Eric Adams was sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City just after midnight Saturday in Times Square following the New Year’s Eve ball drop celebration. He is the second Black mayor in the city’s history. Adams now takes office after Bill de Blasio’s two terms, marking the first time in 30 years that Democrats consecutively served as the city’s mayor.
As thousands of revelers began to steadily stream out of the Crossroads of the World, Adams emerged at around 12:06 a.m. holding a portrait of his late mother on his right hand and his left hand on his family Bible as Judge Sylvia Hinds-Radix administered the oath of office. Adams, wearing a dark blue suit, was surrounded by his friends and family, including his son Jordan and his chief of staff Frank Carone.
Immediately after reciting the oath, Adams was ushered off the stage. He did not make remarks.
Earlier this week, Adams said he chose the Times Square ball drop celebration as the backdrop for his swearing-in ceremony to symbolize his goal to re-energize a city battered by the coronavirus outbreak for nearly two years. Former mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg was also sworn into office in Times Square during the New Year’s Eve ball drop celebration in 2002.
While a mayoral swearing-in event is usually followed by inauguration ceremony later in the day, Adams was forced to cancel his planned event at Kings Theater in Brooklyn because of the recent rapid spread of COVID-19 across the city, driven by the omicron variant. Past mayors have traditionally held their ceremonies outside City Hall. Comptroller Brad Lander and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, both from Brooklyn, were expected to join Adams, symbolizing the borough’s political influence citywide.
Adams easily won the November general election over Republican challenger Curtis Sliwa following an intense June primary contest against 12 Democratic candidates. While his rivals presented a progressive platform as a pathway toward improving the city’s quality of life, Adams embraced a center-left agenda largely focused on reducing crime.
During his campaign, Adams consistently tapped into his working class roots, growing up dyslexic and on the brink of homelessness. His turning point, as he recalled, was being brutalized by the NYPD when he was 15. The encounter compelled him to join the police department, retiring with the rank of captain.
According to a poll released a day before the June primary by Ipsos, crime remained a top concern as voters headed to the polls, with 39% of those polled saying Adams was the best candidate suited to reduce crime.
Adams, 61, succeeds de Blasio, a progressive Democrat long perceived by police unions as being too soft on crime. Adams is now the second Black mayor in the city’s 124-year history, the first being David Dinkins in 1990.
Adams enters the mayoralty facing a number of pressing issues, notably the coronavirus crisis. On Thursday, Adams presented a plan to curb the spread of the virus during the winter that largely embraces de Blasio’s policies, including a vaccine mandate for private employers. Adams has staunchly maintained that the city will not shut down, a position de Blasio also held.
His first day in office will include a walk to City Hall where he will address the city for the first time as mayor. He will also sign several executive orders before heading to the 113th Precinct in Queens to greet officers alongside NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, according to his team.