Mayor Eric Adams certainly lived up to his signature promise to “get things done” during his first week on the job – though not all of those things were popular.
The early morning mayor hit the press circle hard this week, but perhaps he is not as sharp as he claims to be at the time. In one of his worst moments in the last seven days, Adams commented on CNN’s “New Day” about the disadvantages that “low-skilled workers” face. The remark, repeated at an afternoon press conference where he specifically called out Dunkin ‘Donuts employees, chefs, dishwashers and shoe polishers, quickly made national headlines – from Teen Vogue to the Los Angeles Times – and not in a good way.
In one of his better exhibitions, Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul promised to turn a new leaf on the controversial relationship shared by their predecessors, Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio. The new leaders showed up together to present a plan to tackle homeless people on the subways, making sure to highlight the relative novelty of the common look, declaring it a “new day” for New York.
Adams ‘struggle with labor this week went beyond his “low-skilled” workers’ comments, which trak ire of Mammoth National Trade Union Conglomerate, AFL-CIO. His first Monday as mayor coincided with the first day back from the winter break for the schools, much to the annoyance of the teachers’ union, which has called for distance learning until stricter COVID test mandates are implemented. Adams remained fervent in his commitment to keeping schools open, despite the fact that more than 30% of students were absent on Mondays, and more than 14,000 students and staff reported COVID-positive tests during the winter break.
As teachers continued their outcry throughout the week, union leadership pledged to carry out Adams’ plan to maintain classroom instruction. And despite a lawsuit from 11 UFT members against the district seeking an external option, Adams said he was in “lockdown” with UFT president Michael Mulgrew, who did not deny Adams’ characteristics.
Adams’ “Stay Safe and Stay Open” plan for schools expanded to include businesses. In a CNN appearance, Adams demanded that the city’s major banks return to work.
“The accountant from a bank sitting in an office, it’s not just him. It nourishes our financial ecosystem. He goes to the cleaning staff to get his suits cleaned. He goes to a restaurant. He picks up a business traveler who is 70% “He buys a hot dog on our streets, I hope a vegan hot dog, but he participates in the economy,” he said.
From a political standpoint, Adams signed a “Small Business Forward” ordinance seeking to reduce unnecessary fines and subpoenas. He also announced an additional $ 111 million in new funding for public hospitals and a $ 27 million loan for private safety net hospitals in an effort to address the ongoing COVID-19 increase.
His staff continued to grow. On Friday, he confirmed the long-awaited, albeit controversial, appointment of Philip Banks III as Deputy Commissioner for Public Security. Banks ‘brother, David Banks, is Adams’ new chancellor. Phillip, who has worked at One Police Plaza in an advisory capacity for Adams, left the New York City Police Department while being the subject of an FBI investigation that found he was receiving gifts from corrupt businessmen seeking a favorable relationship with the police.
The retired police officer who became mayor continued to show full focus on law enforcement. Just hours after his appointment on New Year’s Eve, one of Adams’ first public actions as mayor was to call 911 on a fight he witnessed from the subway platform. And on Tuesday, news surfaced that the city’s jail watchdog had been fired by Adams ‘newly appointed probation officer Louis Molina, a staffing move that the Correction Officers’ Volunteer Association Union said would boost officer morale.
There were also some lighter moments in Adams’ first week. A smart Twitter account to describe the vegan mayor’s meals, meditation habits and go-getter mentality quickly rose to fame on social media. “Multi-tasking as @NYCMayor means conference calls along with smoothie making. It’s about getting things done, “the Adams employee who manages the account Rachel Atcheson, wrote, along with a picture of Adams packing spinach and blueberries in a blender cup.