• Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Speaker Adrienne Adams’s illness is avoiding the rental crisis in NYC

Speaker Adrienne Adams's illness is avoiding the rental crisis in NYC


They are both named Adams, both are powerful New York City officials, but only one displays any common sense.

Thankfully, he’s the mayor and she’s not. 

Mayor Eric Adams and Council Speaker Adrienne Adams are not related, and sometimes are so fundamentally at odds it’s hard to believe they are even members of the same Democratic Party. 

In a sense, they’re not.

He’s from the traditional- liberal wing while she is cut from the nutty progressive cloth.

If it’s true that she’s planning to run for mayor next year, she would likely follow the ideological path of Bill de Blasio.

Mayor Putz, remember, proved to be a disaster in everything he touched. 

The last thing New York needs is an encore.

A mayor’s job is to make the biggest decisions, and while I don’t agree with some of those Eric Adams has made, he generally gets one thing right — a sense of responsibility for the whole city, which exerts a practical restraint. 

The council speaker, on the other hand, is free to demand utopia today, tomorrow and forever, and Adrienne Adams certainly does.

The result is that her views are far more radical and expensive. 

The contrast between them has raised its head repeatedly, with policing a common battleground. 

The mayor, a former NYPD captain, speaks forcefully about public safety and the dangers of the job.

He also expresses a sense of gratitude about the nation and the city, as he did at the police department’s Medal Day ceremony Tuesday. 

After calling America the “greatest country on the globe” and Gotham “the greatest city,” he added, “We have the best product going, and that product is protected by the men and women of the New York City Police Department.”

It is impossible to imagine Speaker Adams saying anything like that.

She oozes distrust about New York’s Finest, and aims to tie cops’ hands with silly regulations.

Her insistence that they keep a written report of virtually every contact they have with civilians is designed to turn them into bureaucrats.

The mayor vetoed the bill, but the speaker led the charge to successfully override it.

As with many on the left, she seems to believe cops are guilty until proven innocent.

These clashing approaches are now front and center on another vital topic — housing.

The officials offered dueling responses to a decision by the Rent Guidelines Board.

The board sets the maximum allowable annual rent increases for the estimated 1 million private apartments in the rent stabilization system.

Practically speaking, its job is to find a middle ground where tenants can afford to pay and owners can afford to stay in business.

It did exactly that Monday night by approving rent hikes of up to 2.75% for one-year leases and up to 5.25% for two-year leases, starting in October. 

Housing crisis

It was a reasonable decision, given Joe Biden’s inflation disaster and the ever-rising property taxes, water and sewer charges, labor costs and the nickel-and-diming nuisance charges imposed on owners. 

The mayor certainly saw it that way, saying in a statement that the board, whose members he appoints, found a way to “protect tenants from unfair rent increases while also protecting the future of rent stabilized homes,” which he correctly said are “threatened by growing operating and maintenance costs for owners.”

Finally, he invoked an idea rarely heard in government — the law of supply and demand.

As the mayor put it, “the only way to ultimately lower rents is to build more housing.” 

Cue the outrage on the left, where capitalism is a curse instead of the tide that lifts all boats.

The Legal Aid Society won the race to be the most outrageous, calling the rent hikes “needless” and predicted “increased rates of homelessness, eviction, and displacement.”

Its statement invented new categories of victims — tenants who are “rent-burdened or severely rent-burdened” — and accused board members of “continuing to line the pockets of landlords.”

‘Real estate donors’

The Working Families Party, which wants to defeat the mayor next year, depicted him as a cruel tyrant, saying he is “padding the pockets of his real estate donors, while working New Yorkers are struggling just to stay in their homes.”

Predictably, the council speaker threw economic reality out the window and took a position with a similar burn-it-down hysteria.

She claimed the rent hikes “will place too many of the nearly one million rent-stabilized tenants at risk of housing instability,” adding: “The impact of this decision will disproportionately affect low-income New Yorkers of color . . . and exacerbate our city’s existing crises of rising homelessness and evictions.” 

She vowed “to advance housing solutions, including deeper investments in the city budget to create more affordable homes for New Yorkers and early childhood education for families.”

Ah, yes, “investments.”

As the late Charles Krauthammer noted, that’s what Democrats call it when they want to throw taxpayer money at a problem they have no idea how to fix.

That is certainly the case here.

With the left distrusting private business of all kinds, it moves more and more costs to government budgets as if there are no limits.

The risk of killing the golden goose of private enterprise that funds those government programs seems not to have occurred to them.

They see government as the answer to everything.

NYCHA disaster

And when government fails, they have an answer for that, too: more government.

Regarding public housing, you would think the rampant failures of the sprawling city Housing Authority would be a cautionary tale.

With more than 177,000 apartments being home to nearly 400,000 people, the system is vast — and perpetually distressed. 

Federal monitors were called in to clean up the mess, but after five years on the job, lawyer Bart Schwartz concluded that money was not the main problem. 

“It is the lack of effective governance, ethics and accountability that prevents NYCHA from achieving comprehensive, sustainable improvements within its current financial restraints,” he said in his damning final report.

So by all means, let’s have more and more public housing and less and less private housing. Because when you ignore the facts, government always works best. 

No pity for selfish Joe

Reader Howard Siegel asks questions and suggests answers.

He writes, “I consider myself a charitable and empathetic person, but I just cannot find any sympathy for Joe Biden. Here is a man clearly compromised by what can only be described as dementia, and in a position where our very survival could be based on a decision he would have to make.” 

“Where is ‘Dr.’ Jill to allow this, and where is the media? Is their hatred for Trump so intense that they stand quiet?”

Decline of the American spirit

Nomen Nescio is also troubled, writing:

“The fact that the presidential race is too close to call reflects the dismal state of intelligence, information and thinking among Americans.

“With a population more interested in TikTok than the basics of civics, we’re doomed. It’s just a matter of time.”



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