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New York. Mayor Eric Adams Hosts “Hear From the Mayor” Radio Show

Gary Byrd: Each and every second Sunday of the month we are honored to have a chance to welcome the 110th mayor of New York City to the airwaves of WBLS. He’s standing by to join us. The program is called “Hear From the Mayor;” and of course, Mayor Adams, Eric Adams, wants to hear from you.

Welcome to “Hear From the Mayor” at WBLS. My Brother, good morning and welcome.

Mayor Eric Adams: Hey, Gary. Good morning. Good to be here with you. And listen, everyone that’s listening, welcome back to another episode of “Hear From the Mayor,” and I’m your mayor, Eric Adams. If this is your first time tuning in, the purpose of the show is to hear from you, just every day New Yorkers, the folks I see on the trains, on the buses, walking the street.

And I want the listeners to feel free to give me a call and hear directly from your mayor on what we are doing to build a better New York City. You can sign up to hear more from me by visiting nyc.gov/hearfromeric. For today, you can also call (212) 545‑1075.

And as we flow into today’s program, I’ve got to give you some bad news: this weather, folks, is coming in, and so I want New Yorkers to know about the weather today. We issued a weather advisory for today and tomorrow due to sustained winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour and gusts up to 60 miles per hour.

We’re preparing for heaviest rains and strongest winds Sunday night into Monday morning, which means everyone should take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their belongings in the event of potential flooding conditions in low lying areas. So, this is some serious stuff.

So, we have activated the city’s flash flood emergency plan, and City Hall and Office of Emergency Management are coordinating between city agencies and utilities to monitor and respond to the conditions. We’re clearing catch basins already, but you can do your part: call 311 to report a clogged basins. And as always, we encourage everyone to sign up for NotifyNYC at nyc.gov/notify to stay informed of the latest weather.

I’m excited about our guest that we have on today, a real fighter. But before I get there, I want to just take a moment to speak directly to New Yorkers. Those of you who have known me for over 30‑something years of consistent fighting on behalf of people.

Our fight with the federal government over funding that we need and deserve to handle our asylum seeker crisis and other basic services has reached a breaking point. And now, harsh and unfair cuts must be made to the city’s budget that I absolutely do not want to make. This is not the budget I want.

New Yorkers are angry. I hear it, I see it, I feel it. And you know what? I’m angry, too. I ran for mayor of New York to invest in working people, and I may be mayor now but I’ve never stopped being Eric Adams from South Jamaica, Queens, and Brownsville-born, the son of a single mom with six kids constantly worried about hunger, eviction and crime. That was our normal way of life.
And that is why my first two years, folks, as your mayor I put hundreds of millions of dollars into tax credits, affordable housing and childcare programs and lifting up working families. It was why I focused

like a laser on public safety, bringing down crime, and why I oversaw fundamental changes in our local economy including fair pay raises for hundreds of thousands of municipal workers, delivery workers and for‑hire drivers that lead to not only more money in people’s pockets but also the recovery of all nearly one million jobs lost during the pandemic.

And you’re reading the headlines. Over the last month, there have been negative headlines about me that are so sensational that they are hard to believe. There’s a reason for that: they are not based on facts, they’re based on rumor; and yes, on many occasions, even lies. Political opponents stoke the innuendo because it has successfully and unfairly brought down leaders of color in the past.

There is a federal investigation that has presented no evidence of wrongdoing while baseless accusations are levied by others that are not even part of the review about the conduct of my campaign and my administration. I have not been accused of any crime and no one has offered any evidence of any wrongdoing.

And I cannot be any clearer: I have done nothing unethical or illegal. But despite all this, there are powerful individuals who care more about politics than people, and I am in their way, so they attack and smear and try to tear us down.

But we blue collar New Yorkers are used to injustice and we always fight back. That’s all I know from my days of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, state senate, borough president. You’ve seen my face, you know what I believe in and what I fight for.

So, I want to thank the countless elected officials, union leaders, civil rights champions and faith community members who have joined with everyday New Yorkers to stand up to this injustice and defend me over the last month. Many of us share a common background: we grew up without much and had to work hard for everything we have, often fighting a city that betrayed us, political leaders who ignored us and other powerful forces that sought to keep us down.

So, I ask for all New Yorkers at this moment to look at the facts and listen to my message. I have not been accused of any crime, and no one has offered any evidence of any wrongdoing.

This budget crisis, people, we are facing is mostly the result of Washington not giving us the resources we need and deserve. Whether it is for asylum seekers, affordable housing, childcare or social services, they have disinvested in us even though we are the economic engine of the nation. That is why I’m fighting every day for the agenda of all working people: public safety, affordability and a brighter future for our children.
I’ll never abandon you, and I’m never going to give up. I have never given up in the past and I’m not going to give up now. I’m the mayor of this city, and I will continue to be because the working people of New York chose me to do a job, and that work is not done yet. We have more to do and more we’re going to do.

And this leads me into my guest that’s here today. I’ve worked with her in the past, many years of fighting on behalf of working class people. Ligia Guallpa is the executive director of Worker’s Justice Project. A worker’s center that educates, organizes and fights for better work conditions and social justice in the workplace.

We have stood with her on two major announcements. Our delivery workers are unsung heroes. They delivered food and other items during the pandemic and every day; however, they have long been denied a minimum wage. But together we successfully fought for a minimum pay rate for delivery workers of at least $17.96 per hour.

Another important issue facing our city are dangerous, illegal lithium-ion batteries. You’re seeing the fires, you’re reading the reports. And we announced last week a new lithium-ion battery charging pilot program early next year that will allow delivery workers to safely charge their bikes in public.

And so Ligia, I cannot thank you enough for your work that you’re doing. I just want to have you just give us an overview of what the Worker’s Justice Project is doing, your mission and what you see in the future.

Ligia Guallpa, Executive Director, Worker’s Justice Project: Yes. Thank you [inaudible] what we have achieved this week has been historic, very unique for not only the City of New York but the entire country. For the first time in history, setting a minimum wage for delivery workers who, as you said, are central to our city’s economy.

And Worker’s Justice Project, it’s the home of Los Deliveristas Unidos, a grassroot movement that time and time again continues to fight against the exploitation and the lack of regulation that exists in the food delivery industry.

And we acknowledge that delivery workers not only deserve to have a minimum wage but deserve infrastructure, something that you have worked hard and hard to deliver again. And this is an historic moment that we’re proud to celebrate but we’re also acknowledging that there is a lot more to do, that the fight has not ended here, that we must stay vigilant, we should fight back against the delivery app companies, especially like Uber and Grubhub who continue to mislead workers and continue to mislead consumers on actually dissuading from consumers to tipping.

And we’re here. Worker’s Justice Project is committed to make sure that workers know their rights, that workers understand the power of organizing, and most importantly, continue to work with city agencies like the DCWP, the Department of Consumer Affairs who have enormous amount of resources and who have actually been partners of making sure that we hold employers accountable for protections, for making sure workers know their rights. And most importantly, we make the city better for everybody who lives and works in our city.

Mayor Adams: You know, what’s interesting is that people… What’s interesting is that people get their Uber Eats, they get their food, et cetera, but they don’t know who the individuals are who are actually delivered it. Give us some background. Who is the average delivery worker that’s there?

Guallpa: Yes. Thank you, mayor, for asking that. Delivery workers are hardworking New Yorkers like Gustavo Ajche, for instance, who has been living in this country for more than 25 years right in Bensonhurst, who loves New York, feels proud to be from Brooklyn, who has been contributing to the city since more than 20 years ago.

Worked through hurricanes, through the rebuilding of South Brooklyn, somebody who actually lives with his wife here also who works as a cleaner and as a nanny. Somebody who has been organizing in our city. He has, during the pandemic he was the first person who came and distributed food for New Yorkers who needed it the most.

But while he was trying to like support families and feed others, he was also working in app delivery work to be able to actually provide to his family and send his kids to college, who his biggest dream is to make sure that his son becomes a lawyer and her daughter becomes a therapist, who wants, who strongly believes in the values of the American dream.

And that’s who delivery workers are, are people who are parents, who are cousins, who are people who strongly believe that the city is the land of opportunities, who work hard again and again to provide a better life to their families. And these are people who have been delivering, taking care of other New Yorkers, delivering food, delivering medicine, delivering groceries and making sure that New Yorkers are safe.

And what we did this week has been historic, what the City of New York and what you have done is make sure that they also have the ability to feed their own families by having a dignified wage.

Mayor Adams: And prior to this important historical minimum pay rate, what were the conditions facing these app delivery workers?

Guallpa: We must acknowledge that delivery workers are considered independent contractors, which means for not only delivery workers in New York City but across the country, they’re completely excluded from basic labor protections which means that delivering workers are excluded from minimum wage laws, like so they are not granted the $15 wage. They cannot fight for it. They’re excluded from Workers Compensation.

And on top of that, they have to actually absorb the enormous amount in operating costs like a bike that can cost $3,000. They have to buy, they have to get their own health insurance. If they get injured they get… They have to pay, thanks to the City of New York, obviously, they don’t have… They have access to medical costs, but if they have to stay at home, for instance, like an entire month without being able to go back to work, he wouldn’t be able to get paid sick leave.

So, this is the reason why Deliveristas started organizing, because they have no protections and no labor rights in the city as independent contractors. And through the pandemic, many of them had been experiencing issues like not having access to bathrooms. They were denied access to bathrooms. Also, they were not entitled a minimum wage, so most of them had to rely on tips as the main form of wage. And the other issue that many Deliveristas have been seeing is that these companies have also been stealing their wages and stealing their tips.

So, this is the reason why I decided to take to the streets, organize and said we deserve to be treated as workers, we deserve labor protections. We deserve to be treated as human beings.
And this is why we got to this historic moment because City Council, your administration, you have fought to make sure that workers are entitled to at least a minimum wage. And we deliver it, you deliver it, the city delivered it for them, making sure that they get a living wage of $17.96 this year; hopefully, in 2025, $19.96.

And so this is a huge historic moment, because we’re ensuring that every worker in our city, whether you deliver food and you’re in the streets working through the floods, through the rain, you’re entitled to a minimum wage. So, that’s significant. Now the hard job starts, which is making sure these companies comply.

Mayor Adams: You know, this Working People’s Agenda, I’ve said over and over again, I’m a working people mayor, a blue collar mayor. I know what it is to fight for your healthcare, your pension, your proper wages. This is something that I’ve been a part of from my days of being a clerk in the district attorney’s office.

And the African American and the Spanish speaking communities, we understand this so well. You know, my mother was a day’s worker where she would go clean other people’s homes, and the challenges of putting food on the table, this is a real issue. And I knew I was connected to this fight, because I saw the fight that my mom went through, and the mothers on our blocks. They would get up early, go do these menial jobs, and you know, try to provide for their family.

So, today the battle is with some of the app platforms. Those battles of yesteryears were with, you know, some of the factory jobs that we fought for. And so we just continue the struggle, and there have been individuals like you, you’re the A. Philip Randolph of our day.

You know, the Pullman porters, you know, Gary, how they did more than fight for good wages for those who were doing the train, they were organizers between March on Washington, fight for civil rights… 

Byrd: That’s right.

Mayor Adams: [Inaudible] connect the dots [inaudible] and today [inaudible]…

Byrd: (212) 545‑1075 is the number to call, (212) 545‑1075. We’ll take a break and we’ll take your calls right after this, from 107.5 WBLS.

[Commercial break]

Byrd: 57 degrees, flood watch in New York City. It’s “Hear From the Mayor,” Mayor Eric Adams on your radio right now from 107.5 WBLS, taking your calls at (212) 545‑1075. Here’s the Mayor Eric L. Adams.

Mayor Adams: Hey, thank you, Gary. I was listening to some of the lineup of that show in the commercial, that’s going to be a good show, man, you know.

Byrd: Absolutely. No doubt.

Mayor Adams: So, I think we have Jay from Queens. Jay, I would love to hear from you.

Byrd: Jay? Jay, can you hear us? Make sure your radio’s… 

Question: Yes, good morning.

Byrd: There you go.

Mayor Adams: Yes, Jay.

Question: Good morning. Hi, gentlemen. First of all, Mayor Adams, it’s always a pleasure to have you on the air to hear your side of what’s really going on in the city. One thing I’d like to bring to your attention which is affecting you as the mayor and it’s crippling you specifically by the state and Governor Hochul with the marijuana proposition that has been proposed.

There are too many pop up illegal dispensaries close to churches and schools. For example, Madison, across from the Promise Harlem Children’s Zone Academy they have a smoke shop on one corner directly across, and the second one on the next side of it. Then right on Malcolm X, Lenox, 127th Street, it’s called [Excess], you have the mosque, Temple Number 7, plus the school as well.

Marijuana, quote‑unquote, became legal under Hochul; however, they have conditions to how they should be installed and effected throughout the city, and it’s negatively affecting our communities. Then they’re going to turn around and want to blame you, because on top of these dispensaries… 

Mayor Adams: Sister.

Question: …you now have the brothers on the corner taking the customers just before they get into these so‑called dispensaries, they’re just smoke shops.

Mayor Adams: And Jay, I am with you, and I’m so glad you point it out. I had nothing to do with this law being passed or rolled out, but people are impacting our city. And here’s my ask of the lawmakers: give me control over enforcement. Right now, we do not have that control, it is being controlled by the state.

If they give me control of the enforcement, I will close down every illegal shop within 30 days. That’s my promise to New Yorkers. If I’m given the enforcement, within 30 days you will not see those shops in front of mosques, next to schools, lining up our streets, creating this havoc that you’re seeing. That’s what I need Albany to do this year: give me enforcement and my team will do it.

Now, we’ve done a lot thus far taking millions of pounds out of these shops, but it is too difficult because we do not have direct enforcement. And I’m with you, Jay, 100 percent, you are 100 percent correct.

Byrd: Okay. We got Bryce calling from the Bronx. 

Mayor Adams: I was in the Bronx last night up at the comedy show. What’s up, Bryce?

Question: Hey, hello, Mr. Mayor. It’s a pleasure to speak with you. As a motorist in New York City, we’re dealing with a lot of these scooters, myself when I drive into Manhattan. And they’re just not following the rule of law. A lot of them do not have license plates, they don’t wear helmets. You know, they’re switching in and out of traffic.

You know, I almost hit a few of them myself, and you know, when I try to pull over and say, listen, you know, you’ve got to follow the rules, it’s like I understand they have to feed their family. We understand like, you know, this is their only source of income.

A lot of them are immigrants and I know that the cops are trying their best to try to get them to follow the rules, they pull them over, they give them tickets. But how do we get that under control, because you know, New Yorkers, yes, we want our Uber Eats and we want everything to be, you know, as easy as possible. But what about the safety of those individuals?

Mayor Adams: Well said, Bryce. And first of all, we need to break it down in pieces. Everyone who’s riding them is not an app delivery worker. You know, you have some people who are riding them for recreation, are riding them just to go to their job, which is not a delivery worker.

And so what has happened over the last few years, our complete streetscape has changed. With that, we need to educate the public, educate those who are using it, using micro-mobilities from scooters to mopeds to all these different forms of uses on our streets. And that’s something that Ligia and I and our team that we want to do. We want to educate her population, but we also want to educate those who are using these micro mobility methods to also know, hey, these are the rules on using the roads because we don’t want motorists being injured and we don’t want those who are using these alternate means of transportation.

Everything from skateboards to rollerblades, et cetera. You know, Ligia, you may want to add on to that?

Guallpa: Yes, and I think it’s important to recognize that the minimum wage was actually part of them, because a lot of Deliveristas were running and try to get as fast as they can because they were not paid for their time while being connected, they were paying for the delivery and relying on the tips.

Now that there is a minimum wage law, my message to Deliveristas is you’re being paid 50, like at least Uber and DoorDash and Grubhub even stated that they’re going to pay this week per minute, $0.50 per minute. So, my message to Deliveristas is there’s no need to rush. Respect every traffic light. Go on the right lane. Respect the traffic rules, because there’s no need to rush if you’re now being paid $0.50 per minute according to Doordash, Uber and Grubhub who have sent that recent announcement.

So, just wanted to say, like thank you, mayor, because this is part of the effort to make sure that Deliveristas are paid for the time while they’re also complying with the rules of the street safety and the road.

Mayor Adams: I don’t know if we have time for Stacey from Queens. Stacey, maybe you could squeeze a question in quick if you… 

Question: Okay, yes. Hello, good morning. Okay, they hit it right on the nail with everything else. Now, my thing is, also, you know, with them selling the weed they are on open fronts where children go inside the store and buy candy. If you’re selling weed, take those… I mean, put down no children allowed and take the candy and the chips out the store.

Also, what is the thing with e‑bikes and all these dangerous things, nobody thought about them bikes being on transit when those delivery guys want to take a shortcut, they’re putting those dangerous batteries on the subway. Let’s think about that. And they’re on the buses. So, we need to rule that out. And also want to know, what’s going on with… 

Mayor Adams: Sister, we got… Stacey, that music means we’re out of time. But thank you for both of those. It’s all about public safety is a prerequisite with our prosperity, and that’s at every level. So, we hear you loud and clear.

Byrd: Eric, put everybody in touch with you directly at City Hall, if you would, as you did in the beginning.

Mayor Adams: Yes. Folks can stay in touch with us. We always want to hear from you. You can reach out in several ways. You can sign up to hear from me by visiting nyc.gov/hearfromeric. You can also listen to our podcasts, but we’re here every second Sunday. This is not just the ending, it’s the beginning. Let’s continue to communicate. Love you, thank you.

Byrd: Give thanks, as Brother Lloyd Williams said this morning, there’s a place where we have to stand behind our brother, and certainly we will do that. Brother Eric Adams, “Hear From the Mayor,” as Eric just said, airs every second Sunday right here at 107.5 WBLS where you get to hear from the mayor himself and the mayor gets to hear from you. Second Sunday right here at 107.5 WBLS.

December 10, 2023 New York City Hall

Source: NYC.gov – Midtown Tribune news –
Big New York news BigNY.com

December 2023

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