As Eric Adams prepares to become mayor of New York City on January 1, he has reached out to local business leaders in the first signs of what executives say they hope will be an administration more focused on economic development and law enforcement. than the mayor’s. Bill de Blasio.
Already, Mr. Adams, a Democrat, stacked his administration with a mix of aides who worked with both former Republican mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mr. de Blasio, a fellow Democrat.
Mr. Adams, who is leaving his current post as Brooklyn city president to become mayor, convened a corporate council as part of his transition and was celebrated at a Dec. 16 breakfast event by Mr. Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP, who left the Republican Party and ran in last year’s Democratic presidential election. Mr. Adams has also promised to maintain regular contact with members of the Partnership for New York City, a business group.
According to people who advise Mr. Adams’ move is an outreach to cement a partnership with business leaders who have said reduced perceptions of public safety and teleworking due to the pandemic pose twin threats to the country’s largest city.
In June’s Democratic primary, Mr. Adam’s several challengers, who promised to raise taxes on the wealthy and cut funding for law enforcement. He beat Republican Curtis Sliwa in the November general election.
Mr. Adams has promised to revive a plainclothes police unit to focus on gun-related crimes, and he has asked employers to build a database to match vacancies with people looking for work.
During the first meeting of Mr. Adams’ corporate council on Dec. 13 asked Mary Ann Tighe, executive director of the New York region of commercial real estate company CBRE, the elected mayor, if he would call companies considering moving. to the city.
“Give me the list. I’ll call them all,” Mr. Adams replied according to people on the call.
Ms. Tighe said in an interview that she appreciated Mr Adams’ response and was impressed with the appointment of Lorraine Grillo, who is now the city’s Covid-19 recovery czar, as the first deputy mayor. “We all hope that the excellent rhetoric translates into action,” Ms. Tighe.
This was a contrast from Mr de Blasio, she said. The outgoing mayor campaigned to raise taxes on the wealthy and spoke of a “tale of two cities” that leaders said made them a crowd.
Mr. de Blasio has said he worked well with many business leaders during the pandemic, but acknowledged there was a “natural tension” due to his work addressing income inequality. “There are times when I certainly could have been a better communicator,” he said at a Dec. 22 press conference.
“This is going to be a place where we welcome business and not become the dysfunctional city that we have been for so many years,” said Mr. Adams this fall at a networking conference hosted by Anthony Scaramucci, an investor and former Trump White House official.
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Mr. Adams included a temporary tax on people reporting more than $ 5 million a year in a campaign document, but recently told CNBC he wants to reduce waste in city spending before raising taxes. He also proposed VAT holidays and commercial tax breaks for small businesses.
He promised to increase investment in health clinics and expand the youth employment program so that it is year-round. Trade unions representing municipal employees, hotel and real estate service workers supported Mr Adams before the primary and further unions supported him in the parliamentary elections.
Mr. Bloomberg has also gotten members of his former administration to share documents on city management with the incoming mayor, people with knowledge of the case said.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to be helpful to the new mayor and his team,” said Howard Wolfson, a former deputy mayor of Mr. Bloomberg.
Together with Mr. Adams will join about two-thirds of the 51-member New York City Council in the new year. There are already signals that more progressive newcomers to the council will clash with the mayor, especially over issues of public safety. On December 21, 29 prospective city council members sent Mr. Adams a letter urging him to reconsider a plan to reinstate solitary confinement in the Rikers Island Jail Complex.
Tiffany Cabán, a future Queens councilor and former public defender, said the council would be a check on Mr. Adams’ Public Safety Agenda.
Mr. Adams, who chose Keechant Sewell, chief of detectives in Nassau County, as the first woman to head the New York Police Department, said his experience as an officer before he was elected to public office gave him confidence in his position. The incoming mayor said some of the new city council members were simply disruptive.
“I will ignore them,” he told reporters on December 21. “I want to stay engaged, undisturbed, and I want to laugh. Whether they like it or not – I’m the mayor.”
Write to Jimmy Vielkind at Jimmy.Vielkind@wsj.com
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