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WATCH LIVE: De Blasio expresses gratitude for time as mayor in final press conference; surprised by star-studded farewell video

WINS Radio New York logo WINS Radio New York 12/30/2021 Kyle Kandetzki
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- After eight years at the helm of New York City, Bill de Blasio spoke to the media one final time Thursday, expressing gratitude for his time and reflecting on what his administration has done.

The city's 109th mayor will hand off his office to Eric Adams at the turn of 2022, with Adams expected to be sworn in right after the ball drops.

De Blasio touted his accomplishments, including universal pre-K, $15 minimum wage, climate initiatives, among others. He also was happy with the way “people have come together” during his term.

“We’ve been through so many challenges, but we proved we could bring down crime and unite police and communities,” said de Blasio.

First lady Chirlane McCray surprised her husband with a farewell video from a host of celebrities, elected officials and city families. Included was Spike Lee, Billie Jean King, Kal Penn, Steve Buscemi and many more.

Over his time as mayor, de Blasio has had some viral highlights from media pressers — and de Blasio said he didn’t expect the video, but instead was thinking he’d get a burger and fries to eat, as he did in a morning presser during the pandemic.

He also ended his portion of the presser with a clip from Bruce Springsteen’s “New York Serenade” with the lyric “So long, sometimes you just gotta walk on, walk on,” although the first playing of it didn’t work as planned.

When asked if he would say mission accomplished in his eight years, he responded, “I would never say mission accomplished because fighting inequality is something we all have to do for years and years.”

“What I think is beautiful about these last eight years is we put the focus back on working people,” he said. “This had become a city way too dominated by elites. And this work is far from done … but we reoriented what our city government does."

But de Blasio said the administration met a “vast majority” of goals. He avoided giving himself a grade.

De Blasio continued to deflect on his plans for the future, but said they would become clear “soon.”

The mayor also parted with positive vaccine news — saying 95% of the city workforce is now vaccinated and that 2 million New Yorkers have gotten vaccine boosters. He also pushed New Yorkers to get their booster before the year ends in order to get their $100 incentive.

“I’m very, very optimistic that 2022 will be the year we can end the COVID era once and for all,” said de Blasio.

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