City Council members slam Adams on social media for asserting people can’t ‘just walk in’ to their offices

slam Adams
Mayor Eric Adams said during a TV interview that ‘you don’t just walk into’ a City Council member’s office, leading several members to slam him on social media, pointing out that they accept walk-ins most days of the week. Friday, April 12, 2024.
Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Mayor Eric Adams caused a major uproar among City Council members on Friday by inaccurately suggesting that constituents cannot simply walk into their offices to request assistance — a practice common among most city lawmakers.

Hizzoner made the comments during a Friday morning Pix11 interview while attempting to defend his new policy requiring council members, as well as state and federal lawmakers, complete an online form in order to meet with city agency heads.

“You don’t just walk into a council person’s office, there’s a process that they have in place to meet with them,” the mayor said. “You don’t walk into your doctor’s office, there’s a process to meet with them. We just created a process that can be more fluid and easier for everyone to do.”

While a council spokesperson was not certain if every single one of the body’s 51 members allow people to walk into their offices without appointments, they said an “overwhelming majority” do.

Additionally, the form in question — dubbed the “Elected Officials Agency Engagement Request” formdoes not apply to walk-ins, but rather a variety of meetings elected officials often request with commissioners and senior administration officials.

Soon after an amNewYork Metro reporter posted Adams’ comments on X, over a dozen council members fired back at the mayor on the platform. Most of them pointed out their offices are open four to five days a week during business hours — sharing the dates and times when members of the public can come in. 

Progressive Council Member Tiffany Cabán (D-Queens), who is no friend of the mayor’s, said Adams was “spitting absolute nonsense.” Another member, Carmen De La Rosa (D-Manhattan), said she and her staff have nicknamed her district office “Grand Central Station” because of the sheer number of constituents dropping in on a daily basis.

Deputy Council Speaker Diana Ayala (D-Manhattan/Bronx) said she has an “open-door” policy with “walk-in services for the general public and super easy access when City Hall and any commissioner who needs to speak to me needs to talk.”

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Council Member Sandy Nurse (D) called Adams’ comments “ridiculous” and said she gets contacted directly by constituents “at all hours.”

“I get calls at 7 a.m. and after 10 p.m. They walk in without appointments all the time and we engage them,” Nurse wrote. “Communication is part of the job. We don’t abuse our direct access to commissioners. We call when it’s important.”

The barrage of social media posts from council members was just the latest escalation in a growing spat over the online form rolled out by City Hall earlier this week.

Adams insists the form will make city government work more efficiently, by fostering better coordination between different branches of government. He also claimed to have been using the form in some capacity for the past 10 years — during his time as Brooklyn borough president.

But many council members, including Speaker Adrienne Adams, argue the form will significantly “gum up the works” by making it harder for council members to immediately get help from city agencies in response to constituents’ concerns. The speaker is so down on the policy that she has instructed her members to ignore it and go about business as usual.

“We intend to continue to do our work to the best of our abilities,” the speaker said cityduring a Thursday news conference. “The way that our day-to-day is handled, particularly in our district offices, is through the relationships that we have built over the years with our agencies.”

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