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New Yorkers appeared united Friday in their lack of surprise over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to drop out of the presidential race — and shared ongoing puzzlement over why he ran in the first place.
There’s a variety of strong ideas, though, on notions of where the mayor should focus his energy, post-campaign.
Our team fanned out across boroughs and asked city dwellers the same question: “Now that Mayor de Blasio is out of the presidential race, what is the number one thing he can do for you and your neighborhood?”
Here’s a sampling of responses:
2/ Luis Palma, has lived in the Prospect Park YMCA for 34 years. Sees Mayor de Blasio every day. “He was elected to take care of the city. He’s on an ego trip. He should focus on the homeless.” https://t.co/67PNvIXq4w pic.twitter.com/j7IATadgMz— THE CITY (@THECITYNY) September 20, 2019
3/ Eric Oxendine, 74, longtime West Village resident & musician. He wants the mayor to focus two issues: better shelters for the homeless and empty storefronts. “If you see around the Village, there’s a lot of storefronts with nobody in them because the rents double and triple.” pic.twitter.com/q6ZHAYhnTh— THE CITY (@THECITYNY) September 20, 2019
4/ Holly Akins, 33, a Lower East Side resident and an independent contractor. She has impaired mobility due to an amputation. “He should focus on disability rights and protections for vulnerable adults — housing and healthcare.” https://t.co/67PNvIXq4w pic.twitter.com/HgU4E6yhVn— THE CITY (@THECITYNY) September 20, 2019
5/ Benjamin Jackson, 38, lives in St. George, Staten Island. He also wants the mayor to put his focus back on homelessness. “There are a lot of homeless people in the area and it makes things tough for us and for them out here… there should be a shelter.” https://t.co/67PNvIXq4w pic.twitter.com/EF12jxLxsv— THE CITY (@THECITYNY) September 20, 2019
6/ Xavier Maisonet, a 22-year-old Lower East Side resident who lives in the Alfred E. Smith Houses. He wants the mayor get public housing in order. “NYCHA’s been a real big issue this entire time he’s been running.” https://t.co/67PNvIXq4w pic.twitter.com/FOhxaGNimn— THE CITY (@THECITYNY) September 20, 2019
Maria R., 46, lives in Forest Hills, Queens. She says that she supported the mayor’s presidential bid but now wants him to “keep being the mayor” and focus on public schools. “Everything is working out well, continue that,” she said.
Mygod Kelley, 36, is from Highbridge, The Bronx. The father of four does carpentry and wants the mayor to think of the future. “We need more for the children,” he said. “We’ve gotta engage the community: basketball programs, football, scholarship programs, mentorship program, something. Get them off the trains after school and into programs.”
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