By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Declaring that "Brooklyn is the greatest place on earth … now more than ever a place of opportunity," state Senator Eric Adams formally launched his run for borough president on Sunday.
Outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz endorsed Adams during the campaign's kickoff rally, on the steps of Borough Hall.
"Throughout his career," said Markowitz, "Senator Adams has served with honor and established himself as a trustworthy and talented leader: As a four term, New York State Senator, he chaired two committees, and as a 22-year veteran of the NYPD, he reached the rank of captain and founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care. As someone who plans to spend the rest of his life in Brooklyn, I am excited for Eric Adams' future and hope that his contributions surpass mine."
Also endorsing Adams on Sunday were more than 40 other elected officials and others in leadership positions, including former Borough President Howard Golden, Councilman Dominic Recchia (a former rival for the post of borough president) and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura.
"This is a pivotal moment for Brooklyn," said Adams. "We have to turn our popularity into prosperity, leave no one behind, and make Brooklyn the best that it can be."
Qualifying his enthusiasm for the golden borough, however, Adams pointed to Brooklyn's challenges.
"We can't say we're the best if our neighbors are looking over their shoulders because countless numbers of communities have bullets that are carving highways of death and then going home to homes where their jobs can't pay the rent that they're living in."
"We can't say we're the best if our neighbor wants a job but can't find one [and] our children are struggling in schools that are failing them," Adams said.
"Our children are not competing merely with Bed-Stuy and Brownsville, they're competing with Budapest and Belgium" — they must be "global-minded" citizens "who can conquer not only the geographical boundaries they are in, they can conquer the globe."
"We have a responsibility to build structures and infastructures, but we have a responsibility to build people too," Adams declared.
"If we can build a home for the Nets, we can build affordable housing for families. We built our brand, now we have to continue to enrich lives."
Adams thanked Markowitz for his endorsement, proclaiming that "we owe Marty a debt of gratitude for his commitment and passion to the borough of Brooklyn."
"When many of us looked at Brooklyn only with our eyes, Marty looked at the borough with his heart," Adams said.
Adams also toasted former Borough President Golden.
"Howard laid the legacy of this borough," Adams said. "Long before there was a Marriott on Adams Street, Howard saw the opportunities and possibilities. And I am grateful that a man of his dignified manner has endorsed this campaign."
As of Monday, Adams had raised nearly $420,000 from about 2,500 contributors. Most of them, the NYC Campaign Finance Board website shows, contributed $175 or less. The contributors represent a wide spectrum of people, from housewives to retired people to police officers; from small-business managers to corrections officers to lawyers. The great majority of donors live in Brooklyn, although a smaller number live in Queens, Long Island or Staten Island.
Chamber of Commerce leader Scissura said, "I am thrilled that [Adams] is running for Brooklyn borough president, and look forward to working with him even more closely in the coming years in order to continue making Brooklyn one of the best places in the country to live." Scissura, a former aide to Markowitz, actively campaigned for the position of borough president last year, but ended his campaign after he was tapped to head the Chamber.
In January, Councilman Recchia, who had also expressed interest in the post and had strong support in the southern half of the borough, decided not to run, leaving Adams as the front-runner in the field.
Late last month, Bay Ridge leader and lawyer John Gangemi, a former city councilman during the 1970s and a former NYS assistant attorney general, announced his candidacy for the post as a Democrat. A month earlier, Gangemi had told the Politicker blog that he had considered running for congress against incumbent Michael Grimm.