Eric Adams said he’s living his dream after being elected the next mayor of New York City.
He coasted to victory with the Associated Press declaring him a winner, just minutes after the polls closed at 9 p.m.
Adams will be sworn into office in 59 days, and he’s got his work cut out for him.
The mayor-elect spoke with PIX11 News — fresh off his victory — expressing his top priority once sworn in as mayor is public safety and justice.
“That is the prerequisite to prosperity in our city,” Adams said.
Adam explained that people currently perceive and have a perception that they can’t be safe in the city.
“I have to deal with the perception and the actualization of crime in our city,” he said.
Vaccinations in NYC
Adams said he was going to hold off on his plans until after the election, now that he’s won, what are his plans?
The future mayor said though he’s elected, there’s only one mayor at a time. “We have one mayor and we should line up behind the city being unified.”
Adams encouraged current Mayor Bill de Blasio to reach out to unions and figure out how to get more people vaccinated, acknowledging there will be a small percentage of people who don’t get vaccinated, but the overwhelming number of city workers actually do want to get vaccinated.
If de Blasio does not come up with a resolution by Jan. 1, Adams said he will sit with unions and figure out what to do.
Public safety in NYC
Adams told PIX11 News he has already spoken with some agencies on what he plans to do. He told them he plans to “hit reset” on different issues, particularly on public protection and policing.
He also said he will have the backs of police officers, but will hold those accountable who are abusive.
“If you’re not the finest, you can’t be in the finest agency when it comes down to safety,” Adams said.
There will be a balance of justice and safety, according to the mayor-elect.
As most mayors would do coming into office, Adams confirmed there will be new leadership within the NYPD.
He does not want to give names right now as they are currently employed and does not want to do anything to jeopardize their employment.
Adams transition team
There’s been a lot of talk as to who will be joining Adams’ transition team. Will he name any names?
Adams confirmed Sheena Wright will be one of co-chairs of the transition team as she has a lot of experience dealing with corporations and businesses in the city.
He also did say he will have a bi-cochair committee
Economy in NYC
Adams said the city is dysfunctional due to the agency’s system.
“We create our crisis,” he said. “Our wounds are self-inflicted.”
For instance, Adams criticized plans to close Rikers Island but not close the pipeline.
“We need to look at our agencies,” he said.
Adams also plans to employ more local residents to city jobs
”The best anti-violence measure is a job,” he said.
Rikers Island crisis
A recent report said de Blasio lifted the ban on the use of solitary confinement.
Adams said he agrees with the current mayor’s decision, as there are prisoners attacking correction officers and other inmates.
He did, however, say there needs to be a new form of isolation that is more humane.
“We can’t continue to put dangerous inmates back in the same housing areas where they are attacking innocent officers and those prisoners who are trying to serve their time,” he said.
Making history in NYC
New York City will have three Black men in leadership positions — mayor, Manhattan district attorney and public advocate.
“New York is showing the country that we’re looking at people not based on their ethnicity, but based on their ability and that means a lot,” Adams said.
With eyes on Adams, he said he needs to be as “GSD Mayor,” meaning “get stuff done.”
“This is an American story, and I’m so excited about what the city is showing,” Adams added.
Adams said he intends to make changes within the city’s Department of Education, as it is the “biggest embarrassment in our city.”
Despite having great educators and teachers, Adams said the system is failing, referencing that about $30 billion is spent on the DOE yearly, but about 65% of Black and Brown children are not reaching proficiency.
“We need to change education in the city.”