Eric Adams shows promise as New York City’s new mayor


Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York | Flickr

Jason Galak

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has officially been elected to become the new mayor of New York City starting Jan. 1. The 61-year-old ex-New York Police Department captain will be the second Black man to assume the most prestigious slot in City Hall.

A change in scenery is direly needed, especially after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the rising crime rates got New Yorkers thinking about who has the willingness to take on a city that is desperate for reconstruction. That person was Adams.

However, there is a reason that he got where he is today. It’s because heran an intelligent and strategic campaign.

Many prominent figures ran to be the Democratic nominee for mayor. However, while nominees like Maya Wiley, Dianne Morales and Andrew Yang were thinking of how they were going to execute their ideas — Adams had a plan.

He realized that the issue that New Yorkers were worried about most was not COVID-19, racial injustice or unemployment. It was crime.

Adams took note of that and ran like the wind. With the rampant increase in crime, he was able to mobilize voters based on promises not only to keep them safe as a former ex-NYPD captain, but also to reform the police from within as a victim of police brutality.

The Democrats trusted Adams and voted for him over former Commissioner of the New York City Sanitation Department Kathryn Garcia, by a slim margin of 1%. This was also in large help from his broad support of Black voters and labor unions.

In a city that has a 7-to-1 Democratic registration advantage, the challenging part was making it past the Democratic primary.

Once a Democratic mayoral nominee goes against a Republican in the general election, in this city and this day of age, it is safe to say that the Democratic challenger will be victorious.

Although many New Yorkers were left disgruntled by the leadership of De Blasio and the current state of the city, it wasn’t enough to make them vote for a Republican.

Republican nominee and Founder of the Guardian Angels Curtis Sliwa ran his campaign based on several issues that included getting rid of the COVID-19 vaccine mandates, refunding the police and protecting the homeless.

An Emerson poll released on Oct. 25, had Adams leading Sliwa by 70% among likely voters. This poll, conducted just before the start of early voting, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Despite the numbers always being in Adams’ favor, Sliwa remained confident. He believed that New Yorkers were experiencing such immense discontent with de Blasio’s leadership that they would have to go against the current agenda and swing right.

Unfortunately for Sliwa, Adams is as moderate as they come. On top of receiving the votes of those who always vote Democrat, there were other factors that assisted his victory.

He has experience making the city a safer place, especially in the most-populated borough of Brooklyn. He strongly believes in the police department and doesn’t believe that defunding them is the way to go. He spent decades trying to reform it from within.
Brooklyn accounts for roughly 31% of the total New York City population, according to the United States Census Bureau,

Name recognition played a huge factor here considering Adams is the borough’s president. Sliwa was known for being the founder of the Guardian Angels and his popular red beret.

Adams ended up winning 71% of the vote in Brooklyn, and Sliwa won only 23.5%. This was crucial because of the large population that Brooklyn provides. He won overwhelmingly in the Bronx with 76% and Manhattan with 80.6% of the vote.

Sliwa did manage to run away with 68.4% of the Staten Island vote, a borough that is overwhelmingly red and heavily favors former President Donald Trump.

Sliwa put together a campaign to mobilize disgruntled voters. However, as the public now knows, being disgruntled will not easily shift the overwhelming Democratic majority to the right, especially if the Democratic challenger is an ex-NYPD captain, an experienced borough president and, most of all, a moderate.

An hour after polls closed, Adams declared his victory with what is now a whopping 66.5% of the vote in comparison to Sliwa’s 28.8%.

Following the results, Sliwa offered some words for his supporters.

“Tonight is the night that we offer our friendship and solidarity to the new mayor,” Sliwa said. “He’s gonna need it.”

Adams will inherit a set of troubling challenges, which include a deeply troubled economy, issues of rising crime and quality of life, concerns of racial inequality and complications regarding affordable housing.

Shortly after being elected, Adams spoke out about some of his plans.

He has plans to lift de Blasio’s mask requirement in public schools.

“Part of the socialization of a child is that smile. Not being able to see the smiles of our children has a major impact,” Adams said.

Recently, Adams told NPR that he has “zero tolerance for abusive and criminal and violent behavior.”

“I am conservative on public safety when you see 13-year-old children in our schools stabbed in libraries and a woman was shot while walking down the block with a baby in a carriage, ” he said.

New York is in desperate need of change in leadership, particularly in City Hall. The people have spoken and have chosen Adams to deliver that. He may just be that in-between candidate many working-class people have asked for.

New York City is headed toward a different direction — it may be toward the light, but only time will tell.