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WCBS 880 Exclusive: Mayor Bill De Blasio On Homelessness, Cuomo, More

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio discussed some of the most important issues being discussed city residents today in an exclusive one-on-one interview Tuesday.

The mayor talked about homelessness, his relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and other issues with WCBS 880's Rich Lamb.

"I understand that for the media, they have to focus on breaking news -- and there's always been, historically in the media, focus on conflict and difference in personality - I get that," de Blasio said. "I want to make sure that I have a chance to have real conversations with journalists about the issues affecting everyday New Yorkers, and what we're doing about it -- because that's what people want to know, they want to know, what are the solutions?"

First, de Blasio outlined his ambitious $1 billion, four-year plan to reduce homelessness across the city.

De Blasio said his administration has reached out to houses of worship and faith communities across the city to help provide up to 500 'safe havens' for the homeless -- a more focused approach de Blasio says has already garnered tremendous support from those communities.

"Some of them don't want to go into the big shelters and I understand that," the mayor said. "What we have is a smaller, more intimate model that perfectly works in a house of worship because a lot of homeless people feel more comfortable in a house of worship -- they feel they can trust more."

De Blaso also supported Police Commissioner Bill Bratton's recent comments urging people to stop giving money to the homeless.

"The fact is, that's not a solution, and we're all human beings and we feel compassionate for our fellow human beings, but I think Commissioner Bratton's hit the point on the head," de Blasio said. "The solution is these bigger efforts to actually help people get off the streets and get on the right track."

De Blasio then addressed his relationship with Governor Cuomo, describing their relationship as 'a real give and take.' De Blasio acknowledged that the two lawmakers clashed on funding for the new MTA budget, but says he belives they made good progress moving forward.

"I'm always looking forward to the opportunity to get something done," de Blasio said. "If I disagree, I'll also say when I disagree."

De Blasio also touched on the newly-created Quadrennial Commission which would determine the future salaries of local and state lawmakers.

"I do not think it's appropriate for me to benefit from that while I'm in this term," de Blasio said. "I want to hear what they have to say before I pass any judgement."

Despite all the hardships that come with leadership, de Blasio said he feels it's a great privilege to serve the city. De Blasio shared a moment with Lamb reflecting on what it was like for the mayor to be recognized, and take selfies with supporters on the subway.

"Behind our rough exteriors, New Yorkers are very kind, warm people in many, many cases and I have to say on the subway I get great conversations with people," de Blasio said. "A lot of people want to see their leaders do well and be effective, and they give me a lot of encouragement."

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