On Thursday, Reverend Al Sharpton convened what he billed as a historic gathering of elected black officials in New York.
Blacks occupy nearly every office of major political influence in New York, from mayor to state attorney general to the state’s two legislative leaders. And on Thursday, they tried to get on the same page on public safety issues.
“Never in the history of this state have we seen so many high-ranking officials coming from the black community, and it was our idea to sit down with those officials and discuss public safety.
What you need to know
- New York’s top black elected officials gather for summit on public safety on Thursday night
- The private meeting was convened by Reverend Al Sharpton at the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem.
- To the media, participants then stressed the need to present more unified messaging, but did not discuss policy.
- Mayor Eric Adams said, “Our ancestors prayed and are now standing on this stage.”
“This year will be the year that shows how to govern this country,” he said. “And how do people who have been left out of government for years and who are now in important positions govern? We may be singing different hymns, but we are in the same hymnbook. Let’s sing together again this year.”
Public safety was a divisive issue in last year’s midterm elections, one that not only was used to Republicans’ advantage, but also caused rifts among Democrats. Mayor Eric Adams’ tough approach to crime and his push to repeal the state’s bail reform laws pitted him against state leaders like Bronx Congressman Carl Heastie.
However, while participants spoke broadly about the need to achieve both criminal justice reform and public safety, they did not mention specific policies, instead emphasizing the need to present a unified message. Did.
Attorney General Letitia James said specifics were discussed, but “these issues will not be discussed in front of the media here. We will discuss and plan privately. , which maps where the problems are, and converges.”
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “We love the media, but we don’t need them to communicate with each other.”
Mayor Adams said legislative successes at both the city and state levels faltered during his first year in office, with groups banding together to combat systemic racism.
“This is what our ancestors prayed for and now stands on this stage,” said the mayor. “And we respond to those prayers, the sacrifices, all that they’ve been through.”