Black politicians in New York made history on Tuesday. While Democrat Eric Adams became the second Black mayor in the history of New York City, Democrat Alvin Bragg was elected as Manhattan's first Black district attorney.
Adams, who is a retired New York Police Department captain and a former state lawmaker, defeated Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa to become the city's 110th mayor, CNN reports.
"I wanted people to know my story, being a dishwasher, having a learning disability, being arrested as a child, going to school at night, working in a mail room. That was the story I wanted to send New Yorkers, and they felt me. And because of that, I'm now going to be the mayor of one of the greatest cities on the globe," the mayor-elect told CNN.
The former state senator will replace the term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio in January, USA Today reports.
During his campaign, Adams vowed to reform the NYPD and combat violent crime, saying "public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity."
He also touted his history of fighting against racism within the NYPD and reminded voters about his testimony, which helped to end the unlawful use of stop-and-frisk policies. Adams, however, said he believes that the stop-and-frisk tactic should still be used under lawful guidelines.
As he voted Tuesday in Brooklyn, Adams brought a photo of his late mother. The image serves as a reminder of Adams' working-class upbringing and illustrates the promises he is now making to New York City residents.
"This is not about Eric Adams becoming mayor. This is about carving out a pathway so people could enjoy the prosperity that this city has to offer," he said during his victory speech on Tuesday.
While outlining his plan to combat the pandemic, Adams said he supports de Blasio's vaccine mandate for police officers, firefighters and EMTs. He also wants to require shots for students if the Food and Drug Administration approves coronavirus vaccines for children.
Sliwa, however, opposed vaccine mandates. After losing the race, Sliwa said he offers his friendship to Adams.
"He's gonna need it. He's gonna need all the support he can get because of what Bill de Blasio is leaving behind," the Republican candidate said, taking a subtle shot at the outgoing mayor.
In Manhattan, former federal prosecutor Alvin Bragg defeated Republican candidate Thomas Kenniff on Tuesday to be elected district attorney, making him the first Black person to hold the position in the city, CBS New York reports.
Bragg said his victory signals a full-circle moment. The Democrat said he remembers being stopped at gunpoint by police and having family members in and out of the system. He also reflected on his experience of fighting for justice as the chief deputy attorney general in New York State and as a federal prosecutor.
Bragg said he is focused on combating gun violence and de-carcerating Rikers Island. The former federal prosecutor will also oversee various investigations tied to former President Donald Trump.
"The fundamental role of a district attorney is to guarantee both fairness and safety," he said. "That is the trust that’s been given to me on the ballot, but given to all of us, that’s what we’ve worked for, to show the city and the country a model for pairing partnership, pairing fairness and safety into one.”