New York City Mayor Eric Adams reflects on challenges of 2023

Thursday, December 28, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams reflects on challenges of 2023 & what lies ahead
N.J. Burkett sits down with Mayor Adams to discuss some of the year's biggest issues.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams is about to end the most difficult year of his political life.

It's a year that saw crime trending lower and fewer mentally ill homeless onboard the subways and in the streets.

But a rising tide of migrants is flooding New York -- overwhelming the shelters and upending the city's budget by billions of dollars.

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating his 2021 campaign. His opponents on the left are plotting to run against him. And his job approval sits at just 28%.

Adams sat down with Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett and said he does think he is doing a great job under difficult circumstances since COVID.

Burkett asked him why his approval rating is so low.

"Well, people are angry," Adams said.

He says New Yorkers are right to be angry -- but not at him.

"People thought that I have the authority to stop buses from coming into the city, they thought I have the authority to tell people, 'No, we're not giving you housing,' that I have the authority to move people out of the city that are asylum seekers," Adams said.

The migrant crisis is not his fault, but it's his problem.

"We've been saying since day one that it should never have been the responsibility of New York City alone to manage or finance a migrant crisis, the buck stops with the mayor," said City Council Finance Committee Chair, Justin Brannan. "So if people are upset, they're going to be upset with the mayor. That's just how it works."

Adams said Brannan is right.

"I want the buck to stop with me. N. J., we were able to get over 50% of the migrants and asylum seekers self-sustaining," Adams said. "Think about that for a moment-not one child or family sleeping on the streets in our city. That's not happening in other cities."

Adams insists the blame lies with the Biden Administration -- and hasn't been shy about saying so.

Burkett asked Adams if he regrets that.

"No, no, not at all, I could have easily stood back and remained silent. But I took bold steps and stood up and spoke on behalf of cities in general but, specifically, New York City," Adams said. "And I think when people look back over this administration people are going to see that this man got no assistance from the federal government on a national problem."

Adams was asked if he thinks the investigation is politically motivated.

"No, I believe investigators are going to do their job and it's not up to me to determine if it's not politically motivated or if it is," Adams said. "All I know is, Washington needs to do its job on the migrants and asylum seekers."

Adams admits the migrant crisis might well define his mayoralty and, in some respects, it already has. How he handles it could determine whether he wins a second term. That, and the outcome of the federal investigation.

RELATED | Mayor Eric Adams responds to Andrew Cuomo special election poll

N.J. Burkett sits with New York City Mayor Eric Adams for an exclusive interview.


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