NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is running for reelection, but with the latest poll showing New Yorkers split on whether he deserves a second term, it seemed like a good time to ask “how he’s doin’.”
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer asked some New Yorkers how they felt about the job de Blasio is doing.
“What job?” said Ada Sain of Astoria, Queens. “I have nothing to say about him, because I’ll be put in jail.”
“I think he’s doing a pretty good job,” said Warren Wilson of Harlem.
“Mayor de Blasio, flush him down,” said Denis Galanis of Astoria.
Kramer said de Blasio’s first term can be summed up in three words – the good, the bad, and the oversold.
Among his successes is pre-kindergarten. A total of 70,000 4-year-olds now get free full-day pre-K, and de Blasio wants to expand it to 3-year-olds.
Also deemed a success is Vision Zero – which has resulted in a 29 percent decline in traffic deaths over three years – though bicyclist fatalities are up – nine so far in 2017 compared to seven in 2013 before Vision Zero.
And crime is at the lowest level in city history while stop and frisks have been reduced by 90 percent.
But in the bad column is the homelessness crisis – an intractable problem that Kramer charged the mayor did not seem to take seriously for a long, long time.
“They lay in the street, subways – any place where they can shelter themselves,” one woman said.
A recent report showed a 40 percent increase in the number of street homeless in New York City this year, and there are now well over 58,000 homeless – an increase of more than 5,000 since de Blasio took office.
De Blasio did ultimately a plan to deal with the problem. It calls reducing the homeless by 2,500 over the next five years.
Meanwhile, Kramer deemed some of de Blasio’s plans oversold – among them job creation. The mayor recently unveiled a plan that said he would produce 100,000 good-paying jobs – but his own job estimates identify only 40,000.
Kramer said also oversold was the mayor’s recent insistence that he is ahead of pace in meeting his announced target of 200,000 units of affordable housing created by his staff.
“The amount of affordable housing that they have created is beyond our wildest dreams,” de Blasio said on July 13.
The mayor was touting that the city had financed 77,551 units of affordable housing, but 52,309 of the nits were already existing apartments the city preserved, Kramer reported.
Creating jobs and affordable housing go to the mayor’s number one campaign pledge – ending the “tale of two cities” plagued with income inequality.
Lee Miringoff of Marist College said de Blasio has not kept all of his promises.
“One that jumps out is income inequality, and that really has effects on homelessness and other social problems in the city,” Miringoff said. “It is not something that, you know, he can put a check mark, ‘accomplished.’”
De Blasio has ditched the “tale of two cities” slogan for the 2017 campaign. The new T-shirt says, “this is your city.”
Campaign senior strategist Phil Walzak said that has always been the mayor’s intent.
“You’ve seen a lot of progress in people’s lives — at their kitchen table, in their homes, in their lives, with their children, for their families – and our goal has always been to make this your city,” Walzak said.
“I’m not too concerned with what he’s doing, you know, for the communities,” one man said. “He spends more time on vacation than anything.”
“I can’t stand him,” another man said.
“I actually think he’s doing a pretty good job,” another woman said.
“I just wish he would try to do a better job – especially the subway systems and everything like that,” said Georgia Attonis of Sunnyside, Queens.
The mayor indeed will also be judged by some on the quality of the subway service. Gov. Andrew Cuomo runs the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but the mayor has four appointees, and what he does to be part of the solution is expected to affect voter decisions.