New York City residents have cast their votes for a new mayor – and Brooklyn Borough President and Democrat nominee Eric Adams is set to replace outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio, according to projections.

The 61-year-old former state legislator and retired New York City Police Department captain insists he’ll be making some notable changes in the city.

When sworn in in January, he’ll become only the second black mayor in the city’s history, following in the footsteps of David N. Dinkins, who was elected back in 1989.

The popular vegan candidate headed to a polling place in Bedford-Stuyvesant to cast his ballot on Tuesday morning before delivering an emotional speech. Carrying a picture of his late mother, Dorothy, he said:

“This is is an amazing day, to reach this point.

“Back in 1977, my mom brought me into that polling place. Every little boy or little girl who was ever told they’ll never amount to anything - every child with a learning disability, every inmate sitting in Rikers, every dishwasher, every child in a homeless shelter - this is for all of you.

“I only have three words: I am you.”

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Who is Eric Adams?

Adams is one of six children raised by a single mother in South Jamaica, a neighbourhood in the borough of Queens. He considers himself “the people’s candidate” and a “moderate” blue-collar New Yorker who is well-connected to the city’s working class.

At 15, Adams was arrested alongside his brother on criminal trespass charges after reportedly stealing a TV and money from a prostitute he was once running errands for. When Adams attempted to check in the cash, he was arrested by police and was allegedly assaulted so severely that he urinated blood for a week.

Later in life, he became a cop himself to reform the department. He formed 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care to campaign against racial profiling.

After 20 years of cop duty, Adams retired from the NYPD in 2006 to make a run for a seat in the state Senate, where he represented parts of central Brooklyn in Albany until 2013. He was then elected as the first black President of Brooklyn Borough.

While he was registered to vote as a Republican, he pursued a more traditional Democratic platform as a state senator in Albany, where he supported efforts towards marriage equality in 2009 and 2011.

What does he stand for?

Education

Adams’ goal is to reimagine the schooling system by adopting a “whole-child approach”.

He promises to “offer a full continuum of support at every stage of a young person’s life,” according to his official site.

The promising NYC mayor claims he will achieve this by desegregating and expanding school options, prioritizing universal access to online and physical classes, putting healthy food choices first and focusing on the holistic growth of students.

Healthcare

“Sometimes the best policy is not something new and flashy, but rather to double down on programs with proven track records and expand them,” Adams candidly said.

He aims to close racial health gaps throughout New York after “Black New Yorkers’ life expectancy is a full four years lower than the citywide average.” He suggests this is a result of “poor healthcare, lack of healthy food options, and unhealthy living conditions”, which he subsequently wants to change.

Adams wants to “create permanent health care centers in underserved areas”, “improve preventative care and teach healthy habits”, and “add improved mental health and addiction services where they can be most easily accessed.”

Safety

Adams said he refuses to go back to a city that is “unsafe for New Yorkers - especially children.”

In a bid to tackle gun violence, he believes that the trauma that festers in communities must be addressed and that the “anti-crime unit” should be reinvented as an “anti-gun unit.”

He also strives to diversify the police department by “adding Black and Brown officers who will respect and protect New Yorkers”, “appointing the city’s first woman police commissioner”, and “publicizing the list of cops being monitored for bad behavior.”

Housing

The 61-year-old Democrat says the current New York housing market requires urgent attention.

In a bid to make housing more affordable for all, Adams wants to repurpose office buildings and hotels, up-zone wealthier areas to build affordable units and provide further help and assistance for homeless people.

Economy

Adams is optimistic about bouncing back “the right way.”

He wants to invest in “green jobs”, including renewable energy production and transmission, building retrofits, infrastructure improvements, and a booming wind power industry.

He also aims to sustain smaller businesses, offer subsidized/free childcare to any New Yorker who needs it and support bars and restaurants with tax breaks.

indy100 has reached out to Eric Adams’ rep for comment.

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