This new year brings in four new borough presidents, one of whom is Eric Adams in Brooklyn, who says he will put "people first" in his agenda. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
The walls and most of the shelves are bare, and there's no name plate at the desk just yet, but new Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that he's been busy laying out his agenda for Brooklynites.
"People first," he said. "My legacy is not going to be one that is sexy or attractive to many people on the outside looking in."
Adams said his initiatives will focus on the well being of everyday Brooklynites, from financial literacy to healthy eating to mental and emotional stability.
"When you have things such as knockout games, and young 16-year-olds are being shot when they come home from a social event, I want to really start focusing on the social emotional learning," he said.
Public safety is his background. Adams had a career in the police department for 22 years before becoming a state senator. Now that Borough Hall is his new home, he said he'll get around to decorating, starting with artwork that reflects Brooklyn's diversity.
"Art is a way of clearly, it's a welcoming symbol for many different groups," he said. "Different painters, different symbols, is a way of saying you are welcome."
He said he'll also make the building's exterior more welcoming by getting the crumbling bluestone pavement that surrounds Borough Hall re-done.
"I'm looking to replace that because this is the people's house, and it should have a welcome mat that people can enjoy coming to," he said.
Adams hasn't hired a chief of staff yet, but he has chosen former City Councilwoman Diana Reyna as deputy borough president. He said that he also wants honorary deputies.
"I'm looking to have honorary, non-paying staff volunteers to be deputy borough presidents in all of our ethnic groups, so that when people need to reach out to the borough president's office or any city or state agency, they can have someone that understands the cultural norms of that community and can speak in their language," Adams said.
Adams said that 47 percent of Brooklynites speak another language at home, not including Brooklyn-ese.