Eric Adams joins other black mayors to decry ‘Defund the Police,’ White House handling of border
Big Apple Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday joined several other big-city Democratic black leaders in decrying the “Defund the Police” movement and the White House’s response to the country’s border crisis.
Adams joined his fellow mayors from Los Angeles and Houston in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” where he repeated his mantra that public safety is “the prerequisite to prosperity.
“When people hear public safety, they think police,” Hizzoner said. “We are saying public safety is intervention and prevention. We must stop feeding criminal behavior.”
“If you go into the average community of color or any community, they’ll tell you, ‘No, we want our police — but we want them to do fair policing,’ ” Adams said.
He appeared along with Karen Bass, the mayor of Los Angeles, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Bass’s recent inauguration marked the first time in history that the country’s four largest cities, including Chicago, are being led by black mayors at the same time.
Bass and Turner both cited public safety and homelessness as their biggest challenges, hedging their criticisms of the “Defund” movement with calls for more funding for social services.
“What I believe is, is that over time, especially, the federal government, state and cities have divested, defunded social services,” Bass said. “We need to refund our communities — build out the social-safety net so that people don’t fall into crime.”
Turner told host Jonathan Karl, “It’s not about defunding the police, it’s about investing in communities.”
The three mayors also took turns calling on the federal government to step up to address the influx of migrants coming to their cities.
“This is a national problem,” Adams said. “Our national government — Congress and the White House — must do a long-term immigration policy, but the White House must deal with the immediate emergency we have now.”
Adams and his administration held a rally at City Hall on Sunday to call on federal and state officials to help New York City manage its ongoing surge in migrants from the southern border.
The mayor stopped short of directly criticizing President Biden, a fellow Democrat.
“We met with a member of the White House in a closed-door meeting with other mayors… and we engaged in a conversation with them,” he said.
“I believe that they understand the full reality that we are facing, and it’s going to take a coordination by the federal government. The White House must have someone that is solely responsible for coordinating all of the cities that are involved directly and even those cities that are not involved directly, so we can have a decompression strategy. And we’re going to continue those talks with them.”
One attendee at the mayor’s rally, Yesenia Mata, the executive director at La Colmena, an immigrant rights center on Staten Island, said her organization has a waitlist of 400 people for its workforce-entry classes.
The organization needs more “support” to be able to expand its services to deal with immigrant influx, Mata said.
“We’re trying to create those additional spaces, but this is why federal and state support is needed, because we need to be able to get bigger spaces. We need to be able to get more staff to support us in this capacity,” she explained. “Everyone is in a waiting period.”
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