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Mayor Takes Other Parts of Agenda on Road in City

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After securing money for pre-kindergarten in Albany, the mayor took other parts of his agenda on the road on Monday in the five boroughs, talking about affordable housing in Brooklyn and the arts in Queens. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

With pre-kindergarten funding secured, the mayor is turning his attention, at least temporarily, elsewhere.

On Monday, he was breaking ground on new affordable housing in East New York and chipping away at vacancies in his administration in Queens.

"What's needed is more jobs, and what's needed is good and decent affordable housing," de Blasio said in Brooklyn.

"To make arts something for everyone, to reach all across the five boroughs, every neighborhood, people of every background, and bring them in deeply," de Blasio said in Queens.

Almost 100 days down, the mayor is still batting away some of his early headaches, like his decision to call the New York City Police Department when a friend, Bishop Orlando Findlayter, was arrested earlier this year.

Several reporters have requested records related to the mayor's role in the event under the state's Freedom of Information Law, known as FOIL.

"I am not a lawyer," de Blasio said. "There are lawyers who do this with great care, and I'm sure they follow the appropriate rules, and at the end of the process, people aren't satisfied, there is an appeal they can undertake."

During his mayoral campaign, de Blasio promised to reform how the city responded to FOIL requests in the hopes of increasing transparency. That was not the case on Monday.

"I don't comment on the details of the FOIL process," he said. "I let the lawyers do that."

At the same event, de Blasio was confronted by another critic, former City Councilman Charles Barron, in an exchange heard off camera.

"Come to our community, don't even call and let us know it's happening," Barron said in the exchange.

Barron claimed he was not invited to this affordable housing announcement by the mayor, and later suggested why to NY1.

"Don't come disrespecting us because you've got some beef with Bloomberg and not have us coming in," Barron said. "Because he, by having me there, then he would have to say it was passed in the City Council under my administration, and this was just closing.

The reception was different in Queens as the mayor announced his pick to lead the Department of Cultural Affairs. The warm reception was for Tom Finkelpearl, the current head of the Queens Museum. He starts his job with the de Blasio administration in early May.

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