In a city accustomed to wave-making entrances from its elected leaders, Adrienne Adams, New York City New speaker of City Councilspent the first six weeks in a relatively wave-free area.
She didn’t dance as a guest on a television weather report, or post a social media video of herself singing with Lady Gaga, as her predecessor, Corey Johnson, did. in the first weeks of work.
Ms. Adams’ rollout is a lot quieter, partly by design and mostly due to circumstances, with a string of well-known crimes affecting the city’s term, as well as her schedule.
In mid-January, she spoke at a memorial to a woman rushed to her death at Times Square metro station, and then a vigil for an 11-month-old girl shot in the face in the Bronx. In the days that followed, Mrs. Adams attended separate funerals of two police officers killed in Harlem.
Those appearances serve as an early reflection on how crime will be a dominant issue facing city-city Ms. Adams. first black man to become the council’s speaker, as she seeks to steer her colleagues between the need for public safety and the push to reduce the city’s reliance on policy.
“We need to work with the NYPD to let them know that we need community control, that we shouldn’t go to war, and that we need to work together to keep our communities safe, ‘ said Mrs. Adams. “But there’s a mismanagement at the NYPD that needs to be fixed, I don’t think there’s any question about it.. ”
The city’s newly elected mayor, Eric Adams, who is not related to the council speaker, plan create a The “comprehensiveness” of the police in the subway, and bring back the plainclothes anti-gun squads. He also has call for change for state law surrounding the bail and prosecution of minors charged with felony charges.
Some City Council members support the mayor’s approach, but others see it as regressive. Ms. Adams, a centrist Democrat who has been a leading voice against taking down police after nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd, finds herself in the middle.
“I think she has a challenge ahead of her, which is working with a mayor who is desperate to get rid of crime but is also saying we need to focus on prevention,” said Sandy Nurse, a left-leaning MP. from Brooklyn, said. . “She’s in the middle and has to walk very carefully with her own orientation and body expressions.”
The battle over crime prevention strategies between Mr. Adams and City Council could heat up as budget negotiations begin and legislation is introduced. end the use of solitary confinement and remove gang database.
Tiffany Cabán, a leftist MP from Queens, said many of the new council members “have run on platforms that see violence as a public health issue.” There is an incentive to not just rely on policy and “requires investments in public health infrastructure as a way to make our cities safer.”
Ms. Adams, a former corporate coach and a former flight attendant who prides herself on being able to evacuate a 737 in 90 seconds, considers herself the right person at this point, one person. can give “different personalities and frankly the “me” to discuss.
“Women,” said Mrs. Adams, “rule very differently than men rule.”
Council members see Ms Adams as less political than Mr Johnson, her predecessor. Some members said it was a relief to have a speaker who wasn’t actively eyeing a mayoral run.
Justin Brannan, a councilor from Brooklyn who was a speaker candidate, said: “She is not an ideologue, and I think her instinct is to want to get ahead. above the conflict.
Not everyone agrees. Charles Barron, a councilor from Brooklyn who voted against Ms. Adams as a speaker, said the City Council must use its budgetary power to force the mayor to “resolve the situation.” Poverty, mass incarceration and homelessness and real problems drive people to commit crimes. ‘ He said he lacked confidence that Miss Adams would do the same.
Mrs. Adams looked pained when asked about the comments. She and her husband joined Father Al Sharpton’s National Action Network after police officers fired 41 shots at an unarmed African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, killing him in the court foyer. his Bronx apartment building in 1999. She remains friends with the family of Sean Bell, who was killed on the morning of his wedding day in 2006 when plainclothes police fired 50 times into his car.
Initially, Ms. Adams was not considered a frontrunner before she entered the race for the speaker position. Mr. Adams support a competitorFrancisco Moya, a councilor from Queens, but the move backfired, as City Council members objected to the mayor choosing their next leader.
Ms. Adams was able to cultivate a winning coalition of left-leaning council members, labor groups and members of the Bronx and Queens Democrats. Her supporters see Ms. Adams as a representative leader of the City Council, the first being including the majority of women and people of color.
Mrs. Adams has never considered herself a politician. A sister from Spelman College urged her to join the 12 Chaos Community Council in Queens. When she became president, she hired a congressman to bring order. And then, the City Council seat in her county opened.
“People see things in me that I don’t see in myself and I have to convince to run,” Ms. Adams said. “I had to pray about that.”
She grew up in a comfortable home in Hollis, Queens. She sang the gospel at church and in Motown at home, and is still known for her voice, often compared to Anita Baker. She recently give a demonstration of “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me” made the audience at Mr. Sharpton’s Harlem headquarters restless.
Mrs. Adams is a married mother of 4 and she is 10 years old in her mixed family where she is known by the nickname “Stylish Noni”, whose wardrobe is occasionally occupied by nieces. Intrusion. Her mother was a corrections officer whom women on Rikers Island refer to as “Ma.” Her father is a Teamster who drives an eighteen-wheeler for UPS.
Ms. Adams lost both her parents, who split when she was in high school, within a year. Her father died of Covid in May 2020. Her family took him to the hospital and were unable to visit during the height of the pandemic. Her mother died suddenly in February last year.
Immediately after her father’s death, Ms. Adams became one of the heads Black council members speak out against push to shame the police after the murder of George Floyd and the protests. Ms. Adams, then chair of the powerful Black, Latino and Asian party, said police reform and spending money to prevent crime were necessary, but stressed that most neighborhoods Blacks and Latinos, where gun violence is common, don’t want fewer officers.
Ms. Adams supports the mayor’s crime-fighting plan, recently praising his call to expand violence disruptors, mental health services and youth employment, but doubts suspect his plan to bring back plainclothes crime fighting units. The City Council wants to make sure the mayor is enacting “a comprehensive set of strategies” to prevent violence, she said.
“We are going to reimagine a system that has seen our children holding guns instead of pens,” Ms. Adams told a group of people who disrupted recent violence on the steps of Bronx County Courthouse.
Representative Gregory W. Meeks, chairwoman of the Queens Democratic Party, called Ms. Adams “the right person at the right time to be a City Council speaker” because of her central orientation.
For now, City Council members seem willing to give Ms. Adams the benefit of the doubt. When Mr. Adams attacked 29 City Council members criticizing the intention to reinstate solitary confinement in the city’s prisons, Ms. Adams stood with her members. But she has also shown a willingness to work with the authorities. Ms. Adams recently announced an agreement with the mayor to permanently fund half the fare for low-income New Yorkers.
Ms. Nurse, founder of BK ROTa service project on composting and green jobs for young people, however was surprised when Ms. Adams appointed her to head the sanitation committee.
“Given my political orientation, I think I’ll be at the bottom of the barrel,” Nurse said. “But maybe this is how she thinks about putting the right people where they need to be.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/21/nyregion/adrienne-adams-profile-council.html NYC Council Leader Arrested Between Members and Mayor Over Crime