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Transcript: Mayor Adams Holds In-Person Media Availability

April 16, 2024

Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy, Communications: Good morning, everybody. My name is Fabien Levy, and I serve as deputy mayor for Communications for the City of New York. At a time when rents are too high and vacancy rates are still too low, our administration is proud to be advancing generational and legacy-building projects like the Willets Points transformation that will create thousands of units of affordable housing in Queens, as well as helping to secure our landmark agreement in Albany to build more housing across New York City. We're creating a more livable city, growing our economy, and protecting public safety. Above all, we are delivering real results for working-class New Yorkers. 

And so to address those issues that are top of mind for everyday people in our city, the mayor has once again convened senior leadership for our weekly in-person media availability. Joining us today are Mayor Eric Adams, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, Chief Advisor to the Mayor Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana Almanzar, Chief Counsel Lisa Zornberg, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Tiffany Raspberry. Without further delay, I'm pleased to turn it over to Mayor Adams.

Mayor Eric Adams: Thanks so much, DM Levy. As the governor announced her budget, and I just can't really emphasize how much I appreciate the leaders in Albany, Governor Hochul, chief executive for the state, Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker, Leader Carl Heastie. They, throughout the nights and the days, have been very clear on giving the city the relief that we need to deal with many of the problems we're facing. 

New York City is the economic engine of the entire state, if not the country. We needed the help. As the budget continued to unfold, we're seeing that there are real wins for New York City. I thank the lawmakers up there, and I thank the leaders up there. I especially want to thank Tiffany Raspberry, who's our director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and what she has done. 

Throughout my years in politics, whenever I had a difficult assignment, I leaned on my chief negotiator, Ingrid P. Lewis-Martin. Throughout, whenever it's challenging, I tell the team, hand Ingrid the ball. It's not because of who she is now, Ingrid, but who you have been. People trust her in government. When she gets in the room, the entire dynamic changes. I just don't have the skill set, and I don't have the discipline that she has. When this process is over, people are going to see her real skill and what we were able to accomplish. We don't want to do anything that's going to get in the way of it, but I owe a debt of gratitude to her. 

For just so many years, calling her, asking her, can you come in and salvage the moment, her and Camille was up with the team, were up to 2, 3 a.m. in the morning. She was calling me, still in negotiation, dealing with all the personalities of it. Folks, you just don't understand what her dedication has done to this city throughout the years. I'm happy to have her as a partner, and I'm happy to have her as a friend. She just knows how to land the plane, and I thank her for that. 

We have a bold agenda, build our way out of an affordable housing crisis. 1.4 percent vacancy rates, you hear these numbers. the housing is just not there. We have to build. We have to build all over the city, the combination of what they're doing in Albany and the combination of what Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer and Dan Garodnick is attempting to do is all part of building our way out of this problem. This budget is going to give us the tools to tackle the housing crisis and to shut down illegal smoke shops and to help manage the migrant crisis. 

I just want to call out one of our huge priorities. The agreement includes a major package of legislation to grow affordable housing across our city by giving us a new tax incentive to build more affordable housing, a program to accelerate the conversion of offices to affordable housing and the ability to lift the density cap for residential buildings and a basement and cellar legalization pilot to expand and increase the safety of a vital form of getting out of this crisis and using it as a vital form of affordable housing. 

The tools along with our recent City of Yes for Housing Opportunity zoning text are going to be the way out of this crisis. It baffles me that we have communities that have access to healthy food, access to good schools, access to good health care, access to good transportation, but the unwillingness to build housing in these areas, affordable housing, not only housing for low-income New Yorkers but my accountants and my teachers. This entire city must play its role, and building a small amount across the city is going to address this housing crisis. It's a city crisis. It's not just a neighborhood crisis. 

Again, I want to thank the partners in Albany as we move towards our moonshot goal of 500,000 new units by 2032. We have even more good news today. I say it over and over again, crime is down, jobs are up, and this week the announcement we made demonstrates our commitment to continue to drive down crime and boost jobs in our economy. As always, we are focused on protecting public safety and justice. They go hand in hand in rebuilding our economy and making our city more livable. In areas of public safety, our public safety numbers are clear. Homicide, shootings, burglary, and car theft are all down by double digits year to date, but public safety is about more than just the most dangerous crime. We are looking at crimes that might not seem so obvious, but they still impact working-class New Yorkers. 

That's why to combat theft and stop porch pirates, we launched LockerNYC last week, a new pilot that will provide lockers on city sidewalks for New Yorkers to receive package deliveries without fear of theft. The numbers are real. 90,000 packages are reported stolen or lost in New York City, 90,000. That's crime that impacts so many people. You're waiting for that dress, that gown. You're waiting for that tuxedo for your daughter's wedding. You're waiting for these things, and someone takes them off your porch. It disrupts your life, and we're hoping that this is a way forward like other European countries have been doing. 

Early this morning, I spoke at ABNY Association for Better New York's Power Breakfast, and that's what we are building in this administration, a better New York and a more safer, cleaner, more livable New York. Like I keep saying, jobs are up and crimes are down. With the creation of 1.8 million square foot office tower that will bring 6,000 jobs to Midtown Manhattan to have the tower equivalent to the Empire State Building being built under this administration means a lot. Citadel Securities, when they left Chicago, they came to New York because they realized that I'm a big believer in we have to be safe, and everything grows in safety. This will bring 2,100 employees alone to the heart of Midtown, a true once-in-a-generation office tower that will bring in $35.8 million for East Midtown Public Realm Improvement Fund and will purchase excess development rights from St. Patrick's Cathedral and others, and it will mean a combined $150 million going towards upkeep of those historic landmarks. I want to thank all those involved as we continue to move forward. 

Fabien, I will turn it back over to you.

Deputy Mayor Levy: Thank you. All right, we'll take some questions.

Question: Mr. Mayor, I have two questions. The first one has to do with your favorite topic, rats. It turns out that the number of people getting sick from contact with rat urine has skyrocketed. I wonder if you think that shows that your war on rats is failing, and how do you connect that to your desire to put all the trash in containers so that you could limit the number of rats on the street? What's going on with that? 

The second question is your second favorite topic, which is mayoral control of schools, which I guess in Albany is still being negotiated, and it seems like they're trying to, how should I put it, shake you down. They're asking for all kinds of things, ranging from an appointment to the PEP, to libraries on Sunday, to after-school programs, to commitments to keep class sizes down, et cetera. I wonder where we stand on that, and what exactly you're willing to do in exchange for a similar extension.

Mayor Adams: First, on the rats, I think that the increase in the rat urine-related disease actually reinforces why we were so ahead of the curve. We realize that not only are rodents unsightly and can traumatize your day, but there are real health-related crises that are attached. They are attached to the issue of rats. It's a real problem. 

When you look at the fact that rat complaints have decreased under this administration based on our actions and clearly attached to the rodent population is the fact we have too many plastic bags on our streets. We thought that it was going to take four and a half years to containerize our garbage. We're going to do it in two and a half years. We hired a consultant to look and tell us the plan to do it. They gave us a plan of four and a half years. I said, throw that plan in the garbage. We're going to do it faster. That's exactly what Commissioner Tisch has done. 

It's clearly showing that my constant talk about rats, I was ahead of the curve. This administration was ahead of the curve. And we're seeing our results. The results are going to show containerizing our garbage, other mitigation. When you look at the complaints, the complaints have gone down in the mitigation zones, rat mitigation zones, and have gone down citywide. So we are really running rats out of our town. 

Question: But are you concerned with the fact that there’s this increase in disease that’s related to the rats and the contact people are having with rat urine? Obviously it’s around the city and I guess it’s worse in the Bronx than some of the other boroughs. And what are you going to do about that to try to reduce that as these are very life-threatening diseases.

Mayor Adams: No, they are. We are concerned about that. That's why we're taking actions that we're taking. That's why we're seeing results. Decrease in rat complaints in rat mitigation zones. Decreasing rat complaints citywide. The containerization. Bringing on a rat czar. Think about it. Bringing on a rat czar. 

When people were mocking what we were doing, now we're understanding how forward thinking we were. We knew that this was a real problem. We didn't sit back and wait until this rat urine disease came about. We responded from the beginning that we need to deal with the cleanliness and the rodent issue in our city. We turned into mockery, now turned into admiration that we were ahead of the time. We were leading from the front. We ignored the noise and complaints. We said we know the best thing for the city. Because if you're moving around the city in these communities, you're seeing how pervasive the rat problem was when we took office. We're making real inroads. 

We're talking about this in my State of the City. We're running rats out of our town. You can't do it if you leave plastic bags on the streets. That's what I tell to residents. We were up in Harlem last week doing the town hall and some of the people were complaining about why do we have containers. People need to connect the dots. Plastic bags mean rodents. Get the plastic bags off our streets, you will have a major dent in the rat mitigation problem.

Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi, Operations: I just want to add real quickly to put some perspective on what containerization really means when it comes to trash. New Yorkers leave out 44 million pounds of trash every day. That's about 100 747s if you filled them up. When we look at what the effect of containerization has on neighborhoods, we can see the numbers decline in the rat mitigation zone. I went out to the rat mitigation zone to, one, see how the containers were working, look at how the operations were working, and talk to the sanitation workers out there. I asked them how they felt about using the containers and thought I was going to get a response that was more about lifting them and the mechanics. They said the thing we like the best is we don't see as many rats. So there's a real connection that is obvious. It makes common sense. We should have come to it earlier, but we're rushing ahead to do it very, very quickly in a smart way that understands that it's a diverse city and not every container works for every block. We will see a real change, and that will happen within the next couple of years.

Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom, Health and Human Services: Sorry, just wanted to…

Question: …Disease as well?

Deputy Mayor Joshi: I am not a doctor. 

Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom: I'm not a doctor, but I play one. I have many doctors that are working for me. One of the things is it's really good that we are monitoring it. That's why we're able to see where it's up and how it's increased in what particular neighborhood. I'm going to follow up with the team. In terms of awareness, I understand that if we wear gloves, you'll understand if supers or people who tend to deal with large amounts of the plastic bags. All of those things that we can do to see if there's anything else that we've been doing to raise awareness so that people don't get this disease.

Mayor Adams: In an area of mayoral accountability, Ingrid and Tiffany, they have been up there leading the negotiation with Diane Savino. We're not going to surrender anything or agree to anything that's going to erode our ability to continue to educate. If it's about givebacks and negotiation, that's part of the process. That's part of life in government, the willingness to compromise. They have been clear as our chief negotiators and communicators up there. I don't know if there's anything you want to add.

Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Chief Advisor to the Mayor: We're not giving back anything. It's truly a work in progress. We're talking and we're making concessions just as they're making concessions. We believe that it's going to be great for New York City once the legislature comes to terms and decides this is what we're actually doing. It'll be fine. We didn't give up anything on PEP. We did add a member and we're excited about that. It's advice and consent. It'll be great. We're looking forward to it.

Question: What will getting a two-year extension mean to you? 

Mayor Adams: I'm sorry? 

Question: What will getting a two-year extension of mayoral control mean to you?

Mayor Adams: It's important. We want to continue the work that Chancellor Banks has been doing. The numbers are clear. We've been saying this over and over again, post-mayoral control, not only Eric, Mayor Bloomberg, hats off to him, has been a visionary of saying that the mayor should be held accountable for education. 

I grew up on a Board of Education, the board system, and I saw the mismanagement, the dysfunctionality of that. If anything could emphasize why important it is for us to do this, the migrants and asylum seekers. 30,000 children coming into our system. Imagine having to go to every school board and try to figure out where you're going to place them. It was done smoothly. Covid. Imagine having to go to every board to try to define if we were going to keep schools open or not. Where we found that the safest place for a child was in school, we were able to execute. 

The changes in phonic-based reading that the state is now duplicating. Graduation rates going from 50-something percent pre-mayoral control and now over 80 percent post-mayoral control. Changing the food in our schools to have healthier food environment for our children. Repairs. You're seeing the results. Outpacing the state in reading and math. When you look at all of that, we need to continue doing so. Give us an opportunity to continue the work we're doing and hold us accountable. We want to be held accountable.

Lewis-Martin: I'll just add that it's a situation where the legislature wants a checks and balance system. They understand that this administration is doing really great things in the schools. That's not the issue. They just want to ensure for the future that if there's a new administration down the road, that there's a checks and balance system. So we're working really closely with them and we're excited about it. It's going to be good.

Question: Hi, Mayor Adams. I wanted to ask you, it's two questions but it's related. In the case of Kawaski Trawick, the administrative judge's ruling, released in September, raised many concerns about the quality of the investigation by the NYPD's Force Investigation Division that cleared the officers involved of misconduct. Have you ordered any review of NYPD's work? Additionally, the names of the officers in the killing of Win Rozario last month have not been publicly released yet. Why not? Does that conform with your claim of being the most transparent mayoral administration in history?

Mayor Adams: There's a process. At the heart of that process, the commissioner is following the procedures of that process. Anytime you have a shooting of this magnitude or of any nature that's involved police officers, you go back and you do a review. You find out what you can do better, what you learned from it, how to instruct the troops during their in-service training where they go to deal with tactics, and how you do roll call training. 

I think allow Commissioner Caban to do his job, and that's exactly what he's doing. The DA, the Bronx DA, made the determination that there was no criminality, and that's very important and we respect their process. I think that we need to let this process take its course and any other encounter of this magnitude. 

The New York City Police Department has one of the greatest oversights in law enforcement throughout the country. I go to these other cities, and I see in these other cities they don't have CCRBs. Some of them don't even have Internal Affairs Bureau. They don't have the attorney generals that can review any shooting or when someone dies in police custody. We have a great deal because New Yorkers believe in this oversight, and we have to let the process take its course.

Question: Have you ordered any review of the Force Investigation Division's work, based on the criticisms of the special ruling saying that there were many concerns about the quality of the investigation?

Mayor Adams: We're going to review their report entirely. We're going to make the determination where changes need to be made. There has already been some changes in the release of information, getting video out. We're in a constant state of adapting and improving, because we have to. Because, the lives and safety of officers and civilians are at stake. Commissioner Caban is looking at the report, and he will make recommendations based on that.

JR, how are you? 

Question: Good morning. Good morning, Mr. Mayor. 

Mayor Adams: How are you? 

Question: Good. Good morning to the team. Mr. Mayor, the new pilot, Program Home?

Mayor Adams: Which one? 

Deputy Mayor Levy: Project Home.

Question: Project Home. Project Home, sorry.

Deputy Mayor Levy: Yes, you're right.

Question: Okay. Where you have this initiative to help, survivors of domestic abuse. Could you speak a little bit on that?

Mayor Adams: Yes. A great initiative, and Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom can really dig into the weeds of it. It's a pilot. 100 families will be the start of it. 

It's crucial. We've heard about it over and over again. You will hear this often in this administration. People will stand up, validators, and they will say, we've been asking for this for years. We hear that over and over and over again. Those who have been ignored are not ignored in this administration. Victims of domestic violence is real. I'm pretty sure many of us who sit on this panel can tell their personal stories of growing up in domestic violence situations. This is not political. This is personal. To go back and help some of these families, the young lady that stood next to us had a very impactful story of what she experienced. DM Williams-Isom, do you want to go into it?

Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom: Yes. I want to say that, and you and I talked about this yesterday, mayor, that the pilot program, and we're being helped by the New York City Fund to End Youth and Family Homelessness is giving $300,000 towards the program, is small, it’s 100. The more important part of yesterday was some of the policy changes that we have in order to change some of the eligibility so that families that are in the HRA shelter will get credit towards their time in order to be eligible for some of the subsidies, some of the policies that we have with HPD in order to move people up so that they now can have priority. 

Really looking at the population, we know, and I think Liz made the point yesterday, many of the families with children that are in our system are victims of domestic violence. As we as an administration really want to expedite exits out of shelter, especially for families with children, what are the policy decisions that we can put into place to really create some systems change around this? Yesterday was a very exciting announcement, yes, for the administration, for the families, the 100 families that are going to be chosen. 

We're going to do a random selection of those families and a pretty thorough evaluation so that we can make sure that we have the information that we need if and when we want to replicate it. It's a big deal. As the mayor said, many advocates have been waiting for something like this for a very long time.

Question: What about the budget that was just passed, on affordable housing? Is there anything in there for survivors of domestic abuse?

Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom That's for, I'm not sure, DM Maria?

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, Housing, Economic Development and Workforce: Here's what I'll say. The tools that are part of the framework, and we're very grateful to the governor, to the leader, to the speaker. These are all the tools that we need to increase the supply of housing in this city. To the extent that we tackle what is really at the root of our housing crisis, that benefit accrues to everyone in our city, in particular the most vulnerable. 

So whether you are a survivor of domestic violence or you're one of the too many New Yorkers making under $25,000 a year, and 86 percent of you are probably rent burdened, these are exactly the types of tools that are needed. They complement the tools we are advancing. As more details of the budget come to pass, New Yorkers should be assured that to the extent that there are additional funds, additional tools for particular communities and populations, we're going to put them to good use to make sure we're housing New Yorkers with the dignity that they deserve. Thank you.

Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: How are you? 

Question: Two questions for you. First, as far as the war against rats, what does success look like? Then secondly, on Kawaski Trawick, Jumaane Williams argued that you would have responded differently earlier in your career when you were sort of more of a police reformer. What do you say to that argument?

Mayor Adams: First, success is not having to watch a rat in your baby's crib, nor in the spoiled food, as parents brought to me back in my days of borough president. Success is not having rodents run through your living room or in NYCHA run up through your stoves, as we have witnessed. Success is not walking down the block and seeing a rat sitting on your step. I saw someone send me a photo the other day, a video. 

So success is the traumatic experience, and all of you, think about it. If you were to open your closet and a rat ran out, you would never open that closet again the same way. If you went in your restroom and a rat crawled up through your toilet, you would never feel comfortable in that restroom again. I don't think any rodent can traumatize you more than a rat. And so success is to stop the traumatizing of people that the rodents have basically took over our city. And I am focused on stopping that because I'm almost positive many of you have not heard this before, but I hate rats.

Deputy Mayor Joshi: I'll just add success also is in the numbers. It's not a perfect science tracking the rat population. We can't do a census like we do with people. We have 311, and some of the complaints in 311 show us specifically where there are areas of rats being spotted. We also have the Department of Health, which issues violations if they see evidence of rats. Those are indicators that we can use. They're proxies. Nothing's perfect, but they certainly give us some real insight into what the rat population is. We have an infamous list also, the rattiest city in the United States. We have lowered our rating in that. I think that's another data point we should all be proud of. We'll continue to lower our rating.

Question: Is there a goal with the metrics, like when we reach number whatever on the rattiest city list?

Deputy Mayor Joshi: We'll never have zero, but we certainly have goals for percentage decreases, right? We want to see the trend going in the right direction continuously and cumulatively.

Mayor Adams: And we're never satisfied. We are pushing the most difficult job in politics is not being the mayor or the president, but being a staffer for Eric Adams. It's hard.

Camille Joseph Varlack, Chief of Staff to the Mayor: I think I would also add the work that the rat czar does that is really focused on bringing a holistic approach to this work, right? Working with all of the agencies and making sure that they're thinking with all of their day-to-day activities, what can we do so that it is not just the Department of Sanitation or Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, but really making sure that all the agencies are coordinating to help the city out as well.

Mayor Adams: Yes, and I want to respond to Jumaane's comment. Pre-Jordan's birth, there were things that I was able to do. There was a life that I enjoyed living. I didn't have to concern myself about saving for college or doing anything else. When Jordan was born, I became a dad. 

I'm still an advocate, but I'm the mayor of the city. I have to maintain the right tone, not allow my emotions to get involved. I have to make sure that my police officers are able to do their job as I make sure we raise the professionalism that's needed. I can't just criticize. I have to improve. And so I respect the role of Jumaane Williams and others. I respect the role of those who keep pushing government to make sure government is doing the right thing because I push government. 

But right now I'm the mayor of the city, and I have an obligation and responsibility to use the skills I've learned as a pusher to get stuff done in our police department. I thank Jumaane. I think he has been a great New Yorker and a contributor to this New Yorker. He has been one of those who I consider to be the social conscious of our city to keep us on our toes to do what's right, like others have. I've been there. I've done it. And I was the leading voice in many of those areas. I'm going to continue to fight from within.

Just as Reverend Herbert Daughtry came to me during the days of Black United Front, and he said, son, it's time for you to go into the police department and fight from within. And I was able to do that. Sometimes you can only be outside watching the failures of government, you have to come inside and change government. That's my role right now as the mayor.

Lewis-Martin: I'd like to add that when the mayor was a community advocate, it was different. He saw things through that exact lens. As the mayor, things through a much broader lens. Jumaane is the public advocate. We would expect for him to look at things from a community perspective, what's best for the people he advocated for. 

New Yorkers are blessed and should recognize the fact that they have a mayor who was once a community advocate, that they have a mayor that has gone the same road that many of them have traveled. He can look at things from both perspectives. That's what makes him unique. When the mayor stands up for something, people who know him, and even if you don't know him, but if you researched him, you will know that he speaks from the truth and his knowledge is in depth and that he actually cares. So if he's making a statement about something that may be distasteful to New Yorkers or something that may be tragic to New Yorkers, he's going to look at it from a broad perspective. He's looking at it from his former lens and his current lens. That gives him a more, a better perspective, in my opinion.

Question: Mr. Mayor, on the budget. 

Mayor Adams: What's up, Jeff? 

Question: Doing all right. You're talking a lot about the wins. You're really focusing on the good stuff. I'm seeing a lot of compromise in the budget. you talked about mayoral control. There's compromise. Then a housing tax break that isn't expected to bring in as much development as 421-a. Half the debt limit increase you're seeking. Less migrant money than you've asked for. Is it as good as you're saying as a whole? Or are you actually getting a half loaf from Albany?

Mayor Adams: I don't know which station I was at. I think it was on Channel 11. Where was that on, 5, 11 when I picked up the glass…

Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Mayor, here you go.

Mayor Adams: Some people view this glass as half empty. I view it as half full. I'm part of the half full team. I know what we were up against going to Albany. When Tiffany, Ingrid, and Diane and others were coming back and stating that there's a real challenge. 

They always came back with the same report. Speaker, majority leader, and governor. They want to help Eric. They looked at your team. They saw what you went through. They saw what you navigated. You never gave up. We want to help. And so you may say that, you didn't get everything you want. That's life. That's life. Life isn't everything you want. Life is enough so you can complete the task. 

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer made it clear that what we got out of Albany is going to help us build. Ingrid has made it clear that what we were able to accomplish around mayoral accountability, if we're able to land the plane, is going to help us continue. Tiffany has made it clear. We went up saying we need to close these cannabis shops. What they navigated is going to assist us to do so. Did we get this full glass? No. That glass is half full. 

First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright: It's more than that. 

Mayor Adams: Right? Three-quarter. 

First Deputy Mayor Wright: That's right.

Mayor Adams: Three-quarter full. I know it's challenging because it even amazes me sometimes just how well we're doing in Albany year after year after year. Everybody do the same stance that, oh, you're not going to get anything out of Albany. We always say, well, just wait and see. We land the plane, folks. We land the plane. We are the finishers. That's the title of my book.

Tiffany Raspberry, Director, Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs: Mayor, I just want to add, we had wins in several key areas, housing, retail theft, cannabis, recidivism, mental health, and also what Ingrid spoke about on mayoral accountability. I think it's unfair and it's wholly inaccurate to try to say that the City of New York is coming out of this budget as a loser.

Question: The former president has been on trial, started the trial this week. It's going to be for over a few weeks. I wonder if you can comment on the overtime costs or the financial burden this will cause for the city, tons of cops having to be out there each day, barricades, all the direction of everything. 

Then following up on the budget as well, so you did get a win in this conceptual budget here of retail theft, of being able to lump together petit larcenies into a grand as well as the upped charges for violent shoplifters. Is there any concern right now that won't go through? Because the governor seemed a little bit to hedge on it after the press conference yesterday, that there really wasn't a handshake deal, and that just seemed a little bit not on solid ground. Can you talk about that negotiation process? Because I know that's something you pushed for last year in the budget negotiations.

Mayor Adams: Was it?

Question: That was something you pushed for last year. Retail theft?

Question: The retail theft. 

Mayor Adams: Yes. It's an important piece. When you look at those numbers, I believe it’s 542 people who were arrested over 7,600 times in the city. 542, 7,600 times. Many of them have gotten so comfortable with going in and just totally disregarding that you're supposed to pay. That has become foreign to some folks. That you're supposed to pay for the items in stores, that you're supposed to pay to get on the subway system, that you're supposed to pay for the services that you receive. There was just this attitude in the city that I don't have to be respectful to my fellow New Yorkers. 

And we hear it all the time. People swipe their MetroCard, they see others who just say, I'm not paying. People walk into a Duane Reade store, take whatever they want off the shelf, then assault the employee who's there trying to provide the services. Then the stores close down and people have to travel and take the bus to get their basic needs. And so retail theft is real. It's a national problem. Deputy Mayor Banks and the entire team with the DAs and AG, we have all come together and said we want to crack down on retail theft. I think that what Albany can help us do is to send the right message that it is something that we have to crack down on. 

It is a real quality of life issue and it can already hurt our retail establishments if they feel as though no one is doing something about these retail thefts. We're zeroing in on it. We think it's important to do. Hopefully that we'll come to a conclusion. 

Question: [Inaudible.]

Mayor Adams: I've got to walk down there because we better not have a lot of cops out there. our overtime needs to be used for real issues, not make-believe ones. What was the parade I did last week? The Greek parade. You should really, the real story that someone should do, you're a crime reporter, right? You should do an analysis of the covering of parades from when I came in office to now. How much money we save.

I have a little Google Doc, that I look at the manpower each year. There's no reason we were having those thousands of cops along these parade routes or these friendly parades. And so the Greek parade, you saw probably 60 percent less police personnel. When I leave here, I'm going down to the courthouse. I better not see a lot of cops around the courthouse. Put up the barricades, have the right manpower there, but send the right message. We're not playing around. Don't come here and think you're disrupting our city. That's not going to happen. I don't need thousands of police officers to do that. You have caused me to call the commissioner to find out what's on that detail down there.

Deputy Mayor Levy: Let's not also assume that last time when Trump came to town, his camp gave out wildly-inflated numbers about NYPD overtime and costs and stuff like that everyone in the world thought was laughable. It was like hundreds of millions of dollars, something Eric Trump said. Let's not believe things that come out of the Trump camp. 

Question: Good morning, everyone. 

Mayor Adams: How are you? Hey, what's up, man? 

Question: Just allergies. My Covid test was negative. Good morning. I'll be quick. Chancellor Banks has been subpoenaed to testify next month in regards to the DOE's approach to antisemitism. Weigh in if you would on that. And then knowing that everyone looks to New York City to respond [inaudible] things, just how since the war in Israel has begun, your thoughts on how the city has responded to these rise in incidents?

Lisa Zornberg, Chief Counsel to the Mayor and City Hall: Can I just make one correction to the premise of the question? Chancellor Banks was not subpoenaed. He was invited and he accepted the invitation.

Mayor Adams: When you look at the fact, I think we're probably up to 500 protest demonstrations in the city. Then you do an analysis of how people are covering these protest demonstrations across the country, you'll see why this… We call the New York City’s Finest, because they have really managed the right to protest without the destruction of property and the interference with normal movement in the city. What the chancellor must do in a school system with so many diverse opinions and views, not only from students, but even educators. 

We have to find the proper balance to make sure we continue to use these moments as teachable moments without any antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti any other group. That is what the chancellor has done. He's going to continue to do and he's going to share that in Washington, D.C. He's going to share how this city needs to be a model for the entire country. 

Now, we have these incidents where people do things that are inappropriate and he has responded to them accordingly. But trust me when I tell you the challenge of balancing an educational environment, an extremely opinionated young population. We know we were all young once and we know how it feels to give our opinion. Just the volatility of what's happening globally right now. We saw that even when the start of the Ukrainian and Russian war. There was some real tensions. We have a large Ukrainian population, large Russian speaking population. When we see what's playing out in the Middle East, in Palestine and in Israel, we have a large Muslim population, a large Jewish population. One of the largest Jewish populations outside of Israel is right here in New York City. 

But hate has no place here. People must be safe in the city. You should not have to take off your hijab to get on the subway system. You should not have to take off your yarmulke to walk the streets. You should not have your synagogues desecrated, your churches desecrated. You should not be attacked because you are Sikh and wear a turban. We need to send the right message. Hate has no place here. That's what the chancellor, I think, is going to testify and share with Washington, D.C.

Question: Are you comfortable with the DOE's efforts so far? Are you comfortable with it?

Mayor Adams: We could always learn more, do more, have more input. I want us to do more Breaking Breads, Building Bonds. We did 1,000 dinners last year of different groups coming down, sitting down. I want our young people, I want my African-American students to do study on the Dominican population. I want my Muslim students to do studies on the Jewish population. My Jewish students to do studies on the Asian population. 

We don't want to acknowledge it, but we live in silos, in insulated communities, and we have to break free of that. And we talk about what our children are doing, but we need to check ourselves. All of us need to lean into the discomfort of learning new and really exploring that. If our children grew up in an environment where all they know are people who look like them, talk like them, eat the same food, listen to the same music, doing the same thing, that's a Shakespearean tragedy that is unfolding on the stage of our city. 

We look at, throughout our years in office, Ingrid and I look at the wealth of all the people we've met and just sitting in a sukkah, going to a Diwali celebration, experiencing the diversity of this city. If we want to stop hate, then it has to be more than a bumper sticker. People must immerse themselves in the true experience that we all want the same thing. That is what we must do. Are we where we ought to be? No. Are we moving there? Yes, because we're honest about it.

Deputy Mayor Levy: I would just also add, a couple of months ago, the chancellor gave a major address on combating hate in our schools. That includes antisemitism, Islamophobia, and any other hate. We're doing trainings and education for safety, trainings and education for both staff and for students. Then just last month, the chancellor of New York City Public Schools launched the first ever Interfaith Advisory Council. That's the goal there is to discuss the chancellor's priorities and offer input and ideas for engagement with faith-based communities.

Question: Mr. Mayor, so this morning, the City Council announced the makeup of this new strategy team related to the migrant crisis. They want to advance their own solutions to it. It includes government veterans, nonprofit leaders. Do you see this, I guess, as an indictment of the administration's response thus far? They talked about a lack of collaboration, which is something the speaker has said many times. Do this more as, oh, the Council is pitching in more on this subject?

Mayor Adams: Pitching in more. It's clear that, no matter how much you critique what we have done, no one is going to walk away in saying that this administration had to build a system within months. And so if people can add, if they can come up with suggestions, we are welcome to get them. We had to figure this out as we were moving along. The level of commitment that DM Williams-Isom, Zach Iscol, my chief of staff, what they have done, anyone that walks away and say that we have not done it with the commitment and dedication and the impressiveness, as I said to you before. National leaders came here, went to our sites, came back and sat down with me at Gracie Mansion and said, no one is doing what you are doing. They wanted us to go to Mexico and stand with them to acknowledge what we have done. They wrote an op-ed showing what we have done. 

People who are loud and don't know the in-depth of what we're doing are in contrast to what national leaders who have dedicated their lives to doing this work have acknowledged the success. If the Council and others, state lawmakers, others want to look at what we've done and join those national leaders to say how great we have been, then I really encourage them to do so and stand up. Everyone should realize what this administration has done. Go look at the other cities. No one is sleeping in airports. No one is sleeping in police precincts. No one is sleeping in hospital on floors. Children and families are not sleeping on the streets. Go look at the other cities. This team has managed this crisis, and we continuing to evolve. 

A 30 percent decrease in spending, because anyone who has gone through an emergency know[s] that it costs more during an emergency until you can stabilize. We were fighting with, in the beginning, you go back in the beginning, someone came in at one time, it was being matched to the right to shelter. We had to give people care right away. Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom was getting thousands a week. Can you imagine? 4,000 a week, 8,000 every two weeks. Can you imagine what the scope is? So we welcome their input.

Deputy Mayor Ana Almanzar, Strategic Initiatives: Mr. Mayor, and just to clarify, one of the groups that came to visit that you mentioned sent staff to the city to witness the work that Deputy Mayor Anne and the asylum seeker team has done specifically on the Application Help Center. 40,000 individuals have been able to apply for the benefits we qualify for, and that team came to be trained by the New York City team to learn how to process applications, how to then be able to build that in their city, in their state, and then we can have better communications with them as to when someone is traveling for the city, a migrant is coming to New York City, we can start this process as early as they cross the border. Thank you. Just a testament of the work the team has done in helping those 40,000 individuals.

Lewis-Martin: I'd like to add that if you think about it, several months ago, the mayor, Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom, myself, and I believe our First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, we asked for exactly what the council is doing. We asked for legislators. We asked for members of City Council. We asked you. We asked anybody who felt that they can put together a team and come up with creative ways of helping us to address the problem to do it. Our hats go off to City Council. We thank you for hearing our call, and we look forward to working in partnership with them.

Mayor Adams: The byproduct, and that's what I want New Yorkers to understand. There's a byproduct to this crisis. The Roosevelt Avenue, which your paper has pointed out, that's a byproduct. Some of the problems we're facing in our city, this is the byproduct of bringing thousands of people to a city and telling them they cannot work. This is what we're seeing. 

Councilman Moya and I, some of the illegal shops, sex trafficking that is taking place, all this is a byproduct. I keep telling folks, you have 3,000 people on Randall's Island that cannot do anything all day. That's just not right. It's just inhumane. If folks would take a trip there, talk to the people like I do, and communicate with them. When I walk inside those HERRCs, those people give me a standing ovation. They say, thank you, mayor. Thank you. They just want to work. So we're going to continue to do our job, but we want input, as Ingrid stated, from others who want to help with us.

Raspberry: Mayor, I want to add that during the height of this crisis, we actually had a working group with elected officials from each level of government that included Deputy Speaker Ayala and we met on a regular basis to discuss the issues, so we're happy to see that the City Council is continuing this work.

Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: What's happening? Good to have you back.

Question: Thank you. Thank you. I'm glad to be back. I have a couple of questions. Our first question is regarding mayoral control. Mr. Mayor, last week you did an interview on Channel 11. The gentleman said, well, what about parents complaining that they aren't being heard? Mr. Mayor, parents are complaining that they want to be heard. Mr. Mayor, parents are saying they want to be heard by having a vote when it comes to which parents are going to represent them on the PEP. That's what they want. One parent, one vote. They express their voices, what they want. 

Because right now, the way the PEP is composed, I don't want to get too much in the weeds, but the parents don't directly get to vote for who is going to represent their borough on the PEP. That's the type of being heard that parents want. Mr. Mayor, I don't know where you guys are with mayoral control negotiations. If we're talking about hearing parents' voices, then I hope that at some point someone is going to talk about giving parents the right to vote and have a real voice and be heard. So that's one.

Mayor Adams: In my public life, I've learned that there's not a universal tone that defines our meetings the same. What you just stated, your definitions of parents having a voice, you speak to another group and they give you another definition. You speak to a third group, they give you another definition. Everyone has a definition of what they believe, what we identify. 

What we must do, we must find a way of how do we take everyone's opinion and thoughts into account. We put together a parent group to come up with real ideas on how the changes should be. Some of them said cap specialized schools. Some of them stated different views and thoughts. They didn't even agree among themselves. If we are so idealistic that we're not realistic, that a million students with hundreds of thousands of parents are going to come with one universal opinion, that's just not reality. 

So we have to reach a point where someone must be responsible for educating our children. Because when we were at that point where no one was responsible, we were having a 50 percent graduation rate. We were having a dropout in students. We were having our children not leading the state and reading the math. We were not reforming our schools. We were not dealing with dyslexia. We were not dealing with all of these other issues. So no matter what we do, there reaches a point where someone must make a decision. 

I don't want parents going to a principal and saying we need to have a committee on you educating the children in your school. I don't want people going to a teacher to say we need to have a committee to decide what you're going to teach in your classroom. Someone must be responsible for educating our children. I don't know of a chancellor that has been more close to parents. Electeds, all of them say he has been one of the most easy and accessible chancellors they have ever met. At the end of the day, someone got to make these decisions. We can't continue to think that we can just have these ideal committees of everybody getting their voice in because we can't agree. I don’t even agree with myself all the time. That's just the reality. 

We got to make the decision to move this educational system forward. That's been broken for years. We're going to continue to do that. Parents vote for the mayor and the mayor, since the days of Bloomberg, has mayor accountability. They have to be held responsible. We're going to continue the success. I understand and I'd love for us to find an ideal way of hundreds of thousands of parents weighing in. but we won't get anything done. We just won't. When you pick the parents who you think it is, you're going to have a bigger protest of those parents to say, well, I wasn't picked. That's just the reality of life. 

Question: Okay so my next question.

Mayor Adams: Only because you've been absent and we’ve missed you.

Question: My next question is about youth employment. One, is there, is the Summer Youth Employment Program application still open? If it's closed, any number, any data of how many young people applied? I know this would be operations. I thought it would be workforce.

Deputy Mayor Levy: DM Ana.

Question: Then my other question is also speaking youth employment, but now 18 to 21. What is the status of the assistant school safety agents' hiring code? The position for assistant school safety agents, that would be young people from 18 to 21. What's the status?

Mayor Adams: Deputy Mayor Almanzar is doing these hiring halls. I'm glad you said that. We have some great jobs in city government, from the school safety agents to correction officers. We've lowered the requirements, the educational requirements. The commissioner at DCAS has done an amazing job in doing a real analysis on, do you need a bachelor's degree to be a school safety agent or whatever jobs else that we've had? And DM Almanzar can talk about what she's doing with our hiring halls, which I think are crucial. We're taking it to people on the ground. DM Almanzar?

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: In the first question, on the hiring halls, we had five last month. This month, the month of April, we'll have a series of them, one on each borough. We had over 900 young individuals attend from different walks of life. Those with a bachelor's degree, some of them with an associate's degree, and some of those looking for engagement posts at high school.

In reference to your question about Summer Youth Employment Program, we opened the application earlier this year. The application process closed. We're in the process now of placing those who are interested and paying close attention to those who come with special needs and those who are from NYCHA as well. We had about 182,000 applicants this year. Last year, as the mayor has mentioned before, we had 100,000 placements. We're working with our sister agencies throughout the city to bring those students and those participants in to learn about the skills that you gain from working in the city and also to learn about the great system that we have in being a city public servant and the benefits that you get and the experience that you gain. 

Also engaging with different companies. Last year, we were able to bring some of the magnificent, great, large organizations that do artificial intelligence and other technological companies, as well as engaging our youth who are members of the LGBTQ community to make sure that we provide services that accommodate their needs, including a great panel that they hosted at Louis Vuitton last year. We hope to be able to replicate that same experience for those students this year as well.

Deputy Mayor Levy: DM Ana, you guys actually extended the enrollment for summer youth employment by two weeks, I believe, to get more people to apply?

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Absolutely. Yes. That's correct, the MWBE, in an effort to give the opportunity to those who weren't able to complete an application to extend that day by two weeks. Yes.

Question: Hello.

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: I would like to ask you about your protocol of communication between you and the City Council members. Lincon Ressler, who's representing District 33, in which my studio is located, was a vocal critic of this protocol. He was trying to reach you for, I mean the administration, for lead in the park, and he said he had to fill out a Google form. Could you talk about this? Why is this? What's the reasoning behind it? And if you could reply to maybe that particular issue.

Mayor Adams: Okay, a couple of things. Just imagine this for a moment. Some City Council people called me, and other lawmakers called me. They said, Eric, when constituents want to meet with us, we send them a link. I have had a link for 10 years. If someone stops me on the street, when someone meets me on the street and they say, may I would like to meet with you, I give them a link. They fill it out. I start the morning, and I look at it and look at the problems they have and determine if I should handle it directly or if I should have a team handle it. 

Two years in, I did an analysis. There's some things that I noticed that was just not right. Number one, certain elected officials were having greater access than others. Some of the loudest complainers were having greater access than others. Two, we were stepping on each other where a Council person or a senator or assembly person was having a problem with an issue, we were looking at them one at a time instead of bringing them all together and saying, here's the same issue, let's bring them all together. Every morning I get up and I look at those requests of what people are requesting to meet with our team. Either I respond or Tiffany responds or her chief of staff responds. 

We've had close to 100 people who have responded already. Within hours, at most 24 hours, their request is responded to. Within 24 hours, their request is responded to. And we coordinate to see if other people are asking for the same requests. And so when you hear people say that it is too labor intensive, it can't be done, that is just not true. Change is hard, I got it. But I need to coordinate these commissioners and deputy mayors to make sure that we're not duplicating the services that we're doing, that I monitor, that we're being fair to give access to all of my electeds, because some of my electeds are new. They don't have the same relationship as those who have been in government a long time. 

I have to ensure fairness. I've heard it from elected officials. I'm not getting callbacks. I'm not getting returns. I'm able to look and see, this new elected or this elected is requiring to meet with such and such, and I'm coordinating. We had an incident the other day. Councilwoman Ung was having a problem in her parks. They were destroying the parks. She sent in her request to meet with Parks at 8, I think it was 8.30, 8.50. I'm texting her with Parks commissioners saying, listen, the Council person is having a problem in the park. Let's get everybody on point. I'm seeing on the ground firsthand what my elected officials need. 

I think they overreacted and now that they're seeing how well the system is going, we've got congressional people who responded, assembly people who responded, senators who have responded, Council people have responded. All levels of government have sent in their requests, and the system is moving at a smooth pace. I don't know if you realize it. Public Advocate Williams, if someone wants to meet with him, they have to do it online. If it's good for Joe Citizen, it has to be good for Mary Elected.

Question: Any words for those who said they refused to fill out that form?

Mayor Adams: They're not required to fill them out. They just don't meet with my commissioners. If there's an emergency, they called, they talked about the lead. We're going to still do the job even if we don't do the meeting. Let's be clear on that. 

If there's an emergency, we're going to still respond. If there's an issue around, we're having a light out somewhere, we're still going to fix it. If there's something that a school needs, we're still going to do it. If they call and leave a message, we're still going to do it. But when you start talking about the resources of the city, we need to coordinate that, and we need to put it together. If they don't, if somebody doesn't want to meet with an elected official, non-elected official state, this is how you meet with them, they make the decision, well, I don't want to do that. I can get my doctor's appointments through portals. 

You can't get up and just walk into an elected official's office. There's a system to see them. I respect that system. If an elected official tells me, Eric, if you want to meet with me, you have to call my staffer and set up an appointment, I'm going to do that. If they say you have to send me an e-mail, I'm going to do that. If they say they have to send a letter, I'm going to do that. If they say you have to fill out a Google link, I'm going to do that. The person who's receiving the meeting request determines what methodology they use to organize their meetings. You can't disrespect. I can't go to my doctor's office and say, I don't want to fill out your portal. He says I'm fine. You don't see me. Keep your toothache.

Raspberry: Mayor, just to add a little context, I know that there's been a lot of focus on the city council, but this form is not just for the City Council, it's for all levels of government. If you do a basic Google search, you can find that multiple elected officials across all levels of government use forms for meetings. 

In particular, federally elected officials, when you go to their website, have a form to engage constituents. We've seen this across the board. At the state level, at the city level, countless elected officials' offices have the same process. This is not something that's new.

Mayor Adams: Right. It's a funnel approach. It allows you to control what comes in, and it allows me… Everyone knows I'm a hands-on, on-the-ground person. It allows me to make sure we are doing. I'm able to inspect what I expect so it's not all suspect. Great way. I've done it for years. It has helped me manage the incoming. That's the purpose of it. This is not punitive. 

This is not going after people. There are people who put in requests that are my staunchest critics, and I respond to them just the same. And Lincoln Restler, someone put in a request for Lincoln Restler. He said he didn't do it. Okay. I text him that morning and said, I see you have a concern about the BQE. I reached out to Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi and said, we're going to get on it right away, Councilman. Thank you. Thank you. Hold on. Wait. We can't leave. This is my guy. This is the only guy I connect with. Go ahead, brother.

Question: What is this rat contraception bill? It's before the City Council. Are you waiting to get on that? Are you trying to get a pill that will introduce birth control to rats?

Mayor Adams: I think it's — Who's the council person doing that? 

Crowd: Abreu.

Mayor Adams: I think if it works, then we should definitely look into it. We're looking over the bill. Whatever methodology we can use to address the rodent problem, we should be willing to use it. We're going to look over the bill. Go ahead, Chris. You wanted to ask a question?

Question: I have a question on the Beth Israel shutdown. The state Health Department said there's going to be a violation of a lot of things on the shutdown. They don't have a proper shutdown plan certified. I guess it's something of a state thing, but is there anything the city can do? Beth Israel and Mount Sinai doesn't seem to have [inaudible]. They’re still going to shut it down. That means 400,000 people are no longer going to have [inaudible] to move around. They have maybe one hospital left.

Mayor Adams: We have been… I was speaking to Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom and Dr. Vasan and H+H. Because when you shut down hospitals, it's going to come on the H+H system. We're going to have to pick up the tab. Ingrid and crew, they have been working on Downstate. We need a real hospital plan. We're going to sit down with the state and find out what's the vision. What is it going to look like? Because it's not like if we shut down these hospitals, the patients go away. And so we need a real plan of action of how we're going to deal with these hospital closures. I know there's some great conversations happening around Downstate. All of these hospitals we have to look at because it's going to impact us. Go ahead, Chris. 

Question: I'll riff through these questions quickly. 

Deputy Mayor Levy: Take your top one, Chris. 

Question: I love you all. At the ABNY breakfast earlier, I saw there were some protesters. They came pretty close to you. Was that some sort of security breach? Are you going to need to do something with your security team? 

And I'm just going to spit out the remainder of my question. On the governor's migrant funding proposal, it falls short of the request you had for a 50-50 split. What is it going to mean for the city that you're not getting that? Then on the final topic, Hui Qin, the Chinese billionaire who pleaded guilty to straw donations. A few weeks ago, you told reporters in this room that he was just one of many thousands of people that you interacted with on the campaign trail. Mike reported yesterday that you actually celebrated your 60th birthday at his Plaza Hotel penthouse. Why didn't you share that information a few weeks ago? Are there any more meetings or interactions with Mr. Qin that you can tell us about now?

Mayor Adams: Let's peel back each one. First, I'm going to start with Qin. I really don't think people realize what it is to be, number one, a candidate and a mayor. And how many events you're at? You know how many birthday celebrations I have? People invite me over and they have a cupcake with a candle in the middle of it. If I were to share with you every birthday celebration, every dinner, that's just not a reality, Chris. The life of a candidate, waking up at night in the morning, being handled by your personnel to tell you where you're going to go, saying hundreds of speeches a week, that's the life of a candidate. 

This idealism of looking back through the sterilized lens of what it is to be a candidate or a mayor, not only being a borough president, but running for office, thousands of people that you're engaging in every day. So if you expect for me to remember every cake and every candle and every person that I met, that is just not the reality. I keep saying over and over again, the life of the mayor is Madam Secretary on steroids, on steroids. And so my birthday was several celebrations. Every time a celebration comes up, you're going to ask me, Eric, why you didn't tell me about that birthday celebration? I wanted to come and you didn't let me know about it. Chris, that's just not a reality. 

That's the life. That's the life. That's the life of being a candidate and being a mayor. you're everywhere. Everyone that you shake a hand with, everyone that you take a picture with, it's easy to look and find out that someone did something wrong and then find one of those thousands of pictures you took and say, look, you said hello to his daughter. This is the life. 

Let's talk about the security breach. It is so difficult to be my detail. It is very challenging because I tell my detail members, do not crowd me, I don't want you in the room. I want to walk in by myself. Stay on a peripheral. Do not keep New Yorkers from coming near me. It is challenging for them. I'm a security person nightmare. My team over the years, they have adjusted. They tell whoever knew on the detail, they said, he don't want you up on him. He don't want you standing on the stage next to him. He don't want you having people stopping New Yorkers from coming to him. We have to stay on the periphery. This is his style. 

It was not a security breach. They know that is one thing the mayor can do, the mayor can handle himself. I saw them walking on the stage. I could have easily given them a signal to do so. He had the correct amount of steps. If he would have went beyond those steps, he would have had a problem. Let's be clear on that. My detail, they're doing their job. They know how I want my inner circle to be. They know I don't want to be locked into a bubble. I've made it clear over and over again. It took a whole year before they got it. If they would have run on that stage too quickly, they would have had a problem with me. If I need them, I know how to signal them. If I need people to get away from me, I know how to signal them. They know how to do their job. They're good at doing their job. They know the uniqueness of a mayor that was a former police officer and a mayor that knows how to take care of himself. No banner is going to scare me. Who's your last thing before we bounce?

Question: …Not meeting your request for a 50-50 split?

Mayor Adams: Listen. Listen. I know there's going to be a desire to find the, what was it? Listen, we would love 50-50. We would love 70-30. We would love 90-10. We got what we wanted. Governor, if you're watching, you have a real fan in the mayor. Thank you. Thank you, governor. Thank you, speaker. Thank you, majority leader. Thank you, my elected officials that are up there, even those who dislike me. You like the city, and you delivered for the city. Thank you.

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