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Adrienne Adams, City Council Speaker
A deep dive into New York City's next Council Speaker
Over the next twenty-four hours, a changing of the guard will commence in New York City.
As Bill de Blasio prepares to exit Gracie Mansion in preparation for a run for Governor, new Mayor Eric Adams will be sworn in shortly after midnight in Times Square.
A New Year, and a new era, will dawn on our beloved City.
Staffers and elected officials will shuffle off towards new appointments and positions, while others will be forced to contemplate unemployment, or, if they are lucky, retirement.
Yet, the second most powerful official in City government will not have to relocate.
Adrienne Adams, a council member from Southeast Queens, is set to be the next Speaker of the City Council, and play a pivotal role in charting the course for the future of the five boroughs.
Caught between a Mayor and an emboldened incoming class of council members, coupled with a resurgence in the Covid-19 pandemic, all of which are layered over issues of crime, climate, transit, economic inequality, and neverending polarization.
Adams has the unenviable task of navigating such choppy waters, setting the council’s legislative agenda and negotiating the City’s massive budget with the Mayor.
Speaker Adams, who rose through the ranks with the blessing of the infamous Queens machine, is a relative unknown to many New Yorkers, given the dearth of local coverage, especially in the outer boroughs.
Ultimately, how will she lead the council and work with the Mayor? This question, while not necessarily the first on everyone’s mind right now, could help define the next few years.
To try and find out, I looked back at how Adrienne Adams reached the Speakership.
“When I gave up life in corporate America, several years ago, I gave it up because I wanted to dig deeper into my community and the prospects of the things that I could bring to my community. I couldn't do that in my other life, in my other world as a corporate trainer.” (Gotham Gazette)
Born and raised in Southeast Queens, Adrienne Adams took an old-school route to the second most powerful office in City government.
After working as a corporate trainer for decades, Adams decided to get more involved in her local community, as she found the work much more fulfilling - “that’s where my heart lies”.
To this day, she credits her mother, a Corrections Officer on Rikers Island, as her “biggest inspiration, saying, “she has always been my number one cheerleader, best friend and confidant.” Adams also named Tish James as her political hero:
“She is the first woman of color to hold a city-wide office, the office of Public Advocate. Tish is one of New York City’s most influential women and I am proud to call her my sister-friend and mentor.” (The West Indian Online)
Adams first foray into local politics came in 2009. She took the familiar, and hyperlocal route of many aspiring politicians before her: applying to volunteer on her local community board. After submitting an application to the Office of then-Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Adams was accepted to Queens Community Board 12 - the second largest community board in the borough, which encompassed the neighborhoods of Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, South Ozone Park and Springfield Gardens.
She quickly distinguished herself, being reappointed every two years while chairing the Education Committee. After three years, Adams was chosen by her peers to become Chair of the board itself.
“I came into a community board that was in extreme chaos. I had to conduct every meeting with discipline and respect.” (Gothamist)
She developed ties to many neighborhood institutions, as she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Queens Public Library by Melinda Katz and selected by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the Local Planning Committee for the Jamaica Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Most notably, Adams also co-chaired the Jamaica Now Leadership Council, which was tasked with overseeing the economic development of downtown Jamaica, where Adams gained a reputation for being friendly towards development.
Her quick rise caught the attention of many within the formidable Queens County Democratic Party, led at the time by the infamous Joe Crowley. Looking to ascend the political ladder, Adams knew that securing support from the County Machine, especially in the traditionally moderate Southeast Queens, had the potential to make or break her future ambitions.
Her chance came in 2016.
State Senator James Sanders Jr. - known for routinely bucking the party line - filed paperwork to challenge longtime Congressman Greg Meeks.
The contest promised to be riveting, as both men were investigated by the FBI for ethics violations. Sanders was looked at closely for steering taxpayer money to organizations closely tied to him during his time on the city council, while Meeks was probed because of the charity he co-founded with disgraced ex-Senator Malcolm Smith which allegedly “had solicited thousands of dollars in donations for Katrina victims in 2005, but gave them virtually nothing.”
The race was poised to be a referendum on the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Meeks had controversially supported. Sanders was hoping to align the TPP-opposed labor unions to sweep Meeks out of office.
Sanders, who had gone against the Queens County Organization in both 2008, by supporting Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, and 2016, by backing Bernie Sanders over Clinton again, was already on thin ice with the machine.
But once he declared his intention to challenge Meeks, the County organization vowed to move on from him, choosing to back Adrienne Adams instead, who with the blessing of the county organization had declared for the open seat.
“Adrienne has a proven record of building consensus and working together to improve the quality of life for her constituents and we’re going to work hard to make sure she’s our newest State Senator from Queens.” (Politico)
While Adams had gripes with Sanders during tenure in the Senate, she ran believing the seat was open, which when combined with the support of the county organization, portended a likely victory.
However, Sanders soon dropped his bid against Meeks, blaming a series of New York Post articles that detailed the myriad of corruption allegations facing him. Sanders attributed the leaks to Meeks’ team, blaming the congressman’s “slander” for his decision to opt-out of what promised to be an ugly race.
His pivot dealt a significant blow to Adams, who went from being the odds-on favorite to capture the open Senate seat, to an underdog running in a bitterly contested primary.
The county organization found itself in an awkward position: backing a primary challenge to a sitting elected in the heart of the machine’s electoral base.
“There’s no doubt there are those who want payback for my attempt to run for Congress, and there are others who want to pay me back on my independent line on Bernie and being a Bernie supporter.” (Politico)
To defeat Sanders, they would have to go on the offensive.
Adams did just that, citing Sanders’ “ethical lapses”, poor relationships with colleagues, and how the district’s “quality of life [had] deteriorated” in her pitch for change in the district. Despite facing criticism for her lack of political experience, Adams routinely highlighted her extensive corporate training and business resume to sell voters on her acumen in navigating bureaucracy, stating that Sanders, despite all of his experience, was “undeserving” the district.
Her challenge was further bolstered by the support of many county-aligned politicians, including Public Advocate Letitia James, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, former Mayor David Dinkins, Reverend Dr. Floyd Flake, City Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley and Rory Lancman, in addition to the premier Queens County power brokers: Joe Crowley and Greg Meeks.
However, Adams biggest pitfall in the race was geography, as State Senate District 10 did not entirely overlap with her own Community Board 12. Neighborhoods like Jamaica, Hollis, and St. Albans, where she would likely do well, were either not included in the district entirely or only partially represented, which also limited the effectiveness of her many political connections. The battle lines did not favor Adams, as Sanders’ Senate district continued east to Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park, while extending south to Far Rockaway.
Far Rockaway, an area Sanders’ represented for twelve years in the City Council, would ultimately decide the race. To win, Adams would have to outperform Sanders in his electoral stronghold, a tall task.
In the end, she fell short, with Sanders' name recognition and geographical advantages proving too difficult to overcome. Despite being opposed by Queens County, Sanders retained much of his organized labor support, no small feat that proved tantamount to his victory.
District wide, Sanders prevailed with 5,495 votes (57.95%) to 3,988 votes (42.05%) - a margin of 1,507 votes.
Adams ran strongest in South Jamaica, the most vote-rich area of the district, winning 46.91% of the vote in Assembly District 32, falling just short, 2,336 votes to 2,064 votes.
The biggest difference came in Assembly District 31, which included Far Rockaway, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, and parts of South Ozone Park - where Sanders won over 63% of the vote - 1,936 votes to 1,129 votes - which accounted for over half of his winning margin.
Queens County was dealt a blow, and Adams was left to assess her future in politics.
However she did not have to wait long, as an opportunity came calling less than a year later.
Ruben Wills, a City Councilman who represented the 28th district - Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Richmond Hill, and South Ozone Park - was convicted on corruption charges, as State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found Wills had stolen more than $30,000 of taxpayer money to finance personal shopping sprees.
According to Schneiderman, Wills redirected public matching funds from his 2009 council campaign, along with state funds during his tenure as State Senator Shirley Huntley’s Chief of Staff, into a charity called “NY 4 Life”, which he controlled.
Editor’s Note: Shirley Huntley was expelled from the State Senate in 2012 for embezzling $87,000 in state funds from another charity. She was replaced by none other than James Sanders Jr.
Even though Wills was indicted in 2014, he managed to delay his trial by three years, culminating in an eleven day trial in Queens Criminal Court in July 2017, where the jury found him guilty on five of six counts.
Despite maintaining his innocence, Wills’ guilty conviction triggered his immediate expulsion from the council, opening up his seat. The county machine, who still endorsed Wills in spite of the charges, was forced to find a new candidate.
Without hesitation, both U.S. Representatives Joe Crowley and Greg Meeks swiftly consolidated behind Adrienne Adams.
Once more, Adams received the prized endorsement of the Reverend Dr. Floyd Flake, a senior pastor of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica, where Adams is a member. A former U.S. Congressman and fixture of Southeast Queens politics, Flake presides over a congregation that exceeds over twenty-three thousand members, making him one of the strongest power brokers in the area.
Editor’s Note: Flake held the Congressional seat now held by Greg Meeks from 1987 to 1997. He is considered to be Meeks’ mentor.
Adams also emerged as a favorite amongst the City’s police unions. A coalition of the Detectives Endowment Association, the Captains Endowment Association and the Lieutenants Benevolent Association backed her as part of their City Council slate, which included Republicans Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo and Conservative Democrats like Rubén Díaz Sr. and Kalman Yeger.
Additionally, the notoriously controversial Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) endorsed both Adams, and her future foe in the Speaker’s race, Francisco Moya. Many candidates, including Adams, who were supported by the PBA during their inaugural 2017 election later eschewed their support in 2021, but the endorsement list is nevertheless worth revisiting.
With one race under her belt and strong support from the party establishment, Adams emerged as the prohibitive favorite.
However, given that Wills’ legal troubles were well forecasted, two challengers had already entered the race, lawyer/activist Hettie Powell and community board 9 member Richard David.
Even once Adams declared her candidacy, both Powell and David had already been actively campaigning and fundraising for months, giving them a significant advantage. While Adams quickly raised tens of thousands, Powell and David had already banked over six figures, ensuring they would remain competitive until election day.
Powell, who had won a third of the vote against Wills in a four-way primary in 2013, emerged as the progressive choice, winning the backing of the Working Families Party, healthcare workers union 1199 SEIU, and housing advocacy group TenantsPac.
David, who lived in the Ozone Park portion of the district, positioned himself as the more moderate candidate, touting his work for the City’s Economic Development Corporation and his endorsements from the Communication Workers of America and neighboring Republican council member Eric Ulrich.
Down the stretch, Adams was boosted by a rare endorsement from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who seldom weighed in on the council races, choosing to back both Adams and Peter Koo. Led by the late Hector Figueroa, service employees union 32BJ, who would later become instrumental in Adams’ speakership bid, also supported her.
Adams was also endorsed by Manhattan Councilman Corey Johnson, who was hoping to curry favor with Joe Crowley, whose clout with Queens’ fourteen member council delegation made him a dominant power broker in the Council Speaker’s race, the position Johnson was attempting to secure.
While issues of ideology typically come to the forefront in many of the city’s council races, the contest for district 28 also centered on ethnic and geographical lines.
The Van Wyck Expressway, the thoroughfare spawned by Robert Moses connecting the Queens and the Bronx, served as the line of demarcation. The expressway pierces through the middle of the district from north to south, connecting North Queens and the Bruckner Expressway to JFK airport - a geographical barrier along ethnic lines.
East of the Van Wyck, neighborhoods like Jamaica, Rochdale, and South Jamaica are predominantly Black, with a substantial population of middle class homeowners. Whereas west of the expressway, the neighborhoods of Ozone Park and Richmond Hill are home to many Indo-Caribbean, Punjabi, and Central American immigrants.
Adams and Powell, both Black, hailed from East of the Van Wyck, where turnout was expected to be highest, giving both campaigns an advantage with the area’s stronghold of triple-prime voters. David, a Guyanese immigrant living in Ozone Park, was poised to have the inside track with the voters West of the Van Wyck.
Yet, the election was still firmly Adams’ to lose. The Queen's machine counted Jamaica and the surrounding communities as loyal parts of their boroughwide coalition, which, when combined with presumed higher turnout, outlined a clear path to victory for her.
On Election Day, this reality was borne out. While David comfortably won almost all of the South Asian precincts West of the Van Wyck, racking up the high margins he needed to stay competitive, Adams’ dominance East of the Van Wyck was too much to overcome. Adams’ strong showing was evident, as she received over eighty percent of her total votes from that area, only losing a handful of precincts in Jamaica to Powell.
In the end, Adams triumphed in a fairly close three-way election, winning 3,499 votes (39.17%) to David’s 2,822 votes (31.59%) and Powell’s 2,589 votes (28.98%).
After dispatching token Republican opposition in the general election, Adams was quickly sworn in to fill the seat’s vacancy. On November 29th, 2017 she took office, becoming the first woman to ever represent the 28th council district.
Chairing the subcommittee on landmarks and dispositions, Adams got right to work. Alongside Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Adams co-sponsored two bills on disability rights that would 1) “require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to provide tenants with disabilities with information about legal services when such tenants are facing eviction” and 2) requiring the DOE to “provide information requiring school compliance with the ADA.” Additionally, she turned her attention to issues of education, harkening back to her days on Community Board 12, as she co-sponsored five separate pieces of legislation relating to a “school emergency preparedness task force.”
Ahead of the 2019 General Election, Adams urged voters to “Say NO to Rank Choice Voting” and “Vote NO on Question 1” on a mailer paid for by the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. With a picture of Adams on the front, the mailer went on to state that Ranked Choice Voting is “a bad idea, that will complicate elections, make them more costly, water down the voting power of Black and Brown communities, and encourage corruption and collusion.”
“RCV just doesn’t work for NYC - and we shouldn’t let a handful of elitists make such a radical change to our fundamental voting rights.”
In a citywide referendum, Question 1 (Ranked Choice Voting) passed overwhelmingly with 73.61% of the vote (510,153 total). In Adams’ 28th council district, RCV outperformed its citywide percentage, winning over 3/4ths of the vote (76.03%). All three council districts in Southeast Queens strongly supported the measure, as it won over 70% of the vote in each.
Some of the same narratives employed against ranked choice voting, specifically that it would decrease Black voter power, were also used to discourage council members from supporting #Intro1687, which would guarantee non-citizens the right to vote in municipal elections, starting in 2023. However, Adams, who professed grave reservations with ranked choice voting, enthusiastically supported #Intro1867, as it was passed into law this past month.
In the wake of Hurricane Ida, Adams emerged as a strong proponent of legalizing basement apartments, stating that such a move would “benefit working-class and immigrant families and college students,” in addition to “homeowners who may need help paying their mortgage or other costs.” Given Adams’ represents a district, and a borough, with a large population of noncitizen residents, as well as middle-income homeowners - her leadership on both issues is very important, and vital to their ultimate success.
Yet, Adams biggest impact in the council came on issues of public safety, and the conversations surrounding it, which assumed center stage during the 2020 city budget negotiation process. As many of the council’s progressive members pushed for a multi billion dollar cut to the NYPD’s six-billion dollar operating budget in favor of investments into the city’s social services, Adams remained steadfast in arguing that her community, and those like it, preferred “just but robust policing”. Adams, along with Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, helped sway Speaker Corey Johnson to push through a budget deal that essentially left the NYPD’s budget completely intact.
Soon after, when fellow Southeast Queens council member Donovan Richards took office as Queens Borough President, Adams was named chair of the powerful Public Safety Committee - which has oversight over the NYPD, the city’s five district attorneys, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, courts, legal services, and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.
While Adams rejected the idea of slashing police budgets, throughout her time on the council, she has long advocated for more oversight of the NYPD. As part of a package of eleven bills designed to reform the police department, Adams sponsored legislation that would require the NYPD to issue a quarterly report on all traffic stops and vehicles stopped at roadblocks or checkpoints, telling the Daily News, “Driving while Black’ isn’t just an issue in middle America, but we have no idea how bad this problem is in New York City because the NYPD doesn’t track race when it writes tickets and it doesn’t report how many stops it makes.”
While most of the reform bills in the aforementioned package have passed, including the creation of a Citywide Mental Health Emergency Response Protocol, Adams has long advocated for the council to hold confirmation hearings on the police commissioner and approve their appointment. Given the legislation has yet to pass, this could be one of Adams’ first items on her agenda.
Armed with a strong committee in just her first term, as well many headlines in the press, which typically credited both her and Speaker Johnson for the passage of police reform legislation, Adams emerged as a formidable contender to potentially become the council’s next Speaker.
But first, Adams would have to win re-election.
Unlike other candidates for Speaker, Adams faced a competitive primary challenge, as a familiar face had returned.
Ruben Wills, the former District 28 councilmember whose conviction opened up the seat for Adams, was back seeking redemption. After serving two years in prison, Wills’ conviction was reversed by an appeals court as he was later fully exonerated by the State Supreme Court, “after it found that former Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis unfairly stopped several witnesses from testifying in Wills’ defense.”
With an eye towards unfinished business, Wills’ name recognition and ties to the district could conceivably have foreshadowed an upset, as 2021 saw multiple ex-council members reclaim their old positions, like Gale Brewer and fan-favorite Charles Barron. Adams' early performance as a councilmember, as well as opinions on Wills’ exoneration, would both go a long way in determining the victor.
A third candidate, Japneet Singh, a twenty-six year old Sikh Punjabi activist, was poised to do well with the district’s South Asian population, west of the Van Wyck - once more underscoring the divided nature of the district. Realistically, a similar schism in the vote share was on the horizon, as just like in 2017, the race featured two Black candidates from east of the Van Wyck and one South Asian candidate west of the Van Wyck.
However, this year’s contest would provide Adams with a much more decisive victory.
As the incumbent, Adams tactfully won the “invisible primary”, locking up crucial endorsements and heavily outraising both her opponents, banking over six figures early on while her opponents fell far behind - largely shutting the door on any realistic chance she would be defeated. Her capital investments in the district, including in forty new nonprofits, paid off as well.
While many police unions declined to support her again, enraged at her attempts to reform the department, an influx of cash from real estate developers helped soften the blow.
Her formidable coalition was headlined once more by the Queens County Democratic Party, now led by new boss Greg Meeks, who assumed the chairmanship in the wake of Joe Crowley’s stunning defeat at the hands of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Almost all major labor unions supported her re-election, none more important than the Labor Strong 2021 coalition, which included 32BJ, DC37, the Communications Workers of America, Hotel Trades Council and the New York State Nurses Association.
On Election Night, Adrienne Adams bypassed the need for a ranked choice voting entirely, clearing fifty-percent on the first ballot. Ultimately, Adams built off her performance four years prior, winning more precincts west of the Van Wyck while increasing her vote share entirely. In Assembly District 32, which includes both Jamaica and Rochdale, Adams won a staggering sixty-four percent of the vote.
With much higher turnout this time around, Adams won with 7,439 votes (53.41%) to Singh’s 3,348 votes (24.04%) and Wills’s 3,082 votes (22.13%).
Despite beating back two challengers in a commanding victory, Adams entered the Speaker’s race as a dark-horse contender.
Pundits tipped Justin Brannan, Carlina Rivera, and Keith Powers as the early favorites - as all three had been very active during the primary season, endorsing over twenty council candidates in an attempt to win favor with incoming members. Adams, who faced the most competitive race of the four, still managed to endorse a dozen winners, many of whom were unabashedly progressive.
The Speaker’s race, brokered behind closed doors between labor unions, county bosses, congressional power brokers, the mayor’s and his allies, is notoriously undemocratic.
However, given this year’s incoming class of members were less tethered to the status quo than past iterations of the council, coupled with seven viable Speaker candidates, much of the backroom deal-making stalled, as reaching the coveted twenty-six votes looked increasingly difficult.
While Adams was still supported by the Queens County Organization, Meeks lacked the control over the council delegation enjoyed by his predecessors, Joe Crowley, Tom Manton, and Donald Manes, who could single-handedly broker over a dozen votes for their preferred candidate, in many cases handpicking the speaker themselves. Queens had also not had a speaker since Peter Vallone Sr. in 1986 - the inaugural victor of the “Speaker’s Race” - as the role was normally given to a Manhattan member to appease the outer borough bosses.
However, Adams was well positioned to potentially be a compromise candidate. She was liked by many of the large labor unions, had endorsed both progressives and moderates, and while endorsing Eric Adams for Mayor, did not appear too close to him. Given the incoming council class was the most diverse in the body’s history, Adams would be well-suited to lead them.
The first real movement in the race came when Eric Adams’ close advisors attempted to blitz members to push fellow Queens councilman Francisco Moya, all while the Mayor was on vacation outside the country. Moya, who neglected to campaign for any incoming members, was seen as toxic by some of his colleagues, which, when coupled with the abrasive efforts of the Mayor’s team, alienated countless council members whose support he now needed.
Eric Adams, upon returning from Ghana, further doubled down on Moya, calling power brokers and labor leaders, despite earlier declarations he would stay out of the race entirely. However, the City’s large labor unions, many of whom supported Eric Adams in the Mayoral Primary, like 32BJ and DC37, pushed back against Moya vigorously, preferring to support Adrienne Adams instead.
Politico summed it up nicely: “Within days, [Eric] Adams’ intervention transformed what had become a months-long staring contest into a vote-whipping frenzy.”
As the battle lines were drawn, other Speaker candidates, like Brannan, Powers, Gale Brewer, and Diana Ayala agreed to back Adams - sending a clear message to the incoming administration. The council’s progressive members, despite preferring Rivera or Ayala, soon followed, with many taking offense that the Mayor’s team would seek to install a male speaker for a majority-woman council. The Bronx Democratic Party, led by chairman Jamaal Bailey, later joined Meeks and the Queens County Organization, rounding out the coalition.
While Moya received support from many of the council’s moderates, in addition to the five Republicans and allies of U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat, it was not enough. In the end, Adams amassed a bulletproof bloc, led by organized labor, the Bronx and Queens county organizations, the other five speaker candidates, and a stitching of moderates and incoming progressives - enough to comfortably guarantee victory.
On December 17th, Adams announced that thirty-two members (+ her own) had pledged their votes to her, well above the twenty-six vote threshold, cementing her status as the next speaker.
After pushing his chips in for Francisco Moya, and failing, Eric Adams was dealt a considerable blow before even entering office. Already, he appears to be facing consequences for such a blunder.
Two weeks ago, the future Mayor expressed his desire to reinstate solitary confinement at Rikers Island. Such a decree was met with swift condemnation as thirty councilmembers co-signed a letter urging the Mayor to reverse his position. While Adrienne Adams did not sign the letter, she told NY1 “We’re better than that. We’re better than solitary confinement.”
No longer will the Mayor and the Council be in lockstep, like much of the past eight years. Adrienne Adams will undoubtedly face pressure to serve as a check on Eric Adams’ agenda, while asserting the council’s independence in the process.
As shown by the Speaker’s Race and the signatories of that letter, if the Mayor encroaches too far, or picks fights he cannot win, he risks alienating the moderate council members who are more ideologically aligned with him.
However, Progressives should not rest easy, as per Jeff Coltin’s reporting: “REBNY President James Whelan, Senior Vice President Reggie Thomas and Vice President Ryan Monell all donated to [Adams’] campaign in September or October.”
Adams and her allies' history of supporting development, going back to her time before the council, should align her with Eric Adams stances, and remains an issue worth watching closely.
On police reform, which could be the most polarizing issue in the council, Adrienne Adams looks to be caught in the middle, and while progressive reforms will likely be passed, any talk of seriously defunding the police from the left or hand-wringing from the right, will be likely be moot given the makeup of the council.
Adrienne Adams is more progressive than Eric Adams or Francisco Moya, but she is also still closely aligned with the Queens Democratic Party, as well as much of the party establishment.
To me, her case is reminiscent of a fellow Southeast Queens politician, Donovan Richards.
Richards, now Queens Borough President, is no socialist, having been backed by the Queens machine during his latest run. Yet, he has branded himself as somewhat of a progressive, even being elected co-chair of the caucus in the city council - while also taking money from Big Real Estate and favoring polarizing development deals. It can be argued that Richards effectively toes the line, knowing when to side with the establishment, and when to go his own way - making him amenable to many. Adams must also wrestle with this dynamic, albeit in a more difficult environment.
While campaigns and public perception is one thing, and legislating from such a powerful executive position is another, the ethos remains the same.
Adrienne Adams will likely be forced to play to the council’s equilibrium, but she must tactfully know when to push through versus when to push back.
Happy New Year !
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