NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams outlined his vision for New York City in his first State of the City address Tuesday, highlighting safety, equity, infrastructure improvements and bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adams spoke at the historic Kings Theatre in Brooklyn and also unveiled a balanced $99.7 billion executive budget that he says combines investments with fiscally responsible measures, including budget reserves at $6.3 billion, the highest level in city history.
"We are still in a time of profound concern, but the spirit of New York and the people who call it home will always endure," Adams said. "As we look toward the future, our administration will build on the achievements of our first 100 days and continue to 'Get Stuff Done' for everyday New Yorkers. The bold agenda we are laying out will address the city's overlapping crises with upstream investments focused on a safer, healthier, and more prosperous future for all of us. We are ready to start a new, hopeful chapter in New York City history, and we will do it together."
Adams said public safety and justice are the prerequisites to prosperity and must go hand in hand, and he highlighted the January rollout of his "Blueprint to End Gun Violence." The following month, he released the "Subway Safety Plan," a multiagency effort in partnership with the state to address public safety concerns and connect homeless people and those struggling with serious mental illness with the supports they need.
As part of the city's effort to address the ongoing crisis of gun violence, the NYPD in March began to deploy Neighborhood Safety Teams to the areas that account for 80% of all shootings citywide. As a whole, the NYPD has removed nearly 2,300 guns from the streets since Adams took office.
Adams on Tuesday announced additional resources for the Subway Safety Plan, including $55 million to expand the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division initiative, which deploys mental health professionals instead of law enforcement to respond in certain cases to people experiencing mental health crises.
He also plans to propose $171 million to add 1,400 new Safe Haven and stabilization beds by mid-2023 to help homeless New Yorkers transition off the streets and out of the subway system into more stable housing.
PROMOTING AN EQUITABLE RECOVERY
More than two years after the first COVID-19 case was identified in New York City, the city continues to face an uneven recovery.
Adams said he is committed to building an equitable, inclusive recovery for all New Yorkers, one that directly addresses the longstanding inequities that were exacerbated by the pandemic.
Several weeks ago, he joined elected officials and community leaders to celebrate the enhancement of the Earned Income Tax Credit in the state budget, fulfilling his campaign pledge to bolster the social safety net and expand services for working families in New York City.
He said more than 800,000 families will benefit from the increase, supported in part by a $250 million annual commitment by the city. And last month, the mayor unveiled his "Renew, Rebuild, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City's Economic Recovery," which proposes 70 initiatives to revitalize the city's economy and get New Yorkers back to work.
A key recommendation advanced in the report called for doubling down on investments in the burgeoning life sciences industry. To that end, Adams announced a new partnership with Taconic and DivcoWest, together with New York University, to bring new space to 455 First Avenue that will support cutting-edge research, entrepreneurial training programs, and workforce development.
The city is also working to bring new space online at the Alexandria Center, completing the last of three life sciences towers that have anchored the industry for over a decade. Together, these two projects will nearly double lab space in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, helping cement it as a major hub for the life science industry in New York City.
In addition, the administration is committing $140 million in capital funds for the Hunts Point Produce Market, which supplies 25% of the city's fresh produce.
The funding will help improve the surrounding infrastructure and neighborhood parks at the facility.
Adams also announced $5 million in FY23 to help CUNY train students for the most in-demand skills and connect them to good jobs at companies that are hiring, including high-growth sectors like life sciences, the green economy, technology, and advanced manufacturing.
LIFTING UP OUR YOUTH
Adams touted the state's historic investments in child care in the most recent state budget, and in addition to committing $4 billion toward expanding affordable childcare for New Yorkers, new city tax incentives authorized by the state will spur the creation of up to 17,000 new child care seats in New York City.
In order to ensure child care is affordable and accessible for working families in New York City, Adams announced that new rates will go into effect in June that will dramatically reduce the fees that eligible families currently pay for subsidized care.
He said his administration is also committed to reducing the bureaucratic hurdles families face when seeking child care, announcing that the first major application of his proposed "MyCity" platform will be a single, unified application process for all subsidized child care options offered by the city.
Children of all ages in the city have been significantly impacted by the disruptions stemming from COVID-19, and as New York City students continue to struggle with learning loss due to the pandemic, Adams is committing $101 million for summer activities for 10,000 more K-12 students in the Summer Rising program, which provides hands-on summer learning and enrichment courses to strengthen students' academic, social, and emotional skills.
The investment brings the number of slots funded by New York City Department of Youth and Community Development to 110,000, for a total program capacity of 210,000 slots.
Adams also unveiled a $7.4 million investment to fund new dyslexia screening sites and literacy programs, and $33 million for the New York City Department of Education to launch new career pathways programs starting this September focused on high-growth sectors like health care and technology.
INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE
Earlier this week, Adams announced an investment of $904 million over five years to advance the goals laid out in the "NYC Streets Plan" and rapidly build out critical street safety and public transportation infrastructure.
Adams also announced that the city is making its largest-ever commitment to housing, with $5 billion in capital funding to promote the creation and preservation of affordable housing.
This includes investing in the New York City Housing Authority Permanent Affordability Commitment Together program, as well as funding major in-unit repairs at Gowanus Houses and Wyckoff Gardens that Adams advocated for as Brooklyn borough president.
Adams' executive budget also provides $488 million in capital funding for park improvement projects, including planting 20,000 trees annually in the coming years to reduce citywide heat vulnerability, enhancing and adding new greenways in Brooklyn and Queens and rehabilitating critical infrastructure, including pools.
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