NEW YORK — As voters prepare to cast their ballots in the New York City primary election, mayoral candidates continue to reach out to New Yorkers and listen to issues that they are most concerned about.
Democratic mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams spoke with PIX11 News to address the latest polls, housing, vaccinations and schools, and addressed recent attacks on his residency.
Eric Adams residency
Adams addressed a recent Politico report that questioned his “mysterious whereabouts off the campaign trail” by allowing cameras into his Bedford-Stuyvesant home Wednesday.
“My long-term neighbors know me. In fact, anytime they have any problems, you know why they know me? They knock on my door,” he said.
“I live there. I love my neighborhood. I love my block. I love being in Bed-Stuy,” he added.
When questioned about what’s inside his refrigerator, Adams said he’s not at home often, adding he’s up around 5:30 a.m. and hits the streets until about 1 a.m. “seven days a week for the last four years.”
“When people want to scrutinize everything, I live at Lafayette,” he said.
When asked about living in a condo in Fort Lee, New Jersey with his girlfriend, Adams said he misses his girlfriend and hasn’t seen her in about two months.
“This campaign and being borough president has taken me away from spending time with all of my family,” he said.
He said he would release his EZ Pass records. “They’ve been following me for months, they know where I am.”
New PIX11, NewsNation and Emerson College poll
A new PIX11, NewsNation, Emerson College poll released Wednesday showed Adams at the top, with fellow candidate Maya Wiley surging to second place.
Crime and violence remains one of the top issues. What does Adams see as the driving factor of gun violence?
Adams said other candidates are talking about long-term plans, and he said he was the only candidate that was saying an intervention and prevention are needed for the present.
Adams also said crime is no longer in “those traditional areas,” but “they have spilled over.”
He has talked about bringing back the anti-crime unit. What would that look like?
Adams said there’s the focus would be on “precision policing” where the city would zero in on known shooters and gang members, which he said is driving a lot of crime in the city. The boroughs would then coordinate together to make sure there is money put into the gun suppression unit and start pinpointing people and stop releasing those who are known shooters from jails.
Eviction and housing
Prior to the pandemic, about 200,000 people were facing evictions. The number has since jumped.
When asked what Adams would do to keep people in their homes, he said he would ensure brokers and landlords accept the vouchers given to residents and put money into the Human Rights Commission.
Adams said he would also continue to eviction moratorium, but also balance it with small property homeowners so they don’t lose their homes.
Money would be given to the landlord directly to ensure people can stay home.
“The wealth of Black and Brown people in the city and immigrants is tied to their homes,” Adams said.
Vaccines and schools
The topic of vaccines and masks in schools has been a touchy subject. Adams has said he was open to the conversation of vaccine mandates in schools.
What would classrooms look like if there was a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated kids?
Adams said that is something they will need to figure out. Once the vaccine is FDA approved, it’s another conversation.
“I respect the concerns of parents,” Adams said, “Once we get FDA approved, then we could talk about mandatory. Right now we have to figure this thing out.”
Ranked choice voting
Who would Adams pick as his #2 vote?
He said he is not sure who he’d pick right now, but he would pick the person who is “closest to the belief that we need to end inequality, we need to ensure that our city is safe and we must make sure that everyone has an opportunity.”