The next administration will have its own opportunities not only to recover from the pandemic, but to reimagine areas of the city. Of course, it’s never easy to take on vocal and powerful groups that say, “Not in my backyard.” But across New York, there are parking lots, warehouses, rail yards and other properties that offer the next mayor opportunities to create housing for all incomes and jobs for all skill levels.
Such projects require ambition and political courage. As a candidate, Eric Adams has shown both. That’s why I’m supporting him in the mayoral election this fall. His pragmatism and willingness to take on tough issues — and his experience as a police officer who understands the importance of public safety — will serve him well in City Hall. And I hope that Bloomberg Philanthropies will have a chance to support his administration, because this is an all-hands-on-deck moment.
In government, collaboration is as important as competence, and the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site — including the construction of the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum — showed how crucial strong partnerships are to achieving a vision. Working with nine different governors of New York and New Jersey, we built the memorial and museum to serve as a powerful tribute to those we lost, and to teach future generations about the extraordinary heroism and sacrifices that inspired and united the world.
There were tensions and obstacles, of course. But a healthy working relationship between the mayor and governor is crucial to the success of major projects.
Now, even before he takes office, Mr. Adams has a chance to begin building a close relationship with the state’s new governor, Kathy Hochul. They will not always see eye to eye, but we need them to work hand-in-hand.
As the sun set on Sept. 11, 2001, it was hard to imagine the city could rebound as quickly and strongly as it did. But by pulling together, thinking creatively, planning ambitiously, and working toward a clear vision of the future — one that is true to the values of our city, including our welcoming embrace of immigrants and refugees — we began a period of rebirth and renewal unlike any in history.
Now, we can do it again. If we heed the lessons of the past, I know we will.