Category Archives: Vicki Been

de Blasio Press Q&A: The 20,000 Units Edition



Mayor Bill de Blasio today touted a high level of affordable housing activity in the City, reporting that the City “financed the creation and preservation of 20,325 affordable apartments and homes during fiscal year 2015.”  de Blasio spoke at a Bronx press conference, accompanied by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and several Bronx elected officials including Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Congressman Jose E. Serrano, State Senator Jose M. Serrano and Assembly Members Luis Sepulveda, Michael Blake and Latoya Joyner.

Puerto Rico:

Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Mark-Viverito both expressed support for federal government action to address Puerto Rico’s deep fiscal crisis.  de Blasio suggested federal financial assistance, urging the federal government to “take responsibility” for resolving the crisis and that it has both the “obligation” and “capacity” to do so.  Mark-Viverito suggested a change in federal bankruptcy law to allow Puerto Rico to file a bankruptcy petition and operate as a debtor under federal bankruptcy law (Puerto Rico, like states, is not eligible to do so).  Here are their full answers, including the Spanish portion of Mark-Viverito’s.

de Blasio v. NY Post:

The NY Post has extensively covered a single homeless man in recent days, detailing his public urination and other troubling behavior.  Here’s the Post and the Mayor today, beginning with a mayoral snap.

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de Blasio Press Q&A: The Housing Goal Edition



On Thursday Mayor Bill de Blasio continued his efforts at moving past his recent friction with the NYPD and PBA, holding a press conference to tout his administration’s accomplishments in “creating or preserving” affordable housing during 2014.  de Blasio celebrated exceeding his administration’s stated goal of creating or preserving at least 16,000 units of “affordable” housing in calendar year 2014, reporting that it financed the “creation and preservation of” 17,376 “affordable units.”  After several weeks of intense confrontation and conflict with the PBA and many outside critics, de Blasio appeared to relish discussing a subject that he’s long been been deeply interested in and in which his administration has invested substantial energy and effort.

The mayor was joined at Eagle Houses, a co-op in Fort Greene, by Rep. Jose Serrano, Assembly Members Walter Mosely and Joe Lentol, Public Advocate Tish James, Council Members Laurie Cumbo and Jumaane Williams, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been and Housing Development Corporation President Gary Rodney.

On Topic Q&A:

On topic questions included whether the administration plans to increase low-income affordable housing production, what actions are required for the administration to count a unit of housing as “preserved”, whether housing built with 421(a) tax credits anywhere in the City should require affordable units, how the de Blasio administration counts housing underway at the end of the Bloomberg administration toward its goal, what was done in this housing complex to “preserve” these units, whether units counted as “preserved” are always on a 30 year agreement, the annual average of 20,000 units created or preserved as set forth in the mayor’s ten year goal of 200,000 such units and how money was spent on the 17,000 units created or preserved in 2014.

Off Topic Q&A:

Off topic questions included a Department of Investigations report detailing problems with corrections officers at Rikers Island, de Blasio’s message to protestors resuming anti-NYPD protests, his relationship with police unions, a call by the head of the Lieutentants Benevolent Association to strengthen laws concerning resisting arrest, an increase in police protection for Jewish organizations and sites and Dov Hikind’s claim of a decrease in police presence, delays in the implementation of the City’s municipal ID card program, his message to PBA members dissatisfied with their union leadership, his position on a city council plan to fund the purchase of additional bullet-proof vests for police officers, whether the Democratic National Committee has expressed concerns around the recent protests as it considers whether to hold the 2016 convention in Brooklyn, whether his “thoughts” on the anti-NYPD protests have “evolved” and whether he will direct the NYPD to change its FOIL request process to accept email or other electronic requests.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The Artsbridge Edition



New York City’s mayor and catholic archbishop today hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking and press conference to mark the beginning of an affordable housing development for senior citizens.  The Artsbridge project, in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, is being developed by the Archdiocese using land provided by the City, with financing from both New York City and New York State.  Being developed by Highbridge Community Development Corporation, Artsbridge will provide 61 “affordable” units for senior citizens.  Bill de Blasio and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, joined by other federal, state, city and Archdiocese officials, gave a ceremonial toss of a shovelful of dirt and then spoke with the press and an invited audience.

Q&A – On Topic:

Questions during the on topic portion of the press Q&A included the relationship between the City and the Archdiocese and between their respective principals, Mayor de Blasio and Cardinal Dolan, how the de Blasio administration calculates the number of affordable housing units for which it claims credit and an extended discussion of the role of the Archdiocese in this project.  Here is the full on topic portion of the Q&A:

Q&A – Off Topic:

Questions during the off topic portion of the press Q&A included the NYPD’s proposed expansion of it’s use of tasers, a fine levied by the Campaign Finance Board against de Blasio ally and pro-carriage horse ban advocate NYCLASS, de Blasio’s recent comments on the City’s long drop in crime being attributable to former mayor David Dinkins and former city council speaker Peter Vallone Sr., a city council proposal to allow filing in City Council district offices of NYPD-related complaints with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the proposed bill which would ban carriage horses and resulting loss of jobs, an attempt by a staff member of the Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor to goad the mayor into agreeing to appear on that show, a possible tax on non-resident apartment owners, the mayor’s planned meeting tonight with Jewish community leaders in Crown Heights and whether the mayor has concerns about the “secrecy” of the NYPD’s disciplinary process.

Separate coverage of a mid-press conference attempt by a staff member of the Fox News show The O’Reilly Factor to goad the mayor into agreeing to appear on that show is here.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The 200,000 Units Edition (Updated x 2)



In a pair of press conferences Mayor Bill de Blasio today unveiled his aggressive affordable housing plan, aiming to create and preserve 200,000 units of housing over 10 years.  In a morning Brooklyn appearance and an afternoon Bronx press conference the mayor discussed his plan at length.

Update #2 – Rangel:

Congressman Charles Rangel, whose district includes the Bronx press conference location, spoke briefly at the Bronx press conference.  While supportive of the mayor, Rangel has called for abandoning the practice of combining luxury and affordable housing and declared “we have no crisis in luxury housing.”

Update – Highlight Reel:

Our highlight reel distills the two full press conferences, with selected excerpts from the initial statements and Q&A portion of both press conferences.

(Full Q&A from both press conferences after the jump)

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