New York City Mayor Eric Adams hosted a briefing Thursday with more than 100 employers and business leaders to discuss public safety in the city and the steps his administration is taking to ensure workers returning to the office feel comfortable on the go.
The Partnership for New York City, a business group, called the appeal after the mayor heard employers’ concerns about safety after Daniel Enriquez, 48, was fatally shot in the chest on the Q train last weekend. He was an employee of Goldman Sachs.
According to a March poll by Morning Consult on behalf of the Partnership for New York City, concerns about public safety, particularly in the city’s transit system, were the top issue cited by workers as a barrier to back to the office. Mr. Enriquez’s death was the most recent of high-profile violent incidents on the subway this year.
“What employers were saying was, ‘We’re hearing our employees say that’s the hurdle in terms of getting back to work – getting back to the subway,'” said Kathryn Wylde, head of the Partnership. “The mayor emphasized that he was totally committed to the sense of a safe city, in terms of reducing crime and improving the perception of personal safety in the city.”
Data released this month by the Partnership showed that the return to the office has been slower than expected by employers: 38% of Manhattan office workers were on site by mid-April, but more than a third of employers had predicted that daily attendance would exceed 50%. by then.
The Q train shooting in New York
On May 22, 2022, a gunman shot and killed a subway passenger in Lower Manhattan.
During this week’s briefing with business leaders, the mayor shared his commitment to expanding the presence of police officers and mental health workers throughout the city’s transit system and promised a more comprehensive approach to support the city’s homeless.
“We wanted to show them what we’re doing so they can go back to their employees and say we’re addressing this crime problem,” Adams said Thursday, at a news conference announcing the city’s bid. to host the 2024 Democratic National. Convention. Some of his critics say a greater police presence will not be enough.
Despite research indicating that hybrid working is here to stay, Adams has made it his mission to bring employees back to the office.
He argued that employees have a role to play in reviving the city’s economy, including patronizing small businesses in central business districts. And he and his administration did a full press behind the scenes.
In early March, Mr. Adams hosted several business leaders for a vegan dinner at the Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s residence. Jeff T. Blau, chief executive of Related Companies, the property developer, was present, as was James Gorman, chief executive of Morgan Stanley; Jonathan Gray, President of Blackstone; and Thasunda Brown Duckett, managing director of TIAA, according to Charles Phillips, managing partner and co-founder of Recognize, a technology growth capital firm, which helped organize the dinner.
“We want people to come back to the office all over town,” Mr. Phillips said. “It’s a problem if employees feel it’s not safe, and CEOs need a script so they can talk to employees legitimately.”
New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell also met with business leaders to deliver a similar message, according to the New York Post.