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Eric Adams Is Not Governing Our City Well (An Op-Ed)

Veronica Mollod, Grade 9, Staff Writer

 

The current mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, has faced repeated backlash over many of his recent decisions, garnering him the lowest approval rating for any mayor since 1996: a dismal 28%.


Many New Yorkers are frustrated with Adams’ cuts to school and public library budgets, his handling of the city’s migrant crisis, and various other governing choices and scandals.


All this begs the question: Is Mayor Adams really such a good mayor? Are the decisions he is making the best possible actions to help our city? Clearly not.


Mayor Adams has cut budgets for schools and libraries, two of the most important places that young New Yorkers are able to grow up into informed, capable residents. Specifically, Mayor Adams cut $100 million from the Department of Education’s (DOE) budget this year after cutting $600 million in November. This isn’t just detrimental to the whole city, but also HSAS, which will likely be affected by these cuts. Therefore, all students should care about how the DOE’s budget is being changed, because it will affect learning experiences, and that, in turn, will affect your future.


Some may excuse this 0.6% cut given that Mayor Adams originally planned to put 5% of the budget. Still, this is an incredibly large sum of money to take from such an important department and will likely have a very large, noticeable impact.


Adams has also expressed strong support for continuing mayoral control of the city’s school system, which many have said needs to be altered or switched to a system of school boards.


Additionally, Mayor Adams has instituted the 60-day rule, which limits migrants to 60 day stays in city homeless shelters before forcing them to reapply for shelter placement or move. New York City Comptroller Brad Lander has loudly opposed this decision and launched an investigation into Mayor Adams’ 60- day rule given its potential to wreak havoc on the lives of many families. As Lander argues, there is no guarantee families will be placed in a new shelter that is close to the school their children are attending.


Forcing families to move from shelter to shelter as they look for a home of their own and parents search for jobs will make it even harder for children in this new environment and it may lead to frequent school switches. It is imperative for the mayor to keep in mind the well-being of migrant students. The policy also fails to properly address the issue of shelters being overcrowded by the approximately 66,000 asylum seekers in city shelters. The 60-day rule simply shifts people from one shelter to another and will not fix the overcrowding situation as Mayor Adams has said.


Moreover, Mayor Adams has not complied with a new law that expanded the city’s housing voucher program. The law seeks to help low- income New Yorkers pay their rent. It expands a program which helps people live more independent, stable lives by saving the high expenses of housing people in homeless shelters.This law was passed by the City Council, and an attempted veto by Mayor Adams was overruled. Still, Mayor Adams states that he will not comply with the law, citing expense concerns. Similarly to all citizens, Mayor Adams should comply with city laws, regardless of his opinion of them.


It is important for elected officials to act in the best interest of their constituents. Our mayor should act to most help the people of New York City. Nevertheless, Mayor Adams has made decisions that have not benefited his constituents. Mayor Adams has gone against the law, and prevented many New Yorkers, possibly including some students at HSAS, from living better, happier lives.


We must make it abundantly clear to Mayor Adams that his decisions are not in our best interests. We must ensure that he will not continue to act against the will of the people. We have to fight to make sure that our city is governed as skillfully and thoughtfully as possible, so that all New York City residents can be happy to call this city our home.


This is a classroom at HSAS. The whole school of HSAS is being affected by Mayor Eric Adams’ dissatisfactory governing.

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