Adams rallies with union crowd ahead of election day

Mayoral candidate Eric Adams at a rally with union members before election day on Nov. 1.
Photo by Morgan C. Mullings

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is not the winner of the 2021 mayoral race just yet, despite assumptions to the contrary. The Democratic candidate doesn’t want New Yorkers to make the same mistake they did in the 2016 presidential election, and encouraged them to keep rallying and to show up early to the polls on Nov. 2.

“And I don’t want New Yorkers to be fooled. We made that mistake with Donald Trump. We thought it couldn’t happen, and we saw what happened,” Adams said at an event with union leaders on Monday. Though he didn’t hesitate to call his Republican opponent Curtis Sliwa a “clown” once again, he was focused on touting his blue-collar heritage, in front of a crowd of SEIU 32BJ, the Hotel Workers Union, NY State Nurses Association, and 1880 CWA members. 

“Finally, one of your own,” he said, and the crowd responded with cheers. “Eric becoming mayor is stating that a dishwasher can become a mayor, that nurse can become a mayor, that fast food employee can become a mayor.”

As of the close of polls on Sunday Oct. 31, there were 169.879 early voting check-ins, according to the NYC Board of Elections. The highest turnout for early voting was in Manhattan, and Adams’ home borough of Brooklyn followed close behind, both in the 47,000 range. Adams said that voters should not get distracted before the final tally. “You don’t win a baseball game in the eighth inning. November 2nd is the ninth inning,” he said. 

The unions present at the fountain in front of City Hall were ready for their “labor mayor,” as he called it. Kyle Bragg, president of SEIU 32BJ, said that Adam’s union and police work history proves he will institute police accountability as mayor. “We’re fighting for justice and respect for Black and brown lives and Black and brown communities, and get real police accountability. Eric’s the man who will make that happen,” Bragg said. 

Adams poses with the Hotel Trades Council after the rally.Photo by Morgan C. Mullings

Not only does Adams relate to the struggles of union workers, Bragg said, but he also stood alongside SEIU 32BJ members in each of their contract fights. “He’s the mayor who will fight for the working families of this city to ensure that they have equal opportunity and success,” Bragg said. 

“We don’t have to have a conversation with Eric about the feeling of city workers because he’s been there,” said Henry Garrido, head of municipal employee union DC 37.  Adams would likely be the third mayor with a previous union membership. He was once represented by the NYPD Captains Endowment Association. 

Pat Kane, a registered nurse and executive director of the NY Sate Nurses Association, spoke highly of Adams’ work before he started campaigning for mayor. “His commitment to change has been evident long before COVID ever hit,” Kane said. Adams’ plan for the working class includes direct cash assistance through his NYC aid program for struggling families and expanding childcare as well for working parents.