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Adams’ crisis mismanagement


To the editor:

Eric Adams holds numerous staged public events where he announces his administration’s blueprints and policies. There are lofty goals, lack of specifics and funding, and questions about implementation. It’s a way of governing by public relations and image-making. 

One example was a staged event on March 7th, when the mayor unveiled “The Road Forward,” a blueprint for addressing the asylum-seeker crisis. Numerous commissioners and representatives from city agencies were positioned behind the podium to provide a backdrop and a photo-op for the mayor. A Venezuelan refugee named Abraham served as another prop. He stood next to the mayor and thanked the city “for all the support that you have given me [and] all the asylum seekers in New York City.” 

The blueprint, drafted months after the first migrants arrived, includes an Office of Asylum Seeker operation, a new 24/7 arrival center, help to make migrants self-sufficient by providing long-term housing (yet to be provided for homeless New Yorkers), and training and workforce development.

Adams refused to divulge other cities that would accept refugees, because the press will rush “to the cities” and prevent “us from getting asylum seekers there.” That remark and others, such as how the press needs to report “good news,” expose how ignorant the mayor is about the role of the press in a democracy. 

During Adams’ presentation and his answers to reporters’ questions, there was no information about the following: the location of the arrival center; when it will open; to what extent the Port Authority volunteers will be welcome; how shelter occupants will be moved into permanent housing; who will run the Asylum Office; the plan’s cost; identification of job areas where migrants can apply after receiving training; how many work permits the migrants have received; and how much of a reduction the city wants in its migrant population.

The mayor complains “We need money” (beyond what Albany and Washington will be providing) to address the migrant crisis and its effects on city services. It’s unfortunate that no reporter asked him about his austerity budget, and his refusal to support tax increases on the wealthy and corporations.

Howard Elterman


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