The Candidates 2021: Eric Adams for mayor

Earlier this month I ran short profiles on seven candidates for our local City Council seat, along with their responses to a very long questionnaire based on reader questions. I sent the same questionnaire to seven mayoral candidates. Only two responded. The second response is here, from Eric Adams, the new front-runner, along with a quick fact sheet and a couple relevant links.

Last gig: Brooklyn Borough President (currently)
Formerly: NYPD officer; state senator
Born in: Brownsville and raised in East Jamaica
Lives in: Bed-Stuy
Worth watching: Meet the Candidate; Worth reading: How Eric Adams, Mayoral Candidate, Mixed Money and Political Ambition

Do you have any solutions for protecting small business from the pressures of rising real estate costs?
“Business owners are struggling to stay afloat due to the pandemic, forcing them to lay-off workers and close up shop. The city lost upward of 750,000 payroll and self-employment jobs, and the unemployment rate was 16% in September, twice as high as the rest of the country. To keep New Yorkers working — particularly in the service industries — we will allow businesses that pay the commercial rent tax a break for two years if they demonstrate hardship and commit to certain employment levels.”

What is your proposal or attitude towards the future of Open Restaurants post-pandemic?
“I see the Open Restaurants program, as well as the Open Storefronts programs, as being integrated directly into Open Streets, creating truly vibrant, bustling commercial corridors that benefit our local economy as much as our cityscape and quality of life. We will also establish a dedicated maintenance funding stream for Open Streets to ensure the program is sustainable and does not solely rely on volunteers.”

Do you have any solutions for limiting the regulations and red tape required to both start and maintain small business?
“Right now, small businesses pay up to $5,000 in fees for small violations like using the wrong type or accidentally listing the wrong phone number due to a lack of education about the laws. The last thing we want to do in an economic crisis is charge people to start a new business and re-start a closed one. We will make the permitting process easier and cheaper through our online portal, and institute a warning system for relatively minor violations so first-time offenders are educated instead of fined. We will provide additional clarity by instituting a three-level warning system signifying the number of days the owner has until the cure must be implemented.”

The NYPD has consistently used its power to close public spaces and amenities, especially during the pandemic. Do you have a proposal for this issue?
“The key is communication, and too often the NYPD falls short. I believe any non-emergency closure of public spaces and amenities should require greater advance notification to the community and regular updates amid that closure. Closures cannot be indefinite — or feel indefinite due to a lack of regular communication.”

How do you plan to deal with the abuse of placard holders (real and fake ones)?
“What I have proposed to the NYPD as borough president — and what I would implement as mayor — is publishing an online database of all precinct integrity control officers (ICOs) and City agency inspectors general (IGs); expanding ICO/IG responsibilities and enforcement powers to address placard abuse and improper vehicle usage in their precinct; deploying a dedicated roving City vehicle staffed for rapid response to 311 placard abuse complaints, as well as reducing the number of both placards and City fleet vehicles as determined by an independent analysis of agency needs.



  1. No questions on Gun Violence? Homeless? mentally Ill roaming the streets? Turning hotels into homeless shelters in residential neighborhoods? Subway Crime? Sanitation? Pay to Play corruption? Accountability of Homeless services? If the candidates want to use any social media platform, They should answer(or you should ask) the toug, right questions. Placards, police closing of public spaces, Really?

    • The questionnaire was created based on reader comments, emails and responses to a survey. The candidates could answer whichever questions they wanted. The original questionnaire is linked at the top of every candidate profile.

    • @S: Make what you will of Adams’ non-response to the questions you (and Pam) raised. But I question your contention that NYPD placard abuse and peremptory closure of streets to seal off its precinct houses are nothing-burgers. Both impose real costs on communities, especially ours, given that NYPD HQ and many other gov’t facilities are in our midst. Perhaps more importantly, even petty corruption and abuse of authority serve as gateways to more serious forms of police abuse. Adams’ “winking” answers on both points suggest he won’t pursue the deep reforms needed for truly effective policing in NYC.

      • My point was there are more pressing issues a mayoral candidate can prioritize, like the many serious issues I mentioned, not making light of other issues of concern to the community, maybe we shouldn’t give Mayoral candidates a choice to answer the easiest issues.

    • NY Post (4/25/21): “Eric Adams criticizes Andrew Yang for focus on parking placards over crime”

      “[…] Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and an ex-cop, focused on bolstering public safety outside a subway station while Yang held an event to promote a plan to crack down on abuse of placards by government workers.

      ” ‘On one side of Brooklyn. I am dealing with crime. On another side of Brooklyn, someone is dealing with placard abuse,’ Adams said outside the G train station at Keep Street and Union Avenue.

      ” ‘That’s a New Paltz crisis. That’s not a Brooklyn crisis. That’s not a New York City crisis –And I’m going to focus on those safety issues. And that is what the city’s concerned about,’ said Adams, referring to Yang’s decision to live outside the city during the early part of the pandemic.

      ” ‘If he lived in New York City, he would know we have a crime problem. And the mayor of the City of New York that will focus on placards while five year old girls are being graced with bullets, and three family members are murdered, and every day my Citizen app is going off on new shootings — that’s really a privileged problem,’ Adams continued.

      “ ‘They’re thinking about over 1 million people not having money to pay their rent, food insecurity, and ability to to get children back in school. Unemployment. The economy devastated. . And that is what he’s talking about? The tells me he’s privileged. And the people I represent are not privileged.’

      ” Adams’ pointed attack on Yang is an indication he considers the entrepreneur and 2020 presidential candidate his biggest threat to winning the crowded Democratic primary for mayor.

      ” Meanwhile, Yang was at Cadman Plaza Park touting his plan to curb placard abuse by government workers — near Adams’ Borough Hall turf.

      ” The site was a not-so-subtle slap at Adams. He and his staffers are known to use placards to park on the plaza outside Borough Hall, which critics claim is an abuse. Adams insists he and his staff will stop it if other city agencies follow suit. […]”

  2. I agree with adams. Focusing on placard abuse is the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    • Well said, Josh.
      As millions of workers, tourists, and later, students, prepare to move around this City, they would like to know that someone, anyone, cares about public safety.

  3. There will not be a city if crime is not under control
    Start throwing people in jail for burning and looting
    No Bail
    Would you open a small business in NYC – No

    This is the only issue
    Going to work sleepy on subway and you can be stabbed yo death? No

    Bring back Ray Kelly bring back Law and order

    Ps I’m a liberal born and bread ny jew

  4. The Placard abusers are also the enforcers.

    Therefore no action.

  5. My worry is historic district upzoning and a Soho homeless shelter for 200 men (that required no community board review).

    • Pamela join ” Downtown for Safer Streets” on Facebook. We are fighting the homeless hotels in FIDI and all over downtown NY! The mayor did it under our noses! These criminal Mentally ill move in we are going to be like midtown and Chelsea !!

      • Also, if you weren’t on the CB2 call this week, you missed out how little the actually City cares about Downtown and the horrifying fact that they tried to sugarcoat and quantify the “type of pedophiles” that will be housed at the SoHo shelter. Their idiocy, callousness and shortsightedness is mindboggling.