Bill de Blasio Day One

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Bill de Blasio at the Talking Transition tent (Brigid Bergin/WNYC)

Bill de Blasio is the new mayor of New York City, Errol Louis of NY1 and the new New York Times Bureau Chief Michael Grynbaum discuss the de Blasio agenda, and recap the inauguration for those of you who were a little too hung over to hear it. And Howard Wolfson, former deputy mayor for Mayor Bloomberg, talks about how yesterday's speeches referred to the previous administration's record and defends the Bloomberg record. 


Michael Grynbaum and Howard Wolfson

Comments [41]

Victoria from New York City

To Bill de Blasio and some of his inauguration speakers I would like to make the following point:

I teach in a small liberal arts college that is all about diversity and inclusiveness. We have students of every color and ethnicity. In the classroom we treat everyone eually but despite our best efforts, outcomes are unequal. Both minorities and whites populate the spectrum from high-achievers to failures. Differences in ability, work ethic, and character all play a role in outcomes. Despite two Ivy League degrees I too have experienced periods of low earnings and unemployment which I attribute to bad choices and bad luck, not oppression because I am female and immigrant. Only the very ignorant or lazy can believe the rhetoric on inequality coming from the de Blasio camp. You can't legislate outcomes. All you can do is ensure equal opportunity; after that, it's up to the individual.

Jan. 03 2014 03:52 PM

I totally agree with the de Blasio plan to increase taxes on the wealthy New Yorkers. This will not cause them to leave NYC, as the Bloomberg warned. I'd wager if New Yorkers making more than $250,000/yr were surveyed, many would agree that they could and should pay a little more.

That said, I thought the anti-rich rhetoric I heard from a number of speakers, including the poet, was unnecessary and divisive. It helps to create an unwelcome atmosphere for young professionals who are flocking here, revitalizing neighborhoods, starting new businesses, creating jobs and perhaps, becoming prosperous in the process. I'm not talking about the Russian billionaires, but the young creative and tech folks.

Jan. 03 2014 08:14 AM
bernie from bklyn

what the hell is "tish" talking about? what is this, what is happening here? how is "tish" an authoirty on ANYTHING? i lived in her district for many years and she has zero credibility and is just another loud mouth with a microphone. how do you think dasani came to live in a shelter? is it because of the rich people on wall st., bloomberg, ray kelly? NO, it's because her parents are irresponsible assholes. did anyone read the NYT piece? please everybody, get off your fantasy cloud and see this new mayor and his quack crew for what it really is. it is quite symbolic that they lost the FDR bible...he's turning over in his grave right now seeing who's our supposed "progressive" hope for nyc. wake up people.

Jan. 02 2014 09:06 PM

What did Bill and Tish manage to do for the poor in NYC during their entire careers. Bill was the Public Advocate and Tish was in the city council while poor little Dasani dealt with shitty parents and a crappy homeless shelter.

I would think a few followup quetions about why Tish James or De blasio for that matter did nothing to help improve the shelter until the NYTimes weote an article. Congratulations on your cutting edge journalism. It would really be nice to see part of the $53,000,000.00 spent at this non profit organization go to more than a fancy office.

Jan. 02 2014 06:37 PM
Margarets Dad from Bay Ridge

News flash, Brian: Bloomberg isn't the mayor anymore. Allowing political mercenary and all-around sleazebag Howard Wolfson (who will work for anybody, as long as there's a big enough paycheck involved) to invite himself on your show to defend a guy who's not in office anymore (and to allow him to spout off a list of so-called facts, none of which you disputed or asked any tough questions about) was a disgrace. Frankly, I expect better of you.

I've come to expect nothing from Errol Louis. A few nights ago, he had a bunch of Bloomberg cronies (most notably the despicable Michael Cardozo) on his show and didn't ask him a single tough question. Cardozo is a guy who's spent the last 12 years playing hardball with ordinary working-class folks who have filed very legitimate tort claims against the city, trying to litigate them into going away. Again, not a single tough question.

Jeez, Brian, at least if you're going to have Wolfson on, ask him a tough follow-up. And if you're going to have Errol on, make him back up his "shock" by refuting Tish James' statements.

Seems like everyone's still hung over from New Year's.

Jan. 02 2014 12:47 PM
Margarets Dad from Bay Ridge

I have enjoyed Errol Louis' show on NY1 for many years, and always found him to be fair, intelligent, and insightful--a real asset to New York's media landscape.

All that has changed the past couple of days, as Errol has exposed himself as nothing but a tool of the corporations and corporate-owned politicians that were running New York City under Mayor Bloomberg.

Errol: Brian played a 90-second clip from Tish James' inauguration speech that you called shocking and polarizing. How about telling us one single, solitary thing that she said in that clip that isn't true? You can't, because she was telling the truth. It's just that truth in the Bloomberg era was in painfully short supply. Grass-roots politicians like Tish James have finally opened the windows and are letting the sunlight stream in.

For some reason, right-wing and corporate-owned politicians can advocate all they like on behalf of the rich, filling their speeches with talk about tax cuts (which primarily benefit the rich), tax incentives for development (which, again, primarily benefit big, wealthy real-estate companies), and giveaways for stadiums and arenas (benefiting the Russian billionaire who owns the Nets, the Steinbrenners, and the Wilpons). I've never heard you dismiss this kind of talk as "polarizing."

So filling a speech with rhetoric advocating for giveaways for the rich is not shocking or polarizing, in your view. It's only when a politician with the courage to stand up for the poor, middle-class, and people of color delivers a defense of these struggling communities that you're shocked by the polarization.

Errol, one of the previous commenters noted the bourgeois makeup of today's media, and you're the poster boy for this. I've concluded that you're the David Gregory of New York media, and believe me, that is NOT meant as a compliment.

Jan. 02 2014 12:00 PM
Bobby G from East Village

Fuva from Harlemworld makes an important point that many affordable apartments have been lost during the Bloomberg administration. The blame for that is not Bloombergs', but lies at feet of Sheldon Silver, Joe Bruno and George Pataki when they decimated the rent stabilization law.

On my block there are three all low income new buildings, two on the next block and one around the corner. Market rates rents have gone way up, but you gotta give credit for the low income housing that was built during the last twelve years.

Jan. 02 2014 11:00 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Seth -- right on. Very hard to solve problems without understanding. And most of us, including pols and so called leaders, haven't a clue...

Jan. 02 2014 10:45 AM

Julie & Joyce, here, make me wonder if folks really know what a "systemic" problem is. Clearly, they know what they problems are, but do they know the source of them. It's not mayors or advocates. The answers are hard, because they take generations to address, and even then just a little. Kids have kids because they were raised by kids. And that's not going to change... much. Uneducated kids are raised by uneducated parents, and that's not going to change either. Addiction has always been a problem, and always will be. You can spank folks all you want, take away their benefits, throw them out of public housing, but will any of that really fix the problems? no. It's way easier to point at what's wrong. It's a polar opposite thing to provide solutions that work. But thanks for trying.

Jan. 02 2014 10:37 AM

One of the local news programs last night said that the woman who picked upt he bible was deBlasio's 8th grade teacher who picked it up for safekeeping when she saw it just lying around.

Jan. 02 2014 10:31 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Bible was lost ... sounds like Mayor De Blasio's anti-life agenda, the Bible has been lost, and God.

Jan. 02 2014 10:29 AM
Phil from Bronx

I had no problem with Dasani's presence at the inauguration. In fact, I think it was very appropriate considering the plans this administration has to include all NYers. I think Tish James and Mayor DeBlasio gave sppeches that set the stage for their vision and I thought it was the best political event I have ever seen. I am a lifelong NYer and am very excited about the possibilities of the next 4 and hopefully 8 years

Jan. 02 2014 10:26 AM
Joyce from NYC

Ok, now the new mayor has revealed himself as a pure demigod.

He has no intension of improving the lives of the poor, but merely intends to tear down the rich.

We know how to improve the plight of the poor:

- Improve schools by getting rid of bad teachers. He has no intention of doing that.

- People should not have children until they have finished high school and have a job. Where has he said that? (By the way, statistically, that eliminated 90% of poverty)

- Parents getting off of drugs. Instead, he has the poster child for drug addict parents on the podium with him.

And then this remake about policing in neighborhoods of color!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Duh!!!!!!!! This where the crime is!!!!!!!

So, what are the new mayors real intentions here?

Jan. 02 2014 10:26 AM
nyer from nyc

Whatever the appropriateness of partisanship at the inauguration...Mayor Bloomberg was routinely hostile and dismissive of anyone who disagreed with him on anything, so it's ironic for him to get so uptight about his administration being criticized.

Jan. 02 2014 10:25 AM
Scott from Brooklyn

Public Advocate James was an ardent advocate for the homeless, and to preserve and develop affordable housing. It is a unfair shot to say why didn't she do anything before. As she said on Errol Louis' show last night, she had been advocating around the shelter conditions and for improved shelter conditions. It fell on the deaf ears of the Bloomberg Administration, who lets not forget tried to throw people out of the shelters. So she helped get the NYT do the expose.

Clearly Public Advocate James is in the spotlight now and she is linked to Dasani and her family. Hopefully there will be improvements in their lives and the lives of all New York's homeless with Tish James as Public Advocate. I have no doubt the Public Advocate will fight hard.

I thought it was great to have a child of the City, Dasani, up there and participating.

Jan. 02 2014 10:24 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Wow. Errol's "shock" may reflect how bourgeois (and, in turn, out of touch and ineffective via-a-vis the working class) the media has become. The speeches reflect real sentiment on the ground and of many of de Blasio's voters...And Dasani "looked bad" for chewing gum? There may be something to the autonomy question, but, as the caller correctly noted, it would ALSO apply to Stringer's kids...James was making a commitment to dasani and family, in public, and, yes, she should be held accountable, but maybe she did it for that very reason...

You bourgeois media are sickening.

Jan. 02 2014 10:24 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Wow. Errol's "shock" may reflect how bourgeois (and, in turn, out of touch and ineffective via-a-vis the working class) the media has become. The speeches reflect real sentiment on the ground and of many of de Blasio's voters...And Dasani "looked bad" for chewing gum? There may be something to the autonomy question, but, as the caller correctly noted, it would ALSO apply to Stringer's kids...James was making a commitment to dasani and family, in public, and, yes, she should be held accountable, but maybe she did it for that very reason...

You bourgeois media are sickening.

Jan. 02 2014 10:24 AM
Julie from Manhattan

Until the poor stop having children they can not afford to take care of this cycle will not stop. Where is the personal responsibility?

Jan. 02 2014 10:24 AM
Roberta from Brooklyn

Dasani was there to give the people on the bottom a seat at the table. As for the other children, this is a great event for them, to watch their parents sworn in as public servants.

Jan. 02 2014 10:23 AM
fuva from harlemworld

The 175K number quoted is not NET. An assessment of Bloomberg's affordable housing record requires not just the number of units created but ALSO the number of units lost.
Most of the private sector jobs do not pay living wages.
Comparing Bloomberg's record to the national trend us telling but not dispositive. Income/opportunity inequality and the dimunition of the middle class is a degenerative national trend.

Jan. 02 2014 10:22 AM
BK from Hoboken

@Chris Rosen-
So crime went down because of development and people were displaced out of neighborhoods. So by your logic we assume that some of the old neighborhood people were criminals and the newer ones were less so. But then we lose culture because criminals have been priced out of a neighborhood. So criminals=culture? Huh?
As or the critiques, I agree with both guests- these feelings are real but I agree with Errol that this wasnt the time to rip a guy who served the city for 12 years.

Jan. 02 2014 10:21 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Seems to me that the extraordinary and eloquent Belafonte speech poet laureate poem set the message and the tone.

Jan. 02 2014 10:21 AM
Zuwena from Manhattan

Nice of you to give Wolfson an open mic but really why didn't you ask him whether he had actual "facts" that would refute anything that Public Advocate James set forth. His facts were fine, and as Errol Louis said, some of those comments/links needed to come out but nothing said refuted Ms. James commentary.

Jan. 02 2014 10:19 AM
Scott from Soho

I wonder how much money will be wasted trying to get rid of the horse carraige business? If this is any indication of where the new mayor's prioroties lie, we are in big trouble. Is money spent on horses more important than starving kids or teachers salaries?

Also, congratulations on the $53,000,000.00 budget. Business seems pretty good for a struggling non profit radio station.

Jan. 02 2014 10:17 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Did DeBlah-Blah appoint his ambassador to Nicaragua yet?
(His old stomping ground)
To Cuba?
(His honeymoon haven)
To the Soviet Union? (er, I meant Russia)
(His old school study program)

Jan. 02 2014 10:17 AM
Robert from NYC

No the Clintons are not awesome. They are to be watched and tamed a bit. They are opportunists and I DON'T WANT HILLARY AS PRESIDENT. I have started the anti-Hillary for president campaign.

Jan. 02 2014 10:15 AM
Jose I from Brooklyn

The Bloomberg alumni want a pat on the back for running mayoral inauguration? Pun-leeze!!!
This is City Government 101. You're supposed to do these things. Flawlessly. Every time. It is your job. Has been for 400 years. Stop whining.

Jan. 02 2014 10:15 AM
Seth Peckstiff

Why is every media outlet replaying Tish James' clip over and over? -- cuz she said what everyone is thinking. Talk about touching a nerve. If it weren't sooo on point, no one would be replaying it.

Face it, if NYC was good for you before Bloomberg, he made it better. If things were not so good, then they only got worse.

And, I'm so tired of this "created or preserved" # of housing. Please cut the "preserved" crap. It a smoke screen we all see through. Just tell us what you made that wasn't around before you got here. Please, Enough!

Jan. 02 2014 10:15 AM
Cynzanne from Brooklyn

City Hall is for "all of us"?????..
PLEASE, have you ever tried to get near the place?
good luck with that.

Jan. 02 2014 10:15 AM
Kwesi from Harlem

sty loser yesterday howard glaser today, this is not WNYC that I want. We heard form these lying hacks for years and years, how about some real voices of intelligence.

these hacks do not know how upset people are at precisely these guys!

Jan. 02 2014 10:13 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Ex-Mayor Bloomberg kept his sour expression even when ex-Pres. Clinton was saying some very nice things about him--I think he didn't want to be there at all.

Jan. 02 2014 10:12 AM
Chris Rosen from Putnam

It's not like the Bloomberg administration lowered prison population and crime rates because they're good people who did the right thing to help people out of poverty and horrible situations. Crime was reduced by a huge amount of development which changed neighborhoods completely. This helps no one except the developers and continues to wipe out the fabric, culture, and the working people of New York City.

Jan. 02 2014 10:12 AM
John S from New York City

Would it have killed Dante de Blasio to wear a shirt and tie during the two ceremonies???

Jan. 02 2014 10:11 AM

Ya the Clintons are awesome...sheesh

Jan. 02 2014 10:10 AM
antonio from baySide

Opinion? All of which was said, was not in the realm of crazy, was it? Egregious...

But Wolfson CANNOT argue the former mayor was against development tied to wage guarantees...
Again the demands were not egregious. Bloomberg believes in a feudal society...

Jan. 02 2014 10:10 AM
Robert from NYC

Well she got that right and it had to be said, HAD TO BE SAID. It's not her opinion it's fact. Data can be fixed. As for what he calls affordable is not affordable to people at the bottom and there are lots of people at the bottom. And it's not about YOUR record as opposed to others, it's about getting it done. Your successes were in health to an extent and environmental improvement and good work on that. But as for upgrading the conditions of life among the poorer residents. When you have a mayor who says, and I heard the clop, that he wants all the billionaires in the world to move here, I question his interested in the majority percentage of residents who are at the bottom.

Jan. 02 2014 10:10 AM
Jose I from Brooklyn

Please - no more self congratulatory appearances by Bloomberg alumni.

Brian - I would like you to be more critical of the assertions that the Bloomberg admin policies had such a large effect on crime, incarceration and poverty rates.

I argue that changes of this magnitude in such a short time are the result of demographic shifts that have little to do with the modest policies of the former major. Please get Nate Silver and the Freakanomics crew to take a look at this.

Jan. 02 2014 10:09 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Dear Mr Chuzzlewit- Such comments give you status a real serious pundit.

Jan. 02 2014 10:09 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Please. I saw no "rough treatment" of Bloomberg. Any repudiation of his policies was due to honest policy disagreement, on which the de Blasio campaign was run.

Jan. 02 2014 10:05 AM
Bobby G from East Village

A diktat from de Blasio banning the wonderful horse carriage tradition in Central Park could be the beginning of his undoing.

First a phalanx of connected pro bono lawyers will tie him up for years asking who is he to declare what is or isn't animal "cruelty" as he attempts to destroy an entire industry that has roots in the City going back a hundred years.

Second, the Roger Stone types and muckraking media will expose how this is just a big payoff for the dirty millions of campaign funds laundered (or should I say fronted) through an animal "rights" minority and orchestrated by the sleazy political consultant Scott what's his name who should never be on NY1's Road to City Hall.

Jan. 02 2014 09:59 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Squeegees and dirty water buckets go on sale today by street vendors at an intersection near you.

Jan. 02 2014 09:30 AM

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