Mayor Eric Adams has thrown his support behind Inez Dickens, a veteran Harlem Democrat, in her primary campaign for the City Council’s 9th district seat, soon to be left vacant by Kristin Richardson Jordan.
Adams was accompanied by several influential Harlem figures, including former Representative Charles Rangel and his successor, Representative Adriano Espalliat, prominent African American leader Dr. Hazel Dukes, Jackie Rowe-Adams, and Reverend Al Sharpton’s daughters, Dominique and Ashley Sharpton.
Standing before the Harriet Tubman monument in Harlem’s Council District 9, Adams said, “These are days when you need experienced leadership.” He added, “It’s not what you do when you tweet, it’s what you do on the streets.”
Adams highlighted Dickens’ knowledge of and connection to the Harlem community and lauded her previous tenure in the City Council and the Assembly. Dickens and Adams share similar City Hall priorities, notably strengthening the state’s bail reform law and providing judges with greater discretion.
Currently perceived as the establishment candidate, Dickens faces opposition from Yusef Salaam, a member of the exonerated Central Park Five, and Assemblyman Al Taylor in a three-way primary. She criticized her opponents for joining forces against her, accusing Taylor of inconsistency on several policy issues and rebuking Salaam for his recent relocation to Harlem from Georgia.
She said, “I can call the mayor. I have his cell. Tell me, what candidate got his cell? Not one other. Certainly not the one that moved from Georgia.”
Dickens has been supportive of the African community including providing funding for African-focused non-profits. She has made herself available to the community and African media. In a recent interview on SunuAfrik radio with LittleAfrica News, Dickens, who called in from a Senegalese-owned restaurant, Renaissance Harlem, spoke about her admiration and support of African-owned businesses. She shared that she wants to increase access to grants, not loans, for small businesses.
Early voting for the NYC election started on Saturday, June 17th, and extends through Sunday, June 25th, with the final chance to vote on Election Day, June 27th. Redistricting has necessitated City Council members to re-contest for their seats, altering several districts and creating a new majority-Asian district in Brooklyn.