More stories

  • in

    Bill de Blasio Says He Won’t Run for Governor After All

    Mr. de Blasio, the former New York City mayor, had signaled for months that he planned to run for governor, but he faced long odds in a crowded Democratic primary.Bill de Blasio, the former mayor of New York City, said on Tuesday that he would not run for governor of New York, as he had been widely expected to do.Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat who served two terms in office, had signaled for months that he was planning a campaign, saying repeatedly that he did not feel ready to leave public service.He made the announcement in a video posted on Twitter, highlighting the accomplishments of his mayoral tenure before announcing that he would not be joining the governor’s race.“No, I am not going to be running for governor in New York State,” Mr. de Blasio said, standing on the street outside his Brooklyn residence. “But I am going to devote every fiber of my being to fight inequality in the state of New York.”Mr. de Blasio then hinted that he would have more to say about his future in the coming days.He declined to enter a crowded Democratic primary field, with the incumbent, Gov. Kathy Hochul, facing challenges from Jumaane D. Williams, the city’s public advocate, and Representative Tom Suozzi of Long Island.A Siena College poll released earlier on Tuesday showed Ms. Hochul with a significant lead over her competitors and potential competitors, including Mr. de Blasio. She earned the support of 46 percent of Democrats polled, while Mr. de Blasio had 12 percent, Mr. Williams had 11 percent and Mr. Suozzi had 6 percent. Across party lines, 45 percent of voters polled said they viewed Ms. Hochul favorably. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Ms. Hochul has also outpaced her competitors in fund-raising, having raised a record-breaking $21.6 million so far.For months, Mr. de Blasio had signaled that he would run. He appeared on MSNBC frequently and promoted a statewide education plan. He was also sounding out trusted former aides about joining a campaign, and he made overtures to labor leaders.Mr. de Blasio had said that he was not deterred by polls that showed him badly trailing his rivals.“I have a long, rich history of being an underdog,” he said.New York City mayors have had a difficult time attaining higher office. The last one to do so was John T. Hoffman, who was elected governor in 1868. Many mayors have run for president, including John V. Lindsay in 1972 and, more recently, Michael R. Bloomberg and Mr. de Blasio himself.Mr. de Blasio had planned to focus on his popular universal prekindergarten policy, his handling of the pandemic and his focus on aggressive vaccine mandates. He also used his final weeks in office to argue that he had reduced inequality, which he set out to do when he was elected in 2013 on a message that he would address the imbalance that had led to a “tale of two cities.”In his video on Tuesday, Mr. de Blasio also acknowledged some of his less popular moments as mayor, including accidentally killing a groundhog and driving out of his way to visit his preferred gym in Park Slope.“Now I made my fair share of mistakes,” Mr. de Blasio said. “I was not good with groundhogs at all. I probably shouldn’t have gone to the gym. But you know what, we changed things in this town.” More

  • in

    What This Portrait of Mayor Adams's Mother Means to New Yorkers

    Dorothy Mae Adams-Streeter posed for a portrait at her 75th birthday party. Her image, floating in a brandy snifter, has a powerful resonance.On New Year’s Day, when Eric Adams was sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City, in his right hand he raised high above his head a framed portrait of his mother, Dorothy Mae Adams-Streeter, pictured in a brandy snifter. His left hand rested over her Bible, where she kept notes, letters and old pictures.“I was raising my right hand, lifting her up, as she lifted me up,” Mr. Adams said in an interview. “Who would think that eventually, because of what she instilled in her son, that he would be in Times Square, being sworn in as the mayor and holding up her photo?”The brandy snifter portrait is as American as hip-hop, acid-washed jeans and plastic-covered sofas. A photo in that style could conjure the same feelings that oversize shoulder pads or a Jheri curl would: cringe. In 2001, the motif was spoofed by “Saturday Night Live” in a skit that featured Alec Baldwin and Jimmy Fallon, called “Put It in a Brandy Snifter.”But in the 1980s and 1990s, the brandy snifter photo was an innovative, attainable luxury, and it became ubiquitous in some communities. Its cultural significance is closely tied to the ambitions of the American working class.Mr. Adams’s tribute to his mother also honored the countless other people who see that image and immediately recognize and identify with it, as I did. In 1995, my siblings and I had our own brandy snifter portraits taken at our local CTown supermarket on 135th Street and Broadway.I wore my peach Easter dress from earlier that year. My mother tied my hair in a ponytail and curled my bangs to the side. My siblings wore polo shirts. The day before, I had applied a glow-in-the-dark, temporary tattoo I got in a box of Rude Dudes bubble gum to my cheek. My face has never been scrubbed harder than Mom scrubbed it clean that day.We had to be spotless. The front of our CTown turned into a photo studio only once a year, from what I remember.The makeshift studio where a photographer from Sears took our portraits was in an entryway where the shopping carts were usually stored, my mother told me recently. The backdrop was light blue, and the area smelled like bread. When we got the photos back some time later, our small cherubic faces were trapped in brandy snifters and adhered onto a plaque made from a composite that resembled wood. Mom still keeps the plaque on her dresser.The writer, Sandra E. Garcia, was a little girl when a brandy snifter portrait of her was taken at a supermarket in Harlem.Photo illustration by Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York TimesWhile now it might seem crass to place the portrait of a child in an image of a brandy snifter, for my mother it was an opportunity to provide us with something that she never had: a photo shoot.I have never seen photos of my parents as children. During their youth, cameras and photos were not in reach for the poor in the Dominican Republic, where they were raised. It was important for my mother to capture us professionally in this way. The portraits were her aspirations for her children to have more than she did, manifested in a photo.It is the same ambition, that of Black and immigrant working-class communities, the heart of the Democratic base and New York City, that won Mr. Adams the mayoral election last year. The photo illustrates what he told voters during his victory speech: “I am you. After years of praying and hoping and struggling and working, we are headed to City Hall.”The choice to hold that photo while he was sworn in was more than a salute to his mother; it was a knowing nod to the communities that have been sometimes shut out by city government but continue to toil for progress.“I wanted everyone to look at that photo and think about their parents and see that we all want the same thing,” Mr. Adams said.Earlier this week, Mr. Adams was criticized for calling low-wage workers “low- skill workers.” The mayor later said that his critics had distorted his message. On Twitter, he reminded those who were offended by his comments that he was once a low-wage worker.“I was a cook. I was a dishwasher. If nobody came to my restaurant when I was in college, I wouldn’t have been able to survive,” he wrote.Mayor Adams carried his mother’s portrait as he voted on Election Day in November.Todd Heisler/The New York TimesIt is that part of his identity that is connected to these simple, antiquated portraits. Brandy snifter photos were a special occasion, something to get dressed up for.At a celebration of her 75th birthday in 2013, Dorothy Mae Adams-Streeter, then a retired housekeeper, arrived, dressed to the nines in a bone-colored blazer with a black trim and a silver tiara atop her head.Inside the Sugar Hill Restaurant & Supper Club on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, they served smothered chicken, ribs, cornbread, collard greens with smoked turkey and macaroni and cheese. The O’Jays played from speakers, according to Aaron Freeman, who now runs the restaurant that his father, Eddie Freeman, opened in 1942.“She welcomed everybody with open arms,” Aaron Freeman said. “As you can see, she’s just the rock of the family.”In her portrait, her smile, captured that evening, is one of delight.“I remember the day like yesterday,” Mr. Adams said. “She cleaned houses and did all sorts of work just to make sure she could provide for her children. To be able to take a day and do for her was a great moment.”Incoming N.Y.C. Mayor Eric Adams’s New AdministrationCard 1 of 7Schools Chancellor: David Banks. More

  • in

    Conflict Quickly Emerges Between Top Prosecutor and Police Commissioner

    A memo by New York City’s new police leader sharply questioned Manhattan’s new district attorney over his strategy for prosecuting crime.New York City’s new police commissioner has expressed severe dissatisfaction with the policies of the new Manhattan district attorney, sending an email to all officers late on Friday that suggests a potential rupture between City Hall and the prosecutor over their approaches to public safety.The email from Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said she was deeply troubled by policies outlined by Alvin Bragg, the district attorney, in a 10-page memo that Mr. Bragg sent to his staff on Monday. The memo instructed prosecutors to avoid seeking jail or prison time for all but the most serious crimes, and to cease charging a number of lower-level crimes.Commissioner Sewell, who, like Mr. Bragg, was just a week into her job, said in her email to about 36,000 members of the department that she had studied the policies and come away “very concerned about the implications to your safety as police officers, the safety of the public and justice for the victims.”The email, which was first reported by WNBC-TV, suggests a looming conflict not just between them, but also between the new district attorney and the commissioner’s boss, Mayor Eric Adams.The collision course between the mayor and the district attorney was sketched out during the Democratic primary in the spring of 2021. Mr. Adams made a crackdown on crime one of the main themes of his campaign; Mr. Bragg, following in the path carved by a handful of prosecutors in cities around the country, pledged to help reshape the legal system, to avoid disproportionate punishment for first-time offenders or those struggling with mental health issues or poverty.In a statement on Saturday, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office said: “We share Commissioner Sewell’s call for frank and productive discussions to reach common ground on our shared mission to deliver safety and justice for all and look forward to the opportunity to clear up some misunderstandings.”“For our office, safety is paramount,” the statement said. It added that contrary to the way that Commissioner Sewell and others had interpreted parts of the memo, the office intended to charge anyone who used guns to rob stores or who assaulted police officers with felonies. “All must be held accountable for their actions,” it said.To some degree, the emerging tensions between the commissioner and Mr. Bragg reflect a broader political argument between centrist Democrats across the nation looking to soothe voters worried about crime and a movement of progressive prosecutors that has pushed for more lenient policies to make the justice system more fair and less biased.Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell has expressed serious concerns about Mr. Bragg’s policies.Hiram Durán for The New York TimesSome of those tensions are likely to play out in Albany this year in a debate over whether to scale back changes in a state bail law that went into effect two years ago, and that provoked strong reactions almost immediately.There is always an ingrained tension between the police and prosecutors that often centers on what charges to bring and, at times, whether there is sufficient evidence to make an arrest. For the police, in some measure, the job ends with handcuffs, while prosecutors are left with proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt or finding some other resolution. But such arguments do not often became public at all, let alone so early in a new administration.Mr. Adams has been complimentary about Mr. Bragg when asked about him in recent interviews, calling him a “great prosecutor” and declining to criticize the memo. Asked about the commissioner’s email, the mayor’s office responded with a statement from Stefan Ringel, a senior adviser: “The mayor has deep respect for the district attorney and looks forward to working with him and the police commissioner to make sure the streets are safe, and to discussing any concerns directly.”A police spokesman said the email “speaks for itself.”Mr. Bragg and Mr. Adams, both Democrats, have significant histories in law enforcement, and both have pledged some measure of reform. Mr. Bragg, a former federal prosecutor, stood out in a competitive primary vowing to balance safety with justice. Mr. Adams, a former police captain, has spoken out against police brutality and, while serving, pushed for changes within the department.Mr. Bragg is the first Black person to lead the district attorney’s office, Mr. Adams is the second Black mayor in the city’s history, and Commissioner Sewell is the first woman and third Black person to lead the Police Department.In his memo, Mr. Bragg instructed his prosecutors that unless they were required by law to do otherwise, they should ask judges for jail or prison time only for those who had committed serious offenses, including murder, sexual assault and major economic crimes. Others, he has said, would be directed to programs better equipped to deal with the issues that had led them to commit the crimes.The new district attorney also instructed his prosecutors not to charge a number of misdemeanors. Many of the crimes on his list already were not being prosecuted by his predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. But Mr. Bragg directed his staff to avoid charging several misdemeanors which previously had been charged, including resisting arrest.“These policy changes not only will, in and of themselves, make us safer; they also will free up prosecutorial resources to focus on violent crime,” Mr. Bragg said in his memo.The directive on resisting arrest was among those that Commissioner Sewell expressed most concern about. She said that it would send a message to police officers and others that there was “an unwillingness to protect those who are carrying out their duties.”“I strongly believe that this policy injects debate into decisions that would otherwise be uncontroversial, will invite violence against police officers and will have deleterious effects on our relationship with the communities we protect,” she wrote.Incoming N.Y.C. Mayor Eric Adams’s New AdministrationCard 1 of 7Schools Chancellor: David Banks. More

  • in

    Adrienne Adams, 1st Black NYC Council Speaker, Says City Is at a Crossroads

    Ms. Adams, who became speaker on Wednesday, will lead the most diverse City Council ever as New York tries to recover from the pandemic. She already faces battles with the mayor.Adrienne Adams had to overcome several obstacles on her way to being voted in on Wednesday as the first Black woman to serve as speaker of the New York City Council, the second-most-powerful position in city government.She had a competitive race to retain her City Council seat representing southeast Queens, including a primary challenge from her predecessor, and entered the contest for speaker relatively late. Mayor Eric Adams did what he had said he would not do and tried, unsuccessfully, to tip the scales in favor of one of Ms. Adams’s rivals.Ms. Adams, 61, a moderate Democrat, prevailed and will now lead the City Council, as New York grapples once again with being a center of the coronavirus pandemic while facing a difficult financial future.The new City Council, which is more diverse than ever and has its first-ever female majority, also looks to be more ideologically divided than in recent memory. And in spite of public efforts to show they are on the same page, Ms. Adams already faces potential battles with the mayor on everything from the use of solitary confinement in the city’s jails to new legislation that would grant more than 800,000 legal residents who are not citizens the right to vote in municipal elections.Ms. Adams, who lost her father to Covid, said her priority would be seeing the city through the pandemic and working to strengthen families that have been damaged in its wake.“We meet here today as the most diverse Council in history, led by the first African-American speaker,” Ms. Adams said in a speech Wednesday after her colleagues voted nearly unanimously to make her speaker. “While this is a moment to celebrate this milestone, we must realize that we are here because New York is at the crossroads of multiple crises — each one competing for our full attention.”Ms. Adams, the first Black person to serve as speaker, will lead a historically diverse City Council.Dave Sanders for The New York TimesIn an interview, Ms. Adams noted that the pandemic had further exposed existing inequalities on issues ranging from medical care to child care, housing and access to high speed internet. “All roads lead through this pandemic,” she said. “When I think of my priorities, I think of rebuilding a city.”Ms. Adams’s predecessor as speaker, Corey Johnson, said it would not be easy.“We’re in this painful and uncertain time with Omicron and not knowing what this will do to our economy,” Mr. Johnson said in an interview. “This new Council has more members who are very far left and more who are far right. To get things done will be a challenge.”He added: “But it’s not an impossible challenge because Adrienne has the skill set, track record and temperament.”Yvette Buckner, a political strategist who is vice chair of 21 in ’21, a group that helped elect a record number of women to the City Council, said Ms. Adams would “be able to understand the needs of the city from a different lens,” partly because of her experience as a mother of four and a grandmother of 10.Even as the country goes through “a long overdue reckoning of racial justice,” New Yorkers need to feel safe from discriminatory policing, “safe from the virus and safe from violence,” Ms. Adams said in her speech.Mr. Adams will be her counterpart in that effort. Though he suffered a significant political loss when Ms. Adams amassed enough support to become speaker, they both say they have a good relationship.Ms. Adams and Mr. Adams were classmates at Bayside High School in Queens in the late 1970s. Mr. Adams, discouraged by an undetected learning disability, has spoken often about not being a model student. Ms. Adams, on the other hand, was a cheerleader who founded a gospel chorus at the high school, which was mostly white at the time.“I actually went to class. We knew of each other but we did not hang out in the same crowd,” Ms. Adams said of her time at high school with the mayor. “But we are so proud of each other.”After graduating from Spelman College, Ms. Adams worked as a corporate trainer for communications companies. She served as chairwoman of Community Board 12 in Queens before running for office in 2017 after her predecessor was convicted of fraud and removed from office. (His conviction was later reversed.)As a councilwoman, she passed legislation to limit the sale of tax liens and established a task force to make sure the liens were implemented fairly, and she helped allocate $10 million in the budget to create a Black studies curriculum for public schools.Many in the city’s political class were surprised when Mr. Adams and his team tried to install Francisco Moya, a councilman from Queens, as speaker, particularly because Mr. Adams and Ms. Adams were largely seen as being politically in sync.Ms. Adams faces potential battles with Mayor Eric Adams on the use of solitary confinement in the city’s jails and legislation that would grant noncitizen legal residents the right to vote in municipal elections. Anna Watts for The New York TimesMs. Adams, who was a co-chair of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, opposed deeply cutting the Police Department budget as part of the defund the police movement. Mr. Adams is a former police captain who has criticized efforts to cut the police budget and who won the Democratic primary on a message of improving public safety.“How am I going to dislike someone that shares my same last name?” Mr. Adams said at a news conference on Tuesday. “I love Adrienne.”The mayor credited Ms. Adams, who endorsed him in the Democratic primary, with playing a “pivotal role” in helping him win.Ms. Adams also strongly agrees with Mr. Adams that the city, and its schools, should not shut down because of the highly contagious Omicron variant.But there are already two potential points of conflict. Mr. Adams has raised concerns about a bill passed during the previous City Council session that would give legal residents the right to vote in municipal elections, saying he believes that the 30-day residency requirement is too short. He has not ruled out vetoing the legislation.Incoming N.Y.C. Mayor Eric Adams’s New AdministrationCard 1 of 7Schools Chancellor: David Banks. More

  • in

    Why Eric Adams and Kathy Hochul Might Actually Get Along

    Mayor Eric Adams has a base that Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to reach. And she controls the money he needs to jump-start his agenda. It will be a shift for New Yorkers used to seeing their governor and mayor at odds.The first public sign that things would be different between Eric Adams, the new mayor of New York City, and Gov. Kathy Hochul came on election night, when she appeared onstage to celebrate his victory.“We’re going to need her,” Mr. Adams said, as Ms. Hochul inched toward the microphone.They have since appeared together a handful of times, vowing to work as a team instead of fighting over every little thing, as their Democratic predecessors, former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, had done for nearly eight years.“In the past, there has been this tension, a polite way of saying fighting, between the governor of New York and the mayor of the City of New York,” Ms. Hochul said at a recent holiday fund-raiser for the Democratic Party of Brooklyn, which Mr. Adams also attended. “The era of fighting between those two bodies, those two people, is over.”In theory, the governor and the mayor of the nation’s largest city should have each other’s interests at heart; one can rarely prosper without the other. Yet that has not always been the case in New York, where conflicting political parties and personalities have often caused rifts.Mr. de Blasio feuded constantly with Mr. Cuomo over matters great and small: how to pay for the city’s expansive prekindergarten initiative, subway funding, the response to the pandemic and the homeless crisis. They even fought over whether to euthanize a deer.Ms. Hochul and Mr. Adams, both Democrats, seem intent on trying again, and both have compelling reasons to do so.Mr. Adams takes office as the city faces a resurgence of the coronavirus and a raft of issues that may rely on the state’s assistance. Ms. Hochul needs support from Black, Latino and moderate voters in New York City, the same base that Mr. Adams cultivated to become mayor, as she faces a moderate opponent and two likely challengers to her left in a June primary.“Every mayor, no matter who they are, is eventually confronted with the fact that New York City is a creature of the state,” said State Senator Diane Savino, a moderate Democrat who represents Staten Island and who endorsed Mr. Adams. “New York City is a significant part of the Democratic Party vote, and I’m sure the governor would like to have his support.”Governor Hochul has pledged to have a better relationship with Eric Adams than her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, had with Bill de Blasio, left.Stephanie Keith for The New York TimesMs. Hochul and Mr. Adams and their staffs often speak ahead of major announcements on issues related to Covid policy. They have also been in touch about Ms. Hochul’s State of the State address this Wednesday and the policy proposals under development. And they’ve known one another for years and share more moderate views than some of their party’s left-leaning elected officials.They have both, for example, reached out to business leaders to seek their guidance on the city’s economic recovery from the pandemic.“Frankly, neither Governor Cuomo or Mayor de Blasio had a working relationship with leaders of the business community,” said Kathryn Wylde, the president of the Partnership for New York City. “This is a dramatic and most welcome reversal.”There is politicking happening behind the scenes between the two camps. With Ms. Hochul facing a contested primary, Mr. Adams is keenly aware of his political leverage: In November, Mr. Adams, who did not endorse anyone in the Democratic primaries for New York City comptroller and public advocate, said he planned to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary for governor.Among the items on Mr. Adams’s agenda are gaining long-term mayoral control of schools and a $1 billion expansion of the earned-income tax credit to help moderate and low-income families. Mr. Adams has a plan to provide universal child care and also wants federal funds to be released to the city more quickly.Ms. Hochul has also said she will work with the mayor on revisiting the state’s bail laws, with Mr. Adams suggesting that recent increases in crime are linked to changes in bail law that ended cash bail for many low-level offenses.“Hochul has great strength in a general election but needs to solidify her position in New York City to win a Democratic primary. That gives her an incentive to want to be helpful to the new mayor,” said Bruce Gyory, a Democratic strategist. “The new mayor has tremendous incentive to do very well in that first budget because the perception will have an impact on the finances of the city. They have an enlightened self-interest to work well together.”But there is also risk associated with Ms. Hochul’s and Mr. Adams’s potential alliance. State Senator Michael Gianaris, a sponsor of some bail reform measures, said efforts to change the bail law would “set the stage for a less than amicable relationship right out of the box” with the State Legislature. Mr. Adams “also needs the Legislature,” Mr. Gianaris said.Mr. Adams would have had more leverage had Letitia James not dropped out of the race for governor. Ms. James, who decided to run for re-election as the state attorney general, was Ms. Hochul’s strongest opponent, according to early polling.Getting Mr. Adams’s backing would have helped Ms. Hochul with working-class, Black and Latino voters outside of Manhattan who might otherwise have supported Ms. James.Even with Ms. James out of the race, Mr. Adams still has some leverage. Jumaane Williams, the public advocate of New York City who is running to the left of Ms. Hochul, also has a strong political base in Brooklyn, as does Mr. de Blasio, who is considering running for governor. When Mr. Williams ran against Ms. Hochul in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor in 2018, he received almost 167,000 votes in Brooklyn, about 71,000 more than Ms. Hochul.“Tish James being out of the race takes some pressure off Hochul but doesn’t completely change the dynamic,” Mr. Gyory said. “If anything, Hochul now wants to get a larger share of the Black vote.”Jumaane Williams, the public advocate of New York City who is running for governor, has a strong base in Brooklyn, as does Mr. Adams.Anna Watts for The New York TimesMr. Williams and Mr. Adams have a cordial relationship, according to several sources familiar with both men. Though Mr. Adams, a former police officer, is considered more of a law-and-order candidate, and Mr. Williams is to the left on police reform, both are interested in holistic approaches to addressing gun violence.Mr. Williams and Mr. Adams spoke about setting up a meeting with progressives concerned about Mr. Adams’s stance on policing in the fall. In November, Mr. Williams asked Mr. Adams for his endorsement in the governor’s race.A Guide to the New York Governor’s RaceCard 1 of 6A crowded field. More

  • in

    A New Mayor and a New Relationship Between City Hall and Albany

    Unlike their feuding predecessors, Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul appear to be getting along. They have their reasons.Good morning. It’s Monday. We’ll look at Mayor Eric Adams’s first couple of days in office. We’ll also look at another first Monday in January, one that was a milestone for the Brooklyn Bridge.Dave Sanders for The New York TimesMayor Eric Adams’s tenure is still so new it can be counted in low single digits (days) or medium double digits (hours). But the city’s problems did not take time off for the holidays. Hours after Adams took office, an off-duty police officer, sleeping in his car between shifts in Harlem, was hit by a bullet fired from a distance. Officials said it did not appear that the officer had been targeted. Nor was a suspect quickly identified. Adams went to the hospital where the officer was recovering and called gun violence “unacceptable.” (The officer was released from the hospital on Sunday.)Adams’s agenda would have been challenging without that incident or another that he witnessed in the early hours of his mayoralty — a fight on a Brooklyn street. The city’s economy was struggling to regain its footing even before the recent Omicron-driven surge raised concerns about staffing shortages beyond hospitals. “You may wait longer for a D train,” the subway system’s Twitter account cautioned on Saturday. “We’re running as much service as we can with the train crews we have available.”But with a different mayor, there is a different relationship between City Hall and Albany. Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Mayor Bill de Blasio feuded constantly. Adams has a base of Black, Latino and moderate voters that Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to tap into as she runs for election to a full term. And she controls money that Adams needs to jump-start his agenda, which includes a $1 billion expansion of the earned-income tax credit to help moderate and low-income families.As my colleague Jeffery C. Mays explains, the two camps are busy politicking. With Hochul facing a contested primary, Adams is well aware that he has leverage: In November, Adams, who did not endorse anyone for comptroller or public advocate in the Democratic primary for citywide offices, said he planned to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary for governor.[Why Eric Adams and Kathy Hochul ‘Need Each Other’]Hochul has said she will work with the mayor on revisiting the state’s bail laws, with Adams suggesting that recent increases in crime could be attributed to changes in the law that ended cash bail for many low-level offenses.But State Senator Michael Gianaris, a sponsor of some bail reform measures, said efforts to change the bail law would “set the stage for a less than amicable relationship” with the State Legislature “right out of the box.”For now, there are signs of coordination. Hochul and Adams have been in touch about her State of the State address, scheduled for Wednesday, and the policy proposals she has in mind. They have also reached out to business leaders, seeking guidance on the city’s economic recovery.“They are both sensible Democrats,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, recalling that when Hochul and Adams attended the 30th anniversary of his civil rights organization at Carnegie Hall in November, the staff did not have to worry that they would cross paths, in contrast to gatherings Cuomo and de Blasio had attended.“I don’t know if ‘like’ would be the right word,” Sharpton said, “but I think they both know they need each other.”WeatherOn a partly sunny day, expect a chance of light snow in the morning, along with wind gusts and temps in the low 30s. The evening will be mostly clear with temperatures dropping to the mid-20s.alternate-side parkingIn effect until Thursday (Three Kings’ Day).The top Metro newsMany people adapted during the pandemic in ways they say made them better and improved society. “I see time and time again that people are resilient,” said George Bonnano, a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University. “The pandemic has shown this in spades.”In a shift in policy as Covid cases rise, Goldman Sachs told its U.S. employees, many of whom are based in Manhattan, to work from home for the first two weeks of the year.Look backOn another first Monday, a first for the Brooklyn BridgeWorkers standing on the New York tower of the Brooklyn Bridge during construction in 1872.Museum of the City of New York/Talfor/Holmes/Pach/Getty ImagesToday is the first workday of the year. Another first workday — Jan. 3, 1870, also a Monday — was the first day of construction on the Brooklyn Bridge.It did not get much attention. That milestone was the subject of exactly one paragraph in a newspaper — The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Whoever wrote that paragraph all but pleaded with the editors for more space. The opening line said the story “deserves more than a passing notice.”What began on Jan. 3 was work to clear the waterfront where a caisson — one of the giant wooden boxes on which the towers were built and still rest — would be maneuvered into position and sunk. The Eagle predicted that Brooklynites would be able to walk across the bridge by the nation’s centennial six years later. According to David McCullough’s “The Great Bridge,” E.F. Farrington, who held the title of master mechanic among the workers building the bridge, did indeed cross in 1876, but on Aug. 25, not July 4. A “temporary footbridge” opened in February 1877 — “a sort of hanging catwalk,” McCullough called it, adding: “One reporter described proceeding along, step by step, nearly frozen with terror.”The bridge did not open to the public for another six and a half years.What we’re readingIn the fall of 2020, many states, including New York and New Jersey, released incarcerated people early in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. We spent a year with three people as they navigated the transition from cell to home.Gothamist photographed the return of the Polar Bear Plunge in Coney Island.Predictions? ‘My heart sank.’Kam MakSo what about 2022? “I looked at the predictions, and my heart sank,” Joanna Lee told me.She and her husband Ken Smith have compiled the Pocket Chinese Almanac, in English, each year since 2010. For 2022, they chose an illustration by the Brooklyn-based artist Kam Mak, who was commissioned by the United States Postal Service to design a series of stamps celebrating the Lunar New Year. They based the day-by-day forecasts in the little volume on the calculations of a geomancer, a Hong Kong architect named Warwick Wong. He carries on a tradition he learned from his grandfather, who, in turn, learned about divining trends from his ancestors.Will 2022 be another year when we’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, to apply a famous line from the 1960s to the pandemic? Will the economic picture brighten in New York City, whose 9.4 percent unemployment rate is more than double the national percentage?Based on Wong’s interpretation of Feb. 4, the day known as “spring comes” on the lunar calendar, 2022 will be clouded by an aura of “murder in the air,” Lee said.“This is a year with lots of controversies and ‘petty people,’” Lee said, using what she said was a Confucian term for people who pursue personal advancement rather than the common good. “The body, as in ‘the world,’ will be weaker this year, compared with the previous year, hence more likely to succumb to those in power.”The pandemic “is going to be in and out, in and out, up and down, up and down,” Lee said. “We are not out of trouble, it seems.”Smith said that 2022, the Year of the Tiger, would be a year of transition. “We are leaving a 20-year period marked by speculation and volatility in fields like agriculture and real estate and entering a 20-year cycle where energy is poised to be the big thing,” he said. But it was not clear what the problems would be or where the dangers lurked, only that they would come faster. “The cycles that we’re used to over broad periods of time are going to be very tight and very quick,” he said.Metropolitan diaryHappy landingDear Diary:I was returning to New York from Los Angeles last April and was eager to get through J.F.K. and away from the crowds as quickly as possible.I hurried to the baggage claim and maneuvered my way carefully through the other travelers to get closer to the carousel. Knowing it would be a while before my bag emerged, I prepared myself mentally for the wait.When the carousel finally started up, out from the chute popped my blue carry-on, first and alone, sliding down to the edge.I was so surprised that as I ran up and grabbed it, I shouted, “This never happens!”Everyone around me burst into applause.— Connie NicholsIllustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here.Glad we could get together here. See you tomorrow. — J.B.P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. You can find all our puzzles here.Melissa Guerrero, David Poller and Olivia Parker contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at nytoday@nytimes.com.Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. More

  • in

    Eric Adams Takes Office as New York City's Mayor

    Eric Adams, the city’s second Black mayor, faces difficult decisions over how to lead New York City through the next wave of the pandemic.Eric Leroy Adams was sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City early Saturday in a festive but pared-down Times Square ceremony, a signal of the formidable task before him as he begins his term while coronavirus cases are surging anew.Mr. Adams, 61, the son of a house cleaner who was a New York City police captain before entering politics, has called himself “the future of the Democratic Party,” and pledged to address longstanding inequities as the city’s “first blue-collar mayor,” while simultaneously embracing the business community.Yet not since 2002, when Michael R. Bloomberg took office shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, has an incoming mayor confronted such daunting challenges in New York City. Even before the latest Omicron-fueled surge, the city’s economy was still struggling to recover, with the city’s 9.4 percent unemployment rate more than double the national average. Murders, shootings and some other categories of violent crimes rose early in the pandemic and have remained higher than before the virus began to spread.Mr. Adams ran for mayor on a public safety message, using his working-class and police background to convey empathy for the parts of New York still struggling with the effects of crime.But Mr. Adams’s first task as mayor will be to help New Yorkers navigate the Omicron variant and a troubling spike in cases. The city has recorded over 40,000 cases per day in recent days, and the number of hospitalizations is growing. The city’s testing system, once the envy of the nation, has struggled to meet demand and long lines form outside testing sites.Mr. Adams will keep on the current health commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, until March to continue the city’s Covid response.Dave Sanders for The New York TimesConcerns over the virus caused Mr. Adams to cancel an inauguration ceremony indoors at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn — a tribute to the voters outside Manhattan who elected him. Instead, Mr. Adams chose the backdrop of the ball-drop crowd, which itself had been limited for distancing purposes to just a quarter of the usual size.Still, his swearing-in ceremony in Times Square, shortly after the ceremonial countdown, was jubilant, and Mr. Adams said he was hopeful about the city’s future.“Trust me, we’re ready for a major comeback because this is New York,” Mr. Adams said, standing among the revelers earlier in the night.Mr. Adams, the second Black mayor in the city’s history, was sworn in using a family Bible, held by his son, Jordan Coleman, and clasping a framed photograph of his mother, Dorothy, who died last spring.As Mr. Adams left the stage, he proclaimed, “New York is back.”Mayor Bill de Blasio also attended the Times Square celebration and danced with his wife onstage after leading the midnight countdown — his last official act as mayor after eight years in office.Mr. Adams, who grew up poor in Queens, represents a center-left brand of Democratic politics. He could offer a blend of the last two mayors — Mr. de Blasio, who was known to quote the socialist Karl Marx, and Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire and a former Republican like Mr. Adams.Mr. Adams narrowly won a competitive Democratic primary last summer when coronavirus cases were low and millions of New Yorkers were getting vaccinated. The city had started to rebound slowly after the virus devastated the economy and left more than 35,000 New Yorkers dead. Now that cases are spiking again, companies in Manhattan have abandoned return to office plans, and many Broadway shows and restaurants have closed.Mr. Adams captured the mayoralty by focusing on a public safety message, empathizing with working-class voters outside Manhattan.James Estrin/The New York TimesWith schools set to reopen on Monday, Mr. Adams must determine how to keep students and teachers safe while ensuring that schools remain open for in-person learning. Mr. Adams has insisted that the city cannot shut down again and must learn to live with the virus, and he has been supportive of Mr. de Blasio’s vaccine mandates.On Thursday, Mr. Adams announced that he would retain New York City’s vaccine requirement for private-sector employers. The mandate, which was implemented by Mayor de Blasio and is the first of its kind in the nation, went into effect on Monday.Even so, Mr. Adams made it clear that his focus is on compliance, not aggressive enforcement; it remains unclear whether he will require teachers, police officers and other city workers to receive a booster shot.Mr. Adams has also said that he wants to continue Mr. de Blasio’s focus on reducing inequality, even as he has sought to foster a better relationship with the city’s elites.“I genuinely don’t think he’s going to be in the box of being a conservative or a progressive,” said Christina Greer, an associate professor of political science at Fordham University. “Adams is excited to keep people on their toes.”When Mr. de Blasio took office in 2014, he and his allies made it clear that his administration would offer a clean break from the Bloomberg era; he famously characterized New York as a “tale of two cities,” and vowed to narrow the inequity gap that he said had widened under Mr. Bloomberg.For the most part, Mr. Adams has signaled that his administration will not vary greatly from Mr. de Blasio’s. Several of his recent cabinet appointments worked in the de Blasio administration.Mr. Adams has signaled that his agenda will not differ greatly from that of his predecessor, Bill de Blasio.Jeenah Moon for The New York TimesThere will be some differences: Mr. Adams said he does not plan to end the city’s gifted and talented program, as Mr. de Blasio had intended. Mr. Adams has also vowed to bring back a plainclothes police unit that was disbanded last year, in an effort to get more guns off the street.Mr. Adams will take the helm of the city during a period of racial reckoning, after the pandemic exposed profound economic and health disparities. At the same time, calls for police reform and measures to address the city’s segregated public schools are growing. During the mayoral campaign, Mr. Adams faced significant questions from his opponents and the news media over matters of transparency, residency and his own financial dealings. Mr. Adams said he was unfazed by the criticism and was focused on “getting stuff done.”Incoming N.Y.C. Mayor Eric Adams’s New AdministrationCard 1 of 7Schools Chancellor: David Banks. More

  • in

    Adrienne Adams Will Become New York City Council's Next Speaker

    In an early political setback for Eric Adams, Adrienne Adams emerged from a hard-fought race with the votes she needed to be council speaker.The race for New York City Council speaker, the second-most powerful government post in the nation’s largest city, ended Friday with Adrienne Adams, a member from Queens, securing the votes needed from her colleagues to win the job, and Mayor-elect Eric Adams’s blessing as well.Ms. Adams said that 32 fellow members of the incoming Council had agreed to choose her as the body’s next leader, well above the 26 she needed.The resolution of what was a complex campaign of insider jockeying came a few days after four of the candidates who had been vying for the job threw their support to Ms. Adams, who declared herself victorious, only to have her main challenger, Francisco Moya of Queens, assert that he had won the race.“I am honored to have earned the support and the trust of my colleagues to be their speaker,” Ms. Adams said in a statement on Friday. “Our coalition reflects the best of our city. We are ready to come together to solve the enormous challenges we face.”Mr. Moya conceded to his fellow Democrat on Friday, saying in a statement that “it is clear that I do not have a path to victory” and calling Ms. Adams a “dedicated and thoughtful leader” who he expected would work well with all Council members.Ms. Adams is now virtually assured of becoming the first Black woman to lead the City Council. As speaker, she will help set the city’s agenda and negotiate with Mr. Adams over a municipal budget that, at $100 billion, is larger than those of all but a few states. A formal vote installing her as speaker will be held in January after the incoming City Council is sworn in.Mr. Adams had publicly vowed to stay out of the race. But he and his allies had made it clear in private conversations meant to build support for Mr. Moya that they preferred him for the job. In backing Mr. Moya, Mr. Adams expended valuable political capital and risked putting himself at odds with key members of the coalition that helped elect him, making Ms. Adams’s victory a notable political setback for the incoming mayor.Mr. Adams was nonetheless quick to congratulate Ms. Adams, calling her “the best choice to lead our City Council forward” a day after he had spoken warmly about her while emphasizing that he believed that they could work together effectively.Ms. Adams’s victory declaration on Friday capped nearly two weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations and frantic calls that created tension among members of the city’s congressional delegation and early endorsers of Mr. Adams.The acrimony spilled into public view when The New York Post published an article featuring anonymous criticism of Representative Gregory Meeks, the Queens Democratic leader, for aligning with “anti-Israel socialists” to support Ms. Adams. Mr. Meeks, the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, is a longtime supporter of Israel and has had strong disagreements with democratic socialists in his party.Incoming N.Y.C. Mayor Eric Adams’s New AdministrationCard 1 of 4Schools Chancellor: David Banks. More