A former police captain and former Brooklyn district president, Eric Adams, will take office this Saturday as mayor of New York, the economic and cultural capital of the United States, with the difficult task of recovering the economy, cultural activity, and security. in the city, one of the hardest hit by covid-19.
The time has come for this democratic politician of humble origin, vegan and African American, to begin working to fulfill his electoral promises, among them, to stop the armed violence that was triggered in parallel to the expansion of SARS-CoV-19 and that It served him to mark differences with his opponents during the electoral campaign, especially in the primary elections of the Democratic party, where he prevailed over a dozen candidates.
But also, and more in the medium and long term, it will have to face the racial, economic, educational, social, and housing inequalities of the city and that the coronavirus exacerbated and left in view of all.
To do this, she has already surrounded herself with five vice mayors who are involved in municipal affairs and who, according to the political scientist of the University of New York (CUNY), John Gutiérrez, are “the cream of the bureaucrats” in New York and are “highly trained”
THE MAYOR OF THE BULLET VEST
Since he took the first step to run for mayor, until today, Eric Adams has remembered over and over again the 22 years he spent in the police force and that during this time he wore a bulletproof vest to protect his neighbors.
A mantra with which he obtained numerous votes, which he brandished as a credential in front of his electoral opponents when discussing security issues and that, even before assuming the mayor’s office, he has already used against his fellow party members in the Municipal Council.
On December 21, before a petition signed by 29 of the 51 members of the Municipal Council to end the solitary confinement of inmates in municipally run prisons, Adams responded angrily.
“If you want to work as partners, give me a call, listen to my ideas and my beliefs. The only thing that sets everyone who signed that letter from Eric Adams apart is that I wore a bulletproof vest for 22 years and protected the people of this city. When doing that, then you have the right to ask me about public safety issues. I think I know something about this, “ said the new mayor who sometimes likes to talk about himself in the third person.
For Professor Gutiérrez, this attitude is a sample of the “caudillismo elements” that characterize Adams’s personality, traits that he shares with other “great mayors” of the city such as Fiorello La Guardia (1934-1945), Edward Koch (1978- 1989), Rudy Giuliani (1994-2001) or Michael Bloomberg (2002-2013).
“The caudillo always thinks that he is right, that without him the city collapses, the best advisor that the caudillo has is himself and I believe that these are elements of Adams, they are things that are seen in him,” the expert stressed.
This attitude, with which he clearly opposes a large number of his party members, and specifically the more progressive left, from which he clearly dissociated himself during the electoral campaign, is the same with which he succeeded forge the sympathies of many voters at a time when violence soared in the city and across the country.
THE AMERICAN DREAM
“Adams is a person who has been able to speak to the average New Yorker, he has a little gift, both for his accent that is well from Brooklyn and for having grown up and having studied here. He is a man who has that facility (and) in difficult moments people who are not interested in the details of politics want a voice like that, “ added Gutiérrez.
But in addition, Adams, who also served as a state senator (2007-2013), has always sought to identify with the ordinary New Yorker, insisting that he is a worker from humble origins and that his mother, Dorothy, who passed away this year during the electoral campaign, was “betrayed” by the city.
“All this is for you,” he told the media during the election day in which he was elected mayor in November, before underlining: “I only have three words: I am like you (…). The city has abandoned people like my mom, so I hope people exercise their right to express that we no longer want to be abandoned. “
He also often uses his childhood to return to the hackneyed local myth of the “American dream” and of the United States as “the land of opportunities”, where, supposedly, with effort and tenacity, anyone can achieve what they set out to do.
“A boy (Eric Adams) who was lying on the floor of the 103rd District Police Station, attacked by the police, can now become the mayor to be in charge of that same Police Department. I am the American Dream. I am a story from New York, “he also said on the day he prevailed in the primary elections last June.