FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM FEBRUARY 3, 2022 • THE QUEENS COURIER 19
Mayor Adams unveils gun violence policy
BY MORGAN C. MULLINGS
Mayor Eric Adams is proposing more
arrests, stricter sentences, more outreach
and a rollback to some criminal justice
reforms and bail laws to stem gun violence
in New York City.
In a Jan. 24 press conference, Adams
addressed the “iron pipeline,” and
rising incidents in gun violence that took
the life of two police offi cers.
Aft er hearing criticism on holding the
presser with no Q&A, the Adams administration
rescheduled the event to focus on
the court of public opinion.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis.
Th ere is no time to wait. We must act. Th e
sea of violence comes from many rivers.
We must dam every river that feeds this
greater crisis,” Adams said. He claims that
the eff ects of his “Blueprint to End Gun
Violence” will be seen and felt very quickly.
In the 30 precincts where most of the
gun violence occurs, Adams’ offi ce will
deploy more offi cers and neighborhood
safety teams in the next three weeks.
“In doing this, we will avoid mistakes of
the past. Th ese offi cers will be identifi able
as NYPD. Th ey will have body cameras,
and they will have enhanced training and
oversight,” he said.
Th e city will also collect and report evidence
of gun sales to support the state’s
Interstate Gun Tracing Consortium,
including using facial recognition and spot
checks at major ports.
“Gun violence is not only a law enforcement
issue. It is a social issue, a community
issue, and we will be taking a citywide
approach to meeting this challenge. New
Yorkers have heard me say many times that
any eff ective plan to reduce gun violence
must include intervention AND prevention,”
Adams said, pivoting to his plans to
address the root causes of violence.
Th e mayor plans to expand intervention
programs and youth-centered programs,
and create a Quality of Life Task Force,
which includes members of the NYPD
and Department of Homeless Services
(DHS), to make sure that law enforcement
and mental health professionals are working
together to stop violence among the
homeless and mentally ill.
In the briefi ng and the question-andanswer
portion aft erward in the City
Hall Rotunda, the mayor focused on his
recommendations to change laws and
court processes to make sure threats are
“We must allow judges to take dangerousness
into account. New York is the only
state in the country that does not allow a
judge to detain a defendant who poses a
threat to the community,” Adams said.
“We must also look at ‘Raise the Age’ legislation,
which is being used as a loophole
for gang members to demand young people
under 18 take the fall for guns that are not
theirs,” he continued. Th ough he clarifi ed
that he does not want to target the youth,
he wants to take some of the prosecutions
out of family court and make sure they are
tried in criminal court.
Th ese are his two most controversial recommendations,
and the third is his suggestion
to take a second look at reforms.
“We must also re-examine the 2019
reforms to the discovery process. We must
allow district attorneys to move forward
earlier with gun charges, removing disclosure
requirements that jam up the process,
and we urge the state to pass legislation to
that eff ect,” he said.
Lastly, Mayor Adams is asking the district
attorneys in each borough to move gunviolence
related incidents to the front of
the docket, getting guns off the street faster.
For many of these initiatives, it is up to
the NYPD commissioner, Keechant Sewell,
to make the determination on how many
offi cers will go to each neighborhood and
how training will be changed to make sure
they can handle the crisis.
He also will defer to the Deputy Mayor
of Public Safety Philip Banks III to decide
what technology can be used within city
law that can track guns and the people that
bring them into the city.
“Th is is my number one priority: Keeping
you safe. I campaigned on it; I will deliver
on it.” Adams said.
Queens electeds call for legislative action to protect street vendors
BY JULIA MORO
Two Queens lawmakers are calling for
the state legislature to prioritize a bill
that will protect street vendors by eliminating
the cap on licenses and allowing
the small businesses to receive relief aid.
Th e state recently announced its 2022
Executive Budget, which included a proposed
$1 billion relief package for small
businesses. However, many street vendors
in New York City are without licenses
— making them ineligible for the
In response, state Senator Jessica
Ramos and Assemblywoman Jessica
González-Rojas proposed the state
Legislature prioritize S1175A/A5081.
Th is legislation would formalize and regulate
street vending in cities with a population
of 1 million or more people, as
well as lift the license cap and eliminate
the waitlist for street vendors, allowing
them to pay their taxes and comply with
Getting a license is nearly impossible
for street vendors due to a cap to limit
how many vendors are allowed to operate
in the city, advocates have said.
“When Queens was enduring the
worst of the pandemic, it was immigrant
owned street vending operations
providing outdoor dining and shopping
experiences that allowed many people in
our neighborhoods to access what they
needed,” González-Rojas said. “A5081
has been featured in the New York State
Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian
Legislative Caucus’ 2022 People’s Budget
as a piece of legislation that is necessary
for a just recovery. We need to pass
A5081 to legalize street vending, bringing
revenue back to our cities and state
while honoring the valued contributions
of immigrant entrepreneurs.”
Last June, agencies started issuing
$1,000 fi nes to unpermitted mobile
food vendors, even though licenses are
unavailable. Advocates from the Street
Vendor’s Project (SVP) gathered to protest
these regulations over the summer.
“How is this city so cruel as to issue a
$1,000 ticket to a mother selling tamales
to take care of her family, aft er barely
surviving the pandemic, simply for a
lack of business licensing which she has
no way to access due to the cap on permits
and licenses,” said Carina Kaufman-
Gutierrez, SVP’s deputy director.
Ramos said that a lack of licenses
means these small businesses can not
adequately provide for their families and
“People of color who are answering the
call to build and create are penalized and
overpoliced because they lack the recognition
that a business license grants
them. Street vending is as old as New
York City, and it is in the interest of every
consumer and business for this industry
to be formalized,” Ramos said. “NYC has
a mayor who not only has a personal history
with street vending but has signaled
his support for street vendors and their
ability to formalize their small businesses.
Th e timing is right for this bill.”
Mayor Eric Adams has said in the past
that he stands with SVP and the push to
lift restrictive permit caps.
Intro 1116 in the City Council passed
last year, which lift ed the cap and added
4,000 permits aft er closing the waitlist in
2017. However, considering thousands
more are waiting to be licensed, Ramos
and González-Rojas are working to eliminate
the cap altogether.
Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Offi ce
Mayor Eric Adams attends a vigil for the two NYPD offi cers who were shot outside the 32nd Precinct