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New York City Mayor Eric Adams opened his administration on Saturday by telling residents they were recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and fixing long-standing problems like crime-ridden communities.
“Our government has been dysfunctional for far too long, creating its own crisis long before COVID – be it through criminal communities, poor schools, economic inequality or racial injustice,” said Adams.
“Our problems have normalized for generations as the New York government struggled to keep up with the energy and innovation of New Yorkers. That changes today. “
Adams was sworn in shortly after the ball was dropped in Times Square to celebrate the start of 2022.
The 61-year-old Democrat faces the immense challenge of pulling the city out of the pandemic and taking office as the city grapples with record numbers of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant. He plans to keep many of outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s guidelines, including vaccine mandates, which are among the strictest in the country.
ERIC ADAMS AFTER BALL DROP. REJECTED AS MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY
“With better city government and a laser focus on taming COVID, turning our economy upside down and reducing crime, we can bring glory to more New York stories,” he said.
“But for this we also have to lay down the weapons of rhetoric and reach for results. The ideological wars of our recent political past are more costly today than ever as we face such serious challenges, “said Adams. “These struggles divide us by forcing us to make wrong decisions instead of working together on practical solutions.”
He then touched on the sensitive debate over police reform, which has intensified in recent years amid a series of high-profile police encounters.
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“Some will continue to say that we have to choose between public safety and human rights. But we can’t have both. It is for this reason that I will devote more resources to stopping violent crime as I work with Commissioner Sewell to reform our law enforcement agency, “said Adams.
He added, “Some would say we have to choose between closing our city and putting New Yorkers at risk from COVID. I also say no to that. “
Adams, the former president of the Brooklyn borough, has taken a more business-friendly and moderate stance than his predecessor, but describes himself as a practical and progressive mayor who will “get things done.” He is the city’s second black mayor after David Dinkins, who served from 1990 to 1993, and the 110th mayor of New York City.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.