De Blasio meets with fellow Dems, compares Trump to the wolf at NY’s door
WASHINGTON — Mayor Bill de Blasio compared President Trump’s policies to the wolf at New York’s door in a meeting Tuesday night with Democratic lawmakers.
De Blasio huddled with New York City House members in the basement of the Capitol on how best to fend off what he saw as the Trump administration’s attacks on his hometown.
“He urged us to continue to stand up for the city as issues arise in the face of a hostile administration. He thanked us for keeping the wolf at the door,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn).
According to three people in the room, the wolf comment was an apparent reference to Trump, as his administration hammers New York with the tax reform bill, attempted budget cuts to housing programs and discarding a Gateway Tunnel funding agreement.
“He’s anti-New York,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) said after the meeting. “I cannot say that there’s one thing that the president has done that favors New York. … Maybe it’s because he knows that New Yorkers know who he really is.”
The latest salvo against the city is the 2020 Census, the New York pols say.
The Trump administration will ask everyone living in the United States whether they are citizens on the upcoming decennial census.
The question will discourage participation, especially in the immigrant community, if they fear their response could somehow be linked to immigration enforcement, the New York Democrats believe.
If New York isn’t counted properly, it could lose representation in Congress and federal dollars.
“New York has lost membership in Congress because of the Census and we think New York City has grown so much, it would be a calamity if we were not to gain representation,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) after the meeting.
A rep for de Blasio declined to comment about the closed-door session.
But lawmakers said the mayor is trying to set aside city funds to encourage census participation.
“The city is going to put some money behind an effort and he wants us to be on the same page,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan).
De Blasio thanked the politicians for helping to protect funds for affordable housing programs and the low-income housing tax credit in the recently passed omnibus bill.
But the pols lamented how the city seems to be under siege by the Trump administration at every turn.
“Clearly they put a target on the back of the city of New York in a variety of different ways,” Jeffries said.