New York City Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio was captured on camera telling a homeless woman that he could not speak to her about the city’s affordable housing crisis because he was in the middle of his workout.
“I’m in the middle of doing my workout,” de Blasio told 72-year-old Nathylin Flowers Adesegun (who is of Nigerian descent) after she approached him while he was stretching at the Park Slope YMCA.
“I can’t do this now,” he continued, according to Patch.com.
“We’re not doing this here,” he said as he walked away from Adesegun.
Adesegun was with dozens of activists with VOCAL-NY who appeared at the YMCA to call on de Blasio to increase affordable housing for the homeless in New York.
“He made it clear that his morning workout was more important to him,” Adesegun said, according to Patch.com. “Am I just supposed to stay homeless?”
One advocate for New York’s homeless population criticized de Blasio’s dismissal of Adesegun.
“Mayor de Blasio may love working out, but his plan for housing homeless New Yorkers is just weak,” Giselle Routhier, the policy director for the Coalition for the Homeless, told Patch.com. “This is simply unacceptable and perpetuates the ‘Tale of Two Cities’ he vowed to fix.”
Ironically, De Blasio, who is a popular figure in the Democratic party and who has been touted as a possible presidential candidate in the year 2020 has been married to a black woman, Chirlane McCray for 24 years and they have two children.
In this video of the incident, Adesegun is seen being escorted away from the Mayor by his bodyguard: