Harlem’s Espaillat, Hawk And Others Praise Mayor Adams Working People Agenda

January 27, 2023

NYC Mayor Eric Adams delivered his second State of the City address, outlining a “Working People’s Agenda” focused on delivering jobs, safety, housing, and care for New Yorkers.

New Yorkers and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk today praised the priorities Mayor Adams laid out.

“Congratulations to Mayor Adams on a successful State of the City, highlighting his efforts to keep New York City vibrant and strong,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. “Through a number of key programs, the Adams administration had made tremendous strides to invest in areas of our communities aimed at helping families thrive. I look forward to continuing to work with the mayor and city leaders to highlight these and many other accomplishments throughout the coming year.”

“Mayor Eric Adams has a strong vision for the future of New York City by focusing on the people that make this city run with his Working People’s Agenda, said New York State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. “The four pillars he mentioned during his State of the City address — jobs, safety, housing, and care — and his realistic approach to deal with them, are the foundations for a positive and healthy society. By working together with city, state, and federal representatives, I believe we all can address the real issues that are facing New Yorkers every day and create greater opportunities and hope for everyone across the city.”


“The mayor’s vision for the future of New York City reflects his passion, his determination, his innovation, and his leadership,” said New York State Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein. “I believe that Mayor Adams’ bold and comprehensive Working People’s Agenda is thoughtful and ambitious and can successfully help to overcome many of the city’s challenges. I look forward to a stronger, cleaner, more affordable, and more prosperous New York City with increased public safety and job opportunities for working-class families.”

“In his State of the City address, the mayor spoke directly to the people. He didn’t shy away from the city’s challenges but addressed them directly and laid out the right solutions for our future,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “From creating apprenticeships and good jobs, to ensuring every child can read at grade level, to electrifying vehicles, to establishing new support centers to help those with severe mental illness, his vision will uplift our city. He also is clearly eager and willing to collaborate with all city and state elected officials. I will proudly partner with Mayor Adams every step of the way to ensure his vision becomes reality.”

“This is an exciting time for the Bronx and New York City, as Mayor Adams laid out his vision for 2023, with a focus on jobs, public safety, housing, and health care,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “These are essential issues for our residents and families, many of which are still reeling from the effects of a global pandemic. I want to thank Mayor Adams for his partnership in tackling these important issues and commitment to fighting for equity and fairness across our city. With his support, I know we will continue to move our borough forward.”

“The future well-being of our city requires us to look ahead and think proactively about how we build out the resources and infrastructure for safe, healthy, thriving communities,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Good jobs, dignified housing, accessible care — this is how we address the root causes of the issues facing our city, and I was glad to hear Mayor Adams highlight these upstream solutions rather than responding solely to the symptoms. I look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead to collaborate across all levels of our government on behalf of a safe, equitable, and growing New York City that uplifts all who call it home.”

“Queens is the future of New York City. And Queens fully concurs with Mayor Adams when he says the future of New York City is brighter and the state of our city is stronger than ever before,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “I thank the mayor for coming to Queens to outline his vision for a stronger, fairer city rooted in equity. And I look forward to working with the mayor’s office in the year ahead to help make that vision a reality.”

“The mayor’s State of the City focused on the key issues that we hear from constituents every day — expanding access to good jobs, safe neighborhoods, affordable living, and care for those in need,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. “As the City Councilmember representing Midtown Manhattan, I am excited about the prospects of creating more housing and a safer Midtown core.”

“At the State of the City, the mayor made meaningful commitments across a range of issue areas — transportation, housing, health care, and more,” said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “The Council will continue to work to ensure the city acts on these commitments. As a member of the first women-led Council in the city’s history, I am deeply proud of the work we have achieved in the first year of this administration, and I remain optimistic about New York City’s future. We will keep fighting to guarantee that every single New Yorker benefits from the city’s progress.”

“The mayor has an ambitious agenda to right this ship after we’ve been adrift for so long, but he can’t do it alone,” said New York City Councilmember Joann Ariola. “We need the state and federal government to work with us and help us to make the mayor’s visions a reality. As a member of the New York City Council, I’ll be working hard to make sure that our state and federal partners do their part, and I will ensure that they work with us to help steer New York City back in the right direction.”

“It was great to be with Mayor Adams and my colleagues in Willets Point for the 2023 State of the City, because the future of our city is in our outer boroughs,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “I am glad that his priorities are still hyper-focused on economic and workforce development. With the unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers being more than three times the rate for white New Yorkers, we have to focus in on getting all our city’s residents in good-paying, stable, and protective jobs. That is why I am most excited about his announcement to create 30,000 apprenticeships. These types of programs and investments in workforce are exactly what our city needs. I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Adams and his administration to ensure our economic recovery is an equitable one that is focused on our working-class communities and families.”

“I am thrilled that the mayor and his team are placing a strong emphasis on the North Shore of Staten Island,” said New York City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks. “The mayor has assured me that Staten Island will not be overlooked and has committed to collaborating with me to create a comprehensive master plan for a lively and accessible waterfront, similar to those enjoyed by other parts of New York City. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!”

“Mayor Adams’ State of the City address was a strong reminder of the many challenges our city still faces and a call to action to begin rebuilding after eight years of neglect from the previous administration,” said New York City Councilmember Robert Holden. “I am committed to working with Mayor Adams to ensure these important issues are addressed so that our city can make a comeback.”

“Developing the Apprenticeship Accelerator as outlined in the mayor’s State of the City address is a chance to connect our youth with businesses that are facing talent shortages. This is a great opportunity for young New Yorkers to obtain life-changing work experience in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors and could be a critical part of New York City’s economic engine,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin. “By working with the City Council and our partners in organized labor, we have the opportunity to connect 30,000 New Yorkers to apprenticeships by 2030.”

“The mayor’s State of the City speech covered a wide range of subjects. I especially appreciate the mayor’s focus on health care, particularly women’s health, which has been far too long undervalued,” said New York City Councilmember Lynn Schulman.

“During this year’s State of the City address, Mayor Eric Adams highlighted many initiatives that will directly impact our communities, including districts like mine and those throughout the Bronx,” said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez. “I look forward to bringing the much-needed resources to the Bronx and working alongside the Adams administration to ensure the needs of our community are met.”

“Mayor Adams spoke truthfully and eloquently about the challenges facing our city, and he has proposed a bold agenda to bring back New York,” said New York City Councilmember Kalman Yeger. “We can’t fix problems if we don’t acknowledge they exist. That’s why it is so important that Mayor Adams was forceful about the need to restore public order and to end the inherited anarchy that has plagued our city. The mayor’s 2023 agenda will grow and strengthen our forgotten middle class. He demonstrated his laser focus through his efforts in his first year to restart the economic engine that long ago stalled. Mayor Adams’ 2023 agenda provides a clear pathway to getting stuff done. I hope the Council gets behind the mayor and gives him the support he needs to repair and restore our city.”

Jobs

“We are so excited to hear that the Summer Youth Employment Program is creating an initiative to ensure that LGBTQI youth are able to participate in this opportunity as their authentic selves,” said Amanda Babine, executive director, Equality New York.

“The Jobs Council is excited to support the mayor’s 30,000 New Yorkers to apprenticeships by 2030 target,” said Kiersten Barnet, executive director, New York Jobs CEO Council. “The Apprenticeship Accelerator is an example of how innovative private-public partnerships can work to scale achievable, long-term, and sustainable solutions that benefit both talent and employers.”

“The Center for Planetary Health will create a world-leading bio-innovation community in New York City that anticipates a future grown with biology, not oil,” said David Belt, co-founder and executive chairman, Newlab. “Thanks to Mayor Adams, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Empire State Development, and the Partnership for New York City, emerging companies in the nontherapeutic life sciences sector will be able to access the tools, resources, and community to continue their growth and create jobs and amazing new innovations without leaving the five boroughs.”

“Mayor Adams’ bold plan for the future of New York is what we need, in a post-pandemic recovery, so that every New Yorker has the opportunity for upward mobility,” said Grace Bonilla, president and CEO, United Way of New York City. “Bridging the gap between available jobs and the people who need the skills to obtain these jobs; decriminalizing poverty; ensuring that our youngest New Yorkers are supported and encouraged, regardless of their needs so they can succeed in our school system academically with the right emotional support; ensuring the safety of our communities by also leaning on and investing in community interventions that allow those in the criminal justice system to reintegrate into their communities successfully; and above all, the call to action to every New Yorker to be part of the solution is the exact formula we have stood by at United Way of New York City. We look forward to supporting the mayor, the city, and all New Yorkers as we rise united.”

“These new economic mobility programs announced by Mayor Adams will help New York make vital progress in building a more equitable economy,” said Jonathan Bowles, executive director, Center for an Urban Future. “By investing in an Apprenticeship Accelerator, the CUNY 2x Tech initiative, and programs to connect people with disabilities to quality jobs, the administration is taking important steps to creating an economy where all New Yorkers can get ahead.”

“We are encouraged by the SYEP Pride Initiative,” said Elisa Crespo, executive director, New Pride Agenda. “Lack of gainful employment and workforce development opportunities that are tailored to our community, in particular queer and trans youth of color, continues to be a major issue. We look forward to SYEP Pride becoming a tool that can uplift the economic status of LGBTQ+ youth in New York City.”

“It’s incredibly important to have positive engagement opportunities — such as career and college exploration — for young people during the summer months,” said Danielle Ellman, CEO, Commonpoint Queens. “We know firsthand as the largest Summer Youth Employment Program provider in the city how important linking employment and training opportunities is for young people, and we’re grateful to partner with the city to help reduce summer learning loss in our middle schools.”

“You don’t need to be a millionaire to run a successful cannabis business, but with federal prohibition still in place, access to capital often predetermines who profits and who is left on the outside looking in,” said Damian Fagon, chief equity officer, New York State Office of Cannabis Management. “I applaud Mayor Eric Adams and Dasheeda Dawson for supporting social equity applicants who are only looking for a fair shot and a level playing field. The Cannabis NYC Loan Fund will help turn many dreams into realities and ensure New York’s cannabis industry is open to those most harmed under prohibition.”

“As a longstanding champion for workplace inclusion, the Institute for Career Development is looking forward to partnering with the Center for Workplace Accessibility to amplify the impact of our efforts to support New Yorkers with disabilities displaced by COVID-19,” said Diosdado G. Gica, Ed.D., president of programs and operations, Institute for Career Development.

“The Center for Planetary Health is an important project that will position New York City as a leader in biology as a core technology driving innovation not only in medicine and health care but also in consumer and industrial use cases,” said Maria Gotsch, president and CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City. “City funding has been integral to the rapid growth and success of life sciences in New York. This investment will be an added boon to New York City’s robust biotech sector, creating jobs and ensuring that companies pioneering new sustainability solutions have a place to expand and scale their businesses.”

“Mayor Adams understands that driving our innovation economy forward is critical to the success of our city, and as a hub for research, discovery, and life sciences, the Navy Yard is the perfect location for this investment,” said Lindsay Greene, president and CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “A first-of-its-kind innovation center, this space will not only provide the resources companies and diverse entrepreneurs need to advance their work in food tech, new fashion, or building materials and more, but it will also create jobs for New Yorkers and position our city at the forefront of biotech innovations that improve our planet. We thank the mayor for his leadership and look forward to working with this administration to make this vision a reality.”

“More widespread commitment and attention to workforce development among employers and contractors is key to not only completing key infrastructure projects that are critical to New York’s economic comeback, but also generating more union job opportunities for workers in our local communities,” said Gary LaBarbera, president, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “We applaud Mayor Adams for recognizing this and are excited to partner with the City of New York to expand apprenticeships and create future opportunities for residents to earn and learn on their journey to successful middle-class careers. For many years, labor unions have been the pioneers and stewards of apprenticeship, and we look forward to the broader workforce joining the community of apprentices.”

“Mayor Adams understands how critical CUNY is to help strengthen the city’s workforce and economy and the plans he outlined yesterday draw on our established talent pipelines and commitment to expanding access and opportunity for all New Yorkers,” said City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “These partnerships between the city and its public university system support our shared objectives of a diverse, fully inclusive workforce and an equitable post-pandemic recovery that benefits all New Yorkers. The steps outlined yesterday will leverage CUNY’s established programs to diversify the tech sector, expand the ranks of skilled nurses, provide more students with apprenticeships that are so critical to securing well-paying jobs, and help more New York City residents receive life-altering public benefits. We thank Mayor Adams, a proud CUNY graduate, and his administration for their vision, partnership, and support of our students and public higher education.”

“One in four people live with a disability,” said Nancy D. Miller, executive director and chief executive officer, VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. “However, even with a recent increase in employment of people with disabilities, less than half of people with disabilities seeking work are employed. Many people with disabilities are underemployed at jobs below their capacity or only offered part-time work. It is thrilling that New York City is supporting the Center for Workplace Accessibility and Inclusion. We thank Mayor Adams and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for investing in a goal to connect 2,500 people with disabilities with employment.”

“The New York City Employment and Training Coalition applauds Mayor Adams’ commitment to accelerate and advance apprenticeship and community hiring programs that will help ensure more New Yorkers can access the good-paying jobs they deserve,” said Gregory J. Morris, CEO, New York City Employment and Training Coalition. “Apprenticeships offer an extraordinary opportunity to bridge access to careers in the sectors that will drive our city’s post-pandemic economy. Our coalition looks forward to collaborating with the administration to continue building coherent intersections between workforce development and economic development and to ensure New York City’s job developers and career specialists remain the connective tissue between job seekers and job openings.”

“I believe government spending is a key indicator of what is valued and respected. By establishing the Cannabis NYC Loan Fund, Mayor Adams and his team have taken the steps necessary to demonstrate that building a robust, inclusive, and high-performing cannabis industry for New York City is a high priority,” said Scheril Murray Powell, chief operating office, JUSTÜS Foundation. “I am excited by the thought of what is now possible for small cannabis businesses without entrenched stigma and discrimination blocking their ability to execute on their business plans, acquire real estate, hire and prepare an informed workforce, and expand their businesses. Our city is sending a clear message to the world that we did not come to play with regards to building a strong cannabis infrastructure that is sustainable and accessible to all.”

“As New York Junior Tennis & Learning is committed to serving the needs of youth across all five boroughs, I am extremely pleased to see Mayor Adams’ vision to address the needs of the whole child,” said Udai Tambar, president and CEO, New York Junior Tennis & Learning.  “If children are to be successful, they need access to the types of resources — health care and mental health supports, nutrition education, and career exposure — that will set them up for success not only now but throughout their lives.”

“ExpandED Schools fully endorses the belief that summer should be a time of learning, enrichment, and exploration for our city’s young people, and we are excited to see Summer Rising incorporating career exploration into its program model for middle grades students,” said Saskia Traill, president and CEO, ExpandED Schools.

“For many young people, summer learning and job opportunities are a lifeline. Summer Rising and Summer Youth Employment provide safe, inclusive spaces for all young people to build relationships, develop new skills, and explore career pathways that open doors to future opportunities,” said Andre White, executive director and CEO, Phipps Neighborhoods. “This summer, Phipps Neighborhoods is proud to partner with Mayor Adams and his administration to create supportive, life-changing experiences that set our young people up for long-term success.”

“Until people of color have a seat at the table as active participants in addressing the structural inequities that pervade everything from housing to health care, the racial wealth gap will continue to grow,” said Valerie White, senior executive director, LISC New York. “LISC NY is encouraged that Mayor Adams recognizes and is addressing this ‘disparity within the disparity’ and is hopeful these new M/WBE goals lead to increased opportunities for developers of color, particularly in contributing to meet the urgent need for affordable homes.”

Safety And Quality Of Life

“On behalf of The Skatepark Project and the skaters of New York: Thanks to the community for their vision and hard work to make this announcement possible, and especially to Mayor Adams for listening and recognizing this rare opportunity to keep the Brooklyn Banks legacy alive,” said Tony Hawk, skateboarding legend.

“As a panelist in the ‘New’ New York panel, I was so proud to hear Mayor Adams’ announcement of several recommendations from the ‘Making New York Work for Everyone’ action plan, such as the $375 million investment in new public spaces and permanent Open Streets in all five boroughs, building more housing through ‘City of Yes,’ the investments in quality-of-life initiatives in commercial corridors throughout the city, workforce development with apprenticeships, industry-aligned training, and workplace accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities, and borough-based employment hubs,” said Dr. Debbie Almontaser, CEO, Bridging Cultures Group; and co-founder, Yemeni American Merchants Association. “I was also moved by Mayor Adams’ continued commitment to healthy living access to fresh food, including fruit and vegetables. Yemeni bodegas are ready, willing, and able to join him hand in hand to make sure the fresh food is not only in Park Slope but Brownsville too through the launch of Groceries 2 Go and Green Stands.”

“Three years ago, we announced our commitment to reach 100-percent electric vehicles on the Lyft platform by 2030. We are excited to partner with New York City on our journey,” said Paul Augustine, head of sustainability, Lyft. “New York’s commitment will accelerate an equitable citywide transition to electric, and we’re eager to collaborate with the Taxi and Limousine Commission on an ambitious plan for a rideshare clean miles standard. With smart, targeted investments in incentives and charging infrastructure, we’ll help tear down the barriers that prevent drivers from making the switch to electric — and build a cleaner and more sustainable New York in the process.”

“As New York state traffic law educators, we see how the lack of accountability for individuals who choose to drive dangerously encourages repeat offenses,” said Angela Azzolino, executive director, Get Women Cycling and Commuter U. “Kudos to Mayor Adams and his administration for forming critical partnerships with officials in Albany to focus on driver accountability. Revoking the privilege of driving on city streets and suspending the registration of vehicles to top offenders and aggressive drivers proactively protects New York City’s most vulnerable street users: Those who travel by foot, bicycle, and light vehicles such as scooters and mopeds. Quite simply, fewer cars and responsible driving yields less danger for every New Yorker. We are enthusiastically following the administration’s work on ROADS, public transportation improvements, light vehicle incentives, and their public education and outreach efforts.”

“The designs of New York’s public buildings and spaces are often hampered by the lack of communication between the many city agencies who oversee public works projects,” said Matthew Bremer, president, American Institute of Architects New York. “We are thrilled that the mayor is seeking to create a director of the public realm. This will allow for significantly better communication as our city’s design talent works together with city agencies to finish projects on time and on budget.”

“It’s great to see Mayor Adams investing in our city’s workforce,” said Linda Baran, president, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. “Many small- to mid-sized businesses struggle to hire skilled employees. Focusing on training programs and apprenticeships is essential to meeting industry needs. Neighborhood investments to improve our business corridors and seeking out ways to bring new revenue to local business and M/WBEs is also welcome news.”

“Mayor Adams’ early investments in generating inclusive, future-focused growth through workforce development and M/WBE investments will connect more New Yorkers to opportunity and increase economic mobility, especially for lower-income New Yorkers who have historically been left out,” said Richard R. Buery, Jr., co-chair, “New” New York panel; and CEO, Robin Hood. “Every New Yorker deserves a fair shot at realizing the opportunities that abound in New York. The mayor’s planned investments are a strong down payment on making the promise of opportunity a reality.”

“The mayor’s commitments to the public realm are a victory for every New Yorker,” said Jackson Chabot, director of advocacy and organizing, Open Plans. “We know that Open Streets, outdoor dining, and well-managed public spaces are good for neighborhoods; they boost commerce, increase safety, and create community. This is the way to build a truly forward-thinking, livable city. We’re energized by Mayor Adams’ investment in public space and look forward to working with the administration and agencies to make New York City better together.”

“The public realm investments announced yesterday, including Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan, go a long way to support community building, especially in overlooked BIPOC neighborhoods, such as Chinatown,” said Rosa Chang, co-founder and president, Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan. “We applaud Mayor Adams for his vision and recognition that while people build cities, our public spaces nurture and build people. Restoring public access under the Brooklyn Bridge Park in a community hungry for open space will create opportunities for seniors to play and plant at our intergenerational gardens, residents, and tourists to experience immersive art, and perhaps even allow all who visit to make a new friend. This is what makes New York City great, great spaces for people to linger, gather, and build community.”

“One of the pillars of the plan to ‘Make New York Work for Everyone’ is to reimagine New York’s business districts as vibrant 24/7 destinations,” said Daniel Doctoroff, co-chair, “New” New York panel; and former CEO, Sidewalk Labs. “The mayor’s commitment yesterday to do that by making major investments in public spaces is a huge step to creating the momentum we need to instill confidence and excitement.”

“Wellness in the Schools is grateful to Mayor Adams for prioritizing a whole-child approach to education, with a focus on school meals and physical activity,” said Nancy Easton, co-founder and executive director, Wellness in the Schools. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Office of Food and Nutrition Services to bring scratched-cooked, plant-based, and culturally relevant food to nearly 1 million New York City school children. Expanding our model in the largest school district in the country is a significant step forward in advancing our vision to teach children healthy habits.”

“The New York City BID Association applauds Mayor Adams’ commitment to ensuring our public spaces are vibrant, safe, and reflective of the needs of all stakeholders, from office workers to local families to international tourists,” said David Estrada, executive director, Sunset Park BID; and co-chair, New York City BID Association; and Robert J. Benfatto, president, Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance; and co-chair, New York City BID Association. “As nonprofit partners and passionate neighborhood advocates, we thank the mayor for his Administration’s dedication and attention to detail. We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that New York City leads the country in public realm management.”

“Visitation to New York City rebounded to 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022; however, a key part of a full recovery will include the return of Chinese travelers,” said Charles Flateman, board chair, NYC & Company; and executive vice president, The Shubert Organization.“We applaud the Adams administration for recognizing the importance of investing in tourism from China and other key markets, and yesterday’s commitment will support resources that help ensure New York City remains a top destination for travelers from across the U.S. and the globe.”

“We applaud the mayor’s ambition for reducing emissions, an important goal we share,” said Josh Gold, senior director, public policy and communications, Uber. “Uber has been making real progress to become the first zero-emissions mobility platform in North America, and there’s much more to do. We look forward to working with the TLC to achieve zero emissions in New York City in a way that benefits drivers, riders, and the city.”

“We celebrate Mayor Adams’ commitment to innovative uses of public streets and open space across the five boroughs,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president, Municipal Art Society (MAS). “The appointment to the newly created director of the public realm is a first step in moving this commitment forward into action and is a position MAS has been advocating for with our partners in the Alliance for Public Space Leadership for several years. We look forward to working closely with the new director to reimagine our public spaces and how we develop them for the benefit of all New Yorkers.”

“Mayor Eric Adams understands that there is no economic recovery for New York City if we do not help our small business community,” said Thomas Grech, president and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce. “We enthusiastically support the mayor’s commitment to invest in workforce development for our growing tech sector and other emerging industries, invest in housing and infrastructure in our neighborhoods, and double the city government’s spending with M/WBEs and small businesses. We look forward to working with the mayor and Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Kim to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for Queens’ small business community.”

“The city, through the Department of Small Business Services, has committed vital funding and resources to local development corporations, BIDs, and merchant associations to help our small businesses reemerge stronger in our neighborhoods and commercial corridors in Central Brooklyn,” said Oma S. Holloway, chief operating officer, Bridge Street Development Corporation. “SBS grant initiatives for commercial revitalization, merchant organizing, and repurposing city streets, public plazas, and open spaces for alternative uses, gave our neighborhood small businesses, especially BIPOC businesses, a lifeline and opportunity to survive, thrive, and flourish. This continued, and expanded, investment in our small businesses, workforce, and residents is critical to the health and vitality of our neighborhoods in Brooklyn.”

“There are so many ways we can see the city’s commitment to small businesses and neighborhoods in action,” said Carey King, director, Uptown Grand Central in East Harlem. “From support in keeping our streets more safe and more clean, to interagency action to address complex problems, to investments in community organizations such as ours so that we can even better serve our communities, great work is being done, and we’re excited to do more of it.”

“We applaud Mayor Adams for his work in promoting healthy habits in schools,” said Dr. Pam Koch, faculty director, and Dr. Jen Cadenhead, executive director, The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, and Policy, Teachers College, Columbia University in Harlem. “By giving children access to expanded nutrition education standards and more opportunities for eating fruits and vegetables, he’s helping them make better choices for their health. He knows from his own experience that learning about healthy eating can make a big impact on your life. We’re grateful for his leadership in helping children build a strong foundation for good health.”

“My 24-year-old daughter, Leonora, was needlessly killed by a reckless driver who was very drunk, driving a car full of very drunk passengers,” said Jane Martin Lavaud, member, Families for Safe Streets. “We know how much alcohol impairs driving, and we know that drunk driving destroys families — it’s a problem that’s far from solved. The new proposed BAC limit of .05 in the ROADS package furthers public safety on our streets. Hundreds of New Yorkers are hit and killed on our streets every year, and traffic violence killed 16 children in 2022 alone. We must also do more to invest in safe streets infrastructure across New York City — we know infrastructure is the number one way to save lives.”

“The reimagining of Worth Square and the Flatiron plazas will reclaim this long underutilized public land for people rather than cars,” said Holly Leicht, executive director, Madison Square Park Conservancy. “Live-work neighborhoods that emphasize the importance of the public realm — which includes not just beautiful parks like ours, but also shared streets and pedestrian- and bike-friendly infrastructure — are increasingly not only what New Yorkers want, but what they demand. We are grateful to the Adams administration for championing the public realm, and we look forward to making our shared vision a reality.”

“The ROADS Act will save lives, and we are proud to support it,” said Sara Lind, chief strategy officer, Open Plans. “For too long, our legal system has treated reckless driving — even if it kills people — as just an unfortunate and unpreventable side effect of car culture. These bills will get the most dangerous drivers off our streets and send a strong message that traffic violence will not be tolerated. We look forward to working with local leaders to pass these bills and make the city safer for everyone.”

“Small business is big business in Queens. By investing in our neighborhoods through Department of Small Business Services programs, we are revitalizing the commercial districts of Richmond Hill, Corona, and Astoria,” said Sam Massol, director of neighborhood development, Queens Economic Development Corporation. “We work with all stakeholders to ensure that these communities not only grow but thrive as centers of local commerce, culture, and urban life.”

“We know that there’s a subset of drivers who continue to endanger New Yorkers despite racking up dozens or even hundreds of reckless-driving infractions, and the ROADS package will give the city the tools to get them off the streets before they injure or kill someone,” said Eric McClure, executive director, StreetsPAC. “We look forward to working with the Adams administration and leaders in Albany to pass these crucial bills this session.”

“We are happy to learn and support the mayor’s initiatives regarding removing dangerous drivers from the streets of New York City,” said Sharon McLennon Wier, Ph.D., MSEd., CRC, LMHC, executive director, Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York. “We support any action to ensure that people with and without disabilities are safe to travel on the streets and cross the streets of New York City. People with disabilities need to know that they have the right to navigate down the street with their mobility device and not worry about getting killed by a car, electric bike, or pedestrian. People with disabilities are constantly trying to overcome the barriers and systemic ablism that, at times, causes a person with a disability to isolate and live fearfully because these barriers cause exclusion from the environment. We all need to live in a safer New York City.”

“We applaud Mayor Adams’ investment in the long-awaited reconstruction of the Flatiron Public Plazas and Worth Square, and the Broadway Vision Plan in NoMad,” said James Mettham, president, Flatiron NoMad Partnership. “These kinds of investments, as well as the mayor’s plan to appoint a director of the public realm, are critical to creating vibrant public spaces that support New Yorkers’ well-being and enhance our city’s economic and cultural vitality. We look forward to working with our public and private partners on advancing these projects that will firmly position Flatiron and NoMad as a model mixed-use, live-work, and resilient neighborhood at the heart of a better New York City.”

“The mayor’s commitment to transforming the public realm is a big win for Downtown Brooklyn and the city as a whole,” said Regina Myer, president, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Reinvigorating our commercial corridor on Fulton Street is essential to the success of Downtown Brooklyn, and the mayor’s visionary approach to rethinking our streetscape will not only make our neighborhood more livable for all, but also ensures our streets and sidewalks are designed to serve the people using them. We look forward to partnering with the administration on implementing a public realm roadmap that can serve as a model for business districts across the country.”

“Making the streets of New York City safer and more enjoyable for pedestrians and cyclists is a top priority to reduce deaths and keep our city safe for all,” said Felicia Park-Rogers, director of regional infrastructure projects, Tri-State Transportation. “Better enforcement of repeat offenders and dangerous drivers, in addition to redesigning our streets under the mayors’ Streets Plan, is an important piece of achieving Vision Zero.”

“Live, work, and play communities have proven to be the most resilient coming out of COVID,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “The Adams administration is making unprecedented neighborhood investments that will transform our communities in lasting ways that make them more livable, workable, and engines for future growth.”

“Enforcement of traffic laws goes hand in hand with street and other infrastructure improvements when it comes to increasing safety on our roads,” said Ken Podziba, president and CEO, Bike New York. “We appreciate Mayor Adams and his administration for working with partners in Albany to ensure that dangerous drivers are held accountable and that reckless driving is a priority, with the goal of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists being able to navigate New York City’s streets without fear.”

“We support the efforts of Mayor Adams to further protect New Yorkers who just want to walk or roll from one place to another safely,” said Joe Rappaport, executive director, Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled. “We urge Albany legislators to take them up swiftly.”

“Enhancements in the public realm are a key, but often overlooked, element of the city’s economic health,” said Laura Rothrock, president, Long Island City Partnership. “The Long Island City Partnership, which represents one of the city’s major employment hubs, applauds Mayor Adams and the administration for their focus on improving the city’s public realm to boost our economic recovery.”

“Small businesses are integral to the fabric of New York City,” said Lisa Sorin, president, Bronx Chamber of Commerce. “The Bronx Chamber of Commerce values deep investment in innovative programs like the M/WBE program, which creates a pipeline of opportunities for both emerging and established entrepreneurs. These programs are on the front line of our city’s recovery and set a national example for small business development. We warmly welcome and thank Mayor Adams and his initiatives and look forward to a robust implementation dialogue.”

“We asked and they listened!” said Julie Tighe, president, New York League of Conservation Voters. “The New York League of Conservation Voters is thrilled that Mayor Adams and Commissioner Tisch have announced the rollout of a citywide curbside composting program. There’s more work to do to get all New Yorkers to compost their food waste, but yesterday’s announcement is a major step toward reaching zero waste. And the proof is positive: In just three months in Queens, curbside composting kept 12.7 million pounds of yard and food waste out of our landfills. Expanding this program citywide means less greenhouse gasses escaping into the atmosphere and less garbage on the street — good news for the environment, bad news for the rats.”

Housing

“On behalf of the 1.3 million freelancers in New York City, Freelancers Union commends Mayor Eric Adams and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection on their efforts to continue providing much-needed resources to the independent workforce,” said Rafael Espinal, president, Freelancers Union. “Providing free tax prep for freelancers will tear down the barriers to entry and financial burdens of the complicated tax system for the self-employed. Through the pandemic, it was clear that more work needs to be done across the country to support all workers. This administration continues to ensure New York City stays the freelance capital of the United States.”

“Facing a historic crisis, New York City needs to find new ways to increase housing supply, and rezoning to add housing in Midtown Manhattan and on Staten Island’s North Shore should be a crucial component of our citywide strategy,” said Rachel Fee, executive director, New York Housing Conference.

“In the face of sustained high need at food assistance programs throughout New York City, we are grateful to Mayor Adams and his administration for their commitment in helping food-insecure New Yorkers by nourishing them today and building a food secured tomorrow,” said Leslie Gordon, president and CEO, Food Bank for New York City. “With pillars focusing on the expansion of poverty-fighting and economy-driving free tax preparation programs, ensuring New Yorkers have access to healthy and nutritious foods, and a focus on our children’s holistic development, we’re extremely hopeful for positive change ahead. Food Bank for New York City looks forward to partnering with Mayor Adams and his team in support of these important initiatives.”

“Far too many hard-working New Yorkers miss out on receiving refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit every year because they do not have the means or resources to file their tax returns,” said David R. Jones, president and CEO, Community Service Society of New York. “By expanding the access of low-income New Yorkers to free tax preparation services, the city would be helping many individuals and households improve their tax refunds and perhaps bring them one step closer to economic security.”

“Mayor Adams’ commitment to expanding affordable housing production in Midtown Manhattan and the North Shore of Staten Island brings the city one step closer to creating the housing New Yorkers need — and where they need it,” said Jolie Milstein, president and CEO, New York State Association for Affordable Housing. “When realized, this plan can help expand housing production in neighborhoods with zoning that restricts residential development and limits overall housing supply. We look forward to seeing how affordable housing investments are prioritized in this year’s budget and collaborating with the Adams administration to ensure New Yorkers are connected with safe, affordable homes.”

“Big Apple Connect is a very important program for NYCHA residents,” said Ciprian Noel, tenant association president, of Langston Hughes Houses. “This program’s expansion will allow more folks who are struggling with the impacts of inflation to have free online access while spending those savings on other necessities such as groceries. Personally, Big Apple Connect has allowed me to stay in touch with my children attending college out of state and also provided my children at home the necessary tools to complete school assignments. I thank Mayor Adams for understanding the importance of internet access for public housing residents and for his vision in creating this excellent program.”

“The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is very proud of its longstanding partnership with the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), and we are very excited for the new tax program expansions that are taking place,” said Michele L. Page, director, Area 2, Stakeholder Partnerships, Education, and Communication, IRS. “DCWP has a tremendous positive impact on New York City communities, and they play a vital role in providing New York City residents with essential resources and services.”

“As New York City’s first all-electric rideshare service, we know Mayor Adams’ ambitious plan to electrify the for-hire-vehicle industry is both doable and essential. This is what real leadership looks like,” said Frank Reig, CEO & co-founder, Revel. “Revel will be increasing the amount of fast charging stalls six-fold over the next two years in neighborhoods where drivers live and work, making owning and operating an electric vehicle a reality for the industry.”

“The 5 Borough Housing Movement supports New York State and New York City changing outdated laws that prevent housing from being built during our housing crisis,” said John Sanchez, executive director, 5 Borough Housing Movement. “Mayor Adams’ announcement of beginning the community planning process to allow more housing in Midtown Manhattan, including through office conversions, is exactly the type of action New Yorkers are seeking when looking for housing options and to remain in New York. We are excited that there is a growing chorus of support for allowing more housing to be built for New Yorkers across the five boroughs.”

“Mayor Adams’ sharp focus on safety, jobs, housing, and public space can expedite New York City’s full economic recovery,” said James Whelan, president, of REBNY. “It will be vital for state and city officials to work together on sensible and effective policies to help address the city’s worsening housing supply crisis and other pressing economic challenges. We applaud the mayor and his team for their continued leadership and commitment to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for our great city.”

New York City’s long-term prosperity is crucial to the entire nation’s ongoing economic recovery. Yesterday, Mayor Adams reaffirmed his commitment to the city’s future with bold ideas,” said Tom Wright, president and CEO of, Regional Plan Association. “We applaud Mayor Adams’ plan to address the city’s housing and affordability crises head-on by updating obsolete zoning codes and streamlining permitting to increase housing production across all five boroughs, as outlined in his ‘City of Yes’ initiative. We are also pleased to see his commitment to making the Open Restaurants program permanent, adding significant open space in every borough, expanding and connecting bike lanes, and investing in offshore wind. We look forward to working with the Adams administration to deliver on these priorities in the coming year.”

CARE

“Mercato shares the mayor’s dedication to increasing access to fresh, healthy, culturally appropriate, and affordable foods to residents all across New York City,” said Bobby Brannigan, founder and CEO, of Mercato. “As the son of an independent grocer in Brooklyn, I know firsthand how important local grocers are to the economic and social well-being of their communities. Groceries 2 Go will enable residents to order nutritious foods online from their favorite local markets, improving community health, creating local jobs, and supporting small businesses.”

“The Groceries 2 Go program announced in yesterday’s State of the City address will help food-insecure New Yorkers with hypertension, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases afford and access healthy food,” said Nevin Cohen, director, of CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute; and associate professor, CUNY School of Public Health. “The program is especially important for low-income households that struggle to afford rising food costs, and mobility-impaired New Yorkers and those who live far from full-service supermarkets. By reducing barriers to online grocery shopping, programs like Groceries 2 Go help to reduce inequities in food access and food insecurity.”

“We appreciate the mayor’s focus on the need for mental health supports throughout New York City, with particular attention to community-based interventions that take a holistic approach to recovery,” said Juliet Douglas, CEO, of Venture House. “As the second largest provider of Clubhouse services in New York, Venture House is proud to be part of the solution to the mental health crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic. The Clubhouse approach is successful because it promotes wellness through action, preserves individual dignity, provides opportunities for people to make meaningful contributions, find purpose, and quality of life. When we work together, our city thrives.”

“As a longtime member of Fountain House and former member of its board of directors, I’m thrilled to see the City of New York commit to expanding Clubhouse programs,” said Cyrus Napolitano, co-director, of Clubhouse New York Coalition. “Scaling Clubhouse services will ensure more New Yorkers living with serious mental illness are served by this lifesaving recovery model and finally receive the type of comprehensive care that can make a difference.”

“We applaud Mayor Adams’ commitment to addressing the needs of all New Yorkers in his State of the City address,” said Jilly Stephens, CEO, of City Harvest. “City Harvest looks forward to working alongside the mayor and City Council to ensure that New York is a more affordable and livable city for all, especially those facing economic barriers and food insecurity. We were encouraged by many of the strategies outlined by the mayor yesterday, including his promise to pursue legislation that allows New Yorkers to keep public benefits for up to six months after they accept a new job, as well as his commitment to expand healthy food incentive programs like the Groceries 2 Go Program and Health Bucks. Millions of New Yorkers facing food insecurity need exactly those types of smart, strategic, effective policies to get the support they need to thrive.”

“We appreciate Mayor Adams’ important commitment to support and expand Clubhouses for persons with serious mental illness and look forward to working with his administration to advance this proven model of care,” said Ken Zimmerman, CEO, Fountain House. “The evidence is clear: Community-centered approaches that support persons with serious mental health conditions, including Clubhouses, can improve lives, reduce hospitalization and jail use, while saving taxpayers money. As Mayor Adams recognizes, these measures are a critical building block for the compassionate, comprehensive, and cost-effective care we need to address our mental health crisis and will pay untold dividends for our community and for our city.”

Photo credit: Adriano Espaillat, Wikipedia.


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