Eric Adams
Adams in 2023
110th Mayor of New York City
Assumed office
January 1, 2022
DeputyLorraine Grillo
Sheena Wright
Preceded byBill de Blasio
18th Borough President of Brooklyn
In office
January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2021
Preceded byMarty Markowitz
Succeeded byAntonio Reynoso
Member of the New York State Senate
from the 20th district
In office
January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2013
Preceded byCarl Andrews
Succeeded byJesse Hamilton
Personal details
Born
Eric Leroy Adams

(1960-09-01) September 1, 1960 (age 63)
New York City, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (before 1997, 2001–present)
Other political
affiliations
Republican (1997–2001)[1]
Domestic partnerTracey Collins[2]
Children1
ResidenceGracie Mansion (Official)
EducationNew York City College of Technology (AA)
John Jay College of Criminal Justice (BA)
Marist College (MPA)
Occupation
  • Politician
  • police officer
  • author
Signature
WebsiteOfficial website
Police career
DepartmentNew York City Police Department
Service years1984–2006
RankCaptain

Eric Leroy Adams (born September 1, 1960) is an American politician and former police officer, currently serving as the 110th mayor of New York City since 2022. An ideologically moderate member of the Democratic Party, Adams was an officer in the New York City Transit Police and then the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for more than 20 years, retiring at the rank of captain. He served in the New York State Senate from 2006 to 2013, representing the 20th Senate district in Brooklyn. In November 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President, the first African-American to hold the position, and reelected in November 2017.

Adams was elected mayor of New York City in the city's 2021 mayoral election. He received the Democratic Party's nomination after narrowly winning a crowded Democratic mayoral primary which used instant-runoff voting (ranked-choice voting). In the general election, Adams won a landslide victory over Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa.[3][4][5] Adams was sworn in as mayor shortly after midnight on January 1, 2022. As mayor, he has taken what is seen as a tough-on-crime approach and reintroduced a plain-clothed unit of police officers that had been disbanded by the previous administration. He has also implemented a zero-tolerance policy on homeless people sleeping in subway cars alongside increased police presence.[6][7]

Early life and education

Adams was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn on September 1, 1960.[8] His mother, Dorothy Mae Adams-Streeter (1938–2021),[9][10] worked double shifts as a housecleaner and had received only a third-grade education.[11] His father, Leroy Adams, was a butcher who struggled with alcohol abuse.[12][13] Both of his parents moved to New York City from Alabama in the 1950s.[13] Adams was raised in a rat-infested tenement in Bushwick, Brooklyn. His family was so poor that he often brought a bag of clothes to school with him in case of a sudden eviction from his home.[14] By 1968, his mother managed to save up enough money to buy a house and move the family to South Jamaica, Queens.[13] He was the fourth of six children. As a young boy, he sometimes earned money as a squeegee boy.[14]

At age 14, Adams joined a gang, the 7-Crowns, and became known as "a tough little guy".[13] He would hold money for local hustlers. He also ran errands, including purchasing groceries, for a dancer and part-time prostitute named Micki after she became injured.[13] After Micki refused to pay for the groceries he purchased or his work, Adams and his brother stole her TV and a money order. The two were later arrested for criminal trespassing.[13] While in police custody, they were beaten by NYPD officers until a black cop intervened. Adams was sent to a juvenile detention center for a few days before being sentenced to probation.[13] Adams had post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident and has said that the violent encounter motivated him to enter law enforcement. He was particularly intrigued by the black police officer and by the "swagger" and "respect" that comes with being in law enforcement.[13] A local pastor of The House of the Lord Pentecostal Church added to his motivation when he suggested that by joining the police force, he could aid in reforming police culture from within. Adams would later attend his church often.[15][16][17][18]

Adams graduated from Bayside High School in Queens in January 1979,[19] but struggled to maintain good grades.[20] He began attending college while working as a mechanic and a mailroom clerk at the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, receiving an associate degree from the New York City College of Technology, a bachelor's degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and an MPA from Marist College.[21] Adams experienced an academic turnaround that he credits to a dyslexia diagnosis in college: "I went from a D student to the dean's list."[22] As a result, he became a strong advocate for early dyslexia screening in public schools.[23]

Policing career

Adams served as an officer in the New York City Transit Police and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for 22 years. He has described his wanting to serve as a reaction to the abuse he suffered by NYPD in his youth and separately stated that he was encouraged to join to lead reform from within.[24][25][26][27] He attended the New York City Police Academy and graduated second in his class in 1984.[11]

Adams started in the New York City Transit Police and continued with the NYPD when the transit police and the NYPD merged.[28] He worked in the 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village, the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, and the 88th Precinct covering Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. In 1986, white police officers raised their guns at Adams when he was working as a plainclothes officer; he was mistaken for a suspect.[13] During the 1990s, Adams served as president of the Grand Council of Guardians, an African American patrolmen's association.[29]

Adams worked with the Nation of Islam in the 1990s because of their work in patrolling crime-ridden housing projects.[13] Adams met with their leader Louis Farrakhan and appeared on stage with him at an event. Adams also suggested that Mayor David Dinkins meet with Farrakhan and hire the Nation of Islam's security company to patrol housing projects. Adams' ties to Farrakhan—who has made antisemitic comments—received criticism in the New York Post.[13]

In 1995, Adams served as an escort for Mike Tyson when he was released from jail following his rape conviction.[30] That same year, in response to the election of Rudy Giuliani as Mayor, he co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an advocacy group for black police officers that sought criminal justice reform and often spoke out against police brutality and racial profiling.[31][1] The group also held tutorials that taught black male youth how to deal with the police if they are detained, which included turning on the car's dome light, putting their hands on the wheel and deescalating the situation. However, many activists, including Al Sharpton, criticized Adams' efforts, claiming that he was merely teaching young black people how to "live under oppression."[13]

In 1999, Adams said on race in policing:[32]

Lying is at the root of our training. At the academy, recruits are told that they should not see black or brown people as different, but we all do. We all know that the majority of people arrested for predatory crimes are African-American. We didn't create that scenario, but we have to police in that scenario. So we need to be honest and talk about it.

In 2006, Adams was put under surveillance and investigated by the NYPD for appearing on television in his official capacity as a police officer and critiquing Mayor Michael Bloomberg.[30] Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD opened an investigation into this and charged Adams with disseminating misinformation, divulging official police business, and speaking as a representative of the department without permission. He retired from the police force with the rank of captain shortly after being found guilty for speaking in an official capacity.[33]

Early political career

In the 1990s, Adams began to eye a political career with the ultimate goal of becoming the Mayor of New York City. He spoke to William Lynch Jr., who was an advisor to Mayor David Dinkins, about a political career.[14] Lynch encouraged Adams first to obtain a bachelor's degree, rise within the NYPD's ranks and successfully run for a lower political office.[14]

During the 1993 mayoral election, Adams, a supporter of the incumbent David Dinkins, made a controversial comment about a candidate for New York State Comptroller, Herman Badillo. Adams said that if Badillo—who was Puerto Rican—were concerned about the Hispanic community, he would have married a Hispanic woman and not a white Jewish woman.[34] These comments became a point of turmoil in the election. They caused controversy for Dinkins, who ultimately lost the election.[30]

In 1994, Adams ran for Congress against incumbent Major Owens in the Democratic primary for New York's 11th congressional district, condemning Owens for denouncing Louis Farrakhan,[1] but failed to receive enough valid signatures to make the ballot.[35] Adams claimed his petition signatures had been stolen by someone on behalf of Owens, but police found no corroborating evidence.[14][30]

Adams registered as a Republican in 1997 before switching back to the Democratic Party in 2001, according to the Board of Elections.[1][36] Adams has said his switch to the Republican Party was a protest move against what he saw as failed Democratic leadership.[14]

New York State Senate (2007–2013)

In 2006, Adams ran for the New York State Senate.[11] He was elected and served four terms until 2013, when he was elected Brooklyn Borough President.[37] He represented the 20th Senate District, which includes parts of the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Sunset Park.[37]

In the State Senate, Adams was known for being a rabble rouser who could capture the media's attention. He would often flaunt his convertible BMW. He placed billboards around parts of Brooklyn bemoaning pants sagging.[14] He also published an instructional video to teach parents how to search their child's room for contraband. In the demonstration, Adams finds a crack pipe in a backpack, bullets behind a picture frame, and marijuana secreted inside of a doll.[14] As a freshman state senator in 2007, he joined other legislators requesting a pay raise for New York's lawmakers, who had not received a raise since 1999. At the time, they ranked third-highest in pay among state lawmakers in the United States.[38][39] During his speech on the floor supporting a pay raise for legislators, he said: "show me the money."[14]

In 2009, two New York State Senate Democrats aligned with Republicans, creating a standoff over who would be the Senate's next leader.[14] Adams worked to foster a compromise to nominate John L. Sampson as the Minority Leader of the New York State Senate.[14] That same year, Adams was one of 24 state senators to vote in favor of marriage equality in New York State.[40] He spoke in support of the freedom to marry during the debate before the vote.[40] After the bill failed to become law, he again voted to legalize same-sex marriage in New York in 2011. On July 24, 2011, New York's Marriage Equality Act came into effect.[41]

In 2010, Adams became Chair of the Senate Racing and Wagering Committee and was praised for his engagement. He would spend hours traveling and visiting racetracks to study the issue further.[14] He came under investigation for his handling of choosing an operator to run the gambling operation at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. A report conducted by the state inspector general was critical of Adams's judgment as he leaked information on the bidding process, fundraised from potential bidders, and attended the victory celebration of the company awarded the contract.[14][30] The matter was referred to the United States Department of Justice, but they took no action and Adams admitted no wrongdoing, calling the report a "political hit piece".[14][30][42][43] In February 2010, Adams was one of just eight members of the New York Senate who voted not to expel Senator Hiram Monserrate from the legislature after he was convicted of assault for dragging his girlfriend down a hallway and slashing her face with a piece of glass.[14]

Adams was a vocal opponent of the NYPD's "stop and frisk" policy, which predominantly affected young black and Latino men, and which, in 2000, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights said constituted racial profiling.[44] In 2011, he supported calling for a federal investigation into stop-and-frisk practices.[44] He championed a bill to stop the NYPD from gathering data about individuals who had been stopped but not charged.[45]

In 2012, Adams served as co-chair of New York's State Legislators Against Illegal Guns.[46][47] Adams and five other state lawmakers wore hooded sweatshirts in the legislative chamber on March 12, 2012, in protest of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen who was killed by another civilian, George Zimmerman.[48][49]

Brooklyn Borough President (2013–2021)

Main article: Brooklyn borough presidency of Eric Adams

Adams in 2020

On November 5, 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President with 90.8 percent of the vote, more than any other candidate for borough president in New York City that year.[50] In 2017, he was elected with 83.0 percent of the vote.[51] In both of his campaigns, he was unopposed in the Democratic primaries.[52]

Under the New York City Charter, borough presidents must submit Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) recommendations on certain uses of land throughout their borough.[53][54] Adams used his ULURP recommendations to propose additional permanently affordable housing units in the rezoning of East New York; the relocation of municipal government agencies to East New York to reduce density in Downtown Brooklyn and create jobs for community residents; and the redevelopment of 25 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg as manufacturing space, with increased property taxes directed to the acquisition of the remaining proposed sections of Bushwick Inlet Park and their development as a community resource.[55][56]

Based on a report prepared by the Independent Budget Office of New York City (IBO) at his request, Adams urged the City University of New York (CUNY) system to explore reinstating free tuition for two-year community colleges, which could improve graduation rates and lead to increased earnings potential and taxpayer contribution, as well as expand access to higher education.[57] Adams advocated for making two-year CUNY colleges free.[58]

Adams with Judge Rachel Freier in 2016

Adams introduced a bill in the New York City Council that would require all municipal buildings providing services to the public to have lactation rooms. The council passed the bill on July 14, 2016.[59]

After Adams received a personal diagnosis of type two diabetes in 2016, he adopted and began advocating for policies that would promote a plant-based diet and healthier lifestyle. The Office of the Brooklyn Borough President launched a plant-based nutrition page on its website with links to resources encouraging vegan and plant-based lifestyles and printable handouts produced by the borough.[60] Adams urged the City Council to pass a resolution called "Ban the Baloney", aiming for schools across the city to stop serving processed meats. He also avidly supported "Meatless Mondays" in public schools.[61] In 2021, Adams authorized a grant from the borough to SUNY Downstate College of Medicine to establish a plant-based supplemental curriculum.[62]

Adams with Councilmember Kalman Yeger and members of the Jewish community after the 2019 Jersey City shooting

Adams criticized the use of excessive force in the arrest of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold prohibited by NYPD regulations, and the arrest of postal carrier Glen Grays, who was determined not to have committed any crime or infraction.[63][64][65][66] After the 2014 killings of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, Adams wrote an editorial for the New York Daily News calling on police officers and the community to work with each other to build a relationship of mutual respect.[63]

Following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, Adams joined the efforts of Brooklyn students by organizing an emergency meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall and a rally in Prospect Park to demand stricter gun laws.[67] That same month, after a correctional officer endured a beating from six inmates at the George Motchan Detention Center on Rikers Island, Adams stood outside the Brooklyn Detention Center to express his support to reinstate solitary confinement in prisons.[68]

In 2014, Adams established the One Brooklyn Fund, a nonprofit organization for community programs, grant writing, and extolling local businesses. Critics characterized it as serving as a conduit for Adams's public profile and allowing non-campaign "pay to play" contributions from developers and lobbyists.[69] Adams's office was investigated twice by the city Department of Investigation (DOI) over One Brooklyn's fundraising. The first investigation was in 2014 when potential attendees were asked if they would provide "financial support" to One Brooklyn. In 2016, the DOI found that Adams' office had mistakenly licensed the use of Brooklyn Borough Hall for a Mayor's Office event.[70][71]

2021 mayoral campaign

Main article: 2021 New York City mayoral election

Eric Adams
Logo for Adams's 2021 mayoral campaign.
CandidateEric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President (2013–2021)
AffiliationDemocratic Party
Status
  • Announced: November 18, 2020
  • Presumptive nominee: July 7, 2021
  • Official nominee: July 20, 2021
  • Won election: November 2, 2021
  • Inaugurated: January 1, 2022
HeadquartersBrooklyn, New York
Key peopleFrank Carrone (senior advisor)
Katie Moore (campaign manager)
Menashe Shapiro (senior advisor)
Evan Thies (communications advisor)
Website
ericadams2021.com

Adams had long been mulling a run for New York mayor,[72] and on November 17, 2020, he announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York City in the 2021 election. He was a top fundraiser among Democrats in the race, second only to Raymond McGuire regarding the amount raised.[73]

Adams ran as a moderate Democrat, and his campaign focused on crime and public safety. He has argued against the "defund the police" movement and in favor of police reform.[74][75][76] Public health and the city's economy were cited as his campaign's other top priorities.[77] Initiatives promoted in his campaign include "an expanded local tax credit for low-income families, investment in underperforming schools, and improvements to public housing."[78]

On November 20, 2020, shortly after formally announcing his run for mayor of New York City, Adams attended an indoor fundraiser with 18 people in an Upper West Side restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing criticism.[79] He held an already scheduled fundraiser the following day in Queens, when a 25-person limit on mass gatherings was in place. Adams's campaign said that there were eight people at the event and that they were required to wear masks and practice social distancing.[80]

While Adams opposed NYPD's "stop and frisk" policy, during his State Senate tenure,[44] he supported it during his 2021 mayoral campaign. In February 2020, Adams said that "if you have a police department where you're saying you can't stop and question, that is not a responsible form of policing..."[81][82] For much of the race, Adams trailed entrepreneur Andrew Yang in public polling.[83] However, Adams's standing in the polls grew stronger in May. He emerged as the frontrunner in the final weeks of the election.[84] In the months leading up to the election, crime rose in New York, which may have benefited Adams, a former police officer, who ran as a tough-on-crime candidate.[85]

While running for office, Adams faced scrutiny from several media outlets regarding his residency.[86][87][88][89] Adams and his partner, Tracey Collins, own a co-op in Fort Lee, New Jersey near the George Washington Bridge, where some critics allege he actually resides.[90][91]

On July 6, Adams completed a come-from-behind victory, declared the winner of the Democratic primary, ahead of Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley, Andrew Yang, and others in New York's first major race to use ranked-choice voting.[92]

Following his primary victory, Adams hosted a series of political fundraisers in The Hamptons and Martha's Vineyard and vacationed in Monte Carlo, which critics contended contradicted his message of being a "blue-collar" mayor.[14]

Adams faced Republican Curtis Sliwa in the general election and was heavily favored to prevail. He was elected on November 2, 2021, winning 67.4% of the vote to Sliwa's 27.9%.

Endorsements

Adams received support in the primary from New York elected officials including U.S. Representatives Thomas Suozzi, Adriano Espaillat and Sean Patrick Maloney, as well as fellow Borough Presidents Rubén Díaz Jr. from The Bronx and Donovan Richards from Queens, along with a number of city and state legislators.[93] Adams also received endorsements from labor union locals, including the Uniformed Fire Officers Association,[94] District Council 37,[95] and Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ.[93]

Various local media outlets endorsed Adams, including El Especialito, The Irish Echo, The Jewish Press, New York Post, Our Time Press, and the Queens Chronicle. He was ranked as the second choice in the Democratic primary by the New York Daily News behind Kathryn Garcia.[93]

Mayor of New York City (2022–present)

Main article: Mayoralty of Eric Adams

Mayoral transition

Mayor-elect Adams at a Chabad House in Accra, Ghana

In August 2021, Adams named Sheena Wright, CEO of United Way of New York City as chair of his transition team. In November, Adams named nine additional co-chairs, including CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez, SEIU 32BJ President Kyle Bragg, Goldman Sachs CFO Stephen Scherr, YMCA of Greater New York President and CEO Sharon Greenberger, Infor CEO Charles Phillips, and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker.[96]

After getting elected, Adams reconfirmed his pledge to reinstate a plainclothes police unit that deals with gun violence. Some Black Lives Matter activists denounced the effort, but Adams labeled the behavior "grandstanding".[97][98]

On November 4, 2021, Adams tweeted that he planned to take his first three paychecks as Mayor in bitcoin and that New York City would be "the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries".[99]

Adams announced he would bring back the "gifted and talented" school program, improve relations with New York State, review property taxes, and reduce agency budgets by 3% to 5%.[100]

On December 2, 2021, Adams took a trip to Ghana where he visited the Elmina Castle.[101]

Tenure

Inauguration

Adams took office shortly after the New Year's Eve Ball Drop at midnight in Times Square, holding a picture of his recently deceased mother, Dorothy, while being sworn in. He became the city's second mayor of African descent to hold the position and the first since David Dinkins left office in 1993.[102][103]

First 100 days

Adams with President Joe Biden and Governor Kathy Hochul in February 2022
Adams speaking about his subway safety plan in February 2022

Shortly after becoming Mayor, Adams sought a waiver from the Conflicts of Interest Board to hire his brother, Bernard, for a $210,000 paying job in the NYPD, where he would serve as his "personal security detail".[104][105] Bernard started working the job on December 30, 2021, two days before Adams was inaugurated as Mayor.[104] Adams was accused of nepotism for this pick.[105][106] Adams said white supremacy and anarchists are on the rise and "suggested that he can trust no one in the police department as much as he can his own kin."[107] He was also criticized for his hiring of Philip Banks III, a former NYPD commander, to serve as deputy mayor for public safety.[105][108] Banks had been the subject of a federal investigation by the FBI in 2014, the same year he resigned from the police force.[105]

Eight days into Adams's tenure as Mayor, an apartment fire in the Bronx killed 17 people, including eight children.[109] In response to the fire, Adams announced that a law requiring self-closing doors to prevent smoke and fires from spreading throughout apartment buildings would be enforced.[109] However, his administration faced criticism for its slow response in distributing disaster funds to those impacted by the fire.

New York City faced a significant uptick in crime during the first months of Adams's tenure as Mayor. The uptick in crime was highlighted by the shooting deaths of two NYPD officers, Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, when responding to a domestic disturbance in Harlem. In response, Adams announced that he would be bringing back a police unit made up of plainclothes officers, which was disbanded by de Blasio in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd.[110] The unit was officially revived on March 16, 2022.[111] Amid the crime spree, President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland visited New York City and vowed to work with Adams to crack down on homemade firearms, which lack traceable serial numbers and can be acquired without background checks.[112] Throughout Adams's first year in office, crime continued to rise, resulting in both The New York Times and the New York Post labeling his plans as "ineffectual".[113]

In early February 2022, a video of Adams from 2019 leaked in which the then-Borough President boasted about being a better cop than his "cracker" colleagues. Adams apologized for his comments, saying, "I apologize not only to those who heard it but to New Yorkers because they should expect more from me, which was inappropriate."[114]

Later in February, Adams implemented a zero-tolerance policy for homeless people sleeping in subway cars or subway stations. Police officers, assisted by mental health professionals, were tasked with removing homeless people from the subway system and directing them to homeless shelters or mental health facilities.[115] The plan has been met with criticism from some activists.[116] The Adams administration also took a stand against homeless encampments. In the first three months of Adams's tenure, more than 300 homeless encampments had been declared and cleared.[117] To track encampments, the Adams administration created a shared Google Doc that NYPD officers are directed to use to report homeless encampments. The Department of Homeless Services is then tasked with responding to such reports within a week.[113]

On February 14, 2022, 1,430 New York City municipal workers were fired after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate had been introduced in October 2021 by Adams's predecessor but kept in place by Adams. In March 2022, Adams ended the city's vaccine mandate for indoor settings and the city's mask mandate in public schools. That same month, Adams announced that he would keep the city's vaccine mandate for private-sector employees but create an exemption for athletes and performers. The policy became known as the "Kyrie Carve-Out", as it was intended to allow unvaccinated Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to play home basketball games.[113]

On February 23, 2022, Adams called on companies based in New York City to rescind remote work policies put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, "You can't stay home in your pajamas all day."[118] Adams cited the need for in-person workers in the city who would patronize local businesses, saying "I need the accountant in the office so that they can go to the local restaurant so that we can make sure that everyone is employed."[118]

Remainder of 2022

On April 11, 2022, Adams was diagnosed with COVID-19 and entered quarantine for ten days.[119] While Adams was quarantined, a man shot 10 people on a New York City Subway train in Brooklyn. Adams worked virtually to issue a response to the attack and criticized the national "overproliferation" of guns as being responsible for gun violence.[120] Following the shooting, he suggested the implementation of metal detectors to screen riders entering the subway.[113]

In June 2022, Adams unveiled his administration's "comprehensive blueprint" for affordable housing.[113] However, the plan was critiqued for being too vague as it did not propose rezoning to build more housing, and did not contain any actual estimate of how many new housing units would be built.[113]

In response to an influx of asylum seekers sent to New York City from the states of Florida and Texas, Adams announced plans to install Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center Tent Cities on Randalls Island.[121] After about one month, the tent city was closed and the migrants were moved to hotels in downtown Manhattan.[122]

In late November, as part of his campaign to combat crime and clear homeless encampments in New York City, Adams announced an effort to allow the police to commit mentally ill people to psychiatric institutions involuntarily. The policy states that those hospitalized should only be discharged once they are stable and connected to ongoing care. The policy will be enforced by police, care workers, and medical officials, who will be tasked with identifying those who have a mental illness and who are unable to care for themselves. The policy applies to those who pose no direct danger to themselves or others.[123][124]

In December 2022, Adams, Reverends Al Sharpton and Conrad Tillard, Vista Equity Partners CEO and Carnegie Hall Chairman Robert F. Smith, World Values Network founder and CEO Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and Elisha Wiesel joined to host 15 Days of Light, celebrating Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in a unifying holiday ceremony at Carnegie Hall.[36][125] Adams said: "social media is having a major impact on the hatred that we are seeing in our city and in this country.... We should bring social media companies to the table to highlight the racist and antisemitic words being spread on their platforms."[126][127]

Shortly after Adams's inauguration, Polls found that he had a 63% approval rating. On June 7, 2022, a poll conducted by Siena College, in conjunction with Spectrum News and its NY1 affiliate, found that Adams had an approval rating of 29%. The poll also found that 76% of New Yorkers worried they could be a victim of a violent crime.[128]

2023

In late February 2023, at the annual interfaith breakfast, Adams said he disagreed with the notion of separation of church and state.[129] During the speech Adams said, "Don't tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body. Church is the heart.[129] You take the heart out of the body, the body dies." Additionally, Adams said he disagreed with the Supreme Court's 1962 decision in Engel v. Vitale, which held school prayer to be unconstitutional.[129] Adams said, "When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools..."[129]

In March 2023, as a result of the high office vacancy rates, the New York City Department of City Planning advanced plans to convert vacant office buildings into "affordable" apartments.[130] Adams elicited backlash after proposing "dormitory style accommodations" and declaring that apartments did not require windows.[131][132]

In 2022 and 2023, Adams and the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC), which is led by the presidents of two sizeable municipal labor unions, District Council 37 (DC 37) and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), agreed on a deal that would move City retirees from traditional Medicare to a new, privately run Medicare Advantage plan. Although the MLC comprises the leadership of every municipal union, MLC voting is proportional to the union's size, giving DC 37 and the UFT more than enough votes to prevail over unions opposed to the deal. Many City retirees have protested the agreement between the Mayor and the MLC.[133][134]

As mayor, when Yom HaAtzma'ut fell on April 25, Adams announced the night-time lighting of City Hall and other municipal buildings blue and white, identifying the assessment of the modern state of Israel's history as "three-quarters of a century promoting peace and security in the Middle East and hope and opportunity across the globe" as "stand[ing] side by side" with New York's Jewish community.[135]

In 2023, the Adams administration spent $50,000 to relocate 114 migrant households who entered New York City from the Mexico-United States southern border to countries like China and other states within the United States. They were resettled during the years of 2021 and 2022. The migrants were seeking political asylum.[136] In 2023, Mayor Adams vetoed a bill to increase penalties for zoning violations in New York.[137] In July 2023, during the New York City migrant housing crisis, Adams argued that New York City was running out of room and resources to provide for the influx of roughly 100,000 migrants from the southern border. He said, "Our cup has basically runneth over. We have no more room in the city."[138] In August 2023, a lawyer for Governor Kathy Hochul accused Adams of being slow to act and failing to accept aid offers from the state to manage the migrants.[139] In September 2023, Adams warned reporters that the migrant crisis could "destroy" New York City.[140]

On June 23, 2023, Adams vetoed legislation that would have increased eligibility for housing vouchers to homeless families and individuals under the CityFHEPS program;[141][142][143] Adams implemented part of the legislation via executive order, eliminating a 90-day waiting requirement for people currently in shelters.[143] In an op-ed in the New York Daily News, Adams claimed that the bills would cost too much and create administrative difficulties.[144] The City Council responded in a series of annotations to the op-ed,[145] "call[ing] the mayor's arguments 'wrong,' 'misleading,' 'gaslighting' and 'alternative facts'".[143] On July 13, 2023, the City Council overrode the Mayor's veto by a vote of 42–8, marking the first veto override since the administration of Michael Bloomberg.[142][143] The New York Times described the override as "another example of the increasingly confrontational relationship between the City Council and the mayor",[143] and City & State said that it was "a turning point for the City Council".[146] Adams has indicated that he may challenge the veto override in court.[146] Adams also sought to challenge the "right to shelter" consent ruling in Callahan v. Carey.

During a housing town hall on June 28, 2023, 84-year-old Holocaust survivor and Washington Heights tenant advocate Jeanie Dubnau accused Adams of being controlled by the real-estate lobby and questioned him about the past two years of rent increases on rent-stabilized housing, which were approved by a board he appointed.[147][148] Adams responded "Don't stand in front like you treated someone that's on the plantation that you own."[147][148][149][150] The following day, a local radio channel asked Adams if he felt he "went too far"; Adams refused to apologize and called Dubnau's behavior "degrading".[151][152]

In November 2023, Adams was accused in a lawsuit of sexual assault by an anonymous former coworker while they were both city employees in 1993. Adams denied the accusation, claiming he did not know who the accuser was and if they had ever met; he did not recall it. The lawsuit also accused Adams of battery, employment discrimination based on gender and sex, retaliation, a hostile work environment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and also named the NYPD Transit Bureau and the Guardians Association of the NYPD as defendants.[153][154][155][156]

In December 2023, the United Federation of Teachers filed a lawsuit against Eric Adams to prevent a $550 million cut to education funding.[157]

Suspected campaign violation

Main article: FBI investigation into Eric Adams' 2021 mayoral campaign

On November 2, 2023, FBI agents seized three phones and two laptops from the chief fundraiser for Adams' mayoral campaigns.[158] On November 6, Adams' iPad and phone were seized by the FBI. The agents with the search warrant came up to the mayor on the street and requested his security detail step aside, then got into his vehicle and seized the devices. Adams' lawyer says he "immediately complied" with the FBI request.[159][160] He released a statement saying he was cooperating fully with law enforcement and had nothing to hide.[161]

On November 12, The New York Times reported that Adams' investigation by the FBI was related in part to an alleged influence by the Turkish government to have its consulate in a Manhattan building approved by New York City authorities despite safety issues. According to the report, Adams contacted then-Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro in July 2021 after securing the Democratic primary nomination to ask him to allow the Turkish consulate to occupy the building. A Turkish immigrants-run construction company that helped raise funds for the Adams campaign in May 2021 was also being investigated by the FBI.[162]

2024

On January 30, 2024, The New York City Council voted to override Mayor Adam's veto of the How Many Stops Act under the command of Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. The new law officially limits the use of solitary confinement of prisoners being held on Rikers Island and all city jails and requires police officers to take detailed notes of encounters with members of the public who they suspect of committing a crime or for other reasons. Councilman Yusef Salaam is the Chair of the Public Safety Committee and he also had a part in bringing this legislation to the floor for a vote.[163][164]

Adams rejected a ceasefire in the Israel–Hamas war,[165] saying "Bring the hostages home."[166]

Electoral history

Main article: Electoral history of Eric Adams

Year Office Type Party Main opponent Party Votes for Adams Result Swing
Total % P. ±%
1994 U.S. Representative Primary Democratic Major Owens Democratic Withdrew Lost N/A
2006 State Senator General Democratic James M. Gay Republican 38,713 70.7% 1st N/A Won Hold
2008 General Democratic Stephen A. Christopher Republican 79,000 70.9% 1st +0.2% Won Hold
2010 General Democratic Allan E. Romaguera Republican 51,598 84.0% 1st +13.1% Won Hold
2012 General Democratic Rose Laney Republican 81,110 84.6% 1st +0.6% Won Hold
2013 Borough President General Democratic Elias Weir Republican 246,547 90.8% 1st +5.8% Won Hold
2017 General Democratic Vito Bruno Republican 278,488 82.9% 1st -7.9% Won Hold
2021 Mayor Primary Democratic Kathryn Garcia Democratic 404,513 50.4% 1st N/A Won N/A
General Democratic Curtis Sliwa Republican 753,801 67% 1st +3.8% Hold

Personal life

Adams has never been married, but has a son, Jordan Coleman,[2] with former girlfriend Chrisena Coleman.[11][167] His son is a graduate of American University, and is a filmmaker and television actor.[30] Adams is currently in a relationship with Tracey Collins, the Senior Youth Development Director for the New York City Department of Education.[14] Adams has earned the nickname "Nightlife Mayor" due to his penchant for frequently clubbing in the city on Friday and Saturday nights.[168]

Adams is a non-denominational Christian.[129] In September 2023, along with New York City Police Commissioner Edward Caban, Adams became a Prince Hall Freemason[169] as well as a 32nd Degree Member of the Scottish Rite.[170] He has cited Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration.[171]

Plant-based diet

In 2016, Adams switched to a plant-based diet after his diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Adams researched alternatives to lifelong insulin injections and sought opinions of physicians including Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. of the Cleveland Clinic.[172][173] Adams made lifestyle changes rather than pursuing traditional treatments for diabetes. He switched to a whole food plant-based diet, removing animal products, processed sugar, salt, oil, and processed starches. He also began exercising regularly, using an exercise bike and treadmill in his office. Within six months, he lost 30 lb (14 kg), reversed his diabetes, and reduced his blood pressure and cholesterol levels.[174] He has said that he wants to encourage others to switch to a healthier diet, and that some of the public health spending for diabetes should go toward lifestyle changes rather than treating disease.[175] In February 2022, after several accounts surfaced of Adams eating fish in public, questions emerged about whether Adams was truly a vegan. He responded that while he follows a plant-based diet, "I am perfectly imperfect and have occasionally eaten fish."[176]

In October 2020, Adams published the plant-based advocacy cookbook, Healthy at Last: A Plant-Based Approach to Preventing and Reversing Diabetes and Other Chronic Illnesses, which also chronicles his health journey.[177] He was also a contributor to the 2021 anthology Brotha Vegan: Black Men Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society.[178] In Healthy at Last, he wrote that he initially followed his doctor's orders for taking medication before later switching to a plant-based diet with a doctor's consultation. However, in the 2023 Netflix documentary, You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment, Adams claimed never to have used the medication. He also endorsed not taking medication that a doctor recommends in favor of the pure plant-based diet.[179]

Sexual assault lawsuit

On November 22, 2023, a Florida woman filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Adams under the New York Adult Survivors Act.[180] On March 18, 2024, a legal complaint related to the lawsuit was filed which alleged that in 1993, Adams drove the woman, who at the time had recently been passed over for a promotion, to a vacant lot, where he then asked her for oral sex in exchange for career help.[181] The complaint also alleged that when the woman refused, Adams forced her to touch his penis and ejaculated on her leg.[181] Despite Adams previously denying that he ever met the woman suing him,[180] the legal complaint revealed that she was in fact a former police colleague who worked with him while he was serving with New York City's transit police bureau.[181][182] In addition to sexual assault, the lawsuit was also filed under the grounds of battery, infliction of emotional distress, gender discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment.[182] On March 19, Adams denied the accusation, claiming he had conducted himself with dignity during his 40 years in public life.[183]

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