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- American politician and retired police officer
NEW YORK — His first day on the job has been a doozy — and it’s not over yet.
Eric Adams, New York City’s newly minted 110th mayor, kicked off his morning waiting for the J train with a call to 911 after witnessing a fight. He then gave his first speech to New Yorkers — remotely from City Hall’s Blue Room. After that, he headed to New York-Prebyterian/Weill Cornell to check on a cop who’d been shot earlier in the morning.
And it wasn’t even 2 o’clock yet.
But Adams — just hours after being sworn in at the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop — exuded hope Saturday in the face of a resurgent COVID pandemic, rising crime and what he has called the city’s dysfunctional government.
“We will get our city back by making a commitment to each other, right here, right now, beginning today. This will be our New Year’s resolution: we will not be controlled by crisis,” he said. “We will make this city better every day through actions big and small. Getting vaccinated is not letting the crisis control you. Enjoying a Broadway show. Sending your kids to school. Going back to the office. These are our declarations of confidence that our city is our own.”
Adams started his day early — in marked contrast to his predecessor Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was often criticized for arriving late to City Hall.
He also took the train to work — another move that appeared designed to differentiate him from the the now ex-mayor. While standing on the platform, Adams witnessed a fight on the street below. He was not accompanied by a police detail — another contrast to de Blasio — and he called 911 to report the fracas.
When asked why he didn’t have an NYPD detail, Adams laughed.
“Grandma doesn’t have a detail. So, if the city’s safe, we should have just a limited amount ... of police personnel,” he said. “If Intel tells me there’s a credible threat, we’ll make sure we have the appropriate amount.”
Adams said Saturday he intends to take the subway “often,” something de Blasio never really got into the habit of doing either.
During his speech from the Blue Room, he ticked off a list of promises and goals, and touched on how we came from humble beginnings to occupy the most powerful perch in city government.
“My mother worked as a cook and a house cleaner, barely keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table in South Jamaica, Queens —no matter how hard she worked,” he said. “I was arrested as a teenager. I was beaten by police. And later today I will go back to that same precinct house, and I will address the officers there as their mayor.”
Adams was scheduled to address officers at the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, Queens at 3 p.m.
But he wasn’t heavy on specifics when it comes to his immediate policy goals.
In his speech, he promised to make “city government better every day.”
“That does not just mean grand plans and proposals; it means weeding out the waste and eliminating the inefficiency,” he said. “It’s about accountability.”
The theme of his first 100 days will be “GSD — get stuff done,” he said, but did not lay out what exactly he plans to get done in that time or how we’ll do it.
But with at least four years ahead of him, Adams has time. On Saturday, one top priority was wrapping his head around the city’s COVID situation.
“I want to make sure we have a real plan in place for Monday,” he said.