July 8, 2021

Eric Adams Wins

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It’s Time to Rethink Your Media Diet.

“Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has won the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City… He triumphed over a large Democratic field in New York’s first major race to use ranked choice voting. Results from the latest tabulations released Tuesday showed him leading former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia by 8,426 votes, or a little more than 1 percentage point.” AP News

Here’s our recent coverage of the NYC mayoral election. The Flip Side

See past issues

From the Left

The left is divided about whether Adams’s victory is a setback for progressivism and argues that ranked-choice voting was a success.

“Though Adams could never match Yang's devoted online followers or Garcia's strength among the centrist insiders who are so influential in the media, his personal story, endorsements from well-known elected officials and crime-fighting credentials resonated with older, pragmatic and heavily African American and White Catholic and Jewish primary voters. For many of these voters, Adams's insider resume made him seem ready for the job, while his more moderate -- in the context of heavily Democratic New York City -- policies were similar to their own views…

“He won by building a multi-racial, but politically moderate, coalition which was drawn both to his status as the only experienced politician among the four strongest candidates as well as to his years working in law enforcement… Adams' victory looks very much like President Joe Biden's primary victory, albeit with something of a New York twist -- and that may just be the key to the Democratic Party's future electoral success.”
Lincoln Mitchell, CNN

Others argue that “Even in defeat, progressives are forcing the Democratic Party to shift to the left. In part because of the candidacies of Sanders and Warren, Biden ran on a platform that was much more progressive than former president Barack Obama did, and thus far, he has been a more progressive president than Obama was. Similarly, Adams, like the more progressive Wiley, ran on reforming the NYPD and stopping police brutality — he just says he won’t do it through cutting police funding…

“All that said, the left needs to get better at electoral politics. Polls suggest Democratic voters like Medicare-for-all but are wary of changes to their own health insurance plans, and that they like reallocating some police functions to other agencies but not ‘defunding the police.’ So the left needs to improve at getting its framing of an issue into the political discourse…

“[Until then] they will be stuck trying to push their ideas onto centrists like Biden and Adams who hold the power, a process that will have some successes but also many frustrations.”
Perry Bacon Jr., Washington Post

“The mayoral race was not the only contest on the ballot in the June 22 election and the ensuing rounds of ranked-choice redistributions. Two other citywide contests were decided, as well. In one, for the position of public advocate, a bold progressive incumbent, Jumaane Williams won a landslide victory…

“The contest for city comptroller was a tighter race, but it also was won by a progressive champion… [Brad Lander is] a cofounder of the council’s Progressive Caucus and a national leader in the Local Progress network progressive officials…

“Adams’s narrow win will get a lot of attention. Fair enough; it’s significant. But so, too, are the Williams and Lander wins. So, too, is the victory of reformer Alvin Bragg in the crowded contest for Manhattan district attorney. So, too, are the many wins for progressive City Council candidates.”
John Nichols, The Nation

“[The] mayor’s race briefly descended into chaos this week when an employee at the city’s Board of Elections mistakenly tabulated 135,000 test ballots — adding 135,000 phantom votes to the total. It was a human screwup, at an institution with a long history of incompetence. If anything, the lesson is that electoral administration is important infrastructure in need of investment…

“It would be a mistake to attribute any of this confusion to the introduction of ranked-choice voting to New York City. By any measure, the ranked-choice voting part of the election was a resounding success… Primary turnout hit its highest levels in more than 20 years… 95 percent of voters considered ranked-choice voting to be simple.”
Lee Drutman, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right is optimistic about Adams and calls on him to take steps to reduce crime and improve public services.

The right is optimistic about Adams and calls on him to take steps to reduce crime and improve public services.

“Mr. Adams’s victory is all the more impressive in that he did it by winning the minority vote in the outer boroughs and much of majority-white Staten Island. Ms. Garcia, endorsed like Mr. de Blasio by the New York Times, did better in the tonier parts of Manhattan. Mr. Adams rescued the party from the gentry left…

“Other Democrats have slowly figured out they have a crime problem. But unlike Mr. Adams, they still attribute it almost entirely to guns, rather than the progressive vilification of police that has left neighborhoods unprotected. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week called gun violence a state emergency and signed new gun-control legislation. He’d do better to repeal the state’s bail reform law, which frees suspects of grave crimes to return to the streets as they await a trial.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

“Cutting crime is partly straightforward prioritization: rather than ‘defund,’ for example, hire thousands of new police officers to replace a record number of retiring cops… But it will also require mettle in a public-relations crisis: if cops are expected to secure the subway, for example, their elected leader must show support when an officer, say, subdues a suspect refusing to cooperate when caught jumping over a turnstile and the altercation gets caught on video…

“Winning was one thing. Governing—beginning January 1, 2022, after a bizarre six-month waiting period, because of the June primary election—will be another. In the first 100 days in office, the new mayor must show real results on violent crime. The new mayor must convince white-collar employers that they still need their acres in the sky of pricey office space…

“And with most labor contracts with the municipal workforce either expired or soon expiring, he or she must pragmatically sign new labor agreements before future-year deficits—$11.5 billion over the new mayor’s first three fiscal years—become public-service-cutting crises.”
Nicole Gelinas, City Journal

“At a minimum, [Adams] must seek meaningful productivity gains and bring New York’s pension and health benefits in line with those of federal and state workers, before ballooning budgets lead to tax increases or service cuts that make the city even less attractive…

To ensure a robust economic recovery, the next mayor must usher in an era of housing abundance. Even after the pandemic, New York remains exceptionally unaffordable by national standards. Removing regulatory obstacles to market-rate development is the only way to ensure reasonable rents…

“At a time when families with children are reconsidering their commitment to urban cores, New York also needs higher quality schools. Where de Blasio focused on redistributing seats at the city’s most academically selective middle and high schools, the next administration must increase the number of good schools and the number of seats within them, regardless of whether they are charters, traditional public schools, independent private schools or religious schools. To that end, Adams should urge state legislators to remove the cap on the number of charter schools permitted in the city.”
Reihan Salam, Washington Post

Crisis after crisis has been ignored these past eight years. Adams has a chance to fix them. Black families in Queens are crying out for better schools. Let’s get a chancellor who actually cares, pushes to lift the charter cap, and stops believing that the answer to educational inequality is making sure smart kids can’t be challenged. The mentally ill homeless can be treated, rather than left to sleep on the floor of Penn Station. Restaurants and small businesses can be encouraged, rather than regulated and fined to the brink of bankruptcy…

“There’s a better way for New York; we know there is. So congratulations, Mr. Adams. And good luck. The work starts soon.”
Editorial Board, New York Post

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