This month, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams officially announced his candidacy for mayor of New York City—and if he is elected in 2021, Adams will become the city’s first vegan mayor. The Borough President made the announcement in a Zoom call attended by hundreds of volunteers. “Like many New Yorkers, my life has been full of struggles. It wasn’t always easy. My mom worked her fingers to the bone cleaning houses to raise six children, all on her own,” Adams said. “But we persevered—because that’s what New Yorkers do. Now the city is in pain. And I know I can help because I have lived the life of the people who are hurting the most. I have seen what works and what doesn’t in this city. To be truly progressive, we have to fix [the] government and eliminate the inefficiencies that are holding us back.”
Adams’ personal childhood experience with police brutality led him to a life of public service, including serving with the New York City Police Department for 22 years (as an effort to affect change from within). In 2014, Adams became the first person of color to be elected to serve as the Brooklyn borough president. In 2016, Adams went vegan and has used his platform to help his constituents and fellow New Yorkers gain control of their health through several initiatives, including spearheading a plant-based medicine program within the city’s largest medical system NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. Adams also worked with current NYC mayor, Bill de Blasio, to implement Meatless Mondays at 15 schools in Brooklyn, a program the mayor expanded to all 1,700 NYC public schools last March.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Adams has continued his commitment to public service by helping to hand out plant-based meals to those in need and creating a public service announcement—with the help of 40 medical professionals—to encourage New Yorkers of color (who are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic) to go vegan. “COVID may have made thousands of New Yorkers sick, but for far too many it was inequality and an unjust, indifferent, dysfunctional government that killed them,” Adams said. “We need action and we need it now. The promise of New York has always been—and must always be—that any New Yorker can be who they were meant to be. When we unleash the potential of New Yorkers by allowing them to thrive, there is no pandemic, no recession, no division that we cannot overcome.”
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