More than 200 of the top business, labor and civic leaders in the city representing 3 million jobs and workers today issued an open letter of support for Mayor Eric Adams’ “Blueprint to End Gun Violence” plan and his related efforts to make the city safer.
The open letter comes after a series of shocking violent crimes across the city – including the killing of two young police officers, Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, and the killing of Michelle Go, the Deloitte executive who was pushed under a subway in Times Square.
It also comes as progressive lawmakers on the city and state level are pushing back against several planks of Adams’ plan. This includes the bringing back NYPD’s reimagined anti-crime unit specifically to target taking guns off the streets, and rollbacks of some of the state and city’s criminal justice and bail reform legislation passed in recent years such as giving judges discretion to set bail, and for 16-and 17-year-olds charged with violent crimes to face criminal instead of family court.
“The mayor’s blueprint for public safety is a common-sense approach to New York’s crime challenges, pairing essential social services and community-based interventions with appropriate tools for the courts and strategies for police,” said Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge, New York Court of Appeals and one of the signatories to the letter. “I very much urge our city, state, and federal leaders to collaboratively support the mayor’s smart and practical efforts to both tackle crime and ensure fairness in our system of justice.”
Among the signatories included a large number of the city’s corporate business leaders from Wall Street, the banking industry and large developers.
“We support Mayor Adams’ comprehensive approach to reducing crime and gun violence,” said Rob Speyer and Steven Swartz, co-chairs, Partnership for New York City. “The return of the pre-pandemic vibrancy of our city depends on his success.”
Also signing the letter were leaders of major unions and the healthcare industry.
“As an institution focused entirely on the health and wellbeing of our fellow New Yorkers, we applaud the mayor’s leadership in offering new solutions to make our city safer,” said Steven J. Corwin, MD, president and CEO, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
“On our buses, in the subway, and in the neighborhoods where we live, transit workers see the need to improve public safety every single day,” said Tony Utano, president, TWU Local 100. “All branches of government must step up and take action, and that includes addressing the mental health crisis more effectively. The mayor’s plan is a big step in the right direction.”
The actual letter notes that public safety is the bedrock of a thriving city and it is equally necessary to invest in mental health care and alleviate conditions that contribute to violent behavior, including substance abuse, homelessness, and joblessness.
“During the pandemic, both crime and quality of life conditions have worsened in the Central Business Districts, in many residential neighborhoods, on the public transit system, and in local shopping strips where small business owners and employees are vulnerable to attack. New York cannot recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic without first restoring the sense of personal security that every resident, worker, visitor, and community in our city has the right to expect,” the signatories wrote.