Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Eric Adams

Eric Adams

  • Series of Major Housing Approvals, Announcements Mark Progress in Adams’ ‘City of Yes’

    Mayor Adams releases his housing plan (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City is soon to be awash in new housing construction with the City Council approval in recent months of over 12,000 new units and a mayoral administration promising to bring thousands more through major development projects and changes to city zoning rules.

    The development is essential to meet the city's demand for housing, particularly affordable housing, where the vacancy rate for the lowest income apartments is less than 1% while tens of

    ...
  • As Hochul Promises ‘Bold’ Agenda, Many Housing Policies on the Table for 2023 in Albany

    Gov. Hochul at a housing event (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    New York faces an acute housing crisis: rents are sky high, not enough housing is being built, homeownership is increasingly out of reach, and there is a looming eviction crisis coming out of the covid pandemic. But while the issues contributing to the problem have long been simmering, solutions from state and city leaders have been halting and piecemeal, far from meeting the need wherein 53% of New York City tenants are...

  • Despite State Budget Funding, Little Progress Bringing Psychiatric Beds Back Into Service

    Hospital staff (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York State has made little progress bringing 1,000 shuttered psychiatric beds back into service after they were closed during the covid pandemic, raising questions about a signature element of the mental health and public safety agendas of Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams.

    In the April budget, Hochul and the Legislature allocated $27.5 million in state funding, matched by federal dollars, to restore the roughly 1,050 psychiatric beds shifted at the height of the pandemic when hospitals scrambled to make room for the

    ...
  • Many Variables, Significant Uncertainty in Latest Fiscal Updates for New York State, City, and MTA

    Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    New York State and City weathered the worst of the financial devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to billions in federal aid and a good bit of fortune in revenues from Wall Street and personal income taxes. But fiscal uncertainty looms on the horizon amid major stock market losses, warnings of a recession, ongoing pandemic workplace shifts, and federal relief funds running out, creating future budget gaps that will test the fiscal management of Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams’

    ...
  • Facing Depleted Agencies, New York City Government Plans to Add 25,000 More Employees by June 2023

    Mayor Adams at City Hall (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.)


    New York City’s municipal workforce dropped by more than 19,000 full-time employees over the last two years, according to a report released this week by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office, and there are currently more than 21,000 vacancies as city agencies struggle to retain workers and maintain city services.

    Questions have repeatedly been raised about whether Mayor Eric Adams’ administration is able to accomplish its policy goals given

    ...
  • A Full Term in Hand, What's Governor Hochul's Agenda?

    Gov. Hochul (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Kathy Hochul made history last week, becoming the first woman to be elected governor of New York. Hochul, a Democrat who took over in August 2021 after Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace, will now serve a full four-year term with the opportunity to more fully craft her agenda. But she already has a lengthy set of priorities either in motion or that she has promised to pursue, and there is more that others expect her to address, whether they voted for or against her. 

    Though Hochul had a far more extensive campaign platform than

    ...
  • To Address Corruption Risks and Boost MWBE Contracting, Comptroller Asks Mayor to Convene Procurement Board

    Mayor Adams, Comptroller Lander, & others (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In a letter to City Hall last month, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander called on Mayor Eric Adams to make changes to the city's procurement rules to prevent corruption and fraud in nonprofit human services contracts.

    In the October 19 letter, Lander asked Adams to convene the Procurement Policy Board (PPB) to take steps to increase contract procurement for minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) and address...

  • 'In Almost Every Measure We Are Doing Very Well': City Releases New 'Snapshot' Tracking Economic Recovery

    Mayor Adams and city officials talking jobs (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Many indicators tracked by New York City’s economic development agency to chart the health of the local economy are showing signs of growth, according to a new monthly report being released Thursday.

    The initial data shows some major gains in job creation and business start-ups in the last year, and a multi-year increase in venture capital funding. It also indicates a sluggish return to the office amid ongoing hybrid work models.

    The city has seen an explosion of new businesses in the first year of

    ...
  • Hochul's 'SOS' Teams Begin Outreach to Homeless People in Subways

    Gov. Hochul & Mayor Adams discuss subway support teams (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Kathy Hochul's Safe Option Support outreach teams have helped find "bed placements" for 150 homeless individuals living in the subways in their first six months of operation, according to the New York State Office of Mental Health.

    The figures, provided to Gotham Gazette after an inquiry, indicate some action by one of Hochul's first major mental health and public safety initiatives as governor, amid rising homelessness and street violence. They also raise more questions about whether

    ...
  • Bail Reform Remains at Center of New York Political Debate But State Legislature has Never Held a Hearing On It

    Outside Rikers Island (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    New York State’s sweeping bail reform law first went into effect in January 2020 and has been subsequently amended twice since then in response to widespread opposition from law enforcement, Republican officials, and some moderate and conservative Democrats. Since its first passage -- through three consecutive legislative sessions and into this statewide election year -- bail reform has been a highly contentious issue, with heated political rhetoric often outpacing facts.

    It is now among the top issues Republicans are focused on in

    ...
  • Council Examines City's Renewable Energy Progress, Future Plans

    Rooftop solar (photo: Governor's Office)


    As Mayor Eric Adams’ administration follows ambitious mandates to achieve carbon neutrality over the next few decades, the City Council on Thursday examined the state of renewable energy infrastructure in the city, needs for the future, and both city and state legislation that could help expedite the path towards a zero-emissions energy grid and economy.

    At a hearing of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, chaired by Queens Council Member Jim Gennaro, administration officials testified to ongoing efforts at sourcing and converting to

    ...
  • Fires, Storms, Covid, and Asylum-Seekers: Emergency Spending and the New York City Budget

    Mayor Adams at a City Hall press conference (photo: Violet Mendelsund/Mayor's Office)


    Earlier this year, Mayor Eric Adams pleaded with the federal government for $500 million in emergency funding to address the “humanitarian crisis” of thousands of migrant asylum seekers who have arrived in New York City in the last few months. But despite the clear health and safety risk to thousands of people, who have the right to shelter under New York law, the crisis is not the type of emergency – like the COVID-19 pandemic or

    ...
  • 'Alarming to Not Have a Goal': City Council Pushes Adams Administration on Affordable Housing for Seniors

    A push for senior affordable housing (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Older New Yorkers, aged 65 and above, are the fastest growing age group in the city, currently numbering at about 1.24 million and expected to grow to as many as 1.4 million residents by 2040. They are also a population that experiences significant housing insecurity and other housing challenges, with more than half considered rent-burdened. As the city continues to grapple with a deepening affordable housing crisis, City Council members on Monday sought answers from Mayor Eric Adams’ administration about efforts to support and prioritize

    ...
  • City Council Redistricting Drama Underscores Dropped Commission Ethics Policy

    The NYC Districting Commission at a hearing (photo: @DistrictingNYC)


    [Update: On October 6, the Districting Commission passed, by near-unanimous vote, a new City Council map very similar to the one it previously voted down, as discussed in the story below. That map now goes to the City Council for review.]

    New York City's redistricting process

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • Mayor Adams Yet to Name a Fire Commissioner

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


    Over 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 chain

    ...
  • 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,”

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...
  • 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

    ...