“Safety, security, security.” This is the response of mayoral candidate Eric Adams when asked, following his victory in the Democratic primary in New York, what his administration’s priorities are.
The rise in violent crime for the first time in 30 years has undoubtedly boosted the campaign for the former policeman, who is set to win the general election in November as Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa is unlikely in a predominantly Democratic city.
With a vote marred by disorganization and counting errors by the local election commission, the victory of the former state senator and retired New York police captain was close but expressive. Of New York’s five administrative regions, it just didn’t win on Manhattan Island.
Adams is currently the Brooklyn Regional Administrator and has drawn a diverse coalition of voters, ranging from conservative and predominantly white Staten Island to middle-class Latino neighborhoods in Queens and the Bronx. At 60, he is expected to become the second black man to be elected mayor of New York. The first, David Dinkins, ruled the city from 1990 to 1993 and died last November.
Adams attributes the main results to his biography. With November’s victory virtually assured, the question now is who Eric Adams will govern the 8.4 million inhabitants of America’s largest metropolis. The candidate who woke up on Wednesday (7) claiming that New Yorkers identified with him, “someone who was mistreated by the police and became a police officer,” or the activist who defended the controversial leader and anti-Semite from the Nation of Islam group, Louis Farrakhan, in the 1990s?
Is he still the candidate who secured a seat in the Albany State Senate in 2006 thanks to a deal with Democratic Party leaders or Adams who declared himself a “conservative Republican” with the Republican Party registration? in 1999 ? Critics of the next likely mayor say he is affiliated with Eric Adams’ party, which may explain the support for Farrakhan at one point and, years later, alliances forged with the influential and large Orthodox Jewish community of Brooklyn.
Despite being a relatively progressive city, New York is still a land of political bosses and behind-the-scenes negotiations, where lobbyist money is everywhere. Adams, whose sharp intelligence is recognized by admirers and critics, knows the rules of the game. His campaign was generously funded by entrepreneurs from the powerful real estate establishment, in the city with the most expensive square meter in the country and the greater number of apartments for rent.
Middle-class New Yorkers who voted concerned about public safety shouldn’t expect protections like rent price controls from Adams. He owns real estate and has been accused of lack of transparency, failing to register at least one apartment.
Asked about the matter, he said rent regulations discriminated against small “black and brown” landowners like him. However, most New York City apartments for rent are owned by contractors who own dozens of properties, and the real estate lobby is predominantly white.
Still in the real estate field, a report on the Politico site published in early June suggested that Adams did not live in the city he wants to manage, in a building he owns in the Brooklyn neighborhood, but in a girlfriend’s apartment in the neighboring state. from New Jersey. The candidate then summoned reporters and made a bizarre tour of the Brooklyn residence which was the subject of ruthless banter.
The relations of the political press with the mayors of New York have traditionally been tinged with clashes, and an Adams government has already announced itself as belligerent. As the primaries closed on June 22, two journalists were excluded from the campaign event where Adams would be speaking. What did they have in common? Ross Barkan and David Freedlander have published critical reports on the candidate.
The Democrat must assume the government as a strong man, having courted the special interests of his party’s local machine, with the support of black, Latino and Wall Street leaders. Dozens of former colleagues and current lobbyists or politicians interviewed by Freedlander for the Adams magazine profile in New York only agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation in 2022.
A campaign spokesperson told a New York Times reporter Adams would be the mayor the media always wanted to cover and failed to cover in the past 20 years. “He’s going to be the adorable renegade,” Evan Thies reportedly said, suggesting a highly unlikely honeymoon with the press.
If you don’t tame the impulsive boxing instinct, the potential mayor who has successfully promoted himself to a moderate centrist may find it difficult to govern. The Democratic primaries have recorded significant progressive victories, and next year’s city council will likely have the most ethnically diverse makeup in city history, with a majority female for the first time.
Adams cannot be accused of being a feminist. He suffered wear and tear when he opposed the party and defended a fellow senator and former police officer in 2010. Hiram Monserrate cut his girlfriend’s face with a shard of glass and dragged the woman across the floor from a parking lot to drive it to a parking lot. .. hospital away from the crime, saying it was an accident. Monserrate was convicted of the attack, and it wasn’t until February of this year, when he was chasing candidate Andrew Yang in the polls, that Adams spoke out against his friend.
If the relationship with the Legislature can be contentious, it is not advisable to sever ties with Brad Lander, the winner of the primary for the post of “controller”. In New York, the occupant of this position operates as an independent auditor of the city’s finances, oversees the transparency of spending and manages $ 260 billion (R $ 1.36) in civil servants’ pension funds. Lander is a progressive who has already received the support of important figures such as Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
There is a kind of politician in New York for whom “‘The Godfather’ is the favorite movie,” commented, anonymously, a former colleague of the future virtual mayor, Eric Adams is one of them.