Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Condemns Mayor Adams ‘Involuntary Assistance” Order That Will Harm New Yorkers

November 29, 2022

CONTACT: Mariah McGough,, 203 470 9979


NEW YORK — Today, in response to Mayor Adams ordering law enforcement to use “involuntary assistance” to address people who are homeless and experiencing mental health crises, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Jawanza Williams, Director of Organizing for VOCAL-NY:

“New Yorkers will see this plan for what it is: a draconian attempt to say the Adams’ administration is tackling a problem, while only making it worse. The lives of people dealing with mental health crises won’t be improved by forcing them into treatment, especially if it’s coming from law enforcement. All this directive will do is disappear them. 

Mayor Adams is using progressive language around care and compassion to distract from his continued budget cuts to services and agency staff, while fueling the NYPD budget. This ‘compassionate’ approach neglects the demands of the vulnerable communities he’s claiming to help: permanent housing, equitable access to public health tools, and investments in community services that meet people where they are. 

If the Adams administration actually cared about helping people experiencing mental health crises, Daniel’s Law would be at the top of his legislative agenda, and he would halt his austerity budget measures immediately. Anything less, will only do more harm.”


VOCAL-NY has long advocated for a Caring & Compassionate New Deal. It is a framework and long-term vision to address poverty and public health concerns by providing people the housing, social services and care they actually need — not by relying on policing and incarceration. 

Daniel’s Law would create the infrastructure necessary to replace police officers with mental health workers, peers and EMT’s, as first responders to mental health crises. The law is named after Daniel Prude, who was killed by Rochester law enforcement  while experiencing a mental health crisis on March 23rd, 2020.


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