Mayor Eric Adams delivers his first State of the City...

Mayor Eric Adams delivers his first State of the City address at Queens Theater in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on Thursday. Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor Eric Adams took aim Thursday at crime, illiteracy, trash, traffic — and rats.

Adams used his second State of the City address to promise New York's 8.5 million residents and the millions of tourists and commuters who visit Gotham daily that the city will be transformed over the next few years into a metropolis that is cleaner, safer, better educated and more prosperous than it has been in decades,

Though light on specific policy prescriptions, in a one-hour speech at Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Adams painted a broad outline of plans to crack down on violence and property crimes, offer job training and apprenticeship programs, add 500,000 homes and "make our city cleaner and greener."

“We are getting things done for the people of New York City, and we are not doing it alone," Adams said, adding, "we are doing it together,” referring to the various local and state officials in his audience.

Stepping onstage to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," Adams touted what he said was progress on job creation and an overall decline in major crime since he took office last January.

But he lamented that the unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers is three times that of whites. “This era of inequality must end,” he said.

Adams, whose aversion to rats is well known, touted an expanded composting program that he said would reduce the rodent population. "I hate rats," he said, "and pretty soon ... they’re going to hate me.”

Without uttering the politically toxic phrase, "bail reform," Adams implored lawmakers to find common ground on laws that would crack down on repeat offenders while ensuring nonviolent suspects are not incarcerated simply because they can't post bail.

He put the blame for violent crime on the nationwide proliferation of guns.

“We’re just a few weeks into the new year and already our country has seen too many mass shootings,” Adams said. “By the time a young person gets a gun in their hand, the system has betrayed them.”

The mayor said more than 42,000 immigrants seeking asylum have arrived in the city since last spring, many of them bused to New York from Texas. He promised to house and feed as many as possible but called for national and state leaders to provide more help.

“The asylum-seeker crisis is a national crisis and it should not be put on New York City alone," he said. "It’s just not fair.”

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