* Elected Mayor of New York City in November 2021
* Spent 22 years as a Transit Cop
* Spent much of his professional career trying to expose what he viewed as widespread police racism
* Strong supporter of Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan
* Co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care in 1995
* Was elected to the New York State Senate in 2006
* Was elected Brooklyn Borough President in 2013
* Referred to his white former colleagues at the NYPD as “crackers” in 2019
* Signed a 2022 bill allowing up to 1 million noncitizens living in NYC to vote in local political elections
Eric Leroy Adams was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York on September 1, 1960. He received an A.A. from the New York City College of Technology, a B.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and an M.P.A. from Marist College. After graduating from the New York City Police Academy in 1984 as the highest-ranked student in his class, Adams launched a 22-year career as an officer with the NYPD.
Claiming to have been unjustly beaten by NYPD officers when he was 15, he has spent much of his professional career trying to expose what he views as widespread police racism. The “culture of policing” in “communities of color,” Adams says, is based on a “Bull Connor mindset” which presumes that “black equals crime,” and that “using violence extremely quickly” against black suspects is appropriate.
In 1993 Adams praised Louis Farrakhan‘s Nation of Islam (NOI) for having “proven that they can take a bite out of crime” by using “non-traditional methods of policing their communities” in urban areas. He criticized David Dinkins, New York City’s then-mayor who was actively seeking re-election, for “catering to other communities” by refusing to meet with NOI leaders, who were widely perceived as anti-white and anti-Semitic. Further, Adams lobbied activist Al Sharpton to withhold his endorsement from the mayor if Dinkins continued to resist a sit-down with NOI.
In 1993, Adams derided local Hispanic politician Herman Badillo for being married to a Jewish woman, saying: “It’s insulting to the Hispanic community that he can go to the Hispanic community for support, but he can’t go to the Hispanic community when he’s picking a wife.”
In 1994 Adams tried to run against a fellow Democrat, the incumbent Major Owens, for the 11th Congressional District seat representing central Brooklyn, but was unable to gather enough valid signatures to get his name on the ballot. Adams attacked Owens for having characterized NOI, which endorsed Adams’s campaign, as a “hate-mongering fringe group” that was spreading “dangerous poison.” Moreover, Adams depicted Owens as a “hustler” who, in an effort to extract campaign contributions from the Jewish community, was “dangling [the specter of NOI leader Louis] Farrakhan like a Bogeyman.”
Also in 1994, Adams condemned Jesse Jackson for having criticized an infamously racist and anti-Semitic speech by a Farrakhan aide named Khalid Abdul Muhammad. “I believe no matter what was said [by Muhammad], it’s time for us to realize the importance of what Farrakhan is trying to do around the issue of crime in this city,” said Adams. “… Jesse Jackson cannot deliver the African-American community as a debt to pay for the ‘Hymietown‘ statement. He is losing his credibility.”
In 1995 Adams co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an organization that protests against police practices which it views as racist and discriminatory.
During the 1990s as well, Adams served as president of the Grand Council of Guardians, a national organization of black police officers.
From 1995 through the early 2000s, Adams re-branded himself as a Republican, saying that the Democratic Party had long taken the black vote for granted while failing to help that constituency in any meaningful way.
In the late 1990s, reports surfaced that Adams was associating with Omowale Clay, a convicted felon who in 1998 was seen exiting Adams’s car. Two subsequent police investigations failed to substantiate the charges against Adams, who in turn filed a lawsuit in which he accused police of illegally wiretapping his phones and monitoring his organization’s political activities. In 2003 a judge dismissed the suit as “baseless.”
Adams was angered when the management of Irving Plaza, a ballroom-style music facility in Manhattan, reneged on its agreement to serve as the venue for an August 2000 hip-hop concert, due to concerns that violence might erupt in response to one of the scheduled performers, known as “dead prez,” who was famous for pro-violence songs like Cop Shot and Assassination. “It would be naive to think it is not possible,” said Adams, that police pressure had caused “dead prez” to be blacklisted by the city. “The hip-hop community has been classified as [an] enemy of the state by law enforcement agencies,” Adams stated, but “hip-hop is no different than any other art form, any other culture, any other group of youths attempting to express themselves.”
In the spring of 2006, Adams and his “100 Blacks” organization released their Annual Report in which they gave New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly a grade of “F” for promotions and assignments, and a “D” for recruitment and retention. Adams’s principal complaint was that “91% of the NYPD uniformed personnel in the rank of captain or above are Caucasian.” But in fact, fully 56% of blacks who had passed the Department’s most recent test for captain were promoted to higher ranks, compared to only 39% of similarly qualified whites. Moreover, Kelly had already promoted more black chiefs than his two predecessors – Ben Ward and Lee Brown, both of whom were black – combined.
By the time Adams retired from the NYPD in 2006, he was once again identifying himself as a Democrat. That same year, he was elected, as a Democrat, to the New York State Senate.
In the State Senate, Adams quickly established himself as a critic of police “stop, question and frisk” practices, which he portrayed as racially discriminatory. In a 2013 court proceeding, Adams testified that Raymond Kelly had once articulated a desire “to instill fear in the Latino and black communities” (to get guns off the streets). Kelly denied having made the statement.
When Adams was chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee (in 2009), he and others were accused of improperly awarding casino video slot machine rights at the Aqueduct Race Track to Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG). The New York Post reported that Adams had received $14,500 in campaign contributions from AEG, and an Inspector General’s report found that Adams had indeed played a key role in persuading New York Governor David Paterson to select AEG for the contract.
In 2012, New York State Assemblywoman Shirley Huntley, who was under FBI investigation after she had stolen more than $87,000 in taxpayer funds from a nonprofit organization, agreed, in an effort to reduce her punishment, to set up surveillance equipment in her home and secretly record meetings with several of her Democratic colleagues. The objective was to uncover evidence of corruption. One of the Democrats who was surveilled was Eric Adams. No criminal charges were ever brought against Adams as a result of those meetings, and he denied that the tapes contained anything incriminating. In May 2013, The New York Times reported:
“Prosecutors would not comment on the list, and it was impossible to tell which of Ms. Huntley’s guests were suspected of crimes, which might have been of interest to prosecutors seeking evidence against other people, and which might be collateral damage in Ms. Huntley’s effort to ingratiate herself with prosecutors.
“Two of those recorded by Ms. Huntley — the former Senate Democratic leaders John L. Sampson of Brooklyn and Malcolm A. Smith of Queens — have since been indicted, but none of the others have been charged, and the councilman who was recorded, Ruben Wills of Queens, said prosecutors had notified his lawyer that he was not a target.”
In November 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President.
In March 2014, the New York Post reported that Adams had been soliciting donors for his “affiliated nonprofit,” the One Brooklyn Fund, even though the organization had not yet been formally established. As one legal expert explained, Adams’s action had the potential of triggering “fraud charges” because “you can’t raise money for a charity that doesn’t exist.”
In 2016, the New York Post published a story raising questions about Adams’ support of Lamor Whitehead, an ex-convict who had served five years in prison on multiple counts of identity fraud and grand larceny, who was now running a dubious youth-mentorship program called Leaders of Tomorrow Brooklyn (LTB). Adams appeared with Whitehead on numerous occasions to tout LTB’s efforts and to raise funds for it. Whitehead, however, was found to be raising money for LTB before it was even registered as a for-profit business in March of 2014. In November 2014, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office issued a cease-and-desist letter demanding that Whitehead stop falsely promoting LTB as a collaborative justice initiative with the DA. In addition, the NYPD and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce refuted claims by Whitehead that they, too, had been working together on various initiatives with LTB.
In November 2017, Adams was re-elected for a second term as Brooklyn Borough President.
That same year, he was a strong supporter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s successful re-election bid. Indeed, Adams and de Blasio collaborated to hold a number of fundraising events at New York City restaurants run by two brothers, Robert and Zhan Petrosyants, who are friends of Adams and have been convicted of money laundering. Robert Petrosyants, for his part, donated $1,000 to Adams in June 2013 — a year after prosecutors had indicted the restaurateur for money laundering.
At a private event held by the Harlem Business Alliance on December 13, 2019, Adams, speaking about the toughness and focus he had displayed during his time as a member of the NYPD, referred to his white former colleagues at the Department as “crackers.” “Every day in the Police Department, I kicked those crackers’ ass,” he said. (Click here for video.)
Addressing a virtually all-black audience of supporters at a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event at Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network (NAN) in January 2020, Adams spoke about how past crises in New York — such as epidemics of crack addiction and gun violence — had devastated the city’s black and brown communities in particular. And government, he charged, only began to take those problems seriously after they had started to affect the majority-white suburban counties outside the city. Adams also discussed how the recent trend of gentrification by mostly white newcomers to New York had likewise spurred government leaders to address drug-and-violence-related problems more proactively than they had before the whites’ arrival. “You [blacks] were waking up to gunshots and not alarm clocks, and you stayed,” said Adams. “You were here before Starbucks. You were here before others came and decided they wanted to be a part of this city. Folks are not only hijacking your apartments and displacing your living arrangements, they displace your conversations and said that things that are important to you are no longer important, and they decide what’s important and what’s not important.” Adams also said, derisively, to the mostly white newcomers: “Go back to Iowa, you go back to Ohio. New York City belongs to the people that were here and made New York City what it is.” Those remarks were received by the NAN audience with loud cheers and applause.
Mayor of NYC
In November 2021, Adams was elected mayor of New York City, defeating Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa by a margin of 67.4% to 27.9%. Adams was subsequently sworn in as mayor shortly after midnight on January 1, 2022.
In early January 2022, Adams signed into law a bill, recently approved by the New York City Council, allowing up to one million noncitizens living in NYC to vote in local political elections. “I believe that New Yorkers should have a say in their government, which is why I have and will continue to support this important legislation,” Adams said in a statement on January 8. “While I initially had some concerns about one aspect of the bill,” he added, “I had a productive dialogue with my colleagues in government that put those concerns at ease. I believe allowing the legislation to be enacted is by far the best choice, and look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process.”
In February 2022, Adams was appointed as a co-chair of Everytown for Gun Safety‘s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). Appointed as fellow co-chairs were Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott; Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly; former Columbia (South Carolina) Mayor Steve Benjamin; St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones; Mount Vernon (New York) Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard; Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas; former Stockton, California Mayor Michael Tubbs; Tampa Mayor Jane Castor; and Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. The founding chairman of MAIG was former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
At an April 4, 2022 press conference at City Hall, Adams announced the start of a new advertising campaign that would use five digital billboards to try to entice Floridians to relocate to New York City. The billboards’ pitch would focus on the alleged injustice of Florida’s recently enacted Parental Rights in Education bill, which Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had signed into law a week earlier. Though the legislation was misrepresented by leftist critics as a “Don’t Say ‘Gay’” bill that supposedly prohibited any and all use of the word “gay” in Florida schools, the bill merely banned classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity by teachers of young children in grades 3 and below. The text of the bill stated: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” The billboards — which would be displayed for eight weeks in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach — contained the following messages:
Adams voiced his hope that these billboards, by depicting New York City as a place that welcomed LGBT people much more readily than Florida, might help reverse the recent trend that had seen massive numbers of New Yorkers relocating to Florida. Said the mayor: “We are going to loudly show our support, to say to those who are living in Florida, ‘Listen, we want you here in New York. Want you right here in New York City.’ It’s more than just saying that. It’s also standing up and aligning ourselves with the men and women of LGBTQ-plus community, and state that we are in unison with you and your right to have a self-identification, your right to live the lifestyle, live the life that you choose to live, without any form of harassment.” “Other folks want people to hide their color,” Adams added. “We’d like to show our color, and this rainbow is representative of this community. We want to remind everyone that New York City is full of people who will be celebrated now and in the future. This is the city of Stonewall, and we will continue to … be supportive of this community that has contributed to the diversity of our city.” Also citing the fact that the billboards had been donated to New York, Adams boasted: “This is costing New York City taxpayers nothing. Taxpayers are not paying a penny for that.”
In June 2022, Adams spoke out in support of a taxpayer-funded program that sent drag queens to tell stories to children in libraries and public schools. Such drag queens had appeared at 34 public elementary, middle, and high schools in New York City since the start of the year. “Drag storytellers, and the libraries and schools that support them, are advancing a love of diversity, personal expression, and literacy that is core to what our city embraces,” Adams tweeted on June 16. In another tweet that same day, he added: “At a time when our LGBTQ+ communities are under increased attack across this country, we must use our education system to educate. The goal is not only for our children to be academically smart, but also emotionally intelligent.”
During a press conference in late July 2022, Adams told his constituents that it was their civic duty to welcome the fact that their schools, hospitals, roads, and neighborhoods were being inundated with the many illegal aliens who were settling in New York City, as in many other cities, during the Biden administration. Among the mayor’s remarks were the following:
In response to Adams’ remarks, Texas Governor Greg Abbott subsequently sent New York City two buses filled with dozens of illegal aliens who had recently entered Texas unlawfully. “In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city,” Abbott said in a statement on August 5. “I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.” Adams, in turn, said at an August 7, 2022 news conference: “This is horrific when you think about what the governor is doing.” Moreover, Adams complained that Abbott’s administration was not giving NYC authorities advance notice vis-a-vis when the migrants could be expected to arrive in New York. “They’re not letting us know when the buses are leaving. They’re not letting us know what are the needs of the people on the bus. They are not giving us any information, so we’re unable to really provide the service to people en route.”
At a news conference on August 9, 2022, Adams suggested that he himself might lead a busload of New Yorkers down to Texas to campaign against Governor Abbott. “I already called all my friends in Texas and told them how to cast their votes,” said Adams. “And I am deeply contemplating taking a busload of New Yorkers to go to Texas and do some good old-fashioned door knocking because we have to, for the good of America, we have to get him [Abbott] out of office.”
On August 17, 2022 — at a time when average apartment rentals in New York City had recently reached an all-time high of $3,500 per month — the New York Post reported that the Adams administration was scrambling to find thousands of hotel rooms in which it could house the illegals who were flooding into the city:
“City officials are urgently seeking another 5,000 rooms in Big Apple hotels to house migrants bound for New York City from the southern border…. There is no price tag attached to the request that was released Wednesday [August 17], which was made under the emergency contracting powers invoked by Mayor Eric Adams when the migrant crisis first began in the city. It marks a dramatic expansion of the city’s efforts to secure temporary housing for the recent arrivals, sources say.
“The Department of Homeless Services had previously asked nonprofit social service providers to send in proposals to rent rooms and provide aid for 600 families set to be housed in a luxury Midtown hotel, the Row NYC on 8th Avenue. The new request for providers to secure thousands of rooms in hotels across the city is in addition to that, city officials confirmed. And it would come on top of the estimated 200 already secured and providing housing for families at the Skyline Hotel on 10th Avenue. If fully implemented, it would bring the number of hotel rooms rented for migrants in the city shelter system up to nearly 6,000. City Hall estimates that more than 4,000 migrants, many of whom are seeking asylum, have arrived in the five boroughs in recent weeks — and have become the subject of a high-profile feud between Hizzoner and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.”
A New York Post analysis calculated that NYC “could be on the hook for more than $300 million per year to provide shelter space in hotels for newly arrived migrants.”
Meanwhile, at a mid-August “Resource and Family Fun Day” event organized for illegal migrants and their children by the New York City hospital system, hundreds of migrants lined up outside Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx to take advantage of free giveaways of items like food, library cards, cell phones, back-to-school supplies, and health care coverage (offered by MetroPlusHealth).
In light of the fact that the Biden administration was expected to soon terminate the Trump-era policy known as Title 42, which had authorized the U.S. Border Patrol to quickly expel all newly apprehended illegal migrants because of “health and safety” concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Adams announced on December 18, 2022:
“We have been told in no uncertain terms that, beginning today, we should expect an influx of busses coming from the border and that more than 1,000 additional asylum seekers will arrive in New York City every week. We are in urgent need for help, and it’s time for our state and federal partners to act — especially those in Congress who refuse to provide the financial resources or issue temporary work authorizations necessary for these individuals to live properly.”
“Our shelter system is full, and we are nearly out of money, staff and space. Truth be told, if corrective measures are not taken soon, we may very well be forced to cut or curtail programs New Yorkers rely on, and the pathway to house thousands more is uncertain. These are not choices we want to make, but they may become necessary, and I refuse to be forced to choose new arrivals over current New Yorkers. I’ll say it again — we need a plan, we need assistance, and we need it now.”
On March 7, 2023, a Gothamist report provided details of how dire were the financial consequences of illegal migration to New York City:
“New York City on average spends about $363 a day on each asylum seeker household receiving services in city shelters and emergency relief centers and is on track to spend a total of $1.4 billion by the end of the fiscal year in June, Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol said during a recent City Council hearing.
“The cost for the ‘asylum seeker crisis’ could double to $2.8 billion in the next fiscal year, Iscol told the panel during a hearing last week. He said the city cannot maintain that support. ‘The city is at the end of its resources. This is not sustainable,’ Iscol said. ‘It’s why we have asked the state, it’s why we’ve asked the federal government for support.’ […]
“More than 30,000 newly arrived migrants are staying in city-run facilities, including seven so-called Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response centers, and 92 additional shelters opened by DHS since August.”
At an African American Mayors Association event on April 22, 2023, Adams lamented that while “the city is being destroyed by the migrant crisis,” there was insufficient federal assistance coming from Washington, D.C.
On May 1, 2023, Adams characterized Texas Governor Greg Abbot’s aforementioned moves to dispatch busloads of illegal aliens to New York and other Democrat-run cities as “morally bankrupt and devoid of any concern for the well-being of asylum seekers.” He also invoked racism, claiming that Abbott was “using this crisis to hurt Black-run cities.”
On May 5, 2023, Adams, whose city had taken in more than 61,000 migrants since the previous spring, announced that he was planning to expeditiously relocate 300 recent arrivals to hotels in New York’s suburbs in Orange and Rockland Counties.
GOP Rep. Michael Lawler, whose 17th Congressional District included part Rockland County, said: “Unless we deal with the border, there are going to continue to be migrants coming to New York City. And what’s the mayor’s plan? Just dump them off and other communities after decrying the fact that Southern governors were doing that very same thing [to NYC]?” “Rockland County,” he added, “is not a sanctuary county, unlike New York City and its boroughs, and should not bear the costs associated with the Biden administration’s abject failure on border security and immigration policy.”
In a similar spirit, Republican County Executive Steven Neuhaus of Orange County stated: “I think we’re going to have a standoff in the next 24 to 48 hours, because I just got word that the city [NYC] said, ‘screw Rockland and Orange, we’re sending these people up.’”
And Ed Day, the Republican County Executive of Rockland, told The New York Times in an interview: “Whatever we need to do to stop this, we will do. They’re [NYC’s leaders are] basically dumping them into a county where we’re not prepared for them.” Day went so far as to warn that Rockland County was prepared to issue thousand-dollar fines against any hotels that accepted migrants sent there by Mayor Adams.
On May 9, 2023, a Rockland County Supreme Court judge issued a temporary restraining order barring local hotels from housing “an influx of individuals without housing from the City of New York or any other municipality” unless permitted to do so by local laws. New York City spokesperson Fabien Levy said in response: “All this temporary order shows is that [Ed Day] is incapable of demonstrating a shred of the humane and compassionate care New York City has shown over the past year.” Levy also claimed that the political leaders of Rockland and Orange Counties “have sadly not met their moral mandate and have responded with opposition when each has been asked to care for less than one fourth of 1 percent of the asylum-seekers who have come to New York City when, once again, New York [City] would be paying for shelter, food and services.”
In a January 30, 2023 interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Adams spoke out about a January 7 incident where five black police officers had severely beaten a 29-year-old black man named Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee, injuring the man so badly that he needed hospitalization and he died three days later. The officers had initially stopped Nichols for reckless driving and had used pepper spray and a taser in an effort to subdue him. But Nichols managed to break free and run away. When the officers caught up with Nichols again, they beat him for approximately three minutes with punches, kicks, and baton blows.
In the aforementioned interview, Don Lemon asked: “[Memphis Police] Chief CJ Davis … said [because] all the officers being black, it takes race off the table. Do you agree that?” Adams answered: “No, I don’t…. I think race is still on the table. When a culture of policing historically has treated those from different groups differently, even when the individuals are from that same group, that culture can still exist, and we have to zero in on it, being honest about it, and making sure that we properly train police for the realities of the cities that they are policing in.”
On May 17, 2023, Adams announced the release of “a comprehensive plan to combat retail theft across New York City’s five boroughs” — in response to the fact that “with the exception of 2020, the total number of citywide shoplifting complaints ha[d] increased year over year [annually] since 2018, with the largest increase — 44 percent — taking place from 2021 to 2022.” Among the prevention and intervention strategies included in the plan were the following:
On June 5, 2023 — by which time more than 45,000 illegal migrants were being housed at taxpayer expense in some 160 emergency shelters and hotels in NYC — Adams announced that local religious leaders had agreed to start housing adult male migrants overnight at 50 places of worship across New York’s five boroughs in July. The cost of this endeavor would be approximately $125-per-night for each migrant — somewhat less than the $380-per-night tab for housing either a single adult or a family unit in a shelter hotel.
Adams also floated his idea for a “private residence” plan by which local homeowners could be compensated with taxpayer dollars in exchange for taking migrants into their homes. “There are residents who are suffering right now because of economic challenges,” said Adams. “They have spare rooms. They have locales.” “It’s cheaper and it’s a good investment for us to go to a family and assist them instead of placing people in large congregate settings or in these emergency hotels,” Adams elaborated. “And then if you are a family member where you are bilingual, you are going to be able to help the bilingual person that’s coming here.”
Adams acknowledged, however, that City Hall would need to circumvent an existing New York City law which required that a guest must live in a residence for at least 30 days before he or she could legally become a tenant. “We’re trying to navigate all the rules of how to get it done,” said a City Hall spokesperson said when pressed for details of how the plan would work. “There are many layers to how someone can use their space. We want to make sure that we follow all the rules and those rules that need to be changed within my power, we will push to do so. If there’s rules that need to be changed on the state level, we’re going to reach out to our state colleagues to do so.”
The spokesperson did not respond when asked if Mayor Adams would agree to take in migrants at his own home in Brooklyn.
By mid-July 2023, more than 90,000 border crossers and illegal aliens had taken advantage of New York City’s sanctuary policies. Approximately 55,000 of those were living in city-run hotel rooms, shelters, and other facilities — all funded by taxpayers.
On July 19, 2023, the Adams administration began issuing fliers to border crossers and illegal aliens, exhorting them to “please consider another city” rather than New York as their ultimate destination.
On July 20, Mayor Adams said that New York City had “reached full capacity.” “Our cup has basically runneth over,” he tweeted. “We have no more room in the city.”
In an August 2023 piece in City Journal, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Nicole Gelinas pointed out that “the principal factor attracting migrants” to New York City was a 1981 consent decree — which arose from a 1979 lawsuit brought by the Coalition for the Homeless against defendants Hugh Carey (NYS governor) and Ed Koch (NYC mayor) — stipulating that everyone in the city had a right to shelter. The Coalition’s attorneys argued that such a right was guaranteed by the state constitution’s declaration that the “aid, care and support of the needy are public concerns and shall be provided by the state and by such of its subdivisions.” The state supreme court agreed with that assessment, though New York’s highest court, the state court of appeals, was never given an opportunity to rule on the matter. Instead, the city and state entered into the aforementioned consent decree under which NYC pledged to “provide shelter and board to each homeless man [who meets] the need standard to qualify for the home relief program established in New York State” or to any man in need of “temporary shelter” because of “physical, mental or social dysfunction.” But in the consent decree, neither NYS nor NYC acknowledged an unalienable right to shelter. Rather, the settlement stated that the city would make shelter available to adult men “without final adjudication or any issue of fact or law therein, and without . . . admission by any party . . . with respect to any issue.”
Gelinas also detailed how the conditions that NYC was facing in 2023 were far more daunting than those of 1981, writing: “Forty-two years ago, when they agreed to the right-to-shelter regime for troubled New York street vagrants, Koch and Carey could never have contemplated that it would cover an indefinite number of people, men, women and children, and from around the world, no less—people who had not even spent one night in New York City before becoming eligible for private shelter. […] Now the migrant crisis has overwhelmed a system not built for it. The city is spending $4.1 billion on shelter this year, with just $600 million of that figure coming from Washington and $700 million from the state. The city is housing migrants in nearly 200 emergency shelters, mostly hotels, including mid-scale tourist hotels all over core Manhattan that would otherwise be contributing to the city’s economy and tax base.”
In a legal action filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on November 22, 2023, a woman whose name was withheld by the press accused Adams of having sexually assaulted her in an incident thirty years earlier. “Plaintiff was sexually assaulted by Defendant Eric Adams in New York, New York in 1993 while they both worked for the City of New York,” the summons stated without providing any details about the alleged encounter. The filing also named the NYPD’s Transit Bureau and Guardian Association as defendants. The plaintiff filed her summons under the Adult Survivors Act, which had gone into effect in New York in November 2022 to give sexual-abuse accusers a one-year window during which they could file lawsuits in state and federal courts about claims that would otherwise have been disallowed due to the statute of limitations. In response to the charge against him, Adams said that he did not recall ever having met the accuser.
In early February 2024, it was announced that the Adams administration would soon launch a $53 million pilot program — run by the New Jersey company Mobility Capital Finance — to distribute pre-paid credit cards to 500 families of asylum seekers who were being housed at taxpayer expense in NYC’s Roosevelt Hotel. The rules of the program stipulated that the beneficiaries would be permitted to use their cards only to purchase food or baby supplies at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets, or convenience stores. While the credit line on each card would vary depending on the size of the families and their already-existing income situations, a family of four could receive nearly $1,000 per month, and the value of the cards would be fully replenished every 28 days. Kayla Mamelak, spokesperson for Mayor Adams, said: “Not only will this provide families with the ability to purchase fresh food for their culturally relevant diets and the baby supplies of their choosing, but the pilot program is expected to save New York City more than $600,000 per month, or more than $7.2 million annually” — a figure derived from estimates that the city had theretofore been paying approximately $11 per meal to feed migrant families in hotels. “If the program is a success,” reported the New York Post, “the city will expand it to all migrant families staying in hotels, which is roughly 15,000 currently.”