Midtown Tribune News Logo

Mayor Eric Adams Calls in Live to Caribbean Power Jam’s “The Reset Show”

J.R. Giddings: Mayor Adams, Happy New Year. Welcome back to the Reset Talk Show. How are you? You’re muted.

Mayor Eric Adams: That’s the word of 2022. You’re muted. It’s good to see you all. Happy New Year’s. This is the first time on the show since the New Year’s, and it’s good to see the continuing good conversation.

Giddings: Mayor Adams, let’s revisit the migrant crisis the city is facing. It’s not going away. As a matter of fact, it’s growing to the tune of 36,000 migrants. You have talked about spreading the number of asylum seekers around the country. Can you explain?

Mayor Adams: Well, first, we have been communicating with the state and federal government about this crisis, and I want to be clear what is happening in El Paso, Houston, Washington, Chicago, New York, it is unfair. It’s unfair to all of our cities. Our cities have cycled out of the pandemic and we’re still attempting to recover. And in response to that recovery, there needs to be some form of partnership and some form of coordination. We were first aware of the migrants coming to New York when the governor of Texas was shipping buses here, compelling them to leave Texas.

We dealt with that incoming. We reached out to the national government and engaged in conversations and we stated we need help. We’re looking to potentially have 100,000 people who are going to be in our care and the combination of the asylum seekers and those everyday New Yorkers who are dealing with homelessness. And then last week we learned the governor of Colorado was sending people from Colorado to New York. And when we thought the border was closed to deal with that national issue, in fact we still were receiving hundreds of people here. Last week, we received 3,000.

One day, we received 800. The strain on our infrastructure is just immense. I cannot tell you how much of an impact this is having on our abilities to provide basic services for everyday New Yorkers. But we stepped up. 36,000 people showed up here in doorstep. We provided them with care, with food, with healthcare, 11,000 children in our educational system. We continuously responded and in the process we reached out to our national and our state leaders and stated, New York City needs help.

We should have a real decompression strategy so that those who are seeking asylum will have the opportunity to spread throughout the state and throughout the country so that the entire country would deal with this national issue. Thus far, we have not received any support or response to that. We were able to get $2 million from… I’m sorry, $8 million from FEMA’s emergency money. I want to take my hat off to Senator Schumer and Congressman Jeffries. We were able to get an additional $2 million from Senator Schumer’s office, the $10 million.

And in the large bill that was just passed, there’s roughly $800 million that’s been allocated. We’re not getting all of that. Our price tag could be anywhere from $1.5 to $2 billion. That’s the price tag that we are facing. And we have to ask ourselves we’re already dealing with a potential of $5-6 billion budget deficit in the outer years, where does that money come from? That money comes from our schools, it comes from our public safety, our hospitals, our infrastructure, our ACS services. Those are our tax dollars that it’s coming from.

And we are going to see an impact in every service we have in this city. And that is just inhumane on the part of the national government and I really believe it’s irresponsible that we have not had a real national response to what’s happening at our border.

Giddings: Thank you for that, Mayor Adams. I know you have a hard out, so we are going to bring in our panelists. Pastor Straker, can you pose your question to the mayor?

Pastor Louis Straker, Jr.: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. Happy New Year to you.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Straker: Thank you so much for joining us once again. I have a question concerning the agencies under the city’s administration. What is being done to help streamline some of these agencies that they can work together to resolve some of the issues? And the reason I’m asking, there are many in the faith community, including myself and houses of worship that are being affected by the lack of cohesion and cooperation and collaboration between the various departments. I’ll give you an example. One of them is like the churches that have properties that should be recognized by the Department of Finance as tax exempt.

But there’s difficulties in trying to be recognized. It feels almost harder to get recognition from the Department of Finance than it is from the federal government or the state. And what happens is interest is being compounded in some of these bills that are coming to the churches. I personally can testify to this. We purchased a building. It’s being converted. The Department of Finance comes in, they examine the place, the plans and the architecture plans are with the Department of Buildings. It’s approved by the Department of Buildings that it is going to be converted to a house of worship use.

The Department of Finance declined the request for tax exemption because they said there was no proof that it would be converted for religious worship. When it is as simple if, in my opinion, to just talk to the Department of Buildings, see that the plan is there, see this approved and be able to move this forward, but it gets dragged out months after month. And I’m talking to other religious leaders and they’re telling me that’s just how it goes and it takes a long time to get these things resolved.

What is being done to help streamline some of the process so that the agencies could work together and it doesn’t affect especially houses of worship in our city?

Mayor Adams: Well, thanks a lot, pastor. And if there’s one trademark that we have as an administration is that collaboration and coordination. We have a siloed city where many of the agencies only function in their own silos. We have dismantled that and there’s going to be clearly some still vestiges of that outdated mindset of being just really siloed. And whenever they come to our attention, it’s very helpful because we use it as a teaching moment and we look at the particular example and say, what went wrong here? How do we get this right? And that’s why we have Pastor Monrose.

And if this item was brought to Pastor Monrose’s attention, I’m sure he would’ve brought in the room Department of Finance, DOB, whomever else should have been in that room. He would’ve brought them in the room, sat them around the table and say, let’s use this as a case study. This can’t happen again. Let’s figure out what the problems are. Now, if we have not brought it to his attention, I believe we need to bring it to his attention. Fred Kreizman, who’s the commissioner of CAU, you should reach out to me. Let me put you in contact with them and let’s get that example and use that as a case study so we won’t continue to have that problem again.

And so anyone who’s saying this is how it goes, tell them no. That is not how it goes. We believe in coordination of all of our agencies and we’ve done that. We’ve done that on some major issues in the city. We bring everyone to the table and say, here’s a working group. You are the team leader. This is what we want the end results to be.

Straker: Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor. And I put full trust in you and your administration to get these changes and things done. Thank you so much.

Mayor Adams: Thank you. So please text me so I can connect you with Pastor Monrose and we can look at those specific problems. And this way you can come back next week or so and give an update to those who are also are part of the faith-based institutions to know what we’re putting in place and we’re leaning on the faith-based institutions in the city. We’re looking at their housing plan. We’re looking at how do we deal with the migrant seekers. This is really part of our administration and we want to partner with our faith-based leaders.

Pastor Straker: Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

Giddings: Pastor Straker, it’s our get stuff done mayor. We get stuff done here in New York City. Do you have three or four more minutes, mayor?

Mayor Adams: Yes, sir.

Giddings: Okay. Nurse Patricia, your question for the mayor and then I will come back in.

Patricia Cummings: Good morning, Mayor Adams, and…

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Cummings: Happy New Year to you. As you’re aware, staffing shortage as far as nurses are concerned is a national problem. And recently we had to strike in New York City, two major private hospital systems were impacted. And also throughout Covid, nurses have been at the forefront and some have sacrificed their lives, etc., their lifestyles to care for patients. So as a healthcare leader, my question is what are your thoughts as far as the strike in terms of strategies that can be put in place to prevent similar occurrences, to make sure that our nurses remain at the bedside, but also make sure that they receive good working, fair working conditions? And what would you say to our nurses in NYC who are listening right now?

Mayor Adams: No. Thank you so much. And when you look at the reels of history, you’ll see that during Covid, every day, all day, I was on the ground. When I was board president, I moved into my office so I could respond rapidly to some of the crises. And I cannot tell you every time I walked into a hospital, even in the midst of Covid, of seeing the nurses, the hospital professionals, the first responders wearing PPEs that were long outdated, struggling to just get the basic supplies, but instead of saying they were going to throw up their hands and stay home, they didn’t.

They came in, they answered the calling, the call to provide services. And so we can’t just clap for them at 7:00 PM to say thank you. We have to really show our appreciation for what our medical professionals, hospital personnel in general, specifically our nurses who are at our beds during the most difficult times of Covid. And so I know firsthand the role of nurses. When I was in the state Senate, I fought for state’s safe staffing. I know how long they have been having these fights. I stood with them with psychiatric, with NYSNA and other unions around psychiatric opening beds.

We partnered last year, year and a half ago around these issues, and so our nurses are champions. And you mentioned something that we need to be clear on. There’s a national crisis of shortage of nurses. We have to start building out the pipeline. We have to start really identifying those young people all the way back to middle school who have an interest in being nurses. We have to find ways to incentivize college reimbursement like we do with prosecutors in the district attorney’s office. We must really lean into our nurses’ shortage that we have in the city and improve the working conditions for nurses.

I am 100 percent in support. And during the strike, I sent out my communications of support and I will continue to be there for our hospital personnel in general again, but specifically for the men and women who are part of the nursing population.

Cummings: Thank you.

Giddings: Bravo to our mayor. Mayor Adams, I’m going to segue a little bit because I think this next talking point is important. We just witnessed Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game. And it’s the quick response of the Buffalo Bills medical team with CPR and AED that saved his life. Is there a plan in place for local schools, parks, churches, department stores, etc., to have a defibrillator on premises?

Mayor Adams: Yeah. And that drew attention to all of us and out of crisis comes opportunity and purpose. My commissioner of Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and my first deputy mayor, we responded to that. We saw that. And we’re now looking at how do we feasibly put out and get those defibrillators throughout our system in the right locations. Because you’re right, it was due to that he’s with us here today and my understanding, he returned home. But we need to use this as an example to say, how do we get this training out?

Because it’s one thing to have a device and we don’t know how to use it. So we need to get this training out. It should be in every house of worship. It should be in every school. It should be in any locations that we believe is needed because we lose too many people prematurely to an incident like that because we don’t have the proper training and we don’t have the devices where they’re supposed to be, and that’s something that we’re looking at.

Giddings: Thank you for that, Mr. Mayor. Lastly, it’s your first year in office. Is the city finances a big challenge? If so, what kind of impact would it have on the city?

Mayor Adams: Well, I remember when we were children and mom was raising the six of us at the beginning of the week, she’ll sit down with us and say, this is the money that’s coming into the house and these are the bills that’s going to be the money coming out. And so when you start thinking about buying those Converse, you tell me what items I take off this list so that you can get those sneakers. And if you don’t have an item I could take off those lists on this list, then we are all in this together. And so that’s what my budget announcement was about yesterday.

My budget announcement was to say to New Yorkers, in the spirit of my mom, this is how much we have coming in and these are our bills. And if you’re telling me that you want to do something additional, tell me what item I should take off this list. We must be clear on that. And we have an unprecedented $8.3 billion in our reserves. And some people say, well, let’s spin down the reserves. If you spend down your savings to deal with your basic household needs, something is wrong. Your savings are there for emergency. Your savings is not there for your basic household needs.

You need to look at are you spending beyond your basic needs? And that’s what we were doing as a city and what our budget has done as we successfully navigate ourselves through this crisis. We didn’t know we were going to deal with these asylum seekers. No one knew the pandemic was going to hit our city. Wall Street dollars and money that generates our economy is taking a tailspin downwards. Our national economy is uncertain. We better be smart, fiscally prudent, and willing to understand, as mommy said, this is what we brought in and this is what we have in bills.

And until then, we got to get out of these turbulent waters. I have to make some tough decisions. And listen, I kicked this screen when I didn’t get those Converse. But at the end of the day, I had a roof over my head, I had water, I had heat, and I had meals to eat. And mom was right then and mom’s philosophy is right now.

Giddings: Mr. Mayor, I love the way you laid that out. That’s a very good parallel. That’s a life lesson right there. So I really want to thank you for your time.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Giddings: I want to wish you a happy New Year again. And the Reset Talk Show is your home. We know that you’re always coming back to us, so hope to see you soon, Mayor Adams.

Mayor Adams: Thank you very much and happy New Year’s to you all and I look forward to a great year for all of us. Take care.
NYC.gov New York City Hall news

January 2023

#RyanHendrickson #TipOfTheSpear #StandWithUkraine #GenePanasenko .Palestine Adams amendment Asylum Benny Johnson Biden Black business China Congress Constitution controll Cotton Court Crime CRIMINAL cultural gun Hamas Israel Joe JUSTICE Marxism Massacre news New York NYC Obama Palestine Pogrom President Putin Racketeering Trade Show trump Tucker Ukraine UN US usa War War in Ukraine Washington White House