For our final installment of our NY1/Baruch College City Poll, we look ahead to the future. We asked New Yorkers what they think of some of the biggest issues Mayor Bill de Blasio is wrestling with. Our Grace Rauh has the story.
Homelessness has skyrocketed to record-high levels in the city, which prompted Mayor de Blasio to come up with a new plan to tackle the problem: 90 new homeless shelters throughout the five boroughs.
"We're trying to create a different kind of shelter system that helps people be closer to their home, to their support network, to their place of worship, to their school," the mayor said March 9.
Attempts to open new shelters have triggered local backlash.
But our NY1/Baruch College City Poll finds that, by a two-to-one margin, New Yorkers actually support de Blasio's plan.
61 percent say it's a good idea, 29 percent say it's a bad idea, and nine percent are not sure.
New Yorkers are more split when it comes to de Blasio's pledge to close Rikers Island.
41 percent oppose it, 32 percent are in favor, and 26 percent are not sure.
But if Rikers Island does close, New Yorkers do favor opening new detention centers near the courts in all five boroughs. 48 percent are in favor, with 33 percent opposed.
"Surprisingly, people seem to think that's a good idea, to put jails in all five boroughs," Baruch College Pollster Mickey Blum said. "But they are saying, 'Put them near the courts.' They are not saying, 'Please, put them near my house.'"
The independent commission that called for Rikers to close also recommended decriminalizing prostitution, and possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view.
42 percent of New Yorkers are in favor of decriminalizing prostitution; 41 percent are opposed.
There is much more support for decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana in public view: 62 percent are in favor, while 30 percent are opposed.
It is not clear that either would happen — at least not on de Blasio's watch. He has not been receptive to either idea.