Eric Adams believes government inefficiency is at the root of many ills that plague New Yorkers. The ineffective delivery of public services and waste of taxpayer dollars, he says, create the very inequality and suffering that city government is meant to ameliorate.
For years leading up to and throughout his run for mayor this year, Adams -- the two-term Brooklyn borough president and former state senator -- has been calling city government “dysfunctional” and pointing toward a new way of doing government business, a “real-time governance” model he says can revolutionize how the city serves New Yorkers.
Now on the verge of becoming the next mayor, the Democratic nominee has a plan to improve city government efficiency and service-delivery, reign in profligate spending, and ease access to public benefits. Though it is vaguely defined and missing an estimated price tag, among other details, Adams’ plan involves revamping and redesigning how city agencies coordinate and use data and technology. It is a monumental task that experts say can’t be done overnight and will require a drastically different approach to how the city currently employs and procures technological tools, among other shifts.
“Our city’s dysfunctional,” Adams said in an interview with Gotham Gazette, just prior to launching his campaign. “Inefficiencies are leading to inequalities that are causing the injustices that we are witnessing.” He has harped on that theme throughout, even recently at the second official general election debate. “We’re too bureaucratic, too expensive, and too difficult to do business in,” he said. “We can turn around this economy by number one, looking after the families, getting them employed. And number two, have a more efficient government.”