Adrienne Adams, First Black Council Speaker, says City is at “Crossroads”

Ms. Adams, whose mother was a detective, said she agreed with the letter, which was signed by 29 of her council colleagues and rejected solitary confinement as “a” form of torture. “She said she disagreed with Mr. Adams’ decision, although they have not yet discussed the issue.

If a jailed person is to be isolated for a violent incident, Ms. Adams argued that time should be spent administering counseling or other therapy to help address the cause of the violence.

“Let’s go back to the time when correction meant correction, and rehabilitation meant rehabilitation,” Ms. said. Adams.

The mayor’s remarks angered those who signed the letter. Crystal Hudson, who has just become one of the first two overtly gay black women to serve on the council, said she felt Mrs Adams had given a strong statement in her response.

“I have full confidence in her ability as chair of the City Council to push back when needed and have the backs of her members,” Ms. Hudson, who represents a district in Brooklyn, said in an interview. “I know she will stand firm in her conviction.”

The vote to make Ms. Adams’ spokeswoman on Wednesday was 49 to 2, with two Black Democrats voting against her. One of them, Charles Barron, who represents East New York in Brooklyn, said Ms. Adams did not represent “independent, bold black leadership that stands for the people across the party.” The other, Kristin Richardson Jordan, representing Central Harlem, said, “we need more than symbolic representation.”

Diana Ayala, representing East Harlem, will serve as vice president; Keith Powers, who represents several other neighborhoods in Manhattan, will be the majority leader and Selvena Brooks-Powers, who represents parts of Queens, will be the majority whip. Joseph Borelli, a Republican councilor from Staten Island, was elected as the minority leader.

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