HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — On Thursday night, Rev. Al Sharpton convened New York’s top Black leaders for a closed-door conversation about public safety at his National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem. He called the gathering “historic.”

“Never before in the history of this state have we seen so many of our top officials come from the Black community,” said Sharpton. 

“[20]23 will be the year we show this nation how to govern,” said Sharpton. 

Among those at the meeting were New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Attorney General Leticia James, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. James said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg joined the meeting virtually because he has COVID.

Adams said their conversation should have happened on Jan. 1, 2022. 

“We’re clear on the systemic poverty, the system racism, that has been in place and denied people the opportunities to leave poverty,” said Adams. “That’s what this conversation was about today.” 

James said they would not discuss the issues addressed in the meeting.

“We will discuss them in private,” said James. “We will come forth with a plan. We will map out where the issues are, and we will join together as one.” 

NY Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said communication and cooperation were the two things that came out of the meeting. 

“We are committed to being unified and working together when it comes to public safety,” said NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, who was also in attendance.