Friday, January 03, 2014

From City Limits' Brooklyn Bureau: New Brooklyn Beep Adams Offers Continuity and Change

Brooklyn BP web site today
I have an interview with/report on new Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in City Limits' Brooklyn Bureau, headlined New Brooklyn Beep Adams Offers Continuity and Change. A couple of excerpts:
After a smooth ascension to lead New York's most populous borough, cop-turned-state-Senator Eric Adams took the torch from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz at Prospect Park Tuesday night and has begun to put his stamp on the office, namely a focus on partnerships to help the borough's most vulnerable, given that some 25 percent of Brooklynites live in poverty.
In pursuing the goal he calls One Brooklyn, Adams recognizes he must build on Markowitz's deft use over 12 years of the office's soapbox. He's solidifying his transformation from firebrand to statesman, a process well under way as he cruised to victory, with long-shot primary challenger John Gangemi knocked off the Democratic ballot and token opposition in the general election.
...Markowitz's private fundraising—which supported not only concerts but promoted tourism and sent poor kids to camp—was seen both as a worthy effort and a system of self-promotion that allowed companies doing business in Brooklyn to maintain ties with Borough Hall.
Adams seems unworried. “We have to be bold but we have to be legal and ethical,” Adams said, adding, “I think it's almost a luxury to question where money's coming from that's legally given to you…when you don't have the resources to provide to your constituents.”
While he may approach developers as “community corporate sponsors,” Adams said, he promises a fair assessment when they come to his office as business entities.
On Atlantic Yards
Adams has tempered his style. For example, in November, 13 elected officials from Central Brooklyn requested restrictions on Forest City Ratner's planned sale of 70 percent of the Atlantic Yards project to the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group, arguing for new oversight and a shorter schedule to build affordable housing.
Senator Adams, the borough president-in-waiting, didn't join in. “It was a methodology decision,” Adams said. “Everybody knows I can be a flamethrower; now I have to be a coalition grower.”
Markowitz continuation?
The web site last month
Adams praises Markowitz enthusiastically, but is still evaluating his predecessor's endeavors. For now, the borough president's web sitehas been stripped of what were dubbed “Marty's Initiatives,” including Camp Brooklyn, Take Your Man to the Doctor, Graffiti-Free Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Book Festival.
The Brooklyn Book Festival, Adams said, is “a great idea” and will continue, but it's not clear if it will be steered by the borough president's office or by Markowitz-led non-profit initiatives like Brooklyn Tourism. Still, if Markowitz wants to continue to lead it, Adams said, he'll gladly offer use of Borough Hall.
For the full article, click here.

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