Elected to lead the nation's largest city out of the pandemic and turn spiking crime around, he speaks to BET.com out about taking on the challenges
Minutes after midnight on Jan 1, Eric L. Adams stepped up to a platform in Times Square, holding a picture of his mother, and took the oath of office to become New York City’s 110th mayor. He is only the second Black man to lead the nation’s largest city with some 8.4 million residents.
Voters chose him over a large field of Democratic candidates in the primary and overwhelmingly over Guardian Angels founder Republican Curtis Sliwa. The hope was that he could steward that city past the coronavirus pandemic, redirect its economy that had nearly collapsed as a result, and most of all push back against the violent crime that has spiked over the past two years.
Now, with 100 days behind him, BET.com’s Senior Editor Madison Gray sits down with Adams in the Blue Room at City Hall in lower Manhattan to ask the questions most pertinent to Black communities across NYC who have suffered at a disproportionate rates in almost ever socio-economic category imaginable.
The challenges are daunting and range from strengthening the city's educational system, which state legislators will be looking at soon; to creating better homeownership opportunities in a landscape where housing prices continue to skyrocket and drive people away; to the rampant gun crime which most recently claimed the lives of a two innocent victims: a 12-year-old Brooklyn boy sitting in a car, and a 61-year old Bronx grandmother shot in the back by a stray bullet.
“...We have to deal with intervention. Mrs. Jones is saying what are you doing about these shootings right now on my block; that's the balance and a mother doesn't feel any differently if you're not going to do and say, ‘Mrs. Jones, your son was not shot by the police, he was shot by a gangbanger.’ That's not a condolence, that is not something that's acceptable,” Adams said.
Click below to watch Mayor Adams reveal even more about what it’s like to lead the city, tackling the challenges he inherited from the former regime and his hopeful plans for the future.
Special Thanks to the following: Office of the Mayor of New York City; BET PRESIDENT Scott Mills; EVP, CHIEF BRAND OFFICER Kimberly Paige; SVP, HOP, MULTIPLATFORM PROD. GROUP Douglas Johnson; VP OF EDITORIAL Tracey Ford; HEAD OF DIGITAL VIDEO; BET DIGITAL Amber Mike; DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION Kimberly Scott; PRODUCTION MANAGERS, Jonathan Lyons and Kathleen Hickey; PRODUCTION COORDINATOR, Sasha Fugazy; PRODUCTION ASSISTANT, Réal Gill; EXECUTIVE EDITOR, Wendy L. Wilson; EXECUTIVE VIDEO PRODUCER, Dana Brewington; BET.com Senior Editor, NEWS, Madison J. Gray; SUPERVISING PRODUCER, Appolos Laurient; PRODUCER, Raven Carter; DIRECTOR, Jarred McGriff; CAMERA/AUDIO OPERATORS,Frank Howard, Andrew Henkelman and Jonah Prendegast; GRAPHICS, Anita Nixon