Adrienne Adams to Become First Black Woman to Lead the City Council of New York

Image: Sarah Stier/Getty Images for QBFC

Adrienne Adams will become the first Black woman to lead the city council of New York, the New York Times reports.

Adams, a council member from Queens, secured 32 votesfrom her colleagues to win the coveted job after a highly contested race.

As a speaker, she will give leadership to the city’s agenda and negotiate with Mayor-elect Eric Adams over a budget estimated at $100 billion, which is larger than a few states. 

“I am honored to have earned the support and the trust of my colleagues to be their speaker. Our coalition reflects the best of our city,” Adams said. “We are ready to come together to solve the enormous challenges we face in order to not just recover from COVID but to build a better, fairer city that works for everyone.”

Adams’ base of support for her candidacy as council speaker was a diverse coalition that included various labor groups, progressive members as well as other members of the Bronx and Queens Democratic parties.

“She is an outer-borough person who has these issues similar to mine: the transit deserts, the outer-borough struggle for recognition, for the disparities we have,” said Marjorie Velázquez, an incoming council member from the Bronx.

On Friday, Francisco Moya of Queens withdrew from the race issuing a statement saying that “it is clear that I do not have a path to victory,” describing the incumbent as a “dedicated and thoughtful leader” who he expected would work well with all council members.

Mayor-elect Adams pledged to stay out of the race but he and his allies privately had conversations to back Moya as the preferred candidate for the job. With Adams’ victory and his support of Moya, Mayor-elect Adams risked his important political capital and suffered his first political setback before officially assuming office next month.

On Twitter, Mayor-elect Adams gave his public support of Adams as council speaker.

“After weeks of hearing from incoming Council Members and leaders I trust across New York, I am convinced that Adrienne Adams will be the best choice to lead our City Council forward, and I believe she has the support to do it,” his tweet read.

With women and people of color in the majority, the new-look city council will be the most diverse in the history of the city.

Adams will be installed as council speaker in January along with the incoming City Council who will be sworn in.

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