On November 2, 2021 New Yorkers will head to the polls to elect a new mayor. That exercise will be a formality; the winner will already have been determined. Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York City (except in the borough of Staten Island); hence, whoever wins the Democratic Primary on June 22nd is certain to become the next mayor of the Big Apple.
The mayor-elect will be tasked with a litany of gargantuan challenges, thanks in no small part to New York’s sitting mayor, Bill DeBlasio. Mr. DeBlasio will be remembered as one of the worst mayors in New York’s history. He inherited a city on the ascent, presided over its decline, and has refused to accept any responsibility for it. Furthermore, DeBlasio has made a mockery of his daily press briefings by offering the same generic responses to questions regarding NYC’s acute increase in violent crime, stating it is “not acceptable” or “will not be tolerated.” Still, he never offers any substantive solutions to what is “not acceptable” and “will not be tolerated.” To be fair, some of the issues affecting NYC are not unique. They are a microcosm affecting many large metropolises in America. That said, DeBlasio’s abysmal management has compounded New York’s current ills.
At TQC, we believe the candidate best suited to reinvigorate NY is Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Before we delve into specifics, it is worth explaining some pertinent changes that will affect this year’s mayoral primary.
For the first time, a process called “ranked-choice” will be used to determine the winner. In a “ranked-choice” election, instead of casting a vote for one candidate, voters pick several candidates – in this case up to five – in order of preference (voters can still choose only one candidate if they wish). If any single candidate receives over 50% of 1st preference votes, the election is over, and they win. If no candidate receives over 50% of 1st preference votes, the candidate who finishes last is eliminated. Any votes for the eliminated candidate are then redistributed and the votes re-tabulated. This will continue – round after round - until there are two candidates left.
An interesting quirk about “ranked-choice” is that a candidate can win a plurality of votes in the 1st and subsequent rounds but end up losing the election. An interesting stipulation about New York’s “ranked-choice” system is that if any candidate receives a majority of 1st place votes in any round after the 1st round, they do not win. Instead, the process continues until two candidates are remaining, of which the one with the most 1st place votes will be declared victorious.
Critics of “ranked-choice” argue the system is opaque and confusing to voters. In fact, two lawsuits were filed to stop the city from utilizing a “ranked-choice” primary. Both were defeated.
Eric Adams was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn in 1960. He graduated Bay Side high school in 1978. Adams earned an associate degree from the New York College of Technology, a BA from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Masters of Public Health (MPA) from Marist College.
Mr. Adams worked for the New York City Transit Police and then for over 20 years at the NYPD, rising to, and retiring at, the rank of Captain. In addition to serving as Brooklyn Borough president, his political credentials include serving as a state senator from 2006 to 2013.
According to multiple polls, crime and public safety are the top concern of New Yorkers. And for good reason. Homicides were up 43% from 2019 to 2020; shootings were up 97%. This year, murders are on pace to rise a further 20% compared to 2020’s grim statistics. Indeed, New York has seen a surge in violent crime that has degraded the quality of life and left New Yorkers on edge. Though crimes have risen in virtually all areas of NYC, a disproportionate number are occurring in New York’s poorest neighborhoods. Of course, all New Yorkers have a right to a basic level of law and order irrespective of the community in which they reside. Eric Adams is the right man to make New York safe again.
While enrolled at NY Tech, Adams learned computer programming. He put those skills to good use as part of a team that built the original version of CompStat. Adams & Co’s data-driven approach has been widely credited as a prime catalyst that stopped and reversed NY’s last crime wave in the early 1990s and transformed New York into the safest large city in America in the new millennia.
As mayor, Eric Adams plans to apply the data-driven properties that underpin CompStat and apply them to other major city agencies to make them more efficient and effective.
It is important to keep in mind that typically, the loudest voices stem from the extremes, not the mainstreams. Point being, while “defund the police” and “abolish the police” are mainstay slogans of radical politicians, it is not the position of voters who lean right…or most voters that lean left.
Bear in mind, the vast majority of New Yorkers are Democrats, yet figures from the latest NY1 poll indicate that over 70% of NY residents believe the NYPD should deploy more officers to the street to combat crime and restore law and order, vs. only 20% who would rather see a reduction in the police force.
Eric Adams is the ideal candidate to help mend relationships between the police and communities they serve, particularly in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods. Better terms and mutual respect would yield enhanced cooperation, render more crimes solved, and more repeat violent felons off the streets. With proper training, funding, community engagement, hard work and education, Adam’s believes this can become a reality. And he is living proof that it can be.
Eric Adams experienced police brutality firsthand. While a teenager, he was arrested and beaten up in a Queens police precinct. A few years later, Mr. Adams decided to join the NYPD with an objective to effect positive change from within. He co-founded a group called 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care. They spoke out against police bias, corruption, and abuse and worked tirelessly to improve the department.
Stop-and-frisk was a racist and dehumanizing police tactic introduced in 1990s. A disproportionate number of innocent young black males were stopped and searched without just cause. Too often, these New Yorkers were subjected to unprofessionalism and/ or abuse.
Eric Adams wants to employ a reformed and most importantly, an equitable version of stop-and-frisk. He believes it can be a useful tool in law enforcement’s arsenal if deployed properly. Said Adam’s in a recent interview with The New Yorker: “The average person can’t talk about how to properly use stop-and-frisk, but I can. I saw Giuliani take the methodology and abuse it. Giuliani instilled generational trauma and anger and fear. Transparency is the key. You have to be in a constant state of analyzing. You’re doing stop-and-frisk? Let’s look at the quality of your stop-and-frisk. Eighty-five per cent of people who are stopped and frisked did nothing wrong? Someone should be checking that. There was no quality assurance put in place with the Giuliani model of it.”
Critics have lambasted Adams about his current support for one of the most controversial police tactics formally employed by the NYPD. However, unbeknownst to most, Eric Adams argued vehemently against stop-and-frisk during the Giuliani administration. He went so far as to testify in federal court how stop-and-frisk was applied in a racist and dehumanizing. His efforts helped highlight its inequities and curtail the practice.
During Eric Adam's tenure at the NYPD, he was a staunch and effective advocate of improvement from within the police department. Adams understands and appreciates the difference between what could be a useful police tactic and the horrific consequences disproportionately shouldered by minorities if a useful police tactic is deployed in a racist and unjust manner. As an aside, he also supports banning police chokeholds and rejects the “militarization” of police.
In response to the increasing levels of lawlessness throughout New York City, not surprisingly, many wealthy New Yorkers have decamped to 2nd homes outside the city and or moved out of the state altogether. One might react by throwing up ones’ arms and saying, “so what, let em leave.” Bad idea. Despite what certain radical politicians espouse, a mass exodus of high earning New Yorkers is a serious problem, and one many of their constituents who they claim to care about (words are free), will endure the ramifications of. Here is why: the top ~2% of NYC’s wage earners support ~50% of its tax base. That is not a partisan statement; it is a fact. If too many of these taxpayers leave the city for safer locations, a fiscal death spiral will ensue: fewer high earning New Yorkers to support social services, which will lead to those services being cut, which will lead to politicians raising taxes in an attempt to plug a gaping budget deficit, which will drive more higher earners out of the city, resulting in additional cuts to social services and materially less resources for the neediest New Yorker’s .
Eric Adams understands this. He recently said in a radio interview, “I don’t join the chorus that tells the 65,000 New Yorkers that are paying 51 percent of our income tax — and [are] only 2 percent of the income tax filers — I don’t join the chorus that states, ‘So what if they leave? I’m just the opposite. I join the chorus that tells them, ‘We need you here.'”
As Mayor, Eric Adams would not be responsible for tax policy. However, most New Yorkers who pay some of the highest taxes in the nation would indeed be willing to incur those costs in exchange for safety and livability, for which Adam’s will be directly responsible for.
With under two weeks remaining until the democratic primary, Eric Adams is leading a crowded field of 13 candidates. His closest competitor is the radical leftist, Maya Wiley. Wiley picked up a few points following the endorsement of Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez.
Maya Wiley represents exactly what New York City does not need, particularly in these troubled times. She seems to have answers for everything and solutions to nothing. Indeed, many of her policies – if you could call them that – sound less like concrete ideas and more like pseudo-intellectual mental masturbation. At TQC, we would like to better understand what “restorative and trauma-informed care practices” are. According to Mona Davids, founder of the NYC Parents Union, “It’s just word salad from Maya Wiley…It doesn’t mean anything. It makes absolutely no sense at all.”
One of the few specific proposals Wiley has championed is to cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget. The stark reality is most people who truly want the police to be defunded – and let us be clear, not some monies re-allocated towards better training and improving community relations (which we support) - but truly defunded, are either criminals, anarchists, elitist limousine liberals living in areas where crime barely exists, or radical lawmakers who are, ironically, protected by the police at taxpayer expense. Another option is to pay for private security. Case in point, Maya Wiley’s "partner” pays for their own private security to patrol the neighborhood around their multi-million-dollar home in Brooklyn!
Eric Adams is self-reflective, fair, and unlike the other mayoral candidates who are proficient at talking the talk, Adam’s has walked the walk. He is what NYC needs right now. We support his candidacy for Mayor.
• The mayor of NYC can remain in office for two consecutive four-year terms. A former mayor that has served two consecutive four-year terms can theoretically run for office again after a four year hiatus.
• In 2008, the city council passed term limit extension legislation. This allowed then-mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve a third consecutive term. In 2010, that law was nullified.
• The Mayor of New York City earns $258,750 a year.
• “Ranked-choice” is typically used in local elections. Only Maine (and soon Alaska) uses it at the state level.