Eric Adams made history last night (Oct. 2), becoming the 2nd Black candidate to become mayor-elect of New York City.
Defeating Republican candidate and founder of the Guardian Angels Curtis Sliwa in a landslide victory, the former NYPD captain and current Brooklyn Borough President, who will take office in January, follows in the footsteps of David Dinkins, who became the first Black mayor of New York City in 1990.
Adams addressed his supporters after receiving news of his projected victory, saying, “We are so divided right now and we’re missing the beauty of our diversity. Today, we take off the intramural jersey and put on one jersey: Team New York.” He continued, adding, “Tonight, New Yorkers have chosen one of their own. I am you.”
During his first month in office, Adams’ focus will be placed on ramping up the city’s efforts to increase public safety, including a crackdown on gang violence, which has risen in recent years. “We have to deal with the actualization of fear and violence and the perceptions because they both become a reality to people,” Adams said. “So I’m going to institute an anti-gun plainclothes unit, which was simply disbanded by the current mayor, and we are going to zero in on gang violence.”
Adams also plans to make New York City more “business-friendly” and decrease institutional poverty and inequalities within the city’s business sector. Promising budget cuts to city agencies rather than tax hikes, Adams hopes to make The Big Apple less bureaucratic as the city continues to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A native of Brooklyn, Adams, 61, was born in 1960 and grew up in the borough’s Brownsville section, where he was subjected to impoverished conditions. Following an incident in which he was beaten by police officers as a youth, Adams vowed to make an impact from the inside, first joining the New York City Transit Police and eventually the NYPD, retiring with the rank of captain. Elected to the New York Senate in 2006, Adams served four terms before becoming Brooklyn Borough President in 2013.