Open Mic With Bill de Blasio, NYC Mayor Candidate

ByBill de Blasio

New York has become a Tale of Two Cities. With nearly half of all New Yorkers currently struggling to keep their heads above water, City Hall is in desperate need of a progressive change.

During my time in the City Council and now as Public Advocate, I have led the battle against this inequality crisis: calling on City Hall to end the overuse and abuse of stop and frisk; fighting to keep community hospitals from being turned in to luxury condos; holding negligent landlords accountable through the creation of the Worst Landlords Watch List; and working to build public schools and workforce development programs that prepare New Yorkers for jobs in the 21st century economy.

As Mayor, I will continue the fight to bring opportunity to every New Yorker. As it stands, the overuse and abuse of stop-and-frisk has been disproportionately applied to young black and Latino men. Mayor Bloomberg and some of my opponents are offering a false choice between public safety and our constitutional rights. To improve upon our current level of public safety while also bringing cops and neighbors closer together, we need a new police commissioner, an independent Inspector General to oversee NYPD policies, and a strong ban on racial-profiling. This approach will allow us to further strengthen public safety and restore police-community relations by ending the overuse of stop-and-frisk and divisive racial profiling.

As the first New York City mayor in history to serve with a child attending our public schools, I am also personally invested in preparing New York’s young people for a prosperous and productive future. By asking the wealthiest in our city to pay a little more, we can provide access to pre-k for every child and after-school programs for all middle school students. And, to create a gateway to the middle class for all New Yorkers, I will redirect $150 million in tax breaks the City currently gives away to big companies to CUNY, where a new range of educational and training programs can empower New Yorkers with the skills needed to compete for jobs with a living-wage. 

Affordable housing is also fundamental to the strength of our city, but too many of our fellow citizens are currently being priced out of their own homes. That needs to end. I have called for stabilized rents to be frozen at their current level and, as mayor, I will mandate affordability from developers to help create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. I also have a plan to make sure NYCHA is held accountable and to advocate for better rent laws, so that every resident can live in the neighborhood they love. 

Implementing these progressive reforms will not be a small task, but if we are to win the battle against our city's inequality crisis, they must be the focus of our next four years. As Mayor, I will institute these reforms and many others to build one New York, where everyone rises together.

Open Mic: NYC mayor candidate Bill de Blasio is taking your questions and has agreed to respond to the top three most Mic’d questions/comments in the discussion section below. Pose your question/comment to de Blasio below by Wednesday 8/7 at 12:00 p.m.