After sending a letter to incoming Mayor Eric Adams to invest in city-wide rat remediation programs, Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell issued the following public statement:
“Rat infestations pre-date the pandemic, but the current administration has failed to respond to the crisis with appropriate urgency, despite pleas for help from citizens and elected officials alike.“The Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, and Harlem areas have become ground-zero for our city-wide rat-takeover. We have heard reports of rats as large as bunnies roaming the streets and chewing through car engine wires. I’ve seen the impact with my own eyes: families of rats often trail Riverside Drive when I walk my dog at night.
“Restaurants and small businesses have suffered enough. They need more customers to rebound from COVID-19, not more ‘Pizza Rats.’ This crisis will only end by owning up to past failures and committing to better management. I look forward to a fresh start under Eric Adams’ leadership. In the meantime, I urge anyone who spots a rat to call 311 and establish a record for elected officials to reference as we fight for the rat remediation New Yorkers deserve.”
On behalf of the Office of Assembly Member O’Donnell, Communications Director Dana Gallagher shared additional context:
“More than 1,500 311-rat complaints have been reported from zip codes in our district this past year. That’s almost seven percent of all city-wide complaints. With over 700 rodent sightings to date, the 10025 zip code has become the City’s largest rat hotspot. We have worked with local actors and city agencies for months to try to address this outbreak, but it has become clear that the neighborhood needs a response commensurate with the scale of the problem.”
AM O’Donnell’s letter to Adams can be read below (or here).