City leaders were excited to hear Mayor Eric Adams focus on jobs, housing and tenants rights, and public safety during his second State of the City address in Queens last week.
“Mayor Eric Adams today laid out his comprehensive vision for the city, with an emphasis on fairness and equity,” Bronx borough president Vanessa Gibson said in a prepared statement. “His ‘Working People’s Agenda,’ with a focus on jobs, public safety, housing, and healthcare, will be successful in seeing our residents and families rebound from a slow economy caused by Covid-19.”
The mayor’s agenda includes some issues on the minds of those living in greater Riverdale. Both businesses and prospective employees are eager to be recipients of Adams’ apprenticeship accelerator, nurse education initiative, community college technology education program and minority contracting efforts.
Through the accelerator program, Adams hopes to connect some 30,000 residents to apprenticeships by 2030. It would expand such programs for youth and adults by
“You need good jobs and pathways to get those jobs, and those jobs need to be able to support a home for you and a family,” Adams said at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
Other key parts of Adams’ agenda regarding jobs include:
• Creating a new Nursing Education Initiative, in partnership with the City University of New York, to support 30,000 current and aspiring nurses over the next five years to enter the nursing workforce, stay in the profession, and climb the career ladder
• Doubling the city’s current rate of contracting with minority- and women-owned business enterprises and award $25 billion in contracts to M/WBEs over the next four years and $60 billion over the next eight years
• Expanding the CUNY2x Tech program to more campuses — including community colleges — with a focus on institutions serving first-generation college students and communities of color
• Supporting the city’s growing legal cannabis industry by launching a new loan fund to help more New Yorkers impacted by the “War on Drugs” to start new businesses, while increasing enforcement against unlicensed establishments undermining the legal industry.
Housing seems to be an even bigger issue for the city leadership.
“As we seek to address a dire housing crisis, it is imperative that we advance comprehensive neighborhood planning that helps us build more affordable housing for New Yorkers at an increased pace with equity,” City Council speaker Adrienne Adams said in a statement. “Mayor Adams’ administration and council members working collaboratively on planning and building housing, as well as the announced investments in tenant protections, represent significant steps forward in our efforts.”
Gibson and city public advocate Jumaane Williams agree the mayor’s promise to help tenants fighting evictions and bad landlords is important to many residents.
“As a co-sponsor of the Right to Counsel legislation in the New York City Council, I was pleased to hear the mayor is investing $22 million for additional staff to investigate tenant complaints and enforcement against bad landlords,” Gibson said.
Williams included landlord issues as part of a wish list of fixes the city needs.
“I appreciate the mayor’s commitment to cracking down on bad landlords, supporting violence prevention programs, promoting economic justice efforts and job growth,” he said.
The safety and quality of life part of the mayor’s agenda has some items greater Riverdale residents should be happy to hear since they address two troubling areas: rising retail shop crime and traffic infractions. The mayor plans to:
• Work with partners in Albany to advance a package of six bills called Removing Offenders and Aggressive Drivers from Our Streets to increase penalties for serious crashes, running red lights, and impaired driving. This follows a year where the mayor turned on the speed cameras around the clock and recorded a 25 percent decrease in speeding.
• Supplement the city’s focus on the most violent offenders by redoubling efforts to protect New Yorkers from robberies and burglaries — including increasing the New York Police Department’s crime prevention units’ focus on retail theft.