New York Mayor Eric Adams has resorted to begging businesspeople to ride the subway on the daily, as he strives to get more people back into their offices. Among those he has asked to ride the subway is JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon.
Hmm...should I wear my $20,000 suit and $50,000 Rolex on a private corporate helicopter to work or on the filthy New York City subway, we're sure Dimon asks himself daily.
Adams doesn't seem to care how bold of a request it is, telling the Financial Times this week: “We’re telling our corporate leaders: ‘Hey, get on the train!’ We need to advertise that New York is back.”
The Times noted that only 40% of workers have returned to offices despite the Mayor's plea and the city's "re-opening" that still involves constant headlines about Covid cases.
Surveys have found that "fear of a crime-plagued subway" is the overwhelming reason people don't return to the office. Adams has added more police to the subways and has added to their training, the report says.
Adams said: "When I was a transit cop, I graduated and I had to go through a whole training system of how to police the subway system. They stopped doing that. So we’re now reinstituting that.”
Speakign about Dimon specifically, Adams said: “We’re going to get him on the train. We’re going to get everyone on the train. He understands the need of getting his people back and leading from the front.”
Sure he does, Eric...
Adams did admit that it had been a challenge to rope in crime in the city. Shootings were up 75% from two years prior and hate crimes are up 103% over the same period. Shoplifting is "rampant", the report says.
Adams has blamed his lack of performance on guns: “We thought by the middle of February we were going to turn the corner on crime. But our entire equation was disrupted because of the flow of guns into our city, the ready accessibility of guns and the reluctance of prosecuting people who are carrying guns.”
Adams is against the "defund the police" narrative and has increased the city's policing budget by $200 million.
“After the [George] Floyd case, people were so terrified by what they saw that they said: ‘Take everything away from public safety.’ But there were those of us who said, ‘No. We can have safety and justice,’” he said. “I have not attended one meeting in my 32-year history where community groups said: ‘Take my police away.’”