It was Election Tuesday in many states across America and while Democrats were disappointed to see fear-mongering and culture war waging Republicans take home many surprising W’s, New York City Dems were happy to see Eric Adams become only the second Black man to be elected Mayor of the Big Apple.
The Gothamist is reporting that the 61-year-old retired police officer beat Republican candidate Curtis “Guardian Angel” Silwa by a landslide being the projected winner by a mere 10 minutes after the polls closed at 9pm. Even though New York City is considered one of the few melting pots in America, Adams has become only the second African-American Mayor in the city’s history behind David Dinkins who won the honors back in 1989. That’s hella sad, but hey, better late than never again.
“I am you,” he told a crowd of jubilant supporters at a ballroom inside the Brooklyn Marriott, before attending a VIP party in Manhattan. “For a young man from south Jamaica Queens that grew up with all the challenges that New Yorkers face, it is not just a victory over adversity, it is a vindication of faith.”
Adams ran on a campaign of public safety and economic development as the city grapples with the kind of crime wave that hasn’t been seen since the late 80’s and early 90’s as gun related violence has hit 1,588 just this year alone. Double the rate of the pre-pandemic years. Couple that with the fact that many people have decided to leave their office jobs and have opted to instead work from home, the once buzzing lights of New York City structures have gone dim as office buildings have become ghost towns.
Needless to say, Eric Adams has his work cutout for him.
Curtis Silwa for his part wasn’t fooling anyone with his weird campaign videos in which he comforted a crying Black man in the streets as many New Yorkers remembered his controversial past in which his Guardian Angels patrolled the streets of New York City to “protect” it’s citizens. Needless to say many felt that Sliwa and his vigilante crew targeted Black and Brown men exclusively and has never been able to live that down.
Naturally policing in New York City has become a hot topic issue in the wake of the George Floyd protests, so when it came between choosing a former police officer and a former vigilante with a red beret, the choice wasn’t that hard. Now it’s on Eric Adams to show and prove he’s the man for the job.
“Basil Smikle, a political strategist who heads the public policy program at Hunter College, said Adams will be a unique leader during a unique moment in the discourse around policing. “How does a person who is someone of color run a city at a time when crime is perceived to be going up, and when there is a strong national movement to defund the police?” he asked.”
Looks like we’re going to find out.