Mayor Adams 6-Month Progress Report. How’s He Doing?
As of June 22, School Safety Agents had seized 5,931 weapons from students. According to Greg Floyd, President of Teamsters-Local 237 which represents School Safety Agents, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 5,500 school safety agents, today there are less than 3,500. 70% of School Safety Agents are Black and Hispanic women.
They are civilians, they are unarmed, they seize loaded guns, and do not have bulletproof vests. These are mothers and grandmothers who protect our children every day.
Mayor Adams expressed his support for School Safety Agents (SSAs) during his campaign for Mayor in 2021. When asked during his campaign if he would remove School Safety Agents from under the purview of the NYPD, he responded “No.” He kept his promise.
Adams did not entertain the thought of removing SSAs from our schools. When confronted by those pushing the false narrative that they are police officers in schools, Adams set the record straight.
Although he did not agree with those who want to remove School Safety Agents, he did listen to their concerns including some students who felt the current scanning methods were invasive and caused them to feel like they were in prison.
Adams conducted pilot runs of a new, less invasive scanning technology in Brooklyn schools, showing that he was, in fact, listening to the students.
Schools are soft targets and, after the Uvalde school massacre and other school shootings over the years, it is clear that the government must take extra precautions to protect our children.
If Mayor Adams is serious about ensuring the safety of our children, he will:
- Raise the starting salary for SSAs from $32,360 to $40k annually. We are short 2,000 School Safety Agents, Mayor Adams needs to have classes of 500 every quarter as it takes 17 weeks to train School Safety Agents at the Police Academy.
- Provide every School Safety Agent with a bulletproof vest. Our SSAs are confiscating loaded guns in schools – elementary, middle, and high school.
- Bring back the School Safety Division Uniformed Task Force to man safe corridors outside schools and be in high-impact schools.
- Bring back the Truancy Recovery Assistance Unit to collect students who are not in school and provide support encouraging them to attend school daily and follow up with the students.
- Create a Mayoral Advisory School Safety Panel consisting of parents, students, School Safety Agents, and a DOE representative to meet monthly.
The upcoming school year will be worse than the 2021-2022 school year, with more violence and weapons found in schools. We need all hands on deck to start preparing for when schools open in September. Mayor Adams has so far earned a B.
Mayor Eric Adams has been in his role as leader of New York City for a little over six months but it feels like it has been longer. This is probably because of the many problems he has had to solve, which have consistently kept him under the media’s spotlight. New York is a city of several various problems that require strong but ultimately, effective solutions.
Adams has admirably tried his best to walk that tightrope. One of the most difficult areas the mayor has had to deal with is that of public education in the city. The Big Apple has the largest school district in the United States and the world. This is a system of many functioning parts, made up of several, different stakeholders.
The mayor of New York has the power to pick a school’s Chancellor, which is one of the first things Adams did. His pick was David Banks, an experienced educator in the New York City education landscape.
Banks has been lauded as a breath of fresh air in the Department of Education, offering a unique perspective that is different from the usual. He has been willing to lend his ear to the students, parents, and families.
Adams’ Administration has seen the introduction of several learning initiatives. Recently there was the introduction of two virtual learning programs. The remote learning programs would allow students to study for and graduate with two different diplomas.
The two diplomas would teach different skill sets. These have been introduced due to the reduction of physical enrollment and attendance of classes since the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also a step into the future of learning as it has some advantages. Several other education districts have implemented successful remote learning programs.
The “Summer Rising” program was expanded by Adams’ Administration to include an extra 110,000 students. It has been a great initiative that allows students from grades K-8 to partake in extra academic lessons, extra-curricular activities and engage with fellow students and educators.
The program has helped keep the young students of New York off the street, keeping their minds occupied by participating in productive activities. The program also offers meals to children, even those who don’t attend the summer program.
“Summer Rising will turn our city into a classroom, addressing the COVID-19 learning gap while also reigniting the joy of learning through hands-on educational experience. Together, as a city, we have an opportunity for our students to have an engaged summer — let’s seize the moment.”
As a child, Mayor Adams suffered academically because he was dyslexic, a fact he only discovered later in his life. The mayor’s experiences as a dyslexic child along with a request from concerned parents led to the launching of a program that caters to children who have dyslexia.
Schools will screen as many pupils as possible for dyslexia. A total of 160 elementary and middle schools will receive support to help those children that are dyslexic. “We are going to have the largest, most comprehensive approach to supporting students with dyslexia in the country,” Mr. Adams said.
The Gifted and Talented program was expanded by 100 seats for children in kindergarten and 1,000 for 3rd Graders.
While the Adams Administration has done well in several areas of public education. It has not remedied the difficult process of high school admissions. It is a difficult process that has negatively impacted families.
The saving grace for the mayor’s office in this instance is that it is a problem inherited from the previous administration. The Department of Education has also faced accusations of not engaging enough with the African and Asian immigrant communities.
This has led to a large number of students leaving public schools for charter schools. Recently published statistics from the Office of Student Enrollment indicate that enrollment in public schools will drop by 30,000 by the end of the year.
The Department of Education claims that in the last five years, 120,000 students have left the public school system. This has happened because of various reasons but it should motivate the Department of Education to improve the quality of education and how they market it to the public.
The mayor has put his best foot forward along with his school’s chancellor. There are a few areas that will need better performances heading into the future so the mayor receives an A minus.
Department Of Health
Mayor Adams stepped into office during a global pandemic that ravaged New York City. During his campaign, he promised that New Yorkers would be taken care of and ensured the city would bounce back from the tragedy.
Under Adam’s administration, major strides in the accessibility of healthcare have been made.
Adams has expanded the NYC Care program that provides healthcare for uninsured New Yorkers at NYC’s public hospitals and clinics throughout the city. Adams removed the 6-month residency requirement allowing everyone in the city to have immediate access to health care.
To tackle the maternal mortality rates, Adams expanded the Midwifery Initiative to 38 public and private birthing facilities citywide. This expansion provides Doulas to 500 families. The expansion of the Doula and Midwifery Initiative allows for better patient advocacy, reducing maternal and infant mortality.
On Tuesday, July 12th, Mayor Eric Adams, in cooperation with Governor Kathy Hochul, launched a free hotline for New Yorkers that test positive for COVID-19. The hotline is available to all New Yorkers regardless of healthcare plan and health care provider.
The launch of the hotline comes at a time in which New York City is experiencing another COVID-19 wave. Once New Yorkers test positive, they can call 212-COVID-19 to set up a telehealth visit with a provider in the NYC Health and Hospitals system, in which they will then receive a referral or prescription treatment based on severity of the case.
The hotline, which was launched by the New York State Department of Health, is operated by NYC Health and Hospitals. The hotline utilizes the Virtual ExpressCare platform of NYC Health and Hospitals and has connected New Yorkers with health services and treatments.
The hotline is available 24/7 for New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 to speak to a healthcare provider and, if necessary, receive a prescription for COVID-19 medications.
His administration also opened the nation’s first “Test-To-Treat” mobile COVID-19 unit. Though New York is experiencing a surge in cases, accessibility to testing and treatment is at an all time high.
Cases of Monkeypox have begun to spread in New York City. Adams’ administration has taken no time in ordering vaccines for the virus to be sent to New York before the situation is dire. New York City will be receiving over 14,000 vaccines from the federal government.
A portal has already opened for New Yorkers to begin scheduling appointments for the Monkeypox vaccines. Mayor Adams has continued to lead New Yorkers through the pandemic while also expanding on general access to healthcare. He has earned an A.
Within a few months in office, Mayor Eric Adams has impacted the lives of youth in New York City through transforming programs in youth development.
March saw the launch of the V-CRED program. The program is designed to cater to young people from foster homes between the ages of 16 and 24. It would provide these adolescents with learning opportunities in the following fields; Information Technology, Electrician’s Assistant, Allied Health, Pharmacy Technicians, and Construction Trades. Mayor Adams stated, “This new V-CRED vocational training and apprenticeship program is going to help our young people prepare for good jobs and a bright future.
But it’s about more than learning. It’s about guidance and mentorship because when it comes to helping young people plan their future: We are not going to just let them wing it, we are going to take them under our wing.”
Mayor Adams then expanded the Summer Youth Employment Program which began last month fulfilling his promise of over 100,000 summer employment opportunities for the city’s youth.
Mayor Adams announced the expansion of the Saturday Night Lights program, which focuses on keeping the youths engaged and off the streets.
The program received an additional $1.25 million and now includes 25 additional sites, bringing it to 131 sites throughout the city. Activities offered as part of the Saturday Night Lights program include martial arts, dance, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and many more.
The program is conducted in collaboration with the NYPD, DOE, DYCD, NYC Parks, and community-based organizations.
The launch of the “Community Conversations on Public Safety” meetings are another indication of Mayor Adams’ commitment to our city youth.
The two meetings held in Brooklyn and Manhattan included youth from the community at the table engaging the Mayor, city agency heads, and the NYPD.
Mayor Adams is showing the youth that they matter, their opinions matter, and he genuinely wants to support them in their endeavors. New York City youth know their Mayor has their back and his administration is there to support them 100%.
We look forward to hearing Mayor Adams announce after-school employment opportunities for our youth beginning in the new school year to keep them off the streets and away from gangs.
Mayor Adams has earned an A minus.
New York has a public safety problem. It is a problem that has been present and seemingly become worse under Mayor Adams. Crime is rife, with shootings, stabbings, and assaults occurring regularly.
Adams along with the NYPD reintroduced a revamped anti-crime unit which was given the name Neighborhood Safety Team.
The unit’s main task is patrolling the streets, ensuring police visibility, preventing gun violence, and getting guns off the street.
There have been promises that the unit will carry out its work within the boundaries of the law. Predecessors of the anti-gun unit were infamous for the use of excessive force such as the shooting and violation of civilians and suspects.
Unlike the previous unit, the new anti-gun force will wear modified uniforms but operate from unmarked vehicles. “Promise made, promise kept,” he said Wednesday.
“I made a promise to New Yorkers on the campaign trail to put in place a specialized unit that’s going to zero in on gun violence. I also made the promise that we are not going to duplicate the problems we had in the past.”
Public safety is at a very low level. Citizens feel unsafe with violent attacks taking place almost everywhere from the streets to the subway.
According to June 2022 statistics released by the city on July 7, there has been a 31.1% increase in major crimes when compared to the same month last year.
All major crimes except murder, have occurred more. The murder rate has decreased by 31.6% while shootings have gone down as well. The statistics are worrying as there are more incidents of rape, robbery, burglary, assault, and grand larceny.
A lot more work has to be done to keep members of the public safe. It has been suggested that there be a more visible police presence on the streets and in the communities of the city.
The concept of a “beat cop”, is a police officer who frequents and engages with a community regularly to the point that a relationship is formed. There has also been the suggestion that plain clothes anti-crime units should be reintroduced, along with the policy of “stop, question and frisk”.
Mayor Eric Adams recently held community conversations on public safety in Brooklyn and Manhattan. “We can’t live in a city where young people pick up a gun faster than they can get an iPad,” Adams said in Brooklyn on July 6. “Every day, the commissioner and I are stopping at hospitals, meeting parents.
Just about every night, picking up our phone, going over the number of young people who are losing their lives.” The idea of town halls discussing public safety, crime and viable solutions is welcome but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Working solutions have to be implemented. The mayor’s office receives a B minus.