EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn — Gov. Andrew Cuomo teamed up with Democratic Party mayoral nominee Eric Adams at an event intended to help reduce gun violence and crime in New York City.
Their joint appearance featured Gov. Cuomo touting a new initiative to bring jobs and funding for anti-violence community groups, but it also showcased the governor’s strong support for the man who’s most statistically the favorite to be the next mayor.
In talking about the gun violence crisis in the city, Gov. Cuomo said that he trusts Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President and former NYPD captain, strongly.
“Two elements — courage and competence,” Cuomo said are needed to effectively deal with the city’s challenges. “And I believe Eric Adams has both.”
The Wednesday forum comes at a time when gun violence is on the rise.
In 2020, according to NYPD statistics, there were 650 shootings by the second week of July, with 796 victims. This year, there have been 811 shootings, with 945 victims.
The Cuomo-Adams appearance came one day after Adams met with President Joe Biden at the White House about the issue.
He said on Wednesday that he had to stress to federal authorities that gun violence has unique challenges in the nation’s cities.
“We have a handgun problem,” Adams said, “and the victims are Black, and brown, and poor.
However, Adams is not the mayor-elect. He still faces a general election in November, against GOP nominee Curtis Sliwa.
On Wednesday, Sliwa was critical of the Cuomo-Adams public appearance.
“All they did was have a song and dance show,” Sliwa said. “When dealing with the hardcore issues of gun violence and gang violence,” he continued, “they addressed none of that.”
After his joint news conference with Adams, Gov. Cuomo held a closed door meeting with dozens of anti-violence community leaders, clergy members, and local elected officials. They joined the governor in a news conference afterward, where he announced his anti-gun violence program.
He said that it features some 4,000 summer youth jobs, as well as long-term, skills-training jobs, and more funding for community groups that disrupt violence.
Daniel Goodine, the founder of the violence interrupter group Men Elevating Leadership, said that the initiative may be very helpful.
“When we do talk to young people,” Goodine said, “it’s always, ‘Do you have a job for me? Do you have an opportunity?’ Today I think there’s going to be a lot of opportunities.”
In a city that’s seen a dozen shootings so far this week, people who met with the governor, including Assemblymember Diana Richardson, said that they intend to hold his plan accountable.
“I encourage everyone to track it,” the local member of the state assembly said. “We’re going to make real change.”