NEW YORK - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Democratic Mayoral candidate Eric Adams met with community leaders in Brooklyn Wednesday to discuss how to address the rise in gun violence throughout New York City.
The pair announced new initiatives to try and battle back the wave of violence, including 4,000 summer jobs, more vocational training opportunities, and increased anti-violence outreach predominantly aimed at NYC youth between the ages of 15 and 24.
"What we do in this moment decides the future of the city of New York," Cuomo said.
"We see eye-to-eye that we must put in place real changes for people on the ground," Adams said.
At least four people were shot overnight in New York City, with incidents ranging from shots being fired near Times Square to three men being shot in Jamaica, Queens.
However, the most shocking incident occurred last night in the Bronx, when a 45-year-old man was shot in the head and carjacked by three men in dirt bikes. The man miraculously survived the shooting.
Wednesday’s press conference showcased a different atmosphere than the frosty one between Cuomo and incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat. At his own news conference Wednesday, de Blasio reiterated his stance that Cuomo should resign over the allegations, which the governor denies.
Adams is considered a heavy favorite in November’s general election and would be the city’s second Black mayor if elected.
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While saying he'd work with any governor, Adams portrayed Cuomo as a political kindred spirit, and vice versa. Both Democrats have long faced criticism from their party's left wing though they promote themselves as "progressive Democrats" focused on action.
Adams emphasized public safety during his primary campaign, when the city was grappling with a rise in shootings and some other crimes this year compared to last as pandemic shutdowns eased.
He positioned himself as a working-class champion and policing pragmatist who also shared progressive goals of combatting heavy-handedness and racial injustice in law enforcement. Adams co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, a group that campaigned for criminal justice reform and against racial profiling.
"No one is going to come back to our multibillion-dollar tourism industry if 3-year-olds are being shot in Times Square," Adams said. Echoing points Cuomo has often made, he added that office workers won’t return if they think subways are unsafe and the city will lose tax revenue if wealthy people flee.
Cuomo has declared that gun violence is a "disaster emergency" in the state, and he directed his administration to start collecting data on shootings from major local police departments in hopes of honing in on hot spots. He has also touted increased state spending on anti-violence efforts.
Cuomo pledged "to work in full partnership" with Adams if he is elected Mayor of New York City.
However, the pair's joint appearance drew a quick response from Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa.
"Do you really think a summer jobs program is going to make them give up their guns and drug selling to sweep the streets, or clean up a park, or give solace to seniors? The answer is absolutely not," Sliwa said.