In his State of the City address Wednesday, Mayor Adams ad-libbed a phrase not in his written remarks, repeating it 4 instances: “Stay targeted, no distractions, and grind.”
The mayor appeared to be giving recommendation to himself — recommendation he must take.
Though his huge concepts are nice, if restricted — secure streets, extra housing — he’s nonetheless not following by.
True to kind, the mayor whipped the gang right into a party ambiance.
(He wielded Wednesday’s Post article on Time Out ranking us the world’s best city.)
His message: “Crime is down, jobs are up.”
The tone was the other of the governor’s two weeks in the past, when she drew a picture of a city the place individuals are terrified they’ll be stabbed by a stranger and demoralized by the sight of toothpaste locked up within the Duane Reade.
The mayor dangers alienating individuals if he continues to current the crime situation as one thing he’s mounted, not an ongoing disaster — yet one more “random” stabbing claimed a sufferer in Times Square hours earlier than the mayor spoke.
He tells us to “simply take a look at the numbers” on crime, and we will.
Yes, he deserves credit score for reducing the murder rate (although not again to 2019 near-record lows), however he hasn’t minimize felony crime: We ended final 12 months with felonies 30% larger than 2019.
One new pledge was welcome: He promised protesters blocking practice and automotive visitors “shall be held accountable.”
But we’ll have to see this in motion and quick.
And the mayor stays unfocused on a long-term plan to make sure public security.
He’s the one tough-on-crime mayor who hasn’t proposed a rise within the police drive, even because it has steadily fallen by 5,000, to 35,000, because the flip of the millennium.
He’s accomplished asking Albany for brand spanking new fixes to the criminal-justice legal guidelines, save stronger authority to crack down on illegal pot shops.
Fine, however why isn’t the latter accomplished already?
We can’t wait till the top of Albany’s spring funds season for a brand new device that will take months after that to deploy; the mayor may have confirmed urgency.
As for housing, the mayor referred to as — once more — for half 1,000,000 new flats in a decade, together with 12,000 on public-housing property.
But town doesn’t have sources to supply huge new subsidies for below-market-rate housing.
Here, too, he should depend upon Albany.
Lawmakers should revive expired tax breaks to encourage builders to put aside some models as “inexpensive” as they construct market-rate housing.
If the mayor can scale back felonies and dysfunction and revive the housing market so builders construct a fraction of what he guarantees, he’ll have achieved a lot.
But the “if” is an open query, and far of the mayor’s speech was proof of the identical unfocused administration model of his first two years.
Adams, for instance, desires to handle the scourge of motorized two-wheeled autos.
“We can’t have mopeds dashing down our sidewalks,” he stated.
He additionally aspires to cut back danger from e-bike battery fires, which killed 18 individuals final 12 months.
Fine, however to do that, he desires the City Council to create a “Department of Sustainable Delivery,” full with its personal commissioner and employees.
Why? New York’s present commissioners — hearth, police and client affairs — can deal with this.
The solely motive they haven’t is the mayor nonetheless hasn’t stated: You can’t retailer batteries for industrial use in your house, and we’re additionally going to grab unlawful, uncertified batteries from the streets.
In truth, the mayor has already signed a complete spate of supposed e-bike reforms into legislation.
And legal guidelines have lengthy required cyclists to obey visitors legal guidelines.
But with out enforcement enamel, they haven’t improved security.
On the migrant crisis, the mayor supplied no signal town has it beneath management.
Adams’ funds projections present the variety of migrants in metropolis shelter will rise from 70,000 to 90,000 by mid-year and keep there.
The mayor is nonetheless signing no-bid contracts with inns.
Yet Adams spun this as a feel-good immigration success story. “We are proud to uphold our legacy of welcoming the drained, the poor.”
He did not name on President Biden to safe the border, solely to provide work permits to all newcomers who stroll throughout.
Much of the remainder of the speech appeared like a to-do checklist of stuff left over from final 12 months (and the 12 months earlier than): “Getting outside eating accomplished, getting scaffolding down.”
This is okay, however we want sooner, extra decisive progress.
As his ballot numbers present, Adams can’t depend on charisma any longer.
Next 12 months, the mayor wants an extended checklist of outcomes — not concepts.
Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.