April 12, 2023
Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi, Operations: Good morning, and it's a great morning for New Yorkers and a great morning to be in New York City. I want to start first by thanking our members of the elected world that have joined us for today. That is Council Member Shaun Abreu, who sponsored much rat legislation. Thank you, Council member. Council Member Chi Ossé, Council Member Erik Bottcher. I believe we... Oh no, we don't have Manhattan Borough President Levine, but he wanted to be here. Thank you everybody for joining. I'm Meera Joshi, deputy mayor for operations. There are two undisputed truths about the Adams administration. Mayor Eric Adams loves his mother. Next month we'll be discussing that. But this month we're going to discuss the other one. Mayor Eric Adams hates rats. All joking aside, rats are a quality of life issue. They plagued our city for generations and they're synonymous with chaos on cleanliness and disorder.
They pose serious health risks for those who live around them, who work around them, and they even destroyed property. Rats actually chew car wires to sharpen their teeth, which is pretty audacious. For the last several months, and together with my friend and Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom, we've resurrected and expanded the Citywide Rat Task Force that includes Parks, Sanitation, DOT, Schools, the Health Department, Small Business Services, and NYCHA, many of the representatives in leadership that you see here behind me today. And a few things became very, very evident. One, we need lots of different kinds of extermination to get rid of rats. And you see over here a few different examples of those. On that subject, I'm pleased to announce that through the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, New York City received a generous gift from ScottsMiracle-Gro company of 1,000 rat snap traps to help us fight rats, so thank you New Yorkers for stepping up.
What was also evidenced from the task force is that the city's work and the private citizen's approach to trash makes a real difference in rat's ability to survive. But I think the single most important thing is that real full-time focused leadership is necessary to get rats done. As many of — we put out a job posting, it was well written, I'd say very, very well written. And within two weeks, we had 900 applicants, some of them were cats, some of them were dogs. The selection process was grueling follow-up questions, writing samples, hypotheticals, multiple interviews on Zoom, in-person, and a grueling team of interviewers. Thank you. I want to call out Bonnie Tsang who did an amazing job leading this effort.
Our first deputy mayor's team, our chief of staff's team, Chief Advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin's team, Deputy Mayors Anne Williams-Isom and Maria Torres-Springer and their teams, our press office, our now Mayor's Office of Operations. I'm pleased today that all New Yorkers will get to meet who we chose. A woman, and that should not be a surprise, who can see around corners, has the fortitude and persistence necessary to battle rats and the character personality and personality to keep New Yorkers informed and active in the fight against rats, and most importantly, knows how to get stuff done. Now I'd like to introduce our mayor, the original rat hater, Mayor Eric Adams.
Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you. Thank you so much, deputy mayor, and the entire team, and our Council persons that are here in Harlem, where we are rolling out a $3.5 million initiative on the rat mitigation zone to add with some of the other rat mitigation zones. I remember two weeks ago I got a call from, actually DOE employee, [inaudible], who lives in Greenpoint. She said, "Mayor, I really apologize for calling you on your cell phone." I said, "Don't feel special. Everybody calls me on my cell phone." And she just started telling me the story. She moved, she was paying $3,000 a month rent with her daughter and her ceiling collapsed, because downstairs in her bedroom there was rats that took over her bedroom and just started running around downstairs, and she was petrified. I'm not going to say who she is, but these stories I hear all the time.
I want all those who… We joke about it, but all of you to think about, imagine coming home and opening your cabinet and having a rat come out. Or like those mothers that said to me back when I was the bar president, they came into my office with photos of bite marks on their children, their babies in their carriages, their rats were eating the dry food off their mouths, or just walking down the block, and a rat runs across your foot. You are going to think about that all day long. You're going to act like you aren't, but in reality, I don't think there are too many things that can impact our feeling of being safe in our homes or in our community. You start your car and all of a sudden you hear something under it. You put up the hood, you see three rats under there. You go put out your garbage and you see rats coming through the garbage bags. Or you in your hallway, your basement.
Rats impact how you feel about the city that you are in, and that's why we're taking this seriously. I understand that some people who may not live in places where there are rats, they may say, "Well, what's the whole big deal?" But that is not many of us. Many of us live in communities where rats think they run the city, and we are serious about this. Everyday employees, I hear it all the time. I'm on the trains, I walk in the streets, people stop me and say, "We are with you, man. We hate those rats." Remember when I came out with that rat device, I had a rat device. We caught 96 rats around Brooklyn Borough Hall, 96 rats. There were people that were yelling, "Oh, you murderer, you murderer."
We can't be philosophical about things that impact the quality of life of New Yorkers. So we took this serious and the number of applicants that we were able to find that were also — those 900 people came forward with a real plan. They produced their best product. We have others who are dealing with rats, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. I think that's their crew over there. Is that DOHMH? Love you guys.
DSNY. We are not having what historically other administrations did. We all fought this, this is not new, but it's a problem that no one wanted to put on the forefront. Everyone tried. I know Mayor de Blasio did the dry ice. Mayor Bloomberg, he did some things. So, everyone tried. What we noticed when we got in office was that there was a disconnect, and there was some clear indicators from all the experts. I can't even tell you how many TED Talks I saw on rats and how many readings you know that I've done. But they all come to the same thing. Got to get to the food source. If you don't get to the food source, then you're not going to solve the problem, and you have to get to where they live.
We are still rolling out other items. This is only one of the levels. We have several more levels of things we are testing right now on how we could deal with this problem. Commissioner Tisch has been amazing. Our whole push towards putting out garbage and containers is going to be a huge pick-up. Our push to change the put-out times of garbage. People say, "Well that's not going to solve the problem." Listen, it's many rivers that feed the sea of rats, that's one of them. There's no instant rat pellet that's going to solve this problem. You have to build dams in every area. What the commissioner of Department of Sanitation is doing with her team is a significant part. Changing the hours, putting garbage in containers, really focusing on the areas that we consider to be these rat mitigation areas. So, it's a combination. But what we have witnessed, what Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi saw is that it was disjointed.
So, we needed someone that was going to put all the pieces together and all the players together to coordinate this entire symphony of fighters. We needed a maestro. We needed someone that understood, had the track record, was focused on it, commitment. We were fortunate that although we did a national search, we were able to find someone right in our own backyard that was already having a working expertise of dealing with rat mitigation. Did it in the Department of Education. Looked at some of the issues of rat mitigation in the Department of Education while babies are. There was a real rodent problem. She found success there. And so, we are proud. We had her under wrap in case she was like in witness protection, because we don't want one of you to crack the story and start doing background checks, seeing did she get any rat summons on her block and she hasn't ever dated an exterminator.
We say, you know what? Keep her under wraps. She was under wrap, had her own little undercover. I'm amazed that they didn't break the story yet, but we are just really happy today to say that we have found our rat czar, and she is focused on improving the quality of life of New Yorkers. All of us want to improve the quality. It is expensive enough to live in a city with our families and children. We don't need outside tenants like rats in our homes terrorizing us every day. And so, let me be the first to turn over to you our new rat czar. Kathy, come say a few words.
Kathleen Corradi, Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation: Thank you, mayor, for this incredible opportunity to make a real difference in people's lives. When I first saw this job posting, I wasn't sure if it was real. Bloodthirsty is not a word you usually see in a job description, and it's certainly not a word I usually describe myself, but I have to say, the rats czar ad got my attention.
And when my wife's grandmother called from North Carolina and asked if I was going to apply, well obviously destiny was calling. You see, I have a long history with rats. My introduction to public service came when I was 10-years-old, getting signatures on petitions for anti-rat measures in my neighborhood. And for three years I spearheaded the Department of Education's rodent reduction efforts. During those years, I spent a lot of time looking for signs of rats and working to end the conditions that allow them to thrive. Due to those efforts, nearly 70 percent of schools with persistent rat issues reached their compliance goals.
This got me thinking. Thinking about ways we as a city could improve our approach to trash and rodents and ultimately make a better life for all New Yorkers. Rat mitigation is more than a quality of life issue.
Rats are the symptom of systemic issues including sanitation, health, housing, and economic justice. You can't just deal with one part of the problem and call it a day. We need system-wide solutions, strong leadership, and an engaged population to join the efforts. That's where I come in. As New York City's first director of rodent mitigation, I will bring a science and systems-based approach to reducing New York City's rat population with a strong focus on cutting off the food, water, and shelter rats need to survive and ensure every New Yorker is prepared to take up this mantle in this fight.
My background is in biology and urban sustainability, but I'm also a former elementary school teacher who knows behavior change and culture shifts do not happen overnight. We need to get the message out to New Yorkers. This is going to take all of us. Fighting rats starts with fighting litter, garbage, and food waste.
And as anyone who's seen the movie Ratatouille knows, rats love the same foods humans do. That's why every anti rat initiative starts with making sure food related waste gets into bins that rats can't. This means getting food scraps into DSNY brown compost bins and litter into waste baskets in parks and on streets. And if you see unsanitary conditions or a colony of rats, also known as a mischief, call 311 and tell us where and when and we'll send people to check on it. I'm looking forward to starting right here in Harlem, partnering with city agencies and the local community to ensure our streets, parks and playgrounds are the best they can be. You'll be seeing a lot of me and a lot less rats.
Mayor Adams: I like that quote.
Corradi: Pizza rat may live in infamy, but rats and the conditions that support their thriving will no longer be tolerated in New York City. No more dirty curbs, unmanaged spaces or brazen burrowing. There's a new sheriff in town, and with your help, we'll send those rats packing. Thank you.
Mayor Adams: Give your full name. Tell them your full name. Give your full name.
Corradi: Oh, Kathleen Corradi.
Mayor Adams: No. Give them the spelling.
Corradi: Kathleen with a K. K-A-T-H-L-E-E-N. Corradi, C-O-R-R-A-D-I.
Mayor Adams: Thank you. And before we open up to questions, because I know you have many, one person who has talked about this over and over particularly in the parts of the Bronx and Harlem has joined us. I'm glad he's here with us. He's with me yesterday, but this has been a real focus of his on quality of life. And so I just want to have our congressman say a few words. Congressman?
U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat: Thank You. Thank you, mayor. Boy, everybody's seen that rat with the pizza, right?
I sent Council Member Shaun Abreu also a social media take on a rat bullying a cat into a corner.
But those days are over. And so we have a new rat czar in town. And of course, let me give you some numbers that my team gave me this morning and they're just staggering, Mr. Mayor. They live to be about two years, but mature within two months, mate within two seconds and a rat can produce eight to 10 babies after six times a year. That's 120 rats for each rat mother during their lifetime. That's a lot. I mean, this is an undertaking. And of course they migrate for a host of reasons. I know that uptown, when they moved the cobble stones from the streets on 10th Avenue, they migrated right into my neighborhood and we had to begin to take measures to stop them, very systematic measures and time-consuming measures. And so this is so important. He agrees.
But this is a great initiative because the quality of life in New York is important. I had a recent meeting with all the NYCHA leaders on the state office building just a few nights ago. And one of the top concerns was rats. I mean, they were really making a statement about how large they are, how far they climb up, where they get to, and the kind of peril that they put our families in. And so I thank you, mayor, for your commitment to eradicate rats. I want to thank, also, my City Council member, one of my City Council members, Shaun Abreu. He is like, you are Batman and he's Robin. And so we thank you for your efforts and I look forward to partnering with you to take on the rats. The days of the rats in New York City is over.
Mayor Adams: Kimberly.
Question: Congratulations, Kathy. Can we ask you… So as the mayor has stated, you've tried different things, some work, some don't, it's a multi-prong approach. What are some of your ideas coming in that may be new or different that you think will really make a difference?
Mayor Adams: First is the coordination. And we were really playing whack-a-mole and there was… As much work as Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, what they have been doing, we basically put it solely on them. And so now this coordinated effort through what Kathy is going to do is going to allow us to put everyone as part of the team. So the Department of Sanitation, the Parks Department, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. And then we want to look at new ways of how to fight the rats. On the Upper East Side, they started using this product that they were able to close 96 percent of their burrows by using some type of smoke. It was odorless, they couldn't see it, and it suffocated those who were inside the burrows. And so right now the chief of staff is monitoring with the first deputy mayor and deputy mayor of operation.
We have several tests that are taking place right now as we speak. We should have the outcome of those tests the end of April, the end of May, and then we are going to move it throughout the entire city. Rats are smart, they're resilient. As the congressman stated, they populate at such an alarming rate that if you don't really cut off their food source and go after those who are already there, then you're not going to keep pace. But here for the first time, we're seeing a coordination. We're going to have a person that's going to coordinate all the efforts, de-silo, that's the trademark of this administration. We are de-siloing government. There was too many silos and the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing. And now we're making sure that we all communicate together. We are going to monitor. My belief, you don't inspect what you expect it’s all suspect. And we've been getting too many suspect outcomes. And so Kathy has the important role of making sure we are moving towards our targets, closing the rat mitigation zones and make sure we target the rodents.
Question: So $3.5 million for Harlem?
Mayor Adams: Yes.
Question: What about for the rest of the city and what other…
U.S. Representative Espaillat: Hey, come on.
Question: What other parts of the city are seeing problems? And also if we could hear from Kathleen, where were those schools that you targeted and were able to clean up the rat problem?
Mayor Adams: Okay. First, this is the project we're doing here. All our rat mitigation zones are being targeted. And here in Harlem, it was just recently added as a rat mitigation zone. This is one of many. This is not the only resources we're using to fight this problem. Kathleen's going to get in now and do an analysis on number one, the new products that we are testing. Now, she's going to take over that whole operation of looking at these new products, what are the outcomes, which ones we are going to have citywide. And she's going to do an assessment of what she needs to do her job. And Kathleen, you maybe want to go over what you did in the DOE if you would like?
Corradi: Thank you. So when I was working on Department of Education's rodent reduction efforts, it was in the three existing previous rodent mitigation zones: Bed Stuy, Lower East Side/Chinatown, and Grand Concourse regions. And in that work we had about 120 buildings where we deployed restricting access to food, water, and shelter to make sure we were targeting rat populations
Question: What did you spend on it?
Corradi: That was part of the last administration's funding where we really focused efforts on what worked well. Some of those are still in play now. The tilt trucks you see on school curbs are something that we deployed and really limited access to food.
Question: If I might call you Ms. Rat Czar? Just wondering, how are we going to know whether or not things are working? Are you going to be counting the number of rats that you kill? I mean, how are we going to know things are working because they hide?
Corradi: So we know what rats need to survive, right? Food, water, and shelter. And our approach will be targeting those three areas. Department of Health is already doing great data collection and I encourage everyone to go to nyc.gov/rats to see the latest and greatest of the work they're capturing. Our measure of success, rats are tough, but New Yorkers are tougher, so it's going to take everyone involved to make sure this is successful.
Question: Thank you. Back on the funding issue, I'm just wondering, Kathleen, how much you are going to be earning in your new post. And then secondly, Mr. Mayor, you mentioned de-siloing government. I know the Department of Health already has a director of pest control services. What exactly are the differences between these two new jobs and why are they both needed?
Mayor Adams: Okay, as in all salaries, they're listed online so you can find whatever you want.
Mayor Adams: Okay. You can list it online, but full transparency, she's making $155,000. That's what her salary's going to be. I think fighting rats, that's not enough, but we were able to get a good call out. What I found, Chris, when I became mayor is that there was not enough communication. And yes, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, they have been doing this heavy lift on their own.
As Kathleen pointed out, that even what she did with the Department of Education of limiting the food source and making sure garbage is picked up on time, that is really a Department of Sanitation issue. And I was out this Saturday with Commissioner Tisch looking at some of the garbage bins throughout the city on how we can start putting garbage in containers. And so it's difficult for the commissioner of DOHMH to now go over to Department of Sanitation and implement an initiative, because now you're crossing over agencies. And our administration has been operating off of this task force setting where we get representatives from each agencies, but you need a person that's going to coordinate it, and that is the role she's going to play.
Question: Yes. This is where the new rat czar. I'm wondering, Mayor Adams hates rats. How much do you hate rats?
Corradi: The mayor has made it very clear his stance on rats. He hates rats, I hate rats, all New Yorkers hate rats. I'm no stranger to rats. From a child getting signatures on petitions to fight them in my neighborhood to leading the work at DOE for the rodent mitigation zones there, we saw significant drops in rat populations.
Question: Did you kill a rat?
Mayor Adams: Did you kill a rat? Did you kill a rat? [Laughter.] But think about it for a moment. This is almost a job that's made for her. As a child she was doing petitioning to get rats out of her community. So it just really, to find your calling, I think is the right time and New Yorkers are happy that she's here. Another question.
Question: Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Adams: Yes sir.
Question: Your rat czar just said that the number one priority for dealing with rats is to make sure that trash is in containers. Does that mean you're going to reprioritize trash containerization across the city, maybe allocate a little more money towards it, bump it up towards the top of your priority list?
Mayor Adams: Well first, like I stated, I was out Saturday going around looking at places where they're containers and meeting the commissioner. She was home and I said I wanted to see the containers that you're thinking about rolling out. We're looking to do a pilot. And she came and met me at the garage. I don't think you are going to find an administration that is more serious about containers and placing our garbage in containers like we are. And people think that, okay, just drop containers off throughout the street. No. There is a process from making sure we have the right trucks to pick up the containers to make sure that we look at the design of the containers. There is a process to getting this city to become the cleanest city in America, which we're going to do. And that includes the dining sheds on partnering with the city council on with the new version of that.
And so we are taking a holistic approach to this, and containers are very much part of that plan. But it's not to snap your fingers, “Hey, New Yorkers, put your garbage in the large containers.” We sent the team down to Greece to look at what they're doing. We’re looking at what Israel is doing, we sent a team… Deputy Mayor Meera went down to Buenos Aires to see what they're doing. We are watching what others are doing so we can get it right because these are taxpayers dollars, so we have to get it right.
Question: To follow up on that, Mr. Mayor. I know there are PSAs out that tell people to put their litter in the basket because there's so much food that sits around on the street. So how to be more proactive with that? Are you going to have boots on the ground or some level of enforcement or direction for people to relearn that behavior?
Mayor Adams: Yeah, no, so true. When we were growing up, there were so many, stop litter, there was so many ad campaigns. I think this is the first time — I don't know if Tisch is here. She just really came into DSNY and did a complete analysis on how we must communicate with everyday New Yorkers. And she rolled up this amazing ad campaign not only dealing with litter, which is I think is the first time in, I don't know how many years. How many? 15. First time in 15 years. But also to deal with those who are walking their dogs and just letting their dogs dump on everybody's yard. I mean, pick up after your dog. And so her very New York style campaigning and ads campaign is to do just that. We have to remind people the connection. On one breath you're saying, oh, there's too many rats here, but you just dropped your sandwich here. And so we have to really have the connection. Our everyday behavior is contributing to the problems that we dislike. And that's what the commission has been great at doing.
Question: Is somebody going to write a fine if somebody drops their trash on…
Mayor Adams: Yes, you did something new around it. Why don't you talk about that?
Commissioner Jessica Tisch, Department of Sanitation: We don't enforce for the sake of enforcement, but this year our enforcement of cleanliness related violations are up 80 percent. And after this press conference, we can get you the actual numbers, but we've taken a very specific approach to enforcement where we're focusing our resources on cleanliness-related violations.
Question: Mr. Mayor I'm wondering when you interviewed the rat czar directly, was there anything specifically that you saw on her that made you want to hire her, thought she was great for this position? And to the rat czar. I'm wondering, the mayor did the thing with rat buckets a few years ago where the rats were drowning. He got criticized for being mean to rats, not being humane. I'm wondering if you're interested at all in like humane rat destruction.
Mayor Adams: The first part of your question was did I do the interview directly? I've been reading that book, Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow. And so I tried out that first lesson in the book on Kathy when I interviewed her. Sometimes we look at the technical aspects of a person's skill set instead of finding out who they are as a human being. And when I interviewed her directly after we went through all the other candidates, I came down to the last few and I interviewed her. You just saw an emotionally intelligent thinker that has been in several jobs, roots here in the city, loved this city. I was impressed that she did a petition as a child, that just so showed a forward-thinking of her. And I just saw a decent human being that is willing to solve a problem that impacts on far too many New Yorkers.
And so you can look at her biology degree, you can look at all that other stuff. But the question that I ask everyone, and I remember my chief of staff was saying the other day, I'd like to know who you are as a person. Because who you are as a person is going to define who you will be as a professional. And I like who she was as a person.
Corradi: We are absolutely going to explore all different rat mitigation techniques. Measure, quantify the data, see what works best to scale across the city. These are taxpayer dollars we're spending, so we want to make sure we're using the most efficient technique. And part of that is determining which strategies are effective.
Question: How big will her team, our direct team be, how many people will be reporting to her, and how many people do you think she needs?
Mayor Adams: Great question. Great question. Here's what we have done successfully in this administration that's going to be really revealed when we are in the museum of the City of New York. We've looked at pre-existing people and utilize them to coordinate. It's not always about how many more people you add on. What are you doing with the people you already? We already have people in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene who are experts in this area. We already have people in the Department of Sanitation. We have people in the Department of Education. All of these places we have people.
The question becomes, what are we doing with the people we have? These are taxpayers dollars. And it's my responsibility to make sure we, during these tough budgetary moments that we do the best with taxpayer dollars. So what we're going to do is coordinate the people we have. She has an army in all of these agencies that's going to fall under her coordination. And they're ready, they want the coordination. You speak with some of these employees who are on the ground every day. They don't like going through all of these walls and barriers. They want to coordinate to get the results they're looking for.
Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor. Question for you. Yesterday, PBA President Pat Lynch said that he's not seeking reelection. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on that. What you're looking forward to in a person that might take over, and what type of relationship you're looking to build with the PBA going forward.
Mayor Adams: I've known Pat for a long time. He called me yesterday and said, "Eric, I wanted you to be the first to know before I make a public announcement, and I want to share with you that I'm not going to run for reelection." And if you were to do an analysis of the few years that Pat and I have not always agreed on topics, but we've never been disagreeable. And not only when he first ran, I was in 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, and many times we were on opposite sides of issues, but there was never a time that we could not pick up the phone and speak. He fought on behalf of his membership and I fought on behalf of the things that were important to me and I think that he has been a good public servant for his members and even in those areas that we did not agree on, we both agreed that we should support our law enforcement officers, that we should make sure our city safe. And someone must speak on behalf of innocent people that are the victims of crimes. And that is what he has done and I think he's going to go on. I wish him prosperity in the next line of work that he does. He has more miles on the tire.
Question: I just wanted to ask about the smoke shop shooter who was indicted in the attempted murder of the officer. I believe he got $500,000 bail, which was reduced to $30,000. Then he got out and then committed these two…
Mayor Adams: I'm sorry, can you repeat the question?
Question: The smoke shop shooter who got $500,000 bail, it was reduced to 30 by a judge and then he got out, so he committed these two more shootings. Can you just comment on how that happens in the bail process?
Mayor Adams: I believe that shooter, if we're talking about the same shooter, I believe he did two shootings if we're talking about the same shooter. He did two shootings. And I think that you've heard me over and over again, extreme recidivism is what we need to focus on and we want to continue to drive down crime. The commissioner and her team, they did an amazing job and they continue to do double digit decrease in homicide, double digit decrease in shooting. We saw a record level of gun seizures over last year, but these extreme recidivists, they're a problem not only in shootings and homicides, but they're a problem also in the seven majors.
When you look at the recidivism around GLAs, recidivism around burglaries, around larceny, grand larcenies, that's our focus. And so right now Albany's deliberating, I've had some great conversations with the leaders up there and I believe that there seems to be an appetite to focus on this extreme recidivism. He's a poster child of extreme recidivism, and there's a lot of extreme recidivism that goes unnoticed because a lot of cases are dismissed so they don't go as part of the stats and we just really need to look at those extreme recidivism.
Question: Mr. Mayor?
Mayor Adams: Yes.
Question: The city's applied for $650 million from the federal government to handle the migrant situation. I'm wondering if that covers it, and have you made an estimate as to what the total is so far the city has expended and do you expect the 650 million? Have you adequately justified it?
Mayor Adams: First, this is a national problem and it should be financed by the national government. I know I have to say it over and over again, but can you imagine the national government is saying to our city, "You are going to take 52,000 people and you are not going to receive any money. They can't work, they can't support themselves. That's all on your dime." But it's just unbelievable. And so the $800 million that Senator Schumer, Congressman Jeffries, and the New York delegations and others were able to secure, we are putting in $350 million for it because that's the max. But we are asking for an additional $300 million to come to a total of $650 million because that's what we believe we spent based on the numbers that's coming from our budget office.
We should not have to pay for this. I had a conversation with the speaker of the City Council. I really need my elected officials throughout the city to join us in this. This is going to impact every service in the city and so we believe that a lot of people come through the border states, but they end up in New York. We have the lion's share and we should get the lion's share of the money.
Question: $650 million, that's what the city has spent so far?
Mayor Adams: Yes.
Mayor Adams: We want to be nice to your colleagues. We want to get everyone, so don't hog up all the time.
Question: Former President…
Mayor Adams: [Inaudible] is sitting there getting a sun tan.
Question: Former President Trump is coming to town, what? Today or tomorrow? Tomorrow? Today? Thoughts on that coming back to the city, do you again sit down [inaudible]?
Mayor Adams: We thought that we were in a good place because he was in Florida and he didn't tie up our city. Now he's going to be back here often and we're going to be prepared. We do what we do when we have large gatherings or someone coming to the city. I think the district attorney's going to carry out his role as well. So it's not much. My role and the police commissioner's role is to make sure that we have the city keep moving without inconveniencing New Yorkers as much as possible.
Question: Mr. Mayor, the Democratic Convention is going to Chicago. A, your thoughts on that? And B, are you planning to look for another big event in the city?
Mayor Adams: Every day, all day. This is the Big Apple because we have big events every day. We have everything from Comic Con to... We just had the World Dyslexia Summit that we were able to convince to come to New York last year. We asked them to come here. They were really proud of the things we're doing, so we're going to continue to roll out. We did a great job. We left everything on the floor and so we were excited about our presentation. We had an opportunity to highlight New York and so congratulations to Mayor Lightfoot and the governor of… The president and his team made the decision that they want to look at where the swing states are, so we going to keep pulling after these big events. We want the Super Bowl here. We went to All-Star Game here. We want everything here.
Question: Thank you. Mr. Mayor wanted to ask about the Digidog yesterday. So some members of the Council, including some that were just standing next to you, had first of all criticized that and then secondly pointed to something called the POST Act that was passed in 2020. It requires the city to provide impact of new policies for any new police surveillance technology 90 days before use. It seems that wasn't applied in this instance before you announced it yesterday. How are you able to do this without following the POST Act?
Mayor Adams: Okay. Well, a couple of things. These items, two of the items are pilot projects. Thank you. The second is that the Digidog, that dog is already used in FDNY. And so I think there's a level of inaccuracy to what you're saying, but we'll have the team follow up with you on exact process and how that terminology is used. But the two items, the RTD2, that it's affectionately called, is a pilot and the tracker is a pilot as well. So I cannot say it enough, and it wasn't a secret when I ran for office, what's interesting about me, all you have to do is look at my campaign comments and literature and see what I'm doing. It's the same thing.
This is what I said I was going to do and this is what I'm doing. We're always talking about people who run for office and then don't do what they say they're going to do. I said I was going to be scanning the globe for technology and use it. And this is only the beginning. It's only the beginning. The stuff I have in the pipeline is game changing around technology and we are going to follow all the rules on implementing and using it, but the city must become the leader in technology and keeping people safe. And I'm not shying away from that. I made that clear .I'm not going toapologize to that.
Question: Police technology or technology overall?
Mayor Adams: All technology. Listen, when you're tasty, they want to bite you, the bees. The amount of technology that's going to come out of this administration is going to shift how we deliver goods and services in the city. We have a unit that's focused on just emerging markets and technology. We are going to use technology to run our city better and it's going to help New Yorkers get a better return on their tax dollars. And we're looking in every area. Just about every agency in this city is going to be impacted by technology in this city, because we have to produce a better product. And we're not. Workers are working hard, but we are not giving them the tools they need to do it. And many of our employees called me up and says, "Eric, there's another way we can do this." But no one was listening to them, but I listened to them and we going to move forward with it.
Question: The House Judiciary Committee is going to be looking at crime…
Mayor Adams: I'm sorry, the what?
Question: The House Judiciary Committee is going to be having a hearing about crime in the city. I'd like to hear your response to that.
Mayor Adams: Congressman Jordan who's leading this, I really misunderstood this when I first heard about it. I thought sure that they understood that in their congressional districts crime was going so high, they wanted to come and meet with me alone and find out what we're doing so successfully. I'm a little disappointed that they're coming here complaining about crime here when per capita, their crime is through the roof. A lot of people don't realize, crime in Republican areas per capita is through the roof and they continue to talk about the over proliferation of guns. Their guns are coming from the southern borders, the southern states to our cities like New York and Chicago's and others. So if anything, they should be holding a hearing on lessons learned on what Keechant is doing. Other than that, man, this is just an extension of Donald Trump campaigning, and it really makes no sense. We haven't been communicating to participate and I don't even know what they're doing. While they're here, they should sit down with Keechant.
Question: Mr. Mayor, is Curtis Sliwa still going to get a rat internship?