Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa labeled his Democratic opponent, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, “de Blasio 2.0” for praising the current mayor’s homeless services commissioner.
“Steven Banks is the biggest blunder of so many blunders committed by the de Blasio administration. Eric Adams is striking me as if he wants to be de Blasio 2.0,” Sliwa said Monday at a press conference in Manhattan.
“Eric Adams is going to be a carbon copy of the de Blasio administration, which people on the right, the left and the center, all acknowledge has single handedly taken a Miley Cyrus wrecking ball to the city that we love,” the Guardian Angels founder went on. “Well, with me, he’s proven he’s nothing more than a continuation of de Blasio, if he gets elected mayor, and he’s de Blasio 2.0.”
Sliwa accused Banks of ramming shelters down the throats of neighborhood residents who have opposed them.
“Steven Banks, who I’ve had run ins with personally in joining demonstrations, where he shoves shelters into neighborhoods, where there was no transparency, no discourse, no explanation,” he said. “He’s the number one blunder of the de Blasio administration.”
If Sliwa pulls off a large upset in the heavily Democratic city, Sliwa vowed that Banks would have to pack his folders and update his resume, claiming he’s done a “horrific” job in his role.
“Steven Banks better start looking for a new job,” he said. “He’s been the most horrific provider of services to homeless men and women.”
Asked for comment, a de Blasio administration rep scoffed at the Republican political mainstay’s criticism of the mayor’s homelessness honcho.
“Sorry, I can’t stop laughing,” said mayoral spokesman Bill Neidhardt. “I didn’t realize there are people who take Curtis Sliwa seriously.”
Sliwa’s remarks come after Adams during a recent TV interview said Banks — who has helmed the homeless services agency since 2016 and served under Mayor Bill de Blasio since the beginning of his mayoralty — is doing “amazing things.”
Signaling he would keep some of the old guard if elected to lead City Hall, Adams said he wouldn’t “remove” all deputy mayors and commissioners in 2022, when the former NYPD captain would take office.
“We’re not looking to just remove everyone,” he said in a PIX 11 interview that aired Friday. “We want to have a real transition of looking at the best talent.”
“There’s some commissioners and deputy mayors — you look at the amazing things that Banks has done. I knew him when he was an advocate for the legal services, and he was always an advocate,” the longtime Democratic pol said. “I thought he brought fresh ideas.”
Banks has in recent years faced criticism from lawmakers who have blasted the de Blasio administration’s approach to the homelessness crisis. In May 2020, three councilmen called for him to be fired.
“For years Commissioner Banks declined to provide outreach to the homeless men and women living in the subways,” Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) said at the time. “That’s a disgrace.”