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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Appears Live on the Brian Lehrer Show

November 12, 2021

Brian Lehrer: It's the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. Good morning again, everyone. Now our Friday Ask The Mayor call in, my questions and yours for Mayor Bill de Blasio at 2-1-2-4-3-3-WNYC or tweet a question using the hashtag #AskTheMayor. And good morning, Mr. Mayor, welcome back to WNYC. And I know you want to start with some COVID news, so let's start there, whatever you got for us.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well, I've got some good news, Brian, I'm happy to say. Good morning to you. And first of all, we have had extraordinary success reaching the youngest New Yorkers with the vaccine. And this is really an effort that's basically a week old. But first let me tell you the schools, the sites in the public schools have been incredibly popular. More than we imagined, honestly. So as of yesterday, of course yesterday with school was off, so it was only three days of the week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – 17,000 vaccinations administered at our elementary schools. And the grand total for New Yorkers in the age group five to 11 is now over 51,000, 51,000 vaccinations already after just a week. So, I'm really encouraged. And I just want to emphasize to all your listeners, getting our youngest New Yorkers vaccinated is absolutely key, especially as we go into the colder months. And it's working and you can get vaccinated at your local school or other sites in the community, obviously for free. It's really time to make sure our kids and families are safe.

Lehrer: Now, 51,000 sounds good. That's still by my calculation, less than ten percent of all the five- to 11-year-olds in the city. So, do you think there needs to be something more? Governor Hochul has said a vaccine mandate to go to school is on the table as far as she's concerned statewide. She hasn't imposed it. I know you opposed that for the city. Would you advise against?

Mayor: Look, right now I still think the priority needs to be getting kids to be able to recover from what they’ve lost for a year and a half. Most kids were not in a classroom for a year and a half. They suffered greatly, not just academically – emotionally, socially, a lot of the other things kids get in school, physical health support, mental support, nutrition. I think kids have to be in school. And they don't get to make the decision whether they get vaccinated. The parent does. So, I still think the best plan is to allow all kids into school regardless. And of course, to energetically get kids vaccinated. And with the group right ahead, the 12- to 17-year-olds that have been vaccinated over the last few months, we're almost at 80 percent there. So – and we continue to make progress every day. So, that to me is let's focus on getting kids vaccinated, make sure every kid is in school. If down the line we see a particular challenge, you know, we can discuss any and all options. But that's how I'd handle it right now.

Lehrer: You know that other parts of the country and parts of Europe are seeing steep increases in COVID-19 cases and their emergency rooms are filling up. In the international case, this comes just as the U.S. reopened international travel. And New York City from what I see is starting a big tourists come here, advertising campaign. To look out west, Colorado's governor just expanded booster shots to everyone older than 18, rather than just for over 65 or vulnerable populations, because they're having such a spike. Cases are starting to rise again here as well, even though thank goodness hospitalizations and death remain low. So, from a policy standpoint, is it right to encourage European tourism right now? And do you think Governor Hochul should recommend boosters for everybody or make them available as a matter of policy to all adults right away?

Mayor: Look, I think boosters are a great tool. And there's a lot of people eligible right now. All adult recipients of the Johnson & Johnson original shot, I'm one of them, are eligible. And all Pfizer and Moderna recipients six months after the original, if they are 65 and older and some even younger in some cases. So, a lot of people are eligible right now. I think the first thing to do is get everyone who is eligible for a booster to get that booster. But I am totally open to the notion of expanding the eligibility because I want everyone to get a booster. I think there's a lot we can do if we have expanded eligibility. As for folks coming in from other countries, remember it's with some really strict requirements. Vaccination and proof of having a recent negative test. We do need international travelers to come back. We need it for the livelihoods of New Yorkers. We need it for the recovery of New York City. But we're doing it. And then the federal government is doing it in a way that's safe, requiring vaccinations. So, I don't see that as the challenge for us. I think the challenge for us is getting our own people vaccinated. I think New Yorkers should be very proud, Brian. Let me give you the latest figures today. I mean, it's 5.78 million New Yorkers have received at least one dose. And that pretty much always means that people come back for that second dose. We have literally one of the highest levels of vaccination of any place in the country, but there's still more to do. We got to keep using the mandates to reach people. We're doing that with the public employees. We got to keep encouraging parents to get the young people vaccinated. And we have to maximize on boosters. One more fact, you'll find very interesting, Brian. If anyone wonders do mandates work? Well right now, as of today, the New York City Fire Department, where there was a certain amount of controversy obviously. On the firefighting side of the Fire Department, the vaccination level is now 80 percent, excuse me, 86 percent. 86 percent and rising. Has now met the same level of the NYPD has reached, 86 percent. That’s a huge amount of distance covered in just a few weeks. So, clearly these mandates are working.

Lehrer: I see, and my newsroom asks about an agency by agency breakdown? That despite the vaccine mandate, you've said 12,400 City workers are seeking exemptions. And our reporters have been asking for a breakdown of which agencies have the most exemptions apparently with no response from your office yet. So, can you give us anything more specific about how many NYPD officers, for example, you just gave us something on FDNY, and also Sanitation are seeking exemptions?

Mayor: Let me see if I can get that while we're on the air. I think I can, or at least we'll get it back to you later in the day. What I can tell you overall right now, those who have a reasonable accommodation request in, and that's from the group of employees covered from the October 20 announcement. That's 12,400 employees out of a total workforce of about almost 400,000. Okay. The number on leave without pay has gone down markedly. It's now down to 2,600. And I can tell you right now, a number of those folks on leave without pay are going to come back and get vaccinated. A number of the folks who requested accommodation, if they don't get it, if they exhaust the appeals, don't get it. A lot of them were going to get vaccinated. So, this number is going to move. But if you want the breakout by police, Fire, Sanitation, let's see if we can get that for you right now.

Lehrer: Thank you, Jenny in Nolita, you're on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Jenny.

Question: Hello. Good morning, Mr. Mayor. Good morning, Brian. Can you hear me?

Lehrer: Sure can.

Question: Hello? Okay. I'm calling about the making the eats in the streets, the policy permanent? Our CB 2 voted no for this. And it doesn't seem that any thought was going into the differences among various communities. In Nolita, we have narrow streets, narrow sidewalks. In some places they are barely passable for a car, no less a fire engine. Our police department hates it. Sixth Precinct hates it. The Sanitation hates it. We have so many rats, the trash can't be cleaned up because of these constructions that have taken place, that are in the street. They're hideous, they're being graffitied. They just have destroyed the streetscape, totally. And I don't understand how – I understood it as a temporary measure for struggling restaurants, but it seems that the influence of the hospitality industry has just destroyed any consideration of what it has made life like for actual residents?

Lehrer: Jenny, I'm going to leave it there so we can fit a lot of calls in with the Mayor today. Mr. Mayor, you know, we've been having a few debates on the show about permanent outdoor dining or not, getting calls like that. On the one side, there are definitely calls on the other side. But you hear those concerns from Nolita, which for those of you who don't know means the Neighborhood North of Little Italy and elsewhere around the city.

Mayor: Entirely valid concerns. I mean, I hear them. I see – I go all over the city, obviously. I see what people are talking about. Now, I come to a different conclusion, honestly. Well, let me put it this way. We did this – the initial impulse for outdoor dining was to save 100,000 jobs immediately, which we did. And save a number of cherished neighborhood institutions, restaurants, bars, that are really part of the fabric of the city. I'm absolutely glad we did it. We continued it now because a lot of these restaurants, bars, community institutions are struggling to survive. And we've been able to really help them. We gave them space for free. They were able to expand the amount of customers that could have. I've heard so many good stories of really beloved places that were saved because of this and hundreds of thousands of jobs overall that are going to be saved in the process. You could argue, Hey, should we reassess it for the future? I don't – that's not my view. If people want to do that in the next administration, they can. But I don't share that view that – I respect the caller, but I would say, I think what we have here is something that has greatly enhanced the life of the city. It has created and preserved a lot of jobs. It has brought back energy and life as we're still fighting back COVID and we will be into next year. I think it's opened up an amazing set of possibilities. If there's some particular tweaks that are needed, that makes sense. If there's, you know, places where more Sanitation services are needed, or whatever, of course we can do that. But I really think it's been pretty magical for a lot of the city and I would support continuing it.

Lehrer: Have you looked at – and this is based on a caller that we got when we were discussing it in a previous segment, requiring some kind of structural code, I guess you’d call it, that keeps rats at bay more than other kinds of structures that apparently enables them.

Mayor: I think that's the great example of the kinds of things that we can keep working on and improving. The fact is the – for example, if we can do something to improve Sanitation the way things are structured, I want to do that. I also very much want to make sure – and I've given this order very clearly – that if a restaurant is not using that space and holding it [inaudible] that should not be allowed. Either use it or give it up. There's absolutely things we can do to tweak it. And we all – we all have eyes to see. Some places have done an amazing job, creating really beautiful spaces and some are rather perfunctory, shall we say, and could use some improvement. But I would not want to throw the baby out with the bath water. It's a great idea that's working. If we have to tweak it and we have to make improvements, of course, that's something we can do.

Lehrer: Here, I think, is another road-use question. Charles, in Manhattan. You're on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Charles.

Question: Brian, thank you very much. And I want to apologize to you for leaving your show abruptly the last time I got on the air. Anyway, Mr. Mayor, I’m one of your admirers. And I wanted to say that I'm a bike rider. All my life I've ridden bikes and I helped build Casino Park, the bike track there when I was younger. [Inaudible] I think that people that have bikes that are battery motorized should be licensed, because if you go into Central Park, [inaudible] that would race, we would train in the morning from five to seven, eight – we’d stop, because everybody and their children come in then. And, right now, because you've got rid of the cars, you've got motorized bicycles going to work in the morning like it's their highway. Now, most of them – most people cannot ride [inaudible] professional bicycle rides, but now you've got these people that are on electric bicycles with you. If an emergency happens [inaudible] as someone that is a professional. And also, you've had one thing in the street where an actress got killed. They never caught the motorist that did it. And I have to say, an electric bicycle is a motorcycle. Today, after COVID, they're like wagon trains with groceries, and now they're not going up and down both ways. So –

Lehrer: Charles, what do you think the policy – what do you think the policy fix is, if you have one in mind, Charles.

Question: I think they should be licensed. I think they should be licensed, because you’ve got the motor scooters, then you have the tourists that come, that can rent motorized scooters. They're not used to the city. They're not – you know, riding in the city is an experience, and it takes a lot of experience to ride Manhattan safely.

Lehrer: That's right. Charles, I'm going to leave it there. Mr. Mayor, you know, it's becoming a new world out there between the proliferation of e-bikes and Revel scooters and all this other stuff. Does it require a different kind of policy response?

Mayor: Yeah, I think it does. And I think, you know, I'm going to say this, I hope, carefully and wisely, that there's almost become a dogmatism about this that I think is a little dangerous. I appreciate what Charles is saying. He's reflecting reality as people are living it. And I actually start from pedestrians. I start from, you know, families, seniors, kids, and I worked my way up through bicycles, to then motorized, you know, bikes, scooters, etcetera, and on up to the car. My attitude is we need to start by protecting spaces for people who walk and cross streets and be sensitive there. And that when we tried to move towards a smarter approach, because it is getting more and more crowded, and it is, you know, these mix of speeds. Charles makes a great point. You know, it's one thing if there’s someone on a bike, and then someone on motorized bikes. It's a really interesting, challenging reality if you're, sort of, crossing that or trying to engage that. We should talk about what needs to be licensed. We should talk about requirements for helmets. We should talk about all these things. And there are some folks out there who really support bicycling who sometimes, I think, get affronted by that conversation. I don't think it's an affront. I think it's a recognition that this is a lot more of the future. I want to see a future where fewer and fewer people use individual automobiles. I want to see fewer trucks on our streets. I want to see a greener reality, but there's nothing wrong with having some more rules and protections in place. And we should just be able to have that conversation and find some common ground out of it. I think we will. I think we can.

Lehrer: All right. I guess that's going to be a conversation for the next mayor. And, in fact, now that the election is over and you're officially in a transition period with Eric Adams, I wanted to ask you, how does that work? And what did you learn from your transition from Mayor Bloomberg about how to do it and maybe how not to do it to help the new administration coming in?

Mayor: Well, first of all, with all due respect to Mayor Bloomberg – and everyone knows there's areas where I agreed with him in areas where I really didn't, but we were not personally close. We didn't communicate that much. Eric Adams and I have been talking constantly. And, to his great credit, he has been extraordinarily inquisitive and thoughtful in his questions about the day-to-day workings of City government and how to make it work best. Also, I think that is far superior to what I experienced. The teams, obviously – and this is the virtue of people coming from the same political party and a lot of the same history – a lot of us know each other. There's been constant dialogue. And I think it's been a very good process. I think Eric has a tremendous head start, because he knows the city so well, and he's worked at not only the local level, he's worked at the State level as a State Senator. So, he comes in with a huge body of knowledge already. But what I'm finding is, the best way to do it is, sort of, we're constantly talking about the issues before us right now, and, you know, running different scenarios, if you will, about, sort of, how things are happening now, what it's going to look like next year. And just that – that preparation is really, really healthy.

Lehrer: Well, let me ask you about one of those issues, because Adams is starting to lay out a few possessions that will be different from yours, by the sound of him. And one that made some news this week is his plan to restore the plainclothes anti-crime units that you disbanded at the NYPD after their outsized role in police shootings. When Commissioner Shea announced the end of those units last year, the New York Times described them as having been involved in some of the city's most notorious police shootings. And they gave some examples. Do you want to urge the Mayor-elect not to restore those units?

Mayor: Look, no one understands public safety better than Eric Adams, in everything he's done in his life as an elected official, as an officer – a police officer for over 20 years, as a police reformer. We have a really respectful difference on this. I think Commissioner Shea was right and I really want to give him credit. It was his decision to disband that unit for a lot of reasons. And I've talked about this, Brian, but, you know, it's not going to shock you when we get into a little deeper conversation, a lot of things don't survive, kind of the blurring headline. Commissioner Shea, who has been at this work now for, you know, most of 30 years, he felt that the unit as constructed was not only creating a disconnect with communities, and ill will, and some bad incidents, he thought it was also not the best way to get guns off the street and the best way to have successful prosecutions. And he wanted more of those officers in uniform – same talented officers, doing the work a different way. That happened and gun arrests have gone up up, up. We have the highest level of gun arrests in 25 years. So, I think he was right. I stand by him. He was right. Now, if the Mayor-elect says, hey, I have my own body of experience, I want to do something different, you’ve got to respect that. But beyond that, he's also said he does not – the Mayor-elect said he does not want to repeat the mistakes of that unit in the past. He would structure it differently. And so, I respect that choice. We have a respectful difference, but I also respect that he's not trying to repeat what was, he's trying to create something new within it.

Lehrer: Tyrus, in Harlem. You’re on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Tyrus.

Question: Hi, how you doing? Good morning. My first question to the Mayor is, are you concerned that many officers will leave the NYPD and go to Suffolk County Police Department due to the fact there is no vaccine mandate and currently they're hiring 700 officers. And then my second question is, there's a video on YouTube called, “Mayor de Blasio [inaudible],” where he showed you that your administration in bad faith illegally reported him as terminated when he had already resigned. Did you investigate and will you let Brian Lehrer know the outcome of the investigation? 

Mayor: Well, on the second point, I don't actually know what you're specifically talking about, but I'd be happy to look into it and we'll get you a real specific answer. If you'd please give your information to WNYC, we'll follow up with you today. On the bigger question that you raise, no, I think what's happening right now is that folks who joined the NYPD overwhelmingly want to serve in the NYPD. It's the most renowned police force in the country, even the world, tremendous profession, tremendous benefit. People who come to the NYPD make that choice. 86 percent now vaccinated. And that number is going to go up substantially because as these reasonable accommodation requests get adjudicated, I'm absolutely certain a lot of people are going to end up deciding to get vaccinated. Some folks may go elsewhere. So, I think a few may – you know, a small number may retire. Some may go elsewhere, but overwhelmingly, we already see the trajectory, the vast majority of folks vaccinated and staying.  

Lehrer: Well, Commissioner Shea has said 6,000 officers are seeking vaccine mandate exemptions. So, are you concerned that there could be a staffing shortage if a lot of these officers get denied? 

Mayor: In the scheme of things, no. And I'll tell you why. First of all, we have a lot of history from what we've done up to now with our health care workers, with our Department of Education employees. Clearly most people who put in the request don't meet the criteria. The health care exemption is a very specific criteria. The religious exemption clearly have to have a really clearly defined belief structure that, you know, has a lot of history to it and not something that just popped into your mind recently. Most people who've asked for accommodation don't meet those standards historically. Anyone who does, they'll keep working. 

Lehrer: Right, but I think the – 

Mayor: Go ahead – 

Lehrer: Yeah. I think the concern is if a lot of them do get denied that then they would leave the department because they couldn't go back to work with their exemption. 

Mayor: No, I want to clarify. This is different than what we experienced with the schools, because the schools was its own very particular setting because of kids and everything else we were dealing with in the school buildings. You can receive an exemption, not end up having to be vaccinated, validly, and continue to work in uniform service in the appropriate setting. So, I think for those who do get the exemption, they'll continue to be serving in our first responder agencies. For folks who don't, I think the vast majority will then get vaccinated. That's my point. We've seen this pattern constantly. When folks come to the realization that they have exhausted their appeals and options, overwhelmingly they choose to get vaccinated. In the end, will a small number of people, either resign or retire? Probably, but a small number. And anyone we lose will be replaced quickly because there are more police and fire academy classes coming regularly. So, I really don't think it changes the fundamental reality. I hope everyone gets vaccinated, I hope they'll stay. But I think in the end, it's going to be a very small number that leaves. 

Lehrer: Ross in the Bronx, you're on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Ross. 

Question: Good day. I would like to ask the Mayor, these apartments that were rented by New York City landlords, the ones in the basement where people drowned, everything was flooded, they lost everything – I'd like to know as of today, what criminal charges have been lodged against these specific landlords in these buildings? And I'd like to know who's looking at the New York City Department of Housing to see who okayed these buildings, claiming that they were safe? Somebody’s on the [inaudible]. 

Mayor: Well, Ross, please give your information to WNYC and I'll have someone follow up the – because look, on the first question you asked, I don't know of criminal prosecutions, but there may be some, depending on the very specific situation. On the second point, the reality – and we've, I've spoken about this very, very openly – the reality is we have a big challenge in this city. We've got – by the estimates of our housing agency, we've got over 100,000 apartments that are not currently legal and are not easily made legal, and that those apartments hold and house over 200,000 New Yorkers who, if they couldn't live in those apartments, would not necessarily have an option. This is a big fundamental problem with this city. To fix it is going to be billions of dollars and will take a number of years. There is a potential series of things we could do to fix it. It will take very meticulous work. But, no, it's not that they were approved and then these horrible tragedies happen. I feel awful for everyone who lost a loved one, it was horrible. It was shocking and unprecedented. The problem is we've got a situation that's in plain sight – t's been that way for decades – that we don't have a solution for right now. We just literally don't have a solution. Ideally you'd say not a single illegal basement apartment anywhere, but until we have enough places for people to live, or until we can find a way to fix those apartments and make massive investments to do so, we’re stuck in a situation that doesn't have the options we need right now. 

Lehrer: Question from a listener via Twitter, who posts with a picture of himself holding a small child and says, “If vaccine distribution at public schools has been so successful, why can't we get second doses there too?” What would you say to that listener? 

Mayor: I think that's a great point. And so, to the listener, what I'd say is, we are seeing a totally different reality with the younger kids than we saw with the older kids. We had, for the first whole week of school, vaccination sites in every school building that served the 12- to 17-year-olds. And very few people came. They preferred to get their vaccinations elsewhere. We've seen the exact opposite with the younger kids. Parents are coming in droves to their elementary schools to get vaccinated. That's great. So, we're going to keep adding. Any school where there's demand, we'll have a vaccine site, we'll keep adding. And if it makes sense to do it for the second doses, that's great. I mean, wherever we're going to get people is where we're going to be, is the bottom line. If that's where parents want to be, we'll have vaccinators there for them. 

Lehrer: I'd like to get your take on one result from last week's election, that's become clear in recent days. And then I'm going to ask you, sort of, a big picture question going out, but parts of the city with many East Asian Americans voted mostly for Curtis Sliwa. And on yesterday's show, Assembly Member Ron Kim of Flushing said in his opinion, they were mostly voting against you not Adams per se, largely under treatment of Gifted and Talented education and the SHSAT exam, similarly, and your treatment of small business. Want to respond to that and maybe give your own analysis of what happened with Chinese Americans and other East Asian Americans who usually vote for Democrats? 

Mayor: Well, I think your point – I do want to respond to it, I appreciate it. And I appreciate Ron Kim, someone I respect. I saw, in some of the reporting, Grace Meng spoke about this too, and I respect her greatly. And I think people are right to say that we, as Democrats, need to have a deeper and better dialogue with East Asian communities. But what I'd say is the history should not be forgotten. Overwhelmingly East Asian and South Asian New Yorkers have voted Democratic. Overwhelmingly the elected officials who've come from those communities have been Democratic. I think there's a lot of positive history. There's a lot of appreciation of the way Democrats have supported things that I've done. For example, Pre-K for All is deeply appreciated in East Asian and South Asian communities. Clearly the focus on respecting immigrants and embracing immigrants is something the Democratic Party is known for and is deeply appreciated in those communities. I think if there are immediate issues like Gifted and Talented education or specialized high schools that people are feeling something about, that's valid. It means we've got to have more dialogue because we've got to have more fairness when it comes to education. There's too many kids being left out, too many kids in Asian communities being left out as well. And I think as people get to understand the full scope of the Gifted and Talented proposal that's going to reach tens of thousands of more kids, including kids in the Asian community, I think there'll be more embrace of it.  

But Brian, I've been honest, I wish I could go back in time and have the conversation about specialized high schools over again. I did not handle that right. I didn't mean to offend anyone or disconnect, but I didn't communicate it right. And I should have had a whole different dialogue with the community. But I think we should not mistake – whatever motivated the votes in this moment, we shouldn't mistake that for the bigger history or where we can go. We've done a lot for small business and we'll continue to do a lot for small business. So, I know people will feel that. But I think it is about engaging the community. Grace Meng made this point and I think she's right. Democrats need to go much deeper into dialogue with Asian communities. It's a huge, important part of the city, a growing part of the city. We got to do better at that. 

Lehrer: And I think, listeners, we have Congresswoman Meng scheduled for next week. But last thing for today, as you know, Mr. Mayor, we talked about this last week and, and we agreed that we're going to look back on these remaining Friday segments together on specific areas of policy over your eight years as Mayor. It'll be education as the first of those next week as we've agreed, but in a general way to get the ball rolling on the idea of these retrospectives, what would you say has been the biggest surprise or one big surprise about being Mayor that even as close to it as you were as public advocate and before that a City Council member, and similar for Eric Adams, who's been a borough president and other things – what surprised you about the job that you also might want your successor to be prepared for? 

Mayor: Oh, there's so many things I can say, but I want to pick up where we just were. I think it's a great example. You know, being mayor of New York City is an incredible experience, it’s an incredible privilege to serve the people in the city. And you can probably get more done in this job than just about any public service job in America. It's fantastic. But one of the things that I was surprised by is, you know, the bully pulpit is legendary. It's an extraordinary platform to work from, to tell people the vision and work on the vision and listen to what people need and act on it. But the amount of, sort of, misinformation, the amount of noise, if you will, the ability for something to be misunderstood is unbelievable. The example I just talked about, and I'd put this on me first, Brian, for not understanding sort of how easily something could be misunderstood. When I saw what happened with the specialized high schools – and I think you reported on this a lot – where you’re seeing a place like Stuyvesant, one percent or three percent African American or Latino, I think people were just hurt by that – that, that's not the values of New York City. And I thought I was speaking to the whole city in saying, of course we have to do something different, and we want to do something different that benefits everybody.  

But what I learned is, in that experience, you know, I understood after the fact, after having some really good, honest, and critical conversations with leaders from the Asian-American community, that, you know, so many struggling, hardworking people, immigrants, folks who had just put everything into the next generation of having opportunity, they didn't hear it as, we need to be fair to everyone in the city. They heard it as something was about to be taken away from them. That was never the intention. The intention was trying to figure out a solution that would be fair for everybody. But I think what I would urge for the Mayor-elect, I think he's a really fantastic public servant and a fantastic communicator, is just recognize how quickly even a good and noble idea could be misinterpreted or how much you have to sort of over-communicate the vision and make sure that if there is a criticism or concern, it's heard and acted on early. Because I tried it with all of the things swirling around the city. I tried to keep up with so many issues simultaneously, but I didn't realize in a case like that, how much people were feeling hurt or misunderstood or that their needs were not being met. And that became sort of a huge theme. And the theme of, wait a minute, this is an unjust structure, was getting lost and the kind of constant communication, constantly listening to people, and making that adjustment is a big challenge, but something I think every mayor has to try and find their way to. 

Lehrer: Well, very candid and very interesting. And thanks, as always, Mr. Mayor. We'll pick it up next week. 

Mayor: All right, Brian. Take care. 

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