De Blasio Tells NY1 He Needs to Sharpen Communication Skills To Fight Homelessness

In an exclusive interview with NY1 that covers topics ranging from Donald Trump to the city’s homeless crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio looks back over his first 23 months in office and concludes that, at times, he needs to do a better job communicating with New Yorkers.

Looking at how the city has grappled with thousands of New Yorkers living on the streets and in homeless shelters, de Blasio tells NY1 Political Anchor Errol Louis: "I've got to do a better job of explaining the problem, communicating the solutions we’re working on, and showing how we move forward."

Noting that reporters are not always interested in issues that his administration is trying to highlight, the mayor also laid some blame at his own doorstep, saying: "But I also am critical of myself whenever I feel that I haven’t communicated well enough. I think there’s areas where I’ve gotten our vision across very effectively and areas where we —  I — haven't and I have to say to myself every day: 'What are you not doing well enough? What can you do better?' That’s part of my personality but I also think this job requires it. This is — you can’t be static in this job. You have to work hard to improve every single day."

De Blasio also weighs in on the "hateful words" of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"I think it’s dangerous. It's as simple as that," de Blasio says.

"I see things that remind me of the McCarthy era and I see things that remind me of the George Wallace candidacy in 1968 and I don’t think those are unfair analogies. And I think what he’s doing is hurting the image of America in the world."

Among other topics the mayor also tackles in the interview:

  • His affordable housing plan:  "We’ve said all along we’re open to revisions. We’re obviously listening to the feedback from communities. And we’re open to making changes if we think it will help the plan."
  • On Brooklyn: "My neighborhood is my neighborhood and we continue to own our house there and when public service is over we’ll return to that house." He says of Gracie Mansion: "It’s a lovely house but it’s not our home. And when all this is done, we will  go back to our home, the home our children grew up in."
  • A New Year’s resolution: "Well, I’m proud to say I’ve been much more on time so I worked out that one from the last resolution so I need to find a new resolution."

See the full interview on "Inside City Hall" on NY1 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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