Eric Adams vows to be Lindsay-like mayor of the people

Democratic mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams on Thursday promised to lead the Big Apple from the streets instead of City Hall — cycling around town, riding the subway and even doing his own laundry.

“New Yorkers want to believe again,” the Brooklyn borough president said Thursday as he left his office at Borough Hall to cycle three miles across the county to a Park Slope street co-naming ceremony honoring the late legendary New York Post columnist Pete Hamill.

“They want to look at a mayor that is going to make them believe again. And that is what we’re going to do. They’re going to see me riding my bike through the city, see me doin’ my own laundry, see me in the supermarkets, see me on the trains — they want to see their leaders again,” Adams said before mounting his gray Citizen Jamis bicycle.

Adams has a nearly 10-point lead over second-place finisher Maya Wiley in the first round of the city’s new ranked-choice voting system. While the outcome won’t be official until mid-July, experts say Adams’ current lead will be hard to beat.

Mayoral candidate Eric Adams promised to be an approachable mayor who is often seen in  public if elected.
Mayoral candidate Eric Adams promised to be an approachable mayor who is often seen in public if elected.
Matthew McDermott

The retired NYPD captain also said he’d model his leadership style after former Mayor John Lindsay who famously walked the streets of Harlem following Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968 to prevent rioting.

“Lindsay used to do these things called ‘walks.’ And he would just walk throughout a community,” Adams told reporters before his bike ride.

Eric Adams takes a selfie with a woman while on a bike ride on June 24, 2021.
Paul Martinka

“And that is what I’m going to do. You know, you can’t be a good shepherd if you’re not among the sheep. And you, you have to be among people. Mayors and leaders are too removed from people. And if you’re not among people — the people don’t come up to you and feel comfortable enough to say, ‘Can I take a picture with you?’

“They don’t feel comfortably enough uh to walk up to you and, you know, approach you — then they’re not going to be inspired. There’s a lack of inspiration in our city. I don’t know if you see it, but that inspiration is going to change. They’re going to see an ordinary guy be the mayor of the City of New York,” Adams said.

Eric Adams giving a woman a hug in Manhattan on June 16, 2021.
Eric Adams gives a woman a hug in Manhattan on June 16, 2021.
Christopher Sadowski

If he’s declared the winner of the Democratic primary, Adams will face off against the Republican candidate, Guardian Angel founder Curtis Sliwa, during the general election in November. Given that Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city eight to one, Adams will very likely be the next mayor.

Additional reporting by Sean Conlon