For just the second time ever in New York City history, America’s largest metro area will have a Black mayor heading its city government. In a landslide election, Democrat Eric Adams, a former New York Police Department captain, will become the 110th mayor in the city’s 350-plus-year history — and the first Black man to hold the position since David Dinkins was elected in 1990.
NPR’s Vanessa Romo reported that “Adams, who is currently the Brooklyn borough president and a former state senator, will take the reins from Bill de Blasio, whose second term was mired in the effects of the pandemic, historic job losses, skyrocketing housing prices and rental rates, extreme income inequality and a broke transportation system.”
Political pundits praised Adams’ mayoral campaign in which he modeled himself a “blue-collar” politician willing to work for the people.
According to Romo, “he made combating gun violence and improving public safety a main focus of his campaign, while also calling for cuts to the NYPD’s budget and the shifting of some jobs to civilians that have been done by officers, which he says could save the city up to $500 million a year.”
Adams has also championed the reestablishment of a plainclothes anti-crime unit in the city, increased safety patrols at train and bus stations, and efforts to encourage borough police officers to live within the city they serve.
The final weeks of the mayoral campaign between Adams and his opponent Curtis Sliwa often became heated with numerous personal attacks and public name-calling. Adams pointed out Sliwa’s apparent racism and similarities to former President Donald Trump.
While he opposed vaccine mandates in the city, railed against the supposed “teaching” of critical race theory in schools, and wanted to dramatically increase property taxes on Madison Square Garden, Sliwa, founder and CEO of the Guardian Angels (a nonprofit organization for unarmed crime prevention), perhaps became best known during his failed campaign as an incredible lover of cats. He boasted having adopted 16 felines with his wife, brought a new kitten — his 17th pet — with him to the polls to vote on Nov. 2., and also proposed converting the mayor’s mansion in NYC into a massive cat and dog sanctuary.
Election Day 2021 was a good day overall for representation within NYC government; Alvin Bragg became Manhattan’s first-ever Black district attorney, and Jumaane Williams was re-elected as the city’s public advocate.