Fundraising Investigations, Homeless Crisis, and Failures at ACS Cloud Mayor's 2016
The year 2016 has not been kind to Mayor de Blasio. He and his aides are the subject of a staggering number of investigations and more than a year after promising to tackle the city's homeless crisis, the number of people sleeping in shelters has hit a new high.
But with his re-election fight on the horizon and an opponent soon-to-be-installed in the White House, de Blasio is surely hoping next year will be better. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
"Looking back on the year in general, I feel very satisfied with the year," said de Blasio.
Even Mayor de Blasio is struggling to put a positive spin on his exceptionally challenging year.
There have been five separate investigations into his fundraising and political activities with grand juries now hearing evidence. Record levels of homeless New Yorkers and the death of two young children revealing failures at the city's child welfare agency.
"Our job is to save every child. It's as simple as that," said de Blasio.
The investigations, though, have proved most problematic. They have hounded the mayor since the spring.
"We hold ourselves to the highest standard of integrity. Everything we have done from the beginning is legal and appropriate," said de Blasio.
He's been forced to defend raising money for his outside non-profit group from real estate developers, unions and others, many of which had business before the city. The transactions are triggering questions about pay-to-play politics and end-runs around the city's strict campaign finance limits.
"No one was lining their pockets. No one was doing this for personal gain," he said.
Homelessness is also a persistent problem and one that has grown, despite promises to tackle it around this time last year.
"We are going to take the homeless crisis on, just head on, every day," said de Blasio.
Also, he is engaged in a legal fight with NY1 and the New York Post over his refusal to turn over emails from his outside consultants, also known as the Agents of the City.
However, there have been bright spots. Crime is at historic lows.
Even though the election of Donald Trump seems like a loss, but for de Blasio, politically it is shaping up as a win.
"I let him know that so many New Yorkers are fearful. That more had to be done to show that this country can heal. That people be respected," he said.
In Trump, the mayor has an ideal foil. The mayor is eager to act as a check on the future president, ideally, as long as New Yorkers are rallying behind him.