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Mr. Adams is going to Washington.
Fresh off of his victory in New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is scheduled to be at the White House for a meeting with President Joe Biden on Monday. A source familiar with the situation told The Uprising that Adams will be participating in a meeting on “gun crimes” tomorrow afternoon with Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and other local leaders.
The White House and Adams’ campaign team did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Biden’s meeting was listed on the White House schedule for tomorrow though local officials participating were not identified. The schedule described it as a conversation with Biden, “the Attorney General and local leaders, including law enforcement, elected officials, and a community violence intervention expert, to discuss his Administration’s comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crimes.”
Adams’ victory in the June 22 primary means he is almost certain to be the next mayor in New York City, which has a large Democratic majority. He will face Republican Curtis Sliwa, founder of the volunteer group Guardian Angels, which has led its own anti-crime patrols in the city for decades.
Crime, which surged around the country during the pandemic, was a central issue in the mayoral race. Adams made the city’s crime spike a central issue in his campaign and leaned on his past experience as an NYPD officer and police reform advocate.
The White House meeting comes as President Biden is touting a plan to reduce gun crimes through a combined approach of funding and law enforcement efforts to stem gun trafficking along with social programs for youth and ex-convicts. Biden’s meeting is also taking place as national observers have sought to cast Adams’ victory as a rebuke of the Democratic Party’s left wing and, more specifically, the calls to “defund the police.”
The reality is more complicated. None of Adams’ rivals in the primary came from within New York’s growing socialist and progressive movements. Dianne Morales was the only candidate in the group who explicitly echoed the “defund the police” message and her longshot campaign imploded amid intense internal drama.
Adams’ platform — and personal history — are uniquely nuanced on questions of police reform.
“The debate around policing has been reduced to a false choice: You are either with police, or you are against them,” Adams wrote on his campaign site. “That is simply wrong because we are all for safety. We need the NYPD — we just need them to be better.”
Adams’ time in the city’s political spotlight began as a police reformer. He claims to have joined the NYPD with the explicit goal of changing it from within. During the 1990’s he helped found the group 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care. Adams used that platform to become a vocal critic of police brutality and advocate for reform.
For his part, Adams has cast himself as politically aligned with Biden. In a CNN interview on Sunday, Adams was asked about White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s assessment that he won the mayor’s race with a coalition of "working-class voters, African-American voters overwhelmingly, and voters who want to see progress on core issues" that was not "dissimilar to the coalition that President Biden put together." Adams agreed with Klain and took things a step further to say he deliberately followed Biden’s lead.
“He said ... 'similar to' — I duplicated it. I was encouraged when I saw what the president did,” Adams said. “I knew what I was hearing on the ground that everyday New Yorkers, just like everyday Americans, they wanted not a government of ... ideological approach, but a pragmatic approach."
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