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Poll finds New Yorkers expect de Blasio to have positive effect on city

LOUDONVILLE - As New York City prepares to inaugurate Bill de Blasio as Mayor, 73 percent of New York City residents are generally optimistic about the next four years under his administration according to The New York Times/Siena College Poll of New York City residents released today. Sixty-five percent of the City thinks de Blasio will bring about real change in the way things are done in New York. Majorities expect he will have a positive effect on the quality of schools, the job done by the police to keep New Yorkers safe and the condition of parks and other recreational facilities while large pluralities anticipate he will have a positive impact on affordable housing, employment prospects and the quality of public transportation.

Sixty-one percent of all New Yorkers, including more than three-quarters of Republicans and more than two-thirds of Democrats, support de Blasio’s recent decision to appoint former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to hold that position again. Bratton assumes control of the NYPD viewed favorably by more than four times as many New Yorkers as view him unfavorably (32 to 7 percent).

Sixty-three percent of New Yorkers think that race relations in the City today are generally good while less than a third, 30 percent, think they are generally bad. Two-thirds of white residents think race relations are good and that view is shared by nearly as high a percentage of black residents (59 percent), Hispanic residents (61percent) and by a greater percentage of Asian residents (72 percent). However, 30 percent of all residents and 35 percent of both blacks and Hispanics report that they had an occasion in the last few months when they felt they were treated unfairly because of their race, ethnicity or some other personal characteristic.

“Expectations are high for the Mayor-elect. Between 47 and 61 percent of New Yorkers expect him to have a positive effect on issues such as schools and the subways, to parks and housing, while only between seven and 15 percent think he’ll have a negative effect addressing those issues,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

De Blasio takes the oath of office with 35 percent of all New Yorkers and 41 percent of registered voters viewing him favorably while 13 percent of residents and 15 percent of voters view him unfavorably. Half of residents, and 43 percent of voters, say that they haven’t yet heard (or seen) enough of Bill de Blasio to have an opinion.

“Despite the optimism and high hopes for de Blasio as well as his police commissioner, many New Yorkers want to take a wait and see attitude before they go all in on the incoming administration,” Greenberg said. “More than forty percent have only some, if not ‘no’, confidence in de Blasio’s ability to make the right decisions for the City’s future or in his ability to effectively manage the government.

“While the Bratton decision has widespread support – across partisan, borough and racial groups – many challenges, including crime and security issues, and far more, await the new Mayor,” Greenberg said.