De Blasio Goes After Gangs During New York-Centric 'Daily Show' Appearance

Bill de Blasio during his Daily Show appearance on Tuesday night
Bill de Blasio during his Daily Show appearance on Tuesday night

Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared for a second and final time on the Daily Show With Jon Stewart earlier tonight, addressing several New York–centric issues, including crime, income inequality, affordable housing, pot, and stop-and-frisk.

While the televised portion of the interview focused on economic issues, the extended version touched on crime in the city.

Answering a question about rising gun violence and its suggested connection to the end of stop-and-frisk — the Times reports shootings are up 20 percent over 2013 — de Blasio said New York has a shooting problem:

"We brought down crime across the board. We do have a shooting problem. A shooting problem last year, and a shooting problem this year. Nothing like New York City had fifteen, twenty years ago. But something's persistent, particularly around gangs. And we have new strategies to go in there."

De Blasio also said gun control is "a fight that we have to undertake in our country." He told the story of "a single gun" that "recently came out of Georgia [and] recirculated from crime to crime — it was used in various shootings around the city, one gun."

The interview opened with Stewart asking de Blasio about his attempts at building a national profile over income inequality. De Blasio again called for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, an idea Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn't agreed with, instead calling for a "fight for fair pay."

"A $15 minimum wage should be the norm in the United States of America," de Blasio told Stewart.

"You can always have some local variations and some exceptions," de Blasio continued. "But here's the core point: Minimum wage used to mean what you could actually live on." He then addressed the audience: "Can you live in New York City on $8.75 an hour?" A loud "no" resounded.

Stewart got in maybe the best joke of the night during the exchange on affordable housing, after de Blasio brought up his plan "to build 200,000 units of affordable housing for half a million people."

"It would be nice to see 200,000 affordable units in New York City, because that would bring the total to 200,000," Stewart replied.

De Blasio appeared on Comedy Central's Nightly Show in March and first appeared on the Daily Show in February 2014.

See also: Jon Stewart's Five Most Memorable NYC Moments on the Daily Show

Pool reporter: Michael M. Grynbaum of the Times.


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