Year in Review | The 12 biggest New York City news stories of 2022
The year 2022 in New York City brought with it the arrival of a new mayor dealing with perennial crises, the shock of war and hasty court decisions, and a great deal of political upheaval.
Let’s take a look back at some of the city’s biggest stories, in chronological order, in 2022.
1.) The Twin Parks Fire
More than a dozen residents of the Twin Parks apartment building in the Bronx were killed in a massive fire on January 19. Many of the victims died of smoke inhalation, as acrid smoke spread through an unsecured door throughout the structure, suffocating residents who were trapped and unable to escape. It was the city’s deadliest fire since the Happy Land Social Club arson attack in 1990.
2.) Funerals for slain officers
St. Patrick’s Cathedral hosted the funerals for police officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora in late January and early February. The two members of the 32nd Precinct were shot while responding to a domestic dispute in Harlem on January 21. Their killings prompted an outcry of anger and sadness from crime-fed New Yorkers, as well as gestures of support for the NYPD, whose officers had been frequently targeted by armed criminals in the weeks before the double slaying.
3.) Fighting homelessness
From the start, Mayor Eric Adams vowed to address the homelessness crisis that has gripped New York for years, though the methods by which he would do so came under scrutiny from his critics. Earlier, Adams sent teams of social workers and law enforcement officers into the metro to provide assistance to homeless individuals and relocate them. In March, he announced the cleanup of homeless encampments, large and small, that had lined New York’s public areas. Homeless individuals living on the streets condemned the methods and said the city’s alternative of putting them in homeless shelters rather than regular housing was more dangerous in their eyes. However, the mayor kept his focus on ending homelessness in other ways, such as by expanding the availability of CityFHEP vouchers to ensure that families and New Yorkers at risk of homelessness have a place to live.
4.) The war in Ukraine
New Yorkers rallied around the blue and gold flag of Ukraine following the February 24 invasion by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Within hours of the Russian bombs falling on the country, the Big Apple demonstrated solidarity with the Ukrainian people in a number of ways – from raising the country’s flag in the windows of stores like the Veselka restaurant in the East Village, to playing the Ukrainian national anthem at the Metropolitan Opera House and Yankee Stadium. Putin’s Russia will be hit with harsh economic sanctions, and the Ukrainian military proved more powerful than most people expected in stopping the invaders. Yet 10 months later, Putin’s forces continue to bomb Ukraine and the United States is being urged by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to do more to help them achieve “absolute victory.”
5.) In train shooting
The most horrific incident in New York this year occurred on the morning of April 12, when a gunman released a smoke canister and fired a gun at commuters at the 36th Street station on the N line in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Ten people were injured by gunfire, but fortunately no one was killed; more than two dozen others were injured amid the chaos. After a desperate manhunt, police were able to capture a suspect, Frank James, the next day in the East Village. He was subsequently indicted on federal terrorism charges and is expected to plead guilty to the charges in early 2023.
6.) The end of Roe v. Wade
The public began to turn away from crime in May and toward other issues pressing the city and the country. It started with an exclusive Politico report in May about a draft Supreme Court decision that showed the conservative-dominated panel was set to overturn Roe v. Wade — the 50-year-old landmark decision that guaranteed women’s reproductive rights. Manhattan saw numerous demonstrations in the weeks that followed demanding that the court not make a final decision — but in the end, those calls went unanswered. On June 24, the conservative-led court 6-3 overturned Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs v. Jackson decision, leaving individual states to make their own decisions about women’s reproductive rights. It sparked further public outrage, and with Republicans expected to make significant gains in November’s midterm elections, Democrats re-energized political action.
7.) Gun violence
New Yorkers witnessed this year of horrific gun violence at home and abroad. In May, 10 people were senselessly shot by a white supremacist in a Buffalo supermarket, and weeks later, 19 more were shot dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The recent furore finally resulted in the first meaningful federal gun control legislation being passed in 30 years, thanks to the efforts of President Biden and congressional Democrats. However, one day before throwing out Roe v. Wade, on June 23, the Supreme Court struck down New York State’s 109-year-old secrecy law. He forced state and city lawmakers to try to pass legislation limiting where people could legally carry firearms, such as declaring Times Square a “gun-free zone.” The state is now fighting legal challenges to these measures.
8.) Congressional primaries
New York’s failed redistricting process forced the state’s congressional and Senate primaries to be moved from late June to late August. The new congressional district maps also caused a major shakeup in local politics, as two veteran Democratic House members — Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney — ended up together in the reorganized 12th District. Neither would back down for the other, so Nadler and Maloney — both elected to office in 1992 — duked it out in a grueling summer primary campaign. Nadler would eventually prevail over Maloney and a third challenger, the insurgent Suraj Patel. In another major congressional race, former Trump impeachment lawyer Dan Goldman won an open Democratic primary for the 10th District seat over more than a dozen rivals, including Assemblywoman Yuh- Line Niou.
9.) Migrant crisis
Seeking to make a political point, Texas’ Republican governor, Greg Abbott, decided to send thousands of migrants arriving daily at the Mexican border on long bus rides to Democratic-led “sanctuary cities” like New York. Buses began arriving daily at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and New York City welcomed the migrants here with open arms after being turned away by Abbott. The city scrambled to find resources to care for them, and in September, the Adams administration opened various shelters as well as a tent city on Randall’s Island to help accommodate the crush of humanity. And while the Biden administration slowed the flow of immigrants into the U.S. through the implementation of a Trump-era rule, Mayor Adams said Dec. 18 that he expected a surge in new arrivals to begin soon after that rule was thrown out in court. decision.
10.) Amazing success, amazing failure
For years, the Giants and Jets had been stuck in the wasteland of losing, and at the start of the 2022 campaign, sports pundits expected more of the same. However, both New York City (by way of New Jersey) football teams soon proved those pundits wrong. The Giants scored 6 wins in their first 7 games; not to be outdone, the Jets also started the season 7-4. Both teams find themselves in the NFL playoff hunt as of this writing. And their surprising success softened the blow of October’s failure for fans of New York’s baseball teams. The Mets had a glorious 101-win campaign upset by the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card round, while the Yankees — led by their new home run champion, Aaron Judge, who hit an AL record 62 home runs in 2022 — were again. denied an American League pennant by the Houston Astros.
11.) The red wave that wasn’t
Before the midterm elections, the Republican Party was expected to do what every party outside the White House usually does: win big. At the national level, this did not happen. While Republicans won a slim majority in the House of Representatives, Democrats expanded their Senate majority by one. New York, however, saw something of a “red wave.” Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul was re-elected to office over her Republican challenger, outgoing Congressman Lee Zeldin, by a narrow margin, but the GOP picked up five congressional seats in New York state — including returning all four seats to Long Island in red.
12.) The curious case of George Santos
One of the successful Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections was George Santos, who won the right to succeed outgoing Democrat Tom Suozzi in the 3rd District covering northeast Queens and northern Nassau County. But a bombshell New York Times report published on December 18th cast serious doubt on the outcome of that contest. Santos allegedly lied about many aspects of his life, according to the Times report — from his claims to have worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, to attending NYU or Baruch College, to founding his animal welfare charity . The congressman-elect admitted the day after Christmas, Dec. 26, that he lied about his record, but insisted he did nothing wrong and intends to sit in Congress this January.