NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio was on the defensive Tuesday after saying that he’s underappreciated by New Yorkers.
As CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the mayor walked into the 41st Precinct in the Bronx to announce a new drop in crime. Crime fighting is among several issues he thinks he doesn’t get enough credit for.
“There’s a lot of good news in New York City,” de Blasio said. “As a city, unfortunately, we don’t take a lot of time to celebrate that.”
De Blasio called the crime reduction staggering, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported. In August, overall crime was down 10 percent and murders fell 60 percent.
“What it means is that people can live better. It means that people who, God forbid, would have been victims of violence are not,” the mayor said.
While crime has been declining year after year, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill insisted there is no complacency.
“Everybody always talks about how far you can push crime down, and it’s our obligation. We have a moral obligation to try as best we can to keep pushing it down,” he said.
Overall crime for the year has dropped six percent.
But, as Kramer reported, de Blasio touched off a firestorm of sorts, with a controversial interview in New York Magazine where he complained about the credit – or lack of it – he gets for his record.
“When I think about how crime’s gone down for four years, graduation rates up, test scores up… you’d assume they’d be having parades out in the streets,” he said in the interview.
Kramer asked de Blasio whether he feels underappreciated Tuesday.
“It just feels like, in general, it’s harder for the good to get through,” he replied. “There’s very few institutions left in our society that people have much faith in. I think that creates a certain sourness in the whole civic discourse.”
“It’s frustrating but it also reminds me it’s just work we have to do,” he added.
De Blasio’s Democratic primary opponent, Sal Albanese, said it was another reason why the mayor’s tenure should be cut short.
“He’s delirious. He doesn’t deserve a parade,” he said. “We have people being driven to the streets by his housing policies, and his neglect of the mass transit system is also part of his ineffectiveness.”
Baruch College professor Doug Muzzio pointed out that lots of mayors, including Michael Bloomberg, do their job and don’t get, or expect, parades.
“The mayor is in a sense a legend in his own mind. He’s got a sense of self-aggrandizement where everything is historical and transformative and he needs a parade,” he said.
Muzzio said in terms of their elected officials, New Yorkers are a tough crowd – more likely to throw out a Bronx cheer than a civic embrace.
“Give us a break, do your job. You don’t get adulation from New Yorkers, come on,” he said.
The mayor also executed a neat two-step, or some might call it a sidestep, when asked about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s refusal to endorse him, Kramer reported.
“The thing I want to talk about when it comes to the governor… Is the work of government. Not the politics,” he said.