The 2018-to-2019 ball drop (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)
As we usually do around this time of year, Gotham Gazette asked New York politicos to look into their crystal balls for predictions for the year ahead. Below you'll find insights from elected officials, advocates, consultants, analysts, and others who are tuned in to New York politics.
As we say goodbye to 2021, we all hope for a better, safer, and healthy 2021.
2022 will undoubtedly be a year of major change in New York politics given the start of the Eric Adams administration and the rest of the new class of city government. There’s also upcoming state and federal elections, and much more.
We know that there will be many important political races, debates, and decisions. But what *exactly* will happen? Read below for some ideas.
Before (or after) seeing this year's predictions for 2022, revisit last year's predictions for this year here — there were some really good ones, and many that missed the mark.
Have something to add to the conversation? Tweet @GothamGazette with your reactions or predictions for 2022 in New York politics.
Predictions for 2022 in New York Politics
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President & City Council Member-Elect, District 6
-I don't want to predict! There's what, ten more letters of the Greek alphabet we can use for COVID variants?
-Women in power in New York will use their political clout to achieve the balance of family and work that we have waited decades for.
-The arts will lead New York City's recovery in 2022.
-Buck Showalter will lead the Mets to winning the pennant.
City Council Minority Leader Joseph Borelli
-Andrew Cuomo does a TV tell-all, resulting in New Yorkers disliking him even more.
-The New York primary gets delayed until September.
-Lee Zeldin wins the governor’s office, ushering in an era of prosperity, progress, and glory in the State of New York.
City Council Member Keith Powers
-Speaker Adrienne Adams takes over and helps the City Council play a central role in addressing the COVID crisis and economic recovery.
-Max Rose wins a close election and retakes his Congressional seat.
-Borough President Mark Levine walks the entire borough of Manhattan again.
-New York City sees a resurgence in tourism and spending in the second half of the year as the weather gets warmer and vaccinations increase.
-Outdoor dining becomes permanent in New York City and to-go drinks are brought back.
-Knicks bounce back and make the playoffs.
Dr. Christina Greer, political science professor at Fordham University & FAQ NYC podcast co-host
-Kathy Hochul cruises to victory and Bill de Blasio garners an embarrassing single-digit percentage of Democratic primary voters.
-There will never be a dull day with Mayor Adams. The NYPD has everything they need. Teachers will continue to feel unheard. And the press corps will get an average of two hours of sleep per night.
-Former Bloomberg employees will have a resurgence in the Adams administration.
-And Ben Max will join FAQ on election night 2022 to help us make sense of everything. That I know for sure!
Chris Coffey, Tusk Strategies Co-CEO
-Frustration with mandates (crazily) and pandemic overall will bring about some close congressional races this year, both in primaries and generals. Look for some surprises.
-Not a big surprise or bold prediction but look for Mayor Adams to just dominate TV and tabloid coverage. Hard to find a politician who has a better sense for the one liner or is better behind a podium at dominating the news and keeping people guessing. And not conventional!
Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, The Partnership for New York City
The female majority on the City Council is going to make that body more practical and less ideological, surprising those who predict a standoff with Mayor Adams. The women are going to put the city’s long-term interests ahead of parochial concerns and petty politics. Very exciting!
Jolie Milstein, President and CEO, New York State Association for Affordable Housing
New York will leverage federal infrastructure dollars to wire all affordable housing units for high-speed broadband, becoming the first state in the nation to provide free or low-cost internet to all residents living in subsidized housing.
Olivia Lapeyrolerie, political consultant, SKDKnickerbocker
2022 is going to be a great year for the cover editors of the New York Post and Daily News because between the midterms, gubernatorial race, and our highly quotable new mayor, there will be a lot of excellent content for the wood.
Phil Singer, Founder and CEO, Marathon Strategies
New York’s upcoming gubernatorial election will be the closest the state has seen since 1994, with Lee Zeldin serving as a serious Republican challenger to Democratic Party rule.
Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives
-Mayor Eric Adams will take concrete steps early on in his administration to put NYC 25x25 into action and reclaim streets for people.
-Mayor Adams and new NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez will expand bike and bus infrastructure in communities that have not received their fair share of investment. This means more protected bike and bus lanes, more Bridges 4 People, and a quicker expansion of bike share – with new city subsidies to make this happen.
-Los Deliveristas Unidos will achieve additional legislative wins and worker protections, continuing to prove that they are one of New York City’s most effective grassroots advocacy groups.
William F. B. O’Reilly, Partner, The November Team
-Congestion pricing gets delayed because of the halting comeback of midtown and downtown Manhattan.
-Andrew Cuomo joins the Trump/O'Reilly roadshow tour.
-Bail reform remains unchanged and State Senate Republicans win back three seats or more.
JC Polanco, attorney and commentator
-Mayor Eric Adams, as a centrist, will be the transformational mayor New York City has yearned to have for eight years now. Solid appointments and know-how approach to fighting crime will prove to benefit all. Because of this, the rest of the city will realize that centrists make the best policy and we will see more centrist victories.
-Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will do very well in the gubernatorial primary as he gets an overwhelming majority of young progressives in NYC, across college campuses, and in NY's urban centers from Buffalo to Albany. He will shock many.
-After stunning victories by GOP in Queens and Brooklyn among Asian voters, talk of getting rid of gifted and talented programs and eliminating the SHSAT will disappear like the dodo bird.
Carol Kellermann, former president, Citizens Budget Commission, and columnist, Gotham Gazette
-Mayor Adams issues the first veto of a bill passed by the City Council in more than 8 years.
-Governor Hochul proposes a four-year plan to relieve localities, including New York City, of all Medicaid costs and all the other gubernatorial candidates immediately endorse it.
-The MTA is forced to delay the opening of East Side Access because the new LIRR cars do not fit in the tunnel designed over 20 years ago (just kidding).
Danielle Brecker, Co-leader Organizer, Empire State Indivisible
-No matter what the Independent Redistricting Commission does or doesn't do, the New York State Legislature will draw the new maps.
-No matter who is elected Governor, Jay Jacobs will be out as the head of the New York State Democratic Party once the election is over.
-No matter what happens the people still have the power and in 2022 we will use it like we never have before!
Anat Gerstein, Founder and President, Anat Gerstein, Inc.
With several nonprofit leaders taking on senior roles in the Adams administration, and with a taskforce already underway to address egregious nonprofit payment problems, 2022 will be the year nonprofits get better treatment from city government. Nonprofits, which the city relies on to do some of the hardest and most important work, will see: on-time payments; elimination of onerous and useless reporting requirements; increased wages - especially for frontline workers; and contracts that cover costs, including overhead costs.
David C. Bloomfield, Professor of Education Leadership, Law & Policy, Brooklyn College and The CUNY Graduate Center
-In the first of many performative showdowns despite good internal relations, DOE Chancellor Banks and UFT President Mulgrew will spar over school reopening rules. To satisfy multiple constituencies, Banks will keep schools open with expanded covid testing and provide a remote option as parents/students struggle over inadequate staffing.
-In Albany, the State Education Department will end required Regents exams and issue new rules on private schools' provision of secular instruction. Those will be ignored by Mayor Adams, supporting ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders' opposition.
-The City Council, flexing illusory muscle over education policy, will pass a bill limiting class size, which will have no practical effect. Calls to end Mayoral Control will be similarly dismissed by Adams and the State Legislature.
Rachel Fee, Executive Director, New York Housing Conference
Congress will pass a Build Back Better bill with some housing funding but not nearly enough to address our housing crisis. With the end of the eviction moratorium early in the new year and the ongoing housing instability and homelessness, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams will step up and dramatically increase affordable housing resources.
Eli Valentin, professor and commentator
-Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council will be at war plenty of times this year, causing Speaker Adrienne Adams to play the role of referee between the mayor and the progressive caucus.
-Governor Hochul will win election as governor.
-Latinos will get shafted again when it comes to representation at the highest levels of the mayoral administration.
Jake Dilemani, Managing Director, Mercury Public Affairs
-As I predicted last year, candidates and voters will come to the realization that there is a difference between progressive politics and purity politics. To a substantial extent, we saw that play out in the NYC mayoral primary, with left candidates only receiving about 30% of the vote in the first and penultimate rounds of RCV. This trend will continue to materialize in the 2022 primary elections as the Democratic Party realizes where the majority of Democratic voters are ideologically.
-In keeping with this trend, the NYC Council will continue to be a progressive body by national standards, but will not be a reflexively and comically leftist chamber as some had thought a year ago. However, the Council will continue to churn out some of the most progressive legislation in the nation, some necessary, others well-intentioned, but naive and counter-productive.
-Mayor Adams will be the most engaging and energetic mayor the city has had in more than 30 years.
-AG Tish James will have a banner year in the press with her effort to depose Trump and with whatever other major scandals come her way, with an eye toward Senator Gilibrand’s seat, which is up in 2024.
-By Election Day 2022, Biden’s approval rating will be higher than it is today. And with redistricting, Democrats will escape losing NY House and State Senate seats, with two possible exceptions.
-New York bail laws are revised in response to 2021 general election results and to protect marginal State Senate Democrats facing tough re-elections. Gov. Hochul will support modifications to take away an issue from Rep. Suozzi in the Democratic primary for governor.
Amy Cohen, Co-Founder, Families for Safe Streets, and mother of Sammy Cohen Eckstein, killed by a reckless driver at age 12 in 2013
-Governor Hochul will become the Safe Streets Governor. She will sign the entire Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act – which includes Sammy’s Law for safe speed limits – into law. Under her leadership, New York City will get home-rule on its streets so we can finally lower the speed limit and expand the hours and locations of speed cameras without having to go to Albany. In doing so, New York State will be a safe streets leader for the rest of the country and thousands of lives will be saved annually.
-Incoming NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez will do what past DOT Commissioners have not and regularly visit the sites of fatal crashes to honor victims, join in solidarity with families, and more quickly implement changes to prevent bloodshed on dangerous corridors.
-Mayor Eric Adams will equip NYC DOT with the resources needed to achieve – ahead of schedule – the life-saving street design investments set out in the NYC Streets Plan.
-Mayor Adams will lead a groundbreaking on a memorial grove for victims of traffic violence.
Andre Ward, Associate Vice President of the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy at the Fortune Society
-The New York City Council will pass the Fair Chance for Housing Act, finally putting an end to the blanket discrimination by landlords and real-estate brokers against formerly incarcerated people looking for homes.
-Legislation will pass at both the state and local levels requiring correctional officers to wear body cameras while interacting with incarcerated individuals.
Cory Epstein, Communications Director, Transportation Alternatives
-New York City will move to expand its pilot to containerize trash pick-up, finally getting trash off sidewalks. It will be overseen by a new inter-agency City Hall office in charge of public space management. The trash containerization pilot will be extremely effective and quickly become popular, with many asking why New York had not made this move earlier.
-Following the lead of Jersey City, NYC DOT will announce a pilot for secure bike parking facilities and infrastructure.
Have something to add to the conversation? Tweet @GothamGazette with your reactions or your own predictions for 2022 in New York politics.