Mayor announces new policies at Queens Theatre during State of the City
By Matthew Fischetti
Mayor Eric Adams returned to his home borough of Queens last Thursday to give his second state of the city address, in which he unveiled his “working people’s agenda.”
The announcement, first kicked off by numerous cultural dance routines, was attended by over a hundred different elected officials, civic leaders and other major city players at Queens Theatre last Thursday.
The mayor broke his agenda into four major categories, in which he touted previous successes and laid out future policy proposals: jobs, quality of life, housing and care.
Among the biggest announcements in his Jobs category was the news that New York City is pursuing a first-in-the-nation biotech startup at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The 50,000 square foot space will provide office space, events and programming, with an emphasis on recruiting women and people of color into the industry.
Adams also announced that the city will work with the City University of New York to support 30,000 nurses entering the workforce over the next five years. According to federal government estimates, there will be 275,000 more nurses needed by 2030.
Adams also plans to tackle employment rate disparities for disabled and Black New Yorkers.
The unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers is at least three times as high as for white New Yorkers. This era of inequality must end,” Mayor Adams said. “We are going to make sure that all New Yorkers finally have access to good jobs.”
A new “Center for Workplace Accessibility and Inclusion” will help connect 2,500 people with disabilities to jobs and improving workplace accessibility. The Mayor also wants to double the rate of contracts for minority and women-owned businesses, which would dole out $25billion over the next four years, per the Mayor’s announcement.
Adams also plans on launching a new apprenticeship program, which aims to get 30,000 New Yorkers apprenticeships across various industries by 2030.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Mayor Adams made several big announcements in terms of improving quality of life for New Yorkers. First of which was the announcement of a new “director of the public realm” which will be a city position focusing on public spaces.
By the end of 2023, Mayor Adams announced that the city will launch a citywide curbside composting program. A pilot of the program was rolled out earlier last year in Queens.
Adams also said that he will focus on getting ‘New York’s Most Wanted’, 1700 people identified by the city as committing a disproportionate amount of violent crime, off the streets.
Adams also indicated that he would throw support behind state level legislation to tackle dangerous drivers. Albany last year passed the 24/7 speed camera legislation, which Adams said led to a 25-percent decrease in speeding.
The new legislation is comprised of 6 bills that would would increase penalties for severe crashes and provision that allow vehicle registration to be suspended if five or more red light camera violations are committed within a 12-month span.
Hizzoner also announced that the entirety of Uber and Lyft drivers will have to have zero-emission vehicles by 2030 at no cost for drivers.
Mayor Eric Adams’s housing plan largely built off of his previously released plan to “Get Stuff Built”, which aims to build 500,000 new homes over the next decade.
Adams also announced that $22 million was allocated for tenant protection programs in order to investigate and enforce against bad landlords and help tenants from being pushed out of rent-regulated apartments.
“Building new housing is essential for our future, but we also need to address the housing crisis in the here and now. That means protecting tenants and helping New Yorkers stay in their homes,” Adams said.
Adams also announced that the city’s free tax preparation program was expanded to process an additional 26,000 returns and that his administration would pursue legislation allowing New Yorkers to retain benefits for up to six months after taking a new job.
Throughout his mayoralty, Adams has constantly dealt with the issue of homelessness in the city, announcing sweeps and safety teams to monitor the subway.
In his announcement, Adams unveiled a new plan to allow homeless New Yorkers to get a free health insurance program. The administration argues that the program will help connect homeless New Yorkers with more cost-efficient care.
The Mayor also announced a plan to open Clubhouses for New Yorkers with severe mental illness in order to provide “peer support and access to services.” The new ‘clubhouses’ are part of a broader mental health plan that the mayor said will be released within the next few weeks.
“This coming year is about expanding that vision of what can get done and what will get done. It means building a strong foundation that supports today’s realities and anticipates tomorrow’s needs,” Adams said. “City government must work to improve the public good, supporting an economy that works for all”