Gotham Gazette

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Eric Adams

Eric Adams

  • Council Speaker Outlines Priorities, Weighs In On Key Issues Facing the City

    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (photo: Gerardo Romo/NYC Council Media Unit)


    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said she wants more transparency at the Department of Education, more discretion for judges in setting bail, and more federal intervention in the city's current shelter crisis – and weighed in on a host of other issues during a public appearance on Wednesday.

    Speaking at a breakfast hosted by good-government group Citizens Union, the speaker discussed some of the most pressing issues of the day along

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  • How to Break Barriers to Build More Housing in New York? Experts Point to Changes

    A ground-breaking (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City has an acute housing shortage, with emergency-level lows in apartment vacancies, especially for units affordable to most New Yorkers, and astronomical rents, a homelessness crisis, and halting recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    At the core of the city’s housing supply deficit is a lengthy and cumbersome land use decision-making process, a bureaucratic maze of local and state regulations combined with political dynamics that have often

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  • Nearly 9 Months In, Mayor Adams Yet to Name a Fire Commissioner

    Acting FDNY Commissioner Kavanagh with Mayor Adams (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Nearly nine months into his tenure, Mayor Eric Adams has yet to appoint a permanent commissioner for the New York City Fire Department, leaving Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh in the high-profile role dealing with some of the city’s most pressing emergencies and emergency services. 

    It is highly unusual for a mayor to take this long to name a commissioner for any city agency, much less a uniformed department with an established

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  • What’s Behind the Increased Use of Kendra’s Law in New York City?

    Mayor Adams rides the subway (photo: Mayor's Office)


    When Mayor Eric Adams was on the campaign trail last year, he repeatedly called for city and state officials to step up the use of Kendra's Law – a state law that allows court-ordered outpatient mental health treatment for people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

    "We must strengthen Kendra’s Law,”

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  • Redistricting Commission Votes Down Latest City Council Draft Map

    Districting Commission Chair Dennis Walcott (photo: New York City Council)


    In an 8-7 vote, the New York City Districting Commission on Thursday rejected its latest proposal to redraw the city’s 51 Council districts, sending the electoral map back to the drawing board.

    After months of analysis and more than 9,000 submissions from the public, the 15-member commission could not find consensus on redefining City Council district lines to accommodate population shifts shown in the 2020

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  • City to Announce Free Internet and Cable for Thousands of NYCHA Residents

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    UPDATE (9/19/22): Mayor Adams and Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser on Monday announced the new "Big Apple Connect" program at NYCHA’s Langston Hughes Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The program will provide free internet and cable to 300,000 residents at 200 NYCHA developments by the end of 2023. The piece below has been updated with additional information based on the announcement. 

    Mayor Eric Adams announced a new program on Monday to provide free high-speed internet and basic cable TV to hundreds of thousands of public housing

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  • What Happened to the Sunnyside Yard Master Plan?

    Rendering of the Sunnyside Yard Master Plan


    In March 2020, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and Amtrak released the Sunnyside Yard Master Plan, an ambitious $14 billion infrastructure project that would deck the 180-acre rail yard in Queens and effectively create a new community with thousands of affordable homes and dozens of acres of green and public space situated atop a new regional rail hub.

    But the plan was released at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, just before the city and state went into lockdown, economic activity slowed to a crawl, and every city infrastructure project was put on

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  • Max Politics Podcast: The Start of a New School Year in New York City

    Mayor Adams says hello to students (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    September 9, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: The Start of a New School Year in New York City

    Alex Zimmerman, reporter at Chalkbeat New York, joined the show to discuss the start of the new school year, the controversy around school budget cuts, and more education news.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the episode

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  • Mayor's Focus on Workforce Development Meets 'Pressure Cooker' Program Landscape, New Report Says

    On the job (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City has recovered many of the jobs lost at the height of the covid pandemic and some industries have expanded in the shifting economic landscape. But unemployment and inequality remain high, and there is too often a mismatch between employers seeking a workforce to power growth in areas like health care, tech, and life sciences and those in need of jobs. It is a challenge and opportunity Mayor Eric Adams discussed regularly when he was running

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  • We Don’t Need a ‘Plan B,’ Mayor Adams; New York City Needs You to Shut Rikers Down

    Mayor Adams at Rikers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the crisis on Rikers Island continues and the death toll soars, Mayor Eric Adamstold New Yorkers last week that there needs to be a “plan B” for the city’s plan to shutter the notorious jail complex, suggesting he may not close Rikers at all. This

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  • Several Significant Wins and One Big Loss for Working Families Party in Latest New York Primaries

    The Working Families Party in Queens (photo: @NYWFP)


    The results of the August party primary elections for the U.S. House of Representatives and State Senate were bittersweet for the New York Working Families Party, the progressive third party that seeks to push Democrats to the left. The WFP is one of the most prominent actors in the intra-party battle Democrats continue to wage in New York and beyond.

    Several WFP-backed Democratic incumbents who faced competitive challenges emerged victorious in their primary races. Other endorsed candidates won primaries for open seats, likely adding to the ranks

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  • 'Uncharted Waters': City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams' First 8 Months

    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat and the first Black Speaker of the New York City Council, gives herself a “B+” grade on her tenure so far. In an interview with Gotham Gazette, Adams said that when she took over, she found herself “in uncharted waters, where no other speaker has begun their career,” having to deal with the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ushering along the city’s recovery, and negotiating a complicated budget with a new mayor intent on reigning in city spending.

    For the past seven-plus

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  • City’s Greenways Get Another Boost as Officials Plot Expansion

    NYC Greenway


    New York City’s greenways are getting another lift. Greenways, paths for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles exclusively, are viewed by supporters as boons for safe, environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional transportation and opportunities for quality-of-life-boosting recreation.

    Advocates stress that building these pathways, ideally in an expansive and connected network, has several benefits. Those include reducing car use and pressure on mass transit, offering venues for outdoor exercise, and creating green spaces that line the thoroughfares and prevent flooding and even

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  • After Push by Hochul and Adams, an Increase in Court-Ordered Mental Health Treatment

    Gov. Hochul and Mayor Adams make an announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    According to state data, the number of people placed under court-ordered mental health treatment since April, when lawmakers expanded the court's power to make such determinations, has increased 60% from the same period a year before.

    The data, provided by the state Office of Court Administration (OCA) to Gotham Gazette after an inquiry, shows that during the four-month period from April through July, 462 people in New York were ordered by a judge to

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  • 'The Dirty Little Secret No One Tells You': New York ATF Chief Details Roadblocks and Progress in Fight to Disrupt Gun Violence

    A gun seizure (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When talking about gun violence in northeastern states like New York, elected and law enforcement officials often say that guns arrive via the “Iron Pipeline,” short-hand for the I-95 corridor where firearms smuggled from southern states with laxer gun laws to the northeast.

    But the reality is much more complex, according to John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

    During remarks Thursday at a conference hosted by City & State New York,

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  • Adams Administration Eyes Late 2022 Launch of 'MyCity' Portal for City Services

    Mayor Adams visits a small business (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    One of Mayor Eric Adams’ main gripes with city government is that it is too inefficient, part of rampant dysfunction that exacerbates inequality and stifles growth. There’s far too much red tape and redundancy between city agencies and New Yorkers looking to them for services, the new mayor says. And he’s vowed to ease that access by launching an online portal that will allow people to apply for city benefits, services, and permits at the touch of a button.

    When he was running for mayor, Adams proposed to

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  • New City Budget Incrementally Expands Composting Programs as Council Considers Citywide Mandate

    Community composting (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    When Mayor Eric Adams was running for City Hall, he pledged to expand the city’s incipient residential curbside composting program. But despite a push for more by some City Council members, the recently approved $101 billion budget for next fiscal year, beginning July 1, only marginally increases funding for other composting programs while halting the promised expansion of residential curbside composting. 

    The city’s voluntary curbside composting program has moved forward in fits and starts. Organics account for about a third of

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  • Rent Guidelines Board Votes Through Rent Increases for 1 Million NYC Apartments

    Housing in the Bronx (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Update: On Tuesday evening, the Rent Guidelines Board voted 5-4 to approve rent increases of 3.25% on one-year leases and 5% on two-year leases for the roughly 1 million rent-stabilized apartments in New York City.

    Many elected officials quickly condemned the decision, calling the increases too high, though they are lower than what the board's independent analysis showed building owners need to cover rising costs. Still, many

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  • New City Budget Includes Some Added Funding to Implement Landmark Building Emissions Law

    A rally for green jobs outside City Hall (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    In 2024, New York City will begin capping emissions from the city’s largest buildings – which are its worst polluters – under Local Law 97, which was approved as part of the city’s Climate Mobilization Act of 2019. The law requires buildings to be retrofitted with energy-efficient and sustainable systems – upgrading heating and cooling systems, possibly installing solar energy, for instance – to significantly reduce their carbon footprint to meet those emissions caps, or otherwise face hefty

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  • 'Housing Cannot Be A Privilege': Mayor Adams Releases Highly-Anticipated Housing Plan

    Mayor Adams building housing (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Five-and-a-half months into his administration, Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday released a comprehensive plan for housing and homelessness that aims to build new mixed-income rental housing, preserve existing affordable units, improve public housing stock, expedite the creation of supportive housing, cut red tape that prevents homeless people from accessing housing, and help New Yorkers buy affordable homes. 

    The mayor’s plan, dubbed “Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness,” reflects a paradigm shift from

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  • Mayor Adams and City Council Announce Deal on $101 Billion NYC Budget

    Mayor Adams, Speaker Adams, and Council Members (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Friday announced their first budget agreement, a $101 billion spending deal for the 2023 fiscal year beginning July 1, reflecting an increase of about $2.3 billion over the budget that was adopted in June of last year. 

    Buoyed by higher-than-expected tax revenues and federal aid, the administration and Council massively increased the city’s reserves and invested in a long

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  • What's In, What's Out: 2022 State Legislative Session Ends with Major Policy Decisions

    An Albany rally for abortion rights (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    State lawmakers voted on legislation late into the night Thursday, the scheduled end of the legislative session, and while the State Senate finished its business the Assembly continued passing bills throughout Friday and into Saturday.

    A number of major deals were reached in the final week as the session came to a crescendo, while other marquee proposals fell by the wayside.

    And as of Saturday morning, with the Senate on break but the Assembly still wrapping up business, the fate of at least two

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Andrew Gounardes on End of Legislative Session Priorities & More

    State Senator Andrew Gounardes (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    May 25, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Andrew Gounardes on End of Legislative Session Priorities & More

    State Senator Andrew Gounardes, a Brooklyn Democrat, joined the show to discuss major issues being negotiated as the end of this year's state legislative session nears. Gounardes discussed speed camera legislation, mayoral control of New York City schools, the 421-a real estate/affordable housing tax program, Mayor Adams' relationship with the State Legislature, and more.

    Listen to the

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  • 'Still A Ways To Go': Last City Council Budget Hearing Sets Stage for Final Negotiations

    NYC Budget Director Jacques Jiha (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Council held its final hearing Tuesday on Mayor Eric Adams’ $99.7 billion executive budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year, pressing the administration to fund several outstanding requests ahead of the June 30 deadline for the next budget. 

    In her opening remarks, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, commended the Adams administration for funding several Council requests made in the official response to the mayor’s

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  • 'Real Affordability and Supply Challenges': Adams Administration Officials Outline Housing Priorities

    Mayor Adams and others at a development ground-breaking (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Eric Adams promised on Thursday that in the coming week, he will release a comprehensive housing plan to address New York City’s affordable housing crisis and rebuild its crumbling public housing stock. Adams spoke at the annual conference of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), where officials from his administration appeared on expert panels to discuss the challenges of building affordable housing in the city and further preview some of the strategies that

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