HE'S A BIT OF AN

ICONOCLAST AND BIT OF A

CHARACTER WITHOUT -- HE HAS --

DOESN'T HAVE A HISTORY OF

RUNNING ANYTHING AND MOST WILL

RECOGNIZE THAT WITH THEIR VOTES

BUT AS FOLKS SAID IN THEIR

STORY, YOU CAN'T ACTUALLY COUNT

HIM OUT ENTIRELY.

>> JOSEPH, WHAT ARE YOU

EXPECTING TO SEE FROM BOTH

GENTLEMEN IN THIS FIRST DEBATE

NEXT WEEK?

>> LOOK, I THINK THAT

PREDICTABLY CURTIS SIWA IS GOING

TO LEAD ON THE FACT WE'VE SEEN

CRIME AND POVERTY SPIKING IN NEW

YORK CITY, PARTICULARLY IN

COVID.

THE 95% SPIKE IN SHOOTINGS FROM

2019 TO 2020, 33-PLUS% SPIKE IN

HOMICIDES WE SAW IN NEW YORK.

I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A

LITTLE TOUGHER BECAUSE THE

PERSON STANDING ON THAT STAGE

WILL NOT BE A KATHERINE GARCIA

OR BILL de BLASIO, IT'S GOING TO

BE A MAN WHO LITERALLY PUT HIS

LIFE ON THE LINE FOR NEW YORK

CITY AS A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK

CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT.

IT'S GOING TO BE AN INTERESTING

DEBATE, I'M SURE.

I'M SURE IT WILL BE KILLED WITH

CHARACTER MOMENTS.

BUT ULTIMATELY THIS ELECTION IS

REALLY GOING TO BE DETERMINED BY

WHO IS GOING TO HAVE THE ABILITY

TO CONNECT WITH THOSE PORTIONS

OF THE NEW YORK CITY ELECTORATE

THAT TYPICALLY DO NOT ENGAGE IN

THESE MIDTERM ELECTIONS, IF

CURTIS SIWA IS ABLE TO ACTIVATE

MF THOSE VOTERS, IT COULD BE

INTERESTING.

AND I THINK IT'S UP TO ERIC

ADAMS TO AVOID MAKING MISTAKES

OR PITFALLS OF THINKING THE

ELECTION IS ALREADY OVER.

>> NAILAH, YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS

UPCOMING DEBATE?

>> SO DEBATES CAN BE ANALYZED

THROUGH TWO LENSES.

THERE'S THE PERFORMATIVE, THE TV

CAMERAS AND CONNECTING WITH THE

AUDIENCE AT HOME AND CONTENT,

SUBSTANTIVE COMPONENT OF WHAT

THE DIALOGUE LOOKS LIKE.

I THINK BOTH CANDIDATES ARE

GOING TO HAVE TO REALLY, YOU

KNOW, DRAW THE LINE IN THE STAND

IN TERMS OF HOW THEY'RE VERY

DIFFERENT.

I THINK ADAMS GOES INTO THIS

PARTICULARLY PART OF THE

CONVERSATION IN TERMS OF DEBATE

WITH THE ADVANTAGE AS A RETIRED

COP, AND KNOWING ONE OF HIS KEY

ISSUES IS FIGHTING CRIME, WHICH

IS TRADITIONALLY PART OF THE

REPUBLICAN PLATFORM.

IT'S NOT AN ISSUE THAT SIWA HAS

A STRONG UNDERSTANDING IN TERMS

OF SPEAKING ABOUT, PARTICULARLY

SINCE THERE'S BEEN A SLIGHT DROP

IN CRIMES AND HOW ADAMS IS

REALLY FOCUSED ON, AGAIN,

ENGAGING AND MAKING SURE THAT

THE CRIME CONTINUES TO BE

ADDRESSED AND CONTINUES TO

DECREASE.

AGAIN, I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW,

BOTH MEN AGAIN NEED TO PERFORM

FOR THE CAMERAS, BUT ALSO NEED

TO, AGAIN, MAKE THE CLEAR CASE

IN TERMS OF POLICY.

AND I'M EXCITED TO SEE THIS WILL

BE THE FIRST DEBATE WITH TWO

PEOPLE WITH OUR TWO TOP

CANDIDATES, WHERE WE CAN REALLY

BEGIN TO SEE THE DIFFERENCES IN

THEIR POLICY VISIONS, WHICH IS

NOT NECESSARILY THE CASE DURING

THE PRIMARY WITH SO MANY PEOPLE

ON THE STAGE.

REALLY LOOKING FORWARD AGAIN TO

EACH CANDIDATE MAKING THE CASE

AND MAKING -- MAKING THEIR

ARGUMENTS IN TERMS OF WHY THEIR

POLICY PLATFORMS ARE THE BEST

FOR MOVING OUR CITY FORWARD.

>> ALL RIGHT, WE'RE ALMOST OUT

OF TIME BUT I DO WANT TO ASK

EVERYONE IN OUR ROUNDTABLE WHAT

ARE THE STORIES YOU'RE GOING TO

BE FOLLOWING AS THIS WEEK

DEVELOPS?

ALYSSA, AS AN EDITOR, I'LL START

WITH YOU.

>> YEAH, I'M GOING TO BE

MADDENINGLY NONSPECIFIC HERE.

>> ALL RIGHT.

>> WE'RE CERTAINLY GOING TO BE

FOLLOWING THE MARE'S RACE,

THA

MAYOR'S RACE, THAT'S A BIG

FOCUS.

BUT ALSO CONTINUING TO DO WATCH

DOG JOURNALISM ABOUT THE de

BLASIO ADMINISTRATION, JUST IN

THE WAY WE DISCUSSED IT IN SOME

WAYS PRECIPITATED THIS

DEPARTMENT OF INVESTIGATION

REPORT ABOUT THE NYPD DETAIL.

WE EXPERIENCED SO LONG, EIGHT

YEARS OF A MAYOR WHO SOMETIMES

FOR GOOD AND SOMETIMES FOR BAD

AS IN THE NYPD CASE WHERE de

BLASIO HAS SAID THE RULES DON'T

APPLY TO HIM OR HE DOESN'T SEEM

TO HAVE COMMAND TO THE EXCEPT HE

NEEDS TO FOR SUCH A COMPLEX

GOVERNMENT FULL OF SO MANY

BUREAUCRACIES AND WE JUST

CONTINUE TO WATCH THAT AND YOU

WILL SEE MORE OF THAT.

>> JOSEPH, AS THIS WEEK

DEVELOPS?

>> YES, OBVIOUSLY WE HAVE OUR

LOCAL ISSUES BUT WE FIND

SOMETIMES THE NATIONAL ISSUES

COME CRASHING THROUGH YOUR LOCAL

FRONT DOOR.

WE SEE HERE WITH THIS SPIKE IN

OIL PRICES SEEING RECORD HIGHS,

HOW THAT'S GOING TO IMPACT

HEATING COSTS AND JUST GENERAL

COSTS AS WE HEAD INTO THE

WINTER, PARTICULARLY FOR THOSE

FAMILIES ALREADY DRIVEN TO THE

BRINK BY COVID-19.

THAT'S GOING TO BE AN

INTERESTING STORY.

AND THESE AIRLINE PILOTS, THESE

INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE CHOOSING NOT

TO GO TO WORK OR THE MASS

SICKOUT AS THOUSANDS OF FLIGHTS

APPEAR TO BE CANCELED, THAT

CERTAINLY HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR

AVERAGE NEW YORKER.

LOOKING TO SEE HOW ALL OF THOSE

ISSUES PLAY OUT IN OUR

DAY-TO-DAY LIVES AND HOW THE

VOTERS AND CONSTITUENTS RESPOND

TO IT.

>> NAY ELLA, ALMOST OUT OF TIME,

BUT YOUR THOUGHTS THIS WEEK.

>> YES, SPECIFICALLY I AM

LOOKING TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE

MAYOR'S RACE, ANY POTENTIAL

GUBERNATORIAL DEVELOPMENTS THAT

ALWAYS HAPPEN, KIND OF RESIDUAL

IMPACT ON ALL THINGS HERE IN NEW

YORK.

THOSE ARE TWO THINGS I'M LOOKING

FORWARD TO KEEPING AN EYE ON IN

THE FUTURE AHEAD.

>> I WANT TO THANK ALL THREE OF

MY ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS,

JOSEPH PINION, THAT RAYA AMARU

AND ALYSSA CATS, THANK YOU FOR

JOINING US ON THE "METROFOCUS"

ROUNDTABLE.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THANKS.

>>> "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,

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION,

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