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Eric Adams

In Eric Adams’s New York, Almost Everything Is Going in the Wrong Direction

It's now harder to get food benefits, walk safely, use a public pool, or enroll your kid in pre-K.

5:26 PM EDT on September 18, 2023

(Benny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office)

Since time immemorial, New Yorkers have demanded "accountability" from their elected officials. But for decades, the mayoral response had traditionally been, "Get outta my business, you nosy freaks." That's why, in the late 1970s, the City Charter was amended by a commission to require mayors to provide an annual Mayor's Management Report, a sort of "public report card" meant to give a snapshot of how our government is actually operating, and whether the City is improving or sliding backwards on issues like safety, social services, and discriminatory policing. 

Some mayors, like the media-savvy Michael Bloomberg, turned the release of the MMR into a multi-day affair, complete with the mayor and his various commissioners walking New Yorkers through the ins and outs of the data in the report via PowerPoint. Bill de Blasio would take questions about the report, and he even added ideology-driven context to its preface, explaining or interpreting the data. Current Mayor Eric Adams? Well, he's not saying much. In addition to dumping this year's MMR on a Friday evening of a major Jewish holiday, the mayor hasn't yet held a press conference allowing for questions related to the report, despite doing tons of public appearances since then. 

Then again, if these were the numbers we'd generated during our first full year in office…well, maybe we wouldn't be up for taking questions either. 

Let's take a look at how the City fared during its 2023 fiscal year, which ran from July 2022 to June 2023, compared to the year prior:

Bike fatalities were up almost 40 percent, while the number of new protected bike lanes were down by 19 percent. The total number of new bike lanes (protected or not) were down by 22 percent as compared to last year. Moving summonses issued by the NYPD are up, but are only at half of what they were five years ago. One more pedestrian died on city streets than last year's total, for a total of 114 deaths. NYC Ferry saw an 18 percent rise in ridership

Murders are down, but felonies, rapes, assaults, burglaries, and grand larceny are up. The NYPD is now two minutes slower to respond to crimes-in-progress. The number of quality-of-life summonses given out for low-level offenses is up 100 percent. Spending on overtime for the NYPD was up over 10 percent. Eighteen percent more people were sent to Rikers Island. Only 82 percent of detainees on Rikers Island were brought to court on time, which is down 13 percent as compared to when Adams took office. 

The number of students in pre-K in the city has leveled out after dropping 14 percent from admissions under the previous administration. But the number of people in the Summer Youth Employment Program, which helps teens find jobs, was up by 18 percent. The rate of timely food stamp processing nosedived to 39.7 percent, down from 91.9 percent when Adams took office. The number of people enrolled in Fair Fares, which offers reduced-price MetroCards, rose eight percent. Fifteen percent more people are living on city streets

Total affordable housing units starting construction were up by 31 percent, and the number of units specifically for homeless individuals and families was up 36 percent. At the same time, the affordable housing lottery got harder, with only 32 percent of completed units processing lottery winners within six months, and the average processing time of a lottery winner to determine eligibility ballooned to well over six months. On average, it now takes the City eight months to place a homeless family in new construction built for homeless people. The number of homeless people placed in permanent housing increased by 140 percent. The time it took to address emergency complaints in the City's affordable housing increased by 38 percent. It now takes over a year for NYCHA to fix vacant apartments

The number of department trials against NYPD officers accused of misconduct that were administratively closed out skyrocketed by 66 percent, as then-Commissioner Keechant Sewell went on a leniency spree. Citations issued to private waste haulers for breaking City laws were up over 150 percent. Tree pruning was down 35 percent since 2019. Attendance at the City's public outdoor pools was down 12 percent. 

Earlier this month, Mayor Adams proposed cutting the City budget by up to 15 percent.

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