New York’s new mayor, Eric Adams, was sworn in shortly after midnight yesterday. It was a good time for a cop-turned-politician who indicated he plans to give some personal panache back to a metropolis stricken by a pandemic, political strife and an incumbent mayor whose polls rank below even Donald Trump with state voters.
At the moment, the Adams administration is, as one acquaintance put it, “in the ether.” The Democrat told city council last week: “We have to make our city run. We threw $ 11 billion at Covid, so the day has come when we have to learn to be smarter. “
Adams got to work. He took the metro to City Hall on January 1 to be at his office at 8:30 a.m. and held a cabinet meeting half an hour later.
Signs show that he will be more focused than his predecessor Bill de Blasio, who campaigned to raise taxes and spoke confrontingly of a “two-city tale”. Friday the New York Post described Democrat De Blasio as the worst in town. And that’s with 109 mayors to choose from.
the New York Times, nominally friendly, found space to list his accomplishments only by creating universal kindergartens, eating pizza with a fork, setting a record for the tallest mayor, and accidentally dropping a groundhog named Charlotte , who later died of her injuries.
De Blasio’s major achievement, the Time noted, was spending money – the city’s budget hit a record $ 102.8 billion and its workforce a record 325,000. Yet in De Blasio’s eight years, the city has become slower and heavier, as if the mayor is remaking it in his image.
The traffic lights were set to a delayed green, confusing the timing of walkers, praising drivers, and perhaps only benefited angry cyclists. Ubers started crowding the town where the yellow cabs had speeded up – sometimes without stopping for a fare in a way that seemed anti-Darwinian.
Adams comes with less ideological baggage than De Blasio, than the To post calls it “Lovers of Cuba”. He is unlikely, for example, to make his first order of the day to try to ban horse-drawn carriages from Central Park, and then ostensibly allow the wealthier sections of town to go un-plowed after a major snowstorm. to indicate that he, as a populist Brooklynite, does not view Manhattan as the center of the New York universe.
He appears, in many ways, more accustomed to the pace of the city and its relationship to its commercial raison d’être. Business leaders, hoping to stem the exodus of business and top incomes, say they see signs that Adams will focus more on economic development and on tackling rising labor levels. criminality.
He vowed not to restore the “stop-and-frisk” policing that unfairly targeted minorities, and to revive an undercover police unit to focus on gun crimes. Black Lives Matter Chapter Chief Hawk Newsome threatened “riots, fires and bloodshed” if Adams restored the unit. Adams replied, “We’re not going to surrender to those who say, ‘We’re going to burn New York.’ Not my city.
He called on business leaders to create a database to match vacant jobs to job seekers, adding: “It will be a place where we welcome businesses and not become the dysfunctional city we have been for so long. years. But he could meet resistance from city council, the center of New York’s shift to progressive politics. Clashes are brewing over a plan to restore solitary confinement at the brutal Rikers Island remand complex. “I’m going to ignore them,” Adams said last week. “Whether they like it or not. I am the mayor.
But there are subtleties in Adams’ approach. He loves the nightlife, attends a charity dinner or a play, before stopping by Zero Bond, one of the city’s new private clubs. “When you go out at night it helps reduce crime. It attracts tourists to the city, “he said recently, adding that every time a New Yorker goes to a restaurant” we make sure a dishwasher, a cook, a bartender. and a server are employed ”.
It’s a strategy that, according to Serge Becker, the nightlife force behind the AREA art nightclub, La Esquina restaurants and others, helped the city reinvent itself in the late 1970s and 1980s. ” Populated streets are safer than abandoned streets. It has helped build communities, and Mayor Adams is sending encouraging signals that he has a nuanced view of nightlife, that it has a positive role to play in revitalizing the city.
But there is a question mark as to where Adams sleeps. Some say New Jersey, others Brooklyn or that he sets foot in the office for a few hours. He seems to be happy to let people guess. “I am as flexible as the city. I’ll be in New York, ”he said. NY1 in November. “The 24/7 city that never sleeps. We have heard the alarm clock. We are standing now.