Eric Adams (politician)
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Eric Adams Politician

Eric Adams
Borough President Adams .jpg
18th Borough President of Brooklyn

January 1, 2014
Marty Markowitz
Member of the New York Senate
from the 20th district

January 1, 2007 - December 31, 2013
Carl Andrews
Jesse Hamilton
Personal details
Born (1960-09-01) September 1, 1960 (age 59)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationNew York City College of Technology
City University of New York, John Jay (BA)
Marist College (MPA)
Police career
DepartmentNew York City Police Department
Service years1984-2006

Eric Leroy Adams (born September 1, 1960) is the Borough President of Brooklyn, New York City. Previously, he was a Democratic State Senator in the New York Senate, representing the 20th Senate District, which includes the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Sunset Park. On November 5, 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President, the first African-American to hold the position. On November 7, 2017, he was reelected for a second term.

Prior to his service in government, Adams served as a police officer in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for 22 years.[1] Adams graduated from the New York City Police Academy in 1984 as the highest ranked student of his class. He started in the New York City Transit Police and worked in the 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village, the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, and the 88th Precinct covering Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. While serving, he co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an advocacy group for black police officers, and often spoke out against police brutality and racial profiling.[2] During the 1990s Adams served as president of the Grand Council of Guardians. Adams rose to prominence during the 90s, after a series of "friendly fire" shootings by white police officers against black officers.

Early life and education

Eric Leroy Adams was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn on September 1, 1960.[3] He was raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn and South Jamaica, Queens and attended Brooklyn Technical High School before graduating from Bayside High School.

He subsequently received an associate's degree from the New York City College of Technology, a B.A. from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an M.P.A. from Marist College.[4]

Congressional run

In 1994, Adams unsuccessfully ran against Major Owens for the 11th Congressional seat in central Brooklyn.

New York State Senate

Adams was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2006. While a state senator, Adams served as co-chair of New York's State Legislators Against Illegal Guns.

Adams was a vocal opponent of the NYPD's "stop and frisk" policy, which predominantly affected young Black and Latino men. He has sought to stop the NYPD from gathering data about individuals who have been stopped but not charged.[5] In 2000, the United States Commission on Civil Rights concluded the City of New York's street-stop policy constituted racial profiling.[6] Adams supported calling for a federal investigation into current "stop-and-frisk" practices.[6]

Adams was among the legislators who suggested a pay raise in 2008.[7]

Adams and fellow state lawmakers wore hooded sweatshirts in the legislative chamber on March 12, 2012,[8] in protest of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen who was killed by George Zimmerman.[8]

On December 2, 2009, Adams was one of the 24 senators to vote in favor of marriage equality in New York State.[9] Adams spoke in support of the freedom to marry during the debate before the vote.[9]

Brooklyn Borough President

On November 5, 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn borough president with 90.8 percent of the vote, more than any other candidate for borough president[where?] that year.[10]

Community boards

Adams, in his role as Brooklyn borough president, appoints the members of each of the 18 community boards in Brooklyn, half of which are nominated by local members of the City Council. Community boards members represent their neighbors in matters dealing with land use and other specific neighborhood needs.[11]

In 2016, he launched a digital app process for board membership, which has increased applications by 10 percent, and he intends - under the authority granted by a 2015 state law - to appoint youth members to every community board.[12][13]

Land use

Under the New York City Charter, borough presidents must submit Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) recommendations on certain uses of land throughout their borough.[14][15] Adams has used his ULURP recommendations to propose additional permanently affordable housing units in the rezoning of East New York; the relocation of municipal government agencies to East New York to reduce density in Downtown Brooklyn and create jobs for community residents, and the redevelopment of 25 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg as manufacturing space, with increased property taxes directed to the acquisition of the remaining proposed sections of Bushwick Inlet Park as well as its continued development as a community resource.[16][17]

Adams has encouraged New York City to build affordable housing on municipally-owned properties such as the Brownsville Community Justice Center, over railyards and railways, and on space now used for parking lots.[18]

Adams created the Faith-Based Property Development Initiative, which supports religious institutions that want to develop property for the benefit of the community, such as affordable housing and space for the community.[19]

In September 2017, Adams unveiled his recommendations for the future of the Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights. His recommendation was to disapprove the application with conditions, while calling for the inclusion of a greater amount of affordable housing on site. The Bedford Union Armory proposals would contain recreational facilities, spaces for locally-based non-profits, as well as two new residential buildings, including a condominium building along President Street in place of the Armory's stables.

In July 2018, he announced a joint $10 million, 19-plaintiff lawsuit with Housing Rights Initiative (HRI), filed by the Law Office of Jack L. Lester, Esq. in Kings County Supreme Court, based on a comprehensive investigation by HRI that found that Kushner Companies engaged in illegal construction practices in the 338-unit former Austin, Nichols and Company Warehouse at 184 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg. According to an independent lab analysis, families, including children and babies, were exposed to highly toxic and cancer-causing substances, including, but not limited to, the lung carcinogen crystalline silica and lead.

In July 2018, Adams urged the developer involved in the Kensington Stables site in Windsor Terrace to help preserve the stables as part of a new proposal for the site.[20]


Adams has introduced policy initiatives on a broad range of issues:


In partnership with Medgar Evers College, Adams created the Brooklyn Pipeline, which provides developmental learning and enrichment opportunities to public school students in Brooklyn, teaches parents to better support their children's education, and facilitates professional development training to teachers and school leaders.[21][22]

Adams wrote an editorial in the New York Daily News calling on the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to test all pre-Kindergarten students for gifted and talented programs, including African-American and Latino children who have historically been excluded.[23]

Adams launched the Code Brooklyn initiative to support the teaching of coding and computer science at public schools in Brooklyn. Adams entered Brooklyn into the "Hour of Code" challenge with Chicago Public Schools. Brooklyn students were victorious, with more than 80 percent of the district schools throughout Brooklyn participating in the program.[24][25]

Based on a report prepared by the Independent Budget Office of New York City (IBO) at his request, Adams urged the City University of New York (CUNY) system to explore reinstating free tuition for two-year community colleges, which could improve graduation rates and lead to increased earnings potential and taxpayer contribution, as well as expand access to higher education.[26]

In 2016, Adams invested $26 million and an additional $55 million in 2017--half of his allotted budget that year - to improve STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education across Brooklyn schools.

In February 2018, Adams supported State Senator Hamilton and Assembly Member Richardson in calling for statewide K-12 instruction of Black history.

In April 2018, Adams joined newly appointed New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor Richard Carranza, Eagle Academy Foundation (EAF) President and CEO David Banks, and hundreds of students and mentors at JHS 292 Margaret S. Douglas in East New York to launch the Eagle Academy Mentoring Program, a groundbreaking multi-year initiative connecting hundreds of sixth-grade male students of color at middle schools across central and eastern Brooklyn with positive male role models.

In May 2018, Adams joined representatives from independent charter schools, parochial schools, and yeshivas, as well as educators, parents and students from across Brooklyn, at a rally in the Rotunda of Brooklyn Borough Hall to demand the City provide equitable security guard funding for every school across the five boroughs.

In July 2018, Adams expressed how he believes diversity must be improved in all public high schools including the city's Specialized High Schools; however, noting that the reforms proposed by the city would not make the necessary changes to the city's educational system. His position was that the high school admission system needs to present more equal opportunities for everyone and the way to do that is to offer free Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) prep for all lower-income students as well as to allow more students into the SHSAT schools altogether.

Borough President Adams has advocated for making two-year CUNY colleges free.[27]


Adams launched the Family Friendly Brooklyn initiative by creating a lactation room in Brooklyn Borough Hall, with open access to the public.[28]

Adams introduced a bill in the New York City Council that would require all municipal buildings providing services to the public to have lactation rooms. The bill was passed by the City Council on July 14, 2016.[29]

Adams allocated capital funds to support expanded health care facilities at hospitals across the borough as well as investments that support treatment and recovery centers.

Adams launched Safe Sleep Brooklyn to educate young parents about the importance of safe sleeping habits for newborns. The educational activity was coupled with a partnership with Delta Children to provide free cribs and play-yards to young single mothers, victims of domestic violence, undocumented immigrants, women in transitional housing, families in homeless shelters, and parents who are unemployed.

Adams fought to prevent hospital closures and worked to protect residents from the loss of critical health care services by calling upon the state and federal government to identify the resources necessary to address the ongoing health and community needs of neighborhoods.

After facing a health scare himself when he was diagnosed with type two diabetes in 2016, Adams adopted a whole-foods, plant-based diet and has encouraged all Brooklynites to eat healthier. He launched a plant-based nutrition page on his website with links to nutrition and plant-based/vegan blogs, plant-based/vegan diet recipes and natural grocery stores, as well as vegan meetup groups and events. He has also replaced all vending machines in Brooklyn Borough Hall with protein bars, sparkling water and nut snacks instead of sugary, unhealthy snacks. Additionally, Adams has also prompted the City Council to pass a resolution called "Ban the Baloney," which aims for schools across the city to stop serving processed meats. He has  also been an avid supporter of "Meatless Mondays" in public schools.

After a spike in rat complaints, Adams co-hosted a Rat Summit alongside Council Member Robert Cornegy, in June 2018 to address the issue of rats throughout the borough.[30]

In February 2018, Adams and Brooklyn's entire New York City Council delegation joined in calling on Mayor Blasio to allocate $10 million in the City's Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget to complete the capital and operating costs for the creation of Brooklyn's first burn unit.

Throughout 2018, Adams has hosted a series of free opioid overdose prevention trainings his administration is holding across the borough amid the nationwide opioid crisis.

In July 2018, Adams publicly denounced President Trump's efforts to stop Ecuador from passing a U.N. resolution stating that breastfeeding is the most beneficial way of feeding a child and debunking untrue facts about breast feeding.[31]


Adams proclaimed June 2017 as the first-ever Homelessness Awareness Month in the borough of Brooklyn. He honored the month by calling on houses of worship to engage with their congregants on the importance of helping those who are homeless or in need of assistance.

In January 2018, Adams announced a partnership between his administration, Brooklyn Community Services (BCS), and Turning Point Brooklyn to establish a first-of-its-kind a mobile shower service that will travel across the borough to serve homeless Brooklynites and other at-risk populations, such as day laborers, sex workers, and runaway LGBTQ+ youth.

In April 2018, Adams hailed a first-of-its-kind empowerment partnership with Kennedy Conglomerate Inc., a venture started by local entrepreneur Kareem Kennedy, for a mobile barber service to which he has allocated $3,000 in discretionary funding to provide free haircuts for the homeless.


To address the displacement of longtime residents by gentrification, Adams has held a series of town halls in Bedford-Stuyvesant and East Flatbush to investigate cases of tenant harassment, and also organized legal clinics in East New York, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and Sunset Park to provide free legal assistance to tenants.[32][33][34][35]

Adams stood on the damaged roof of 110 Humboldt Street, a seven-story residential building in the Borinquen Plaza II development in Williamsburg, as he called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore $100 million in State funding for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) roof repairs.[36]

Adams has allocated $3.3 million of his FY15 capital budget towards projects across the borough including sites in neighborhoods such as Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Flatbush and Park Slope.  In July 2014, he used his vote as a member of the Board of Trustees for the New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS) to commit $13 million to a new fund that will create 7,500 new affordable units citywide.  Additionally, Adams believes in a 50-30-20 model of affordability for new housing, ensuring a focus on middle-class households.

In February 2018, Adams called on NYCHA to take action to address challenges associated with the citywide heating crisis by committing to spending its recent and future fuel cost savings on emergency boiler repairs and conversions.

In June 2018, Adams suggested lowering the height of the Alloy Development's Downtown Brooklyn project, 80 Flatbush, from 986 to 600 feet in order to not disrupt or overwhelm the existing community surrounding the building.[37]


Brooklyn is a very diverse borough, with as many as 200 different languages spoken and nearly 40 percent of residents foreign-born. The diversity within these 950,000 foreign-born immigrants rivals that of neighboring Queens, which has the highest population of immigrants in New York City. In light of that, Adams has made Brooklyn Borough Hall serve as processing center for New York City's Municipal ID program (idNYC), and secured a municipal ID within a few days of the program's launch. Adams also showed strong support for President Obama's landmark executive order on immigration that helped millions of people including many Brooklyn residents.

In June 2018, Adams led a stroller march against the Trump Administration's family separation at the US-Mexico border.[38]

Parks and Recreational Spaces

Adams has been outspoken about the need for a comprehensive urban agriculture plan for New York City. He joined Council Member Espinal in introducing a bill in the New York City Council, which ultimately passed, calling for the creation of an Office of Urban Agriculture and a roadmap that would be used for creating easier pathways for cultivating urban farming across the city.

Public safety

Adams has worked to build and repair the relationship between the people of New York City and the NYPD. He has criticized the use of excessive force in the arrest of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold prohibited by NYPD regulations, and the arrest of postal carrier Glen Grays, who was determined not to have committed any crime or infraction.[39][40][41][42]

After the 2014 killings of police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, Adams wrote an editorial for the New York Daily News calling on police officers and the community to work with each other to build a relationship of mutual respect.[39]

Together with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, Adams held a series of seven public forums and four Google Hangouts for community residents to share their experiences with the police. The information was used to compile a report, and it was concluded that New York City should work to involve the public in the work of the NYPD, improve training for police officers, and allow independent investigations when police misconduct has been alleged.[43][44]

Following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, Adams joined the efforts of Brooklyn students by organizing an emergency meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall and a rally to demand stricter gun laws in Prospect Park.[why?][45] That same month, after a correctional officer endured a beating from six inmates at the George Motchan Detention Center on Rikers Island, Adams stood outside the Brooklyn Detention Center to express his support to reinstate solitary confinement in prisons.[46]

In commemoration of the sixteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Adams announced a new memorial to Brooklyn residents lost that day alongside the victims' families and first responders.

In August 2019, he was criticized over his inaction towards placard abuse in Brooklyn via Twitter. Adams responded by publicly comparing the accuser to the KKK.[47]


Adams formed a partnership with, a Brooklyn-based startup, and Dell computer to access and collect Real-time data (RTD) on conditions in Brooklyn Borough Hall, with device counters to monitor occupancy in rooms that sometimes experience overcrowding, multi-sensors to determine whether equipment has been operating efficiently, sensors such as smart-strips and smart-plugs to measure energy usage around the building, and ultrasonic rangefinders to identify that ADA-designated entrances are accessible in real-time.[48]

Adams also partnered with tech startup Heat Seek NYC to allow tenants to be able to report conditions in their apartments with sensor hardware and web applications.[49]

Adams opposed efforts to limit the number of new e-hail cars such as Uber, explaining that such technologies provide opportunities for people of color to find work and travel in their communities.[50]

In September 2017, Adams unveiled cutting-edge technology by Tek-Tiles and other design innovations as part of the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA), which merge technology with fashion, as he unveiled $2.75 million in Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) funds from Brooklyn Borough Hall to advance economic development initiatives across the borough.

Other initiatives

More than 15 million people visited Brooklyn in 2015.[51] Adams has redesigned the Brooklyn Tourism Visitors Center and Gift Shop inside Brooklyn Borough Hall, continued "Dine in Brooklyn" restaurant week, started the BK Sings Karaoke Contest, and hosts annual events such as New Year's Eve celebrations in Coney Island and Grand Army Plaza, as well as a Jamaican patty eating contest on Labor Day weekend.[52][53][54][55][56]

Each month, Adams honors as "Hero of the Month" a Brooklyn resident who has acted selflessly on behalf of the community.[57] Those individuals honored include officers from the Sea Gate Police Department who saved a five-month-old from choking to death;[58] a Park Slope woman who saved a dog from freezing in Prospect Park; an emergency room doctor who formed an anti-gang-violence initiative at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County in East Flatbush; a firefighter who saved an unconscious two-year-old from an early morning fire in Marine Park;[59] a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) worker who rescued a woman on the subway tracks at the Franklin Avenue station in Crown Heights;[60] and police officers who saved the life of a choking infant in Bensonhurst.[61]

Calling on Brooklyn residents to "Embrace Your Hyphen," Adams hosts celebrations in honor of Black History Month, Lunar New Year, Greek-American Heritage Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, Nowruz, Arab-American Heritage Month, Garifuna Heritage Celebration, Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month, Caribbean-American Heritage Month, Russian-American Heritage Month, Ramadan, International Day of Friendship, the Autumn Moon Festival, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Italian-American Heritage Month.[62][63]

International Day of Friendship has been Borough President Adams' signature event celebrating diversity, which has been taking place since 2014. The event celebrates Brooklyn's rich diversity by hosting a free, family-friendly Unity Parade of Flags, Cultural Performances, International Cuisine and the Global Village, where visitors can touch, taste, feel and see other cultures. It is celebrated around the world as countries partake in a variety of events to promote peace and unity.

Programs that have been started or have continued under Borough President Adams include Adopt-A-Shelter Animal, Brooklyn Ambassadors, Dine in Brooklyn, Earth Week, Greenest Block, LGBTQ Pride Celebration, Lunchtime Summer Jazz Concerts, Mid-Autumn Festival, Seniors by the Sea, Turkey Distribution, Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Distribution. He has also hosted a series of faith-based and clergy initiatives at Brooklyn Borough Hall including Bishops Brunch Roundtable, Black History Clergy Breakfast, Brooklyn Day of Prayer, Building Brooklyn Rights, Iftar Dinner, Interfaith Breakfast, New York City Agency Forum for Houses of Worship, and Women of Faith Roundtable.

Adams has also conducted a series of financial education and empowerment programming including a series of events in April to coincide with Financial Education Empowerment Month, as well as a Financially Savvy Youth Conference and free tax filing and preparation services.

Given the success of the brewing industry in Brooklyn, Adams, since October 2017, has called for a more lenient Blue Law, allowing New York City businesses to start selling alcohol at 8 am.[64] instead of the current 10 a.m. time.

In September 2019, he controversially promoted new rat traps by presenting a group of dead rats with the new contraptions in front of the press early that month: Adams and his team said the traps were humane (the rodents were lured with nuts and seeds before being knocked out then drowned) whereas animal rights groups said that they were not.[65]

Personal life

In March 2016, Adams was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Within a month, he switched to a vegan, whole food diet that cut out all animal products as well as sugar, salt, oil and processed starches. He also began exercising regularly, including using an exercise bike and treadmill in his office. As a result, within six months he had dropped 30 pounds and no longer required treatment for diabetes. He has stated that he wants to encourage others to switch to a more healthy diet, as well as to try to redirect public health spending for diabetes to focus more on lifestyle changes rather than just treating the disease.[66]

See also


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  47. ^
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External links

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Carl Andrews
New York State Senate, 20th District
January 1, 2007 - December 31, 2013
Preceded by
David J. Valesky
Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Aging
2013 - December 31, 2013
Preceded by
Bill Larkin
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering
Succeeded by
John Bonacic
Preceded by
Vincent Leibell
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Homeland Security and Military Affairs
Succeeded by
Greg Ball
Political offices
Preceded by
Marty Markowitz
Borough President of Brooklyn

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