News in New York – Mental Health Agenda, MTA Oversight, Admin Appointments

February 27, 2023

Preview of Adams’ Mental Health Agenda

Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan previewed details of the Adams administration’s mental health agenda last Wednesday. The agenda consists of three plans, focused on substance use disorders, severe mental illness, and mental health needs of children and families. The plan would triple the capacity of “clubhouses” for individuals with severe mental illness. Additionally, Adams plans to launch a virtual mental health care platform for teens, and increase the number of harm reduction services in underserved neighborhoods. However, Vasan did not indicate how much funding would be provided for these plans.

Adams Seeks Further Oversight of the MTA

Last Tuesday, Mayor Adams noted concerns that the city does not have a strong enough presence on the MTA’s board. He stated that an appointment from each borough should sit on the board, and that “New York City is treated unfairly – the largest ridership, we’re the economic engine, we are just not having our voices being heard.” Additionally, the Mayor opposes a provision in Governor Hochul’s state budget proposal, which would require the City to contribute an additional $500 million to the MTA on an annual basis.

Mayor Adams Announces Administration Appointments

Last week, Mayor Adams announced several administration appointments to the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Public Design Commission. Stephen Chu, Mark Ginsberg, and Angie Master have been appointed to three-year terms on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and have been approved by the New York City Council. Bill Heinzen has also been named as the mayoral representative on the Public Design Commission. Additionally, Mayor Adams has named Muhammad Faridi as the independent civilian representative to the NYPD’s Handschu Committee, which regulates the NYPD’s policies regarding political activity investigations. Faridi will be the first Muslim-American in this role.

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