Vera Action on the 110th Mayoral Administration of New York City

This month, New Yorkers went to the polls to choose the city’s next mayoral administration, voting on several important elected offices, including Mayor, the new Manhattan District Attorney, Public Advocate, Comptroller, and several City Council seats. Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer, won the election and will be the next Mayor of New York City, making him the second Black man ever to hold this position.

We congratulate Mayor-elect Eric Adams on his new role and are calling on the new Adams administration to commit to the following platform:

  • Appoint reform-minded leaders to key criminal justice positions including creating a new deputy mayor position for public safety. And, appoint experts with demonstrated experience of working on behalf of and advocating for Black communities and other communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system.
  • Fulfill his campaign pledge to finally close Rikers Island. Although it is encouraging to hear Adams commit to following through on Mayor de Blasio’s plan to close the Rikers Island complex by 2027, he must deliver a clear plan of action and work transparently and in tandem with community leaders throughout his tenure to accomplish this goal.
  • Make meaningful investments in community-driven public safety. The mayor plays a central role in driving public safety through the budgeting process. Mayor Adams must commit to investing at least $500 million into community-driven public safety programs, including community violence intervention, supportive and permanent housing for people released from jail and prison, and similar programs. One central piece of the response to gun violence is increased investments in community-driven public safety solutions like violence prevention and other intervention programs that have proven to be effective. Community violence intervention programs use outreach, direct communication, and transformative relationships to engage, support, and address those at greatest risk of gun violence. These programs have an impressive track record of success. A Crown Heights neighborhood in New York City served by Save Our Streets, a Cure Violence affiliate, experienced 20 percent less gun violence than expected in comparison to adjacent communities. Adams should increase the $30 million the city spends on these programs to match the scale and demand for these programs in communities across the city.
  • Act as an ally for legislation and reform efforts in Albany by championing criminal justice reform, setting the tone for the rest of the state. As the legislature considers criminal justice bills, Adams must seek to protect bail reform, encourage passage of parole reform, and tackle other criminal justice priorities. New York’s next mayor must lead from the front, putting a stop to rampant fearmongering that threatens effective, progressive legislation.

Also, today marks the election of Alvin Bragg as the new District Attorney for the borough of Manhattan, making him the first Black person to ever hold this position. Prior to his election, Bragg advanced his Day One Memo, which includes specific policies to reduce the population at Rikers Island, using increased use of diversion programs, declining to prosecute minor offenses, and reduced pretrial detention. We look forward to working with Manhattan District Attorney Bragg to implement commonsense policies that safely decarcerate Rikers Island.

Finally, with Brad Lander as Comptroller, Jumaane Williams as Public Advocate, and several new progressive members elected to City Council, all of whom centered their campaigns around justice and equity, we are hopeful that the next administration will take decisive action to reform our jails and criminal legal system.

About Vera Action
Vera Action is an independent, nonpartisan not-for-profit organization launched in 2021 to serve as the advocacy and political arm of the Vera Institute of Justice. Working in partnership with impacted communities and government leaders for change, Vera Action shapes and advocates for legislation, policy, and leadership that prioritizes racial justice, transforms the criminal legal and immigration systems and delivers on a vision of a safer and more equitable country for everyone.