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Eric Adams’ Community Op-Ed—A Year of Getting Stuff Done for working-class New Yorkers

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When we came into office in January 2022, New York City was on the brink. The pandemic was still raging. Our economy was in bad shape. Crime was on the rise. And our mission from day one was to fight for the people who make New York City the greatest city in the world.

We went to work to build back our economy and begin the long road to recovery. And we did this by focusing on public safety, investing in public spaces, and supporting working people.

Twenty-four months later, thanks to the efforts of our city, our people, and across city government, we have turned things around.

Jobs are up, crime is down, our streets are cleaner, and every day we are delivering for working New Yorkers.

Thanks to our efforts, 2023 saw overall crime go down, with a drop in five of the seven major crime categories. We have taken more than 6,200 illegal guns off our streets this year, and more than 13,000 illegal guns since the start of the administration. Additionally, we have pumped the brakes on auto theft and have taken on retail theft head on.

As we have brought crime down, we have made our economy stronger. In 2023, we regained all of the private sector jobs we lost during the pandemic — more than a year ahead of predictions — and we have created good paying jobs for working people. Over 282,000 private sector jobs and more than 44,000 businesses have been created since the start of our administration — with one in seven New York City businesses opening this year alone.

But we know more can and must be done for working families. Raising a family in this city can be hard. That is why we are helping more people find affordable child care. When we came into office, a family earning $55,000 a year was paying $55 a week for child care. Today, they’re paying just $4.80.

We are also investing in our young people at every stage of their education. This year, we launched “New York City Reads,” a historic curriculum shift, enabling our public schools to switch to a reading curriculum based on proven science-of-reading techniques. And the numbers speak for themselves. Combined with initiatives we put in place during year one of the administration, reading numbers increased by almost 3 percent and math scores improved by almost 14 percent compared to the same period last year.

While education is key to economic opportunity, so is housing. And we are delivering more affordable housing for all New Yorkers.

Our historic “City of Yes for Housing Opportunity” plan is focused on “building a little more housing in every neighborhood.” Over the last year, we created nearly 27,000 affordable homes, broke ground on the largest 100 percent affordable housing project in 40 years at Willets Points in Queens and helped amplify the voices of our public housing residents with the historic vote for the NYCHA Trust.

Now, we know that a safe and prosperous New York City is also a clean city. And we are winning our war on rats. Today, we receive fewer rat complaints, garbage sits out on the street for less time, and all of our commercial waste is now placed in containers. New Yorkers no longer have to dodge black garbage bags on their way to work or school.

We are also removing longstanding and unsightly sidewalk sheds from our streets while returning sidewalk space to New Yorkers. And we have created new public spaces across all five boroughs and strengthened street safety by daylighting streets and creating more protected bike lanes.

While we have achieved so much this year, we know our city still faces challenges. We continue to meet the national asylum seeker crisis with compassion. Our city has helped the more than 157,000 migrants who have arrived at our doors seeking shelter. This is a city built by immigrants and we are focused on resettlement and helping people take the next steps in their journeys. But we have been very clear that in order to continue to manage this crisis going forward, we need more support from the state and federal governments.

Our city is safer, cleaner, and more prosperous than it was two years ago. As 2023 draws to a close, there is much to be optimistic about. In 2024, we are going to build on our historic wins and continue to Get Stuff Done so all New Yorkers can share in our prosperity. Happy Holidays!

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