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On New Year’s Eve, Eric Adams was sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City. In the wake of his wildly unpopular predecessor, Bill de Blasio, Adams entered office with an almost unprecedented amount of good will from the denizens of Gotham.
But 100 days into his administration that good will is diminishing, and New Yorkers are starting to fear they simply have another woke empty suit leading them.
Top among the recent complaints regarding Adams is his inexplicable decision to continue forcing toddlers in New York preschools to wear masks. This is the same mayor who is desperate to get adult workers, who are actually susceptible to severe COVID disease back in their offices. But the youngest New Yorkers at the least risk from COVID but the most from developmental issues arising from masks, he keeps muzzled.
This came on the heels of his decision to maintain the city’s workplace vaccine mandate for everyone except celebrity athletes and entertainers. Incredibly, Adams claims that he doesn’t see a double standard here. This is exactly the kind of ham-fisted, de Blasio style idiocy he was elected to stop.
As if these COVID blunders weren’t enough, hizzoner this week decided, apropos of absolutely nothing, to weigh in on the culture war over Florida’s controversial education bill restricting instruction on sexual matters to young children. Apparently, he has put up billboards in the Sunshine State urging people to move to New York so that they can say the word “gay,” which obviously people in Florida are free to do.
In a tweet the mayor’s office claimed in New York people can say whatever they want. And yet, when a city employee crashed a press conference to complain about the mindlessness of her toddler wearing a mask, she was fired for her trouble. According to Mayor Adams, saying “gay,” especially to small children is great, but questioning his policies is out of bounds.
The silver lining here is that it’s not too late. As disappointing as his first 100 days in office have been, it’s only 100 days.
Adams was essentially elected to do two things – fight crime and be normal. To his credit, more of New York’s finest are policing our streets today, and yet the crime numbers continue to surge. And though he opposes bail reform that sends criminals back on our streets, he isn’t willing to spend political capital to fight it.
As for normalcy, that seemed to go out the window about 10 minutes after he got the keys to the mayor’s residence at Gracie Mansion.
The actions of Adams as mayor thus far are baffling. Maybe he is trying to burnish a national reputation. After all, our last three mayors, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Bloomberg, and Comrade de Blasio all ran for president with disastrous results. If that is the current mayor’s plan, then fine. But maybe fix the city first, and get into fights with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis later.
What makes all of this so frustratingly maddening is that New York City is so close to bouncing back from its devastating two years of lockdown. It’s palpable. You can feel the city, like a tight coil, ready to spring into action. But rather than unleashing the energy of America’s largest metropolis, Adams seems more concerned with power and personal celebrity.
The silver lining here is that it’s not too late. As disappointing as his first 100 days in office have been, it’s only 100 days. He has well over a thousand more to get his mayoralty and his city back on track. But that needs to happen soon. New Yorkers are many things, but patient is not one of them.
Mr. Mayor, we are begging you, stop with the nonsense COVID restrictions. Stop with the virtue signaling swipes at Florida. Nobody in New York City cares about that. What we care about are safe streets, safe subways, full office buildings and thriving small businesses.
Give us those things, and maybe we’ll name an airport after you someday. But if you stay on this track, if you continue to refuse to do what you were elected to do, then you are destined for the dust bin of failure right next to de Blasio.
The choice is yours, Mr. Mayor, and the choice is obvious.