How Much of a Democrat Is Eric Adams?

The mayor is to the right of many liberals in New York City on policing, religion and rents. He's likely to face a progressive challenger in 2025.

How Much of a Democrat Is Eric Adams?

Mayor Eric Adams identifies himself as progressive. We'll examine why some Democrats with a left-leaning disagree.


Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat from New York, is to the left of most Democrats on many issues, including public safety, religion, and budget cuts. Adams admits that some of the views he holds are conservative, but argues that others are "extremely liberal." Some left-leaning Democrats are still curious about Adams's style, which can sometimes remind them of City Hall predecessors such as Michael Bloomberg, or even Rudolph Giuliani a Republican. Emma G. Fitzsimmons is our City Hall Bureau Chief. I asked her to explain the perception of Adams and his own view.

Jordan Neely's case put him in conflict with progressives, like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. He seemed to have made a deal with her. What was the reaction of progressives to his comments on the Neely Case?

Progressive Democrats criticised the mayor for failing to act quickly to condemn Neely's murder, express their sympathy for him, and discourage New Yorkers to take matters into their hands when someone disrupts a train.

Nine days after Neely's death, the mayor said for the first that Neely "didn't deserve to die." The mayor, unlike many Democrats, did not demand charges be brought against Daniel Penny who choked Neely.

Adams stated that justice could now be done against Penny two days later, after Penny was charged with manslaughter in the second degree.

You claim that Adams' views are moderate and sometimes conservative. He sometimes seems to view this as the former policeman he was. Has he been injured with his left side?

The mayor never got along well with the left. In the mayoral primary of 2021, he did not gain over progressive voters; many voted for Maya Wiley a civil rights activist.

Left-leaning Democrats are increasingly concerned about the decisions of the mayor. His comments that cast doubt on the separation between church and state, as well as his response to homelessness and the migrant crises and his support for charter schools and rent increases.

Adams has asked for budget cuts which threaten to reduce services such as libraries in order to cover the estimated cost of housing migrants. This is expected to be more than $1 billion. You said that Adams' predecessors did not have to worry about this expense. Is this his only concern in terms of finances?

New York City faces several budget challenges, according to the mayor: the response of the migrant crises, the cost for new contracts with city employees, including police officers and economic concerns about slowing tax revenue and empty office building. City Council leaders say his budget projections were too pessimistic, and that New York City should invest in housing and free pre-school to help New Yorkers through an affordability crisis.

What has changed since Adams was a politician? Has his time in City Hall affected him?

The mayor campaigned on public safety at a time that New Yorkers felt anxious about crime. He'd be first to admit that he is the same person he was when he ran for office. The city was still in its throes of the pandemic during the mayoral election of 2021. The city's other issues, such as housing, schools, and homelessness, received less attention. Progressive Democrats played defense in part after the backlash against the 'defunding the police' campaign.

Some of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decisions were surprising. For example, he cut the popular preschool program for children aged 3 and 4 years old and slashed funding to libraries and schools. These weren't topics he discussed on the campaign trail.

Adams believes that pragmatism will help the city. He says that's also what his core constituency of working-class New Yorkers in places like Brooklyn or Queens wants. How is he faring with his core constituency, working-class New Yorkers from places like Brooklyn and Queens?

Adams was elected mayor in part because of the support he received from Black and Latino voters living outside Manhattan. He governs with their interests at heart. His poll numbers are down, but his support from Black voters is stronger.

Many older voters liked him when we asked them how he was doing. Many younger voters, as well as those who lean left, felt that he is taking the city in the incorrect direction. CUNY graduates also turned their backs on him during a graduation ceremony.

Many people forget that the Mayor only won by 7,197 votes. He may face a left-wing challenge when he runs to be reelected in 2025.

Adams needs the Biden administration's help on migration. Has his recent rhetoric caused his relationship with White House to deteriorate? What percentage of his comments are spontaneous?

Adams called himself the "Biden Brooklyn" and has claimed that he shares the same brand of moderate politics as the president.

The mayor is frustrated by President Biden's response to the migrant crisis. He attacked the president in a calculated way to grab his attention. Adams thinks that Biden's administration failed to assist New York City in providing housing and services to the 61,000 migrants who arrived last year. The mayor is asking for billions in federal funding to pay for these services.

In March, the mayor was named as a Biden surrogate to help the president win reelection. However, he was quietly dropped from the list by last week.


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Fines for violations: The mayoral transition committee of Mayor Eric Adams was fined $9,600 for violating New York City campaign finance laws on Monday.

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Dear Diary:

In May 1983 it was late at night and the Brooklyn Bridge had just celebrated its 100th birthday. I was working as a trading assistant for Lehman Brothers in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The trains then were not as reliable as they are today, so I always had an alternative plan to get home in case there was a problem with the 2, 3 or 4 at Wall Street.

I had one of those days. After a long trading day, I was miserable and waited for the train to go home. The train that I had planned to take was just pulled from service.

I walked from the Wall Street Station to Broad Street to catch a different train. The train finally arrived and I was on the way home.

The train made its way to the Manhattan Bridge. It crossed half of it and then suddenly stopped. We sat for a couple of minutes, wondering what had happened.