Mayor Adams focuses his agenda on New York’s ‘workers’
John Sanchez, executive director of 5 Borough Housing Movement, a group focused on expanding affordable housing, said rezoning Midtown was an achievable goal. The city and state should coordinate and update rules that would build more affordable housing in places like Midtown.
“We understand real estate south of 96th Street is valuable, but we want to make sure there is affordable housing,” Sanchez said. “It’s not just good for the city, it’s also good for making sure we don’t have segregated neighborhoods.”
Mr. Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul released a plan last month that called for the city’s commercial districts to be converted into 24-hour living and working areas, but the plan lacked key details such as funding. The two leaders maintained a positive relationship and Ms. Hochul attended the mayor’s speech with Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. Mr Adams singled her out for her praise in his speech, calling her ‘the steady hand we need at the wheel right now’.
Keith Powers, a councilor who represents part of Midtown, said he was optimistic about the rezoning plan and suggested Mr Adams’ second year could be even bigger than his first.
“I actually think year two is an even more critical year because that’s when your team is fully formed, when you understand the lay of the land and what those challenges are,” Powers said. “The challenge now is that when you add in a potential coming recession, coupled with new fiscal challenges like the migrant crisis, it means we have fewer resources to play with, so we have to be more creative.”
Mr. Adams continued his crusade against rats, saying he would soon hire a rat czar and touted the new composting scheme as a way to make city streets cleaner and provide less food for rodents. The mayor also pledged to get construction sheds removed more quickly and to reconsider outdoor dining sheds, which he called “Covid shacks”.
“For too long, New Yorkers have been asked to put up with things that should be unacceptable – crime, rats, trash, traffic,” he said. “When we allow the quality of life to deteriorate, working-class New Yorkers suffer the most.”