NYC mayor says Lori Lightfoot’s loss a ‘warning sign for the country’
New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday brushed aside the suggestion that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reelection loss was merely a warning sign for Democratic mayors, instead calling it a “warning sign for the country” at large.
“I showed up at crime scenes. I knew what New Yorkers were saying. And I saw it all over the country. I think, if anything, it is really stating that this is what I have been talking about. America, we have to be safe,” Adams told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
Adams was elected mayor in 2021 after a campaign focused on public safety and combating rising crime.
Lightfoot, who was first elected in 2019, lost her reelection bid last week, failing to make one of two runoff spots. Chicago is now the third major city in recent years with a mayoral election that has tested attitudes — among a heavily Democratic electorate — toward crime and policing.
Violence in Chicago spiked in 2020 and 2021. And though shootings and murders have decreased since then, other crimes — including theft, carjacking, robberies and burglaries — have increased since last year, according to the Chicago Police Department’s 2022 year-end report.
“Mayors, we are closer. We’re closest to the problem,” Adams said Sunday, calling public safety a “prerequisite to prosperity” in American cities. “We are focused on public safety because people want to be safe.”
Adams was asked Sunday about criticism from some Democrats, who say his rhetoric on crime hurts the party and helps Republicans.
“The polls were clear. New Yorkers felt unsafe,and the numbers showed that they were unsafe,” he told Bash. “Now, if we want to ignore what the everyday public is stating, then that’s up to them. I’m on the subways. I walk the streets. I speak to everyday working-class people. And they were concerned about safety.”
Adams also addressed the scrutiny that has followed his remarks at an interfaith breakfast last week in which he said, “Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body, church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies.”
“What I believe,” he said Sunday, “is that you cannot separate your faith. Government should not interfere with religion, and religion should not interfere with government. But I believe my faith pushes me forward on how I govern and the things that I do.”