Adams Lays Out ‘Working People’s Agenda’ in State of the City Address

By Matis Glenn

NYC Mayor Eric Adams delivers his State of the City address, Thursday Jan. 26. (Mayor’s office)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams delivered his annual State of the City address Thursday, calling his long list of plans a “working people’s agenda.”

“Without a strong working class, this city cannot survive,” Adams said. “That’s why, today, I’ve outlined how we plan to build a city for working people, one that is more affordable, safer, cleaner, and more livable.”

The Mayor outlined four key areas that he plans to focus on; jobs, public safety, housing, and health care.

“You need good jobs and pathways to get those jobs, and those jobs need to be able to support a home for you and a family. You need to be safer, and you need care — not just in crisis but throughout your lives. These are the things that our administration is working for every day to sustain the workers who make this city possible and build a better city for all,” Adams said in his introduction.

The Mayor cited the city’s declining murder and gun violence rates as evidence of a positive shift, despite rising statistics in almost every other category of crime.

Adams acknowledged that the current bail reform system has led to recidivism, but has stopped short of a full return to the cash bail policies abandoned by the previous administration. “We all agree that no one should be in jail simply because they can’t afford to post bail. But we should also agree that we cannot allow a small number of violent individuals to continue terrorizing our neighbors over and over again. “

Pointing to a study that says that only 1,700 repeat offenders are responsible for a disproportionate amount of citywide crime – criminals he referred to as “New York’s most wanted” – he said that “We know who they are, and we need to get them off our streets.”

Adams went on to say that he’s committed to working with Albany to find a solution, and mentioned a plan  to expedite trials, but did not provide details as to how he intends to deal with recidivism and ending what many describe as the revolving-door criminals have in the criminal justice system.

Under a new program, people who have spent more than a week in a homeless shelter would qualify for free health care. Adams spoke about a three-part mental health plan focused on children and families, including “Clubhouses” for New Yorkers with severe mental illness. These centers provide peer support and access to services, employment, and educational opportunities — offering an alternative to the instability and danger of the streets, hospitals, jails, or subways, while reducing hospitalization and contact with the criminal legal system.

Addressing environmental issues, Adams said that he plans on increasing compost sites across the city over the next 20 months, and announced that he wants to require app-based rideshare services like Uber to become fully electric by 2030. Adams said that this would be at no cost to the drivers, and Uber released a statement in support of the move shortly after the address. Yellow taxis and private car service companies would not be subject to the regulation.

For drivers who repeatedly are caught driving unsafely, Adams wants to increase penalties, and make it easier to revoke their licenses, under what he calls the ROADS (Removing Offenders and Aggressive Drivers from our Streets) Act, which would need state approval to move forward.

“You must treat traffic violence the same way we treat other dangerous crimes,” Adams said.

Citing a figure that the rate of black unemployment is three times that of white people in the city, Adams introduced a program called the “Apprenticeship Accelerator” to facilitate 30,000 apprenticeships by 2030. The Accelerator will track of apprenticeship from youth to adults in the workforce,  and provide technical assistance to support the expansion of apprenticeship programs by employers. educational institutions, and labor unions.

On the housing front, Adams said he plans on creating more units, including rent-restricted housing, in Midtown Manhattan where current zoning only allows for manufacturing and office space, as well as on the North Shore of Staten Island.

In contrast to former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s adversarial relationship with former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, current Gov. Kathy Hochul attended the address, which she said was “inspiring and ambitious.”

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!