Eric Adams
New York Mayor Eric Adams' approval rating among Hispanics has decreased sharply. His handling of immigration and public safety are just some of the reasons why. AFP

NEW YORK CITY - The Eric Adams administration in New York City may be in trouble ahead of next year's elections, as a new survey shows deteriorating quality of life and approval among the city's Latinos, a key demographic that helped elect him in 2021.

A new survey by the Citizens Budget Commission reported Hispanics in NYC experienced the sharpest drop in satisfaction and quality of life of any race or ethnicity over a six-year period, showing a 56% decline since then and clocking at just 21% in 2023.

"There's, I believe, a nihilistic type of feeling among Latinos. There's discontent, broad unhappiness, 'the government is not doing anything to alleviate my plight,'" Eli Valentin, founder of the Institute for Latino Politics and Policy, told Politico.

The survey, sent to a random sampling of city households, reached its conclusions drawing from responses of more than 6,600 New Yorkers between September and December 2023.

Its grim results provide a more clear view at the disillusion with government among Latinos, which threatens the multiracial, blue-collar coalition Adams is banking on to win reelection next year, according to a Politico analysis.

"The management crisis that we're seeing from City Hall, it especially impacts those that are poor, and those that are poor tend to be Latinos," Valentin said.

In the survey, Latinos specifically expressed their high disapproval of the mayor's public safety initiatives.

Hispanic New Yorkers were dissatisfied or unhappy with nearly 90% of city services, the study found. Similarly, only 28% of Hispanics rated public safety in their neighborhood positively, compared to 47% of white New Yorkers. These numbers present major challenges to Adams, as he is a former NYPD officer and he primarily campaigns on his public safety and law enforcement ideas and achievements.

Latino elected leaders in New York believe that the reason for these perceptions among the electorate can be accredited to a variety of reasons. From his policies limiting how long migrants can stay in city shelters to his hesitation to attempt speaking Spanish the way his predecessors did, to his decision to give up the court fight to uphold the law granting city voting rights for some non-citizens, Adams actions are not being received well by this demographic.

The New York Skyline
Image of the New York Skyline AFP

His handling of crime and his proposed budget cuts to services are also affecting his approval rating among Hispanic and more broadly among New Yorkers in general, Politico says.

But despite the high discontent, is upward mobility still on the horizon for Latinos?

"Considering the erosion of [universal prekindergarten] and 3K, considering the failure to provide those children who sell candy on the train with services, I'm gonna go with no," said state Sen. Jessica Ramos, who has been discussed as a potential 2025 challenger to Adams and who would run on his political left.

On the other hand, other politicians argue that the mayor is making an effort, including addressing gang violence and regulating vending in Corona Plaza.

"They inherited a very difficult situation. The economy was tanking, crime was up post pandemic," City Council Member Francisco Moya, an Adams ally, said. "I can only speak for myself but whenever I've needed a situation handled, he's been very hands-on and he has come to my district."

Democrats Ramos and Moya represent overlapping, heavily Latino parts of Queens that include Roosevelt Avenue, which both said has been facing challenges ranging from sex work to street vending.

While these numbers mirror a growing discontent among Latinos for the Democrat party nationally, they also pose a major threat to the mayor's reelection prospects.

"If the numbers are showing us that Latinos do not feel like their needs are being met," Council Member Amanda Farias said. "Then we really need to keep a keener eye on what that means.!

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