Three areas of Mayor Eric Adams’ State of the City address — where he revealed his “Working People’s Agenda” last week — piqued our interest: jobs, safety and housing.
“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.
“You need to be safer, and you need care — not just in crisis, but throughout your lives. These are the things that our administration is working for every day to sustain the workers who make this city possible and build a better city for all.”
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 matching them with training programs, educational institutions and labor unions.
Other key parts of Adams’ agenda include:
• Creating a new nursing education initiative, in partnership with the CUNY, 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 those types of businesses 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 York residents impacted by the “war on drugs” to start new businesses, while increasing enforcement against unlicensed establishments undermining the legal industry.
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 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 York residents from robberies and burglaries — including increasing the New York Police Department’s crime prevention focus on retail theft.
As for housing, Adams plans to help New York residents stay in their homes by investing $22 million in tenant protection programs. The effort would provide more staff members dedicated to investigating and acting out against bad landlords while creating stronger partnerships with community groups and legal services providers to protect tenants from being pushed out of rent-regulated apartments.
The “Working People’s Agenda” sounds like an admirable, yet ambitious effort to better take care of all of Adams’ constituents. But the proof will be in carrying out these plans over the next year. He certainly will need help from his agency and department heads, as well as Albany to do so.
We wish him well. But at the same time, we will watch to make sure he delivers. We plan to hold him accountable as the year rolls out toward the halfway mark of his first term.