New York City values will not change in the wake of the election results and the city will also protect and preserve its multicultural and multilinguistic character, Mayor Bill DeBlasio said.
Addressing the ethnic media at a roundtable Dec. 8 to discuss the city’s plans during President-elect Donald Trump’s transition, DeBlasio said “a single election will not change” the essence of the city.
“So that is why we want to keep reminding all of your viewers, listeners, readers that this is the essential reality of this city,” he told the journalists.
So much of what happens in this country is determined at the local level; policing, schools, public hospitals, so many things that happen are based on local decisions, local policies, local personnel, the mayor noted.
Based on the 2013 election, the mayor said his team set forward a vision of how they will govern the city. “We have continued to act on that vision”, he said, adding that the 2013 the election determined so much of the day to day life in this city and the policies that affect everyday New Yorkers.
He went on to add that he’s not belittling the effect of a national election.
“Certainly there are many national policies that have a big effect on New York and things we are deeply concerned about,” he said.
While hate crimes and racial attacks in the city were on the rise before the 2016 presidential elections kicked off, Trump’s candidacy and surprise win have exacerbated it, the mayor said.
The mayor said he believes in a carrot and stick approach to immediately stop the rise in hate crimes.
“Given that acquirement my answer is that we will be even more aggressive in terms of arrest and prosecution of anyone who acts illegally, that we will clearly whenever we sense a systemic threat that we can identify we will proactively have a lot of NYPD presence available, that we have to do more to get people to report what they know,” said de Blasio. “And we have to aggressively put forward the positive examples.”
The mayor said he plans on spending time in the communities who are affronted “in solidarity” to make vivid the fact that “we are going to stand with any community under attack.”
De Blasio, a Hillary Clinton supporter, is running for reelection in 2017.
According to de Blasio, “There are a lot of people who voted for Donald Trump who have previously voted for Barack Obama or for other Democrats. I think it’s absolutely unfair to miss the fact that those individuals who are largely voting out of economic frustration, and valid economic frustration. In terms of this community here in the city it’s not a surprise. ,” he added.
Calling IDNYC a tremendous success, Mayor said over 900,000 people have now signed up.
“I want to affirm today how committed we are to all that we’ve achieved in IDNYC and to protecting the folks who have signed up,” he said.
He said his team will continue to be committed to preserving any background information that was received in the process. “When I say preserving – meaning it will not leave the hands of New York City government. It will be kept time, and at the appropriate time destroyed, so it will not fall into the hands of other levels of government.”
Elaborating on the IDNYC program, Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal, noted that in particular the law specifies the underlying documents that individuals produce to establish identity and residency. All other security features will prevent it from being forged, she said. “So the card can persist, and it can exist even if those documents were under law removed,” she added.
Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis, Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas, Community Affairs Commissioner Marco Carrión and Office of MWBEs Director Jonnel Doris also addressed the roundtable.