Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Responds to Mayor Adams’ State of the City

January 26, 2023

CONTACT: Mariah McGough, 


See VOCAL-NY’s 2023 Policy Platform for Mayor Adams and the New York City Council

NEW YORK — Today, in response to Mayor Adams second annual State of the City, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Jawanza Williams, VOCAL-NY Director of Organizing:

“Today we heard little about the immediate steps Mayor Adams will take to help struggling New Yorkers. His surface-level one-liners stand in stark contrast to the budget cuts he’s making to services and care, and underscores his propping up of the NYPD’s budget and calling for even more dollars for prosecutors. The State of City truly forecasts Mayor Adams’ apparent commitment to dramatically increasing NYC’s jail population and keeping Rikers Island open as a place to warehouse the many New Yorkers his policies are leaving behind. That’s not the City we want. 

It’s a slap in the face to insinuate that an hour of volunteer work will decrease homelessness, let alone shift the anti-homeless rhetoric the Administration was so committed to conveying less than a year ago. Empathy, care and compassion looks like housing and healthcare. That is what will end our homelessness crisis. 

Using Opioid Settlement Funds to support harm reduction strategies is a step in the right direction, but Mayor Adams scapegoating fentanyl is dangerous and will only create a War on Drugs 2.0, where an onslaught of Broken Windows policies led to the mass incarceration and criminalization of Black and Brown communities.

The Mayor’s approach to public safety continues to be focused on superficial interventions to disappear people into jails or hospitals rather than focusing on addressing root cause issues like poverty, racism, housing and healthcare.”


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