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“MTA, NYPD, and Laws” | Socioeconomics of New York 2020 | SharkStreet Radio on 970AM TheAnswer

Watch the interview here: https://youtu.be/5CXnLWTfZ3Q

Bill Staniford 3:12
Good afternoon, New York City. It is a pleasure to be with you on this Labor Day weekend, we’ve got an excellent show for you today. I am here with Michael Hendricks Michael is the director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute. He’s been with us before and we brought him back. This is this show is going to be focused on the state of the city there is a new study that was recently done by the Manhattan Institute and we’re going to discuss that in depth with Michael. Michael how’re you doing today?

Michael Hendrix 3:49
I’m doing well Happy Labor Day weekend.

Bill Staniford 3:51
Happy Labor Day weekend, hope you’re enjoying it and you’ll after this era we’ll get right get you right back to enjoying some more of it. So, you know, right right from the beginning, I’d like to just get your thoughts and opinions of what’s going on in Rochester that is obviously some, some big issues going on up there. And I’d like to see if you have any thoughts on it.

Michael Hendrix 4:17
Why well as we’re seeing just terrible violence erupting in Rochester, New York, another night of protests after the tragic death of video crude. And I think we’re really seeing is a continuation of this spring and summer of unrest, getting our cities, and, you know, there’s the facts of the case but then there’s also the reality of the ground the facts of the case are one thing the videos are shocking. What we also see is cities, experiencing unrest that is going to affect people’s willingness to live in cities to continue to invest in cities should make us concerned, especially for poor communities and how they’re going to come out of this. I think that we’re also going to see something that we found very interesting demands to our for the work that while there is a lot of anger, some of which there are a lot of anger, a lot of anger. There’s also a big desire for protection against violence against shootings against injustice committed by other people to minority communities, and the police could have a very positive role in protecting people for and I think that’s very important we don’t lose sight that there is a rightful role for police to protect against violence.

Bill Staniford 5:32
Okay, so let me just ask you a question here and it’s a little bit in the weeds, but you’re a policy expert. And I’m just, I’m trying to understand if this was handled correctly, by the press by the media by the government. Clearly this this incident happened a while ago, and there was nothing but somehow it gets introduced to this video. And then, and then the riots erupt. Is this the best way to handle this. I’m just, it’s it’s very confusing to me.

Michael Hendrix 6:02
I feel like it’s confusing to everybody, and it will be seen with these instances of police violence use of force against people that they are arresting or confronting, is that it is not simply the act of violence, the cost of the fact that it was capturing spreading goes viral.

Bill Staniford 6:21
When did this incident, when did this incident actually happened?

Michael Hendrix 6:26
I believe it happens, a couple of… I actually am do not have the exact date here I know it’s been three days of unrest. Let’s see if I’ll come back to you on that.

Bill Staniford 6:41
Yeah, no I mean it’s interesting because it My, my understanding this happened a while ago, and the in the police.

Michael Hendrix 6:48
It was in March.

Bill Staniford 6:48
Right. That’s what I’m saying, like, Okay, so this thing happened in March, right, and then, and then the police are sitting on this, and then they wait and wait and then they announce it but then they, there are, how can they not be prepared for this how it How is the best way to introduce, why do you let this, why’d you let the tapes go public.

Michael Hendrix 7:11
Well, look, here’s our desire for police accountability, I mean I don’t think accountability and transparency was wrong. This is the reason why we’re calling for body to a logical counter body cameras on on police officers. But the point is just, just being transparent just releasing video is not that common arrest especially when people have a pre existing view of the police to make videos like this, just confirm what they already think of the police and then once the riots are up once unrest begins. If the police in turn use force there to quell violence, they think is going to get a hand back to just seeing the unrest and we just get a spiral of unrest that probably just helps the rioters and hurts the police,

Bill Staniford 7:55
right, I actually I mean I believe that it creates unrest I mean I’m sitting here going How does this make any sense this happened in March. And like every in lieu of everything that’s happened in Portland, in this is a tinderbox who doesn’t know this, this is I shouldn’t

Michael Hendrix 8:09
Shouldn’t suprise anybody.

Bill Staniford 8:10
Right, and then all of a sudden they just drop this video into the into the general public and expect there to not be riots. 



Michael Hendrix 8:13

And what do you think is gonna happen.



Bill Stanifrod 8:14

 Exactly. And I’m just I’m trying to understand, if this is planned, if this is you know, from a policy perspective, who released it How does this get released, why does the media get to cover it in this fashion. I mean, I’m not saying like we should sweep it under the rug totally the opposite but there’s got to be a better way of introducing this situation to the public, then the way we’re doing it right now.

Michael Hendrix 8:46
Couldn’t agree more. And the fact that this occurred in March, is being released now also raises a host of questions such as why release it now but why was never released before. I feel like if you are going to embrace a policy of transparency, you have to be consistently transparent and you have to be quick, in that transparency, if something happened. Make sure the public knows about it, because otherwise, it was like you’re trying to hide something, I don’t, I don’t know if they were. But the point is we need to be very clear with the community. One thing that we again found on our poll was that community policing working actively with the community is still consistently popular, not only across New York City, but across racial groups, and that kind of community policing built on trust. And the less trust the police, we have with each other, the less we can actually prevent violence. 

Bill Staniford 9:34
Right, I mean, we, we, as a society, as a community, we have to really try to support our police as best we can. Otherwise we’re gonna have situations like this. Okay, so, so let’s start talking at a high level about the poll. Again, I’d love you to take a couple of minutes to introduce the Manhattan Institute. And in your role there, and then also talk about Echelon insights which you work with for this poll.

Michael Hendrix 9:59
Yeah, so Manhattan Insitute is a market oriented Think Tank, based in New York City has been around for over four decades. I lead our state local policies so that covers everything from housing to transportation quality of life issues like order and disorder in the street, and at the Manhattan Institute, we care a lot about the future of New York City we’re seeing people question asked me in New York City dead, what are the prospects of your long term, we say, We are based in New York we care about the future. Yes were in cities across America we’re, we are focused on urban policy but we are the Manhattan Institute we care about New York City. So, is there a city that. Absolutely not. But we wanted to not just tell people that we also wanted to listen to New Yorkers that this poll is doing so excellent insight is a polling firm based out of Washington DC, we have a long relationship with them Kristen soltis Sanderson is the co founder of bad friend of mine friend of our president right not too long. She’s actually pulling so he said come to New York. Take the temperature of New York. And we also wanted to make sure that we did this right so we call people we did web outreach, we make sure that we heard not just from, you know, some small some sample we who we talked with everybody we reached out to 1485 New York City to the adults. 

Bill Staniford 11:20
So hold on so So, Um, we have, and let’s talk about the sampling because I do want to I want to make sure that everyone understands what the underlying data is about this sample. So, so you did. It looks like it’s pretty evenly split split between 415 African Americans 400 Latinos 200 Asians and so I guess I’m doing the math here, that would be about 460 whites, is that correct.

Michael Hendrix 11:48
Right, so we wanted to make sure that we did not in any way undercount, or not listen to minority groups in New York City. we wanted to be extremely cautious about that so we do have slight oversamples consisting of 415 African Americans, 400 latinos, 201 Asian New Yorkers.

Bill Staniford 12:09
And the socio economic status was sort of all over the place is that…

Michael Hendrix 12:15
Right so if I think it’s basically you’ll see that it corresponds to the nature of New York, we actually do have a lot of wealth in New York. We also have a lot of poor in New York, our findings actually confirmed but Bill DeBlasio ran on in 2014 that we are a tale of two cities. And during the blog his tenure in office. That hasn’t changed. There are a lot of people who are wealthy, and a lot of people who are poor here. 

Bill Staniford 12:42
Yeah, I mean, so, so I there’s, first of all people can access your study online right at the Manhattan in Manhattan is

Michael Hendrix 12:50
online. You can also email me and [email protected]institute.org, I’m happy to share any information you want in this poll.

Bill Staniford 12:58
Okay. And that, that’s awesome. All right, so, so just at a high level, you know we got a break coming up in a couple of minutes here, but just at a high level I mean there’s a couple of interesting things that surprised me i mean i still I’m just shocked at how New Yorkers think that Governor Cuomo is doing a good job I just, I find it shocking but I mean, it’s overwhelming.

Michael Hendrix 13:21
Right yeah i think that it confirmed that Governor Cuomo is popular, we can be strikingly popular while Mayor Bill DeBlasio split opinion and lacks a passionate base corpsman job approval is at 73%. Mayor Bill DeBlasio is split right down the middle of 45% approval 46% disapproval but if you look into the numbers. If you dig into it. Nobody’s passionately supporting and people passions for Andrew Cuomo for reason that we don’t necessarily get into the poll but you and I can discuss but nevertheless the support is there and support for Cuomo is highest among Black New Yorkers 84% approval, compared with 64% for Bill DeBlasio.

Bill Staniford 14:03
Yeah, I just find it. I mean, I find it shocking it’s so high …I find it, I find it shocking that that DeBlasio was pulling so high.

Michael Hendrix 14:13
Right. I mean, considering. Many of the very public errors that he’s been making even just now the time that Mayor Bill DeBlasio has wasted in the school reopening decision making last minute decisions with parents scheduled. It’s just a shocking that even have the kind of approval that he does.

Bill Staniford 14:30
You know, and I guess I mean my takeaway from this just looking at this and I, of course I could be wrong this is my opinion, but I look at this and I go so New Yorkers truly blame somebody else some other entities something else for the current situation that we have right now and they don’t blame the local leaders, which I mean, I guess, you know, unless people, and we’re gonna again we’re gonna get into it in great detail. But, again, just at a high level, you know, what are the key takeaways just bullet point it

Michael Hendrix 15:04
Right, so the most popular attributes of New York City are also the ones most affected by the crisis the MTA, NYPD almost across the board higher earnings and education are correlated with increased satisfaction the status quo. The reverse is true, the poor you are less educated you are, the less satisfied you are nearly two and five no to say they would leave the city if they claimed that the wealthy and well educated are more likely to desire the state, and then beyond Cuomo Bill deblasio we tested eight policy proposals to reform the city,

Bill Staniford 15:34
Hold on to that Michael and we’re going to be right back in a couple of minutes with some more sharkStreet, so stay tuned.

Bill Staniford 17:31
Welcome back to SharkStreet we are here with Michael Hendricks the director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute. Michael, we’re just going to get into sort of the details of, of the, of the survey that you conducted, and I’m starting off again I was talking before the break about how surprised I was about the popularity of Cuomo and even Bill DeBlasio which which you know i mean he’s treading sort of half like and half disliking which I think is fair. A couple of things that you know people, people believe the MTA is is good, great.

Michael Hendrix 18:07
Right. I mean this is something that actually pleasantly surprised us, the MTA is popular among the people that we polled up strong approval rating of 60%. But in public transportation itself just general is viewed positively in the city, 37% saying is good or very good. But at the same time, the MTA is under its dire fiscal situation. If the MTA did not get a federal aid package, or bail up how would you look at it, by the November board meeting, we’re talking catastrophic cuts and service, and just absolutely astonishing raises in the fairs, this is this is a part of a theme that we added this poll, we look at the data, We found that the most popular parts of New York City, the most popular attributes. Those are the ones most threatened by the current crisis.

Bill Staniford 18:57
Yeah, I think it’s a, it’s really important to point this out that New York State in general New York City has a terrible fiscal crisis that we’re all facing right now, Wouldn’t you agree,

Michael Hendrix 19:10
Absolutely, unprecedented honestly and it’s not just New York City It’s New York State too. Yeah, and then that of course compounded by the fact that people the federal government are realizing that we’ve dumped trillions of dollars in debt, into the economy, and we are still struggling, we’re better than we were before but we’re still struggling. And so now when states and localities like New York State New York City come to the federal government, they’re less willing to aid now that the crisis at least in New York City is still here

Bill Staniford 19:37
Yes okay so let’s just, I mean, again, what are the, you know, I’m still I’m, I’m shocked that Cuomo is polling so high, and I mean I would I look at it. I mean, if you say on the COVID crisis and you’re comparing states. New York State is the worst is the worst possible. Is that not the case.

Michael Hendrix 19:58
I mean, it no matter how you look at it. York State and Governor Cuomo his response to the coronavirus crisis, and our fiscal crisis that resulted from that is perhaps one of the worst in the country and we’re talking about something like 443,000 I think confirmed coronavirus cases over more dead from coronavirus and right higher country of France, it’s just astonishing

Bill Staniford 20:25
When they said, this is the thing and I want to be fair right I you know I don’t want to come across as a partisan and the fact of the matter is I don’t blame any governor for the number of cases that they’ve got because I believe that’s a function of how many people are in your state. How close together they are, and, but what I do think is the death rate is directly responsible for it. That is the response. Correct?

Michael Hendrix 20:52
Absolutely. I mean, every governor every mayor is struggling with the coronavirus, but once you realize that the threat is here, what do you do in response to that I think it’s what makes. For instance, the, the number of tragic number of deaths in New York State’s nursing homes. So concerning and why I really think at the state level we should have an independent bipartisan or nonpartisan investigation into exactly what happened was New York State’s nursing home, because that really those decisions around the people who we knew were both under threat. Those decisions to the buck stops and Governor Cuomo steps

Bill Staniford 21:30
Right in Listen, there’s a specific reason why I say this, I mean, it’s because I believe politics plays a role in this. In, Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio they have this high death rate they know that they’re vulnerable politically for their political future. So they lock down the state so they can they can no longer be blamed for that. And, and in exchange for that we are having this devastation in our budget MTA nobody’s using it, and again i mean i think that we’re, we’re all adults to a certain degree where we can wear masks we can do the social distance, maybe not. I mean, but it is, this is going on. If we don’t open up the city, this is this is just my belief and it’s based on nothing i mean i i look at data all the time but if we don’t open up the city at some point very quickly and ramp it up pretty quickly our budget problems are just going to get worse and worse.

Michael Hendrix 22:25
And let’s not forget the real pain out there, New York city unemployment rate officially is 20%. As of July, our unemployment rate in the Bronx is at 25% As of July, but astonishing levels. But there’s other studies out there saying like if you were just look at the unemployment rolls today, compare that to the workforce that we had in February pre coronavirus this actual on a one number of the unofficial ones could be as high as 40% in the Bronx. So a lot of economic payment and that’s going to go away overnight. That will we’ll begin to see that reflected, not just in the economy, but in the fiscal health of the city and state

Bill Staniford 23:06
Right okay so let’s let’s talk a little bit about the New York police department because I actually thought this pulled low. And, I mean, again, they’re still positive 53% of 40% that’s that’s approval over disapproval. And I still, I find that to be low just because I’m basing that because of the anecdotal evidence that I’ve heard through the media that even the minority communities across the across the country, want either more policing not less policing or the same amount of policing so how do you square that

Michael Hendrix 23:39
Right so around the police we asked two separate questions which yielded slightly different results. So, the important differences so the New York City Police Department we asked do you approve or disapprove in color and on their job, strongly or somewhat approved 53% across the city for the NYPD strong or somewhat disapproved 40% of NYPD but important point out, opinions usually only PDR split along racial lines approval is lowest among blacks in your personal that have been disapproved compared with relative approval 29% approval among whites and in Asian New Yorkers and 51% approval among Hispanics. But, by contrast negative views and public safety are much less divided by race, so no matter where you stand. Public Safety is building the concern here. We also asked about community policing So, using a community policing model would please actively collaborate with the community and focus on disorder, as well as soon as that tool very well, 68% support versus 15% opposed. And that also is consistent across racial categories, among black near for 71% approval for that,

Bill Staniford 24:50
Okay but I listen I don’t even understand what that means maybe you can explain that to me because it seems sort of amorphous. What does that mean community more community policing, what is that

Michael Hendrix 25:02
Right so at least we defined in the question that means you’re actively collaborating with the community, you’re actually talking to me you’re not sitting in your police cars, waiting for serious crimes to occur, you’re out there, you’re walking the beach. We also in particular said, You’re not just responding to crimes, you should, but also focus on disorder. In other words, fine Don’t just wait until there’s a murder and then you’re going to get no instead say if there’s disorder on the streets if there’s, you know, active drug activity if there’s, you know, trash being strewn on on the sidewalk graffiti. The police respond to that as well and that’s really, by the way, has been at the heart of what has to has argued for ever since the 80s and 90s. When issues like serious crime, and disorder like graffiti in the subway were serious issues and he said, both matter to and police shouldn’t just sit around waiting for something to happen, be out there. Be proactive and in what we say to like you should you should be actively working particularly minority communities who may want to actually they’re stopping say loitering in front of shops or just being able to make sure that, you know, grandmother’s not going to be harassed in the street, these are things that mattered no matter your background wealth or race.

Bill Staniford 26:22
Well, I mean it’s interesting to me because I you know I always felt like the the NYPD did a pretty good job of that. And they have, at least, I mean, the city has been incredibly safe Let’s face it, because, again, I mean I tell everybody I tell my audience Listen, I’ve been here since the beginning I was, I grew up here in the 70s I was here as a teenager in the early 80s I’ve seen terrible things, and really terrible things much worse than they are right now. And, and I’ve always been incredibly impressed with the police in their intelligence and and how they work with the community so this doesn’t seem like something new to me but maybe I’m missing something.

Michael Hendrix 26:59
No, no it’s not new, but the opinions of the New York City Police Department do appear to change over time. This is the first time we’ve done this poll so we don’t have any historical background for this particular poll, but you know when that has suit was founded, and we were really getting off the ground in the 80s, there’s a real desire for the NYPD to step up and play a proactive role, Bill Bratton Ray Kelly, these are, these commissioners who were relatively popular and embraced by New York City, including by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bill Bratton came back that up in New York City Police Department,

Bill Staniford 27:33
okay well good to be right back in a couple of minutes with some more sharkStreet. Stay tuned.

Bill Staniford 32:33
And welcome back to shark street we are here with Michael Hendricks the director of state and local policy for the Manhattan Institute so So Michael, let’s go a little bit deeper into the into the study here, and you know it, so we’ll we’ll run through a couple of these things so, so, and nothing really jumped out at me I mean we looked at public transportation you looked at your opportunity to get ahead you looked at the responsiveness of city government overall quality of life public safety, quality of public schools cleanliness, economic conditions race relations and availability of housing. That’s a lot of stuff so we can we’re going to spend some time we’ll break it out a little bit. We don’t have to rush through this. You know clearly public transportation was sort of at the top of the list of people that thought was Booker very good and availability, was the worst. And, you know, like, I helped me make sense of this i mean i’m not i’m not overly surprised about anything I think the ability, I think, housing is kind of available right now but, um, you know, tell me what do you think

Michael Hendrix 33:37
Right so we asked, New Yorkers What are your leading issues looking ahead to the 2021 mayoral election, and really public safety and the state of the economy. Unsurprisingly, I think we’re the top of the list. But when you begin to dig into there, you know, there are other issues that are important to New Yorkers race relations health care, health care was especially of interest to Democrats, Republicans were especially interested in public safety, affordable housing regulations in two areas were a plurality of normal rate, the city as poor or very poor 44% say that New York has poor or very poor availability of affordable housing. You know, I think that’s something that you see across New York is that really depends on which borough you in whether or not the coronavirus crisis has made rents drop precipitously or just by a bit, you know, you see a lot of people, for instance, even anecdotally, moving out to the Bronx, out of Manhattan you see people, at least in our neighborhood of Brooklyn, moving in here. In some parts rents are even going up. So this is really a complicated story, and by no means has historically on affordable housing suddenly become affordable overnight. And I would argue, we still need more housing supply to meet demand but still has not gone away.

Bill Staniford 34:54
So, so let me just ask at the Manhattan Institute you you compare New York to the other major cities in this in this one aspect the availability of housing or the availability of affordable housing, do you control against other cities.

Michael Hendrix 35:12
Absolutely. So in this poll, to be clear, we just looked at New York City, but we also study, others as well. And we find that New York City is much like other cities on either coasts. So, probably the best comparison for New York City would be to Francisco when it comes to housing. In some respects is even worse housing crisis in New York does. And really, for me it just comes down to econ 101, there’s a lot of demand to live in a city. Maybe because it is a pleasurable place to live. Maybe it’s because you can also get a really good job release have good prospects for advancement, that demand is going to translate for the economy is going to translate into demand for housing, and a supply it’s just not there or even worse. These supply end built but as in the case of New York City being built, far away say in river New Jersey or far out of reaches of outer boroughs. So that’s a real challenge for the health of the city long term and needed as the concentrated pressure close into job centers and rents are going to skyrocket that’s exactly what we’ve seen in New York, San Francisco, la and other places in the coast,

Bill Staniford 36:19
Maybe endless and you know it that’s entirely possible. I just don’t know if this poll is taking into consideration the reset that we’re actually going through right now. And because it, I mean this is this is a moving target I get it, I mean we’re right in the middle of a pandemic and and we might have a second wave in the fall we really don’t know. And so, but what I’m saying is like when I’m looking at it I do all the time because I do real estate data I look at all the time and how the rents are coming down precipitously I mean they’re dropping like a rock and I actually think they’re gonna continue to fall, and there’s plenty of housing that I think is affordable based on if I’m comparing it to against like January, where I was looking at the data as well. So, and a lot of people I don’t know the people that you’re surveying they may be locked in rents right now and they think that’s sort of unaffordable and I would agree with them. But if they’re looking to move even within the city, you can afford much more than you could six months ago.

Michael Hendrix 37:18
And that’s a good thing that’s a good thing when people say, look, New York City is dying I say well no now somebody maybe couldn’t afford the West Village, for instance, can now, maybe some of the artists that left the Lower East Side or Greenwich Village can now come back up. That’s not a bad thing and that is in fact, what could set the foundation for New York City’s recovery, but as you can, it’s important to point out that even as rents come down. If you lack a job. If you lack of consistent unemployment. Even a decline in rents, they still by comparison now be very unaffordable to you.

Bill Staniford 37:56
Yeah, and I mean again that’s why I was asking the question about comparing it to other cities because I you know I don’t know maybe if we’re pulling people in Tulsa, Oklahoma, they might say that you know it’s not very affordable and just because you know the rent, basically takes up whatever percentage of their income anyway no matter where they are

Michael Hendrix 38:15
right and in New York City is not only has historically been uniquely unaffordable, but also in this crisis right now. New York City is suffering, more than almost every other city in America, economically, and that is after having suffered uniquely with the coronavirus.

Bill Staniford 38:32
Okay, so how I mean do you do you think I mean clearly you’re looking to set a sort of a baseline the Manhattan Institute is interested in setting a baseline for the mayoral election that’s coming up I’m assuming I’m assuming that’s your role, and you’re trying to identify the main issues that are important to New Yorkers right?

Michael Hendrix 38:53
Right we all be completely transparent, we want to see New York City reborn out of this crisis, we want to put forward a positive pragmatic growth oriented agenda. So, you know, we certainly know what we’re wanting to push for, but we also want to listen to New Yorkers to get a sense of what they think of some of these reforms some of these ideas all again reforms are designed to restore growth, the intensity of quality of life and preserve public services so we tested eight policy proposals for reforming the city, lowering taxes specialized high school school choice community policing, reducing regulations in small business and housing factoring in the risk of re offense into bail reform and limiting union collective bargaining over peg public pension liabilities, all received majority support and for the most part, bipartisan support.

Bill Staniford 39:46
Yeah and I listen I’ve got it. I’ve got a bunch of different questions here so. So, as far as lowering taxes goes, we, you’re showing people that have self identified as Democrats at 74% supporting lowering of taxes.

Michael Hendrix 40:04
Right. It’s just, I mean, in one sense, I think the best criticism can be. Look who’s going to be opposed to lowering taxes, but I think it’s worth taking a quick timeout to to also recognize that. Right now, many corners in progressive circles in the city are pushing for higher taxes right now. Now, they would say it’s specifically taxes on the wealthy But nevertheless, that’s simply raising taxes, until we just as a very simple question Do you want to see taxes higher, or do you want to see taxes lower, rather than getting the details and consistently across parties people say taxes too high, and we want them to be lower. We also ask them look York City is in a bit of a fiscal crisis, how would you want us to be able to address that do you want higher taxes Do you want government efficiency, are you unsure, a lot of people said they’re just not sure which is completely fair and they need the role of the thinking to deal with the bad ideas to answer that question but by far more people said we want government, efficiency, a more efficient government, rather than higher taxes because the other question we had people are not exactly optimistic, they’re getting a lot of government for all the money to pay in taxes. Yeah, I am just I should say they are getting a lot of government they’re getting a big difference, but they’re not getting great government services for that money,

Bill Staniford 41:27
no I listen I was looking at this and I saw it I saw it specifically democrats is 74% for lowering taxes and I’m saying that my jaw hits the ground and I’m saying, Wait a second. Am I in a different planet because I’m just assuming that even if you’re in the sort of the lower socio economic status which I’m assuming, you know, the, the way you, you, you pull these people that they would understand the rich are going to be the ones paying the taxes right so they should be raising the taxes and obviously that’s the opposite of lowering the taxes. But, you know, it is what it is. Look, I find that I find that number shocking and okay so so what were the reducing the regulations on starting a small business I think that’s pretty straightforward. Right.

Michael Hendrix 42:12
I mean, it should be pretty straightforward. It’s not exactly then that way. So that is an argument for it is making it much easier to get a permit in the city whether to start a business, or to build a building streamline that process. Having a one stop shop that some say a small business owner can go to, they can get all their permits filed, so they can get permits not only filed but approved within 30 days or even 60 days I don’t care, just make it very very clear. That is something cute we’ve seen the benefits that come to streamline permitting with outdoor dining. Well, those have obviously been a huge struggle still for restaurant owners. Nevertheless, overnight people were able to read restaurant owners are able to get outdoor dining approved setup, and they can begin to restore all their lost revenue. As a responsiveness to our small business owners, it’s precisely what we in the city needed to try to recover,

Bill Staniford 43:09
yeah and you know I can’t, I can’t support that enough. I mean, I think entrepreneurship is the lifeblood I also think it’s a wonderful life it breeds a sense of optimism and to everybody and, and it goes across all socio economic status all ethnicities everybody wants to own their own business. It’s just a great positive endeavor and I think anything that we can do to streamline that process to get more people on that that growth ladder where they can really envision themselves being successful and providing for their family I think is is amazing. Now the next one. I thought was really interesting, and I have a little anecdotal information as well for you but allowing parents to choose the school that they prefer for their child, and to have public funding, follow that child to the school of their choice. And that’s it that polled incredibly well

Michael Hendrix 43:59
That poll incredibly well 71% support only 16% oppose. And this is pretty consistent across the city. The only category in which you saw a real drop off in support is among Asian New Yorkers, but you’ll also see that there’s also consistent support across categories for specialized high schools as well. But I think the most important part…

Bill Staniford 44:24
Why do you think there was a drop off in the Asian population?

Michael Hendrix 44:27

Bill Staniford 44:28
we’re running into a break right now and listen that that that segment flew right by. We’re gonna be right back in a couple of minutes with some more SharkStreet. Talk to you soon.

Bill Staniford 46:41
And welcome back to SharkStreet. We are here with Michael Hendrix the director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute, Michael so so again I’m going to tell the audience that the ones that we were just covering right there those those questions had overwhelming support between both Republicans and Democrats so there was an agreement there. And, and this one, this one was interesting to me because I think it’s a no brainer to allow parents to choose the school that they prefer, and I actually I had did a anecdotal survey with an Asian professional and she said no, she said she didn’t want that to happen, and the rationale was that it diminished the value of the home that they had purchased, that would identify the school district that they would send their children to, so I’m curious if you have any other additional information about about that one question.

Michael Hendrix 47:33
Well, look, you know, one one downside of a poll is it can’t tell you precisely what’s going on everybody’s minds when they answer a question like that so actually I think this whole room and has to pull like this for us is an opportunity for us to enlighten New York City to tell us why they favor one idea or vote over another, because we want to be a learn how our false ideas can best fit the real need that people have. So for school choice to enjoy the highest support among Hispanic Latino respondents 84%. Black New Yorkers 72% support and put to the lowest among Asians, I think it’s interesting. I can’t entirely explain why but I certainly invite feedback and input on that. I also think is important, that to note that for school choice and this is the previous question supported highest among those with smaller incomes and less education as well as those simply with children so if you already have children, you say, yeah, I’m much more likely to support choice and worse I’m like it.

Bill Staniford 48:31
Well, you know, again, I think I think the answer you got right there for the Asian population is pretty straightforward. If my information is correct, which is basically. And I’m assuming this I haven’t done the studies and you could do the studies but my, my hypothesis on this is that the Asian population have grouped themselves together around some of the top schools of New York City, and they don’t want people from outside of that neighborhood to to port their children into those districts that they’ve made strong. Who knows but that that’s a that’s certainly an interesting one. Another one that jumped out at me was allowing judges to consider an offender’s risk to the public and likelihood of reoffending before releasing them from jail without bail. And to me, this is a no brainer.

Michael Hendrix 49:20
But it’s not right, it should be, but this is a question directly related to the bail reform I’m using air quotes right now the bail reform that passed at the state level, basically just changes hands and releasing. Many people out on the streets, right at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is hitting, and honestly leading up right into a time when we’re seeing shootings drive by triple digit percentages. year on year in August, and we’re seeing murders on the rise. So if you want to find across the summer. And look, correlation is not causation, but it is concerning, as I said, Look, how about we take a common sense approach to this, we do have bill form but similar to New Jersey next door. You give judges some flexibility to just say look, if the offender has a risk of re offense. Maybe we should take a harsher line here and be less willing to just release them on the street, whereas if there’s not really a risk best we can tell, and it’s a pretty scientific rigorous process is based on that process we just say look, we don’t think that there is as much risk here we’ll find, you know you can let somebody out and they don’t have to sit in jail longer than they need to. So I think that’s just a common sense approach, and you see the kind of support that we get here 25% support 20% oppose among New Yorkers I think New Yorkers agree

Bill Staniford 50:44
Yeah I mean to me this is this is craziness and i don’t i don’t really understand it in any way someone that would be against this and, and, and again I just look at it and be okay, I mean these judges are, are elected right so they’re not appointed, and so they’re responsible to the voters, and also the purpose of the judge is to consider things right and make judgments. I think that’s the point of the judge. And if you’re going to take it away from them. Why don’t we just, and I think I understand the underlying concern here is that they want to ensure that the judges don’t behave in a racist fashion potentially or a biased fashion and, in which case just one Why don’t we just, why don’t we just let our judges be computers.

Michael Hendrix 51:31
The point is we want to be able to say look that is a fair concern we don’t we don’t disagree with that concern. Nevertheless, we want to be able to say, look, we’re putting the judges, meaning in that position where what we’re appointing them for a reason for their judgment and their expertise of the law, we need to give them the flexibility to insert that, but in that we’re fine with that being in a narrow sense where they have that kind of discretion on their risk of reassessed because that’s what people are most concerned about. Will we be letting violent criminals or people with a risk of additional violence. Back on the streets without accountability,

Bill Staniford 52:07
of course. Okay so, so let me jump over one and then I’ll go back but I’m limiting collective bargaining powers of local public sector employee unions and I mean to me this is this is a pet peeve for me i don’t i don’t i’m against public sector unions entirely. And the reason is is because I believe that if you’re a politician, and you’re, you have the support of the public sector union, then you’re always going to get elected and once you’re elected you’re not you’re you’re basically able to give rewards for getting yourself elected, I feel like it just breeds corruption.

Michael Hendrix 52:41
It’s an incredible amount of self dealing that we’re risking what unions have had a role in protecting workers across history. But right now we’re getting a situation where public workers are negotiating with other public workers for protection to other public workers it’s just it’s just incredible enough self dealing so we’re trying to suggest, look how much support is there to allow us to begin to introduce more flexibility for negotiations on contracts. So, this is something that is relevant right now, as pay is, you know, public sector workers, continue to pay increases at a time when those in the private sector are losing their jobs. We’re talking a time when the amount that we pay workers and workers is increasing in their share of what we spent on government, at a time when there’s less money to pay for government. So, this just seems like a common sense approach to say look, we need to be able to give one end of the bargaining table, more negotiating power with the other end of the bargaining table which right now that other end the unions seem to have all the power right now. So, on this question limiting collective bargaining powers for things like future pension extended limbs so large and you can list the city budget, which I thought there was a pretty common sense, kind of question. And it seems from the 51% support and bipartisan support I should add that doesn’t many New Yorkers agree it’s just common sense.

Bill Staniford 54:06
Yeah, I mean, listen, I think that’s if people want to ask why living in New York City is expensive. Well, this is a great place to start right there. Again, so let’s go to loosening land use regulations in order to allow the building of more housing so this is the law of supply and demand in effect.

Michael Hendrix 54:24
That’s right, that’s right we saw that there is also support 59% for reducing land use regulations in order to allow the building of more housing. This is one where it’s not not as high support as lowering taxes but it’s still very very high only. I believe 24% oppose this. This is something where we see a lot of potential for. Well, one key point I think people should take away from this poll and especially this question is that there seems to be a greater variety of opinions among the electric than the elected. So if you look at the opposition by council members to new housing in places, for instance in Industry City. And when we also see Mayor Bill de Blasio stepping back from decisions that he does actually have the power to make to allow more housing across the city is what this question is getting at, are we gonna be building more housing across the city he steps back and says no, I’m going to defer to the council member, so that the council member essentially for one particular district in the city has veto power over housing to benefit the entirety of the city as an industry city right now. That is just not reflective of what New Yorkers want, there’s a greater variety in need support for housing across the city. Then what you would otherwise think if you just looked at our council members now of course, one caveat here is the reason why we talk about our own backyards whether we’re saying yes or no, because what happens in our backyard tend to matter more than what happens across cities. Nevertheless, we should be able to lean into this. Surprisingly, I think surprisingly large support more housing, to be able to make a convincing case for people that this is the right thing to do, whether it’s demand.

Bill Staniford 56:17
Yeah. Listen, I mean this is not surprising to me at all I think these numbers here for the loosening of land use regulations, is exactly where I expected it to be. In general, right in general I think it’s a good idea. And then, and when you say in well in your neighborhood they’re like well, not so much. Maybe in somebody else’s. And I think that’s where we run into the problem is that it’s just very hard to get anything done on an extremely local level on a neighborhood level. But again, I think people need to understand that in order for us to come out of this, let’s call it a recession you call it whatever you want. It’s basically depression but coming out of this pandemic and really driving the city forward. I think we’re going to need some champion industries to really lead the way. And this is, again, real estate could and should be the leader here, and it begins with loosening the land use regulations so great.

Michael Hendrix 57:13
Right. And what we found is that this is not a question of privilege. When we talk about housing issues it’s often the question is well no we shouldn’t have more housing because it’s a concern for lower income populations. But look, modern opposition to land use reform increases with education. And to some degree with income, and it’s often for minority groups by our poll to support more housing and, indeed, we ask people about the state of the economy they’re concerned for the future they tend to be more complacency among the wealthy that report. This is actually, I believe us listening to the real concerns of, or in minority New Yorkers recommending their real concerns being clear eyed about that, and given them the kind of reforms, they’ll bring back jobs growth and more housing, whether its demand, because that’s not only what they want. It may also be what’s best. And it’ll benefit all New Yorkers too.

Bill Staniford 58:07
Okay, Michael we’ve got just a little bit of time left. so again, can you provide your information to everyone, and then sign off.

Michael Hendrix 58:17
Michael Hendrix Manhattan Institute. I’m the director of state local policy please reach out to me at [email protected] underscore Hendricks on Twitter and Hendrix and Manhattaninstitute.org would love to hear from you on what you think the state of New York City is in, and how we can restore Jobs Growth and Opportunity

Bill Staniford 58:34
See you next week on SharkStreet thanks again Michael.


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