Mayor de Blasio Announces Rapid Expansion of Life-Saving Speed Camera Program


Mayor Bill de Blasio: Avery, that was so beautiful and so powerful and thank you – hold up the sign of Cooper again, the photo of Cooper again so everyone can see it. Cooper is a – he is sending you love right now, and what a beautiful tribute to him to speak up for all families and all children the way you are. And I think everyone we’re hearing the sounds in the background of children playing, we’re hearing a positive, warm, happy sound and then we’re hearing this story that breaks our heart. But Avery, you know, by standing up and saying that we have to do something different, we have to do something better, you’re really honoring his legacy. And I appreciate what you said, that we all had to learn from tragedies like this to do things differently and to recognize that the way our society was structured for years and years, where safety just didn’t come first, and the needs of automobiles came ahead of the needs of pedestrians. We had to something very different and that’s where Vision Zero started, and Vision Zero continues to grow, month by month, year by year, becoming stronger and stronger, and today is a very, very important step in the direction of a truly safe city for all our children, all our families, all our seniors.

Today we’re announcing something I think is going to have a huge impact and make us safer across the board, and some of you were out there earlier seeing one of these school speed cameras being installed. Wherever we put them, they save lives, and that’s going to be true right here in this community on the Upper West Side that has felt the pain before and felt the loss before. I want offer my profound thanks to the folks behind me here who have fought so hard and we’re talking today about putting into effect a State law that we all fought for, but there is no way that State law would have been passed if it were not for the advocates joining us here today. It would have been too easy for Albany to look the other way, but these advocates broke through, their voices extraordinary, their passion, their energy made all the difference. So we celebrate your victory today too. I want to thank everyone from Families for Safe Streets, thank you for your extraordinary leadership.


Everyone from Transportation Alternatives, thank you.


And this movement for change is growing all the time, and these activists and advocates have gained more and more powerful allies who see things the same way. So because we’re here talking about protecting our kids, we’re joined by the United Federation of Teachers, thank you for your support.


And as we’re going to talk about today, when we’re protecting our kids, we’re protecting the whole neighborhood, we’re also protecting our seniors and we’re joined today by AARP. Thank you for your leadership.


I want to thank also our host today. I want to thank everyone who does such good work here in this school, and particularly the Principal Louise Xerri, let’s thank everyone at P.S. 199.


And you’re going to hear from a couple of my colleagues in a moment but two folks who are here who must be acknowledged because they are true heroes of Vision Zero and they have been architects from day one, our Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.


And the Chief of Transportation for the NYPD, Chief Tom Chan.


So I just wanted to say a couple things up front here. I want us to remember why we chose the notion of Vision Zero, because the idea is to save every life. The idea is to end all the crashes. The idea is to recognize that it doesn’t have to be the way it was. Vision Zero is about changing our lives once and for all for the better. It’s about changing drivers’ behavior once and for all. And we see it working year after year. When you compare this last year, 2018, to five years earlier in 2013, the number of lives saved, you know – 2013 was a tough year and we’ve been getting better every year since – if you add up all the lives saved because we don’t  – we haven’t continued on that horrible pace that was set in 2013. We’ve made things better each year through Vision Zero. That is the equivalent of saving 347 lives – 347 lives saved.


As the good people behind me will tell you, 347 families who didn’t go through the pain and the tragedy. 347 friends who didn’t lose a dear friend, that’s what Vision Zero means. We are watching all the time and we have seen the last few months some real, troubling situations, we don’t take them lightly. There’s been 16 more traffic deaths year to date than there were last year, and that’s not acceptable. We’re going to do more to address that. We have to do more. Vision Zero always involves doing more and more and more, it never ends, it never is complacent, it’s always about doing more. But this is the day that I’ve been waiting for where we could supercharge our efforts, we wanted all along just to right to protect our kids and our communities and you’ll remember a year – the year before in Albany when the State Senate wouldn’t even act on the legislation. Even though it was about saving lives, the previous State Senate would not even act. I’ll say this in a non-partisan manner, elections do matter because this State Senate acted and gave us everything we could ask for.


So New York City will be quintupling our school speed camera program, quintupling it, five times more.


Now my friends, sometimes government does work, even in Albany, so I want to say a real thanks to Governor Cuomo, to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie – they all were on the same page. They all believed this had to happen. They heard the voices of the people of New York City saying it was time for change. And a special thank you to the sponsors of this legislation. They were fighters for justice, they were fighters for safety. They reset the entire bar of what it meant to keep families safe in this city, I want to thank them, and whenever you see them please thank them, State Senator Andrew Gounardes, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick.


Now, with my colleagues, we were just present as the speed camera was being installed right here at P.S. 199 and you could feel change happening right before your eyes. That camera you saw installed is one of thousands that will be installed over the next few years to keep our communities safe, and within the next 12 months alone, all 750 school zones, now authorized under state law, all 750 school zones will have a speed camera.


The law allows us to act quickly so we are acting quickly. Starting in July we will be doubling the hours which the cameras operate and expanding the days that cameras will be on. We’ll now include not only school days, but school vacation days, summer weekdays, and evenings until 10pm.


And we are rolling out a very aggressive public awareness campaign starting next month, and look, I want to say this upfront. We want people to stop speeding. We don’t want to give tickets if we don’t have to. We just want people to stop speeding, particularly where kids are going to school. So we’re going to give people plenty of warning that every school of these 750, every single one is going to have a speed camera, and I always say if you’re not speeding you won’t have a problem. If you’re not breaking the law, nothing will happen to you. If you are, we’re going to get you, and we’re going to fine you, and we’re going to keep fining you until you get the point. Where we have had speed cameras in school zones, we have seen speeding drop by 60 percent already, already, and this is just the beginning. So, we don’t accept business as usual, we’re going to keep making changes, we’re going to keep being more aggressive to save lives.

Now, I gave a lot of credit to Albany before, and they deserve it, but their work is not done. And I know these good leaders with me here are going to keep the pressure on. We need Albany to pass another law to increase the fines for multiple violators. We need folks who consistently break the law, and consistently speed to face higher penalties. And for the worst offenders, we need to see their licenses suspended once and for all.


Before I say a few quick words in Spanish, I just want to thank everyone. This is really a historic moment, and I’ve got to tell you there were many days, including just a year ago, where it looked like it would be impossible to get the number of speed cameras we needed to protect our kids. But all of you stuck with it. And I really want to thank you for that. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t always an encouraging environment, but the persistence and the heart that these good leaders and advocates and activists showed got us to this day. So this is your victory, thank you.

In Spanish.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

With that, I’m going to turn to some of my colleagues, and one thing I’ve always appreciated about Congressmember Jerry Nadler – he cares deeply for this community. This is the community he came up in, he knows it’s every nook and cranny – he cares about the people here deeply. He’s someone I would want to be here to talk about this issue because it’s so important to his neighborhood, but it’s impossible to be right next to this man without thanking him as Chair of the Judiciary Committee, for all he is doing for our nation.



Mayor: Amen. Thank you so much.


Alright, so we’re going to turn to our colleagues in the media and let’s take questions about the speed cameras and Vision Zero first, and then we’ll take questions on other topics. Anna?

Question: Mr. Mayor, how many speed cameras are you guys actually going to add? I know it’s 610 zones but do you guys have a number of the actual cameras that you guys are thinking you’re going to be adding?

Mayor: So, I’ll start and then pass to Polly. So, 750 zones is what we’re authorized for total. Again, we’re going to have at least one camera in every one of those 750 school zones by next June – so within basically a years’ time. But then we’re going to keep going from there. So, Polly, you want to go over that?

Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Department of Transportation: I think you’ve got it, Mr. Mayor. I mean, in the end, as you said, I think we can get up to a couple of thousand cameras if we’re aggressive and it all works out. Because again, we can put more than one camera in each zone and we will prioritize looking at the crash and the speeding data and the fatality data.

Question: [Inaudible] thousand – several thousand might be added over the next year –

Mayor: Thousands, because 750 zones, and I think – again Polly will go into detail – but you’re talking about two or three cameras easily per zone. In some cases you might even do more

Commissioner Trottenberg: That’s correct. And there are already some zones where we have two cameras but we want to make sure we at least get one camera by the end – in a years’ time within the 750 and then go back and add in places where another camera would benefit and more after that.

Mayor: Yoav?

Question: Can you talk about the pace of installation? It says about 40 a month for the first year. That’s about one or two a day, if that. I think it just sounds like perhaps – I guess, why is that the pace? It can’t be done any more quickly than that or –

Mayor: So, what I’ve – the instruction I’ve given to DOT is to move this as quickly as humanly possible. Polly will talk about some of the things that have to be taken in account to get it right because it’s not just about putting in the camera. It’s about having the capacity to issue the tickets and follow up on them properly. There have to be teeth in this equation. So, the physical installation is just one piece of it. But the fact that we’re going to have every school zone covered within the next 12 months is what is particularly important because that’s sending a message to everyone that, you know, wherever you go you have to take this seriously. We’ve set a clear timeline but the goal is always to beat it. So, go ahead, Polly.

Commissioner Trottenberg: So, I’ll add a little more to that, Yoav. In the past we have installed cameras at the pace of about, at the most eight a month because we do have to do engineering, siting work – you can even see on the camera out here on the street – making sure it’s within the half-mile radius of the school, that you’re putting it in the right place to slow drivers before, let’s say, they get to a school crosswalk, put up the appropriate signage.

And then we have – and it’s actually mandated in the State law – the pictures we take have to be reviewed and verified by a City employee and then there’s an adjudication process setup with DOF. As the Mayor said in his remarks, come July 11th, we will already be doubling the size of the program before we even turn on the extra cameras because of the extended hours. So, that’s a lot to process. Going at 40 a month of adding cameras, for us that is – it’s almost like a ten-fold increase of what we’ve done in the past. So, I think it’s a pretty aggressive schedule that the Mayor has tasked us with.

Mayor: Marcia?

Question: What’s the fine for going – for getting a ticket and is it a moving violation or just a fine? And then I have a follow up.

Mayor: Let me have Polly or Tom –

Commissioner Trottenberg: It’s $50. It’s not a moving violation. The fine goes to the vehicle not to the individual.

Question: I know that you’re asking for more laws from [inaudible]. I’m wondering if you could be more specific. Like what do you want to happen to multiple offenders and at what point should you lose your license?

Mayor: I’ll start and then I’ll turn to Polly and Tom, further. Look, I take a very aggressive view of this. This is about protecting kids, protecting families, protecting seniors. A multiple offender needs to feel the consequences. So, you know, we all know that for some people they get a $50 ticket – they’re just going to ignore that. But we need to see the kinds of tickets that would really get full attention but most importantly after multiple offenses, you should lose your license, at least have it suspended for a period of time. There has to be the highest possible consequences. So, in terms of specific goals that we think are attainable, Polly, Tom –

Commissioner Trottenberg: Right. And you may – Marcia, back – the tragedy we had on 9th Street in Park Slope with Dorothy Bruns where it turned out that she did have multiple speeding camera violations. But again, the way the program is authorized at the State level, that doesn’t – the Chief can talk about it – but it doesn’t cause points of a driver’s license. There isn’t a set of graduated fines and the Mayor had proposed – and there’s been some proposals in Albany – to say, well, if you own the car, whether you’re driving or you’re letting someone else drive, you’re responsible for the safety of that vehicle. As you get multiple speed tickets, at some point the fine should go up. There should be a notification of your insurance, and then perhaps ultimately, you get your license suspended.

Question: [Inaudible] 2,020 cameras in the year 2020 –

Mayor: Yes, that’s very clever. That’s clever, Marcia. We’re going to hire you on the side to work on our slogans for Vision Zero. Very good.

Question: [Inaudible] presidential [inaudible] –

Mayor: Thank you, very kind.


You have to list it as a campaign contribution.


Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: A little louder.

Question: The press release indicates that you [inaudible] for going 36 miles per hour which is pretty high in a 25 speed limit zone. Is there [inaudible]?

Commissioner Trottenberg: So, the State legislation requires that we only issue the ticket when you’re going – you have to be going at least ten miles over the speed limit. We actually add in that extra mile just because we want to be absolutely sure that the tickets are rock solid and can’t be contested. So, that is actually fairly standard with speed cameras around the country – those types of programs. I guess it is something we could potentially at some point go back to Albany on.

Question: Mayor, could you address how much anticipated revenue you expect to bring in from this new program as it’s implemented?

Mayor: Our revenue estimate is only initial because what we hope will happen here is that more and more people will recognize these speed cameras are going to be everywhere and they’ll just stop speeding. So, this is different from the previous speed camera program which was very limited by State law. And I agree with the Congressman’s point strongly – it never should have been, it should have been our choice. But it was a rarity to have a speed camera at a school. Now, it’s going to be much, much more common and I think what that’s going to do is change behavior quite a bit.

So, we can’t put firm estimates in place and long-term estimates because, in fact, we are trying to get people to honor these speed zones and not get the tickets. And I think you’re going to see a real difference now that they’re so common.

Question: [Inaudible] education you can put out there to get the public –

Mayor: Starting next month, and I’ll let, again, my colleagues to go into detail, starting next month we’re going to do a real information blitz to let people know, you know, it’s – look, again, we were talking earlier when we were out at the installation, there’s apps out there now telling people were there are speed cameras. We, in fact, put up signs telling folks they’re in a speed camera zone. The goal is to get people to stop speeding. So, we want to take the month of June to let the people in New York City know that in July there’s going to be a lot more of these cameras starting to be installed, that there’s going to be much more chance of having consequences. So here’s the solution, just don’t speed when you’re around schools – just don’t speed anywhere.

Back there.

Question: How much money – is this all coming from the state or some from the city? How much money is going into it? And I know—

Mayor: I’m sorry, when you say is it all coming – what do you mean?

Question: So it’s all State-funded?

Mayor: No, no, installation is City.

Question: Alright, so it had to pass the State Legislature—

Mayor: The authorization to do it was the State Legislature. We are – we have money already in the executive budget, we’re going to be adding more for the full installation now that we have it. So it’s going to be $62 million in the adopted budget for this aggressive installation program. Again that will be offset by the revenue that comes in.

Question: 750 is the total number, how many—

Mayor: Of school zones.

Question: —how many zones are there now?

Mayor: You mean how many are current—

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: What’s under the previous law.

Commissioner Trottenberg: Well, it’s under the previous law as modified by the City Council. Now, we’re in about, I think, around 180 to 200 zones.

Mayor: Who hasn’t gone? Jeff.

Question: What is the initial revenue estimate?

Mayor: Did you say revenue? As I said, we don’t have a firm one because we believe we’re going to see a very different reality.

Question: [Inaudible] estimate at least?

Mayor: I don’t know what’s—

Commissioner Trottenberg: I’ll give you the past year’s numbers and a little sense of the revenue. So, last calendar year was $44 million in revenue, and just, I think, to get to the Mayor’s point, the previous year had been $60 million. Sort of going to the Mayor’s point that once people, over 80 percent of people, once they get that first speeding ticket they don’t get another. So, and again, as he said, our goal is to see those numbers go down over time. But certainly you will see on July 11th, when the cameras have longer hours, I think you will clearly see an uptick in revenues and then we will see that as we add the cameras. Like the Mayor, I’m a little hesitant to give you what the exact number will be by the end of the year but we can start to update folks as those revenues come in.

Question: My question is about those longer hours – so until 10:00 pm and on school vacation days, but not on weekends, [inaudible]?

Commissioner Trottenberg: I mean that was just, I think, in the end the decision that was made up in Albany and look, I think as the Mayor said, we’re very, very grateful. I mean this extension of hours, the number of schools and the new geographies is going to enable us to so vastly increase the amount of time that these cameras are operating, and we do see there is a bit of a halo effect. When people see where the cameras are, they sort of remember where the camera is, they often will drive safely in that corridor any time of day, any day of the year.

Mayor: Okay, anyone who’s not gone? Rich?

Question: Apps such as Waze will tell you about these, and you see that as a good thing?

Mayor: Oh, yeah.

Question: So, because people—

Mayor: We don’t want the revenue – we want people to stop speeding. And I just want it to be really clear, because look, as you know, I was a driver for many years and I understand that there are so many frustrations people face in this city, and so many different ways that they fear fines and tickets and one thing or another. But there’s a real, simple solution. Don’t speed. So, hey, if they know where the speed zones are and they don’t speed, God bless America, that’s great, you know? That’s fine. We just want to stop the speeding. It’s already down 60 percent, but again that’s with way too few zones, because previously we had not been authorized to have the number we needed. I think it’s now going to become something that drivers just think if you’re anywhere near a school there may be one of those cameras, slow down. And that would be a beautiful thing.

Yes, Anna?

Question: So, just to be clear – 2018, $44 million in revenue; 2017, $60 million. What was it in 2014?

Commissioner Trottenberg: 2014 – it was around $17 million.

Question: 17?

Commissioner Trottenberg: Yeah, I’ll just give you – 2014, because we had – we were still in the process of installing that 140 that was – that got authorized that year, so, $17 million in 2014; $43 million in 2015; $63 million in 2016; $61 million approximately in 2017; and then down to around $45 million. You know, again, so you can see, as we installed cameras, the revenues went up, but then the cameras to do their work and the revenues come back down again as people slow down.

Question: Okay. And then just to be clear – the cost for the 750, is that going to be $62 million to, like, get all –

Mayor: Fiscal ’20 – for Fiscal ’20, we’ll have $62 million in the budget for installing everything that we’re going to install during Fiscal ’20. So, that basically gets us to June. As we said, all 750 zones will have at least one camera. And again, that we think will be offset by revenue in the short-term. But in terms of longer-term projections, we just have to see. I think Polly’s right, I think you’re going to start to see a reverse dynamic, and that’ll be a good thing.

Question: What was the cost of installing the 140? Or, the ones in the 140 –

Mayor: I don’t have that. Polly, do you have that? Or we can get it –

Commissioner Trottenberg: I’ll get you the number. I mean, the cost roughly is somewhere between sort of $70,000 and $100,000 per camera depending on whether we have to put in a pole and if there’s – we have to run wires under the sidewalk. But someone can dig up the full installation number.

Mayor: Okay. Yes, Gloria?

Question: I just want to get clarity on – it’s a $50 fine, but if you are caught speeding again, does the fine go up? Or is it always –

Commissioner Trottenberg: No, we’re saying it’s always $50, but there had been – and the Mayor had proposed – and there’s been talk in Albany of perhaps changing that and making those fines graduated. And if NYPD tickets you, then it’s a different story.

Mayor: Okay, last call.

Go ahead – I’m sorry, Gloria.

Question: Is there – are there schools – certain schools that you treat differently in terms of the amount of cameras? Or how do you determine what cameras need to go where? And how does that –

Mayor: So, I’ll just start and say, this is what is so powerful about this new law. It has not only given us the ability to reach 750 schools, but also the ability to put the cameras where we need them in terms of safety. Before we were really limited in the locations. Now, we have a lot more freedom of where we can put them, and the number we choose to put in. We’re going to, as I said, you know, we intend to keep increasing the number of cameras to the point that we feel we’ve really achieved the goal of safety – so, two, three, sometimes more, depending on the school. And a specific – you know, a specific school site obviously can have multiple schools within it, so it depends on where kids are coming from, what the intersection is like, how many cameras make sense.

Commissioner Trottenberg: And there are already some schools now where we have more than one camera. Our goal is to at least get one in all of the 750 zones. Some already have two from our previous program, and then we’ll go back, as the Mayor said. We’re looking at speeding data, crash data, fatality and injury data, and going back and putting cameras where we think they’ll do the most good.

Mayor: Okay, last call. Okay, we’ve got several more. I see four, and then we’ll go to other topics.


Question: Does the City get to keep all of the revenue?

Commissioner Trottenberg: Yes.

Question: And is any of that revenue reinvested in, like, traffic safety measures? Or is it just general –

Commissioner Trottenberg: I mean, the general policy of the City is all revenues go into the general fund. I would say – and I’ve said this point before – the City has invested far, far more in Vision Zero than we have taken in in camera revenues. We have – in the 10-year period we’re going to be investing about $2.7 billion. Camera revenues, total to-date, I think we’ve taken in – I’m just looking at the numbers here – I don’t know, probably, two-something-hundred-million. So, you know, in one way, the City’s investing far, far more in safety.

Mayor: Rich?

Question: I’m just wondering, is there one particular license plate or driver who has the record for the number of violations? I mean, does something – do you have any information like that, if somebody had multiple violations?

Commissioner Trottenberg: You know, it is interesting. It is actually something we’re talking to the City Council about, again, in the wake of the Dorothy Bruns incident, something Council Member Lander is looking at, might we work together with the State and DMV and look at some of those folks who are these repeat offenders. So, I don’t have those numbers today, but there is, sort of, as the Mayor said, the vast majority of people never get a second ticket, but there are some egregious offenders who’ve racked up a lot of these tickets.

Mayor: Yeah, we need that legislation in Albany that intensifies the fines and that really makes clear that you could lose your license. I mean, that’s – look, we understand human beings respond to consequences, so that’s the next step that has to be achieved in Albany. Also, you know, that horrible incident in Park Slope caused us to realize there’s a missing link here, which is, doctors have to report to DMV if someone is susceptible to situations like that individual was. That was a noble thing, and had that information been available, it could have saved lives. So, that is also legislation pending in Albany that I hope they will pass by June.

Way back?

Question: Just to follow up on my earlier question about expanded hours and vacation days – is the rationale for that, that the schools are in use for summer school, and –

Commissioner Trottenberg: Correct, yes. As a lot of you know, schools do a lot of activities during the summer, they do a lot of activities in the evening. And again, I think you have [inaudible] primary focus of the cameras are schools and children, but they’re a benefit for all New Yorkers on the streets, and this is a neighborhood, for example, with a lot of seniors – you know, tremendously important, I think, all over the City at all times of day.

Mayor: Last one on-topic and then we’ll go to off-topic.

Question: So, I mean, this is a great start with the amount of cameras, but it’s still a minuscule number in terms of how many [inaudible] there are in the City. Will you commit to going back to Albany and asking for more, unlimited cameras?

Mayor: Look, I think the speed camera program has been very effective, and especially the cameras around schools, so I want us to keep putting cameras where we need them. I think there’s a lot of other pieces of Vision Zero that matter here too. And we’ve invested a whole lot – you heard that extraordinary amount of money that’s being put into Vision Zero, that includes redesigning intersections and streets, that includes all of the enforcement that the NYPD is doing against speeding and failure to yield. There’s a lot of pieces of this equation. So, I think there are other things we could use from Albany. I mean, I’d say the legislation that I mentioned would be the highest priority to ensure that, right now, the cameras we have, have more impact and there’s more consequence. But I certainly want to see us have the ability to add more when we need them, and I think the Congressman’s right about that fact.


Mayor: Everybody, I want to say, first of all, most importantly, that Congressman Nadler is doing much better. I spent time with him and the medical personnel and the EMT’s who responded. He got more energetic with every passing minute when we gave him water, and juice. He’s doing much, much better. He’s starting to talk to everyone, joke around, answered a whole bunch of medical questions. I think his situation is much improved and he got tremendous care. I want to thank the doctors from Health + Hospitals who are here, who were part of the team who immediately attended to the situation. And Congressman Nadler is on the way to the hospital now, but, again, very comforting to see that after a few minutes he seemed to be his old self again, and we’re very hopeful he’ll make a speedy, speedy recovery.

Question: Mayor, can you tell us what you perceived in the room? When did you notice something was amiss?

Mayor: Well I heard – I was answering a question and I heard someone say Jerry’s name in a way that sounded distressed. So, I turned to him and he just looked like he had – just, was taking a little nap for a moment. And then I put my hand on his shoulder, I said, Jerry, are you okay? And he didn’t respond right away, and I kind of shook him, just a little, and I said, again, Jerry – you know, I’ve known him for years and years – I said, Jerry, are you okay? Are you okay? And then he started to respond slowly, but his wasn’t his normal self obviously. And the medical personnel immediately jumped in and they could tell they needed to give him some fluids, they needed to give him some juice and things to give him some energy. But what was striking was that after just a few minutes, you know, you could see him just fully come back to his energetic self, he started making jokes. Literally, it was a matter of – one minute he looked really, really tired, and a few minutes later he seemed like himself.

Question: Mayor, they’re saying that it was dehydration, but – and you have to understand the concern that perhaps we had out here – crackling all over the police radios is, cardiac incident. Is it dehydration? Is it a cardiac incident?

Mayor: I’ll let the doctors speak to it. It certainly was not what we feared at first, but, doctor, if you want to step forward?

Question: And maybe that’s just what they always say –

Question: We need you to say your name and spell it –

Doctor Ted Long: My name is Doctor Ted Long, I’m a doctor at Health + Hospitals. We were immediately right at his side. But the time we got there, which was a matter of seconds, he was able to answer all of our questions. We had a nice conversation. We can’t know exactly what happened with him until after the hospital evaluates him, but we got him there as fast as humanly possible. He’s in safe hands now and he’s on his way.

Question: Do you think it was dehydration? Do you think it was his heart?

Long: It’s presumptuous to know – to say what his diagnosis is before doing the appropriate tests. But we were there immediately and he was able to answer all of our questions and we got him on his way.

Question: Did [inaudible] seem really highly elevated?

Long: I can’t talk about his heart rate.

Question: Did he talk about having any health problems [inaudible]?

Long: No, I can’t share his health problems. But what I can say is, again, he was – by the time we got to him, which was about six or seven seconds, he was able to answer all of our questions very nicely – that enables us the get him to the hospital as quickly as possible, which we did.

Question: As a doctor, what was your concern?

Long: Whenever anybody looks like they’re asleep, we worry about things like dehydration. But the best thing in the world for him is, we have a limited ability of what we can do in the school here – it’s the make sure he’s safe and then get him to the hospital as soon as he’s safe, which we did as fast as possible. That’s why we were there in a matter of minutes [inaudible].

Question: Can you clearly walk us through what steps you took to [inaudible] you gave him water, juice –

Long: Sure, the standard things that we do for anybody when they look like they’re asleep is we see if we can awaken them, see if they can answer questions. We do the same regardless, we see if you can drink a little bit of water, a little bit of juice. We did the standard things for him. Like I said though, he was able to answer out question immediately, which meant he was safe to go as quickly as humanely possible, and he did.

Mayor: Thank you, doctor.

Question: You gave him something from your own water bottle? Was that Gatorade?

Mayor: Gatorade – it was Gatorade, yeah. And it seemed like just getting a little bit of sugar into his system really helped him right away.

Question: Mr. Mayor, you talked about the work that he was doing as Chairman as the Judiciary Committee [inaudible] concern?

Mayor: Look, he’s such an important figure in our nation right now as Chair of the Judiciary Committee. I’ve known Jerry Nadler for decades. He’s an extraordinary public servant. This entire country is depending on him right now, so we obviously want to make sure he is well cared for and makes a full recovery. The American people need him.

Question: Mr. Mayor, are you worried that this will be used against you in some way by President Trump [inaudible]?

Mayor: I don’t think it’s ever appropriate to in any way denigrate someone or put down someone because they had a temporary health situation. I think the American people would actually be repulsed by that. So, I hope the President doesn’t stoop to that level. Look, Jerry Nadler, anyone who’s known him, for decades has extraordinary energy, he does so much for this community, but now he’s doing so much for the country. So, we’ll get the whole analysis obviously in the days ahead, but the most important thing is he’s getting great care right now.

Question: Can you share what you guys were joking about when you were talking to him while –

Mayor: You know, it was a situation where none of us should ever go through something like that, but if you were to go through something like that, it’s great to be at an event where there was a whole lot of doctors. So, I said, hey, Jerry, you’re in good hands, like, look at all of the doctors around you. He was joking about it and just – you know, he has an amazing sense of humor and he was very self-effacing about the whole thing, you know? And just – you could see immediately, his full personality was there immediately.

Question: [Inaudible] some concern about maybe the heat in the room?

Mayor: I didn’t personally feel hot in that room.

Question: What was your immediate concern when you –

Mayor: Obviously, Marcia, immediately when you see someone not responsive you worry about a much more serious situation. I was worried for him. I think he’s such an important leader in this country and for this city, so I was worried immediately. But I was reassured very quickly as I saw with just a few sips from the bottle, just a little bit of liquid got into him, he was obviously coming back real quickly. So, hopefully –

Question: But he never lost consciousness, right? He was just a little light headed?

Mayor: Yeah, that’s my impression.

Question: What flavor Gatorade?

Mayor: It’s red, that’s all I know. I think that’s the official flavor, red.


Question: Did you get any Trump jokes in there [inaudible] –

Mayor: No Trump jokes, no, no. I think it was not the occasion – other occasions for that.

Alright, anything else about the Congressman? And then I’ll take questions on anything else.

Question: Just wondering, when you first tried to rouse him and he didn’t come back, was there a moment of fear that you went through?

Mayor: Absolutely, Rich. You know, I understand that someone who works as hard as him might, you know, have a moment of a nap – you know, sometimes people at a long event close their eyes from a moment, that’s not unheard of. And when I turned to him, I just expected him to sort of say, hey, what – you know, like that. And it just took a few times for him to fully [inaudible]. But again, the second he got some hydration, he was entirely himself.

Okay, everyone, let’s take any other questions on anything else. Please?

Question: MTA Chairman Pat Foye is calling for legislation to ban what they’re calling serial pervs and other criminals from the subways. Think that legislation is possible to pass, any thoughts on it?

Mayor: Well, I’d have to see the specifics. Look, I think it’s really important to ensure that if someone persistently harms others that we use every measure to stop that from happening. There are clearly issues of individual rights we have to be careful about at the same time. So, it would really depend on the wording of that legislation. But I think we need to be as aggressive as we can be within our laws and our traditions of respecting freedoms.

Question: Mayor, this morning a reporter from the Des Moines Register said that your approach to campaigning so far for president is a little unusual and that it’s not holding a big rally or holding a big breakfast for other people. It’s mostly going to other events already scheduled [inaudible] or having very small meet-and-greet. Is that by design because you don’t have any money, is it because – what?

Mayor: We are conscious of doing things a different way and one of the things that I really feel when you’re going to another state to learn about the issues of the people is, go first and listen. And I got to tell you, when I was with family farmers in Greene County, Iowa last week or with the fast food workers yesterday in Des Moines or the folks I met even at the barbeque place in Orangeburg, South Carolina, I mean, people are talking about their lives and their challenges and I think it would be really good if candidates would listen first and then offer their ideas.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Look, this is the beginning of a very long campaign. And I talked to some of the leading political figures in Iowa yesterday including the State Democratic chairman and everyone is cognizant of the fact this is the very beginning of a long, long process. But I want to first hear from people, understand their issues, understand their concerns, and then we’ll be building from there.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Right now I have not taken a [inaudible] there’s obviously some weeks left to go on that.

Question: Mr. Mayor [Inaudible] –

Mayor: Well, we’re going to be doing some of the same kinds of things – sitting down with leaders and activists and hearing from them about the issues in Nevada and it’s an opportunity to get to know people, to hear their concerns, to really start to build the groundwork. We’re going to be staffing up in the [inaudible] build an operation. But again, it begins with listening to people.

Question: Mr. Mayor, you vowed not to eat McDonald’s again until they increased their wages. What kind of deprivation would that be for you?

Mayor: Well, I would say this – I cannot tell a lie, the fries are something special but I am saying goodbye to McDonald’s fries and my whole campaign team is as well until they provide that $15 minimum wage and they recognize and respect the union, SEIU, and they take real action against sexual harassment. You know, McDonald’s idea of fighting sexual harassment is to put up posters in their stores, that’s it. It’s not real. So, I was proud to join with fast food workers in Des Moines and I think people should start staying away from McDonald’s until McDonald’s gets its act together. So, I’ll miss the fries. From time to time I’ll have a Filet-O-Fish – I’ll miss that sometimes – but it’s important to say to working people that we’re going to be on their side and not on the side of corporate America.

Question: Mr. Mayor, do you think you’ll qualify for the first debates next month?

Mayor: I’ve said from the beginning, I’d certainly like to be a part of it but I understand there is a lot of people competing to get on that stage. It’s too early to tell. I’m very happy to say we do have the three qualifying polls in hand and that’s the single most important measure. You know, that has been achieved. But there is still some weeks until that decision will be made by the DNC.

Question: Mayor, why do you need to go back to Nevada [inaudible]?

Mayor: Nevada is a very important part of this equation and I found that folks there were really responsive to the message. Look, my campaign message is putting working people first and Nevada – if you know the history there especially after the Great Recession, working people caught hell in Nevada. A lot of folks were very receptive to the message. It’s a place I’m going to be spending real time. Last call –

Unknown: Two more.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: What’s that?

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Yeah we have – so the DNC has a list of authorized polls that if you reach the threshold level, you need to do that three separate times, three separate polls to be able to get to the basic qualifying level for the debates. We have those three polls in hand now. Our team can give you the exact dates and the exact polling agencies. But that’s the first step – it’s reaching that level – and then we have to build from there.

Question: [Inaudible] run the City at the same time?

Mayor: I’ve said to people before, you know, I have travelled on official business for years. This is my sixth year as mayor, so, I know a lot about how to do this job. I’ve travelled on official business before. I have travelled with my family before on vacation and I’ve led the City wherever am I. It is every hour of every day staying focused on what’s happening here, giving the right instructions, giving people a clear sense of direction I want them to take. I have a great team and everywhere I go, there’s conference calls in between events, calls I’m making to key members of the administration to give them orders of what I want done. I know how to do that at the same time.

Question: Mayor, did you get the results of the poll that you commissioned in Iowa and did you get anything more encouraging than the one percent that’s come up in the three [inaudible] –

Mayor: Well, I’m not going to give you internal sources and methods. I will say that I was very pleased with the result and it gave me a very clear sense of what I need to do – and the good news is it aligned to what I believe and who I am and just amplifying the kinds of things we’ve done in New York.

Iowans – I hope you all get to spend some time there because you’re going to see a group of folks who take their role in the presidential process very, very seriously. It’s extraordinary. I’ve gotten to know it over years because I participated as a volunteer in the Iowa caucuses previously. An incredible devotion to screening the candidates, interviewing the candidates, really putting us through our paces. And when I’ve been out there, people want to know what you’ve achieved. And this is a key differentiator in this election. Iowans value real experience and real achievements. They do not just like words, they like deeds. And when I tell them we have Pre-K for All, when I tell them we’re guaranteeing health care, we are doing Paid Sick Leave for working people, these kind of things register deeply in a state where people care a lot about these kitchen table issues, these economic issues. They take it real seriously that someone’s actually done these things. Thanks, everyone. Yeah, go ahead.

Question: [Inaudible] question about fundraising. Several other candidates have made pledges, you know, not to accept money from federal lobbyists, not to have their [inaudible] super PAC, not to accept money from fossil fuel companies. Have you made those same pledges and are you concerned [inaudible] –

Mayor: I’ll tell you a couple that I’m doing and then we’re going to have more to say in the coming days. Definitely am not taking money from fossil fuel companies, so I am taking that fossil fuel pledge to not take those donations. I will not be taking money from City registered lobbyists here in New York City, I will not be taking money from federally registered lobbyists. So, we’ll have more details as we go along but those are some baseline points.

Thanks, everyone.


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