Even though Democrats far outnumber Republican and Independent voters in New York City, Yidden should not take for granted that Eric Adams will be elected the city’s next mayor next Tuesday.
“The Jewish community needs to come out to vote for Adams in big numbers,” Jewish community leaders are emphasizing. “Elections can be lost when everyone assumes someone else is out voting.”
Although Adams only narrowly won the Democratic nomination for mayor in July, Jews should remember that he did so by running contrary to many core issues of the city’s powerful progressive wing.
A vote for Eric Adams, who won on a law-and-order campaign, is a vote against the city’s progressive wing, which often eschews both law and order.
“I am the face of the new Democratic Party,” Adams famously said over the summer, and if elected, he seems capable of wresting the values of the party from far-left ideologies.
For instance, Adams, who served in the NYPD for 22 years, Brooklyn’s borough president has said many times that he does not support calls to de-fund the police.
A strong advocate of police reform, Adams has many times pointed out that the “de-fund the police” movement is not what is best for minority communities and communities of color, and that the Democratic party has lost touch with its base wants and needs.
Instead of the issues most discussed by the progressives, at a press conference in July, Adams articulated what he thought New Yorkers do want: “Those countless number of men and women: everyday workers who want safe streets, their children educated, they want to stop hearing gun shots instead of alarm clocks.
“They want to ensure that they can be employed and live in a comfortable city.”
“We have allowed the term ‘progressive’ to be hijacked by those who do not have a track record of putting in place real changes.”
Always drawing on his deep familiarity and day-to-day experiences working in the police department, for instance, Adams aptly rebutted Curtis Sliwa’s insistence during their first debate last week that the city needs to take money from the federal government to hire 3,000 more police officers.
In addition, over the summer, President Joe Biden also proposed that America’s crime-ridden cities should use their leftover federal COVID-19 relief money to hire more officers and pay for more overtime.
Instead throwing money at the problem - the usual Democratic solution to many problems - Adams is more thoughtful, savvy, and economical.
For instance, Adams has said many times the NYPD merely needs to better use the officers they trained, by deploying all uniformed cops to patrol the city’s streets and subways, instead of the large number of Police Academy graduates who are sitting behind desks doing clerical work that civilians could easily do.
In addition, he has pointed out that the NYPD could actually save money by sending all police officers out to the streets because clerical workers are paid less by the city to do work that now uniformed police officers are doing, while making salaries commensurate with their colleagues out on patrols.
Adams also used his time as state senator to pass anti-gun legislation and his time in the police department to consider how the city could better prevent crime and not just to punish it.
Many people who have been charged with crimes have undiagnosed learning disabilities, Adams has pointed out. “Failing to educate New Yorkers properly only leads to more incarceration.
“Being progressive is not just closing Riker’s Island. It is closing the pipeline that feeds Riker’s Island.”
“I’m going to show America how to run a city,” Adams said over the summer, while explaining his clearly-thought out plans to restore order and go after the gang members and other perpetrators of violent crimes in the city by reinstating the Anti-Crime Unit that Mayor Bill de Blasio disbanded, and giving that patrol a new name and mission of Anti-Gun Unit.
After last week’s debate, Josh Mehlman, the chairman of the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition (FJCC), tweeted that Adams had “hit it out of the park,” and that he was “looking forward to Mayor Eric Adams leading our great city to prosperity, safety, and quality of life for all.
For Yidden, Adams has been a longtime friend and ally who has received the endorsements of a strong and diverse Orthodox Jewish coalition that is comprised of the FJCC, but the Aroni faction of the Satmar community, the Sephardic Community Federation, the Bukharian Jewish community, and communities from Staten Island, Far Rockaway, and Crown Heights.
“New Yorkers, and especially the Jewish community, should be proud and be hopeful that Eric Adams will be a mayor for whom the community has long waited,” saying the askanim who have worked with Adams for 15 years on issues important to the community.
“He understands the Jewish culture and Jewish needs, He understands how our school system works, and he understands the needs of our religion.”
Yeshivas, for example, is one issue that Adams has considered and understands from the perspective of the frum community.
“Yeshiva education is crucial to your communities and important to support,” Adams said earlier in the year. “Children have a right to receive the best education, and not all communities, and not all parents take the same approach.
“We want to get the best outcomes of students and not rely on heavy-handed investigations that lead to distrust.”
“We trust Eric Adams,” say many mosdos, who are very happy to speak with and work with Adams on a regular basis. “He has a proven record,” Chanina Sperlin, who is the executive vice president of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council Governmental Affairs.
Adams even includes yeshiva education in a conversation about “cultural sensitivity,” which is a concept that usually does not include nor respect Orthodox Jewish values.
“What I believe is that [most New Yorkers] view the Chassidic community from outside,” Adams said. “I, [however,] have spent so much time in Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Boro Park. When [one is] among a particular group, among of the millions of diverse groups in the city and the state, [one can] really understand those things that are important to each group.”
Adams, who has often said that he brings a gun to church, understands the vulnerability to violence minority communities can often feel.
“I think he is going to be the best mayor NYC ever had.”
“This is a friend,” said askan Rabbi Moshe Indig. “This is why he is the right guy.”
“We are going to raise good families, we are going to have a safe city,” said Adams at the home of one of the roshei kehilla in Williamsburg. “We are going to grow as a city. We are going to ensure that this is the Empire state. We are going to rebuild the empires in the city.
“In one year, we are going to see a different city.”
By Yehudit Garmaise