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NYC Mayor Adams Calls In For Live Interview On GMGT Live’s “The Reset Talk Show”

Mayor Adams recently appeared on GMGT Live’s “The Reset Talk Show,” discussing his recent visit to Rome, highlighting the intersectionality of Abrahamic religions and commending the Pope for bringing global communities together. He also emphasized New York City’s diversity, likening it to various cities around the world, and addressed issues such as the desecration of national symbols, economic recovery efforts, and combating retail theft through innovative pilot programs.

Patricia Cummings: Good morning, Sir. Good morning, Mayor Adams, or buongiorno, as they would say in Rome. How are you doing today? 

Mayor Eric Adams: Quite well, quite well. It was, as many of you know, it was a very, not only enjoyable, but a monumental visit for me. I was in Rome over 30 something years ago, if not longer. I had the opportunity to do a walk through the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican on a normal tour.  

This time, superseded that, having an opportunity to visit the Pope and other Nobel Laureates who were there for a conference of almost a human fraternity conference where we could all come together and deal with the major issues that we are facing globally.  

Not only that, as an added treat, I was able to go to visit one of the mosques that was in Rome, and it’s actually the largest mosque in Europe. We were able to spend some time, a few hours over in the ancient Jewish ghetto. I didn’t even know, I learned later that Jews were placed in this ghetto with a gate around it for over 300 years when the determination was made that they could not move freely throughout Rome. For over 300 years, they were placed in this ghetto. By sunset, they had to always return after working during the day.  

It just shows you the intersectionality of Abrahamic religions. Not only the Vatican was there, but this major mosque for Islam and a major community where Judaism was very much part of it. It just shows that as far as we have come, we have a long way to go. 

I really want to commend the Pope for bringing us together. I like to say at family reunions, we often come together during tragic moments. He brought us together as a family reunion of some sort so we could deal with the global issues.  

Cummings: Wonderful. Thank you for sharing, Mayor Eric Adams. In relation to your visit to Rome, you referred to New York as the Rome of America. Could you elaborate on that, please? 

Mayor Adams: Yes. What I like to do, whenever we interact with the various communities and groups, I like to highlight and show the diversity of our city.  

We have the largest Caribbean diaspora outside of the Caribbeans itself in New York. If I’m at a Haiti event, I’m going to say we are the Port-au-Prince of America. If I’m at a Chinese event, I say we are the [Beijing] of America. If I’m at a Greek event, we’re at the Athens of America. New York represents the diversity. We have the largest population of Italians here in New York City so we’re the Rome of America.  

When you look at our populations, we are so proud of our heritage of the very few groups and countries and cultures live other places than in New York. I don’t know if we realize that, but I like to remind us over and over again, and so whenever you hear me use that comment, there’s a nice little video out there of somebody hears me say it over and over again,  

I was just at an event, a Brazilian event, and I shared with them we’re the Brasilia of America because we have the largest Brazilian population in America, lives in New York. That’s my symbol of saying to all the groups, no matter who you are, you are strongly represented in New York City. 

Cummings: Absolutely. New York City is one of the most diverse places, and that is one of its greatest, that is one of the factors that makes it one of the greatest place on the earth.  

I have another question for you, Mayor Adams, which is slightly moving away from your visit to Rome. Recently, you offered $5,000 as a reward to anyone with reliable information regarding the desecration of one of New York’s national symbols. Please explain what motivated you to do that and the message that New Yorkers should take away from your decision. 

Mayor Adams: Yes. Someone during the protests desecrated a statue located at Central Park, in Central Park, and they put everything from stickers on there to graffiti on there. Automatically, I thought about last year, finding out about a real impactful moment in my life when I was notified as a child that my uncle Joe died in Vietnam. He was only 19, and he fought for this country.  

That statue at Central Park was one of the rare statues that was not made up of generals and admirals. It was made up of the everyday soldier, the person who places his or her life on the line. When you desecrate our symbols in this country, you’re no longer protesting for what you believe in. You are attacking what we believe in.  

I am a believer of this country, and we’re not perfect. There are many things we could do differently. We know about the dog pass and the civil rights movement. We know of the women’s suffrage movement. We know what we’ve done to the indigenous people. We have many things we should be ashamed of, but we have a lot that we should be proud of.  

This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Those who want to destroy America, many come from countries where they don’t even have the right to protest the right. Here, you have the right to protest the right. I wanted to send a strong message to anyone who can lead us to the arrest and conviction of the person who desecrated the statue and another statue down on 57th Street, I believe it was, that I was putting up $5,000 of my personal money for the arrest and conviction of the person involved. 

The Police Department was able, from an accumulation of tips, video surveillance, and other information, we were able to make the apprehension. This came off the heels of the Police Department dealing with the issues that were taking place on college campuses. I want to be clear. I have protested in my life for apartheid, for unjust police shootings, for hospitals being unjustly closed.In the protests, we’ve never called for the destruction or the annihilation of groups like we’re seeing now, but what I believe are outside agitators that are sparking much of this.  

Hate cannot be a way of framing your concern. Then I say to many of us, we need to be clear and consistent, which I am. Not only do I don’t want to see innocent children killed in Palestine, I don’t want to.  

I’ve been talking about it for the longest, we need to look at what’s happening in Sudan. Thousands, hundreds of thousands of people are dying. What’s taking place in the Ukraine war? What’s taking place in Haiti? How can we sit back right in our hemisphere and allow this to continue to happen to Haiti and remain silent? What’s taking place in Yemen? The war in Yemen is taking innocent lives.  

We cannot just talk about ending war in one area. We need to say war no more globally. That’s what I stand for. I’m going to be consistent on that. 

Cummings: Thank you, sir. At this time, I would like to bring in Nicole Jordan-Martin. Nicole is the CEO of New York City Health and Hospitals Community Outreach. Nicole, would you like to pose a question to our mayor? 

Nicole Jordan-Martin: Good morning, Nurse Adams. Good morning, Mayor Adams. It’s great to see you. I’m sorry, Nurse Cummings.  

Mayor Adams: It’s all good, I always wanted to be a nurse.  

Jordan-Martin: Good morning, Nurse Cummings. Good morning, Mayor Adams. It’s great to hear from you, and it’s great to hear you had such an amazing trip to Rome. We are really seeing a lot of changes, and I’m excited for the summer here in New York City.  

I know that you’re a big proponent of rebuilding our economy here. We’re just we’re hearing a lot about what’s happening here. Congestion pricing, how is that going to impact our economy? Workplaces, are people coming back? What’s going to happen? Yet I see a lot of activity, which makes me happy to see so many people out and about across the city. Can you give us a bit of an update on the economic recovery and where we are at this moment? 

Mayor Adams: Great question. As you are aware, and as you just mentioned, number one, we announced that we have broken another job record level. We have more jobs in the city now in the history of the city. Let’s just settle in.  

We did something else because we knew that there was a level of inequality when it came down to unemployment. When I took office January 1st, 2022, Black unemployment was four times the rate of white unemployment. We have cut that in half for the first time since 2019. Black unemployment is under 8 percent. We did not do it by sitting back and waiting for people to come and find jobs.  

We started to do our New York City jobs initiatives and our hiring halls. We went into communities and showed people what the possibilities were. We held their hands and brought them each level and step of the way to get them employed. We’re seeing the results of that.  

We have really been able to carry out many major projects that have been lingering for years. New York City has almost become a place where the graveyards of good ideas and projects were buried. We were able to turn around the Willets Point project, 2,500 units of affordable housing, 100 percent affordable housing, a soccer stadium, a new school, new open screen spaces.  

We were able to turn around SPARC Kips Bay, where we’re doing life sciences, thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in economic stimulus. We just announced a few days ago the Brooklyn Marine Terminal. They’ve been trying to do this for years. We were able to get it done. The site is turned over to the city. We’re going to develop the port aspect of it, but also we’re going to be building affordable housing. It’s going to revitalize the Sunset Park area.  

When you just continue to see how we’re, we like to call ourselves the finishers. Many people try these initiatives, but we’ve been able to bring together all of the different personalities and levels of government, an amazing partnership with our state lawmakers, our city lawmakers, and with the governor as the leader of the state.  

We’ve been able to get these projects out of the graveyard, resuscitate them, and it’s going to bring in not only economic development, but also good paying sustainable jobs in the process.  

Jordan-Martin: Thank you, Mayor Adams.  

Mayor Adams: Thank you. 

Cummings: Pastor Straker, kindly pose a question to Mayor Adams. 

Pastor Louis Straker Jr.: Good morning, Mr. Mayor. Thank you so much for being on with us. I can hear that you look congested there. Thank you for even pressing through and being with us here this morning.  

I know you’ve been busy. It’s been a lot. We haven’t had a chance to talk to you since the most recent university protests and all the things that were going on there. I know your hands were full. I want to know and I actually have two questions I want to steal from you.  

What can be done by universities, along with the NYPD, or even just citizens now that school is pretty much over to protect the rights, the First Amendment rights of students who want to lawfully protest? I’m not talking about outside agitators. I’m talking about students that may not even antisemitic, but just anti-war that want to protest peacefully.  

What can be done to protect their rights, and also at the same time, protecting the rights of Jewish people here in America? What can be done from the university standpoint? What can be done and along with NYPD, just so that everybody has a place to express their rights in America but do so safely?  

Mayor Adams: The right to protest your right is part of the cornerstone of this country. As I stated, I have not only protested, but I’ve also protected protesters. There have been days during my career as a police officer, where I will be protecting protesters while on duty, change my uniform, and then go out and participate in the protests.  

I know what it is to stand up for what you believe is right and to fight for that. We have done it successfully. We’ve had over 2,000 protests since October 7th. 2,000 protests. People have been able to voice their rights. People have been able to raise their voices. We’re going to continue to allow them to do so.  

The level of leniency that the Police Department has displayed, as well as a level of understanding that this is who we are as Americans, and we’re going to continue to do that. A student has a right to do that. Unfortunate, it’s unfortunate that even people have a right to say hateful things. That’s protected under our constitution. What you don’t have the right to do is to destroy property, to break into a building, to assault people because of who they are. 

It doesn’t matter if someone assaulted one of my Sikh brothers and sisters, if someone assaults someone of the LGBTQ+ community, of the Jewish community, the African American, the AAPI violence, that is not protesting. That’s a crime. That’s hate. People will be held accountable for that. We are going to always be a place where you have a right to protest the right. That is what the Police Department has done.  

What played out on the college campuses was that the students who were there went against what the college authorities put in place. It was so much negotiation. I take my hat off to these presidents for the level of patience that they displayed because they wanted to find a middle ground. Once someone broke into the Hamilton building, and those who were part of the staff there was really threatened, they took the right actions.  

We cannot go into a college campus without the president’s authority or the board’s authority. We spoke with them. Once they gave us the okay to do so, we did it using the minimum amount of force that is possible. That’s what was taking place.  

I will say, I was just heartened by some of the paraphernalia that I saw there. When you talk about “Destroy America,” when you talk about the extermination of groups of people, I don’t like that type of protest, but you got a right to do so. It’s not what I stand for. I don’t think it’s what the overwhelming number of Americans stand for.  

Our young people, in many cases, they’re in a stage when you can be influenced easily. It’s imperative for us to balance out those who call for the destruction of our country. We have to balance out that we’re showing how much this country has given far too many people the benefits to participate in the American dream.  

It’s a real dream. That dream is alive. I know it so well. You can’t go from being in the mail room and then being the mayor, only in America, only in New York. 

Pastor Straker: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Just one more question. I go into the drug stores, and just to get a toothpaste, it’s locked up. Just to get anything, it’s locked up. Can you tell us about your new pilot program to combat retail theft?. 

Mayor Adams: Yes, so important. You’re right. Retail theft is not a victimless crime. People need to understand that. A lot of it, we’re finding, is part of organized crime that are selling these products online and through warehouses.  

What we announced yesterday at the 125th Street BID, and with other BIDs, we’re going to be using technologies where an inexpensive way of tapping into pre-existing camera systems to have police be able to monitor the activities externally of someone that’s participating in a retail theft.  

We’re finding the faster we make the apprehension, the more we can prevent repeated offense. Think about this for a moment. 542 people are responsible for 30 percent of the thousands of retail theft arrests. 542 people have been arrested over 7,600 times. This is going to help us zero in and give people help when they need help.  

Some people are stealing for many different reasons. We want to identify those reasons, give people the support they need, and go after those who are part of organized crime. This is a good initiative. Hats off to Deputy Mayor Banks, who worked this through.  

This is similar to what I did as the board president with Safe Shop, my Safe Shopper initiative, is using partnership with our retailers to stop the billions of dollars that they’re hemorrhaging from items being stolen off their shelves.  

Inconvenience for you and me, when you got to wait for someone to unlock your toothpaste or your shaving cream. It’s inconvenient to our elders who have to take the bus to another location because a local drugstore closed down and they can’t get their medication if they need it in their community. We believe that this is a way to take another bite out of crime.  

Pastor Straker: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Be well.  

Mayor Adams: Thank you.  

Cummings: Thank you, Mayor Adams,for joining us. We always appreciate your time. We know you’re a very busy man. Thank you so much for gracing us with your presence. 

Mayor Adams: Thank you. Take care.

May 17, 2024 Manhattan NY

Source: Midtown Tribune news – NYC.gov
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