Eric Adams Op Ed

Eric Adams and Educational Opportunity in New York City

For only the second time in the history of New York City, an African-American, Eric Adams of Brooklyn, is poised to become Mayor.  Should he defeat Republican Curtis Sliwa in November, Mr. Adams, who is currently the Brooklyn Borough President, would be the first Black Mayor since David Dinkins defeated Rudy Giuliani in 1989.


Justifiably, many Black New Yorkers are proud of the history Mr. Adams is about to make.  His rise from a young boy in Brooklyn and Queens to the New York City police department, the State Senate, the Brooklyn Borough Presidency, and perhaps soon, Mayor, lends him an “everyman” persona that no doubt contributes to his electoral successes.  He has an authenticity that resonates with working class New Yorkers, who see in him someone who, they hope, both understands their needs and will be driven to address them.


The education of their children is high on their list.


While Mr. Adams is most well-known for his more moderate positions on criminal justice issues—for example, drawing the ire of the left for not supporting their misguided calls to “de-fund” the police—he is also known to be open to education reforms.  As a member of the State Senate, he was a leader in the fight for school choice, embracing the needs of parents to secure a quality education for their children over the demands of special interests.   As Borough President, he again embraced a broad range of educational initiatives, supporting the needs of the traditional public schools in Brooklyn along with other educational options, including Catholic schools, charter schools, and yeshivas.


In contrast to the current administration, this openness to supporting students and families based on their needs—as opposed to political dictates—makes his ascension to Mayor an exciting time for educators across the city.


Come November, Mr. Adams could join Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Attorney General Tish James, seven members of the New York Congressional delegation, and (perhaps) Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as Black men and women leading New York into the future.


Here’s hoping that our new Mayor, as he has in the past, remains focused on delivering more quality education opportunities for the working men and women of New York.


by Melissa Melkonian

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