Over the summer, as thousands of migrants were bused to New York from border states, deep flaws in the City's own shelter system were exposed. There had already been a staff shortage leaving shelter intakes backed up—the bureaucratic system was unable to quickly accommodate families, and because of a lack of staffing, there had also been a long delay in getting people who had been in shelters for months on their way to more permanent housing. As the City struggled to find space for people, the mayor kept calling for more help from the federal government, but refused to change much about how the City did business in its shelter system, instead seeking changes to its decades-old "right to shelter" agreement.
While the Adams administration opened new emergency intake shelters, and quickly requisitioned hotel rooms to place arriving families, the administration hatched, almost overnight, a new plan for where asylum seekers would go: a large tent. First, the tent was to be built on a parking lot near Orchard Beach, but when that tent flooded during a light rain, that tent was moved (at great expense!) to a new location on Randalls Island (also, conveniently, in a flood zone).
But ultimately the tent plan was all for naught. Eventually federal officials did help the City, but not with emergency aid or by stopping border politicians from illegally bussing people to the northeast. Instead, the Biden administration simply reinstated a Trump-era policy that barred Venezuelans from entering the United States, leaving them homeless in dangerous Mexican border cities. On Thursday, City Limits's David Brand reported that the tent on Randalls Island would be coming down, as the number of migrants being bused has slowed and more hotel sites have been found.
The government of New York City, which prides itself on being a welcoming home for immigrants looking to start a new life, somewhat failed the test—its understaffed shelter system, combined with a maniacal bent towards creating newly homeless people, couldn't provide timely shelter for these families. Many New Yorkers, however, stepped up in every way—trying to feed, shelter, and coordinate travel for as many people as they could. This won't be the last influx of migrants (this is what our city is built on, after all), but the City's government needs to look deeply at what went wrong this time, and why a useless tent was built, while apartments sat empty.
Some links to start your Veterans Day!
—New York's Democratic Party, which will most likely cost the entire Democratic party control of the House of Representatives, is going down a path of deep introspection. Just kidding! They think everything's fine. Governor Hochul believes that the chair of the state's Democratic Committee, Jay Jacobs, "did a great job" and said that the Democrats are "not changing anything." Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is also behind Jacobs. AOC wants Jacobs gone, and newly defeated Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney thinks she stinks. Alessandra Biaggi, who was defeated by Maloney before he lost himself, is now spearheading a movement to have Jacobs fired. All is well!
—Meanwhile, this is all happening while politicians are partying hard with lobbyists in Puerto Rico. They admit it's kind of weird.
—They're also partying with some of Eric Adams's biggest fans.
—Cars might FINALLY be banned from Grand Army Plaza
—A federal judge has blocked the licensing of recreational marijuana stores in many places in New York, including Brooklyn, because a Michigan man is claiming he was unfairly discriminated against.
—When you are faking sick to not work at your torture chamber of a jail, do not post, "Yes at home still getting paid, unlimited sick baby. Get like me! Living my best life," because the Feds are probably watching.
—Another reminder that the NYPD is very bad at the "actually catching criminals" thing.
—The Greenpoint ferry stop is finally reopening.
—And finally, RIP Twitter: