Every Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio calls in to the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC for an Ask the Mayor segment, a conversation that all New Yorkers are invited to join by calling 646-435-7280, or tweeting a question with the #AsktheMayor hashtag. The show airs 10 a.m. to noon on WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820 and wnyc.org.

De Blasio's penultimate radio appearance on program as the 109th mayor of New York City focused squarely on his public safety record, touching on the state of crime in New York City, bail reform, his relationship with the Police Benevolent Association, and the NYPD's response to demonstrations.

Brian Lehrer: It's the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. Good morning, again, everyone. Now, our second-to-last Ask the Mayor call in with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who, of course, completes his eight years in office at the end of the month. We've been using these last few not to talk much about the news of the week, but mostly hear some of the Mayor's bigger-picture takes on the major issues he has had to deal with and that face New Yorkers. So far, we've done these on education and housing. Today, it's crime in the criminal justice system. So, listeners, we invite your calls on crime and-or the criminal justice system in New York City during the de Blasio years at 212-433-WNYC. Or tweet your question with the hashtag #AsktheMayor.

There is news on this front to frame this with this week. The Mayor and Police Commissioner released their final crime statistics report. Among other things, it shows that murders were about the same number as last year – up one percent to 443 people murdered in the city so far this year. But that's a 45 percent increase compared to the year before the pandemic. Over the full eight-year span the number of murders was 335 in Mayor Bloomberg's final year in 2013. De Blasio came in and ended Bloomberg's massive stop in frisk program, but the number of murders declined even slightly more down to 318 in the year before the pandemic but has surged the last two years. The increase also coincides with New York State's new bail reform law that took effect last year. Fewer nonviolent defendants and some low-level violent ones being held on bail – fewer of them – a major source of debate as to whether that had any effect. And bail reform is part of the larger effort at pulling back from the mass incarceration era. The number of people incarcerated at Rikers Island, for example, had come way down on Mayor de Blasio's watch before rising again in the last year. The death Eric Garner, after a police chokehold, happened in de Blasio's first year in office, 2014, with many ramifications. So did the assassinations of Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu later that same year. So, with all of that is prelude, good morning, Mr. Mayor. Welcome back to WNYC.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, Brian. And look, I appreciate – you always bring a sense of history to this. And I just want to emphasize, this has been a long and challenging journey, especially with COVID. But one thing we should recognize, profound changes and reforms that happened resulted in one key reality, and that's, as of today, overall major crimes in the city – what is called index crimes – are down 11 percent from the time we started. And so, I just want to sum all of what you said together and say, even with all those conflicts, even with COVID, even with all the challenges, we managed to make major reforms and bring crime down over eight years, 11 percent from where we started. And that, I hope, is the thing that gets remembered. This horrible upsurge all around the country of crime and violence during COVID, we've got to turn it. We are turning it. But the bigger lesson here is to remember that real reform equal more safety.

Lehrer: Well, if murders are up and shootings are up, what crimes are so far down that the overall index is down?

Mayor: What happened is, for six years – and this is – you know, your framing was so important, because we reduced mass incarceration by about 50 percent in the city and it was continuing to go down before COVID. So, literally, the jail population was half the number it was when I came into office after Michael Bloomberg. We reduced arrests, which is key to reducing incarceration. We had 180,000 fewer arrests in 2019. Then in the last year of Bloomberg, 2013, and crime went down. We got rid of stop and frisk, crime went down. We retrained the entire police force in de-escalation, crime went down. So, the fact is that six years of consistent reductions in crime are what give us the overall reality, even with this horrible dislocation of the last two years everywhere. Still, from the day I took office, major crimes are down 11 percent as of today, compared to eight years ago.

Lehrer: Bill Bratton was your first Police Commissioner. People who remember, he had also served Mayors Dinkins and Giuliani, and he was a proponent of so-called broken windows policing, cracking down on smaller crimes, what he called disorder, as a way to prevent larger crimes. But, at the same time, you also believed in reversing mass incarceration for smaller crimes, as you just said. So, looking back, how did you and Bill Bratton navigate the tension between those goals?

Mayor: Fantastic question. And it was a very intense series of conversations, determining what that path and what that balance was. The broken windows theory, there's elements of it I don't agree with, which have, too often, and rightly, been critiqued as leading to, you know, lots of unintended consequences. But the notion of quality-of-life policing, responding to neighborhood concerns and complaints and addressing them – because if you talk to everyday people in neighborhoods around the city of all backgrounds, if something's wrong in their neighborhood, something's wrong on their block, even like, you know, a party that's loud late at night and families are trying to sleep – whatever it is, they want those quality-of-life issues addressed. So, what we found is there is a really good balance point with neighborhood policing where you, you assign officers to the same neighborhood and keep them there, train them to work closely with neighborhood people, hear their concerns, address their concerns, but also seek solutions that are not arrest, that are much more of finding common ground and addressing problems in a very human way. And we found that that really worked, that you could – don’t ignore – don't ignore problems, because that, by the way, communities resent when they call the police about a quality-of life issue and no one does anything about it. On this show, Brian, how many people have called about speeding cars or, you know, loud noises late at night, or drag racing, or whatever it might be – motorcycles, all sorts of quality of life. So, we have to address those. But there's a way to do it that matches neighborhood policing, that matches de-escalation. And for the first six years, we found that that was working. And that's why, as I said, we had 180,000 fewer arrests in 2019 than six years earlier. I mean, think about that 180,000 fewer people subjected to the potential of incarceration. But still the system worked, because it reduced crime without relying on arrest. And I think when COVID is over and when people look back, this kind of model is actually going to be a big part of the future.

Lehrer: Let me ask you, before we take some phone calls, to talk about navigating the politics of crime and criminal justice, which can be intense, I don't have to tell you, I could take calls for you all day from criminal justice reform advocates who think you've carried water for a racist and violent NYPD, or from cops who would all you part of a woke mob who contributes to anti-police violence. How do you listen to both sides and then decide how to act when both sides are loud and both sides feel so intensely that they're right?

Mayor: I think this is one of the profound challenges of being Mayor of New York City. Any place where there's 8.8 million people, where there's intense passions, where you have the most diverse place on earth, a tremendous ideological range of opinion, you're going to have to make sense of that, first, by saying true to your own values – that's what I've tried to do. But second, by setting a direction, laying it out to the people. I did that in two elections, I said, we are going to make substantial reforms to policing and changes. We're going to use arrest less. We're going to get rid of stop at frisk. We're going to deescalate. I put it before the people twice, the people ratified it overwhelmingly twice in two elections. And so, I declared myself. And then, look, there are going to be people on both sides who raise valid concerns and you have to be willing to hear them and sometimes openly acknowledge if something didn't work or if something needs to be adjusted. But I really honestly believe, in the end, it's sort of – it's be true to your core beliefs. When I came in the door, I thought policing was broken in New York City. And I said it, and it’s one of the reasons I became Mayor. I believed it. I felt it for a long time. There’s so many things that happened. The CCRB had been disempowered by Bloomberg and Giuliani. The entire approach was arrest. Bloomberg believed arrest was the central goal, as did Ray Kelly. Bill Bratton said to me – one of the first major conversations when I was Mayor – he said, arrest is one tool. There are a lot of other ways to achieve public safety without arrest. It was night and day. So, I feel like I declared myself. And for the folks on both of the far ends of the spectrum, I'm not surprised by the critique. But I would say, look at the overall, because, short of the pandemic, we did ease the tensions in the city. We did start to bring police and community together. We invested intensely in the Cure Violence Movement, Crisis Management System, the community-based solutions to violence. We created a series of changes and they worked. And, you know, liberals, progressives are usually stereotyped – wrongly, I think, but stereotyped as not having answers for crime. But we proved in the biggest city in country, we could reduce crime with a progressive reform agenda for policing. It actually worked.

Lehrer: Let's take a phone call. Rita in the East Village, you’re on WNYC with Mayor de Blasio, as we talk about eight years of trying to prevent crime and reform the criminal justice system. Hi, Rita.

Question: Hi. I just wanted to ask the Mayor – you know, right now, Mayor, there are people in the East River Park being arrested. You know, these are 70-year-old retirees who are trying to uphold a court – a court order, and they're being arrested at this moment under your supervision, and they're – because they're violating the court ruling. You know, so I'm just – I'm just wondering, how is this – what do you have to say about that? These are – [inaudible] regarding the destruction of the East River Park. There's – currently, there's a crime happening, because there's a temporary restraining order and the city is violating in that right now. They are chopping down trees and they're destroying our park. And I don't understand why they're getting arrested for trying to uphold something like that.

Mayor: Rita, I know the questions heartfelt and I know people who love the park, feel a lot for it, but I want to emphasize that the reason we're doing everything – this was a long, open, public process and it’s something we are doing to defend that neighborhood against a horrible thing that happened with Sandy, with Hurricane Sandy. We know what happened to those East Side neighborhoods. We know what happened to the hospitals. It's painfully documented. There had to be a plan that would protect the East Side long-term. We also know with the climate crisis, it’s getting worse. We can expect a lot more major storms, horrible disastrous realities for that area. So, we had to do something different. We are going to restore the park. We are going to restore the trees. And everything happening in court, we're honoring. So, I respect you, but I want to say that –

Lehrer: I want to stay on today's topic. And so, the part of Rita’s question that's relevant to that is if it's happening that police are arresting peaceful protestors. You know, we went through things like that after the murder of George Floyd. Is this happening, Mr. Mayor?

Mayor: No, it's not, Brian, respectfully. This is civil disobedience. I've done civil disobedience. For many years, I was involved in activist movements, and participated, and got arrested in civil disobedience. That's what these individuals are doing. I respect their right to do it. But the City of New York is clearly following all instructions of courts. And I don't want anyone to get the impression that a court told us we couldn't do something, but we did. Anyway, we respect whatever decision a court makes. We do believe this policy is going to be upheld in the final analysis. But there are some activists choosing to get arrested and they're being arrested in a respectful manner as in all civil disobedience.

Lehrer: Alan in Brooklyn, you're on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Alan.

Question: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. First of all, I've been a very good supporter of most of your policy initiatives the last several years. And I think you've been criticized too harshly because you're not a bully. I guess people are more willing to criticize people who aren't bullies. I have a question about the connection between, between the DA's office and the Court Counsel, which is similar to the cozy relationship that we've seen between DAs and police departments. Where they're reluctant to indict policemen for unwarranted violence against minorities. I have seen as an attorney, unwarranted discovery, manipulation, and abuse by the Court Counsel involving instant plaintiffs who happen to be minorities. Where, when I tell the DA that someone in the Court Counsel's office did not only withhold, but falsified evidence to avoid liability –

Lehrer: And for background, when he says Court Counsel, that's the chief lawyer for the City of New York. Go ahead, Alan.

Question: And the DA's office said, well, we're not going to do anything with that unless you swear an affidavit and go on the record about this. And basically, put my head on the chopping block in the middle of a case where doing so could interfere with any chance of a negotiated settlement with the City. So, in fact, they didn't want to have a tip about any wrongdoing that amounted to fraud, criminal fraud by the Court Counsel falsifying a record that they knew to be incorrect. And it wasn't discovered until after 10 years, following the accident because they were withholding it until discovery forced them to reveal the existence of –

Lehrer: Okay, move you to the larger point here. You're talking about corruption –

Question: The cozy relationship between the DA and Court Counsel and between the DA and police are very similar. And when they affect minorities in a similar way, do they not deserve the same attention? And by the way, I point out neither the injury nor the original manipulation of record here took place under your watch, but because of the long –

Lehrer: This is getting, Alan, I'm going to cut in, forgive me. There is a big issue there. I get it. But it's also getting very dense for our listeners and involved something that didn't even begin on Mayor de Blasio's watch. So, give me a brief answer to this, Mr. Mayor?

Mayor: Let me suggest – yeah, very brief, Brian. First, all Alan, please give your information. WNYC. My General Counsel here at City Hall, Kapil Longani will speak to you today because if there is any outstanding issue or anything that was mishandled, we need to know about it immediately and act on it. To your bigger point, I think you make an important point. We have to always be careful that the different elements of the law enforcement system and legal system cannot fall into and is a broad statement, they cannot fall into a situation where sort of the interoffice relationships are more important than the mission. So, we have to be very vigilant about that. We want to understand better what you experienced. And I appreciate you calling. I also appreciate your point. I really appreciate your point. It's a big point. Brian, I am not a bully by nature and I'm proud not to be a bully. And unfortunately, too much in the politics and government of this state and even the city over the years, people got used to the culture of bullies and deferred to it. And I actually think this has been part of the progress we've been able to make is to take some of that away. And have an open debate, including the criticism, which is part of democracy.

Lehrer: I want to look back again to your first year in office and some things that happened that may have set the tone politically for at least some of the discourse and maybe some of the policies that flowed ever since. Back in 2014, after Officers Ramos and Liu were assassinated in Brooklyn, many NYPD members turned their backs on you at the funeral. They blamed you in part for saying during the early Black Lives Matter protest, that you had had to have the talk with your son, Dante. And personally, and I talked about this at the time, that reaction shocked me because I don't know any parent of Black teenagers who haven't had the talk. So, maybe I was naive, but they thought you contributed to this notion that police are in general racist, which helped create the conditions for someone to want to go out and assassinate cops. Were you surprised by that reaction at the time and in a bigger picture sense, what did you learn from it that you carried into the rest of your mayoralty?

Mayor: It was an incredibly painful time for all of us. It was a very painful time for me and my family. It was a shock. It was – the notion that by in what the conversations that Chirlane and I had with Dante always centered on being respectful of the role that police officers play in society and being respectful of every individual officer. But recognizing that there was a history in this country that afflicted everyone. And that there was a standard, the reality that had to be addressed. It was not meant to be anything but a statement of empathy with millions and millions of people, including millions of New Yorkers who have had to have that conversation with their family. The notion that anyone could interpret that as an affront was absolutely shocking to me, especially if you listened to what I said and the tone in which I said it. And the respect I've shown for many, many good people in law enforcement throughout. I found it really about some people portraying, you know, playing out an agenda, a very cynical agenda. And you know, that horrible day when a obviously deeply disturbed individual came to the city from another city and killed two of our officers, every one of us felt pain for our officers and the families. And there should have been a moment of unity there. But the fact that some people bluntly, I think for an ideological agenda, turned it into something negative and hateful. I thought that was a dishonor to the families that lost their loved ones and it was wrong. And I was absolutely astounded that that could happen in this day and age, to be honest with you. But we've seen a lot since then, that is, you know, makes that look mild, honestly.

Lehrer: Well, what, in your opinion, do police officers need to feel supported by a mayor in their difficult and dangerous jobs? But without selling out the protection of communities that they sometimes need from the police?

Mayor: I think the way forward honestly, is to reset the entire equation. It's not going to work with the dialogue we've had previously. It's been a broken dialogue. You're, you know, the whole notion that even people are using phrases like pro-police, and anti-police. The vast, vast majority of people want the police to succeed. But they want to be respected. They want to make sure there's no discrimination, they want fairness. And so, I think that even the language is wrong. And in the end neighborhood policing, which was an act of love, really. When you look at the folks in the NYPD and they were reformers who started this and really believed in it, spent a lifetime in policing. And a lot of them were very honest with me about their own frustrations with their own profession, and they wanted it to be different. And they wanted people to, you know, this whole notion of guardian versus warrior. A lot of people inside the NYPD wanted to get away from the warrior model and make it a guardian model, make it a community oriented model, make it a model based on dialogue and mutuality. And that's what neighborhood policing achieved in so many ways. And it's been again, disrupted by COVID, but the whole idea has changed the entire concept because for police to be respected. And to feel good about their profession, they need to have a human relationship with the people they serve. And they need to get to know the people and the people need to get to know them. Once that happens, I've seen it a thousand times, once everyone's on a first name basis, doesn't matter who's wearing a uniform and who isn't. A certain amount of common cause starts to occur. And that's the way forward.

Lehrer: So, one more thing on this thread, and then we'll go back to some more calls. This week when you did your final end of your crime briefing and touted New York as the safest big city in America, the PBA, the police union, Twitter feed responded with Bill de Blasio, what are you talking about? And it made me wonder, why do you think it's in the NYPD's interest or the union's interest at least, to portray the city as unsafe rather than portray themselves as successful? My guess is they want to argue that you've been tying their hands?

Mayor: Well, you just did something and I'm – you know, Brian, we've had a great and respectful relationship over these years. But you just literally conflated the NYPD and the police union and then you caught yourself.

Lehrer: No, I corrected it. Right.

Mayor: You did. But I'm saying I'm calling you out in a good way, as a friend. The discourse in this city is so profoundly broken on this topic. The unions, and I've been very critical of the role that police unions, not all of them, let me be clear. There's five police unions that are all different. There's different leaders at different times. But unfortunately, particularly what we've seen with the PBA over the years has been highly politicized, an effort to always put down any form of reform or progress. And constantly portray the city as on the brink of disaster for the purpose of their own political needs and their own agenda. When in fact, the city has consistently now for decades been getting safer. We've had a horrible disruption last few years, but what Commissioner Shea said yesterday or the other day, and I said too, it is going to go back to where it was in 2019, and then even get safer. I believe that profoundly. So, there is an agenda. But you have to separate the NYPD, first of all, the men and women who are 35,000, very, very diverse people, majority people of color now. You have to separate the leadership overwhelmingly, who are people who have been working on reform now for eight years and believe in it, versus the union, which takes a view, which I think really wants to take us back to another time. And I do think what's going to happen going forward and I think Eric Adams could be a really great leader in this regard is transcending all this is we got to get out of this 1970s, 1980s, way of talking about policing and screaming headlines and New York City's gone the hell and all this. We got to get away from this. This city is incredibly strong. It is going to get a lot safer. We've proven how to do it. And we've got to stop having a dialogue that sounds like, you know, Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy in 1968, is still here with us. I mean we've got to be able to have a different dialogue in this city. We got to deracialize because there's a lot of dog whistling going on. And just get back to the facts. We know how to make the city safer. It begins and ends with deepening the relationship between police and community. That is – and every legitimate policing expert will tell you that.

Lehrer: Laurel in Bushwick, you're on WNYC with the Mayor. Hello, Laurel.

Question: Hi. thank you for taking my call. I live in Bushwick and there were three shootings within a block radius and my house like within a week this summer and there's been a lot more police around and they have their lights around and stuff. And I went to talk to them about what's going on and after the first shooting, I was calling a lot to see what's going on. And my response from the police every time was we're – we can't get these guys to go into jail for more than like a minute, even if they shoot people, they're coming out, which they would directly blame on you, Mr. Mayor. And then, you know, I also have like neighbors that are partying really, really loud at night and sometimes fighting and stuff. And I asked them about that, and he said, well, we're not allowed to go up to groups of people and talk to them anymore. We're not allowed to like to intervene and this is, like, the community police in my neighborhood talking to me directly about this. So, I must try and understand what are your policies that they feel that they're helplessly not able to put away people who are committing violent crime for any length the time and that they're not allowed to intervene with people. I understand, I don't want people harassed because they're hanging out, but it's different when people are like in-you know, drinking a lot and like partying really hard in big groups and stuff. So, what's the deal?

Mayor: Yeah, Laurel, first of all, what you just put forward is such a perfect example of what's wrong with the way people are portraying the situation and for their own political ends and it's very troubling. Look, first of all, will you please give your information to WNYC? I want the Borough Commander for Brooklyn North Chief Harrison to speak to you directly to hear what you're seeing and also to talk about the actions that will be taken. This, again, is just sadly. It's a PBA line. It's a right-wing line. It's a Trump line. I didn't pass the laws in Albany that a lot of people have concerns about. I didn't pass them. I didn't agree with them. I agreed that we needed bail reform 100 percent. I thought it was not written the way it needed to be. There needed to be judicial discretion included. I've said that for years, I'm going to keep working to make that change.

So, the fact is for anybody, a police officer to say, oh, this is someone's fault, that's not an officer doing their job and they also don't have their facts straight, but they're being fed that line. Again, the misinformation levels that pervades this discussion are breathtaking. They're being fed that line by their union in a very destructive, unhelpful way. It's not going to help New York City go forward to just put out their falsehoods, but that's what happens every hour of every day. The fact is there's laws that can be improved. That's true. But what we created when you talk about groups of people, if the groups of people are undermining quality of life in the community, we want a neighborhood policing approach where officers engage them and solve the problem.

And that does not mean always arrest, but we need our officers to engage. And, by the way, there's a hell of a lot of officers who are not paying attention to the hype and are out there doing their job and not be blaming it on someone. These officers like the officers are getting guns off the street at a record level, they deserve a lot of respect, very tough work. They go out and do it and they don't make excuses and they don't politicize it. And that's the vast majority of officers. But anytime you say an officer saying hands are tied, let me tell you something, there are plenty of things a conscientious officer can do to address any situation. And the leadership has been abundantly clear, even in the height of COVID, they kept coming up with new ways to rebound police and community and new ways to get guns off the street and to keep turning things back where we need. And that's the positive story, I'd like that story to get a hell of a lot more attention.

Lehrer: One quick follow up on bail reform and then we'll take one more phone call. Your Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said again this week, I believe that it has contributed to violent crime, on the other side Public Advocate and gubernatorial hopeful, Jumaane Williams was on with me yesterday and said New York state bail reform does not look like the reason for the increase in shootings this year or last year, because other cities like Chicago and Philly and Austin and Portland, Oregon, where there was no such reform have seen murder spike so much more than New York during the pandemic. Fair conclusion?

Mayor: No, it isn't actually. I mean, it's not an unfair fact, it's part of the discussion. It's absolutely right for Jumaane to raise it in my opinion, but no, we got to be honest about right now we have to make a change in that law. I believe the intention of the law after the horrible tragedy of Kalief Browder, after you saw people held in Rikers Island on minor offenses who couldn't get out for purely economic reasons, we could not continue that and I commend the state for deciding that something had to change. But I think the law was not written precisely enough and allowed too many situations where folks who actually do mean to do harm and do mean to do violence, don't get held in when in fact they should. There needs to be judicial discretion. There's a way to do that, narrowly drawn, carefully drawn to make sure there's not discrimination or repeat of the mistakes of the past, but there is a balance that can be struck. And I do think this was a contributing factor. And you know, the Commissioner said this week bail reform had very many positive elements too, but this piece needs to be fixed, I agree with that. But I think beyond that, it's also the court system and I-and Brian, it's the strangest thing, I've raised a thousand times. I don't know why it's not out more of a scandal in this city and state. The state of New York is letting down the people in New York, our court system is not functioning. 90 percent fewer trials than in 2019, this year, 90 percent, fewer trials, that's astounding. And that's part of why we're not seeing consequences and we're not seeing a functioning criminal justice system. If you don't have trial trials, you can't have criminal justice. This goes back to like our constitution for God's sakes. Someone's got to hold New York state accountable and the Office Court Administration accountable. And this is one of my last pleas to all New Yorkers, look put aside the politics of the past and whatever you think of me or anyone else. It's a brand-new day, demand the state reopen the courts fully so we can have a functioning criminal justice system.

Lehrer: One more call, Claire in Astoria, you're on WNYC with the Mayor. Hi, Claire.

Question: Hi, thank you for taking my call, Brian. Mr. Mayor, it's been over five years since off-duty NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs killed Delrawn Small, who was unarmed. This was over five years ago, July 4th, 2016. The officer is still on the force today. We, as taxpayers are still paying his salary. And you were asked about this on air a year ago after the CCRB substantiated charges against Officer Isaacs. And you said in February, we would have a date for Officer Isaacs’ disciplinary trial. So, it's almost a year and we still don't have a trial date for this dangerous officer. So, you're leaving office next month and I'm wondering if you'll do the right thing and commit to setting a date for Wayne Isaacs’ disciplinary trial.

Lehrer: You did say on the show a date would be set.

Mayor: Yes. And. Brian, I stand by it. First of all, Claire, please give your information WNYC, because I want the folks from the CCRB and from City Hall to contact you today with the update on the – I don't have a date in front of me, but that is absolutely going to happen. And let me tell you, there was due process. There was a criminal trial, he was found innocent in that case. That's, that's a piece of the story that needs to be told, but I supported the CCRB’s right to do a case additionally, on departmental charges and it will happen. And you're right, we owe you a date certain, and we'll get you the date, certain.  I definitely want that resolve before we get out here. So, I will make sure that happens.

Lehrer: Well, one more Ask the Mayor to go with Bill de Blasio, next Friday, the 17th of December.  I am off on Friday the 24th and Friday the 31st. Those are the official national holidays for Christmas and New Year’s. So, the 17th is going to be the last Friday Ask the Mayor with Mayor de Blasio, when we will do one more big-picture deep dive into governing during the pandemic. The last thing that anyone thought two years ago that the job of Mayor would be about. So, thanks as always, Mr. Mayor will talk to you about that next week.

Mayor: And Brian, I'm going to – I'll save my final salute to next week, but I want to tell you something you'll like. I can't tell you – it's amazing how many times each month people come up to me and talk about listening to this show and how important it is to their weekly routine and how important it's to their understanding of their own city. So, just want to thank you for that, because a lot of people see this as the place where they really key into the life of this city and you deserve a lot of credit for that.

Lehrer: That's very kind, thank you very much.