Much has been written about New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ advisers — from his close-knit campaign crew to his sprawling transition team and some questionable friendships he maintains along the way. But Adams keeps close counsel with another group who has received less attention: New York City’s business elite.
Adams, during an interview with POLITICO this week, said he regularly confers with the city’s corporate leaders — relationships he described as integral to how he has navigated the job. Asked whom he turned to for guidance outside City Hall, Adams first referenced Calvin Butts, a New York reverend who recently died. He then described much of his inner circle as “a lot of people in the business community.”
The moderate mayor has made no secret of his support for big business, warning against tax increases and imploring workers to return to the office. His rhetoric was especially welcomed by business leaders after former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s anti-corporation crusade, and the real estate community has responded with early donations to his reelection bid.
Among his confidantes is Kathy Wylde, the president of the Partnership for New York City who serves as the public face of New York’s business sector. Wylde confirmed the two communicate weekly, by phone or text. “He’s authentic. You know what he cares about. You know what he’s trying to do,” she said.
Adams speaksregularly with Charles O’Byrne, a top executive at Related Companies — the real estate developer that built Hudson Yards, which just announced plans for a soccer stadium in Queens and is eyeing a casino license in Manhattan. “Charles O’Byrne has been just amazing,” Adams said of the former Jesuit priest and aide to ex-Gov. David Paterson. “If you know Charles, he has this combination of being this priest you speak with at confession, because you know when you talk to him he goes nowhere.”
Also on his call list is former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, a man-about-town now in the private sector with whom Adams, a retired police captain, dined a few days ago.
And his list of business executives includes one of the biggest names of all: former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, whose warm relationship with Adams stands in contrast to his icy one with de Blasio. The billionaire ex-mayor sometimes offers his thoughts and observations, Adams said. “He probably gave me the best piece of advice out of everyone,” he said. “Probably the first week, two weeks, he says, ‘Eric, ignore the f-ing press.'”
IT’S THURSDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know … By email: [email protected] and [email protected], or on Twitter: @erinmdurkin and @annagronewold
WHERE’S KATHY? Holding a storm briefing.
WHERE’S ERIC? Touring the New York Stock Exchange and meeting with youth from the NYC Junior Ambassadors Program.
“New York City Football Club stadium deal provides affordable housing — and a win for lobbyist with ties to Adams,” by New York Daily News’ Chris Sommerfeldt and Michael Gartland: “A $780 million soccer stadium deal in Queens greenlighted this week by Mayor Adams was a win for one of his top political advisers — who lobbied City Hall for months on behalf of the project’s developer, public records show. Nathan Smith, a political strategist who served as a top aide on Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign, inked a lobbying contract in July with City Football Group, the owner of the New York City Football Club and other soccer teams around the world, according to records from the City Clerk’s Office.”
— “As NYC unveils new Willets Point redevelopment, auto repair shop owners gear up for another fight,” by Gothamist’s Elizabeth Kim
“Food Delivery Workers Would Be Paid $23.82 Minimum Under Proposed New City Rules,” by The City’s Claudia Irizarry Aponte: “New York City’s app-based food delivery workers should be paid at least $23.82 an hour plus tips by 2025, an amount that takes into account their costs of operating, the city Department of Consumer and Worker Protection proposed via public notice Wednesday morning.”
“Bomb Dogs, ‘Goon Squad,’ Subway Cops: Who’s Making a Killing in NYPD Overtime,” by New York Focus’s Chris Gelardi: “Officer Andrew Rigel worked more overtime than anyone else in the New York City Police Department last fiscal year: 2,002 extra hours, akin to nearly 79-hour work weeks. Though exceptional, he was hardly alone. Rigel was the leader of a high-earning pack: The NYPD Transit Bureau’s canine unit, which patrols the subways with bomb-sniffing dogs, contained the police force’s top nine active over-workers.”
“Group of city councilmembers push for federal takeover of Rikers Island,” by NY1’s Courtney Gross: “At least seven City Council members are now urging a federal judge to appoint a receiver for Rikers Island. In a letter obtained exclusively by NY1, these lawmakers say Rikers Island has only become more deadly and the only way to turn things around would be through a federal takeover. Eighteen people in custody or recently released from custody have died this year.”
“Major NYC climate law in jeopardy as 400 people virtually crash buildings meeting,” by Gothamist’s Rosemary Midary: “Hundreds of people crashed what would have been a routine Department of Buildings meeting to draw attention to proposals by the New York City mayor that they say could gut a landmark piece of climate legislation in the city. Signed in 2019, Local Law 97 aims to put a cap on carbon pollution from buildings, the metro area’s largest source of greenhouse gases, accounting for more than 70% of the city’s emissions.”
‘They’re all adults’: How Democrats handled a post-hurricane political party in Puerto Rico, by POLITICO’s Anna Gronewold and Katelyn Cordero: On Saturday, hundreds of members of New York’s Democratic Party stalked a half-mile strip of the beachside resorts here gaming out their evening options: drop by the conference’s final farewell bash at a private beach, rally a group to club in Old San Juan’s La Factoria or try to crash a house party hosted by billionaire crypto investor and former child star Brock Pierce. But on the southwestern corner and more remote regions of the island, Puerto Ricans were continuing to patch up homes wrecked by earthquakes and Hurricane Fiona in September that knocked out power across the island and killed at least 30 people.
With Puerto Rico’s struggles to rebuild after years of devastating natural disasters, the Democrats’ pilgrimage has become more complicated: They need to avoid being impervious to the residents’ needs while also enjoying all the island and its sprawling resorts offer.
— State Sen. Zellnor Myrie and former Assemblymember Diana Richardson reportedly got engaged at SOMOS.
FROM BUFFALO: “Gov. Hochul to declare state of emergency for the storm, Thruway and other routes to close to commercial traffic,” by Buffalo News’ Maki Becker: “With a disruptive snowstorm headed toward Western New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul, in interviews with local media outlets Wednesday afternoon, said she plans to declare a state of emergency at 10 a.m. Thursday.”
— The lake-effect stormcould bring “multiple feet” of snow.
“Jay Jacobs responds with letter signed by over 40 county chairs,” by City & State’s Rebecca C. Lewis: “State Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs has a lot of vocal opponents in the aftermath of the midterm elections, but he still has plenty of support among county chairs. In a letter shared exclusively with City & State, over 40 county Democratic Party chairs are backing Jacobs, who has been under fire from many elected officials and observers in his party following the loss of several congressional seats that Joe Biden won by 10 points or more in 2020.”
“27 votes separate candidates in CNY state Senate race, will go to automatic recount,” by Spectrum’s Nick Reisman: “An automatic recount will take place in Central New York’s 50th state Senate district after unofficial vote tallies show Democratic incumbent John Mannion leading his Republican challenger Rebecca Shiroff by only 27 votes. The race is one of a handful of unresolved elections in the state Senate, where Democrats hold a supermajority over Republicans. If Mannion is victorious, Democrats could retain 42 seats in the 63-seat chamber.
“Hundreds of Women Set to Sue New York Over Allegations of Prison Sex Abuse,” by The New York Times’ Chelsia Rose Marcius: “Hundreds of women who have accused prison guards of sexual abuse going back decades plan to sue New York State under new legislation that allows survivors to take legal action no matter how many years have elapsed. The Adult Survivors Act, passed in May, gives people who say they were sexually abused a one-time opportunity to file civil suits long after the statute of limitations for most criminal cases has expired.”
#UpstateAmerica: You’ve got a shot to name an Erie County snowplow if you act before Nov. 30.
— City Council members grilled education department officials about the city’s plan to scale back the expansion of 3-K.
— CNN is planning to limit on-air imbibing during its New Year’s Eve coverage.
— New York sales tax collections increased by 14.1 percent in October compared to the same time a year ago.
— The University at Albanyis hiring 27 new professors in almost every department to teach students how artificial intelligence affects their chosen field.
— Adjunct professors at the New School went on strike.
— A man was arrested for the murder of his three-year-old son in a Queens homeless shelter.
— A bill introduced in the City Council would increase fines for chain stores that fail to shovel their sidewalks.
— Food safety inspectors found moths in the coffee storage area at the Starbucks reserve roastery in Chelsea.
— Amtrak will expand its service between New York City and Albany.,
— A report warned that the loss of fare revenue due to lower ridership “will destroy the MTA” if the state doesn’t step in to provide funding.
— Manhattan pols are pushing for a composting program like the one launched in Queens.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: NBC’s Noah Oppenheim … Chris Stirewalt … MSNBC’s Lily Corvo … FT’s Felicia Schwartz … Howard Fineman … Mike DeFilippis of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ (R-N.Y.) office … Michele Tasoff
MEDIAWATCH — Laura Jarrett will join NBC as a senior legal correspondent, Variety’s Brian Steinberg reports. She previously was a co-anchor of CNN’s “Early Start.”
ENGAGED — Tyler Goldberg, director of political strategy at Assembly Global, on Monday proposed to Rachel Glasberg, a producer for the NBC News show “Stay Tuned” and a CNN alum. The couple, who met at Emory University in 2013 when he was her campus tour guide, got engaged while they were hiking in Eastham on Cape Cod. Pic
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Christopher Edgar, a manager at PIMCO, and Mary Claire Brunelli, a PhD candidate in comparative literature at CUNY, welcomed Alexander Joseph Edgar, who came in at 8 lbs and 22 inches. Pic … Another pic
Innovation QNS to get more affordable housing ahead of Council vote, by POLITICO’s Janaki Chadha: City Council Member Julie Won came out swinging against a hotly-contested rezoning proposal in her Queens district when it came before the body earlier this fall… Won, who wields significant power over the project under the Council’s land use traditions, demanded a substantial 55 percent of the new units be set aside for low- and middle-income households as a condition for her support. Now, with the Council slated to hold a crucial committee vote on Thursday, the proposal — known as Innovation QNS — remains short of the threshold she laid out. But her push for more affordable housing has made some headway, according to multiple people with knowledge of the negotiations.
“Tenants Urge State to Close the ‘Frankenstein Loophole’ That Landlords Use to Supersize Rents,” by The City’s Tanaz Meghjani and Sam Rabiyah: “Tenants flocked to a state housing agency hearing Tuesday to raise alarms about loopholes in the state’s rent laws — including one that allows landlords to combine empty apartments and sharply raise rents. The Division of Housing and Community Renewal hearing focused on proposed amendments to rent stabilization rules, including one that HCR says would end the so-called ‘Frankenstein loophole’ in the Rent Stabilization Code. Tenants reported a rise in this practice after passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 — historic tenant protections that eliminated most tactics landlords used to jack up rents and deregulate apartments.”
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