August 15, 2022
Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, Economic and Workforce Development: Good afternoon, everyone. We are so thrilled to be here with all of you. This campus, it’s an extraordinary institution. Bronx Community College, truly one of the treasures, not just of this borough, but of the city. I really would like to thank Dr. Thomas Isekenegbe and the entire community of faculty, staff, and students for hosting us on this beautiful afternoon. This is a very important day for our city, as we will be making a number of major announcements that really put New York City at the leading edge of the nation's workforce development conversation.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Today, as the mayor will outline, we are going to fully and finally empower the Mayor's Office of Talent and Workforce Development to operate as it was originally envisioned, as an office that will aggressively steward the mayor's talent and workforce strategy. It will strengthen a system whose fragmentation for too long has underperformed for our young people and adults entering the workforce.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: We're also very excited to launch the Talent and Workforce Development Interagency Cabinet, which will convene each agency's chief workforce officer monthly to support citywide objectives for talent and workforce development. And this will, of course, lead to more transparency and opportunities for collaboration across the administration's priorities.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: We're also very excited because we know that this work isn't just about city agencies — that it has to be connected to the work of institutions outside of government. We're going to be convening a Future of Workers Task Force, a group of amazing cross-sector leaders who will bring many years of experience and dedication to training people and supporting businesses to really help shape our strategy.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: I'd like to thank our amazing DOE chancellor, David Banks, our amazing CUNY chancellor, Felix Matos, Ernst & Young Global chairman and CEO, Carmine Di Sibio, President and CEO of Goodwill Strategies of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey Katy Gaul-Stigge, and President for the Fund of the City of New York Lisette Nieves, who will be our co-chairs for this task force.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: We really could not be more excited and grateful for your commitment and dedication to this important effort, which we know will lead to more New Yorkers securing good jobs and meeting the talent needs of local industry. And it will of course improve our ability as a city to get stuff done.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Now, of course, today we also celebrate, and the mayor will talk more about this in just a second, New York City's selection as one of the 32 states and territories to be receiving funding from the U.S. EDA via the American Rescue Plan. Now, there was really stiff competition here, over 600 applications nationwide. 32 were awarded, and New York City and this particular initiative is one of them. And so, we are incredibly grateful. This is led by — You can clap for that.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: This is led by the Human Resources Administration Commissioner Gary Jenkins, together with the New York City Office of the Mayor. And we will use the close to 20 million awarded to really build the types of on-ramps into jobs that New Yorkers really deserve. We could not be more excited for this initiative, and I'd like to thank colleagues across government and outside of government, including Commissioner Jenkins, the Mayor's Office of Youth Employment Executive Director David Fischer, and countless professionals across the different agencies.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: We also want to thank our partners who provided support on this proposal and who will help implement it, including Kathy Wylde at the Partnership for New York City, Gary LaBarbera at the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, and Joe McDermott at the Consortium for Worker Education. Now, what's important about this model, and it doesn't happen all the time with every single workforce program, is that it represents the type of partnership that is needed.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: There are more than two dozen employers, six unions, four intermediaries, and more than a couple dozen talent developers and service providers, all of whom will be working together to make sure that we provide the right types of opportunities through this program for New Yorkers. Finally, I just want to say that talent is and always has been this city's most important asset, and we need not look further than across the hall to our neighbors or down any city block, and of course on this beautiful campus. That talent is everywhere.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: And so, with that, I'd like to turn it over to the individual who has really charged us with the mission of unlocking that talent, everywhere possible across the five boroughs, our mayor, Eric Adams.
Mayor Eric Adams: Great job. Great job, deputy mayor. I was sharing with the president of the school who is from Lagos. I recall going to Lagos a couple of years ago. I landed on a Monday and didn't sleep again until Sunday. That is one heck of a place to be, Lagos, Nigeria. This is a significant moment. We talked about Ernst Young. We talked about the chancellor. We talked about CUNY. That has been the failure of the past. It was the disconnect. We were not preparing our children for college and preparing college for employment or preparing the DOE to go straight into employment.
Mayor Adams: And what you're seeing and witnessing in this city is this unprecedented relationship with our business community and our institutions of education and higher learning. That is the bridge we had to build. We had to build that bridge. And the relationships we have developed through Kathy Wylde and the Partnership and others has just really created this environment.
Mayor Adams: And what you said was so powerful. You said, "We just want to help." That's all our business leaders have been saying for a long time, that they just want to help. Because the young people we are producing in the Department of Education and in CUNY, they must fill these jobs. And if they're not prepared to fill the jobs, with those real skills, then we are really betraying them. And we have. We have betrayed young people in this city for generations. And we have to be honest about that if we're going to fix that.
Mayor Adams: And just standing in the shop of auto mechanics, we were laughing about it. I was a former mechanic for Bristol Motors in Manhattan, a Volkswagen dealership that I was assisting and paying my way through CUNY. A two-timer in CUNY. New York City College of Technology and John Jay College. I am who I am because of CUNY. Did we ever have another mayor that was CUNY grad? Now that I think about it…
Mayor Adams: Right. Right. And so, CUNY, you need to take claim that the mayor of the City of New York came through CUNY in a real way. This is the marriage that we're looking at. And it's great seeing you chancellor. Our former chancellor’s here as well to continue to do good work. So, as mayor of New York City, the CUNY mayor — your press people would better be here to take that soundbite.
Mayor Adams: And as we battle, COVID, monkeypox, crime, polio housing — as we battle all of these crises, we still have work to do. Producing quality employees of the future can't stop because of COVID. You can't put this city on pause because there's a crisis. Let me deal with the crises. You keep doing the work that you have to do. And that optimism you see across the city, that some people just don't get it — because I know who we are. We're resilient. We're invincible. We're going to get through all of this. And if we stop what we're doing while we're waiting to get through COVID, then shame on us. We have to continue to build the infrastructure in spite of the challenges that we see every day in the emergency.
Mayor Adams: And let me tell you something. All these stories you hear that's being covered in the press, when I walk down the block, people are not talking about that. They're talking about jobs, they're talking about housing, they're talking about public safety. They're not asking me, "Well, why don't you appoint Tim Pearson as your person." Man, people don't hear that. That's noise. This is real. This right here, what we're doing today, is real. And you need a mayor that's willing not to be distracted and stay focused.
Mayor Adams: I am so focused on turning our city around. And this economic engine that we have. We're going to bring more jobs here, and I'm talking about good jobs. Jobs you can build your life around, and you can build our city and our economy around. And so, today we are taking a major step forward, making sure more New Yorkers get training and access to these good jobs and that New York City employees have the talent they need, so we can make them employable for what our partners are looking for.
Mayor Adams: So, I'm proud to announce the launch of a new program, New York City PINCC, P-I-N-C-C, Pathways to Industrial and Construction Careers. A real win. The program would train and place over 2,000 New Yorkers into high-wage, career-track jobs in the construction, transportation, and utility sectors over the next three years.
Mayor Adams: That's an amazing feat. It will be funded by an $18.6 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. And I want to give thanks to New York City winning proposal for the Good Jobs Challenge created by the American Rescue Plan. We're applying for every dollar out there to make sure that we can get our city up and operating in the right place. Because we send too much money to Washington that we don't get back. So every time we get it back, another million, that's another million that we deserve in this city.
Mayor Adams: We're the economic engine of the country. And we're clear on that. And we're the economic engine of the state. That's what New York City represents. We are emeritus city. This is a dynamic new approach to workforce and talent development and a major shift from the previous way we have served jobless job seekers and employers. Rather than just placing people in any job, New York City PINCC will be working to identify, train, and match New Yorkers with a job that will give them an on-ramp to a strong foundation to raise their children and families.
Mayor Adams: And this just isn't about a single program. We are applying the same philosophy to revolutionize our approach to talent development in New York City, something Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer has really taken the lead over with her entire amazing team, as they continue to rethink how we handle jobs and employment. That's why today I am signing an executive order that will put talent and workforce development at the center of our economic development strategy. Talent and workforce development. And this is the largest executive order I've seen.
Mayor Adams: We want all New Yorkers to be able to learn and to be able to earn a living wage and share in our city's future. And we want our employers to tap the incredible talent we have in every borough, every block, every neighborhood. And the opportunities are there. The executive order will streamline the efforts of nearly two dozen city agencies and offices that administer workforce training and job placement programs. We were so siloed, so disjointed. Everyone was duplicating what they were doing, and we were turning out an inferior product. We're now bringing all the entities together, under Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, to laser focus on what we are doing.
Mayor Adams: And this is going to ensure that they are working hand in hand with the Department of Education and the City University of New York. We could not have asked for a better partner than our chancellor, and it's crucial to the success of this program. The executive order will also create a Future of Workers Task Force, develop a citywide plan on talent and workforce development, establish a dashboard for talent and workforce development to show progress citywide. It will consolidate the Mayor's Office of Youth Employment and the implementation of the PLAs community hiring into New York City Talent and Workforce Development. And also, which I think is crucial, it will work with employers to address current and projected future talent needs in the healthcare, technology, construction, manufacturing, and culinary hospitality sectors.
Mayor Adams: All of those jobs are going nowhere. Those are jobs of the future. And if we are building employees of the future, we have to match the jobs of the future with the employees of the future. We should not be teaching people how to do jobs that won't be here in the future. This is a transformational effort. As a result of this work, we will see that we have changed lives, helped New Yorkers get on the right path for the right job and provided employers with the strong talent that they deserve and what they look for. There are many paths to a good job and a good life here in New York City. And far too often, there have been real barriers and impediments to the good jobs and the pathway for a good life. And this administration is going to make sure that every New Yorker has that opportunity, because a job is not just a paycheck. It's the foundation for a good life and participating in a thriving city. This is the kind of thing that the Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer says all the time that we resonate in our administration. This is how you get stuff done. And we will get stuff done for the City of New York. Thank you very much.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Thank you, mayor. We'll now have a number of really important speakers. And I just wanted to make a point about our speakers. As the mayor mentioned, there were so many good programs happening across different institutions, but for far too long, everyone worked in their own lane. And at some point, if that continues to be the system that we have, then the people who get shortchanged are New Yorkers. And so what you are seeing here in the lineup today in our next several speakers are leaders who have committed to the mayor's singular mission of making sure that the workforce system, that the talent system works harder and better for New Yorkers. And so let's start with the executive director of the mayor's office of talent and workforce development, really the architect behind this entire plan and someone who has really spent a career really understanding and making change so that one's, any New Yorker's, opportunities in life really isn't dictated by his or her zip code or the circumstances of their birth. Let me welcome Abby Jo Sigal.
Abby Jo Sigal, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development: Thank you. Wow. Thank you, Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer. I'm thrilled to be here, especially in the Bronx, but more on that. Thank you, president... Ah, Thomas.
Sigal: I have very bad auditory memory. That's my learning challenge. And thank you, the Bronx Community College team, who really set this up and made it an amazing event and for all the work you do all the time to really serve New Yorkers in this city. And thank you to the CUNY community for hosting us on one of CUNY's 25 unbelievable campuses. They are a true New York treasure. And I challenge everyone to go see everyone. I want your cards. They're going to be your CUNY cards. I am thrilled and humbled to be here today, especially in the Bronx, a borough which means so much to me, personally, where I've worked, learned, and grown for many years and a borough that is a barometer for our city. New York City thrives because of the diversity, talents and ambitions of New Yorkers. That's what makes the city not only great, but unique and why people from all over the world come here to live, to visit, work and prosper.
Sigal: Today marks the kickoff of what's going to be a historic transformation of how we move this city forward. Today we are announcing the talent and career success of New Yorkers will be at the center of how we invest in our city's future. By doing so, we will meet New Yorkers and employers where they are, develop the infrastructure needed to better match talent to the amazing career opportunities that we, as a city, generate and work relentlessly, relentlessly to tackle the historic employment disparities we too often see in the city, and to ensure New York employers, of all types and sizes and industries, can tap the talent. They need to grow and thrive. We are here today with amazing leaders, both up here at the podium and out in the crowd. Many of you I've worked with for many years and a few taking a well-deserved August vacation, who couldn't be here.
Sigal: Thank you to Bronx Community College and the team here, because you're really showing in action, demonstrating how to braid learning from work into traditional training and degree pathways for your students. And that makes all the difference in the world. Thank you to my fellow leaders in the administration. I stand here representing all of you. Your teams are doing amazing work and that's evidenced by the award for the Good Jobs Challenge, real testament to the leadership of Gary Jenkins and Jill Barry at HRA and of David Fisher and Leah Herbert at Mayor's Office for Youth Employment, who really pulled together partners from everywhere, every corner of this city, to win that award. And as Maria said, as the deputy mayor said, it's very, very competitive, and we have an amazing proposal and that we're going to put in action as we speak.
Sigal: Partners came from across labor, CUNY and assist city's essential network of nonprofit workforce providers and community-based organizations, all of whom have agreed to step up to provide a shared vision, training and other supports, such as childcare, that are essential to the successful implementation of all talent and workforce programs and definitely of PINCC. Thank you to the co-chairs of the Future of Workers Task Force, all of whom have long standing and deep commitment to positioning New York City students, workers, and employers for success and have agreed to roll up their sleeves, so we, as a city, can take action to create a 21st century talent development system. A system that truly works for New Yorkers works for our employers and works for our city. Thank you to Chancellor Banks and Chancellor Matos of New York City public schools and CUNY. We would not be here but for their vision, leadership and commitment to the economic security and mobility of their students. And they work closely. They have incredible teams, incredible teams who translate that vision, that leadership into specific actions. And they're doing so with urgency.
Sigal: Together, we will construct a system that builds on what works. We're not reinventing the wheel. We're not starting from scratch and the lessons and evidence of our city's many great programs, as well as those from outside New York. I know we're all fairly provincial here, but there are good things happening outside New York. We will align public and private resources. So I'm thrilled to have Ernst & Young rolling up their sleeves with us as well as others. It's going to leverage the strength of all city agencies, as you heard from the mayor and deputy mayor, and from nonprofits and community-based organizations and all types of employers and labor unions. Those are our stakeholders. Those are our partners. We will, together, serve New York City. We will meet the dynamic needs of the labor market. As the mayor said, the labor market's changing every day and it's changing quickly. We saw that with the pandemic. We're going to see it some more. And we, as a city, are going to be ready.
Sigal: And we're going to do it by lifting up the interests, ambitions, and hopes of New York City students, residents, and families. They are a treasure. They are our future. We are developing a system that truly creates multiple pathways to success, that has no dead ends and is permeable. There's always a place to go and a place to learn and a place to do. It begins in K-12 and supports New Yorkers throughout their lives. It adapts to the changing employer needs. And, most of all, it fulfills the promise of our city as innovative and as a place of opportunity. Today kickstarted our joint work. And I thank you not only for being here today, but also for all of the work and investment and labor that you have made to date and for the future commitments, I know that all of you will make, as I'm looking around the room, and for the actions that we will take together on behalf of New Yorkers. New Yorkers are our city's talent and that's our future. Thank you so much for being here today.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Thank you, Abby. I love that the interest, ambitions and talents of New Yorkers and young people. So I'm really excited, two of my favorite chancellors are here. My first favorite chancellor, of course, the chancellor of the Department of Education, David Banks.
Chancellor David Banks, Department of Education: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And good afternoon, everybody.
Chancellor Banks: I spent a great part of my career here in the Bronx together with my predecessor Meisha Ross Porter, who's here. We dedicated so much of our lives to trying to help uplift the lives of young people right here in this borough. We've been on this campus many, many times and it feels so great to be back. So I think that all of the appropriate acknowledgements have already been made and I certainly won't do that again. But I will say this — this mayor has been dedicated to this issue from day one, in recognizing that New York City cannot be turned around unless you are putting New Yorkers back to work. Now that's easy to say, but this task force will be charged with building the real plan to actually make that happen.
Chancellor Banks: And so the work that we are going to be doing in the part that we will be playing at the Department of Education is a critical role, because for far too many of our young people, we have not put them in a position to have a clear pathway to the middle class and beyond. They've gone to school every day. They've done what we've asked them to do, but we've not prepared them with the very specific skills that are necessary for them to take their rightful place in this 21st century economy. We've got smart teachers who are committed, who are dedicated to our kids. What we have to do is to give them the appropriate tools, so that they can, in fact, put our young people on that path. Jade Grieve is with me here. Jade, just wave. She is our chief of career pathways. She's going to be leading the work and is leading the work for us already at New York City public schools. And I'm thrilled that she is doing that.
Chancellor Banks: There are so many wonderful opportunities for our kids to be engaged in a more relevant school experience. When you send kids to go to school and they just go to school day after day, but don't know what it's supposed to lead toward, it can make for a very boring experience — disconnected. And then when they graduate, they say, "Okay, I did everything you said. Now what?" And if there's no now what? If we haven't given them those tools, those credentials that they will need, so that they can go to college and not only go to college, but graduate, or if they decide that they don't want to go to college, but they want to go right into the workforce, they ought to be able to be prepared. And if we've had them from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade, we spent, as a city, over $300,000 per student. And as taxpayers, we ought to be asking ourselves, "What is our return on investment?"
Chancellor Banks: We should produce young people who can do some stuff. Who can get off of mommy and daddy's payroll and who can step out into the real world. And that is what this task force is going to be. My good friend, Falo, he's like my brother. I wish he had told me to wear my guayabera, because he's the coolest one out here today. But we are going to be working very closely together with all the others who are heading up this task force to provide great opportunities. There should be a direct connection between all the young people from the New York City public schools and all the students at CUNY. We should not be operating in silo. We are all on the same team and that's what this task force is going to be about.
Chancellor Banks: And so for Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer, Abby Jo, the leadership you're providing, I can't even begin to tell you, this is going to be the north star for this administration. We are going to provide a relevant school experience that is going to lead to real employment in a fast-growing economy and young people who are ready to take their rightful place. And so I just want to thank the mayor for his vision, because it's been because of him that he has said this is where we're going, this is how we're going to change New York City, this is how we're going to get through the crisis and ensure that all New Yorkers, particularly the young people from the Bronx, are going to have an opportunity to take part in this emerging economy. And I'm going to do my part as chancellor. Thank you so much.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Fantastic. Thank you, chancellor. And I just have to say, the chancellor's a pretty busy guy, has a lot on his plate. But his willingness and commitment, not just to the task force, but to this work and this north star that he described, is truly extraordinary. And also Chancellor Porter. Yes, you're also on the favorite list. My bad. And my third favorite chancellor is also here. Chancellor Felix Matos. And his amazing team I know is also with us today, but please, chancellor.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Thank you, chancellor. Now, we're going to hear from a very important stakeholder in all of this. Now for too long, our training programs, our services in workforce development were untethered from the needs of employers. And we know that has to stop, that we have to make sure that employers and industry are very active and engaged part, not just of a program, like the one that we're mentioning, but really the entire system. And so we're really thrilled that one of the co-chairs for the future of workers task force is here with us today. And I'd now like to welcome Carmine Di Sibio, who is the global chairman of Ernst & Young.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: All right. A pretty provocative ending there by our CUNY chancellor. Nevertheless, we have one final speaker. We have one final speaker, friends. And this speaker's a really important one. Because our last speaker really personifies who we are here to help, like all of this effort is not just the work of government on policy and programs. It's to help human beings, it's to help New Yorkers. And so I'm so glad that he is joining us here this afternoon at BCC grad and now in Ernst & Young employee. And also I got the chance to meet his parents earlier, I know they're in the crowd. You must be very, very proud of your son and now we will hear from him, please join me in welcoming Mohammed Fuad.
Mayor Adams: Thank you, man. Good job. Also want to acknowledge our deputy borough president and our amazing assemblywoman, Assemblywoman Tapia. Want me to do a few?
Question: Yeah. Hi, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Adams: How's it going?
Question: When it comes to NYC PINCC, can you give us a sense of logistically how this is going to work? If I'm a participant who's looking to get involved, how does that happen? What does the pathway look like? If you just outline how the program is actually going to happen on ground?
Mayor Adams: Which one of you want it? You want to handle that? Yep.
Sigal: Thanks. So the PINCC is particularly targeted to HRA recipients as well as NYCHA residents. And they will be working with their partners at those agencies, as well with the on the ground providers who provide the pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training. So we're really leveraging the vast network of nonprofits and city agencies that are already doing this work and pulling it together and making sure that all of the participants not only have the opportunity for training, but also have the wraparound supports that are so important for success in training and in the job market. Thank you.
Question: Sure. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Adams: Thank you.
Question: Kind of to piggyback a little bit on that question, on PINCC, can you just go into a little bit about what type of jobs this program has going to produce? What income levels they will be at and so forth?
Mayor Adams: You want to drill into that?
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: Yeah, sure. I'll start. I'm happy to start and Abby, please. So what's important about this initiative is that it really capitalizes on industries and in particular here it's construction and industrial. And within industrial that's transportation, that's logistics where there are many in demand jobs. Those jobs run the gamut from diesel mechanics to building operators, to trades people and those are the types of jobs that are relevant to these industries. But as our colleagues at CUNY mentioned, when we were looking at one of the classrooms, they're also translatable to other industries and other employers. So these are really the type of foundational skills that are needed.
Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer: The second piece critically important is these are jobs with good wages. And our partnerships in particular with labor for a number of these programs will also ensure that these are pathways, really, to sustainability. Many of the jobs that I mentioned have starting hourly salaries of over $20, and those double after certain apprenticeships. There's some real meaningful wages and pathways for participants. As Abby mentioned, the last thing that I'll say is, what is really important about this particular partnership is that it is targeted in particular to public housing residents and cash assistance recipients with a particular focus on women, actually. Those are the types of strategies and emphases that are needed, and we hope will be a model for all of the ways that the system works for New Yorkers.
Mayor Adams: You did a great job.
Question: Hi. Good morning, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Adams: How are you?
Question: Good, thank you. [Inaudible] from Norwich News here in the Bronx. My question relates to community and ethnic media and the links between CUNY. Prior to the pandemic, CUNY offered a stipend to certain interns to work at nonprofit news outlets throughout the city, which assisted the administration in getting the word out about the Census in 2020. In order to reciprocate that, would you commit to reinstating those internships, which were often stipened by [inaudible].
Mayor Adams: And this is through CUNY? Okay. Do you want to talk about that, chancellor? It was ethnic media. There were scholarships and internships, right?
Question: Internships, where CUNY would offer a stipend. Now that cost of that intern falls to nonprofit news outlets, community and ethnic media, which are limited in terms of resources. Thank you.
Mayor Adams: Thank you. Okay.
Mayor Adams: All right. We're going to spare you guys and ladies, gentlemen, this off-topic stuff. Thank you. Good stuff.
Question: Okay. Yes. Hi, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Adams: How are you?
Question: Good. Very hot today. But, want a response from you — Tim Pearson was let go of — from Resort World Casino once it was reported that he was also getting a paycheck from you as a senior advisor. Do you have a response to that, that he was let go of? You seemed to have some glowing words for him last Friday. What are you thinking about today?
Mayor Adams: Well, I think it's important to accurately report the story. He was not let go. Tim Pearson made the decision that he wanted to focus on public safety and COVID recovery. He was not let go. Resort World stated that. I'm stating that. Tim stated that. Either we're going to report it accurately, or we're going to create a narrative. He was not let go. Let go is a nice word of saying fired. He was not let go, and I'm happy to have him. He's a 911 hero. When the buildings collapsed, he was inside one of the buildings and led people to safety. We need to lift up our 911 heroes. He has been a member of the New York City Police Department. I am just jumping for joy that we have him as part of our team.
Question: Thank you. Since you mentioned Pearson, I have a separate question as well.
Mayor Adams: Yeah, yeah.
Question: If he was not let go, he only left this position with Resort World once the New York Times story happened. Why did it take a news story for him to decide that he wants to only focus on COVID recovery and public safety?
Mayor Adams: I think I answered your question, and I was as clear as possible. I'm happy to have Tim Pearson as part of my team.
Question: Gotcha. And on a separate issue, as you likely saw on Friday, the DOI, not announced, but it became clear that they're investigating Commissioner Gary Jenkins over the allegations that he has been withholding information. I'm wondering, do you still have confidence in the commissioner, despite the DOI investigating him? Are there any conversations about potentially replacing him?
Mayor Adams: I don't recall DOI making that announcement. You may have insight that I don't have. But let's be clear, he housed over 5,000 of those who were seeking asylums. He has been navigating the complexities that is associated with housing in this city. He has been part of the transit initiative that almost 17, 1,800 people are no longer living on our subway system — placed in safe havens. I have the utmost confidence in him. I thank him for the job that he's doing, and that entire team over there. I'm happy. He's part of my team.
Question: Has your office at all been asked to participate in the DOI investigation?
Mayor Adams: Are we what?
Question: Has your office at all been asked by DOI to sit down for interviews or provide documents?
Mayor Adams: Office as in city law?
Mayor Adams: No.
Question: Migrants coming from Texas — Commissioner Manuel Castro said this morning that they're under duress. What evidence does the city have that these migrants that are coming on the bus are under duress?
Mayor Adams: Commissioner Castro would share that with you on what they're going through. But I think that any of us, after 45 hours traveling, being — the Texas governor being disingenuous about what was the destination, what was happening — any adult or child, those were horrific conditions to place human beings under. And so it wouldn't surprise me, based on what the commissioner stated, that they felt some form of stress.
Question: Good afternoon. [Inaudible] absorbed into the school system?
Mayor Adams: I'm sorry?
Question: Will school age children that are coming, the migrants, will they be absorbed into the school system here? Are you guys equipped to deal with that, and how many are there?
Mayor Adams: Yeah, we had a great conversation on Friday. The chancellor reached out to me and the Deputy Mayor Anne Williams — Yeah. Williams-Isom — Reached out, and they are coordinating together to make sure that these children could have a smooth transition, because we want to make sure there's not a disruption in their education. They are zeroing in on that, and they're going to roll out a formal plan to let everyone know what exactly we're going to be doing.
Question: Good afternoon, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Adams: How are you?
Question: Good. Thank you for taking my question. I actually do have two. Your office told us that city officials were aware right away that families had stayed overnight at PATH, though they may not have understood the full extent of the legal violation that happened there. But now we are in possession of newly released data from the city that shows that on that day, the Department of Homeless Services said that zero families had stayed overnight at PATH when they released that information to the public. So I guess my first question is, why shouldn't New Yorkers see that as another example of a transparency issue on that time?
Mayor Adams: We were very clear. I stood at a microphone inside City Hall and clearly stated without any form of sleight of hand, that four families should have been released in the time that was required. We were clear on that, and there's been no attempt to cover that up. I find it hard to believe that based on our candid-acy, people are still talking about a story that we were clear on. We were clear. Four families should not have stayed there. We continue to stand by that. And that oversight with those four families should not have happened. We are doing everything possible for it not to continue to happen.
Question: Mayor, just a follow up, I'm sorry.
Mayor Adams: Yes.
Question: So several families have told us without any understanding of the system or the fact that it was illegal... Very clearly using a Spanish interpreter, very carefully translated, that they spent multiple nights at the PATH. Many complained they didn't have food. Some said they only got maybe one placement for an hour or two. They could go shower and come back, but that they spent days at a time. Are you still confident that families were only in PATH in violation of that mandate one night with four families?
Mayor Adams: That's the only report that we received, Melissa. We have not received any other report on that. And we immediately responded appropriately and we're going to continue to do that. We are going to provide these families with the dignity that the Texas governor failed to do. That is who we are as New Yorkers. That is who we are as an administration. And I always like to remind people of the head of this operation — Gary Jenkins, Commissioner Jenkins, lived in the homeless shelter. And to give any insinuation that he's not compassionate about this issue, I just think it's wrong. I think that this is an insult to the hundreds of employees, city employees who have committed their lives to dealing with this homeless crisis that we are facing. The federal government must do his job. We need help on the state level, but we're going to do our job. And that's what we have done, and I'm proud of that. Finish up this, because this is…
Question: I'm wondering about…
Mayor Adams: Hold up. We're not going to call out of turn. She's going to acknowledge you. Okay?
Question: Mr. Mayor, I'm wondering about just a follow up on Tim Pearson. You said earlier that New Yorkers don't really care about that sort of issue. I'm wondering is that a dismissal of the sort of conflict of interest issues that government watchdogs and other groups have raised about happening?
Mayor Adams: What conflict of issues that you're talking about? There's no conflict of issue.
Question: Casino company that potentially wants to build a casino in New York City. And secondly, why didn't the city release his salary and details of his position as well?
Mayor Adams: Tim has nothing to do — the city has nothing to do with the placement of casinos. We're clear on that. Government watchdogs and the people that you acknowledge and announce, we have something in this city called Conflict of Interest Board. That's who we go to. That's who we receive our information from. Everyone out there that is giving their opinions, that's fine. This is a city of many opinions. But in order for opinions not to get in the way of how to run a city, we created something called COIB. You are aware of that. They make that determination, not the people who are giving their opinions. We go by the rules. There is no conflict with Tim Pearson. He has nothing to do with sighting casinos. He has nothing to do with any business dealings. And if there was, he would recuse himself. This is not complicated.
Question: The city released his salary. And did you get a ruling from [inaudible] about —
Mayor Adams: We followed all the rules, and the EDC followed all the rules. You could reach out to the EDC around the salary, and you could reach out to the EDC around —
Question: They declined to tell us his salary, and they also declined to tell us the court had issued a ruling.
Mayor Adams: EDC, they followed all the rules. They didn't decline telling you that. Right? Did they decline telling you they followed all the rules?
Mayor Adams: Okay, so that's good. They followed all the rules. Okay. Know what we're not going to do? We're not going to spar. I answered your question. I answered your question.
Question: Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor, for taking my question. A four year old boy was killed in the Bronx at the weekend in a scooter collision. And obviously the recent rule came into play with regard to 24 hour cameras. Do you have any comments on how safety with regard to such collisions could be mitigated?
Mayor Adams: He was on an illegal, no permit — he was on an illegal bike, right? He was on a illegal bike that of —
Mayor Adams: According to my understanding of what happened, his dad was driving that vehicle, that bike. And as you know, we have been doing a series of initiatives to remove the illegal bikes off our roads, taking hundreds off. This is why we are doing it. To lose that four year old baby that way is horrific. I saw the video. It really tore my heart to see that baby die in that fashion. And that is why the commissioner and Chief Maddrey, they have been so aggressive to remove these illegal bikes off our roads. It's just really unfortunate that something like this could happen to a child. Okay. Thank you.