Mayor Adams Hosts Jewish Media at City Hall

By Hamodia Staff

NYC Mayor Eric Adams speaking with Jewish media at City Hall. (Hamodia Photos)

In a meeting between Mayor Eric Adams and an invited group of Jewish journalists, the mayor and his staff sat for an hour and answered questions on the minds of Jewish New Yorkers, and provided them with information and a perspective of what the city is doing for Jewish communities throughout New York City.

The meeting, called for Monday afternoon at city hall, included a dozen journalists from several news outlets, and served as an opportunity to raise subjects which are on the minds of their readership.

Fred Kreizman, Commissioner Community Affairs Unit, opened the meeting by running through a list of programs that the mayor has done for the Jewish community, including his support for Israel during the recent events and ensuring the safety of Jewish communities when protests were held by pro-Palestinian groups, as well as sponsoring events which promote Jewish heritage and culture.

The meeting afforded the media the opportunity to convey the sentiments of gratitude of the Jewish residents citywide for the open-door policy the mayor has provided personally and through his staff which allow the leadership of Jewish communities to raise important issues and get results through the office of the mayor.

When asked about the recent rash of hate crimes which have plagued the Jewish community, Mayor Adams assured the journalists that he issued direct orders to the NYPD to prioritize reports of hate crimes and provide the manpower to the officers in the field to inform the Hate Crimes Unit and let them investigate.

The mayor stressed that all agencies of law enforcement must work in tandem to help eliminate this problem, underscoring that besides for the orders and response of the NYPD, it is vital that the District Attorneys and judges do their part and not allow perpetrators of hate crimes to receive revolving door justice where the criminals are simply allowed to return to the street without any accountability.

Deputy Chief Richie Taylor of the NYPD described the unprecedented cooperation between all city agencies when it comes to law enforcement, but bemoaned the passage of laws by the state Legislature which eliminated cash bail and the ability for judges to remand dangerous criminals to custody while awaiting trial.

“The mayor fought very hard, and travelled to Albany several times, to lobby the Legislature to reverse some of these laws, and for what I believe is the first time in history they admitted they erred and reversed some of these laws,” Deputy Chief Taylor said. “Now if a person is charged with a hate crime, a judge has the discretion to impose bail and keep that offender in custody until there is a real trial.”

Hamodia asked the mayor about the outbreak of squatters taking possession of properties which has become an issue in recent months.

“With the holidays approaching and summer vacation around the corner, people are apprehensive about leaving their homes and returning to find that someone has moved in and claims either ownership or to be a tenant, and it may end up costing the owner thousands of dollars and months of legal proceedings to have the squatters evicted. What can the city do to prevent this from happening?”

Mayor Adams explained that New York City passed a law in the prior administration which allows squatters to claim rights if they lived there for just 30 days, which is less than the 45-day minimum of the state law.

“I have urged the City Council to pass the law being sponsored by the Commonsense Caucus which reverses that, and I will sign it into law when they do,” the mayor said.

Hamodia then asked about the safety on the subway system. “Although crime has come down due to the infusion of law enforcement in recent weeks, people are still afraid to ride the trains. Is there anything the city can do to make the trains more traveler friendly?”

Mayor Adams replied that it is not sufficient for the trains to be safe, but people have to feel safe as well. He explained that there are three issues which play off of each other, and have to be tackled together in order to make the subways and the city safer.

The mayor provided data to show how recidivism, where the same people are committing crimes again and again and they are being released to the streets without any consequences, is a major source of crime in the city. The second is severe mental health issues, where many of the homeless and other elements are suffering from severe mental health issues which must be addressed. Finally, there have been too many random acts of violence, and he stated that the lawmakers must join in the fight to pass laws which will address these issues.

Several journalists asked about antisemitic acts which have taken place in the educational system around the city. Mayor Adams stated that he believes that rather than locking up the youth, the key to eliminating this is to educate the young population about other cultures.

The mayor told of how he was berated in a restaurant by a woman who was wearing a sweatshirt from Howard University, and his response was to show her how the university was created and sponsored by the very people she was advocating against.

Mayor Adams was joined by Deputy Chief Richie Taylor of the NYPD; Menashe Shapiro, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Mayor; José Bayona, Mayor’s Office of Ethnic and Community Media; Fabien Levy, Deputy Mayor for Communications to the Mayor; Joel Eisdorfer, Senior Advisor to the Mayor; Fred Kreizman, Commissioner Community Affairs Unit; and Moshe Davis, Senior Liaison – Community Affairs.

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