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Transcript: Mayor Adams Hosts Community Conversation

December 18, 2023

Commissioner Fred Kreizman, Community Affairs Unit: Good evening. My name is Fred Kreizman, commissioner of the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. It's a pleasure to welcome everyone here to our 20th Community Conversation with the mayor.

It's exciting to be here in Corona. We are a vibrant Corona Latino community representing Colombians, Ecuadorians, Bolivians, Peruvians, Venezuelans, historic African American community, growing AAPI community, and deep-rooted Irish, Italians and Germans. Anthony Iuliano from my office was born and raised here in Corona, so it's great to be here.

We started this meeting at six o'clock to have community conversations, round tables at every table to ensure that we take down the major issues you have to relate to people in City Hall, the most important issues that you have. Then from seven o'clock until we get through all the tables, we have an opportunity to ask you a question.

If you don't have an opportunity to ask your specific question, we do have question cards at every table and within the next two weeks, we ensure to get down all the questions that you have and get a return phone call from the agencies. We're just asking that if you're asking a question to the dais, to the mayor, to remember to please be brief, give an opportunity for everyone having a chance to ask your question. And if your questions asked before we ask, to have a backup question so it's not repetitive.

Quickly, the run of show. We'll have Councilmember Francisco Moya start, Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar will speak, then we'll give it over to the mayor for questions and we're going to introduce the dais. We also have Assemblyman [González-Rojas] here, we'd like to just welcome here as well.

So, we'll go through the dais quickly. To my left, of course, we have the Chief of Staff of City Hall Camille Joseph Varlack. We have, of course, our mayor of the City of New York, Mayor Eric Adams.

We have with us First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom, Deputy Mayor of Strategic Initiatives Ana Almanzar, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer and Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi, First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg from Department of Education. We have DEP Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala.

The worst thing we could have is people who don't have respect for the community and disrupt the meeting. Those people will be escorted out of the meeting, because the worst thing we could have are people who don't care about giving members of the community the opportunity to ask their questions. So, while those people are escorted out, we are going to continue with the dais.

DEP Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala, SBS Commissioner Kevin Kim, Department of Social Services, HRA Administrator Scott French, Health and Hospital, CEO of Elmer's Hospital Helen Arteaga, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Deputy Commissioner Dr. Celia Quinn, Mayor's Office of Community Mental Health Executive Director Eva Wong, the ACS Deputy Commissioner Winette Saunders, Human Rights Deputy Commissioner Kajori Chaudhuri, Mayor's Office of Climate Environmental Justice Executive Director Elijah Hutchinson, MOCJ Director Deanna Logan, Department of Finance Director of Outreach Kieran Mahoney and Gender-Based Violence Deputy Commissioner Anne Patterson, FDNY Chief Michele Fitzsimmons.

And of course to my right, we have Councilmember Francisco Moya. Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar, NYPD Assistant Commissioner Kaz Daughtry, Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro, Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, New York City Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue, Department of Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo, Department of City Planning Commissioner and Chair Dan Garodnick, Department of Probation Assistant Commissioner Karen Armstrong, New York City Emergency Management Deputy Commissioner David Schmid, NYCHA Chief Operating Officer Eva Trimble, the Rodent Mitigation czar Director Kathleen Corradi, Sanitation Borough Chief Ignazio Azzara, DOT Chief of Staff Ryan Lynch, EDC President, CEO Andrew Kimball, DYCD Deputy Commissioner Denice Williams and Mayor's Office of People with Disabilities Chief of Staff Sara Rawshanara.

And of course want to welcome the Borough Commander from Patrol Borough Queens North Christine Bastedenbeck, the Executive… The XO Raymond Porteus, the 110th Precinct Deputy Inspector John Portalatin, 115th Precinct Deputy Inspector Eileen Downing; and, of course, we want to thank our host, PS 211 Principal Kristen Niven.

Thank you. Now we'll give it over to Councilmember Francisco Moya.

City Councilmember Francisco Moya: Thank you so much, Fred. Good evening, everyone. Good to see everyone here. I want to thank you so much for being here and taking the time out to come and discuss with us some really important issues that you care about.

I'm Councilmember Francisco Moya and it's a pleasure to have you here in Corona, Queens, my hometown, where I'm born and raised in. This place isn't just part of my district, it's my home. It's where I bought the house I grew up in. I live there now and it's only four blocks from here, so I know exactly what is happening in this community and truly wanting to hear both sides of whether you're for or against something.

This is what community is all about. This is what these town halls are all about, but let's always have respect for one another, even if we disagree. I think it's a wonderful opportunity. It's democracy at its best, but let's always respect others' opinions as well.

So, thank you to my good friend, the mayor, Mayor Adams, and the administration for being here tonight and ensuring that our community concerns are heard and taken care of. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Principal Nevin from the Elm Tree Elementary School, thank you so much.

All the city agencies, the commissioners, my colleagues and government who are here tonight is a wonderful opportunity to talk about some of the issues that come through our office as well. The top three issues that have come here have been the street vendors. It's not only what's happened in Corona Plaza, but it's pervasive district-wide.

Thank you to Mayor Adams who actually came to the district to see for himself firsthand and we've been working together with all parties that have been involved, not just city agencies, but with the street vendors to come up with a solution on how we can have a better place for us as a community to live and thrive in as well.

And I'm always looking forward to how we can find solutions to some of these problems as well. We take these issues very seriously, but we also know that there's a serious issue along Roosevelt Avenue with prostitution. It's a significant issue that's affected the quality of life. We get daily complaints that are going on from business owners, residents, church members, schools that tell us that this is what's happening 50 feet from the entrance of a school. No parents should have to walk their child to school seeing the display that they see there.

Again, I want to thank the mayor for helping us take an active role in addressing the situation of the sex workers. We do certainly have solutions that we've suggested, like going after the property owners that are renting these illegal massage parlors, work with the district attorney's office, work with the organizations that provide services for human trafficking, which is something that we are all very concerned about when it comes to sex workers as well.

And then Citi Bikes. The constituents have been flooding our offices and are frustrated with the new stations that are making it harder to find parking. We have major issues with the DOT and the locations that they have chosen. They gave no participation to the community in the sense of where we said they belong and where they shouldn't.

I’m not against Citi Bikes, but we do need to consider the residents that live in this area. We shouldn't be taking up parking spaces in community with children and older adults who need these spaces.

This isn't an area for mostly single-living studios and bikes that they use to work, so I think we need to reconsider these locations and take input from the community on what they should support and what they don't. So, we need to know that these streets...we know these streets better than anyone else and I think that this is the perfect opportunity for all of us to come together and address these issues. So, I'm going to turn this back over to…

Commissioner Kreizman: Jenifer.

Councilmember Moya: my colleague Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. Thank you, everyone. Perdón, en español. Muy breve, muy breve. ¡Buenas noches! Gracias por estar aquí. Le quiero agradecer a nuestro alcalde por estar aquí, y todos los comisionadores de la ciudad de Nueva York, que estén aquí en Corona, presentes, con nosotros, hablando de los temas más importantes que hemos recibido en nuestra Oficina del Distrito aquí. Son temas muy importantes que vamos a hablar. Ya dije lo que son esos temas, pero vamos a seguir adelante con este, esta noche y hablar de las cosas que son más importantes para nosotros y tratar de traer resolución a estos problemas que estamos viendo aquí en nuestra comunidad. Y con eso, le agradezco mucho a todos ustedes, y le voy a dar a la oportunidad para hablar…

Commissioner Kreizman: I just want to add to the fact that tonight we did have three Spanish-speaking tables where the conversations were in Spanish and one in Chinese. So, this shows the diversity of the community.

State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar: Good evening. Allow me to reintroduce myself. I am New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. I made history as the first Indian American woman ever elected to a New York State office and only in Queens do such dreams come true.

And when I ran for state legislature, I was not supported by any powerful interests. I was not supported by the establishment. I was not supported by an ideological movement. I was supported only by the people of South Queens, and that is why I am the people's representative. I am beholden to no one and I belong to no one except for you.

And so that is why I'm so thrilled to be here today at this people's town hall where we as one Queens community will come together and tackle the biggest issues that we face. How do we make our city safer? How do we make our city cleaner? How do we make our city more affordable? How can we become healthier as a city? And together, we will formulate those solutions.

And I am so proud to partner with our great mayor, Eric Adams. Thank you, mayor, for coming to Corona and bringing all of the incredible luminaries of administration who are all assembled here tonight. And I applaud the mayor for bringing our city back from Covid.

Queens was the epicenter of the pandemic and Corona was the center. We will never forget the loved ones that we lost, the sirens that blared as our neighbors were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, and we are still recovering from that trauma. But now jobs are back and at an all-time high. Private sector jobs have all been restored one year earlier than expected under the mayor's leadership. Crime is down, and the mayor works 24/7 from morning to night engaging every corner of this city and has led an incredible recovery. So, thank you, Mayor Adams.

As a New York State representative, I am doing my part. I am proud to announce today that in our state capitol this session, I am introducing a bill to expand the city's power to shut down illegal unlicensed smoke shops that are plaguing our communities.

These unlicensed illegal smoke shops are endangering the children of our community and they are hotbeds of crime. In my district, people have been shot and died at these shops. And I'm also proud to be an advocate at the state level to bring New York City the funding and the resources that we need for critical programs like Medicaid for the good health of people, and state funding to help our city manage its migrant crisis. I'm so proud to partner with the mayor and his administration and I look forward to being here with you tonight and hearing your questions. Thank you so much.

Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you so much. And we want to get as much time as possible and I think the format… This is number what? 20?

Commissioner Kreizman: 20.

Mayor Adams: Number 20, we have put in place. Older Adults town halls, how many did we do, commissioner?

Female Speaker: We've got six and we have three more to go.

Mayor Adams: Six and three more to go. We had youth town halls. This is the best part of the job getting on the ground and speaking one-on-one to people. And this community, as I've walked through this community and traveled through this community, there's a connection because not only do I know those who are here from Colombia, I've been to Colombia. Not only do I know those who are from Guatemala, I've been to Guatemala. Not only do I know those who are Peruvian, I've been to Peru, I've been to Chile, I've been to Bolivia, I've been throughout South America to respect and understand your culture.

And if you take a look at my leadership, do you notice something? They look like the city. First Dominican deputy mayor, first Filipino deputy mayor… first Trinidadian deputy mayor, first East Indian deputy mayor, first Spanish speaker to be a police commissioner, first Spanish speaker, a Puerto Rican, to be the commissioner of Department of Correction before he became the assistant deputy mayor. First Korean to be a commissioner. First Dreamer from Mexico to be in charge of Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Traveled with me to Mexico, to the Darién Gap, to Ecuador, to Colombia, to look, firsthand, what people are going through when they move to come to participate in the American Dream, like many of you have, and was with me in Mexico at El Paso when we went to the border to see what we can do to make sure we can deal with this humanitarian crisis that we are facing.

But go back to January 1st, 2022, Covid. No one wanted to be on our subway system. We were unsure if our schools were going to be open or not. Jobs were trending in the wrong direction. Our streets were filled with gun violence, guns were proliferating our streets. There was a real battle to determine where the city was going. All the experts stated it's going to take four years to five years to turn the city around.

Two years later, two years later, I know it's hard to believe because being mayor is like dog years: every day is a multiple number of years. Two years later, decrease in homicides by 12 percent, decrease in shootings by 26 percent, 13,000 guns removed off our street. We returned every job and more. We have the largest private sector jobs in the history of this city.

Housing. You're going to hear some of the great stats of what we have done on housing, how we continue. We remove $26 million of cannabis off our street, closing some of these shops; and if Albany gives me the authority, I will close all these illegal shops in 30 days. You won't have to deal with them at all.

You are seeing results in this city. And do we have a lot to do? Yes, we do have a lot to do. Why? Because we were dropped with a national problem in our city: 150,000 migrants and asylum seekers came to the city to pursue the American Dream. And they only ask one thing and many of you know what they asked because you asked when you came to this country and my parents asked when they came from the south.

Let them work. Give them the right to contribute to society and not have to be ostracized from society. 

That's what we've been fighting for. And any elected official in the city that has not traveled to Washington and stated that we should not be picking up the tab of a national problem is doing a disservice to this city. We all should be fighting for this national government to pick up the price tag of what this has done to our city.

$5 billion this year, $12 billion over three years. This is killing what we have invested in this city. Older adults, young people, public safety, clean streets, employment, housing, all the things we introduced in this administration and the people who are sitting behind me. And so we want to hear your thoughts.

And listen, I get it. I'm the mayor. It is my job to navigate us out of this. That's my responsibility. And whatever happens wrong in the city, the first thing people going to say, get that darn Eric Adams, the mayor. Got it, got it. That's what I was elected to do, to solve problems. What I ran on, I produced and will continue to produce.

And so we want to have a dialogue. And the way we do this and the way we have done it, you speak, I listen. I speak, you listen. We don't disrespect our neighbors and decide we want to jump up anywhere and just say whatever we want. That's not how we do it here. I'm not into disorder. I'm into order.

We don't have to agree, but we're not going to be disrespectful and disagreeable in our interaction. You have a point to make, make the point and we will listen to you. And the team will answer your questions. We'll respond to your question. We know how well we have been doing in this city.

Let me end with this note that I said at the last town hall. Listen folks, it's amazing what happens in your life that prepares you for where you are in life. Listen, I've been laughed at, I've been booed, I've been bullied. I did not want to go to school every day because the kids used to mock and mimic me because of my dyslexia and I didn't know how to read. I know what it is to have holes in my shoes and hand me down clothing and laugh at my clothing. I know what it is to have mismatched socks. I know what it is to eat that hard-ass cheese.

Listen. So, all those who want to yell at me and call me names, I've been there and not done that. I'm focused on recovering this city. I am the pilot, folks, and you are all passengers. Stop praying for me to crash the plane. Pray for me to land the plane because there's no parachutes on this plane.

We're all going down together. We're going to land together or we're going to go down together. This is the mayor of the city, of this great city we call New York. So, all that you hope that I fail, our children will fail, our older adults will fail, our housing initiatives will fail. We're in this together. That's where we are. And so let's open the floor and hear your thoughts.

Commissioner Kreizman: Excellent. Before we go to table one, to remind the commissioners and the agency heads to stand up when they answer the questions. Table number one.

Question: Thank you so much for coming…

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Question: ...and bringing your whole tribe. How can you address the exploitation of the children currently distributing solicitation for sex services, currently happening from 72nd in Roosevelt to Citi Field? The busiest areas identified by our table is 72nd and Roosevelt to 98th and Roosevelt. They're distributing cards similar to this.

Mayor Adams: Thank you, thank you, thank you. So, I'm so glad you asked that question because there's a philosophical disagreement in this city on what I believe and what others believe. We have a large number of people in office that want to legalize sex work and prostitution. I don't subscribe to that. I got a call from the councilman that told me, listen, we have a real problem of sex work on Roosevelt Avenue. We went out...what time was it, Kaz?

Assistant Commissioner Kaz Daughtry, Chief of Department, Police Department: 12:30 in the morning.

Mayor Adams: We went out 12:30 in the morning and we walked up and down Roosevelt Avenue. Those young girls out there selling their bodies, it’s deplorable, and the sites that are promoting it like this, they're deplorable. Our goal is not to harm the people who are in sex trafficking and all those who state that prostitution is not a violent act. They need to speak to some of the sex trafficking victims that I have communicated with and how they've been exploited, held captive and being forced to sell their bodies. So, Kaz, can you go into...Commissioner Daughtry, can you go into what we did in East New York, which is horrific, and what we did over here?

Commissioner Daughtry: Yes, Mr. Mayor. Good evening, everyone. My name is Kaz Daughtry. I just want to say I grew up in Corona, LeFrak City down the block. That's where I started at.

I went to this school years ago. I'll be 45 in June, but it feels like yesterday. But I remember the mayor reached out to me and said, meet me at 12:30 on Roosevelt Avenue, and I thought he...

Mayor Adams: A.M., A.M.

Commissioner Daughtry: No, I said, tomorrow, right sir? He goes, no, no, no. 12:30 tonight. We drove down. We walked down Roosevelt Avenue. Yes we did. I know the exact card that you're holding up because I actually saw some of them on the floor.

And as we walked down, the mayor says, I need you to go back and tell Chief Maddrey and the NYPD leadership team that he wants this— him, the mayor— I want this cleaned up. I want a plan. What are you going to do about it? The next day, I get on the phone with Chief Maddrey and the police commissioner and we literally came with a plan.

We have a unit that works with our department, works with the feds. It's called the Human Sex Trafficking Team, which are detectives that work with the federal law enforcement partners. About three weeks later after our initial walkthrough, we sent undercovers in. We sent undercovers into 20 locations. We identified about 45 locations on Roosevelt Avenue, we sent 20 in to go and purchase with the “commercially exploited sexually individuals.” That's what the advocates would like us to refer to them as, not prostitutes.

This stuff takes time. So, they made three buys at 20 different locations. Mayor, you should know on Thursday I got an e-mail from the Queen's District Attorney's Office that they finally gave them all the discovery information. We gave them all of the video surveillance equipment, the [kels], and they recorded the buys.

And we're not looking to go after the sexually exploited individuals, we're looking to go after the locations. And with the partnership with the Queen's District Attorney's Office, out of those 20 locations, 18 of them have been submitted for nuisance abatement. So, we're going to shut them down.

When we did our major operations with the borough commander, Christine, and the precinct commander, we had taken the Fire Department with us, the Buildings Department with us, DEP, majority of the city agencies that you see here. So, when we went inside, we literally said, what else can we hit this location with? We got our initial sale, the Buildings Department, they found violations. Fire Department found violations. So, we tacked on all of these summonses. We hit them hard. Believe me, there were some very, very hefty summonses.

So, these locations on Roosevelt Avenue, about 18 of them, should be closing down probably by the beginning or the middle of January. Now, the same thing we did in East New York, where actually, I got a couple of,  the pimps didn't like me because we went down there, we hit them hard. And what we do in East New York now is we put barriers down so the cars can't drive down, which we call the pimp track.

It should be noted that we have identified 365 individual pimps that work out of Brooklyn. They say Brooklyn is the number one prostitute location in the country where they sell sex at. So, we have...don't tell anybody… but there are some major cases going on right there right now. We should be coming to a close and you're going to be seeing a quick resolution in Brooklyn, mayor. So, please , shhh! Keep that a secret.

Mayor Adams: And they're going to see it in Queens. We're going to see it in Queens. Listen, you see the erosion of quality of life. You see the ignoring of those things that made us the safest big city in America. We can't go backwards. We can't have open drug use, people injecting themselves with drugs or in our stoops. We can't have open urination. We can't have open sex trafficking.

We can't go backwards. And there are those that don't think it's a problem going backwards. Well, you know what? I think it's a problem going backwards and I'm not going backwards.

Question: Mayor.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Table number two.

Question: Mayor. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: Yes, yes, yes.

Commissioner Manuel Castro, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs: I'm Manuel Castro from the Commissioner for the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. I just wanted to add that my office is working closely with PD to make sure that immigrants who have been victims of crimes feel safe coming forward for assistance.

We've been working closely with many of our city agencies here today and community-based organizations, but we need all of your support because many of the perpetrators are using their immigration status as a way to coerce them for those who are sexually exploited, but others into the situations.

And I can't say it more than enough, we do not force immigration laws. We need to spread the word. We need to make sure that people feel safe coming forward and they receive the assistance that they need, and they might also qualify or be eligible for immigration relief. And we need all of your support because, again, this is a serious problem. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: And that's the byproduct of bringing people in a country and telling them they can't work. When you can't work, you're exploited. We fought hard to get even our deliveristas a suitable raise because of DCWP. We fought hard to get rid of some of those draconian rules.

When you don't allow people to work, they go to the black market, they do things that are illegal and many people are forced into sexual exploitation because you're told you can't work. That's why we've been saying to the national leaders, let them work. Give them the opportunity to be able to work in this city. If you don't, you create these environments. That's the byproduct of this migrant and asylum seeker issue. Yes, ma'am.

Question: Good evening. Thank you so much for coming to Corona.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Question: Many of the issues that we had talked about or mentioned already, so we are going to go with what are we going to do about funding for our schools lowering class size? And we do have one of our members here who is asking for street safety. Her daughter was tragically killed on Junction Boulevard and she has asked for help and she was wondering what council people are going to do.

Mayor Adams: So, let's peel it back into levels. Number one, Ryan Lynch, who was with me, he was my chief of staff in the Brooklyn Borough President's office. Now he's the chief of staff of the Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez over in DOT.

I always like people to Google and go back and look at those years when we were there and see who was the loudest voice around street safety. A lot of people caught up to this. But it was my initiative and other advocates that lowered the speed limits in the city, you could see the old data of me talking about we have to make our streets safe, my initiatives to go after hit and runs who used to hit people and flee the scene and we weren't investigating correctly.

The advocacy around street safety is not something that I just started. I'm not new to this. I've been doing this for many, many years and that's something that DOT is looking at. Can you just go over some of the things we're doing, Ryan, the redesign. I think we redesigned 2,000 intersections. I want to deal with that issue. Then I want to deal with the funding issue.

Ryan Lynch, Chief of Staff, Department of Transportation: Sure. Good evening, everybody. Ryan Lynch, Chief of Staff DOT. So, thank you for the question around street safety. Yes, this year we are going to be well over our thousand intersection goal to redesign more safely and make improvements to ensure the pedestrians and anyone that's using our roadways can cross the street safely.

As of right now, the mayor two weeks ago set a new goal to daylight 2,000 intersections, which creates greater visibility for drivers to see cyclists, to see pedestrians, to see people in wheelchairs across New York City. This past year we did a record 300 and now we're going to, more than...I'm terrible at math. 

We're going to do more than that next year. So, about 2,000 commitments, including hardening. So, that's making sure that there's physical barriers there, so it prevents motorists from parking in those areas to block the view of other motorists.

We're on track to install a record number of protected bike lanes this year. We've done a lot in terms of pedestrians space and recapturing pedestrian space, a record number again. So, we're very excited about the work we're doing and the work we're going to do next year.

So, I'm happy to speak with whomever about the specific location. We have our Queens Borough commissioner here, Nicole Garcia, who can walk through the potentials and the options for that particular location. And obviously, we'll do everything in our power to turn this pain into purpose and make sure that we are making sure that this family doesn't...another family doesn't have to go through the same pain that you're going through right now.

Mayor Adams: And the advocates that we've stood with for years around this, Families for Safe Streets and many others, this is something that we are really connected to and we are committed. And Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, open streets. We didn't have open streets throughout the entire city, they were localized in Manhattan. This is the first time it's been opened throughout the entire city. And so there's a real master plan of making our streets safe. Vision Zero is not a bumper sticker for me. It's reality.

Dealing with your funding cuts, that every agency is feeling this pain, and these commissioners and heads, we're traumatized over this. We know the investments we made in education. We know the investments we made in older adults. We are stuck. We have $106 billion budget, folks. Out of that $106 billion, 30-something billion is what we can move around and do some of the initiatives that we want to.

Out of that 30-something billion, we have to take 12 billion out, 12 billion to pay for the migrants and asylum seekers. That is just unmanageable when we think about it. In January, we have to find another seven billion. Every agency in this city is being impacted. Every service is being impacted. And we need to turn our attention to who's defunding us. The federal government is defunding us. They're saying that this is your problem, and it's not. But by law, I have to balance the budget for two years— by law. I don't have an option.

And so I have to put these agency heads to go back into the agency, the work that they committed themselves to. I have to put them and tell them, now we have to find more money. Because there's only certain ways that I can balance the budget. I can raise taxes on homeowners or fees and fines or I have to cut services. Those are the only ways. I don't do employment taxes. That's not within my scope. And so this hurts me a lot, but the law tells me, Eric, you got to balance your budget and you have to find it from somewhere. That's the law.

Question: Yes.

Mayor Adams: Yes, ma'am.

Commissioner Kreizman: The next.

Mayor Adams: Go ahead. Go ahead, ma'am.

Commissioner Kreizman: Go ahead.

Mayor Adams: Yes.

Question: Good evening.

Mayor Adams: Uh-huh.

Question: How are you?

Mayor Adams: Right.

Question: I want to thank your panels for coming to visit us.

Mayor Adams: You're welcome. Thank you.

Question: My question is, how could it be more frequently coordinated between the NYPD and Sanitation and other city agencies to increase safety in our community and illegal vendors on the residential blocks?

Mayor Adams: Is there a particular block? We had a problem on Main Street and I met with Councilwoman Won and you go to Main Street night now, we walked up and down that street together, coordinated with the Police Department, DCWP and others, and we clean[ed] that area up. So, are there some particular areas that we could coordinate with you with DSNY, NYPD, DCWP? We are bringing the whole crew out.

Question: Well, Junction Boulevard is one of them.

Mayor Adams: Okay. Junction Boulevard?

Question: I'm sorry. And also National Corona Avenue.

Mayor Adams: Corona Avenue?

Question: Yes, National Corona.

Mayor Adams: So, let's do this. Let's do this, and I'm going to assemble again because you mentioned these places and folks clapped. When I clean it up, I want them to clap for me also, okay?

So, listen, I want you to connect with Assistant Commissioner Daughtry. He's going to meet you up at the location. He's going to do an analysis and we're going to do the same thing we did on Main Street and the same thing we did with the councilman. I went out to the plaza around 1:30 in the morning. That place was a mess. It was a mess.

Pigeons were dropping on food that was being served. We were dealing with drug use, alcoholism. It was a real problem. And we went there and we coordinated with the councilperson and we brought order. And people say order could not be brought there and we brought order there. Councilperson?

Councilmember Moya: Thank you. And thank you, Ruby, for that question. Thank you, mayor, because you've been really great. And so as the team in addressing this issue, I think what Ruby's going after is that there are a lot more of these street vendors that are popping up in front of residential homes and they're blocking the sidewalk, they're either using a driveway, some have even put their stands in front of houses that they don't even live in.

And there's been a lot of aggression when a homeowner comes out and says, can you please move? This is not what you're supposed to be doing here. So, when we clean up Corona Plaza, it gets pushed out to the sort of residential side streets there. And this is what's become like a very pervasive problem throughout the entire district here.

So, it's become not just so much in these areas, it's outside now in residential areas. And in Junction, it's just, I mean, there's even video of people selling puppies in boxes. So, that's what it is. And I'll work with the commissioner as well.

Mayor Adams: Yes, and who's my precinct chief? Who's my precinct commander? Who has the precinct? Okay. He was out there with me that night, so I know you working. Good, good, good.

So, listen, we're going to do this. We're going to connect with assistant commissioner, we're going to connect with the inspector, and we're going to sort of map the area and find out where the problem spots are. And I guarantee you… cause the inspector was out with me late at night walking and all he said, he says, mayor, give me the authority to do my job and I'll do my job.

Everyone else walked away from the problem. That was what his ask was, and I told him, I got your back. So, let us get on it. The assistant commissioner is going to connect with you and we are going to do an analysis and go after it, okay?

Okay. Now, here, too, is the philosophical disagreement in the city. There are a whole lot that tells me, why you are going after those vendors that's selling stuff in front of someone's home? Why are you bothering people that inject themselves with drugs or someone's porch or in someone's school yard?

Why are you the mean-mean, you know, po-po mayor? Because I believe in public safety. I believe in decency. I believe people should respect you and not do whatever they want on your block and in front of your house. That's what I believe in.

Commissioner Daughtry: Hey, Paul, just can you grab her name, please?

Mayor Adams: Thanks. Okay. We're going to connect. How are you?

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. Thank you for coming today.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Question: Children from migrant families are required to submit proof of vaccinations within 60 days. Due to long waits for appointments, children are not able to get their vaccinations within the 60 days and are then being excluded from school. 

So, what can be done to ease and speed the process of getting migrant families, helping them get an appointment for their vaccinations within the 60 days so there is no interruption in our children's education? For example, could there be some mobile units to areas with a high concentration of children in temporary residencies?

Mayor Adams: Great point. Who's going take this for me? Dan, you are DOHMH, Anne? And that's a good point.

First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg, Department of Education: I'll start and deputy mayor will jump in. Thank you. It is such a great question. Thank you for coming out here tonight. This is something…

Mayor Adams: Tell who you are, Dan.

Deputy Chancellor Weisberg: What's that?

Mayor Adams: Tell them who you are, us.

First Deputy Chancellor Weisberg: Dan Weisberg, First Deputy Chancellor of New York City Public Schools, here on behalf of Chancellor Banks, who couldn't be here. So, this is an issue we've been looking at. We want to make sure the kids get vaccinated and the good news is the families really want their children to get vaccinated.

So, really an access issue. We have some legal obligations that we have to follow for all kids. This is not targeted to newcomer kids. This could be a family coming in from Chicago. We're going to treat this the same way, but we need to make sure that this influx of children is getting vaccinated.

So, I don't know who is here exactly from DOHMH and from H + H, but we have been working collaboratively. One of the things the mayor… if I could for a second, when this influx happened, the mayor very quickly, and he's emphasized this from day one, we've got to make sure we collaborate as agencies.

So, we set up Project Open Arms in the New York City Department of Education, New York City Public Schools to make sure the kids very, very quickly got enrolled, which has happened. We enrolled now over 30,000 children who are in our schools. They are being embraced by their fellow students, by the educators, by the staff.

But the key to it is every single day, our agencies are working together and with the deputy mayor making sure that we are coordinating on issues just like this. We can't do it all ourselves, our friends from Department of Health and Mental Hygiene can't do it all themselves. But this is an issue I think we're getting to some solutions on.

Commissioner Kreizman: And from department…

Mayor Adams: Listen, how's it looking? Maybe we could find a way, because you're right with the children. We don't want children missing school days because of that. So, let's put our heads together somehow to either expedite children first or even when they come in, DM, when they come in, we do it right away in our intake center.

Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom, Health and Human Services: So, what happens... Hi, I am Anne Williams-Isom, deputy mayor. Most of the times, it's a series. You get one shot and then you need another shot.

Mayor Adams: Got it.

Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom: So, we're doing one shot when they come to the intake center. We do have in the families with children sites a person who can do shots there, but we are trying to cut services in some of the places. So, then we were thinking that we were going to use the schools. So, we're going to do some mobile sites that you said, that would be great, but we're trying to balance making sure where the kids are, how to get them their series and because we know it's very important. So, thank you for your suggestion.

Mayor Adams: It's a series. It's not one shot.

Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom: Correct.

Mayor Adams: Got it. Got it. It's not like Covid with just one shot. Okay. So, we got to figure it out because we don't want children missing school. So we have to figure it out. The team is going to work together and figure out how to get done because we don't want children missing school. Thank you for raising that question.

Commissioner Kreizman: And next table, Spanish-speaking table?

Question: Who's going to translate?

Commissioner Kreizman: Oh, let's re-ask the question for translation.

Question: Señor alcalde, buenas noches. Delegación que le acompaña al alcalde, Departamento de Policía, y a toda la gente que está aquí, en este…

Deputy Mayor Ana Almanzar, Strategic Initiatives: Pero una oración a la vez, para poder traducirle. Si no, va a ser un problema grandísimo.

Question: Ya. En esta reunión. Gracias. Buenas noches, [gracias] por venir a este barrio, que es Corona.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Thank you for coming to Corona.

Question: El complaint que les puedo dar, para que hagan una solución…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: La queja que le puedo dar… I do this all the time, right? [Laughter.] The complaint that I can give you so we can find a solution to… 

Question: Lo que pasa es que, en esta última temporada, ha habido mucha delincuencia en parte de Corona, Jackson Heights…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: These few months, there have been lots of crimes in…

Question: Hace dos semanas o tres semanas…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Two weeks of this [inaudible]... 

Question: como ustedes ya habrán visto en las noticias.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: ...have you seen in the news.

Question: …hubo atracamiento a revolver armado, aquí en Junction Boulevard.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: There were some armed robbery around Junction Boulevard.

Question: Tratamos de que nos dé un poquito más de protección con el Departamento de la Policía.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: We would like for you to give us some more protection with the Department of Police or NYPD.

Question: Todas las familias necesitamos caminar seguros por las calles.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Every family needs to be able to walk around the streets safely.

Question: Porque todos necesitamos llegar a la familia, en la casa, porque en nuestra casa nos espera nuestra familia, nuestros hijos y las esposas.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: And every family expects that we will get home safe from work.

Question: Y muchísimas gracias por venir a la comunidad. Quisiera que nos siga cooperando en la vigilancia del Departamento de Policía.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: We thank you for coming to our community and I hope you...

Question: Gracias por venir.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: with NYPD.

Mayor Adams: De nada. Hold on. Translate. Translate for me.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: I was going to sit down. 

Mayor Adams: First of all, tell him, thank you very much.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Muchísimas, muchísimas gracias. It's a pleasure to be here.

Mayor Adams: What I find in this city…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Lo que él encuentra en la ciudad…

Mayor Adams: my close connection with the immigrant community.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: …es su proximidad a la comunidad emigrante.

Mayor Adams: They believe in family...

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: …ellos creen en la familia…

Mayor Adams: ...they believe in education…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: …creen en la educación…

Mayor Adams: ...they believe in faith…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: …creen en la fe en Dios…

Mayor Adams: ...and they believe in la policía.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Y creen en la policía I said it. I said it, I have to say it.

Mayor Adams: You represent what I fight for.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Usted representa por lo que yo lucho día a día.

Mayor Adams: You work hard.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Usted trabaja fuerte.

Mayor Adams: You want your children to be educated…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Usted quiere que sus hijos sean bien educados…

Mayor Adams: ...and you want your family to be safe.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: …y usted quiere que su familia esté a salvo.

Mayor Adams: You would never protest to defund police.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Usted nunca estaría protestando para que le quitáramos los fondos al NYPD, a la policía.

Mayor Adams: You'll protest to protect police.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Usted lucharía para proteger a la policía.

Mayor Adams: You are who I am aligned with.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Usted es quién está cerca de él.

Mayor Adams: You are who I represent.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Usted es quién él representa como alcalde de la ciudad de Nueva York.

Mayor Adams: And we're going to make sure that your community is safe.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Y nos vamos a asegurar de que su comunidad esté a salvo.

Mayor Adams: We know crime is down…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Sabemos que el crimen, las estadísticas, están bajando…

Mayor Adams: ...but that does nothing for a family that's a victim of crime.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: …pero eso significa nada para una familia que tiene una víctima de un crimen.

Mayor Adams: So, my job…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Mi trabajo…

Mayor Adams: to support my police…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: …es apoyar a la policía…

Mayor Adams: ...and make sure they keep you safe.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: y asegurarme de que usted esté a salvo.

Mayor Adams: And that's what I'm going to do.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Y eso es lo que vamos a hacer.

Mayor Adams: But I thank you so much.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Pero lo agradece de todo corazón.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Assistant Commissioner Daughtry: Mayor, just...can you just finish translating? You don't...I'm just going to say what I'm going to say. Hold on. And…

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Slowly so I can pick up.

Commissioner Daughtry: Yes.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Yes.

Commissioner Daughtry: The borough commander doesn't even know this yet, but we just did our allocations today for a class that's in the academy that's graduated, is about 600 officers.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Tuvieron una clase graduando de policías, y son más o menos 600 agentes.

Commissioner Daughtry: And the 110 and the 115 are getting some extra officers.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Y los precintos 110 y 116 tienen muchos más policías.

Mayor Adams: Thank you. Do me a favor, give him my number. Yes, yes. I want to come out and have Christmas meal with you and your family.

Deputy Mayor Almanzar: Él le está indicando a mi compañero de trabajo que le dé su número de teléfono personal del alcalde a usted.

Commissioner Kreizman: Table number six

Question: Good evening.

Mayor Adams: Good evening. How are you?

Question: I'm well, thank you. And good evening.

Mayor Adams: That was a lot of action that you were doing.

Question: A lot of action. So, everyone pretty much spoke about the vendors on Junction. They spoke to the solicitation, spoke to safety, the children's safety, and then you alluded to the budget. You said, hey, I don't want to raise taxes. But also we have to cut the budget.

And I just want to speak to or ask you rather specifically, we do have to balance a budget, a budget will be made. So, my question is, how can the community's issues be handled? The one that they named with less resources or with budget cuts? How will we do all the things that they talked about when you have the balance of budget at the same time?

Mayor Adams: Well, a couple of things. What I said is that I don't want to do property taxes. If anyone here is a homeowner, if I'm raising just taxes on these homeowners, which many of them Black and brown families, their wealth is in their home. They lose their home, they lose their wealth. That's where real gentrification starts to come in.

And so what we need to do is find a sweet spot of how do we deliver the services without harming low income New Yorkers, and which we have done on several cases like getting cash assistance and others, we said hold off, that's going to aggravate the problem even more. And so we have to find the right sweet spot of not killing the services, not making our streets dirty, not doing things for our children to school, all of those things, but at the same time go by the requirement of two years of balancing the budget. That's what we have to do.

Now, what's interesting to me, what I picked up, and I could be wrong, but I picked up that you are pretty astute, pretty knowledgeable on the issues. And so I'm going to ask you, have you...did any protest to Washington, D.C. about what they're doing to us?

Question: I have not.

Mayor Adams: Okay. That's what I need. I need for you...I've been to Washington 10 times and I need for people to hold me responsible, but we have to hold each other responsible. Everyone that steps up and say, Eric, you should not be cutting the budget, they should be showing me their bus ticket or plane ticket that they went to Washington, D.C. and say, you should not be doing this to New York City. We're the economic engine of this country.

So, I need us all. We all need to be part of why are you doing this to our children? Why are you doing this to our older adults? Why are you doing this to our streets? I don't want everybody to sit back and just say, let the mayor be the only one that's going to Washington. Because when I go by myself, they say, Eric, no one else is complaining. Why are you the only one that's complaining?

So, I want you to join me in my next trip to Washington. Aren't we bringing faith leaders to Washington?

Commissioner Kreizman: Yes, we are.

Mayor Adams: So, you get this sister's name because I want her to be in the face of those lawmakers like she knows how to do.

Commissioner Kreizman: So, earlier we recognized Assemblymember [González-Rojas]. I just want to recognize Senator Jessica Ramos at table one before we go to table seven. Let's go to table seven.

Mayor Adams: Yes.

Question: Good evening, mayor.

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: I'm good, thank you. Mr. Moya, distinguished guests and my community. I'm here. My question is on the quality of life. Quality of life in the community has gone down, but taxes continue to rise. You just spoke about that. Where are the services going? Music is playing until 5:00 a.m., fireworks go off all hours of the day. When we complain, nothing changes. What can be done to bring back our quality of life in our neighborhood?

Mayor Adams: Listen, every time I hear hard working class New Yorkers stand up and talk about quality of life, it warms my heart. Because it comes across that Eric is the only one that cares about loud music playing. Eric is the only one that cares about people playing dice on the street. Eric is the only one that caress about people injecting themselves with drugs.

When you do that, it says to me that there are common sense New Yorkers that are still here in this city. And we need, every time we stand up and say we expect more, I have my officers go out and do the job. 

When they hear from you, they realize that the loudest is not the majority. The majority of New Yorkers want to go home and they don't want to hear music 3:00 a.m. in the morning because they get up to go to work. And the people who are playing it at 3:00 a.m. in the morning are sleeping during that time.

So, we are going after quality of life issues. We are a big believer of going after the people who are doing those quality of life issues that you're talking about. And many of you probably don't even realize because it went so smoothly. 2021, you were not sleeping during June 28th, 29th, 30th, first, second, leaving up to the fourth. It felt like you were in Beirut.

You didn't see that this year. It was peaceful this year around 4th of July because we went after those dawn fireworks and said, you're not going to turn the city into a place that you could do whatever you want. This is no longer do whatever you want in the City of New York. It's no longer that way.

And I take a lot of hits, a lot of people that think we should be able to do whatever you want. Do you know that we just passed… I'm fighting to get people from sleeping on the street in tents like in other cities? But they just passed the law saying, people could sleep on the sleep street if they want. Somebody could sleep in front of your house.

I said, are you kidding me? I'm fighting to get people with mental health, illness, the support they need and not sleep in a tent in front of your house and you're going to pass the law and say people can sleep on the streets in front of your house, like Los Angeles? What you're saying is going on in Los Angeles and other municipalities. And so we need your voice to say, Mayor, keep doing what you're doing to get our quality of life in order. And that's what I'm going to do.

Commissioner Kreizman: Excellent. Next table? Table eight.

Mayor Adams: Who's the eight representative?

Question: Was this planned? Hello, Mr. Mayor?

Mayor Adams: How are you doing, ma'am?

Question: I'm doing well.

Mayor Adams: Good.

Question: Of course, this is [Shala Stevens]. Hello, Moya. How are you? Corona community. So, I have a long question from this table.

Mayor Adams: It's all good.

Question: And I was the chosen one to read this question. But first of all, I am a resident who live in LeFrak City in this Corona area who volunteer and do a lot of things. And also, I'm a New York City school teacher, IS 230. So, I welcome you all to come visit us.

Mayor Adams: Give it up for the teacher, give a hand.

Question: So, when I teach at Jackson Heights, IS 230 on 34th and 74th Street, the belly of the beast. Hello. My assistant superintendent is here. So, this is the question, and I want to thank you, as a New York City DOE teacher, I think you're doing a great job.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Question: We're going to pray you and hold you up.

Mayor Adams: Love it.

Question: So, this question is...I live in LeFrak City. So, this whole question is regarding how can the city incorporate a system for the flooding that is taking place directly here in Corona, which is affecting and contributing to the LeFrak City Garage, homes, school. [Mr. Lisa], there's a principal here. His school's right next door flooding throughout the school, 57th Avenue, Junction and Queens Boulevard, the shopping mall. The library is gone. I heard there's a new one coming on Junction and Horace Harding, but that library has been gone.

So, the question...another example was how does the city track the sewer system or how can we do that, contributing to the leaves and debris and garbage and people cooking outside all up and down the avenue? And how can we know that our sewer system is accurately working? Is there a way we can do a tracking system? Because last night, the whole neighborhood, the whole building started calling me, Stevens, it's going to be a flood tonight. You know where to go, right?

So, we got a secret location where we go and park our cars out of the garage up on 57th Avenue and across Horace Harding more like on a hill like so our cars won't be damaged. I had two cars that was damaged in my basement. So, was that a good question? Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Good job, teacher. Good job, teacher. Rohit.

Commissioner Kreizman: The MD?

Mayor Adams: Yes. Listen, the whole process, there must be a short-term, mid-term, long-term plan of dealing with the environmental crisis where see, and we have a terrible winter that we're about to be hit with, according to those who look at these winters. And Rohit has done an amazing job around this, commissioner of DEP. And so Rohit, why don't you...Commissioner Aggarwala, why don't you talk about that?

Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala, Department of Environmental Protection: Thank you, mayor. Well, first of all, I certainly know the problem you're dealing with because as you probably know, my agency is headquartered in LeFrak City. During Hurricane Ida two years ago when the library was destroyed, we lost our basement, we lost a lot of our records. Actually, we had people who were cleaning up in the basement for months afterwards. So, we actually, my staff directly knows the experience that you're describing.

As the mayor said, we are racing to catch up on multiple levels, the short term, the medium term and long term. The reality is that the climate is changing faster than our infrastructure can keep up. That storm that destroyed the library, that did so much flooding, that hurt our building and killed 11 New Yorkers around the city two years ago, was a storm that literally more than doubled the record intensity of rainfall that New York City had ever experienced.

Our sewer system is designed to hold a rainfall of 1.75 inches per hour. Until August of 2021, we had never recorded rainfall that intense. Hurricane Ida gave us 3.75 inches per hour, more than double the record.

Since then, our rain gauges, we have rain gauges at our 14 wastewater treatment plants, we've recorded more than seven times in two years only that we've had more than that 1.75 record. So, all of these would've been record-breaking storms except for Hurricane Ida. And of course, everybody remembers on the 29th of September, we got about two and a half inches per hour and it is the speed that the rain falls.

So, we are racing, because the climate has taken a system that was not perfect. There's lots of places around the city that needed work. But what climate change did is it basically made our entire 150-year-old infrastructure obsolete. So, as the mayor said, we're working on three timescales. We're doing things on the short term. My agency has given out, over the last two years, 2,000 flood barriers. This summer we started giving out sump pumps to homeowners. We did a map around the city.

So, down to the parcel level, your address, you can go online to DEP and you can get the map, it's called the rainfall-ready map, and it'll tell you what level of risk your precise address is in. We actually proactively reached out to some of the homes that are at the most risk, and we offered, we said, hey, we're going to send these to you. Come pick them up. We can get you these materials. That's a Band-aid. That's not a fix. That's how can you protect your home in the near term.

In the medium, in the long term, we've got to do a lot more to figure out how we absorb this water. We're not going to be able to absorb it all underground. Our streets are simply not wide enough. There are lots of places the sewer on your street flows into the one from the next street. And we've got avenues across the city, including here in Queens, where literally, we've got a sewer that's 12 or 15 feet wide. If we try to expand that, we're going to have to take buildings down to make the sewer wider.

So, we've got a two-part strategy there where we're going to be making investments in the sewers underground, but also thinking about how do we use green infrastructure, rain gardens, lakes, things like that to absorb the stormwater the way nature does. The bad news is that's going to take a while. There's no doing underground infrastructure or even surface infrastructure in New York City in a hurry and it's going to cost money.

And as the mayor said, we're all working. We're working. I worked very hard. Deputy Mayor Joshi and I were on the phone earlier today with the state senator looking for more money from the state, looking for more money from the feds. But the reality is, here in New York, we're always going to pay for our own infrastructure.

Over the next couple of months, my agency is going to come out with the first report. Something we started more than a year ago that the mayor announced on the first anniversary of Hurricane Ida, where we're using some case studies, including one not far from here, over in Kew Gardens where we've identified neighborhoods, there are 400 places around the city that are chronically prone to flooding, including LeFrak City.

We're going to have to make a plan for each and every one of them. We're starting with a couple of examples .Based on that, it'll teach us what kinds of things will work, how much is it going to cost. We're going to have to develop that plan and we're going to be coming out with it.

And then you asked about the catch basins, and I will close with this. Last year we started a new approach. We have 168,000 catch basins around the city. We can't check them all every day.

We have 2,000 that when there's going to be a big rainstorm, we send people out with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Sanitation, they go check those places that we know are likely to get clogged. We now also have a risk-based algorithm that based on historical data, some basins we will check every six months, some basins we'll check every year, some basins we'll check every two years.

And if we find them, one of the things we've done under the mayor's leadership, when we came in two years ago, when the mayor appointed me, it took us up to 70 days to clean a catch basin once we found that it was clogged. Now we are down to 30. Over the course of 2024, I want to get us down to seven. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Thank you. Very, very thorough. Very well.

And you the community can help also by adopt a catch basin. We're all in this together. That rain comes in. Those numbers are impressive. You wanted to ask?

Elijah Hutchinson, Executive Director, Mayor's Office of Climate Environmental Justice: Yes.

Mayor Adams: Introduce yourself.

Hutchinson: Hi, thank you. I'm Elijah Hutchinson, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Climate Environmental Justice, and I just wanted to add two points to the commissioner's message on infrastructure. One is that Corona is one of the neighborhoods that we've selected for the first year as our Climate Strong Communities program, which is designed specifically to talk with community members about ideas that they have for resilience projects. And then we're going to apply together to the state and federal government for additional resources so that we can advance those projects into design and implementation.

So, we're actively having those conversations right now. I was just at the New York Hall of Science this past Saturday. We're doing that in partnership with a bunch of community-based organizations in Corona. So, if you have ideas and want to engage with us, please follow up with me afterwards.

Also, we have a system of citywide sensors, and I mentioned this because you mentioned moving your car from side to side. We have about 80 sensors now deployed through the city. If you want to look at flood risk called FloodNet NYC, we're looking at expanding that program to deploy over 500 sensors.

Corona doesn't currently have any sensors. We just did a walking tour and we're looking at implementing where those sensors should be and are looking for feedback. So, that's another investment of over $7 million to support that program and get sensors deployed so that you can go in real time and look at what's happening if you're concerned about flooding across the whole city and see what those depths are.

Mayor Adams: Good stuff. So, you should connect with him, okay? Ideas, get the money, okay? Make sure you connect.

Commissioner Kreizman: So, Bahi, please connect him with the...after the meeting. 

Question: Yes. Okay.

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor and everyone. Thank you for taking the time to listen to us. You opened the meeting by talking about the vape shops and the illegal marijuana shops. So, can you speak a little more about how we can protect our children from accessing weed and accidentally ingesting it?

You mentioned that you needed state support to enforce the shops, but what's the plan in the interim? Because a colleague, we both work for the DOE, we're school leaders, we both had experiences in our school where kids have ingested edibles and it led to emergencies. So, we'd like to hear more about that.

Mayor Adams: No, thank you. So, a couple of things. The cannabis law that was passed was supposed to allow only those legal shops to open the problem with the law, it did not give local municipalities the power and authority to go in and enforce the illegal shops. We are asking the representatives in Albany, that was the bill that Assemblywoman Rajkumar was talking about.

We are saying, give us the enforcement power. Right now, the state has the enforcement power and the state does not have the manpower to do the enforcement power. And so many of these places are opening and they're laughing at the fines. It's the price of doing business. They're making so much money that they're just opening and continually to sell to our children.

And so we're hoping this year in Albany that we are now going to get the enforcement power. Instead of the $26 million of cannabis we were able to take that we will have full enforcement where I can go to the commanding officer and say, map all your illegal shops and within 30 days we're closing them down. I need the power to do that. I don't have the power to do that right now. The police department, we don't have the power to do it right now.

And you touched on, which I think is the most impactful aspect of it, our children appear to be high all the time. They're trying edibles, they're trying cannabis, they're dealing with fentanyl. You're seeing it in the school. A school official called me a few weeks ago. She says, Eric, these children are coming in high all the time. And we know what cannabis does to the development of a young child's brain. We must get on top of this.

And that's what the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is doing around these illegal use from opioid to fentanyl. Commissioner Vasan has really been forceful on this, but that's what I'm talking about. Your state electeds must give us the power to go in and close down these shops. They give us the power, I'll close them down in 30 days. You will not see one in your community, okay?

Commissioner Kreizman: Next table, table number 10.

Question: Thank you. Good evening, Mayor Adams.

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: My name is Gaston Cortez. I am the vice president of the Corona Plaza Street Vendors Association.

First of all, I want to thank you and your administration for lending your support for the Corona Plaza Market. And my question is, how probably is it for you, for your administration, to spend a number of vending spots in the plaza or to create more marketplaces in other parts of this city?

Mayor Adams: First of all, I would love for us to meet, to hear some of your ideas on how we could do that. So, my team is going to set up a time for you and I to sit down and talk about that.

Question: Thank you.

Mayor Adams: The goal is, we want to create jobs, but you want to do it in a way that's not disruptive and that we are careful on the products we're serving, particularly food. We have to be really careful about the food that we're serving. And then we don't want to hurt brick and mortar businesses. So, there's a nice combination that we can do.

We have been looking at plazas, open spaces. We want to see how do we infuse those plazas and open spaces, that Chief of Staff Ryan Lynch talked about, to create jobs. We need to look at getting more permits that's out there, is not holding onto the permits.

We want to create those jobs, but we have to do it in a manner where we're not hurting the existing businesses and we are not dealing with food that does not come with real proper Department of Health and Mental Hygiene standards. But if you have some ideas, we would love for you to sit down with DCWP, with DOT and our whole team so we can figure out how we could do it together.

Question: Thank you so much. We probably can figure it out and then we will get in touch with you. Thank you so much.

Mayor Adams: Okay.

Question: Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Thank you.

Commissioner Kreizman: Socrates. Make sure on the table you get his information. We'll get it.

Mayor Adams: Yes. Yes.

Commissioner Kreizman: Next table, 11?

Question: Good evening, everyone. Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights is suffering. Sitting at my table are the owners of A&F Jewelry Store. They were robbed at gunpoint last Tuesday on Junction. Where are the cops? They have yet to be reached out by anyone.

I'm also going to add on that my children are exposed to everything that's happening, the prostitution, the drugs, the crimes. We are trapped in our own homes. I stopped buying groceries months ago. I had to order groceries because I have fear of going outside. That is not a quality of life. And we need change. And I want to thank Francisco Moya because out of all the leaders that I have reached out to, he is the only one who has reached back out and he has been trying to help the community. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Thank you for that. Number one, my promise to you is that you are not going to have your children grow up in fear and your children will not have to surrender to fear and violence in the city. That is not going to happen. And if our officers did not reach out to you after someone was robbed at gunpoint, that should not have happened. That should not have happened. You should be reached out. There should be an investigation that's conducted and we need to catch the person that's responsible for that action.

Let me share something to the folks in this room that you really need to understand. There's a small number of people in this city that are habitual recidivists. It's a small number. They do a robbery on Monday, we arrest them, they're back out on Tuesday, they do a shooting on Wednesday, they're back out on Thursday. It's a small number of people.

They've made up their minds that we don't care that you're working hard, we don't care that you're just putting in 12 hours a day in your shop, we're going to wait for you to work and then we're going to go in and we're going to endanger your life and do what we want. And we have, here's again, philosophical difference. We have a body of people who believe that we should do nothing to them. I say their asses need to go to jail. That's what I say.

And so our laws that continuously allow habitual repeated offenders, it's only a matter of time before they walk into your store and they do a stickup. It's only a matter of time before some innocent person is shot. And within days, it could have been a month when I elected, I was in a hospital with a mother with 11-month-old baby that was shot in the head by a person that was a career criminal.

My job is to take them off the streets. The other part of the criminal justice apparatus is to make sure they stay off the streets. So, I'm with you one-on-one. We're going to catch the guy that did that robbery, but we need to make sure that he's not let out to do those robberies over and over again because there's a body of people, that's all they do. They commit these violent acts over and over again.

There are times I get videos from horrific shootings and robberies and the first thing I say to the assistant commissioner, I say, give me that guy's RAP record. Let me see how many times he was arrested. Six and seven times for armed robbery, shootings, bodies or homicides. They're bad people and they are not looking to change their lives. We need to stop allowing them to get away with what they're doing.

Commissioner Daughtry: Hey mayor, if I may, sir?

Mayor Adams: Yes.

Commissioner Daughtry: The small amount of individuals that the mayor's referring to is a little about 1,800 individuals throughout the city. There are habitual repeat offenders. I'm not talking about lower level crimes. I'm talking about felonies, shootings, robberies, burglaries, et cetera.

For your incident on Junction Boulevard, I was just talking to the councilmember. I believe that's part of a citywide pattern. And just let me explain a little bit. When individuals walk into your store and they have a mask on, we as the NYPD have a very good idea who the individual is. However, the judicial system, how can you identify the person because they have a mask on? And that's one of the biggest defense attorney strategies.

So, my suggestion to the individual in this room that have businesses have a sign up in your store. You can't come in here cannot come into my store unless you remove your mask so my camera can get a nice closeup of your face.

And if the person is not willing to take their mask off for a second before they enter your store, then that should raise your spidey senses and this individual person may have bad intentions. I would like to connect with you. Please, Richie, get her information so I can give her an update on her case. I promise I would give you an update when the store…

Mayor Adams: No legitimate. It is your store, right? Sir, it's your store?

Commissioner Daughtry: Oh, yes, your store. Okay.

Mayor Adams: Your store. All right, Richie, let's find out. They're going to give you an update on your case, huh?

Commissioner Kreizman: When Inspector Taylor will follow up and connect you afterwards.

Mayor Adams: Listen, listen, listen. We just shared that you get more officers. We just shared that. But even with more officers, the advocacy of you, I assume this is your dad, or the advocacy of you saying to those, we have to stop allowing repeated offenders to get out of jail. That's what we need. Because this is a real story. This is not some fictitious story.

Question: [Inaudible.]

Mayor Adams: And that's what the assistant commissioner was saying. When the assistant commissioner stated that the people who rob your store is part of a pattern robbery, it means that these people have committed several different robberies. And that's what we try to go after those patterned robbers.

But I can't overemphasize how important it is for families like yours to raise your voice. People need to hear that your family's been disrupted by these bad people. We are increasing the number of police in this area. But even if the police is there and they make the arrest and the person's out the next day, what help is that?

Question: They're not around?

Mayor Adams: Okay, let's not do this. We're going to do this one at a time. Go ahead, brother. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Question: [Inaudible.]

Commissioner Kreizman: [Inaudible] mic.

Question: My friend said that there was like 20 people that walked in without paying their [inaudible] and the cop didn't do anything. They just stood there, let them in.

Mayor Adams: Well, that can't happen. We don't surrender to crime in this city. We don't surrender to crime in this city. And so we're going to look at that train station you're talking about, and we're going to look at the precinct commanders here. We're going to look at that area.

Question: Please help them out, please.

Mayor Adams: Yes. We're going to look at that area and see the deployment over there, especially since you said there were several robberies. Okay?

Question: Yes. I was pointed on gunpoint in my head, too.

Commissioner Kreizman: Right. So, we're going to have Inspector Taylor follow up with you and we'll connect you with the precinct afterwards for proper follow-up.

Mayor Adams: Yes.

Commissioner Kreizman: Next table. Table number 12.

Mayor Adams: That's a darn shame. This is the real stuff, man. This is real. All right, listen. Inspector Taylor is going to connect with you, okay? I'm sorry?

Commissioner Kreizman: Inspector Taylor's right behind you.

Mayor Adams: No, let's say, dude, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. Let's dispel this myth that we have...listen, the number of cases that these detectives have closed, the number of bad people that this detective bureau in this city have apprehended. We're going to catch the people who are responsible. These detectives are committed to doing the job. There is no Police Department like the New York City Police Department. There is no police department…

And we are going to find the people responsible. And these detectives stay up late at night closing these cases. And I see the cases that are closed. Let's not point ourselves to the cops. Let's point ourselves to the people who are committing the crime. Those are the bad people. They don't care about you. They don't care about those police officers. They don't care about me. We need to take them off the street and we need to make sure they stay off the street. That's our focus. That's our focus.

Commissioner Kreizman: We want to move on to table number 12 to make sure we get through other questions.

Mayor Adams: How you doing [inaudible]?

Question: I'm doing all right, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: Good to see you.

Question: Welcome to Corona. We're very happy to have you here. There's two issues that have come from this table, and I want to thank Maria and Rafaela who really spirited me in their remarks. The first issue is a very hyperlocal issue. This LeFrak library, it's been closed now for, I think it's four years. Is that right, Ruby? Five years. Sylvia Martin is the precinct's president.

This community has had no public library for five years in a neighborhood that's almost zero community facilities or community centers. And we would ask that the mayor's office do everything possible to get LeFrak City, Corona their library again. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: It's been that long…

Question: Almost five years

Mayor Adams: Because I walked in that library...interesting. Okay. All right. All right.

Question: The second issue, public safety. We know that the state has hindered the city in keeping us safer, but particularly the issue that [Macia Lugo] has raised in her group with the prostitution, the drug sales are rampant. And there's a lot of under-reported crimes because migrants are robbing other migrants at knife point and with guns.

We have the Roosevelt Avenue task force, which now is probably about a third of the size that it was two years ago, and both the 110 and the 115 have about 40 or 50 less cops each. So, we have a substantial amount of less cops, more crime, more vendors, more drugs, more brothels and we need more help.

Mayor Adams: And matter of fact, and thank you, thank you for that. And as Assistant Commissioner Daughtry stated, with all of those more’s that you said, now you're getting more cops. We are going to get more cops, but there's no public safety that's better than good community involvement. And so we want to continue to motivate communities to be engaged.

And we have a program where we're doing them with cameras in front of the business stretch and corridors where we want your cameras to be pointed towards the street so we could have that video feed because the more and more we have that video feed, the better and better we are in apprehending people.

But don't downplay what Assistant Commissioner Daughtry stated. We have to be smart also in our daily interaction. Folks walk into your store. They don't want us to respect that sign of taking off your mask, your spidey senses need to go off. Something is wrong with them.

I look at some of these videos of robberies that are in some of our locations and clearly you see that this person is up to no good. And soon as you feel that, your gut tells you that you need to be prepared and reach out and let the police department know. Commissioner?

Commissioner Daughtry: Yes, there's an update. Just like the mayor stated, we have the best police department in the world. For that robbery, pattern number 139, just like I thought of, we identified seven individuals. We locked up one yesterday, but we can't pin him for this one. But we know that he was there because he had a mask on. So, we have seven persons of interest that we know exactly who they are. And just like the mayor stated, they all have a past criminal history for robbery.

Mayor Adams: Okay, did you hear that? You hear that? Past criminal history of robbery, seven individuals that's part of the pattern. Arrested one by our detectives. And like I said, when I came over to the table, we are going to get them all. We'll get them off the streets. Got to keep them off the streets.

Commissioner Kreizman: And with regards to the library, we'll set up a follow-up meeting with the Mayor's Office of Climate Environmental Justice due to the flooding that's taking place and keeping the library closed. So, we'll set up a follow-up meeting, [Charmaine] and your table, gather your information and we'll coordinate a follow-up meeting on that topic.

Councilmember Moya: And, mayor, if I may just quickly interject with some of the updates that I've been working with the Queens Public Library and President Wilcott on this. We have found...we've looked at two locations that are very close by.

One that is possibly across the street, there is a food bazaar that is being renovated. The people that rezoned it are giving the space to us so that we can give back to the community in LeFrak. I have to thank [Michelle Dunston] and the folks and Ruby, who's been a big advocate to looking for doing all these things, Sylvia as well, all the folks from the community in LeFrak, we've been working on this very diligently with your administration.

We may have a site, they're actually going to be looking at it in the next couple of months, like in the next two months in the new year. I think it's going to fit the square footage that it would be able to have that there because the basement in LeFrak is consistently getting flooded. So, we have a solution to that, Mayor, so thank you.

Mayor Adams: Good stuff. Thank you. Thank you.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Table number 13.

Mayor Adams: Lucky 13.

Question: Good evening, mayor.

Mayor Adams: Good evening.

Question: I'm going to speak on the majority of the issues that was discussed at this table 13. We have a serious problem here in Corona, and I'm voicing also for the children that are not here present. Our parks in Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst are invaded by homeless and people with alcoholic problems.

They're not only drinking, they're urinating, they're doing number two and they're also fighting amongst each other. We call 311, the cops come, they do their job, they take them out of the parks. Parks department, I really feel it for the parks department. I don't think they signed up to deal with what they're going through right now. And they take them out of the parks, they go around the block and they come back.

And what they do when they go around the block now is they're congregating between 10 to 15 of them. They sit at homeowners’ [stalls] and they do their business there as well. And then they come back to the parks.

Now, I've noticed mostly on the one on 102nd and Corona Avenue, the children from these two schools pass by there in the morning and on their way home from school...home, they see all these things happening and you see the fear in their eyes when they see them fighting. So, if the parks department is doing their job, the NYPD is doing their job, what is the solution to this problem that we're going through here?

Mayor Adams: And first of all, thank you for the question, and I'm sure Sue is happy to hear how you appreciate the work that she's doing. And yes, you're right. It's hard to believe that folks assigned. They did not sign up. They signed up to have beautiful parks, not to have to navigate those who are dealing with homeless issues, number one. Number two, many of them are dealing with severe mental health issues.

And we have put in place a real outreach plan under Commissioner Vasan and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Our goal is to engage and give them the assistance that they need because sleeping on the street, there's no dignity sleeping on the street, particularly if you're dealing with severe mental health issues. I'm sure many of those cases that you are finding. So, Sue, you want to talk about that park and what you're doing over there, what's happening over there?

Commissioner Sue Donoghue, Department of Parks and Recreation: Yes, absolutely. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. And thank you so much for the question. And we do care deeply about the safety of our parks, and thank you for recognizing the good work. First of all, I would say we have a very strong relationship with NYPD on enforcement issues. You've heard this mayor say repeatedly, he is very, very focused on public safety and we are as well.

In addition to our collaboration with NYPD, which you recognize, and they're very visible in our parks, we also have our Parks Enforcement Patrol that is out there and that is out there in force, and they are both working alongside with NYPD and they're there to also enforce rules, have a visible presence. We have over 60 PEP officer station in parks in Queens. We actually specifically put a PEP, what we call a substation in park of the Americas, so that we would have a very visible presence and constant presence in parks in this community.

We've also worked very closely with the councilmember. He's been very involved in supporting us in parks and safety in our parks. So, we think about it in terms of both active enforcement partnership with other agencies with NYPD, our Parks Enforcement Patrol.

But the other thing that we work really hard to do in our parks is to activate them. We know that what keeps our parks safe is having activities go on in our parks. So, our kids in motion sites where we have active play and playgrounds. We've partnered with a councilmember on our mobile recreation so that we're bringing facilities in, we're bringing people in that we know that drives out behaviors that we don't want.

We have shape-up classes, exercise classes that happen mornings and afternoons so that we have more programming. We know each of those things helps to enforce safety in our parks. But also we appreciate you doing the right thing, calling 311, identifying where the issues are.

That's what we need to be hearing about. That's what we're responding to, both our agency and PD. We're actively looking at a borough level where we're getting 311 calls addressing those issues. So, it's really a combination of partnership on enforcement and then active programming to make sure that we're bringing as much into the parks as we can to make them safer.

Mayor Adams: So, can we have… Who's DOHMH here? Okay, so Kaz, let's get an outreach team over there. Can we coordinate? Let's just look and see what type of problems we're dealing with over at that park. There may be a particular drug use problem. All right, Kaz.

Commissioner Kreizman: We also have Scott French from DSS-HRA administrator over here.

Mayor Adams: Okay. Yes. Yes, yes. You were saying who you [inaudible]?

Commissioner Kreizman: Scott French from the HRA Administrator for DSS.

Mayor Adams: What's up, Scott?

Scott French, Administrator, Human Resources Administration: Yes. Hi, everyone. I'm Scott French. I'm the HRA administrator. I think our agency and DSS works closely with DOHMH, Parks and others to make sure that we can address the issues that are going on, identify them and then figure out the ways that we can bring supports to the people and connect them to what they may need. So, we'll connect with our other agencies and make sure we can go to that specific area to see what's going on.

Mayor Adams: So, we're going to go over there. We're going to bring a team over, our outreach team, NYPD, we like to lead with the outreach team and sit down and try to analyze what the issues are. Now, we are limited on if someone says, I want to sleep on the street, we're limited on what we could do. But we have been doing very well with the engagement, getting people off the subway system, getting people from sleeping in the streets. So, let's go over there and do an analysis and see what we could do over there.

Councilmember Moya: And mayor, if I may just add one quick thing here. The president of the Lions Club there, she's been doing a tremendous job with a lot of the folks here in the community, but we've also been working with our parks commissioner too. We have funding that's coming in to redo a lot of the parks in Corona in the surrounding area that is going to add lighting. We're bringing in gates. We've worked closely with NYPD and the PEP officers to coordinate those parks that have gates to be closed at night and to be opened in the day to help curb that.

So, we've heard a lot of the issues. William F Moore Park, Josephine Caminiti Park, Park of the Americas, all are getting major facelifts within the next year to two years that are going to go to address these issues. William F Moore Park, about $5 million is going there to renovate that entire area. Same with Caminiti Park and Park of the Americas.

What we also have have to do is have coordination with State Liquor Authority, Mayor, if I can make a suggestion here, because it's not just the parks, it's the bodegas, it's the liquor stores that are selling the alcohol. If you stop selling the alcohol to them knowing full well that they're inebriated, you see them standing out with tall boys at seven o'clock in the morning, we have to go to those stores and say, if you're in violation of this, we're going to remove your liquor license.

We got to hit them where it hurts. If there's not alcohol there, they're not going to be in our parks. They're not going to be standing outside of the 7-Eleven or that bodega or that 24-hour liquor store there buying those bottles. So, if we can coordinate better with NYPD and the State Liquor Authority and also Consumer Affairs and all the folks that are involved to go to those establishments, that will help curb that problem, because we've invested a lot of money with Breaking Ground as well, that comes here on a daily basis. I put in money from the city council that has them here every day, but as they say, it's voluntary. You can't force folks that have addiction to go into treatment. And I think the average is every 100 touches, you get one person there. So, if we can coordinate that better, I think that we could help solve that problem while we're bringing in the money to clean up our parks.

Mayor Adams: Let's do it. That's excellent. That's excellent.

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: Good, how are you?

Mayor Adams: We got a tag team? 

Question: Well, Mrs. Fernandez here, she's a local businesswoman. She asked, can I ask her a question for her?

Mayor Adams: Yes.

Question: She states…

Mayor Adams: What kind of of business?

Question: A salon.

Mayor Adams: Okay.

Question: Over in Corona.

Mayor Adams: Okay, you could do my hair?

Question: Quick little shape up. All right. She asks, I have been running my business for 35 years, which I am thinking of closing and leaving 25 employees or family members without jobs since our situation is getting worse every day because of the homeless who live in front of the business. Every day we have fewer clients, everyone is afraid to park their car on or near 103rd Street. Mr. Moya's office has tried to help me, but it has not been easy.

Mayor Adams: No, thank you for that. And we don't want your business to close. We don't want your 25 employees to leave. And so the same combination we're going to do around the park, let our team come over and do an analysis on what is happening there. Okay? Let us get over, make sure, [Valerie], we connect. All right. Kaz, be the team leader on this. And we're going to put a team together to come over and see exactly what's happening in front of your establishment.

Assistant Commissioner Daughtry: Mayor, just two seconds, if I may. Last month we had a community council meeting in the 83 Precinct, Bushwick. And the same exact issue arose where, I think the name of the Park is Maria Hernandez Park. And the elected officials there, [Mr. Dalvia] said, we want the park closed at nine o'clock like it's supposed to be closed. We want the police department to put chains on the doors.

And we did that. And guess what happened? People started calling the police department saying, why are you closing the park? So, we want to make sure we have the support in here from the team in the room, that when we go out there and get stuff done that you guys will stick up for us and say this is what we want in our community.

Mayor Adams: And this is a business, so… So, let's find out, you know, let’s get over there. The same analysis we’re doing to see what's happening in the park, we want to do and for why people are loitering in front of your business. We're going to use everything within our powers. We can't go beyond our powers, but to see if we give folks some services that they're not disrupting your business. I don't want you to close down. I want you to stay open. Okay?

Commissioner Kreizman: So, Socrates and Malcolm, for the last two people asking the questions, let's make sure to get contact information to give it to Kaz. Table number 15.

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: I'm fine. How are you?

Mayor Adams: Good.

Question: Table 15 had two concerns as well. The street sweeping in the neighborhood, it's not being done. I've lived in LeFrak about 45 years and my sister as well, and the neighborhood is changing drastically. The next issue we have is we have a homeless men's shelter on Horace Harding Expressway as you're getting off the Grand Central, which is a little dark area because there's parks there.

The registered sex offenders are coming to our neighborhood. We have a 7-Eleven that's also on Horace Harding. So, they're usually there holding the doors, begging for money. It's very uncomfortable. Again, we've been here a very long time and the neighborhood is changing drastically.

Mayor Adams: And we don't want it to change. DSNY, who do I have from DSNY?

Commissioner Kreizman: The borough chief.

Ignacio Azzara, Queens Borough Chief, Department of Sanitation: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. Thank you. As far as street sweeping is involved around LeFrak City, we do have a tracking system that we use on a daily basis to track our mechanical brooms. If there's a particular location where the broom is not able to get to the curb, please bring it to my attention after this meeting. I will ensure that one of our officers accompany the broom issue challenges and hold some of the people that are blocking our mechanical brooms responsible for not complying.

So, the question is 100 percent sweeping in that area as far as our records show, but I'd like to see it for myself. So, if you could kindly see me after the meeting, I'd be more than happy to investigate it myself.

Question: Okay.

Mayor Adams: Thank you. And they got a great tracking system, Commissioner Tisch, they actually can see where the street sweeper has actually traveled down, but sometimes people don't move their vehicles. There's a whole host of things. So, make sure you speak with the borough chief, borough commissioner, and let's get on top of it. We want you to be safe. Your second thing was...

Question: The men's shelter.

Mayor Adams: Men's shelter. Who's going to talk to me about the men's shelter over there?

Question: Okay. The hotel was turned into a men's shelter.

Mayor Adams: Okay. Are we familiar with that shelter?

French: I am familiar with that shelter. So, I will talk to my counterpart administrator, Joslyn Carter at the Department of Homeless Services, and we will reach out to the provider tomorrow to talk about what's happening there, our approaches to being good neighbors and addressing those issues that you talked up. So, I will make sure that we touch base with that provider tomorrow to discuss what you've reported as seeing in the neighborhood.

Mayor Adams: Thanks. Because we want to make sure that people are...we like to give people services so they're not out on the street, but always remember there's a limit to what we can do.

Question: I get it.

Mayor Adams: Yes. There's certain things we can't do. So, someone is, he's okay? Okay. All good. All good. You know I'm still po-po.

So we're going to make sure that the level of quality of life is there and let's see how we can talk to those folks and see to get them into services and do other things. But thank you for bringing up. Yes.

Commissioner Kreizman: The last table, table 16.

Mayor Adams: How are you?

Question: How are you?

Mayor Adams: Quite well.

Question: Hi. Good evening, everyone. I'm Larinda Hooks, district leader for the 35th Assembly District.

Thank you. I actually have two questions. One is on Citi Bikes. In East Elmhurst, we are the closest out of all five boroughs. Our neighborhood is closest to the airport and we already get inundated with travelers from all over the city, all over the state and out of state.

And then Citi Bikes came in and they took away three or four parking spots to put all of these bikes around the neighborhood. Where there were better places to put them on sidewalks when we are already dealing with a lot of traffic, as well as parking space being taken from our neighbors. And so far, no one has really let me know why. If they were put like that in that area again, when we are the only neighborhood in the city that has the parking problems of the airport. That's the first question.

The second one was sanitation. There is, of course in the same area, there's nothing but leftover trucks. Trucks has been sitting there forever. And black cars, who throws their garbage out and there's garbage all down Astoria Boulevard, 94th Street along the highway where the college is there, Vaughn College of Aeronautics. There's just garbage dumping everywhere in East Elmhurst.

Mayor Adams: Is it dumping or people just throwing up there?

Question: Both. Both.

Mayor Adams: What street is that?

Question: 23rd Avenue off of the highway in between 90th Street and 94th, and then Astoria Boulevard from 105th down to 94th Street.

Mayor Adams: Okay. So, why don't you meet the district leader over there and just do an observation on what she's talking about, okay?

Borough Chief Azzara: Yes, Mr. Mayor. We're very familiar with that. It's a known dumping area, 23rd Avenue. We do regular litter patrols there. We have plenty of pictures published on our websites and on social media cleaning that particular area around Vaughn College as well as Astoria Boulevard and such.

So, it is being addressed. It probably needs more addressing and we will see to it that it receives more attention because of obviously, there is a need for some sort of dumping camera.

Mayor Adams: Under Commissioner Tisch, we started putting up cameras, catching people who are doing illegal dumping. Do we have a camera there?

Borough Chief Azzara: We do not, no. But however, we have identified that as one of the possible locations, there are some further vetting that needs to be done and approvals, but it's definitely on the list. By the way, my name is Iggy Azzara and I am the borough chief and I am a lifelong citizen.

Question: I know who you are, Iggy.

Borough Chief Azzara: I am a lifelong member of the Department of Sanitation as well as Queens. And I went to Newtown High School, so I'm very familiar with the area. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Okay, so let's connect with him. I think that's a good location to put up a camera. And Ryan, who's Ryan?

Councilmember Moya: We do have 10 cameras that were placed in District 21.

Mayor Adams: Okay.

Councilmember Moya: Yes.

Mayor Adams: Ryan, talk to me about the, you said the bike?

Question: Citi Bike.

Mayor Adams: Citi Bike.

Lynch: Right. So, thank you, District Leader. We came and presented the East Elmhurst Civic as part of our outreach efforts. In CB4 alone, we've seen 28,000 rides of Citi Bike in the first two months of service. So, it's very popular. And the memberships that we're finding are actually primarily 30% of the memberships are the reduced fare memberships. So, that's low income riders snap NYCHA residents. But I'm happy to talk to you about the locations and we can...

Question: We're CB3.

Lynch: CB3? Okay. So, I'd have to get you the numbers on CB3, but happy to take a look at the locations, see if there's any operational issues and we can meet you out there and do a walkthrough, if you want.

Question: No operational issues, just that they need to be on the sidewalk. We already have the parking from the airport. We're the only ones who have parking from the airport. JFK is not in the back of anybody's homes, it's just us. So, they really should be off our streets and on the sidewalks.

Lynch: So generally, we look to locations that are sidewalk capable, but there are some a issues that we have to accommodate. So, there has to be certain width. It can't be over any sort of infrastructure like Con Edison box or anything. But we'll take a look and our team will reach out to you for sure.

Question: Thank you.

Lynch: Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Okay, you're welcome.

Commissioner Kreizman: Just want to, especially thank, just give a shout out to Megan Yuan, the Queen's director, and Anthony Iuliano, the deputy commissioner who are from Queens and Anthony grew up in Corona.

Mayor Adams: Listen, have a safe and wonderful new year. I wish you all the peace and prosperity. I was a Brooklyn Borough president, but I grew up in Queens, so thank you very much for coming out.

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