Adams assumes office in a city beset by high unemployment, a massive wave of COVID-19 infections and violent crime. Can he take New York in a new direction?
Former police captain and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was sworn in as New York City’s new mayor on Saturday. Taking over from unpopular left-wing Mayor Bill de Blasio, Adams vowed to take on the city’s crime, unemployment, and coronavirus crises.
- New York’s COVID-19 case counts set a new record on New Year’s Eve, but has not yet seen deaths rise to the levels seen earlier in the pandemic.
- Adams called new lockdowns “as dangerous as COVID.” NYC’s unemployment rate of 9.4 percent is twice the national average.
- On his first day in office Adams visited a cop shot while off-duty at the hospital, setting a different tone from his predecessor’s contentious relationship with the NYPD.
- In his inaugural address, Adams vowed to tackle violent crime in a city that saw 479 murders and 1,546 shootings in 2021, a 10-year high.
- While violent crime and homelessness are on the rise, it is still nowhere near the level of the 1970s-1980s.
- Adams pledged to keep schools open and extended two de Blasio-era executive orders mandating private-sector employee vaccinations and proof of vaccination requirements for public spaces.
- New York magazine praised Eric Adams’ “big beaming debut,” contrasting his flamboyant Times Square swearing-in with his predecessor Bill de Blasio, who slinked out of office a day early.
- Anti-Trump news site The Bulwark asked if Adams, a former Republican ran as a working-class candidate explicitly against white progressives, could be a national model for moderate Democrats.
- The Nation called Adams “the mayor nobody knows,” citing his contradictory statements, shape-shifting political persona and support across the political spectrum, and compared his capacity to surprise to another New York pol: Donald Trump.
- “Once a transit cop always a transit cop:” On his first morning as Mayor, New York Post reporters filmed Adams dialing 911 to report an assault in progress on his morning commute.
- Fox News covered the Twitter backlash to Adams’s decision to extend de Blasio’s vaccine executive orders. It’s unclear whether this backlash is representative of New York voters.
- The New York Post editorial board attacked Bill de Blasio’s last attempt to “inflict still more pain” on his way out the door by replacing Rikers Island jails with local jails spread across NYC.
New York has never had a mayor quite like Eric Adams. NYC’s second black mayor is a teenaged victim of police brutality turned 22-year police veteran. He’s a former Republican turned moderate Democrat. He’s weathered corruption allegations. He reversed a diabetes diagnosis after going vegan. He may not actually live in NYC. Adams wants his first three paychecks to be paid in Bitcoin. The new mayor celebrated his swearing-in by going clubbing.
It’s going to be an interesting 4 years.
© Dominic Moore, 2022