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New York Mayor Eric Adams Calls in for Live Interview on 105.1 FM HD2 “Rusa Radio”

Mayor Adams expressed his steadfast support for Israel and condemned the actions of Hamas, emphasizing the importance of protecting New York’s Jewish community and combating antisemitism. He also discussed measures being taken to ensure safety during the upcoming Israel parade and addressed challenges related to the migrant crisis, highlighting legal constraints and efforts to manage the situation.

Anna Peckerman: Mayor Adams, thank you so much. This is an honor and a privilege to have you on our radio, on Radio USA. First and foremost, before we do anything, I want to start with words of gratitude. Words of gratitude on behalf of our entire community for being a friend to Israel, for standing with Israel, for standing for what’s right, for being true to your beliefs, and for really protecting the rights of the Jewish residents of New York. Thank you so much for that.

Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you for your kind words. I think that what you said that resonates the most is that you said standing up for what is right. When I stand with Israel, that is what I would stand with any ally of our country, and that I would stand with anyone or group that I believe is being prosecuted.

What I saw on October 7th, I’m very clear in my position that Hamas must be destroyed and that every hostage should return home. No one has joy in watching children die, and that’s why I talked about the war in Yemen. I talked about what Hezbollah is doing. I talked about the war in the Sudan and what’s taking place in Haiti. I am consistent about my belief that innocent people should not be the victims of any form of violent act, and I’m going to stand by that.

Peckerman: Thank you so much. Those words are worth their weight in gold for every single Jewish resident of this city. Speaking about that, of course, we cannot not address the rise in antisemitism all over the world, and of course, New York being a home to the largest Jewish community after Israel worldwide. Can you please tell us what your administration is doing in order to protect the Jewish residents of New York from antisemitism?

Mayor Adams: We’re witnessing a rise in hate across the globe in general, but specifically after October 7th, we witnessed a sharp increase in antisemitism, and we’re clear that New York City has no room for hate. If it’s antisemitism, anti-Sikhism, Islamophobia, anti-African Americans, no matter what the group, we must remain consistent.

What troubles me the most is that we have normalized antisemitism. We would not tolerate any other group being called for the destruction of that group or using very hateful terminologies in that group. We would not stand for that, and I’m seeing a normalization of antisemitism in New York as well as across the globe, particularly through social media, and I think there’s a level of tolerance that has been acceptance even in some of our major media to attempt not to point out that what happened on our college campuses is not antisemitism, I don’t know how you could define it as not. And I think that’s really a precursor for the anti-Americanism. There’s a radicalization of our children, where there’s being taught to hate America and hate those of Jewish faith as well, and we need to stop that.

I have a role as the mayor, number one, it’s imperative in our country the right to protest, the right. We can never get in the way of individuals who want to peacefully protest. I may not like the call to destroy Israel. I may not like the call to destroy America, but that is constitutionally protected. What’s not constitutionally protected is you’re not going to destroy property, you’re not going to spit at police officers and throw dangerous items at them, and you’re not going to assault innocent people. We’re going to take the proper action when that takes place, and I think the Police Department has done that. We had over 2,000 protests in our city when we got the authorization from the schools to move into the colleges, we moved in quickly and addressed the situation immediately, and we’re going to continue to do that to make sure we monitor the situation.

Peckerman: Yes, thank you so much. It was amazing. It was quick, and it was done right. Thank you so much for that.

On June 2nd, we have Israel parade coming up, and of course, that could call a lot of reaction, negative reaction, I hope not, but that is a definite possibility. Can you please let us know what measures are being taken in order to protect those who are planning to take part in this parade?

Mayor Adams: There was a call by some to cancel the parade, and we said absolutely not. We are not going to surrender to hate. We have the finest police department on the globe, and they are good at, number one, gathering intelligence to know exactly what we have to do to be in preparation, and number two, to address emergencies and circumstances as they come up.

We have a full plan. The team briefed me, and the team, they have been meeting to discuss every possible actions that may happen, and we saw something similar during the New Year celebration. We saw something similar during the Thanksgiving parade, and even the big tree lightings, and so there was an attempt by fringe groups to go in and disrupt these normal celebrations and acknowledgements, but we’re not going to allow it to happen. We will be prepared, and we’re going to take the necessary steps to ensure that the parade takes place.

Peckerman: Thank you so much. We can let people know that it is safe to take part in this parade and feel the pride of their heritage and our country, Israel. Thank you so much for that.

Mayor Adams: It’s extremely important to do so, because if we don’t, we will surrender to hate, and we should never surrender to hate.

Peckerman: Absolutely. Thank you so much. Mayor Adams, one of the biggest challenges that is facing our city, of course, is the migrant crisis. We know how hard it is on your administration. We, of course, all read the news. We know how hard it is on the budget of our city and on how hard it is to house everyone who comes here, because the migration is not a legal process. Can you please tell us if there’s any progress, if there’s any light at the end of the tunnel of how your administration is handling this problem?

Mayor Adams: We… And people, I want New Yorkers to know four important things, because I hear it often. People ask, mayor, why are you doing this to our city? We need a level of clarity.

Number one, I cannot stop the buses from coming in. That is against the law for me to do that. Number two, I’m required to give people three meals a day and a place to sleep for a period of time. That is the law of New York City. Number three, those who commit repeated crimes, those small numbers who are violent offenders, I don’t have the authorization to turn them over to ICE. That is against the law. That law was passed many years ago, and it was made stronger under the previous administration. Lastly, which is the most important, I don’t have the authorization to allow them to work. I can’t even allow the migrants and asylum seekers to volunteer and give them a stipend.

That is against federal law. So I am stuck with housing over 198,000 migrants and asylum seekers, over 38,000 children, all on taxpayers’ dime. We spent over $4 billion, and we are still getting in a large number. Last week, we got in 1,100. We have been averaging 1,000 a week for the most part, that’s over 4,000 a month. There’s a real strain on the city, but we’ve come up and used some tools to bring down the number. We now have only 65,000 in our care because we made it clear to those who arrived that you will have 30 days to get on your feet as a single adult, 60 days if you have children, and then you have to go on the next step on your journey, and that can include being ticketed to go to another municipality or go back to the home country that they arrived from.

Peckerman: This is something that’s on everybody’s mind, of course, and the safety aspect of so many undocumented people coming into the city is also a very big issue on everybody’s mind. How is that being addressed?

Mayor Adams: As I stated, and I will state over and over again, we have the finest New York’s Finest police department on the globe. There were a number of those who were part of violent gangs, and they were carrying out street crimes. The Police Department has been able to identify them and apprehend them and bring them to justice.

It’s important that our judges and our prosecutors who are the other arms to our criminal justice system, that they properly hold them accountable for their crimes, and we believe in some cases they should not be allowed bail to return to our streets, but we have been apprehending those who have participated in criminal behavior.

Peckerman: Thank you so much. I know we’re limited in time, so I just want to ask the last question, if you don’t mind, which is actually very exciting.

First of all, thank you. You’re doing so many amazing programs in New York City. Your administration is phenomenal, and I wish we had the time to talk about all of them, but there’s one that’s happening right now, next week, and this is an exciting one for all the small business owners out there. The SBS is having its absolutely first ever Business Month Expo, which is being done by your administration. This is very exciting.

First of all, as a small business owner, I want to say thank you so much. Your administration has been the most friendliest towards small business owners. It’s the most helpful. It has amazing programs, and I wish people go in and find out as much as they can. Definitely join the expo, which is happening next Thursday, I believe. I believe.

We’re running, we’re talking about it all the time, so next week, Business Month Expo in New York City, first one ever, which is going to present all kinds of opportunities for small business owners, which is very exciting, very helpful. Basically, thank you for all you’re doing for all of us small business owners, but what is the ultimate goal and vision of the Adams administration for the small businesses of New York City?

Mayor Adams: I think that, mentioning some of the support that we’ve shown really impacted how we turned around the economy. Many people thought it was going to take four to five years to turn around the economy. We did it in two.

We have more jobs in our city now in the history of the city. We reduced unemployment in the Black community in half. We have really used our partnerships with organizations like Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. We launched an $85 million New York City Small Business Opportunity Fund, and it has funded over 1,000 businesses with 80 percent of the loans going to women and minority-owned businesses.

We didn’t stop there. Commissioner Kevin Kim has been really focused on businesses, as you stated, as a business owner. We launched New York City Funds Finder, first-of-its-kind online marketplace, and it’s designed in partnership with an organization called Next Street to help business owners and entrepreneurs access small business loans, grants, and financing. So important because many small businesses don’t know where to go to get the access to capital that they need.

One of the most impactful reforms that we have is business fines and violations. How we looked at those business fines and violations, the city was being too draconian in its actions on small businesses. We have helped save small businesses more than $45 million through our Small Business Forward. This is the liquor license, surcharge freeze, and the New York City Business Express Service team. We now allow inspectors to go in and do pre-inspections so that businesses won’t be caught by surprise. We can tell them how to correct the actions ahead of time so they’re not fined for simple mistakes.

Our partnership really comes from the governor. She has been a real partner. She tripled the size of our discretionary contract awards that can be directed to certified women and minority-owned businesses like yours from $500,000, now up to $1.5 million by the end of 2023. These are real good steps, taking away the fines and the difficulties of doing business, making our city a more business-friendly environment, and then finding ways of access to capital has really turned around our employment, and that is why businesses are opening here every day.

Peckerman: That’s absolutely amazing. It’s brilliant. Everything you’re doing is really enhancing the life of small business owners, so I really definitely am going to go to the SBS Business Month Expo next week, and I absolutely encourage everybody else to do this as well. So much information, so much positivity, and so many options and opportunities for us there.

Another huge gratitude from the ethnic media. Never ever has any administration worked with ethnic media as well as your administration. We’re always included. We always are updated, and this is really amazing. Thank you for this friendship. Thank you for everything you’re doing.

As per your request, right after our interview, we’re going to play the song that you have requested by Frank Sinatra, My Way, because that’s exactly what you’re doing, Mayor Adams. You’re doing it your way, and you’re doing it extremely well. Thank you so much.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Peckerman: Thank you for this time you have allocated to Radio USA and for everything that you’re doing for the City of New York. Be well. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Be well. Take care.

May 24, 2024 New York

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

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