The closing arguments of the New York mayoral candidates


In arguing why he should be elected, Mr. Adams relied heavily on his life story: he grew up poor in Brooklyn and Queens, was molested by the police as a teenager, and joined the police force and spoke out against racism within their ranks . “They wish they had my bio,” Adams often says of his competing candidates.


Mr. Adams co-founded a group called 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care to expose racism in the New York Police Department. Mr Adams was once a frequent and high profile critic of incidents of police brutality, including the fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo in 1999.


In 2013, Mr. Adams, then a state senator, testified that he was at a meeting with Governor David Paterson and Raymond Kelly, the police superintendent, when Mr. Kelly said that Black and Latino men were the focus of Stop and Frisk because “He was trying to frighten them.” Mr. Adams’ testimony helped a federal judge determine that the Police Department was unconstitutionally using Stop and Frisk.


Mr Adams said he had the necessary background to hold officers accountable. He says it would give civil control bodies the power to elect their district commanders and strengthen officers’ de-escalation training, while also speeding up the release of body-worn camera images and disciplinary decisions.


Mr. Adams often talks about how a poor education system results in people, especially black boys, being forced to make bad decisions and drawn into the criminal justice system.


Mr. Adams had to answer questions about his primary residence and his relationship with donors for his campaign. Rival campaigns have questioned whether he lives in his Brooklyn home or the New Jersey cooperative. Mr Adams invited reporters to tour the Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment that he says is his primary residence.


Mr. Adams often speaks about how poverty made his youth precarious. His mother had several jobs, including cleaning the house, and neighbors would sometimes leave food and clothes outside his door. When he was 17, Mr. Adams worked as a squeegee on Jamaica Avenue in Queens to support his family.


Mr Adams says he was shot while he was in the police force speaking out against racism. He says his son was just born and that made him feel more private about his personal life. He says he never told some of his police colleagues that he had a son.


It is believed that Mayor Bill de Blasio favored Mr. Adams and worked behind the scenes to get others to support him. Mr Adams said that like Mr de Blasio he wanted to end inequality in the city, but that he would use other methods to achieve this goal.


Mr Adams, 26 year old son, Jordan, is working on a master’s degree in screenwriting from Brooklyn College. He appeared when questions arose about Mr. Adams’s residence and stood beside him in front of the row house that belongs to Mr. Adams. Jordan also appeared in a campaign ad with his father.


Mr. Adams likes to say that “public safety is a prerequisite for prosperity”. He spoke about the need for a balance between public safety and police reform. However, some proponents of police reform believe it is too focused on the police as a panacea.


Mr Adams is a vegan who says changing his lifestyle has helped him overcome type 2 diabetes. He says the disease caused him to lose his eyesight before switching to a plant-based diet. If elected, Mr. Adams has said that he will ensure that the city’s public school children are served the healthiest foods.


Mr Adams is considered a moderate Democrat who would be more business-friendly than Mr de Blasio. Mr Adams has spoken out against the Defund the Police movement and the police officers’ union has told its members that he is one of three candidates they would vote for.

Saturday May 22nd

Rally of Harlem Men for Eric Adams

Frederick Douglass Circle in Harlem

You know my team from time to time, brothers and sisters, they travel all over town with me. And the people will be at the meetings. And people will stop and say to my team, ‘Let me tell you my Eric Adams story.’

And they go back to the 80s and back to the 90s and then talk about the time when their child may have left the house and Eric will pay the fare to bring them back from the sex trade in other states. They tell of the time we sat in living rooms and talked to young men on their way to crime and got them on their way to college. They speak to over 100 black people in law enforcement every month who are helping people on the lower level and using our skills and abilities. You are talking about the “What to do if the police are stopped” program that we have put in place. I mean, the legacy is just so rich in so many things that we’ve done as an organization.

I was so proud to find the people who lived in the crevices of our communities and said we can do better, we can get better, and we can be better. And so it amazes me that all of those who run, who have full understanding of who I am, what I am and what I have done, want you to redefine my story. Are you kidding me?

Look, you can criticize me on a lot of things, but the boldness of some people to say he wasn’t the leading voice on Stop and Frisk. Where have you been? If you don’t know my history on this subject, something is wrong with you.

The boldness of people to say, ‘Well, he’s never been strong on police matters.’ What! Can someone send an alarm clock to the sleeping people? You better come.

And let me tell you one more thing, brothers, let me tell you one more thing. And I want to drop that on you because you have to understand that. America has a history of criminalizing black men.

For the next 30 days, you will see the attacks on me that you can never imagine. It’s gonna be the toughest 30 days of my life, do you hear?

More difficult than being arrested and beaten by the police. More difficult than being watched by the police. Harder than being someone who had to carry a garbage bag full of clothes to school every day because we thought we would be kicked out. More difficult than not being able to go to the best schools. Harder than being shot at. Harder than any of these things. In the next 30 days, I want you to see what happens.

There are people in the City of Power who say Eric Adams could never be Mayor of New York because he will end inequalities, he will keep our city safe, and he will keep us from believing that we have to live as we would live in our communities.

It’s no secret that 65 percent of black kids in the city never achieve their skills, and everyone is comfortable with it. Trust me, if 65 percent of another group failed to complete school, there would be rioting on the streets.

You wrote off our children. You gave up on us. You have allowed people to normalize the conditions in which we live. My son will not grow up in a city that I grew up in. You shouldn’t have the ubiquitous gun violence here in Harlem, and that’s routine, if you hear gunshots or a car misfiring you need to tell your kids to learn to crouch. You don’t have to live like that, folks. And I say that’s why I’m running for mayor’s office. I’m running for mayor because I’m qualified for this job. My whole life has prepared me for the moment. Why is that now, Eric?

What is the most pressing, urgent problem in the city? Police reform and public safety. Who has the better resume? What about health care and how has the Covid virus decimated our community?

Who will reform the health system, first personally my own health care for my body? Eric Adams.

Who went to school with a learning disability, who taught themselves and who went from D-student to dean’s student? Eric Adams.

Who will stop 30 percent of our babies who are in jail who are dyslexic? Fifty-five percent have a learning disability. Eighty percent do not have a high school diploma or an equivalent diploma. Who understands this better than any candidate who runs? Eric Adams.

Who knows how to lure companies into town and make them come and pay fair, decent wages so we can build our middle class and not decimate our middle class? Eric Adams.

I tick the box. So vote for Eric Adams on the box. People went from rolling their eyes to focusing their eyes. Trust me when I started they said, “Well, listen up man, we’re not trying to hear you Eric.” And then all of a sudden they started saying, ‘Wait a minute, listen to this guy.

Listen to him talk about the dysfunctionality of our authorities and the waste of taxpayers’ money. Listen to him say why is the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Children fighting obesity, diabetes and asthma, but the Department of Education is feeding our children the foods that cause diabetes, obesity and asthma in children?

Why do we have a Department of Buildings in conflict with Small Business Services? Small businesses try to open restaurants every day and the Department of Buildings is doing just the opposite, doing everything they can to keep a restaurant closed. So we can’t hire a dishwasher, a cook, or a waiter?

Why do we have these conflicts in the city? You know why? People make money from the dysfunctionality of this city. And I know the hustle and bustle. It was right here in Harlem that I heard the words that resonate today. We have been cheated, we have been duped, and we have been sold out.

We’re going to turn that around. That’s what we run for.

And so they say well what are you Are you temperate? Are you that? Is that you? No, I am a New Yorker. And New Yorkers are complex. Don’t put me in a box. That box got us to where we are now. I will not go beyond the box, I will destroy the box.

New city, new mindset, new mindset, build this city, end inequalities, create a safe city where we raise healthy children and families and tear down the walls that have kept us from seeing what this city is made of over the years . We are made of the best material in the world. We are New Yorkers. Let’s win this race.

About Ellen Lewandowski

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