Mayor Bill de Blasio briefly answered questions from the press this afternoon while in Albany for the annual legislative conference hosted by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. The mayor was focused on his pre-K/middle school program initiative, particularly the income tax surcharge included in his initiative, and the majority of the questions were on that topic.
de Blasio declined to answer a question about the controversy around his Monday night call to the NYPD after learning of the arrest of Bishop Orlando Findlayter. Despite his clear desire to move on to other topics, it appears that press and public interest is far from sated. In part that continuing interest comes from the drip drip of reporting on what appear to be Findlayter’s financial and tax issues. It also comes, however, from disparate reactions to de Blasio receiving such a late night phone call and acting on it. To the former council member and public advocate it’s probably not unusual or surprising that he would receive such a call, and he appears to have reacted the way a council member or public advocate would. To many people, however, the fact that he would make such a call is surprising. Even for those not surprised, there is still a desire to see and hear de Blasio think through whether as mayor, and at the top of the chain of command, he should react differently than he would as a council member or public advocate. He hasn’t really conveyed that he’s fully thought that through or internalized the different perceptions his actions acquire as mayor. Closure for him on this topic seems unlikely until he does. (You can watch de Blasio answer multiple questions last Thursday on Findlayter and de Blasio’s call to the NYPD here.)
de Blasio was also asked about the recently granted federal medicaid waiver and it’s effect on two ailing Brooklyn hospitals, and about two of his recent housing appointees and their ties to the real estate estate industry.
Here is his full press Q&A: