Democratic nominee and front runner for New York City Mayor Eric Adams said one of his first missions as mayor will be to lure back New Yorkers who fled the city to Florida during the COVID pandemic.
Adams, who is currently projected to win the mayoral race and would be sworn in on January 1, told the Wall Street Journal his first trip would be to Florida to bring back residents who fled the city in a mass exodus during the height of the COVID pandemic.
‘On Jan. 2, 2022 I’m taking a flight to Florida, and I’m telling all those New Yorkers that live in Florida—I’m telling them, ”Bring your butt back to New York.”
Democratic nominee for Mayor Eric Adams (pictured) said one of his first missions will be to lure back New Yorkers who fled the city to Florida during the COVID pandemic
An estimated 33,500 New Yorkers packed up and left the Big Apple in favor for the Sunshine State beginning in Fall 2020 to July 2021
Adams’ mission might be a tall order since an estimated 33,500 New Yorkers packed up and left the Big Apple in favor for the Sunshine State from Fall 2020 to July 2021, according to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
A real-estate firm’s analysis of postal change-of-address forms counted nearly 26,000 moves from the metro New York area to the Miami area in 2020, WSJ reported.
Multiple factors may be involved in the migration, including the high-cost of living and soaring crime rates, issues Adams says he plans to address as mayor.
‘I don’t blame them for leaving,’ he told WSJ. ‘New York has become too violent, too bureaucratic, too expensive to do business.’
Florida doesn’t have any income tax – with Adams admitting he fears many of the 33,500 who fled are among the 65,000 residents who pay 51 per cent of all state and local taxes in New York.
That has sparked fears that their prolonged absence could dramatically-diminish the funds available to help rebuild the city’s COVID-shattered economy.
‘We have cops on our streets, teachers in our schools and all of the other things because of those high-income-tax earners,’ he said adding ‘Also, by middle-income earners and even the low-income earners.’
An abandoned Times Square in March 2020 when New York City went into lockdown at the start of the COVID pandemic
He said he believes the resilient spirit that carried the city through 9/11 will carry the city through the COVID crisis and bring New Yorkers back from Florida
Adams, a former police officer and current president of the borough of Brooklyn, became the Democratic nominee after a messy primary win in July.
He is set to be the second black mayor of the city after David Dinkins, who served between 1990 and 1993.
The 60-year-old has vowed to stamp down on violent crime in the city, after it recorded more than 1,500 shootings in 2020, nearly almost twice as many as 2019. Violence in the Big Apple so far this year is at its highest level since the early 2000s. In the last year, Mayor de Blasio has vowed to slash $1 billion from the police budget despite the surging crime rate.
Adams, who rose to the rank of captain in the NYPD, said he will take a more pro-police approach – but also called on unions to be less protective of bad cops.
‘I’ll go from borough to borough and have focus groups with my police officers and say, ”It’s time to hit the reset button. We need each other, the community and the police, and we want to rebuild trust.’ he said.
Adam says he plans on reforming the NYPD’s controversial ‘stop and frisk’ policy.
‘We were abusing it before,’ he said. ‘We were telling officers at the beginning of their day that they had to fill a quota of stop-and-frisk forms.’ Almost a million young people, ‘black and brown specifically, were targeted,’ he says. ‘So we will never go back to those days.’
The moderate candidate offered up the alternative ‘stop, question and frisk’ policy.
‘You see someone place a gun in their waistband, and call the police,’ he said. ‘They come, and stop and question this person. If it elevates to a reasonable suspicion that this person is committing a crime, carrying a weapon, they’ll frisk him.’
He said body cams will ensure the controversial practice is ‘never abused again.’
Adams, who is poised to win the general election in November, would be just the second black mayor of the city after David Dinkins
An estimated 33,500 New Yorkers packed up and left the Big Apple in favor for the Sunshine State from Fall 2020 to July 2021
He also looks to compromise on charter schools in the city, which have been attacked by prominent Democrats because of selective admission that tends to exclude Hispanic and black students.
Adams says would keep the current admission criteria for existing specialized high schools and instead create five new specialized schools to ‘scale up excellence.’
‘We can diversify the student body,’ he said. ‘Let’s leave the ones we have already the way they are, because there’s too much emotion, too much political capital, to be wasting four years on.’
He describes himself as an ‘upstream’ progressive, who is keen to bring in reforms that could prevent social issues before they arise.
Adams said existing Mayor Bill de Blasio – whose
Adams, who suffered a health crisis due to type 2 diabetes in 2016, says he nearly went blind and had to have his hands and feet amputated due to nerve damage caused by high cholesterol and blood-pressure.
He said once he switched over to a vegan diet instead of relying on medication, he regained his vision, dropped 35 pounds and the nerve damage disappeared in just a few weeks.
He credits his diet for treating the ‘underlying cause’ of his health issues and applied that metaphor to how he would help the 30 percent of statewide inmates with dyslexia.
‘My plant-based diet for the city is to govern upstream, not downstream,’ he told WSJ.
‘Eighty percent of inmates don’t have a high-school diploma and 55 percent have a learning disability. So if we want to decrease crime in our city, how about doing dyslexia screenings in every school?’ he proposed.
He said that he would apply the same upstream governing logic to early childhood development.
‘In the first 1,000 days of life’—roughly three years—’we determine brain development, the ability of the child to learn. It’s the seed,’ he said.
He said the earlier parents are empowered to nurture their children, the better.
‘They should learn the right food that powers their child’s brain. Why wait until the child’s foundation is destroyed, and then look in the 10th or 11th grade to retrieve what we should have fixed in the beginning?’
Adams also recalled going to the site of the collapsed towers on the night of September 1, 2001 when he was an NYPD officer and how ‘devastating’ that was.
But he says what should be remembered as well is the resilience of the city and how it bounced back after the catastrophic events of that day.
‘Something else that a lot of people don’t acknowledge, and that’s 9/12,’ he said. ‘To me, 9/12 is the most significant part of this journey. The day after, we got up. New Yorkers got up. Teachers taught. Builders continued to build. We said that we’re not going to crumble.’
He said he believes that spirit will carry the city through the COVID crisis and bring New Yorkers back from Florida.
A city that ‘went through 9/11 and recovered can go through COVID and recover,’ he told WSJ, adding he want to ‘usher in a post-COVID 9/12 in New York City.’
‘We have the resiliency. We’re going to continue to move forward,’ he said.