‘Our team does not have bandwidth to continue providing…’
Thousands of pages of emails from City Hall staffers and New York political operatives have characterized de Blasio as a failure, describing him as a micromanager whose staff worked under confusion and frustration.
These emails reveal de Blasio’s inability to handle the crises facing New York City—including an ongoing regulatory battle with Uber and a growing homeless population, which has reached more than 60,000 people.
The mayor frequently leaves NYC to travel for his nonprofit, Progressive Agenda, which promotes liberal policies, according to staffers. De Blasio has publicly defended his heavy travel schedule, calling it an essential part of his government duties.
“The federal government used to do a lot for us with mass transit, affordable housing, education, infrastructure,” de Blasio said in a radio interview. “To get that investment back is going to take change in the political dialogue. That’s why I’m talking to groups that are pushing very hard to change the agenda in Washington.”
Progressive Agenda, which is supposed to be a separate entity, relies heavily on de Blasio’s City Hall staffers out of taxpayers’ pockets, according to the emails. One de Blasio aide said she was asked to compile news clips on the subject of “income inequality” for months on end. Fed up with it, Andrea Hagelgans wrote in an email: “Our team does not have bandwidth to continue providing.”
De Blasio’s focus on Progressive Agenda and his national identity consume his work as mayor. One email to Dom Williams,the chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris, over a law separating commercial and investment banking, perhaps offered a clear window into his priorities:
“Dom, in your opinion, what should my position be on Glass-Steagall, first as progressive leader and then as mayor of nyc,” de Blasio wrote.