Eric Adams (politician)

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Eric Adams
NLN Eric Adams.jpg
18th Borough President of Brooklyn
Assumed office
January 1, 2014
Preceded by Marty Markowitz
Member of the New York Senate
from the 20th district
In office
January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2013
Preceded by Carl Andrews
Succeeded by Jesse Hamilton III
Personal details
Born (1960-09-01) September 1, 1960 (age 57)
Brownsville, Brooklyn
Political party Democratic
Eric Adams
Police career
Department New York City Police Department
Years of service 1984–2006
Rank Police Officer

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.

Prior to his election to the New York State Senate, 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[edit]

Eric Leroy Adams was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn on September 1, 1960.[3]

Adams was raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn and South Jamaica, Queens. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School before graduating from Bayside High School. He subsequently received an A.A. 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[edit]

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

New York State Senate[edit]

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[edit]

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 that year.[10]

Community Boards[edit]

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

In 2016, Adams launched a digital application process for 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[edit]

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]


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


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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22]


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.[23][24]

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.[25]

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.[26][27]

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.[28]


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.[29][30][31][32]

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.[33]


Adams launched the Family Friendly Brooklyn initiative by creating a lactation room in Brooklyn Borough Hall, with open access to the public.[34]

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.[35]

Public safety[edit]

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.[36][37][38][39][40]

After the 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.[36]

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. Used to compile information for a report, 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.[41][42]

Other initiatives[edit]

An estimated 15 million people visited Brooklyn in 2014.[43] 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.[44][45][46][47][48]

Each month, Adams honors as "Hero of the Month" a Brooklyn resident who has acted selflessly on behalf of the community.[49] Those individuals honored include officers from the Sea Gate Police Department who saved a five-month-old from choking to death;[50] 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;[51] a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) worker who rescued a woman on the subway tracks at the Franklin Avenue station in Crown Heights;[52] and police officers who saved the life of a choking infant in Bensonhurst.[53]

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.[54][55]

Given the success of the brewing industry in Brooklyn, Adams calls for a more lenient Blue Law, allowing New York City businesses to start selling alcohol at 8 a.m. [56] instead of the current 10 a.m. time.

Personal life[edit]

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.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Devereaux, Ryan (May 18, 2012). "NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Lawsuit Gets Class Action Status". The Rutherford Institute. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Wansley, Terrance. "100 BLACKS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT WHO CARE". Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Eric L. Adams, Office of the Brooklyn Borough President.
  4. ^ "New York State Sen. Eric Adams Bio". Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  5. ^ KATZ, CELESTE (May 24, 2010). "Adams, Jeffries Defend Stop-And-Frisk Bill". Daily News. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Schuh, Jamie (October 20, 2011). "NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy demands a federal probe: It's race-based and ineffective". Daily News. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Danny Hakim & Trymaine Lee, New York Legislators Pushing to Raise Their Pay, New York Times (February 10, 2008).
  8. ^ a b Seiler, Casey (March 27, 2012). "'Hooded' legislators make a point". Times Union. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Support (Dec 7, 2009). "Voice for Equality: NYS Senator, Eric Adams". Freedom To Marry. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "New York – 2013 Election". New York Times. November 6, 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "About Community Boards". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  13. ^ "BP Adams calls on teenagers to join community boards". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "Application Process Overview". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  15. ^ "UNIFORM LAND USE REVIEW PROCEDURE". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  16. ^ "Key Brooklyn pols oppose East New York rezoning". Crain's. January 6, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  17. ^ "Surprise: BP Adams Likes Toby Moskovits' Controversial 'Burg Office Plan — Here's Why". Brownstoner. April 18, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  18. ^ "B'klyn court facility could yield affordable housing". Crain's. August 8, 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  19. ^ "Facing Financial Pressures, Brooklyn Churches Explore Development". Brownstoner. October 20, 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  20. ^ "Brooklyn Borough Hall, built in 1848, will get modern makeover". New York Daily News. May 16, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  21. ^ "Heat Seek NYC app gives Brooklyn tenants ammo vs. icy apartments". New York Daily News. October 30, 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  22. ^ "Outer Borough Pols Say de Blasio's Uber Cap Will Hurt Minorities". Observer. July 21, 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Gonzalez: Ex-chancellor returns to NYC to fix 80 struggling Brooklyn schools". New York Daily News. February 16, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "MEDGAR EVERS COLLEGE PIPELINE". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  25. ^ "Put kids on a path to Stuyvesant, and Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech early: Test all pre-K students for gifted and talented programs". New York Daily News. March 13, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  26. ^ "Code Brooklyn aims to bring computer science to public schools". Downtown Brooklyn Star. November 3, 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  28. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: 'Free' tuition for CUNY would cost up to $232 million a year says Independent Budget Office report". New York Daily News. January 12, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  29. ^ "Borough President To Hold "Know Your Rights" Clinic For Tenants Next Week". Ditmas Park Corner. March 18, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  30. ^ "Brooklyn town hall meetings give tenants chance to call out bad landlords". New York Daily News. June 9, 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  31. ^ "Adams to hold Sunset Park tenants' rights workshop". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 20, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  32. ^ "Eric Adams to hold town hall investigating tenant harassment in Brooklyn". July 28, 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  34. ^ "Lactation room to open at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Mother's Day". amNEWYORK. April 16, 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  35. ^ "Breastfeeding moms will be able to take advantage of lactation rooms in many NYC buildings". New York Daily News. July 14, 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  36. ^ a b "Bridging the painful divide between police and community". New York Daily News. December 28, 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  37. ^ "Death of Garner dredges up memories for BP Adams". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. December 4, 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  38. ^ "BP Eric Adams livid after four cops violently arrest on-duty mailman in Crown Heights". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 25, 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  39. ^ "Postal worker claims he was wrongfully arrested, Brooklyn borough president backs him". Pix 11. March 23, 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  40. ^ "Brooklyn postal worker arrested after he shouted at cops who nearly sideswiped his truck sees charges dismissed". New York Daily News. May 12, 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  41. ^ "IMPROVING POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS" (PDF). Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  42. ^ "NYC Leaders Release Report With Suggestions To Improve Police-Community Relations". CBS Local. September 29, 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  43. ^ "An Economic Snapshot of Brooklyn" (PDF). Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  44. ^ "Brooklyn tourism center revamped". Queens Ledger. February 9, 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  45. ^ "Dine in Brooklyn". Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  46. ^ "BK Sings karaoke contest searches for Brooklyn's best amateur singers". Pix 11. September 29, 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  47. ^ "Thousands Expected On Coney Island For New Year's Eve Celebration". 11. December 31, 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  48. ^ "RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR IN PROSPECT PARK" (PDF). Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  49. ^ "Adams honors newest 'Heroes of the Month'". Brooklyn Downtown Star. March 2, 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  50. ^ "Baby saving cops win praise from Adams". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 15, 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  51. ^ "'Hero' Firefighter Who Rescued 2-Year-Old To Be Honored By BP Adams". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 14, 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  53. ^ "BROOKLYN TO HONOR 2 NYPD OFFICERS WHO SAVED BABY NOT BREATHING". abc7NY. September 5, 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  54. ^ "BP Adams to Host Black History Month Celebration". Brooklyn Reader. February 18, 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  55. ^ "PROGRAMS". Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  56. ^ Blau, Reuven, and Gioino, Catherina (May 23, 2017). "Brooklyn borough president wants to legalize earlier alcohol sales". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  57. ^ Billups, Erin. "Diabetes Diagnosis an Unexpected Wake Up Call for Brooklyn Borough President, Part 2". NY1. 

External links[edit]

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