NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Angry New Yorkers were venting their frustration on Tuesday over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s extended trips around the country to promote his national agenda.
Some say he should have been here, calming nerves after a train bound for New York City derailed near Philadelphia, and a hammer-swinging man went on random attacks, including on police.
So where has the mayor been? CBS2’s Marcia Kramer demanded answers.
New Yorkers have a lot of names for de Blasio: “Mayor,” “Hizzoner,” “El Progreso,” and now “Backpacking Bill,” and “Out-of-town Bill.” Some are just plain unhappy about his treks around the country when there are major issues to deal with here in the city.
“I think that he should spend a little more time in New York dealing with issues that are here,” Union Square resident Camille Guigliano said. “One of the big issues for me is quality of life, and I feel like since the mayor has come on board, I’ve started to see a lot more homeless people on the street, and a lot more of those kinds of issues that were plaguing New York 15, 20 years ago.”
Look at his calendar from last week:
On Monday, May 11, the NYPD warned the city about a man attacking strangers with a hammer.
The next morning, as police hunted their suspect, Mayor de Blasio took off for Washington D.C.
Later that night, a New York City-bound Amtrak train derailed. Even then, de Blasio stayed in Washington pushing his progressive agenda.
“I think he should have came back. It wasn’t right for him to be away. He should be concerned. Be the mayor, be concerned,” said Ken Murray of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The next morning, CBS2 demanded answers, asking the Mayor’s office if he would be returning to the city in light of the derailment. CBS2 was told no.
“We put the wrong man in office,” one New Yorker said Tuesday.
Hours later, there was chaos in Midtown as the hammer suspect allegedly attacked NYPD Officer Lauren O’Rourke. He was later shot by police.
Where was the mayor? He was still in Washington at a meeting on transportation funding.
“I think he should be here taking care of our city. That’s the way it should be. He’s our mayor,” Vincent DiCristo of Astoria said.
“He should be here or else we should kick him out of here,” another person said.
Kramer again demanded answers, this time from de Blasio, himself.
Kramer: I wonder what you would say to some of your constituents who are angry you were out of the city last week when there were important leadership challenges.
“A mayor of New York has to walk and chew gum at the same time,” de Blasio said. “You can’t exist in the modern nation that we are and ignore the fact that there are so many resources in Washington that we deserve and have to fight for.”
And the mayor said that when he made the case in Washington and in California last week for a national progressive agenda, including higher minimum wages and more taxes on the rich, it will help New York City as well as the rest of the nation. He’s also traveled to Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin, to name a few places, Kramer reported.