One of Mayor Bill de Blasio's often-turned-to phrases is that New Yorkers can rarely agree on anything. That phrase can certainly be applied to what New Yorkers think of his performance as mayor over the last eight years.

As part of WNYC/Gothamist's "Grading De Blasio" series examining de Blasio's record, reporters fanned across the city for an assessment of his mayoral tenure. The feedback was mixed, with New York City residents either loving or loathing de Blasio's performance. Those interviewed provided a letter grade to evaluate his overall work as mayor.

Read More: Grading De Blasio: Assessing The Mayor’s Performance On Education, Housing, & Transportation

Below is a breakdown of some New Yorkers' thoughts on de Blasio's successes, failures, and hopes for his successor, Mayor-elect Eric Adams. The interviews have been edited for clarity.

Minerva del Rosario, Queens

Minerva Del Rosario, Queens

What's de Blasio's greatest accomplishment?

I think Mayor de Blasio's great accomplishment is being able to do a lot in this pandemic because it's not easy. Nobody's perfect though. But he did his best.

And failure?

I think the failure is the peace and order. It's one thing because like guns are on the loose. There are a lot of shootings and I don't know what's wrong. So that's a concern.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

Well, I hope that this administration will be strong enough to, to be able to stop guns on the streets, and at the same time, be compassionate to people. There's a lot of homeless people and people are hungry. So I just hope that they will have compassion to release more benefits, especially to the homeless and more health guidance.


Jas Singh, Brooklyn

Jas Singh, Brooklyn

What's de Blasio's greatest accomplishment?

Keeping us sane throughout this [COVID] experience when, especially when [Governor Andrew] Cuomo was under fire with all that ugly stuff that he did.

And failure?

[The] public health crisis that we noticed in the city. I know they've done a lot of tremendous amount of work reaching a lot of communities on grassroot level, but I think there's more that can be done for sure.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

Start reaching out to grassroots; start talking to those communities. And again, there's always a cause behind increased crime. It's not like you just release people out of prison. That's very obvious one. But again, you have to think [with] perspective: why do people have guns in the wrong hands in the first place? I'm not saying to take away the guns, but I guess I'm asking questions [from a] mental health perspective.


Sruthi Manish (l) with Thara Madathody, Queens

Sruthi Manish (l) with Thara Madathody, Queens

What's de Blasio's greatest accomplishment?

Sruthi: I think his greatest accomplishment is Universal pre-K, actually. Because I know despite everything he's done he has increased the education policies for pre-K.

Thara: I don't think he have any positive thing I can attribute to.

And failure?

Sruthi: I think greatest failure is his inability to curb homelessness. Just because homelessness as it is is very dangerous. Some people generally want a better life but they're unable to because a) they're not able to reach out to the government and b) even if they do [reach out to the government] they're not given any help.

Thara: I don't like the idea of having no testing, the SAT or the SHSAT. When you differentiate students you need to have testing because you need to give the best to whoever can take it. You don't have to really take away testing because that is not helping anyway. The standard of the school is going to go down.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

Sruthi: So my greatest hope is that Eric Adams listens to the people because I feel that the people do have plans, they do have hopes, but the mayor either doesn't want to hear it of if he hears it he doesn't know how to approach the problem. So I feel the primary reason for the government is to listen to the people.

Thara: I hope he doesn't repeat what de Blasio's doing.


Mike Aguis, Brooklyn

Mike Aguis, Manhattan

What's de Blasio's greatest accomplishment?

Almost everything that he did I think could have been done better. I think he just was a horrible mayor.

And failure?

He just seemed like an elitist who just didn't understand the city's needs. Little things like optics; being late for everything, going a half hour; not taking the subways ever to work out. So he doesn't understand the issues that most New Yorkers face.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

I would want a mayor to be serious about the issues in the city like crime, and not just trying to placate groups, to not offend anybody. Just actually, we have issues in this city with crime and homelessness, and address it honestly and to make a real effort to make things better.


Barbara Bouquio, Staten Island

Scott Heins / Gothamist

Barbara Bouquio, Staten Island

What's de Blasio's greatest accomplishment?

Pre-K For All. It’s working out great and a lot of kids are getting a good education that they may not have gotten if he didn’t try and do it.

And failure?

He didn’t decrease homelessness, and that really makes me feel bad. I didn’t want to blame him but it happened on his watch, there’s a lot more homeless people.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

I hope that he can get people to be treated equally, which is a challenge. There’s a lot of income inequality. I don’t know if there’s anything that can be done about it, but I hope he can focus on it. And I hope he can improve policing without going back to discriminating against people and targeting people because of their race.


Nancy Burke, Staten Island

Scott Heins / Gothamist

Nancy Burke, Staten Island

What's de Blasio's greatest success?

I don’t think he had any great successes in the city. I can’t think of anything in the past eight years that’s really changed for the better.

And failure?

His approach to the pandemic, the lockdowns; just the indifference to what city people were going through. It didn’t seem to matter much to him what was going on.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

Eric Adams really does love the city. He wants the best for the city. And I think he has a very practical approach to things. He thinks through things, and I’m hoping he brings back the city. It’s coming back now and I hope he continues with that.


Katie McCarthy, Staten Island

Scott Heins / Gothamist

Katie McCarthy, Staten Island

What was de Blasio's greatest success?

Well, I don’t know if it quite counts as a success, but I was inspired by the goals he set for Vision Zero, and supported so that people could bicycle and walk around the city and not be in fear of their lives. Safety for pedestrians and bicyclists is an issue that’s very dear to my heart.

And failure?

What I took note of is that [Vision Zero] didn’t happen. We didn’t come near the goal. We didn’t even improve safety, and people are continuing to die at the hands of pedestrians and motorists who don’t follow rules, drive without proper credentials, and they’re in a big hurry. I think the mayor has to set a very strong agenda. If we want to change the culture, it has to be spoken that way. We all have to calm down, we have to take a breath, we have to make room for our fellow humans--in many ways. And one way is on the roads and the sidewalks that we share. If we want to be a more humane and livable city, it has to be spoken that way. It doesn’t have to be a rat race. We can be a human race where we’re all in it together. That would be my hope.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

Staying with the bicycling and safety theme. I hope that since he’s a bicyclist he’ll be able to really create some effective changes. I’m not sure what’s necessary to get people to slow down, but I do know that if people are not driving so fast, less people die.


Anthony Naccari, Bronx

Anthony Naccari, Bronx

What was de Blasio's greatest success?

Universal pre-kindergarten, early childhood programs for all. Even in our school, many children have benefited from those programs. When children have that early childhood foundation, it really, really does result in academic success. So I applaud his efforts there and creating these early childhood programs for everybody in New York City.

And failure?

I wish there was less crime. I wish the city was cleaner, the way it was prior to the pandemic. I wish more services were provided for the homeless people. I'm noticing more and more homeless people on the subways, on the streets of Manhattan.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

I hope the issue with the homelessness is addressed and crime is reduced. I think all New York City residents are on edge over the crime, especially in our subways and on our streets. So I'm really hoping that to address more of a police presence on our streets in Manhattan, especially around the Times Square area, especially here in the Bronx.

And I'm very, very concerned about the violence amongst our youth. And I really think that needs to be addressed as well. I know the Bronx district attorney district attorneys on the various boroughs are doing all they can, but I think they're going to need support from city hall and I'm hoping Mr. Adams is able to do that.


Freddie Snyder, Bronx

Freddie Snyder, Bronx

What was de Blasio's greatest success?

I've retired recently with a very good pension [...] and he's the mayor of the city. And I was pleasantly surprised [with my pension]. Let's put it this way: I think I'm being taken care of for my retirement.

And failure?

He's very progressive. I'm progressive as well, but he's a little more progressive than me.


Ricky Singleton, Harlem.

Ricky Singleton, Harlem

What was de Blasio's greatest success?

I see his biggest accomplishment as trying to bring the city back together after the coronavirus, getting the vaccination on a roll, as far as getting the city vaccinated, trying to open up the city again. He got Broadway back open. He got a lot of the jobs. He got a lot of people that moved from the city moving back.

And failure?

I give him a C average because of crime and homelessness. The crime on the subways. It was up. People were scared, literally scared. And not only that, the gun rate. The guns on the streets with these young teenagers shooting and taking advantage of older people.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

Watch the neighborhoods and watch out for the elderly. Because the seniors are the ones who helped build this city.


Henry Montero, Upper West Side.

Henry Montero, Upper West Side (declined to give grade)

What was the mayor’s biggest accomplishment?

His greatest accomplishment, I would say, is that he drove us through the crisis of COVID-19. It was a very difficult era and there was a lot of expectation, I think too much for one man.

And his failure?

Crime has really gone up in the city. It is very palpable to see what's going on. There's a lot of shootouts, people getting killed, a lot of robbers. And I understand that maybe other alternatives could have happened, but unfortunately he has to confront what's going on in the city and it always falls on him.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

Giving the possibility for people to believe in themselves, for people to believe that they could go out there and work and thrive and grow. We’re the Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps. People come here for opportunities. And if we could provide hope and we could hold on to that, I think it would be great.

The job of mayor is not a one-man job. It's a job that takes a lot. And if he could really cherish good advice, and really have a good head over his shoulder, I think we'll have a good opportunity for the next four years to come to see great things in the city.


Janina Samuels, Harlem

Janina Samuels, Harlem

What were the mayor’s biggest accomplishments or failures?

When I see the increase in homelessness and mental health I feel like that would be a failure. But I think a lot of the moves towards police reform and a lot of the consciousness around that is a good thing.

And a lot of the social programs that I feel he's tried to implement have been good. It's just the execution.

What would you like to see from Mayor-elect Eric Adams?

I would definitely say community relations, especially when it comes to the police and residents. When I was growing up there was the Police Athletic League. And I feel like there were a lot more interactions of building community even though there were still problems between the police and residents.

People really need to feel safe and comfortable and not see each other as threats. So I really feel that. The state that it's in now, the police are mad and then the community feels like they're not being protected and they're being targeted. Nothing good can come from that.


Marisa Allan, Upper West Side

Marisa Allan, Upper West Side

What were the mayor’s biggest accomplishments or failures?

Are you saying he had one? He left the city in a worse position, so he's accomplished nothing. I'm very disappointed in what's happened under his leadership; about what he's done. The increase in crime being number one, and the garbage on the streets because he cut budgets for sanitation.


Heidi Flores, Harlem

Heidi Flores, Harlem

What was the mayor’s biggest accomplishment?

The best thing he did is he kept us informed about the corona[virus.] He always kept on top of that every morning. He was on that camera, on TV, and he let us know what was going on and that was the most important thing that we needed to know.

And failure?

What bothered me was the transportation, lack of police and a lot of robberies. That bothered me a lot.


See more stories in our Grading de Blasio series here.