Eric Adams Courts Business as He Prepares to Become New York City Mayor Jan. 1

Table of Contents Mary Ann Tighe, the chief executive for the New York region of the commercial real-estate company CBRE.SHARE YOUR THOUGHTSKeechant Sewell, chief of detectives in Nassau County, will become the first woman to lead the New York Police Department. As Eric Adams prepares to become mayor of New […]

As Eric Adams prepares to become mayor of New York City Jan. 1, he has been reaching out to local business leaders in the first signs of what executives say they hope will be an administration more focused on economic development and law enforcement than that of Mayor

Bill de Blasio.

Already, Mr. Adams, a Democrat, has stacked his administration with a mix of aides who worked with both former Republican Mayor

Michael Bloomberg

and Mr. de Blasio, a fellow Democrat.

Mr. Adams, who will leave his current post as Brooklyn borough president to become mayor, convened a corporate council as part of his transition and was feted at a breakfast event Dec. 16 by Mr. Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP who left the Republican Party and ran in last year’s Democratic presidential primary. Mr. Adams also has promised to stay in regular contact with members of the Partnership for New York City, a business group.

According to people advising Mr. Adams’s transition, the outreach is intended to cement a partnership with business leaders, who have said decreased perceptions of public safety and remote work because of the pandemic pose twin threats to the economy of the country’s largest city.

In June’s Democratic primary, Mr. Adams defeated numerous challengers who pledged to raise taxes on the wealthy and cut funding for law enforcement. He beat Republican Curtis Sliwa in the general election in November.

Mr. Adams has promised to revive a plainclothes police unit to focus on gun-related crimes, and he has asked employers to build a database to match open positions with people looking for work.

Mary Ann Tighe, the chief executive for the New York region of the commercial real-estate company CBRE.


Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg News

During the first meeting of Mr. Adams’s corporate council on Dec. 13,

Mary Ann Tighe,

the chief executive for the New York region of the commercial real-estate company CBRE, asked the mayor-elect if he would call businesses that were considering relocating to the city.

“Give me the list. I’ll call them all,” Mr. Adams replied, according to people on the call.

Ms. Tighe said in an interview that she appreciated Mr. Adams’s response and was impressed by the appointment of Lorraine Grillo, who is now the city’s Covid-19 recovery czar, as first deputy mayor. “We’re all hoping that the excellent rhetoric translates into action,” Ms. Tighe said.

This was a contrast from Mr. de Blasio, she said. The outgoing mayor campaigned on raising taxes on the wealthy and spoke of a “tale of two cities” that executives said made them an outcrowd.

In two closely watched mayoral races, Eric Adams was elected to become the second Black mayor of New York City, while Michelle Wu took home the victory as the first woman and first person of color elected to lead Massachusetts’ capital city. Photo: Justin Lane/Shutterstock, Josh Reynolds/Associated Press (Video from 11/3/21)

Mr. de Blasio has said that he worked well with many business leaders during the pandemic but acknowledged there was a “natural tension” given his work to address income inequality. “There are times where I could have been a better communicator for sure,” he said at a news conference Dec. 22.

“This is going to be a place where we welcome business and not turn into the dysfunctional city that we have been for so many years,” Mr. Adams said this fall at a networking conference organized by

Anthony Scaramucci,

an investor and former official in the Trump White House.


How do you think New York will fare under Mayor Eric Adams? Join the conversation below.

Mr. Adams included a temporary tax on people reporting more than $5 million a year in a campaign document, but more recently said on CNBC that he wants to trim waste in city spending before raising levies. He also proposed sales tax holidays and commercial tax breaks for small businesses.

He promised to increase investment in health clinics and expand the summer youth employment program so it is year round. Labor unions representing municipal employees, hotel and property service workers endorsed Mr. Adams before the primary and additional unions backed him in the general election.

Mr. Bloomberg also has had members of his former administration share documents on city management with the incoming mayor, people with knowledge of the matter said.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to be helpful to the new mayor and his team,” said Howard Wolfson, a former deputy mayor to Mr. Bloomberg.

Along with Mr. Adams, about two-thirds of the 51-member New York City Council will take office in the new year. There are already signals that more progressive newcomers in the council will clash with the mayor, over public safety issues in particular. On Dec. 21, 29 incoming City Council members sent Mr. Adams a letter urging him to reconsider a plan to reinstate solitary confinement at the Rikers Island Jail Complex.

Tiffany Cabán, an incoming council member from Queens and former public defender, said the council would be a check on Mr. Adams’s public safety agenda.

Keechant Sewell, chief of detectives in Nassau County, will become the first woman to lead the New York Police Department.


Brittainy Newman/Associated Press

Mr. Adams, who selected Keechant Sewell, chief of detectives in Nassau County, as the first woman to lead the New York Police Department, said his experience as an officer before being elected to public office gave him confidence in his stance. The incoming mayor said some of the new City Council members were simply being disruptive.

“I’m going to ignore them,” he told reporters on Dec. 21. “I’m going to stay committed, undistracted and I’m going to grind. If they like it or not—I’m the mayor.”

Write to Jimmy Vielkind at [email protected]

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