By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
As he continues his runrup to a borough presidential run, Democratic State Sen. Eric Adams met with leaders of Bay Ridge's Arab-American community on Thursday.
“Now, you’re making me want to go to Yemen!” Adams said, after looking at the pictures of that country’s coast.
He met members of the Moroccan, Yemeni and Egyptian communities during a walking tour of Fifth Avenue that began at Yemen Restaurant, where the lawmaker admired photos that owner Ali Elfgeeh had hung on its walls.
Adams said he was already familiar with Bay Ridge.
“When I was a police officer, many of my colleagues lived here,” he told the Eagle.
The senator’s tour of Bay Ridge was arranged by Larry Morrish, and included Abdo Almasmary, president of the Yemeni American Association; civic activist Kathy Khatari, and Abdessadek Boumahchad and Advisor Hafida Torres of the Moroccan American House Association, among others.
Adams said he will be visiting communities all over Brooklyn in advance of next year's primary. Borough President Marty Markowitz, first elected in 2001, is term-limited and cannot run for the office again.
One of Adams’s leading opponents in the Democratic primary, Carlo Scissura, a senior adviser to Markowitz, is no longer in the running. Scissura, a native of Bensonhurst, announced a few months ago that he had decided not to forego the race, and accepted an appointment as president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce instead.
Adams, a three-term state senator, represents the 20th S.D. — covering Park Slope, Flatbush and Crown Heights— since 2007. During 22 years on NYC police force, he founded 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care, a group that's sought to promote improved relations between the NYPD and minority communities.
Adams likened his walking tour to his days as a street cop.
“To me, it’s an extension of my days walking the beat. You get out there, you meet people, and you talk to them about what their concerns are,” he said.
“One thing I notice about Bay Ridge is how wonderfully diverse it is,” he said. “There are all different nationalities here.”
Brooklyn is diverse. But Adams said he believes there is a common thread.
“We are more alike than we are different," he said. "People in Bay Ridge want the same things people in other Brooklyn communities want. They want safe streets, good schools for their children, and job opportunities."
Adams has degrees from City Tech and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He earned a Master’s degree in public administration from Marist College.