There was a remarkable energy in Forest Hills this past Thursday evening as Shalom and Victoria Zirkiev welcomed Eric Adams into their home. Against the backdrop of a stunning night sky, guests chatted, posed, and sipped cocktails with the New York City Democratic Mayoral Nominee. The ambiance was perfect, the music of Ariel Katz of Ahava Productions was exceptional, and the themed combinations brought the mood together. Thoughtfully concocted drinks entitled Nomination, Ballot, Election, and City Hall boasted bursting summer flavors, fitting for the atmosphere.
“By hosting this event today, you are saying, ‘Eric, we stand with you,’” said Adams as he called on those gathered to do the analysis on numbers that prove that he was the reining Jewish candidate in the Primary Election that chose him as an old friend of the Jewish community.
“What I have seen over the last few months has really been amazing,” said Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal in his preludes of Adams. “He is willing to say what he believes, which is not so common in today’s political age.” Rosenthal explained that meetings with politicians often take place behind closed doors and entail words catered to your liking, laden with excuses of why a conversation is not made public. “Eric talks publicly that he cares about the safety of our neighborhoods, and our families, and especially the Jewish community. He does not care what Twitter has to say. Eric wants to actually govern responsibly with policy that works and not be governed by 180 characters.” Rosenthal also acknowledged recent times. “New York City over the past few years has had a difficult time,” noted Rosenthal, as he described the pain of seeing four houses on one block in Kew Gardens Hills up for sale. “People are losing faith and confidence in our neighborhoods and communities.” Rosenthal explained that Adams has been taking note of the rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes and welcomes the Jewish community.
With “heartfelt happiness,” Council Member Karen Koslowitz had the honor of passing the mic to the candidate, whom she previously endorsed. In her remarks, she acknowledged that this upcoming election will be the fifth mayor that she has served under. “Now we are getting a mayor who has it all,” stated the Council Member who is now being term-limited out for the second time. “He has the gumption to tell people off if he doesn’t like what they are saying or believe in. That is someone that I respect and admire,” she said as she called on Adams to join her at the podium. “The last eight years in the Council, and the last mayor was not our mayor. He did not care about the people, he cared about himself. He is someone that I am happy to see leave.”
Eric Adams, who has heavily been on the fundraising trail, still had a seventh stop on his schedule but took considerable time to mingle with guests in what his campaign labeled the most successful stop of the week. “I always say that nobody is going to outwork me, because I know what is at stake,” related Adams, who is proud of being raised in the Borough of Queens and of attending PS 140 – Bayside High School. “People try to lie and say there was not a Queens candidate in the race; I am a Queens candidate, and this is the energy that I know.” Adams repeated a stinging word, “Betrayal,” as one that resonates most throughout the campaign, “We have been betrayed by the City of New York. You have done your job as a taxpayer and have done what you are supposed to do; the City has not done its job to ensure that they have taken care of your tax dollars. Cities are made up of agencies and sometimes we forget that. When you have agencies that don’t do the delivery of services the way they are supposed to, then they betrayed you.”
Adams discussed a childhood of betrayal where he was bullied, ridiculed, and shunned from accepting his learning disability that he eventually got under control with proper resources, and he shined as a Dean’s List student.
Our city cannot be about luck. You cannot be lucky if you are a parent, and your child is dyslexic or has ADD and you have to sue the city in the hope of getting the resources for your child. You cannot be lucky to own a small business and the right building inspector walks inside and give you a ton of citations. You can’t be just lucky so you’re not Jonathan (Borgen) who was in Times Square just merely being a Jewish young man who watched himself being stomped and kicked and had anti-Semitic words thrown at him.” Adams said that he spoke with Jonathan Borgen’s father to understand the depth of the impact of the incident on the family. He also spoke of the hate against Chinese Americans, and the failures of services impacting businesspersons trying their best to make an honest living. “My city is not about luck, its about opportunities.” Adams pledged to change the dysfunctionality of the city that really believes that we cannot function or thrive. Adams demanded that we not surrender ourselves to a society that does not allow us to be who we are by not riding the subway out of fear of being tossed to the tracks or removing our kippahs because we fear anti-Semitism. “I will be damned if we are going to surrender in my city. I will judge our city based on productivity.” Adams also spoke of his time as a police officer and his anti-crime stance, as well as his business-friendly approach. “We are too bureaucratic, too expensive, too difficult. We must become the center of life science: biotech, self-driving cars, drones, technology; we must be a place where people want to come. This is who we are.”
Regarding immigrants, Adams noted that first- and second-generation New Yorkers have not left the area because of their love and admiration for the city. “They are used to the understanding that you fight hard for what you love.” Adams spoke of those New Yorkers who work long days running and working in businesses and as his own. Adams pledged to continue to stand with the Jewish community on the issues that matter most, just as the community has supported him along the journey and show America how to run cities again.
Invitees to the cocktail reception were treated with a scrumptious buffet supplied by Crazy Meats and craft blends served by Kosher mixologist Erika Fisher of Combinations By Fisher.
By Shabsie Saphirstein