Mayor Eric Adams writes a weekly op-ed highlighting significant events and activities undertaken by his administration during the prior week. His op-eds are published on the Canarsie Courier’s website, and the Canarsie Courier was given the opportunity to connect with the mayor to address ongoing issues our community faces.
Our interview took place on August 25th, a day after his return from Israel, and his thoughts would have the New York City mayor reflecting on what matters most: gratitude. He learned about innovative Israeli technology and future investments in Israel and did something his late mother could have only dreamed of. Mayor Adams visited one of the oldest stones and touched the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. The significance would be the admiration of his beloved mother, Dorothy Mae Adams-Streeter, who once wished to feel the energy of the stone wall due to her faith; however, she was unable to fulfill that wish due to her passing in 2021. Mayor Adams reminisces, “Some of the journeys we have, our parents take the first steps, and we continue those steps. I’m sure she was there with me in spirit.”
Mayor Adams, a man of faith who has the weight of NYC on his shoulders 24/7, says that he is not overwhelmed with his work. “I want people to know that, yes, this is the second most difficult job in politics in America, but you get up, do the best you can, give the city all you have and faith will take care of the rest.” He assures the people and families of NYC that he is on their side. Even though the NYPD reported a 16.8% decrease in shootings in June 2023 compared to June 2022, there is still a great deal of work to be done on the issue of gun violence. Adams, however, likes to find the solutions to problems before they arise. He explained, “I like to use the quote from Bishop Desmond Tutu: ‘There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.’ When we see a young person commit gun violence or violence, we tend not to recognize that they are already down a stream.” The Adams’ administration devised a strategy in response to our inquiry regarding what can be done to assist our youth – the designated game plan: give these young adults jobs to prepare them for the workforce. Last year, Adams announced that 100,000 summer youth employment opportunities would be available for ages 14 to 24. The plan is to start the prevention to help the intervention that is happening now.
Despite New Yorkers’ rage over migrants coming into NYC, we still must help the homeless situation that we have now. Adams believes it all stems from affordable housing. He explains, “There are many levels that need to be addressed. However, we have to build more housing; we have an inventory problem, and we have more people looking for housing than housing we have.” Adams continued to illustrate that a lot of this has to do with the actions in Albany, such as 421-A (a program that started in 1971 that mandates the creation of affordable housing). Currently, $25 billion have been contributed to housing, which includes NYCHA. As the mayor stresses, we all need to come together in agreement to help others.
Ferry at the Canarsie Pier
In our neck of the woods, Canarsiens have been fighting to have ferry service at the Canarsie Pier. A plan was put in place in 2017 by the President of the Canarsie Improvement Association, Marc Want. Since Canarsie’s only transportation is the “L” train, the Belt Parkway and public buses that go into the city, the plan is to put a ferry at the Canarsie Pier that would take a 67-minute commute (without delays) to Battery Park. Adams said, “I’ve been pounding away with EDC to see how we land this plane.” Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse told the Canarsie Courier, “I remain steadfast in my commitment to bringing commuter ferry service to Canarsie. It’s not just about convenience; it’s about equity and connecting District 46 residents to the many opportunities that this great city has to offer. We’re a transportation desert here, and it’s time that changed. I’m truly heartened by the community’s vocal support on this issue. Together, we are sending a strong, unified message to the administration: Canarsie deserves better and more diverse public transportation options. We won’t rest until this becomes a reality and my constituents have the transportation options they need and deserve.”
As we approach the flu season and new variants, such as the recent B.A.2.86, emerge, we must prepare for anything. Adams explains, “We have a lot of tools in our toolkit on how to take action on preventing the spread as bad as it was. Working with the CDC and Health and Hygiene, we have mechanisms for early detection and monitoring which areas are spiking.” Adams commends New Yorkers who didn’t feel comfortable wearing a mask or didn’t want to take the vaccine but did it anyway because they knew it was the right thing to do at the time.
Health and Wellness
As the pandemic taught us, caring for our health is very important. Adams knows all too well the importance of health. In 2016, Adams awakened with severe vision loss in his left eye, nerve damage (tingle) in his hands and feet and a pain in his stomach that turned out to be an ulcer. He shared, “Nearly did I know that ulcer probably saved my life.” After a doctor’s visit, he was diagnosed with a rare advanced stage of diabetes, where his physicians encouraged him to take insulin and medicine. Using a holistic approach, Adams found a specialist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio who advocated the power of food for Adams to change his diet. He now finds himself in remission. Adams cannot recall his ulcer pain since then. He explains, “I woke up one day and said to myself, whatever happened to that pain.” Presently, Adams’s A1C level (aka “hemoglobin” – a blood test that measures one’s blood sugar levels) is below that of a person with diabetes. He said, “Now we are beginning to see how food plays a role in your overall and mental health. Research shows everything from depression to other mental health is connected to our diet.” This retired NYPD Captain and transit police officer recommends his current read, Glucose Revolution: The Life-Changing Power of Balancing Your Blood Sugar by Jessie Inchauspe. You can also check out Adams’s Healthy At Last book. So, what does the mayor do to keep his mental health in check before he starts the day? He told the Canarsie Courier, “I start my day with prayer, meditation, exercise and a green smoothie.”
We turn to our leaders for assistance in resolving daily public issues. At times, our voices can feel disregarded as the problems continue. If we keep knocking, it’s bound that someone will answer. Have hope, have faith and keep speaking.
For more information on Mayor Eric Adams, visit nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor.