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New York Mayor Eric Adams Hold in Person Media Availability – June 11 2024

Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy, Communications: Good morning, everybody. My name is Fabien Levy and I serve as deputy mayor for Communications for the City of New York. Thank you all for joining us today for our weekly in-person media availability. 

As you’ve heard the mayor, myself, our commissioners, and countless others say, we’re working every day to protect public safety, rebuild our economy, and make our city more livable. That work takes all of us, from our police officers to sanitation workers to our case managers. To update New Yorkers on those efforts, the mayor has once again convened senior leadership for our weekly in-person media availability here at City Hall. 

Joining us today are Mayor Eric Adams, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack, Chief Advisor to the Mayor Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana Almanzar, Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Tiffany Raspberry. Without further delay I’ll turn it over to Mayor Adams.

Mayor Adams: Thanks so much. We are on a real tight schedule today. The team has me doing some back-to-back things. I have to do a direct-to-camera in response to what we saw yesterday. We’re going to have to really clean the room very rapidly. If we’re overly aggressive, please accept our apologies. 

Thanks, deputy mayor, and really thanks to the entire team. Our core mission is clear, public safety, rebuilding our economy and livability. We say it over and over again. One of the clearest ways we’re protecting public safety, those pesty, illegal, dangerous bikes, scooters, I should say, I spoke with Rabbi Miller, who was struck and had a broken leg after he was hit. The person didn’t even stop to give him the assistance. 

We, at every town hall, people talk about these menaces to our city. They have just basically taken many of our streets and turned them into unsafe places. We are zeroing in on that. Hats off to the NYPD. They’re not only being used to menace everyday pedestrians, but they are part of a real robbery pattern. When you hear of a robbery pattern, 79 robbery patterns using illegal mopeds and bikes, nearly eight times as many as the same time in 2022. 

A pattern is not one issue. It’s a series of issues. These patterns that you are seeing is over 400 complaints, almost 10 times the amount from two years ago. That is why we’re cracking down on them. One of the illegal mopeds, it was used in the actions of a shooting of two police officers, a total disregard for public safety. The NYPD, they have removed more than 13,000 of these illegal vehicles from our streets this year alone. Year to date, over 42,000 since we took office. As you saw, we crushed a large number of them because we don’t want them recycled back in our community. 

Economy, over and over again, we have revitalized our economy. Largest number of small businesses have opened. Largest number of jobs in the history of the city. Rebuilding our economy requires us to have a 21st century mindset, particularly around green collar jobs. 

Yesterday we broke ground on what, Ingrid we worked on this in Borough Hall, about a real green economy, offshore wind port of South Brooklyn, the largest in the country. Hats off to Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, Andrew Kimball, for the entire team. 

73 acres in Sunset Park will serve as a hub for Empire Wind One, an offshore wind project that could power 400,000 homes while simultaneously creating thousands of jobs, good jobs right in that community. Then the byproduct of those jobs, people going to the local bodegas, the stores, the shops. This is a real win. Governor Hochul, the EDC, SBMT, Equinor, just real partners to make this happen. We’re really excited about it. 

Separately, on Thursday, after decades of intention, we also move our city zoning code into the 21st century. Dan Garodnick did a great job in the City of Yes for Economic Opportunity. This is a transformative moment for small businesses and entrepreneurs that is going to fill vacant storefronts and create greater opportunities for all New Yorkers, not only to start businesses, but to see them flourish and grow in the Empire State. I want to really thank the speaker and Councilperson Riley and Salamanca. I’ll call them today, Tiffany, to thank them who have delivered this landmark win for all New Yorkers. 

Finally, livability, DOB, no penalty inspection program. We knew from the beginning, DM Maria Torres-Springer really leaned into this. We should be letting people know ahead of time of what are the violations and not play. “I got ya.” We should be saying, “I got you, I’m here to make sure that you are able to not have money come out of your pockets and pay fines. How do we help you?” This is a great program. 

Yesterday, the Department of Buildings under Jimmy Oddo, the commissioner, announced the return of this annual No-Penalty Inspection Program. The citywide initiative offers free inspections for homeowners, business owners and landlords who proactively call 311 to request an inspection. Allow New Yorkers to get an expert opinion on potential repair projects and guidance on legal requirements, including boilers and private elevators. This is a great program. We’re excited about that. 

Talking about building. Really excited to see the new Delancey Street Pedestrian Bridge that’s going up. Do we have a video of that? Really exciting to see as we continue to get stuff built. Now, access to the waterfront in that area.

This is part of our East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. I remember when DM Maria Torres-Springer and the crew, DEP, we stood out and talked about this. We’re seeing it move forward. Our city continued to thrive and grow. I know there’s going to be questions about it. She’ll answer. My chief counsel will answer the charter revision. We’re excited about it. 

Let’s get out. Let’s participate. Let’s hear the opinion. 8.3 million New Yorkers. Thirty five million opinions only in New York. Why don’t we hear a date to hear the locations? We did. How many so far, Lisa?

Lisa Zornberg, Chief Counsel to the Mayor and City Hall: So far, there have been three public sessions of the Charter Revision Commission and the next three are coming up. Oh, great. They’re on the screen. 

The one in Manhattan on June 13th is a focus on fiscal responsibility, a forum on that. New Yorkers can show up and raise any subject of concern for the Charter Revision Commission in addition. The one that’s being held in the Bronx on June 17th is to talk about government and election reform, a forum on those issues. The one held in Brooklyn on June 20th, the focus is going to be on a public safety forum. 

Again, New Yorkers can show up at any of these and share their opinions in person, online, fully accessible by Zoom. Just check out the website.

Mayor Adams: Thank you. Why don’t you open it up, Fabien?

Question: Question there about congestion pricing. How did you learn that it wasn’t going to happen? Did you get a personal call from the governor about this? 

Also, do you hold yourself at all accountable for the public opposition to congestion pricing? You haven’t exactly been City of Yes about congestion pricing. You’ve been very, this is up to the state, we’ll follow the rules, we’ve got to get it right. You have not been championing this. So how did you hear that it wasn’t going to happen and what about your own?

Mayor Adams: The governor spoke with me about two weeks out, sharing her thoughts. As many of you know, the governor and I have an excellent relationship. We’ve been able to do so much in revitalizing our city and land in many of these important pieces of legislation in Albany. 

She was sharing her thoughts. I’m not going to go into private conversations. Then when she made the final determination, we spoke that evening. I said, “Governor, whatever I could do to assist, these are difficult times and difficult challenges.” 

I spoke with Janno yesterday as he talked about some of the impacts on our capital. I respect Albany. I know my role. I have their role. I know it’s hard for people to fully imagine the fact that everything that happens in the country, Mayor Adams and the mayor of the City of New York is not in control of. I don’t control the MTA. I don’t control how many migrants can come into our city. I don’t control laws that are passed in various forms of government.

I was clear we had to get it right. We could not balance it on the backs of working class people. We could not displace the environmental issues, as Ingrid has talked about so many times, we could not displace it throughout the entire city. We got to get this right. 

This is a major shift in how we are going to move traffic, how are we going to charge, what is the amount? I made it clear we have to get it right. The state made the determination that the MTA and MTA board is going to make the decisions around that. 

I was very clear from the start. We have to get it right. I’m still with that. We’ve got to deal with congestion. We have to deal with environmental issues, but we should deliberate and make sure we get it right.

Question: Hi, Mayor Adams. 

Mayor Adams: Katie, what’s going on? 

Question: You know, having a wonderful time. I wanted to ask you. We reported recently about a Stop Work Order implemented by the Department of Buildings at 58 West 39th, a hotel owned by campaign donor Weihong Hu. Late that evening, Reverend Al Cockfield had a phone conversation with two top Department of Buildings officials. About an hour later, the stop work order was lifted. 

Have you asked anyone to investigate that incident that involved other people, not just the reverend? Also, would you consider, how would you describe your relationship with Reverend Cockfield? Is he a friend? How often do you talk or hang out? 

Mayor Adams: All reverends are my friend. They pray for me. every time we do the off topics, they lay hands on me because they want me to maintain my composure of dealing with Katie and her questions. Reverend Cockfield, if you’re out there, continue to pray for me because you see this is why your prayers work? 

Listen, I didn’t intercede at all with that. People call city government all the time to try to get through the bureaucracy. Everyone has to follow the rules. I made that over and over again clear. I trust DOB and I trust our other agencies to make sure they make the right decisions. That is the extent I know about it. 

There’s no reason to investigate. If someone, if a pastor or clergy leader calls and say within the laws to do the right thing, to assist someone, they have the authorization to do that. We’re going to follow the rules.

Question: Specifically about Reverend Cockfield, I don’t know if, this didn’t seem like somebody involved in his church. It seemed like, I don’t know if there’s a religious component to the developer’s hotel. If you want to just, if you want to expand or decline to comment on your relationship with him.

Mayor Adams: I think, again, I had no communications with the Rev around this, so I’m not sure. Again, the story implies that there was some special treatment given to the developer. That’s what it implies. DOB carries out the inspections correctly with a standard process of inspecting. That’s what they do. They have an obligation to make sure whatever happens on these sites are safe. 

Now, what I found when I became mayor, you could have a carpentry problem and we would do a Stop Work Order on the entire job. Has nothing to do with the electricals, plumbing, or anything else. You will have thousands of dollars being wasted a day with hundreds of employees sitting around. 

I said that is not acceptable in a city that’s trying to build. Let’s focus on what’s the problem and let’s make sure we allow the project to continue. That was the number one thing I heard from developers, builders and unions when I was on the campaign trail, when it came down to this.

Question: Hey, Mr. Mayor, how you doing? 

Mayor Adams: What’s happening? 

Question: I had a question about the legal defense fund. Would you consider sharing that with people who are working on your behalf or anybody on your staff if they also were involved in the investigation. 

Mayor Adams: We’re going to follow all legal rules.If there’s conversation about the legal fund, Vito Pitta and Brendan McGuire, they will answer those questions. We follow whatever the rules are. It’s very stringent, very clear what rules could be used with the legal funds. I ask them all the time before I take any steps. You can reach out to them and they could answer that question for you. 

Question: Morning, Mayor Adams. 

Mayor Adams: What’s happening? 

Question: How are you doing today? 

Mayor Adams: Good. You look like you’ve been working out, man.You’ve got that summer body going. 

Question: Thank you. There were protests yesterday and there were protesters yelling, “Israel, go to hell” and “long live the Intifada.” They’re also waving terrorist flags. What’s your response to that?

Mayor Adams: Despicable. I visited the site where the presentation is on place for the October 7th incident, massacre. I take my hat off to Chancellor Banks, who brought his superintendents there. I really always called, after our team looked at the presentation of some of the video, I felt that more people need to see it. People thought this was just a simple headline. They don’t know the extent of the devastation that took place on October 7th. 

I thought the actions that we saw in front of the exhibit was just despicable. They wanted to, the people who were there wanted to hurt, to use those comments to wave Hezbollah and Hamas, terrorist organizations that should be destroyed. I was extremely troubled by that. 

I spoke with the hierarchy of the Police Department yesterday when the videos came out to me and they informed me of the actions. I’m going to take a visit down there. I’m going to try to get there before it closes in the next day or so. I was there when it first opened, but just, I thought it was despicable. It was disgusting what we saw. You cannot call for peace while you’re celebrating what happened on October 7th.

Question: Hello Mr. Mayor. 

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: Two questions. I’m based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We started asking people what they want to ask you. One question that come up was, is there any way to create any bypass so big trucks or big cars, they don’t have they don’t have to drive through Greenpoint, for example, but it means everywhere in the city. 

Any bypass, we’ve seen, the pedestrian bridge, it’s possible. There are ideas, creativity. If you can answer to that, if there is any plans for any types of bypasses on highways so you can, you don’t have to go through neighborhoods like Greenpoint. 

The second question, at 37th Street, I’ve personally witnessed the drug addicts with syringes in their hands there. I’m wondering if now you have any plan on addressing that. It was around 8th Avenue, but I know it’s been brought up to you before. I’m wondering if there is anything that you plan on doing in that specific area during summer. It’s been going on the whole year, not only now.

Mayor Adams: I’ll let 52 mile marathon runner, Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi answer about the trucks. I am extremely pleased at what DM Williams-Isom has been doing. I just, sometimes when you do so well in the city, you take it for granted. 

I really challenge people. Go Google other cities of public tents, living on the streets, cooking on the streets, drug uses on the street, human waste on the street. Just go look at those other cities. You don’t see it in New York, even with 200,000 migrants and asylum seekers. With DM Williams-Isom is doing with the new SCOUT initiative, the partnership she’s doing with NYPD, you’re going to see even a drastic change in our subway system. 

Laws restrict us from what we can do. We have been, NYPD has, they have been enforcing the laws on making sure that some of that public nuisance is something that we’re not going to accept. We are very good. We have been very clear on that. They’ve been executing a real plan to address the quality of life issues that you see. Meera, you want to go into that? 

Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi, Operations: Sure. 


Mayor Adams: Yes, yes you can. 

Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom, Health and Human Services: I’m not familiar with that location. Today, actually, at Gracie Mansion, we kicked off our Healthy NYC initiative, which is really one of the things that we want to do is really focus on the opioid crisis because we know that it is a public health crisis. We know that everybody around the country is really struggling with it. 

I will definitely want to see and ask Dr. Vasan to think about what’s going on in Greenpoint. Where do we get people connected to treatment? How do we get people connected to the supports that they need? Because we see what happens. 

Hope really matters. When people are feeling despair, when they don’t have what they want, when they’re not in good relationships, all of the things that we know that folks are suffering with right now, they turn to things to sort of, dull some of that they’re going through. We really want to make sure that we have what they need and to really get connected to treatment. We’ll follow up on that.

Deputy Mayor Joshi: On the trucks, New York is particularly vulnerable to heavy truck traffic. Most of the nation, about 70 percent of their goods get to them by truck. In New York, it’s about 90 percent. The pandemic and the habits that we developed during the pandemic of ordering online have not dissipated. We’ve hung on to them. 

We have to grapple with how do we shift freight from trucks? One thing I do want to note is currently truck route redesign is ongoing at the DOT. Outreach meetings are scheduled. We’d be happy to connect you so that your community can participate in those outreach meetings about where truck routes should be. 

A few other things that we’re trying to do as a city to shift freight from trucks, make freight more fashionable, bring it back. We’ve used our waterfront around the city for beaches and for housing and for recreation. We used to be a city of working waterfront and we need to bring some of that back in order to have barges and loads be delivered to ports and then to smaller cargo bikes and the like to really learn to not depend so much on the truck traffic. 

We’ve expanded the rules for what a cargo bike can be in New York City so it can be wider. It can fit in our bike lanes, which is something that will really help the business models of many logistic firms that are looking to make that transition. 

We’ve also been piloting micro hubs, which are places where one large distribution can be delivered and then nimbly delivered to smaller destinations in smaller quantities through cargo bikes. London, for example, is really betting on this policy. Their goal is by 2030 to have reduced truck traffic by 17 percent simply by using micro hubs. We’re doing the same here.

Mayor Adams: That’s why we send people globally. That’s why this team, we go to other municipalities and see what other people are doing. We’re the big city but smaller cities have been proven successful. I really encourage the team over and over again. Let’s see what other folks are doing.

Question: Morning. The third lawsuit was filed last week against Tim Pearson in your administration. This one suggested that the FBI was investigating something about his role. I’m wondering if you believe that’s a separate investigation from the FBI into your administration. one about Pearson, maybe one about Winnie Greco, maybe one about Turkish influence. Are these three separate things? Is this one connected thing? Also, has anybody in your administration been subpoenaed, been talking? 

Then totally separately, it’s a year out from the 2025 primaries. I’m wondering what you think about ranked choice voting. I haven’t heard you talk about that in a while. 

Mayor Adams: Oh, it’s not ranked on the top things on my list. I have a whole city going on and that’s low on my ranking, 

Listen, the job of this team here, we say over and over again, we have to stay focused on running the city during the most complex time. That is our great level of discipline. This administration, we don’t get caught up in all these other items of the all these processes will take its place and let them take their place. They can’t be controlled through the media. They have to be controlled through thorough reviews. That’s my response. 

Question: Are you able to confirm, are these three separate investigations? 

Mayor Adams: Nope.

Question: Hi, Mayor.

Mayor Adams: Emma is here, folks. How are you? Good to see you, Emma.

Question: Good to see you. I actually had COVID last week.so I wasn’t here last week. 

Mayor Adams: Okay, I see, you were quiet.

Question: My first question is about congestion pricing. 

Mayor Adams: Yes. 

Question: There are people in your administration, the deputy mayor at the end. Dan Garodnick, your climate czar, your public realm czar, who have very forcefully supported congestion pricing. Are you listening to them? Do you think that the city should consider enacting it after the November elections? 

Then second question. You said a couple of times that you were a real estate agent. In light of the bill that is getting a hearing tomorrow on broker fees. When were you an agent? Was that like your full time job? Was that when you were a police officer? Can you tell me more about that?

Mayor Adams: Yes. First, let’s go with congestion pricing. I remember speaking with DM Joshi, who, you know, they’re very passionate about these issues. Dan, the many people, Ryan, my former chief of staff over at Borough Hall. There’s a lot of passion. These are very passionate issues. 

I don’t want robots in my administration. I want people to be able to respectfully share their thoughts and their opinions. We’re an opinionated group, but they will all tell you the same thing. We may have an opinion, thousands of opinions, but there’s one mayor. There’s one mayor. At the end of the day, after we finish all of our opinions, we’re going to look towards the mayor for guidance. The mayor’s name is Eric Adams. 

I’m going to partner with the governor, and we’re going to navigate our way to finding a solution like New Yorkers always do. My team can sit down and share their thoughts. They can give me their thoughts. Behind closed doors, we get very candid discussions. That’s what I like about this group of people. They are very clear. There is one mayor of the City of New York that New Yorkers voted for in ranked choice voting. They ranked me number one. 

Question: Should congestion pricing maybe come back next year?

Mayor Adams: The governor is going to make the determination, and the governor is a partner, and I have a lot of respect for her. She has delivered for the city. All of us are better at the city because we’ve had a great partner in Albany. 

I’m sure Tiffany will be the first to tell you how her team, and every time Camille and First Deputy Mayor Wright calls the office, this has been a real partnership. We’ve navigated through this stuff. I’m sure all your calls up to the governor’s office. 

Listen, I’m with the governor. I’m not a fair weather friend. I am a friend. She has been a friend during this administration as we’ve gone through some very tough times. I’m here with the governor. We’re going to work through this together. What was the other question?

Question: Real estate agent?

Mayor Adams: Yes, I was a real estate agent as, when I think I was a lieutenant at the time in the Police Department. Because I remember you called over to my broker because you didn’t think I was a real estate agent. Someone over in your paper did. Was it, was it you? It was one of you. Someone did it because she called me. She called me. She told me. She said, “Eric, they’re checking on you.” Yes, I was a real estate, I was a real estate agent. It actually helped me help me during those difficult times when I wasn’t getting a good salary back then. 

This is it. We’re going to look at the legislation. No one wants to have tenants pay what they shouldn’t have to pay. Real estate agents do a lot of work. I used to spend, sometimes, a whole day taking a potential tenant around to 12 different locations where they say, “Oh, I don’t like where the bathroom is.” They spend a lot of work. It’s a lot of work. 

As a matter of fact, one of the projects you should do, some of you should travel with a real estate agent and see what they do, how difficult the job is to do it and carry it out. We’re going to look at the bill and we’re going to see exactly how it impacts the industry. Sometimes you have to be careful. 

Because I’ve had so many jobs, I think through and deliberate on these things. It’s just not, idealism collides with realism when you start to try to alter entire industries. We’re going to examine it and make a determination.

Question: Mayor Adams. 

Mayor Adams: How are you? 

Question: Good, great. WBAI is doing fine. I want to talk about that later.

Mayor Adams: Yes,I heard you back on the show.

Question: You remember that back in the day. 

Mayor Adams: I love it. 

Question: Before you got on all these radio stations, you would come. 

Mayor Adams: All the time. 

Question: We knew your name before they did. Anyway, John Adams was on, John Samuelsen was on Moral Monday Labor Radio with William Barber yesterday. He mentioned, he was your emissary to represent working people. Behind the scenes, he told us that he brought the concerns of the Fire Department, brought the concerns of working people. 

They can’t run with bunker gear if they have to drive here. I don’t think that the people really understood, who were making the decision, how these jobs work. That you may be a firefighter, you drive to the job, and you, depending on who shows up and who drank as much as that before, you may not work at that firehouse. Then you’ve got to run with bunker gear taking the subway, because you don’t want to pay $15. 

John said at the end, though, why not bring back the Stock Transfer Tax? We’ve talked about this before, and Albany. Is it just because you all get so much money from Wall Street that we want to leave that $400 billion alone because they won’t give us campaign cash?

Mayor Adams: Listen, I think that, not only is, we should be looking at everything. We should be looking at everything. The stock exchange, Wall Street, has changed. We have to be very careful. Wall Street is a major revenue driver. When you start impacting these industries, and that’s what I think a lot of people don’t understand, you start impacting these industries, they pick up and leave. That’s it for $100. Yes.

Question: That’s it, for $100? 

Mayor Adams: Yes.

Question: [Inaudible] since 1697, no ones leaving there. 

Mayor Adams: It’s hard to believe, because it seemed like I have an [omnipresence], but I was not the mayor of 1697. I think that… what I think the wheels went off the car was when we, what was the name of that tax we had in Albany? CommuterTax. I think that was a big, huge mistake. 

Now it’s up to the state lawmakers. They have to come up with a solution. I have to focus on the problems. I have enough problems here to be trying to figure out their problems. Let them do their job and solve this issue.

Question: Hi, Mayor.

Mayor Adams: What’s happening? How are you?

Question: Pretty good, pretty good. Just in the past few days, a 14-year-old was shot in Hamilton Heights, a 17-year-old was shot in Jamaica, a 15-year-old was shot in East Flatbush. Is the city doing enough to keep kids safe from gun violence?

Mayor Adams: And an 87-year-old was shot. When I have to respond to these jobs, I talked about when Detective Jonathan Diller was shot, when we buried him, I had to go to the Bronx, coming from the funeral where a 2-year-old was shot. These are, in many of these cases that you just talked about, they’re innocent bystanders. 

First thing I’m going to answer is, are we doing enough? 15,000 guns off our streets. We created a unit that focused on removing these illegal guns. When you have the shooting of Jonathan Diller, Detective Jonathan Diller, and you find out the person who was arrested was arrested 20 times previously, and the person in the car with him is out on a gun charge, yet he’s back out on the street with a gun in the car with him. 

Again, we’re doing enough. Now the question is, are the other parts of the criminal justice system doing enough? I say over and over again that these police officers are working hard. They are committed. They have been in the streets going after, yes, we have a double-digit decrease in homicide, double-digit decrease in shootings, thousands of guns removed off our streets, focusing on those who are carrying the guns. We are doing our part, but it’s a partnership, and every part of the partnership must be doing their job. 

A small number of people are committing a repeated number of crimes. Hats off to Congressman Goldman, who stood with us, with Congressman Frost and other advocates, teachers, who talked about this, that we want to lean into informing parents how to safeguard guns in their homes. The chancellor is part of this initiative. Teen violence is an issue, and no act of violence against a young person is acceptable, and we’re going to investigate every issue. 

It breaks our heart, all of us, all of us who have parents here. It breaks our heart when we see these shooters. When I spoke to that dad whose nephew, whose cousin shot his cousin, when I spoke to that dad, that dad could just barely talk. A firefighter, it’s impactful. 

That’s why we have everything from Project Pivot, Saturday Night Lights, keeping children in schools after hours, we’re clear on this. It doesn’t happen by coincidence. Over $500 million from our blueprint to keep communities safe from gun violence and our recent move to surge 1,000 officers in our subway system. We had an uptick in January. You saw a decrease in February, March, April, May. 

Janno was telling me yesterday, he says, listen, you’ve turned around what was happening on our subway system. That’s why we’re placing on the subway gun detection, folks, gun detection. All those who are running around saying, we don’t need gun detection on the subway system. You know why they say that? They’re not on the subways. 

I’m going to do everything possible to keep this city safe. It breaks my heart when these young people have too much access to guns and they’re, too many are using it. That’s my, that’s my goal.

Question: Raise the Age, do you have anything to do with that? Have you had any conversations about any changes you’d like to see to Raise the Age?

Mayor Adams: I voiced my concerns with Raise the Age. I voiced my concern for those who are repeated violent offenders. We need to adjust it. Repeated violent offenders is, that’s the issue that we’re facing in the city. Repeated violent offenders of all ages.

Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor. 

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: I’m good, how are you?

Mayor Adams: Good. Good to see you.

Question: Good to see you too. Do you feel like it was irresponsible of the governor to pull out the rug from congestion pricing without a plan B? I feel like you’ve often come up with a different strategy, but do you feel like her lack of another strategy was concerning, especially for the MTA? 

Also your possible primary opponent Cuomo is testifying in front of the House Committee today. I’m just wondering what your thoughts of his handling of COVID nursing home death data was during the height of the pandemic?

Mayor Adams: One of the worst things you could do is train for an activity without knowing your opponent. I don’t know all this possible stuff. I’m focused on running the city. There’s a lot of time. We’re going to have some great fun on the campaign trail in the upcoming months. I’m looking forward to whomever is out there, just as I did the last time. 

Remember when I got Andrew Yang? He was 13 points up in the polls. He was on skateboards. He used to be the happiest guy, you know that? Then when he started dribbling, that smile turned into a frown. Listen, you got to stay focused, no distractions, and… 

Question: Grind. 

Mayor Adams: Thank you. Listen… 

Deputy Mayor Levy: She didn’t make hats or anything.

Mayor Adams: He’s testifying today. Congress is going to speak with him, and he’ll make that determination. I’m just not taking cheap shots at people, all of us have good days and bad days. He’ll testify in front of Congress and explain what happened during that time. 

That was a very difficult time. I remember speaking to Bill de Blasio, who was the mayor, other lawmakers. None of us knew what to expect. It was a very difficult time for all of us. I’m sure all of us would like to have done things differently. He can testify and explain on his behalf. 

Question: Then on the congestion pricing, do you feel like it was irresponsible?

Mayor Adams: No. I think the governor, being the chief executive of the country or the state, you have to make tough choices. No matter what choice you make, there’s going to be a large number of people that are going to support and here’s going to be a large number of people that are going to be against. 

We’re opening all of these new bathrooms, and people are, saying, “Well, it’s not the color that I like,” People are holding press conferences because, “why you didn’t do it sooner?” That’s just the nature of being a chief executive. She made a decision. We need to support the governor who, no matter what decision she makes, she’s not a Buffalo-only governor. 

Governor Hochul loves the state. That’s the place that I come from. How do you feel about the state? She loves the state. I love New York City. Do you love helping people? That is where you can’t take that away from the governor. She’ll figure this out with the lawmakers up in Albany.

Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: Yes, how are you?

Question: Good. I have two questions. 

Mayor Adams: Okay. 

Question: Several weeks ago, Politico had a story in which Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said he was alarmed at the number of people in New York City he was meeting that were Trump supporters, and that includes people of color. There’s been a lot of talk about Trump and Republicans trying to make inroads with Black voters. 

I’m wondering if you’ve come across that, too, whether you see a lot more Trump supporters than you might think would happen in a city like New York City. Then, secondly, my colleague today has a story about mopeds in Jackson Heights on their Open Streets. The councilmember there feels that the DOT will do a lot more to prevent that from happening. It seems like the signs just saying no mopeds, it’s not enough. That community is really upset about this.

Mayor Adams: Number one, this is a very opinionated city, and sometimes we don’t realize the various opinions because we don’t ask people what their opinions are. I still think this is a democratic town. I made it clear I support President Biden. I think he has done some very important things from the economy to public safety. Those one or two areas we disagree on, that’s life. I don’t agree with myself all the time. I can’t expect to agree with … 

Question: Do you think one or two areas is what is driving some voters towards Trump?

Mayor Adams: That’s a great question. That’s a great question. Because, believe it or not, some voters are one issue voters, because I’ve had voters who adored me but as soon as we had 200,000 migrants and asylum seekers hit the city and not realizing that, we’re not in control of that until we went to town halls. We walked into town halls where people was, hands crossed, looking at me, saying we’re ready to boo you. Then once we were able to explain to people, we walked out with, lines of let’s take a selfie with this guy. This is a working class guy. 

Misinformation, the lack of information will cause people to have this level of anger. People are angry right now. That is just the reality of, you’re looking at the cost of living in the country, you’re looking at things that feels like it’s beyond your control and that anger comes out in many ways. I’m just hoping New Yorkers make the right decisions as we move forward. Your second question was on?

Question: Mopeds. 

Mayor Adams: I love the fact that there is just a disconnect. Everyday New Yorkers, the Police Department and others, we realize that this is a problem. Yet, you’d be surprised how many people who want to act like this is not a problem. 

When we remove, I think our number is 41,000, 41,000, almost 42,000 we removed off the streets of the City of New York and we have to do more. We need to really look into everything from licenses to if we want to outlaw. We have to look at everything possible to control this menace that has really engulfed our streets. We need to have delivery platforms play a vital role also, they have an obligation. 

We are really, the deputy mayor is really looking into this to see how we can, with the Police Department, monitor the situation.

Deputy Mayor Joshi: I also want to add, we also got a real win in Albany. Limited use mopeds now have to be registered. That’s another hurdle that is presented for people who want to use them illegally. 

The 34th Street Open Street is a real oasis in Queens, which is a borough with very little parkland. We certainly want to work with the community on making sure that it remains an oasis and look at alternatives around where we can have a bike corridor in addition to the enforcement that we’re working on.

Mayor Adams: One of the top issues that all of our town halls, every town hall we did. I don’t know if we had a town, our senior town halls it comes up, our regular town halls it comes up. One of the top issues, people are really concerned, particularly for older adults.

Question: The governor in pausing congestion pricing sites at the city’s economy is not back to pre-COVID levels. You often say the city is back. Who’s right?

Mayor Adams: Listen, the beauty of numbers. No one can argue the success that we have done. Everybody tells, how many years they said it was going to take DM Torres-Springer?

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, Housing, Economic Development and Workforce: One year after we actually reached our milestone, mayor.

Mayor Adams: One year, one year prior, more jobs in the city’s history. Small business jobs are open. How many under our administration? 

Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: More than 40,000. 

Mayor Adams: Under our administration. The economy is revving. Tourism is back. I think last year we had the fourth largest in the city’s history. If you go down to Times Square, the city is humming. Now we have to continue that success. Now is not the time to stop the success. 

We’re pushing through all of these major projects. We are doing so many ribbon cuttings where people are using the space as their corporate headquarters. We’re moving in the right direction. Folks didn’t think we can do it. We cut Black employment by 50 percent, right? Less than 8 percent since 2019 for the first time. 

We don’t want to do anything that’s going to damage the success of the city. Again, the governor is doing a full evaluation. We need to trust her leadership. Trust her leadership. She has really knocked it out of the park. The first female governor in the state of New York is showing what true leadership is about. I trust her leadership.

Question: Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: What’s going on? 

Question: I’m good. How are you? 

Mayor Adams: Good. 

Question: Last week, the City Council passed its advice and consent bill over your protestations. Are you going to veto that measure? I guess, what would be next? 

Then separately, a couple of papers reported over the weekend that a grand jury has been in panel to review evidence of the 2021 part of the investigation into your 2021 campaign. I’m wondering if you or the chief counsel could respond to that?

Mayor Adams: I’m so glad you said me or the chief counsel. Listen, they pass the legislation. The team, we’re talking about the next steps. We have been communicating to see what the next steps are. We say, you know, were clear, we disagree. These are one in a few things, a small number of things that we disagree on, its all right. 

We’re going to decide what the next steps are. Then we move forward from there. Dealing with either… I did the campaign, my counsel, Wilmer Hale, and dealing with what happened in the city services, my counsel, Lisa Zornberg, is responding to that. I have to run the city and that’s what I’m doing. Lisa you want to … 

Zornberg: I’m happy to. The article that you’re referring to over the weekend misunderstands federal practice. In the federal system, subpoenas are served all the time during reviews. They’re a tool to gather evidence. 

After an AUSA issues a subpoena to anyone, whether for documents, whether for testimony, technically, a grand jury review is pending. In reality, that does not mean that a grand jury has heard any evidence or will hear any evidence. Those are two separate things. 

If a subpoena is served, it doesn’t mean remotely in the federal system that a grand jury has been impaneled for that case. The reporting just really misunderstands federal practice and  how it is different from state criminal practice. Thank you.

Deputy Mayor Levy: Lisa, you want to tell us about Grover Cleveland as well? [Laughter.]

Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor. How are you, sir? 

Mayor Adams: Quite well. 

Question: Okay, so I have, I know I’m pushing it, but I have three quick questions. Okay, you’ve had quite a successful legislative session with Tiffany leading the team. 

First question with regards to the minimum wage requirement for child care. How exactly are New York families going to be informed about this? I take it that the governor is going to sign it. Once it is signed, how will it get out to our families that there is no longer that minimum wage for? First question. 

Second question, with regards to the SAFE Act, how is that supposed to be implemented? How are you going to hold the social media companies accountable to implement and execute this SAFE act? 

Then my last and final question is there was an article in The Post over the weekend, Sue Edelman, where she talked about the CBOs. They’re saying that they don’t have security guards or safety agents. We understand they’re private organizations. Mr. Mayor, back in, I think, 2018, you and then Councilman Reynoso signed onto a letter that was pushing and advocating for covering the costs for security guards at charter schools. 

If I’m not mistaken, that law was passed, but they excluded the charter schools but they covered the security costs for yeshivas, parochial schools, madrasas. That was something that you and actually Councilman Reynoso supported. Is that something that you would support covering the cost? Would you again support covering the cost for charter schools as well? Those are my three questions.

Mayor Adams: First, on the getting the information out on the ground, we want to make sure that we have our ethnic media. That’s why we need to make space for you here at City Hall. 

Question: Yes, thank you. 

Mayor Adams: You, you know you were the initiator of that when you came in. I’m really proud of many of the outlets who agreed to share this desk with you as well, because they see how important it is for us to diversify. I’m really proud of them. I always talk bad about them sometimes, but they were so open arms to you, having you come in. Thank you. 

Dealing with the third issue that you were talking about, I believe that I was in support of that. This is a different issue. We’re talking about pre-K, 3-K. Some people have these facilities in their homes. You’re not going to have a school safety agent sitting in the lobby of your building. We don’t have school safety agents on private grounds and locations. 

We want to make sure, there was a group of young people, a small number, who were talking about school safety agents and not wanting school safety agents in their schools at all. There was  some folks who don’t even have children in their schools talking about that as well. 

We know the school buildings and the government facilities, we’re supposed to have school safety agents. It is not realistic that every pre-K, 3-K site that there’s a school safety agent. That’s going to drive up the cost, and it is really not the best use of public safety resources.

Deputy Mayor Levy: They have the question.

Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom: The only thing I’ll say is that you all remember months ago, Commissioner Vasan did a conference with young people to get their information about social media. After that, he issued a health advisory saying that social media, the concerns for it. His plan is about outreach, awareness, and then holding people accountable. 

We had the social media companies come here. We had a conversation with them about what they could be doing differently. It’s my understanding that this act will be signed. We’ll probably have about a couple of months to work on implementation. We’ll continue to work very closely with the governor on that. 

We also, as the city has, also the mayor, taken the lead on the mental health issues of young people. We see suicide ideations. We see the depression, anxiety. We want to work with them. They came in and they said that they wanted to work with us closely. We also did a pending lawsuit, had a lawsuit that we filed. I think all of those pieces together, Mona, go, and we’ll continue to work with the governor very closely on that.

Mayor Adams: Okay, so we, hold on, hold on. Listen, we’re going to need you guys to cooperate. This is, we’re doing a fire drill. We need you to get out that door there so that we can do this direct-to-camera and I can go to my next few events. Okay, Katie? Go.

June 11, 2024 New York

Sources: Midtown Tribune news – NYC.gov
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